One of the few reliable pleasures of short-haul travel is flying on a wide-body aircraft, instead of the workhorse of aviation in Europe, the Airbus A320 series.
Before Coronavirus brought aviation to halt, BA and Iberia operated wide-body aircraft daily between London Heathrow and Madrid, primarily for the benefit of shipping cargo. As did Finnair between London Heathrow and Helsinki.
As airlines reduced their passenger flight schedules to skeleton services, these flights were replaced with Airbus A320 series aircraft.
In a small sign of services returning to normal, Iberia will operate Airbus A330 and A350 aircraft between London Heathrow Terminal 5 and Madrid from Sunday 14 June 2020.
This is primarily for the benefit of cargo and travel restrictions for passengers arriving in both Spain and the UK remain.
British Airways has launched a new summer seasonal route from London City Airport to San Sebastián in the Basque Country region of Spain.
BA will fly from London City to San Sebastián twice weekly on Monday & Friday from Friday 10 July 2020 to Friday 4 September 2020.
Flights will be operated with Embraer E190 aircraft in a two class Club Europe business class and Euro Traveller economy configuration.
This will be the only direct service to San Sebastián from London. BA already serves San Sebastián indirectly through an onward codeshare from Madrid on Air Nostrum. It is of course possible to mix and match London airports, albeit with an element of backtracking. Bilbao airport (served by BA from Gatwick) is also around 100km from San Sebastián.
British Airways is to suspend its summer seasonal route from London Heathrow to Murcia.
The route to Murcia San Javier airport launched in 2017 and is currently scheduled to operate twice weekly until Saturday 27 October 2018.
It was due to return from 2 April 2019 to 26 October 2019. However, the route has now been suspended in its entirety.
Murcia San Javier airport (airport code MJV) is in fact due to close to scheduled passenger flights in the coming months. Another airport serving the region, Corvera, also known as Región de Murcia International Airport (airport code RMU), is currently scheduled to open to passenger flights in early 2019. easyJet is to transfer operations to Corvera from the summer of 2019.
Passengers whose flights have been cancelled are entitled to a full refund. Passengers can also travel to an alternative BA destination in Spain such as Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga or Valencia. However, any consequential costs such as ground transportation will be at your expense.
When BA has previously suspended summer seasonal routes, it has secured rebooking options on alternative carriers. However, these were on network carriers via their hubs in mainland Europe – who don’t currently serve Murcia – and not on low cost airlines that fly direct from London.
BA and Iberia have long operated a joint schedule between London Heathrow and Madrid with the two airlines codesharing on each other’s flights.
Normally, when two airlines codeshare on a flight there is a “prime” flight number for the airline operating the flight. There is also a codeshare flight number for the codeshare partner that is merely selling another airline’s flight.
Airlines apply distinctly separate flight number sequences for their own flights and codeshare flights. On most occasions, the rules of the operating airline apply regarding seat selection, luggage fees etc.
BA & Iberia London Heathrow – Madrid Codeshare
Shortly after the merger of BA and Iberia in 2011, it was decided that Iberia would move into London Heathrow Terminal 5 to maximise connectivity between the two airline’s respective hubs.
However, there was a complication in that until then BA was the sole tenant of Terminal 5 and all of the systems and processes had been designed for BA’s operations.
A consequence of this was that flights from London Heathrow to Madrid operated by Iberia were treated by BA as its own flights and given a BA “prime” flight number.
BA is to launch a new summer seasonal route from London Heathrow to Almeria in Southeast Spain. The airline will fly to Almeria from London Heathrow Terminal 5, twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Flights will operate from Tuesday 27 March 2018 to Saturday 27 October 2018.
The new route is an addition to a growing portfolio of summer seasonal European routes for BA at London Heathrow which also includes Malaga and Murcia and a number of routes in France and the Greek islands. It is likely that more summer seasonal routes from all of BA’s London airports will be announced in the coming months. Please see here for our full guide to summer seasonal routes at London Heathrow.
Flights to Almeria will be operated using Airbus A320 aircraft, in a two class, Club Europe business and EuroTraveller economy configuration.
This route will return in 2019, but from Gatwick. Flights will operate four times weekly on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between Sunday 31 March and Saturday 26 October 2019. The new flight numbers are BA2790 and BA2791.
British Airways adds to its growing portfolio of summer seasonal routes with the launch of a new summer seasonal route from London City to Alicante.
The route will operate for some ten weeks from Monday 27 June 2016 to Monday 5 September 2016.
The route will be flown four times weekly on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesdays and Fridays. Flights will be operated using an Embraer E-190 aircraft in a two class, Club Europe business class and EuroTraveller economy class configuration. Flights can also be “mixed and matched” with BA’s daily services to Alicante from London Gatwick.
Update January 2018: This route, which currently operates on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday is suspended from Saturday 24 March 2018. Iberia’s sister airline Vueling will continue to fly from London Gatwick to Asturias three times weekly on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It is also possible to fly to Asturias from London Heathrow indirectly via Madrid.
Vueling continues its steady, if slightly haphazard, expansion in the UK with the launch of a new route from London Gatwick to Santiago de Compostela, the capital of northwest Spain’s Galicia region. The route operates from Wednesday 30 March 2016.
The airline will fly to Santiago de Compostela Airport from London Gatwick’s South Terminal three times a week.
Flights are on sale now at Vueling.com
Flight VY7389 Depart London Gatwick 20:30 – Arrive Santiago de Compostela 23:30 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday) Flight VY7388 Depart Santiago de Compostela 18:35 – Arrive London Gatwick 19:40 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
On other days, indirect routings are available via Vueling’s hub in Barcelona.
Vueling has a growing presence in the UK, and specifically London, albeit without a natural base.
From London Gatwick, Vueling also flies to Barcelona, Bilbao, Paris (Charles de Gaulle), Rome-Fiumicino, and Florence. From Heathrow, Vueling flies to La Coruña and Barcelona. This summer, Vueling will also fly from London Luton to Barcelona and Amsterdam.
Vueling is part of International Airlines Group with British Airways, Iberia and Aer Lingus. Vueling’s flights to Santiago de Compostela can also be booked as codeshares with BA and Iberia.
Update January 2018: Vueling will suspend this route from Friday 23 March 2018. easyJet will fly the route on Wednesday and Saturday from Wednesday 28 March 2018.
British Airways continues its successful strategy of summer seasonal routes from London Heathrow with the launch of there new routes from 2016: Biarritz in South West France, Mahon on the island of Menorca and Palermo, the capital of Sciliy.
The airline will fly two times a week to Biarritz from Sunday 1 May, four times a week to Menorca from Friday 29 April 2016 and two times a week to Palermo from Saturday 30 April 2016.
All flights will depart from London Heathrow Terminal 5. Flights are on sale now at ba.com
London Heathrow – Biarritz (Biarritz Pay-Basque airport)