British Airways has suspended its route from London Heathrow to Muscat for the summer season. The route now operates on a winter seasonal basis only.
Currently, the route operates five times weekly. The last outbound flight from London Heathrow for the summer 2019 season, BA79, is scheduled to operate on Saturday 30 March 2019. The last inbound flight from Muscat for the summer 2019 season, BA80, is scheduled to operate on Sunday 31 March 2019.
The route is due to return from Wednesday 30 October 2019. It will then be suspended again from Sunday 19 April 2020 until Wednesday 28 October 2020.
No reason has been given for the suspension. However, as the route is operated with a Boeing 787 a need to generate some slack in Boeing 787 schedules is likely to be a factor. The route was also subject to blanket cancellations during industrial action in 2018, which suggests it is one of BA’s more lightly loaded routes.
Oman Air will continue to fly from London Heathrow to Muscat twice daily year-round.
Flights operated by Qatar Airways will be operated by Qatar Airways A330 aircraft and its pilots and cabin crew. The aircraft will not have a First Class or premium economy cabin. In addition, there will be differences to special meals and other aspects the in-flight service. All flights will continue to operate from London Heathrow Terminal 5.
Rebooking options are available to passengers, including on alternative routes and airlines. However, these depend on which cabin you are booked in.
Please note this guidance is based on BA’s advice first issued to the travel trade on Monday 4 June 2018. It has already been subject to change and will no doubt continue to be so.
Affected Routes & Flights
Qatar Airways will operate BA’s daily Boeing 787-9 service to Delhi:
Flight BA143 London Heathrow – Delhi (Saturday 9 June – Monday 20 August 2018)
Flight BA142 Delhi – London Heathrow (Sunday 10 June – Tuesday 21 August 2018)
BA will continue to operate flights BA256 and BA257 between London and Delhi with a Boeing 777-200.
Qatar Airways will operate BA’s daily Boeing 777-200 service to Kuwait:
Flight BA157 London Heathrow to Kuwait (Saturday 9 June – Saturday 30 June 2018)
Flight BA156 Kuwait to London Heathrow (Sunday 10 June – Sunday 1 July 2018)
Qatar Airways will operate BA’s daily Boeing 787-9 service to Muscat:
British Airways is to introduce direct non-stop flights from London Heathrow to Doha in Qatar and Muscat in Oman from Sunday 30 October 2016.
BA has long served both Doha and Muscat. However, a one hour stop-over in Bahrain for Doha and Abu Dhabi for Muscat has been required, adding approximately two hours each way to the journey time.
BA will now fly daily direct to Doha with a four class Boeing 787-900 Dreamliner. BA will fly five times a week to Muscat with a four class Boeing 777-200 aircraft. Flights are on sale now at ba.com.
Why has BA introduced this change?
Well, it now has more departure and arrival slots at London Heathrow. The flight times are more convenient for passengers. Airlines also prefer not to use long-haul aircraft for short flights for operational reasons.
The one significant change is that flights from London Heathrow to Doha will now arrive in Doha in the morning rather than late at night.
BA codeshares with Qatar Airways, a shareholder in BA’s parent company International Airlines Group, on a number of routes from Doha to Dar es Salaam, Peshawar, Karachi, Entebbe, Dhaka, Islamabad and Lahore. Passengers with existing bookings will need to review their itineraries to see if connections are valid or if accommodation is required in Doha.
It is also worth noting that BA does offer flights between Bahrain and Doha and between Abu Dhabi and Muscat for sale and these will clearly not be available from Sunday 30 October.