British Airways suspends famed A318 all-business-class flight from London City to NYC
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It’s no surprise the ongoing coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on airline operations. Now, British Airways is suspending one of its most unique and famed routes until September.
Effective March 25, British Airways will suspend its route from London City (LCY) to New York (JFK) via Shannon, Ireland (SNN). The flights, which are known simply by their flight numbers as BA1 and BA2, are operated by the airline’s Airbus A318, a single-aisle jet that features an all-business-class configuration.
As reported by One Mile at a Time, and confirmed by the flight schedule loaded on ba.com, BA1 and BA2 are no longer available to book after March 24. The route will remain suspended through Sept. 1, though that could be extended.
A British Airways spokesperson declined to confirm the route suspension, instead offering BA’s general statement during coronavirus cancellations.
“This is a fast moving situation, and we recommend all customers check for the latest on their flight on ba.com,” the spokesperson said.
The route was so special because, among other reasons, the refueling stop in Shannon, Ireland, also meant passengers could clear U.S. immigration. As a result, the A318 landed at JFK as a domestic arrival, allowing passengers to bypass the sometimes-long immigration queues.
While British Airways used to operate the route on a double daily frequency, it switched to one daily flight, presumably because of decreased demand. And given the route is frequented mostly by passengers travelling for business, the summer is likely a lull for bookings.
The decision to suspend the route until September was likely made easier for BA following Tuesday’s decision from the European Commission. Earlier this week, the executive branch of the EU decided it was temporarily shelving its strict “use it or lose it” rule on airport slots.
BA1 and BA2 aren’t the first routes the airline has been forced to suspend as a result of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, which shows no sign of slowing down. The airline has suspended all of its operations to Italy, and before that, it was forced to cancel more than 200 flights through 28 March to destinations in France, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland and New York.
Featured photo by Zach Honig/The Points Guy.
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