British Airways has today announced it is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Toronto and reinstate its London Gatwick – Las Vegas route next summer.
BA will fly to Las Vegas three times a week from Tuesday 27 March 2018 on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018. BA will fly to Toronto three times a week from Tuesday 1 May 2018, also on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday until Friday 26 October 2018.
Both Las Vegas and Toronto are served by BA at London Heathrow up to twice daily. BA has previously flown from Gatwick to Las Vegas. However, the service was suspended last year.
Toronto is BA’s first route from London Gatwick to Canada. It is something of a surprise to see BA launch the Toronto from Gatwick, as it is not one of the stronger Heathrow routes due to a lack of presence by the Oneworld alliance in Canada.
However, there can be absolutely no doubt this is a move to take on the growth of low lost long-haul at Gatwick. Las Vegas is served by Norwegian. Toronto is also served by both WestJet and Air Canada Rouge.
British Airways is to fly its Airbus A380 aircraft to Chicago O’Hare from Tuesday 8 May 2018.
This will be the first time the BA A380 has flown to Chicago. BA will continue to fly to Chicago twice daily.
Currently, the route is operated by the Boeing 747 and 777. The A380 will be a significant upgrade over the albeit recent refurbished Boeing 747s which will continue to ply this route, particularly with regard to seating in premium economy and First Class.
A380 flights to Chicago are on sale now at ba.com. Please note that the operation of the A380 may be subject to seasonal adjustments.
The BA A380 currently operates on selected flights to Boston, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Los Angeles, Singapore, Vancouver and Washington. It also operates to Miami in the winter months and Vancouver in the summer.
The latest addition to BA’s A380 network will be sourced from aircraft servicing its existing network. BA has taken delivery of all twelve A380s it has ordered from Airbus.
The airline has options to purchase a further seven aircraft from Airbus but has not exercised them. Willie Walsh, CEO of BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, has expressed an interest in leasing second hand A380s for BA and possibly other IAG group airlines, but nothing has come of this. Continue reading “BA to fly the Airbus A380 to Chicago”
Virgin Atlantic is to operate two special return flights between London Heathrow (departing on Sunday 7 & Monday 8 January 2018) and Las Vegas (returning Friday 12 & Saturday 13 January 2018) for the benefit of visitors to the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
Virgin Atlantic is to operate two special return flights between London Heathrow and Las Vegas for the benefit of visitors to the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January 2018.
The flights will depart London Heathrow on Sunday 7 and Monday 8 January 2018 and will return from Las Vegas on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 January 2018.
Flights will be operated using Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner which features a larger Upper Class cabin as well as amenities such as in-flight WiFi.
These will complement Virgin’s existing Boeing 747 service between London Gatwick and Las Vegas and will compete BA’s own direct Boeing 747 services between London Heathrow and Las Vegas which can operate up to twice daily.
This new “pop up” route does point to Virgin being flexible with its schedule to take advantage of peaks in demand. The airline is to also launch a seasonal route from London Heathrow to Barbados in December 2017, which will again complement its London Gatwick service.
Norwegian Air Shuttle continues its rapid expansion at London Gatwick with the launch of new direct flights to Las Vegas.
The airline will fly to Las Vegas twice weekly (Monday & Thursday) from Monday 31 October 2016.
This will be Norwegian’s 8th long-haul route from London Gatwick after New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, Boston, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Puerto Rico.
Norwegian will be competing against direct flights by Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and British Airways from London Heathrow.
On that note, the very rapid growth by Norwegian is not going unnoticed by either British Airways nor Virgin Atlantic. We have already seen British Airways reinstate its London Gatwick – New York JFK route as an apparent competitive response. We would not be surprised to see further activity by either airlines which both depend very heavily on transatlantic traffic for profitability.
Flights are on sale now at Norwegian.com and an initial scan of fares shows return trips being available for less than £399.
London Gatwick – Las Vegas
Flight DY7107 Depart London Gatwick 12:10 – Arrive Las Vegas 16:00 (Monday, Thursday)
Las Vegas – London Gatwick
Flight DY7108 Depart Las Vegas 18:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:50
Launched in late 2009 when the airline was still reeling from the impact of the global financial crisis, British Airways’ daily service from London Heathrow to Las Vegas was an instant success with capacity quickly added through an aircraft upgrade and, more recently an additional three times weekly service from London Gatwick.
The service from London Gatwick has now been suspended, with the last return flight operating on Sunday 25 April 2016. BA will continue to fly to Vegas at least once a day from London Heathrow.
As has been widely reported around the world today, a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 operating as flight VS43 bound for Las Vegas airport returned to London Gatwick after part of its landing gear failed to retract properly after take-off.
The aircraft made what Virgin Atlantic referred to as a non-standard landing after dumping fuel to reduce the landing weight of the aircraft. The aircraft landed safely at London Gatwick without the entirety of its landing gear fully extended. The aircraft remained on the runway at London Gatwick and passengers were safely escorted from the aircraft.
The incident was covered live in the UK on the BBC News channel and Sky News. Perhaps in part due to it being a relatively quiet period for news and recent aviation incidents, the incident attracted quite sensational coverage around the world (let’s not get started on CNN’s abominal coverage of Air Asia flight QZ8501!). The unfolding nature of the story lends itself to coverage on the rolling news channels and tales of instant heroism and, in their eyes, narrowly averted disaster, also play well in tabloid media.
Whilst this was no trivial incident and it must have been a source of distress for some passengers, considerable comfort should be taken from the fact that the crew were clearly well trained and prepared to handle such an incident.
The reason for this was that even though the flights continue to operate with a four class Boeing 747 aircraft, these routes would be operated with aircraft that have not been fitted with the latest version of BA’s first class cabin.
Instead, BA would operate the old first class cabin as an extension of Club World business class.