British Airways is to launch a winter seasonal service from London Gatwick to Cape Town in South Africa from Thursday 24 November 2016.
Flights will operate three times a week and will complement the airline’s existing twice daily service from London Heathrow. It will also compete directly against Thomas Cook’s new service to Cape Town from London Gatwick which runs from 15 December 2016 to the weekend of Saturday 25/Sunday 26 March 2017. The seasonal service is currently scheduled to return from mid November 2017 to late March 2018. However, this may change depending on the commercial performance of the route.
BA flights will be operated using a three class Boeing 777 aircraft which will offer Club World business class, World Traveller Plus premium economy and World Traveller economy.
Cape Town in South Africa has long been a very popular destination for Britons seeking winter sun.
However, direct flight options between London and Cape Town have in the past year become limited to British Airways following the withdrawal of Virgin Atlantic’s seasonal route and the previous suspension by South African Airways.
Thomas Cook has now entered the market with the launch of a three times weekly flight between London Gatwick and Cape Town.
The flight will operate for three months from 15 December 2016 to 20 March 2017.
Flights will be operated using Airbus A330 aircraft in a two class economy and premium configuration.
The flight times have not yet been published.
This route adds to a growing portfolio of long-haul leisure routes at London Gatwick with Norwegian’s expanding transatlantic network and WestJet and Air Canada Rouge due to launch flights to Canada from London Gatwick next year.
British Airways has confirmed that Johannesburg will join Hong Kong and Los Angeles in its network of destinations served by the Airbus A380.
BA will operate an A380 service on three weekly return flights from London to Johannesburg from 12 February 2014 and six weekly return flights from 10 March 2014.
Full details of the exact flights are on the BA website.
What all these destinations have in common is that no other airline operates a direct service from London using an Airbus A380 which provides some pointers as to what additional destinations may be served by the A380.
Update January 2018:
BA operates the Airbus A380 on both of its twice daily services from London Heathrow to Johannesburg until Saturday 24 March 2018. From Sunday 25 March 2018, flights BA55 and BA56 continue to be operated with the Airbus A380. Flights BA57 and BA54 are operated with a Boeing 747.