Changes to BA & LATAM flights between London & Brazil

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

Sao Paulo, Brazil
Sao Paulo, Brazil (Image Credit: London Air Travel)

Here are few changes to both British Airways and LATAM flights between London and Brazil that have emerged recently.

BA appears to have taken First Class off sale for flights between London Heathrow and Rio de Janeiro from Monday 30 October 2017.

This suggests that the route has been downgraded from a four class Boeing 777 to a three class Boeing 777.  It was upgraded to first class in 2013.  The route continues to operate five times weekly.

BA is now codesharing with LATAM on a number of domestic routes from Sao Paulo Guarulhos airport.

These include routes operated by BA’s fellow Oneworld alliance partner between Sao Paulo and Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Curitiba, Foz do Iguaçu, Goiana, Porto Alegre, Recife, Salvador da Bahia and Vitoria.

Note that these can only be booked as part of a connecting international itinerary. BA and LATAM are currently securing regulatory approval for a joint-venture between Latin America and Europe so expect further co-operation in the coming years.

Finally, as first reported by Routes Online LATAM is to increase its London Heathrow – Sao Paulo service from daily to 9 times weekly for a little over a month from Sunday 9 July 2017 to Friday 18 August 2017.

The additional flight operates from London on Monday and Friday and from Sao Paulo on Sunday and Thursday.

Qantas Launches Non-stop Perth Flights From March 2018

Qantas will fly non-stop between London Heathrow and Perth from Saturday 25 March 2018.

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

Qantas Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner (Image courtesy of Qantas Airways)

Qantas has today confirmed the launch date of non-stop daily flights between London Heathrow and Perth. 

The new direct route will launch from Perth on Saturday 24 March 2018 and from London on Sunday 25 March 2018.  

It will also replace Qantas’ existing London Heathrow – Dubai – Melbourne service.

Flights are on sale now at Qantas.com.

At the time of writing return fares (including a Saturday night stay) near to launch are in the region of £1,260 for economy and £4,231 for business class.

Last year Qantas gained huge worldwide publicity with the promise of non-stop flights between London and Perth, operated by the Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner. With a flight time from London Heathrow of 15 hours and 45 minutes, this will be the longest non-stop route from London. The airline has since also mooted the possibility of non-stop flights between London and Sydney in appoximately five years’ time with either new long range Boeing or Airbus aircraft.

Continue reading “Qantas Launches Non-stop Perth Flights From March 2018”

BA opens its new “First Wing” check-in at London Heathrow Terminal 5

The “First Wing” offers a dedicated check-in area and security channel with direct access to BA’s lounges.

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

British Airways First Wing London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Credit: British Airways)
British Airways First Wing London Heathrow Terminal 5 (Credit: British Airways)

Next year, BA will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the opening of London Heathrow Terminal 5. The opening itself is a day BA would rather forget.

Ever since Terminal 5 opened a perennial complaint has been the fact that in spite of the fact that three of its lounges in the South of the terminal (Galleries Club, Galleries First and The Concorde Room) are located immediately adjacent to the South security screening area, passengers are forced to take a circuitous route down a crowded escalator and past numerous shops and restaurants and back up a set of escalators to access the lounges.

The one exception is those who have access to the Concorde Room by virtue of flying First Class or holding a Concorde Room Card can enter the lounge via a special door next to the South Security screening area, which at opening was rumoured to have cost BA many millions of pounds.

All that has now changed, for some passengers at least. If you have passed through the South end of Terminal 5 over the past few months you could not have failed to have noticed a large construction area near to the Club check-in area. This is the new BA First Wing.

Continue reading “BA opens its new “First Wing” check-in at London Heathrow Terminal 5″

Cancellations due to Alitalia Industrial Action Wednesday 5 April 2017

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

Alitalia Airbus A320
Alitalia Airbus A320

A number of trade unions representing employees of Alitalia are due to take industrial action on Wednesday 5 April 2017.

As a consequence, a substantial number of flights have been cancelled on Wednesday. In addition, there are a number of cancellations on Tuesday 4 April 2017 and Thursday 6 April 2017.

The background to the dispute is that Alitalia is currently in negotiations with its shareholders and banks over the airline’s future. Management have proposed a new business plan which would involve substantial redundancies which trade unions are protesting against.

Alitalia has published guidance for affected passengers which includes details of its rebooking policies.  A full list of cancellations is also available here.

If your flight is cancelled you have the option of a refund or an alternative fight up to Friday 14 April 2017.

The cancellations include the following flights between London Heathrow and London City Airports and Milan and Rome.

Please note that these are pre-planned cancellations.  There may well be additional cancellations due to other operational issues on the day.

You can check live flight information on the websites of Heathrow and London City airports on the day of travel.

Continue reading “Cancellations due to Alitalia Industrial Action Wednesday 5 April 2017”

You can now fly on a Boeing 777 from London Heathrow to Madrid

BA is now operating a long-haul Boeing 777 daily between London Heathrow and Madrid.

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow
British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow (Image Credit: British Airways)

This weekend sees the start of the new summer timetable at London Heathrow. There are a few changes including the launch of scheduled services by BA to New Orleans, Virgin Atlantic taking over Seattle from Delta, Flybe launching Aberdeen and Edinburgh and BA launching summer seasonal routes to Murcia, Nantes and Tallin with many more routes to follow later in the summer.

One other change is that BA is now flying a Boeing 777 daily between London Heathrow and Madrid, a route exclusively operated by BA and Iberia.

Shortly after the merger of BA and Iberia under the umbrella of International Airlines Group in 2011 the two airlines put wide body aircraft on the route. BA operates a Boeing 767 on flights BA456 and BA457. Iberia operates its Airbus A340 on flights BA522 and IB3166/BA7058. The principal reason for this is not necessarily passenger demand, but the cargo capacity in the belly of the aircraft.

From today, Sunday 26 March 2017, BA will also operate a Boeing 777 on this route. Flight BA458 which departs London Heathrow at 07:20 and flight BA459 which departs Madrid at 12:20 will be operated by a Boeing 777.

Update January 2018: It is now the early afternoon departure from London Heathrow BA460 and early evening return from Madrid BA461 that is operated by either a Boeing 777 or Boeing 787.
Continue reading “You can now fly on a Boeing 777 from London Heathrow to Madrid”

Flybe launches new routes from Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Aircraft
Flybe Bombardier Dash 8 Aircraft (Image Credit: Heathrow Airport)

Flybe today, Sunday 26 March 2017, launches new direct flights from London Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

The first Flybe flight to depart London will be BE2122 to Aberdeen at 09:45.

Flybe will fly to Aberdeen & Edinburgh up to 3 & 4 times daily on weekdays. Flights will operate with reduced frequencies on Saturdays and Sundays. Flights will operate from London Heathrow Terminal 2.  

At launch, Flybe will codeshare with Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. Flybe also has interline agreements in place with United Airlines, Delta, Qantas, and TAP.

Continue reading “Flybe launches new routes from Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh”

Virgin Atlantic launches seasonal Heathrow – Barbados from Tuesday 12 December 2017

Virgin Atlantic will fly from London Heathrow to Barbados twice weekly from Tuesday 12 December 2017.

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)
Virgin Atlantic Logo (Image Credit: Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin Atlantic is to launch a new winter seasonal route from London Heathrow to Barbados.

The airline will fly from London Heathrow to Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport from Tuesday 12 December 2017 to Saturday 24 February 2018. Flights will operate twice weekly each Tuesday and Saturday. The route is then scheduled to resume on Tuesday 11 December 2018.

This will be the only direct route between London Heathrow and Barbados. This will complement Virgin Atlantic’s existing daily service from London Gatwick.

Flights will be operated using an Airbus A330 aircraft with 33 Upper Class, 48 Premium Economy and 185 Economy seats.

Flights will be on sale from Monday 27 February 2017 at Virgin Atlantic.com

And here’s the timetable (please note this may vary by week):

London Heathrow – Barbados

Flight VS131 Depart London Heathrow 13:15 – Arrive Barbados 17:55 (Tuesday, Saturday)
Flight VS132 Depart Barbados 20:15 – Arrive London Heathrow 07:55 (Tuesday, Saturday)

Alitalia – London Heathrow & City cancellations due to strike action

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

A number of trade unions representing employees of Alitalia are due to take industrial action on Thursday 23 February 2017.

As a consequence, approximately 60% of Alitalia’s domestic and international flights are cancelled on Thursday 23 February and there are further cancellations Friday 24 February.

These include the following flights between London Heathrow and London City Airports and Milan and Rome.

Please note that these are pre-planned cancellations.  There may well be additional cancellations due to severe weather in the U.K. caused by Storm Doris.  In addition, some airport ground facilities in Italy may also be affected by industrial action.
Continue reading “Alitalia – London Heathrow & City cancellations due to strike action”

BA cancels London Heathrow – Abuja Wednesday 8 March -Tuesday 18 April 2017

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

British Airways has cancelled all direct flights between London Heathrow and Abuja route from Wednesday 8 March to Tuesday 18 April 2017.

The reason for this is that the airport’s runway will be closed for emergency repairs.

According to press reports, the Nigerian Government had instructed airlines to operate flights to an alternative airport in Kaduna (some 200km north of Abuja) with onward road transport to Abuja. However, these contingency plans has clearly not been implemented by BA.

The affected BA flight numbers are BA083 and BA082.

Affected passengers have the option of a full refund, rebooking on an alternative British Airways operated flight between London Heathrow and Abuja outside of the runway closure (up to Friday 19 May 2017), or rebooking on an alternative British Airways operated flight between Accra or Nigeria and London Heathrow within 7 days of the date of your original booking.

However, if you choose the later option any additional costs such as ground transportation and hotels will be at your own expense and will not be reimbursed by the airline.

BA is the only airline to fly non-stop between London and Abuja. In terms of the response from other European airlines, Air France and Lufthansa fly from their respective hubs in Paris Charles de Gualle and Frankfurt to Abuja. Both airlines appear to have cancelled all flights during the period of the runway closure.

Affected BA passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.

BA adds new amenities to Beijing, Shanghai, & Hong Kong flights

London Air Travel » London Heathrow » Page 2

New amenities for British Airways flights between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong
New amenities for British Airways flights between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong

British Airways is to add additional in-flight amenities and services to passengers travelling between London Heathrow, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Passengers travelling in World Traveller Plus and Club World will be offered slippers. Passengers travelling in all cabins will be offered Twinings green tea, the option of chopsticks for eating meals and bilingual menus.

In the grand scheme of things, these are fairly small changes. It’s also not unusual for BA to offer additional in flight amenities on certain routes for cultural reasons. Slippers have long been offered on flights to Tokyo and bilingual menus are common on many routes.

However, it does point to an effort to do better in China where BA has had mixed success. BA’s route from London Heathrow to Chengdu was suspended this month and BA faces very strong competition from Cathay Pacific on the London – Hong Kong route.