For the past three summers, British Airways’ subsidiary BA CityFlyer has run seasonal weekend routes from London Stansted.
The reason for this is that London City is closed for part of the weekend. Instead of leaving its fleet of Embraer aircraft sit idle, some are positioned to Stansted airport.
Routes from Birmingham, Bristol and Manchester soon followed. However, there are now signs that BA CityFlyer is scaling back its ambitions.
All routes from Birmingham and Bristol have been suspended for next summer. BA CityFlyer has also scaled back its ambitions at Stansted. Some routes have been cancelled. Others have been cut in frequency. There are similar changes at Manchester.
British Airways is to return to London Stansted airport after a long hiatus with the launch of weekly summer seasonal flights to four destinations: Faro, Ibiza, Malaga, and Palma de Mallorca.
Flights will operate to each destination once a week at weekends.
Flights will be operated using a single Embraer E190 jet, offering a Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy service.
Flights launch on the weekend of Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May 2016 and will run for the duration of the summer season.
Whilst not explicitly mentioned in the airline’s press release, the launch of the routes seems to be driven by a desire to use an aircraft that would otherwise be parked at London City airport.
The announcement is clearly good news for BA flyers who live close to London Stansted.
However, some of the flight times are not the most convenient.
The scheduling of flights also looks tight, with 45 minute turnarounds between most flights. Delays across the weekend could easily build up.
That said, Faro, Ibiza, Malaga, Palma Mallorca are all served by BA from London City, Gatwick and Heathrow (except Palma de Mallorca does not operate from Gatwick). It is of course possible to “mix and match” London departure & arrival airports in one booking.