Norwegian continues to reshape its network at London Gatwick.
After suspending Singapore and launching Rio de Janeiro, it will switch its existing routes to Fort Lauderdale and Oakland to Miami and San Francisco International respectively.
The changes will take effect from Sunday 31 March 2019. Norwegian will fly to Miami daily and to San Francisco five times weekly.
Norwegian cites passenger demand and increased cargo capabilities for the decision. This is similar to low cost short-haul airlines who first started flying to secondary airports in Europe and then moved to primary airports as they reached maturity. Norwegian will continue to serve a number of cities in mainland Europe from Fort Lauderdale and Oakland.
This will leave Oakland with no direct service to London after BA suspended the route this year.
BA did also launch Fort Lauderdale after Norwegian. Its CEO Alex Cruz did say that serving Fort Lauderdale from Gatwick and Miami from Heathrow works well for passengers wanting a choice of Florida airports, so it looks like this will continue.
British Airways has confirmed it has suspended its route from London Gatwick to Oakland, California from Monday 22 October 2018.
The last flight will operate on Saturday 20 October 2018. The route launched in March 2017. Like the launch of Fort Lauderdale and New York JFK, it was a clear competitive response to the growth of Norwegian at London Gatwick. Norwegian will continue to fly to Oakland at Gatwick.
BA has not yet published any official guidance in response to the cancellation. However, if your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund. Passengers are also likely to be offered the opportunity to change their flight to one of BA’s twice daily services from London Heathrow to San Francisco. Note that in this instance any consequential costs such as additional ground transportation would be at your own expense.
BA appears to be using the spare capacity arising from the suspension to make its summer seasonal route to Las Vegas year round.
Affected passengers should contact either BA or their travel agent.
Update: BA has since stated that the route will resume in Summer 2019 and the route is currently showing as scheduled to resume on Monday 1 April 2019.
Update (2): This route will now not resume in 2019.
Update (3): The last flight on this route will now operate on Saturday 13 October 2018.
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.
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.