Virgin Atlantic unveiles its new London Gatwick Clubhouse

Virgin Atlantic has opened a new Clubhouse lounge in London Gatwick’s North Terminal.

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Today, 25 January 2017, sees a significant reorganisation at London Gatwick. easyJet has consolidated its operations in the North Terminal. 

To accommodate this move, British Airways has moved from the North Terminal to the South Terminal. Virgin Atlantic has moved from the South Terminal, its home at Gatwick since the airline first launched in 1984, to the North Terminal.

This move of course means new lounges for both BA and Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin Atlantic has today opened its new Clubhouse in the North Terminal.  It is located on level 4 of the terminal, after security.

Lounge features include:

  • A marble bar offering complimentary drinks including bespoke cocktails from East London bar The White Lyan
  • A complimentary to order brunch menu featuring popular staples such as Eggs Benedict
  • Floor to ceiling windows with views of the airport’s apron
  • A woodland themed play area for younger travellers
  • A Clubhouse spa with a selection of complimentary treatments such as facials and paid for treatments such as wet shaves and massages.  The spa is open from 7.00am to 12:30pm

Here is the spa treatment menudining menu and cocktail menu.

First impressions are that the lounge looks bright, spacious and, at least when the weather’s good, the floor-to-ceiling window views should put passengers in the right frame of mind for a holiday.

Here are some official pictures released by Virgin Atlantic:

Passengers travelling in Virgin’s Upper Class cabin and Flying Club gold cardholders are eligible to access the lounge.

Virgin Atlantic flies from London Gatwick to Antigua, Barbados, Cancun, Grenada, Havana, Las Vegas, Montego Bay, Orlando, St Lucia, Tobago and Varadero.

Finnair launches seasonal route from London Gatwick to Ivalo from Thursday 14 December 2017

Finnair is to launch a twice weekly winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Ivalo, Finland from Thursday 14 December 2017.

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London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)
London Gatwick Airfield (Image Credit: London Gatwick Airport)

Finnair is to launch a twice weekly winter seasonal route from London Gatwick to Ivalo, Finland from Thursday 14 December 2017.

The airline will fly from London Gatwick to Ivalo (Ivalo airport) on Thursdays and Sundays until Thursday 22 March 2018. The route then resumes on Thursday 13 December 2018.

Ivalo is the northern most airport in Finland. It is a small airport with just a few flights a day. Ivalo is a popular destination for winter sports, visiting Lapland and witnessing the Northern Lights.

Finnair also flies to Helsinki from London Heathrow, together with its codeshare partner British Airways, up to six times a day. It should be possible to “mix and match” direct flights from London Gatwick with indirect routings if that is more convenient.

Flights are on sale now at Finnair.com However, do note that it is only possible to book flights up to approximately a year in advance.

Finnair also flies from London Gatwick to Kittilä (Kittilä airport) on Tuesdays from 12 December 2017 to Tuesday 20 March 2018. The route then resumes on Tuesday 11 December 2018. Both routes are also codeshared with British Airways.

Here is a more detailed guide to winter seasonal routes from London.

Here is the initial timetable (which may be subject to change):

London Gatwick – Ivalo

Flight AY662 Depart London Gatwick 09:30 – Arrive Ivalo 15:00 (Thursdays)
Flight AY662 Depart London Gatwick 08:25 – Arrive Ivalo 13:55 (Sundays)

Flight AY661 Depart Ivalo 07:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 08:40 (Thursdays)
Flight AY661 Depart Ivalo 06:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 07:40 (Sundays)

The flight time is approximately 3.5 hours.  Ivalo is 2 hours ahead of the UK.

London Gatwick – Kittilä

Flight AY658 Depart London Gatwick 18:10 – Arrive Kittilä 23:35 (Tuesdays)

Flight AY657 Depart Kittilä 15:45 – Arrive London Gatwick 17:15 (Tuesdays)

BA introduces M&S “Buy On Board” from Wednesday 11 January 2017

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British Airways partnership with Marks & Spencer "M&S On Board"
British Airways partnership with Marks & Spencer “M&S On Board” (Image Credit: British Airways)

This Wednesday, 11 January 2017, marks a significant change to BA’s UK Domestic & EuroTraveller European short-haul flights to and from London Gatwick to London Heathrow.

The current offer of complimentary food and drink will be replaced by Buy-On-Board food and drink from Marks & Spencer. You can view the food menu and the drinks menu on the BA website.

Key points to note are:

  • Payment will only be accepted by credit card or Avios from your British Airways Executive Club account
  • Cash will not be accepted
  • To pay with Avios you will need to have the latest version of the BA app on your smartphone (it will show a barcode on the “My Account” screen of the app)

Continue reading “BA introduces M&S “Buy On Board” from Wednesday 11 January 2017″

BA to open new lounges in Gatwick’s South Terminal on 25 January 2017

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

In January 2017 there will be a significant re-organisation at London Gatwick. easyJet will consolidate all of its operations in London Gatwick’s North Terminal. In order to faciliate this move both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will swap terminals. BA will move the from North to South terminal, and Virgin Atlantic vice versa.

BA’s lounges in the North Terminal have long been closed due to construction work with passengers being required to use the No 1 lounges as an interim measure.

Details of what BA lounge arrangements there will be in the South Terminal for business and first class passengers and Silver and Gold Executive Club cardholders have long been anticipated.

BA has now confirmed some initial information, short of releasing final images of the lounge, for both check-in and lounge facilities.

Check-in and security

  • There will be dedicated premium check- in area in Zone A of the terminal for Club Europe, Club World, First Class and Silver & Gold Executive Cardholders.  This will feature dedicated seating, power outlets and bespoke furnishing.
  • There will be a dedicated premium security facility on Level 3 of the South terminal.

Lounges

  • Capacity for 477 passengers, which BA say is 40% larger than the former North terminal lounge
  • A separate First Class lounge with upgraded seating, finishes and lighting. It is assumed that Gold cardholders will have access to this lounge as some recent BA lounge developments in Dubai and Singapore feature a “Concorde Bar” for passengers ticketed in First Class only
  • Floor to ceiling windows with views of the runway
  • A “beautifully curved” staircase overlooking the main lounge
  • Full kitchen facilities in both lounges giving an upgraded food & beverage offering. Details of menus are to confirmed
  • A ‘kidszone’ room for children
  • Shower facilities

We will post images of the lounges as soon as they are released.

It is also worth mentioning that prior to the formal switch of flights on 25 January 2017 some flights will move in advance on a trial basis.

Update 25 January 2017

Whilst the Terminal switch has taken place today, 25 January, the opening of the lounges has been delayed.  In the interim, passengers travelling in Club Europe, Club World and Silver Executive Club card holders can use s temporary “Speedbird” lounge. Passengers travelling in First Class and Gold Executive Club cardholders can use the third party No 1 lounges.

Update 7 February 2017

It is understood that both of the lounges have now undergone a “soft” opening. However, not all facilities and amenities may be available at all times.

The new Club lounge is open from 05:15 until the last flight has departed. Passengers travelling in Club World on any long-haul flight and Club Europe to Jersey, and all British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on long-haul flights or to Jersey are eligible to use the lounge.

The new First lounge is open from 07:00 until 20:00 and all passengers travelling in First Class and all British Airways Executive Club Gold cardholders are eligible to use the lounge. If there capacity constraints passengers will be invited to use the No 1 Club rooms.

All other passengers, e.g. those travelling in Club Europe to other than Jersey and on Business U.K. tickets and British Airways Executive Club Silver cardholders travelling on short-haul flights other than Jersey will be invited to use the temporary Speedbird lounge.

Update 20 February

It is understood that the new lounges are now fully open and operational and therefore the temporary lounge arrangements have been withdrawn.

Cathay Pacific to fly daily from Gatwick to Hong Kong from 1 June 2017

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Cathay Pacific A350-900 Business Class (Image courtesy of Cathay Pacific)
Cathay Pacific A350-900 Business Class (Image courtesy of Cathay Pacific)

Cathay Pacific has today announced it will fly daily between London Gatwick and Hong Kong from Thursday 1 June 2017.

The route launched in September of this year on a four times weekly basis and clearly has been a success with an increase in frequency to daily.

The flight will continue be operated with an Airbus A350-900 aircraft in a three class (business, premium economy and economy) configuration.   Cathay Pacific will also continue to fly between London Heathrow and Hong Kong five times daily.

Continue reading “Cathay Pacific to fly daily from Gatwick to Hong Kong from 1 June 2017”

BA prepares for move to Gatwick’s South Terminal with trial flights

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British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)
British Airways Logo (Image Credit: British Airways)

In 2017, there will be a significant reorganisation at London Gatwick. easyJet will consolidate its operations into a single terminal at the airport, with all flights operating from the North Terminal.

In order to facilitate this move, British Airways from the North Terminal to the South Terminal. Virgin Atlantic will move from the South Terminal to the North Terminal. BA will move to the South Terminal on Wednesday 25 January 2017.

BA has of course learned the hard way that terminal moves can be fraught with difficulty. It is for this reason the airline has already begun trial flights from the South Terminal.

In advance of the full move the following routes will move to the South Terminal on a permanent basis in January 2017:

London Gatwick – New York JFK

Flight BA2273 London Gatwick – New York JFK (from Wednesday 11 January 2017)
Flight BA2272 New York JFK – London Gatwick (from Thursday 12 January 2017)

London Gatwick – Naples

Flight BA2612 London Gatwick – Naples (from Thursday 19 January 2017)
Flight BA2613 Naples – London (from Thursday 19 January 2017)
Continue reading “BA prepares for move to Gatwick’s South Terminal with trial flights”

BA launches seasonal London Gatwick – Limoges from May 2017

British Airways will fly from London Gatwick to Limoges up to four times weekly from May 2017.

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British Airways Short Haul Economy Cabin (Credit: British Airways)

British Airways has launched a new summer seasonal route from London Gatwick to Limoges, France from May 2017.

Officially, the route from London Gatwick to Limoges (Limoges Airport) launches on 28 May 2017. However, we have found flights operating earlier in May.

The route will operate up to four times weekly with flights on Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

As is par the course for BA short-haul routes from London Gatwick, the timing of the flights varies widely by day with departure times ranging from very early in the morning to late evening.

The route is scheduled to operate until early September 2017. It will then resume on Friday 25 May 2018 and operate until Sunday 2 September 2017.

The frequency and duration of this route may be varied at short notice depending on its commercial performance. Again, this is par the course for BA at Gatwick.

This route addition does join a growing list of seasonal BA routes to France including seasonal flights from Heathrow to Biaritz, Montpellier and Nantes.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

Air Canada Rouge to launch seasonal London Gatwick – Vancouver

Air Canada Rouge will fly from London Gatwick to Vancouver three times on a summer seasonal basis from June 2017.

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Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300 aircraft
Air Canada Rouge Boeing 767-300 aircraft (Image Credit: Air Canada)

Over the past couple of years there has been significant growth in routes between London and Canada, notably with the launch of flights by Canadian airline WestJet this summer from London Gatwick to a number of cities in Canada.

Although WestJet’s entry into the long-haul market was far from smooth with significant technical problems with its fleet of 2nd hand aircraft, it is pressing ahead with its long-haul operation at London Gatwick.

Air Canada responded by launching flights operated by its budget airline Air Canada Rouge from London Gatwick to Toronto last year.

In the summer of 2017, Air Canada Rouge will expand its routes further, launching a direct route from London Gatwick to Vancouver.
Continue reading “Air Canada Rouge to launch seasonal London Gatwick – Vancouver”

BA launches London Gatwick – Oakland from 28 March 2017

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British Airways Boeing 777 at London Gatwick
British Airways Boeing 777 at London Gatwick

British Airways has announced its third new transatlantic route in as many weeks with the launch of a four times weekly service from London Gatwick to Oakland California (Oakland International Airport) from 28 March 2017.

This follows the launch of Fort Lauderdale from London Gatwick and New Orleans from London Heathrow.

Flights will operate four times weekly (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday) in the summer season and three times weekly in the winter season.

Flights will be operated with a three class Boeing 777 aircraft featuring Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, and World Traveller economy.

Oakland is BA’s fifth destination in California after San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose.

Like Fort Lauderdale, this route is also served by Norwegian from London Gatwick and there can be no doubt this is a competitive response to Norwegian’s growing network of long-haul routes to the USA at London Gatwick.

BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group, clearly sees Norwegian as a major competitor that requires a strategic competitive response. Further announcements may be made by both BA and other IAG group airlines such as Iberia and Aer Lingus in the coming weeks.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

London Gatwick – Oakland

Flight BA2279 Depart London Gatwick 10:20 – Arrive Oakland International Airport 13:15 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight BA2279 Depart London Gatwick 11:25 – Arrive Oakland International Airport 14:20 (Tuesday)

Flight BA2278 Depart Oakland International Airport 15:05 – Arrive London Gatwick 09:25 (Monday, Thursday, Saturday)
Flight BA2278 Depart Oakland International Airport 16:10 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:30 (Tuesday)

BA launches London Gatwick – Fort Lauderdale from 6 July 2017

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Fort Lauderdale Beach (Image Credit: London Air Travel)
Fort Lauderdale Beach (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

British Airways is to launch a new route from London Gatwick to Fort Lauderdale (Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport) from 6 July 2017.

This is the second new transatlantic route announcement in as many weeks after BA announced a new route from London Heathrow to New Orleans last week.

It is also BA’s fourth destination in Florida after Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

Flights will operate three times weekly (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday) with additional flight on Sunday in the peak summer season (16 July – 3 September 2017).

Flights will be operated using a three class Boeing 777-200 aircraft with Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy, and World Traveller economy.

BA is not for the first airline to fly to Fort Lauderdale from Gatwick as Norwegian have been flying the route for some time. Indeed, this is the second time BA has launched a new route to head-to-head with Norwegian at Gatwick, after reinstating flights from Gatwick to New York JFK.

This route will popular with tourists to South Florida and those taking cruises from the area.

It is also a potentially better gateway than Miami airport and should promise a smoother experience in US Customs & Immigration. 

That said, BA’s Airbus A380 operated flights from London Heathrow to Miami will offer the option of First Class, newer World Traveller Plus and World Traveller seating, a more advanced in flight entertainment system and a more pleasant cabin environment. It will of course be possible to “mix and match” flights between different airports. Flights will also be codeshared with Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Finnair and Iberia.

Flights are on sale now at ba.com

Here are links to the press releases from BA and Broward County Aviation Department.

London Gatwick – Fort Lauderdale

Flight BA2169 Depart London Gatwick 09:25 – Arrive Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport 13:45 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 16 July – 3 September 2017)

Flight BA2168 Depart Fort Lauderdale 17:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 06:30 (Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 16 July – 3 September 2017)