British Airways plans to fly 29 long-haul routes in July, including 13 to North America
British Airways is gearing up for a return to long-haul service. During the coronavirus lockdown, the carrier had mostly halted passenger flights, opting to operate necessary flights. However, as of July, the carrier appears to plan to pick service back up in a big way.
In the first-quarter earnings call of International Airlines Group (IAG), the company that owns British Airways, CEO Willie Walsh said that the airline planned to make a "meaningful return to service" from July. Based on route information collected by RoutesOnline, the carrier appears to resume 29 long-haul routes beginning in the month of July.
As of June 3, the 29 July routes break down as follows:
- 13 to North America: Atlanta (ATL), Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Dallas (DFW), Los Angeles (LAX), Mexico City (MEX), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Toronto (YYZ), Vancouver (YVR), Washington, D.C. (IAD);
- 5 to Africa: Accra (ACC), Cape Town (CPT), Johannesburg (JNB), Lagos (LOS), Nairobi (NBO);
- 10 to Asia and the Middle East: Beijing (PKX), Delhi (DEL), Dubai (DXB), Hong Kong (HKG), Mumbai (BOM), Seoul (ICN), Shanghai (PVG), Singapore (SIN), Tel Aviv (TLV), Tokyo (HND); and
- 1 to South America: Sao Paulo (GRU).
Each of the routes that BA plans to resume for the month of July and beyond are subject to change.
Interestingly, RoutesOnline reports that BA's route between LHR and Atlanta (ATL) will be operated by the carrier's brand-new Boeing 787-10 aircraft. When the airline detailed its plans for the aircraft earlier this year, it said its first destination would be ATL. However, BA's site doesn't list the variation of the aircraft aside from 787.
Also of note that for the month of July, BA will operate its Airbus A350 aircraft to Boston (BOS), Tel Aviv (TLV) and Washington, D.C. (IAD). The aircraft features the airline's new business-class product, Club Suite.
Additionally, RoutesOnline has collected information as to BA's planned resumption of domestic routes for the month of July. As of June 4, the airline plans to operate the following eight routes within the U.K. on the respective frequencies:
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Aberdeen (ABZ): 14 weekly frequencies
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Belfast City (BHD): 14 weekly frequencies
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Edinburgh (EDI): 20 weekly frequencies
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Glasgow (GLA): 14 weekly frequencies
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Inverness (INV): 7 weekly frequencies
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Manchester (MAN): 14 weekly frequencies
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Newcastle (NCL): 7 weekly frequencies
- London Heathrow (LHR) – Newquay (NQY): 3 weekly frequencies effective July 18
Earlier this month, British Airways unveiled that effective immediately, it was ceasing operations to Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA).
In a statement to TPG, British Airways declined to confirm the rollout, saying, "This is a fast-moving situation, and we recommend all customers check for the latest on their flight on ba.com."
These routes — especially those that are long-haul — are a clear indication from British Airways that it plans to gradually resume operations. In IAG's first-quarter earnings call in May, Walsh said that it expects its airlines to operate at about 45% of capacity by the third-quarter compared to the year prior. By the fourth-quarter, Walsh said he expects that figure to rise to about 70% capacity.
When the U.K. government unveiled its mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arriving international passengers, which takes effect as of June 8, the airline industry — including IAG — opposed it. Walsh went so far as to say that BA would reconsider its "meaningful return to service in July" because of it. However, given the routes that are showing now, it appears as though the airline is looking past the U.K.'s quarantine restrictions.
On Thursday, fellow full-service U.K. carrier Virgin Atlantic formally unveiled its plans for a return to service. Beginning on July 20 and 21, the airline will begin flying between London Heathrow (LHR) and Hong Kong (HKG), Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO) and Shanghai (PVG).
Related: Virgin Atlantic to resume 5 routes in July, all passengers to get a personal ‘Health Pack’
Low-cost carrier EasyJet said that it plans to resume domestic U.K. routes as of June 15. Then, in July, it plans to reopen 75% of its network by July. Fellow low-cost carrier Ryanair plans to operate at 40% capacity beginning July 1.