We don’t normally post airline news about specific planes – but this, I feel, is newsworthy. British Airways is bringing its massive Airbus A380’s back into service, a sign that demand is starting to return to the international travel market. They’re the last ‘superjumbos’ in BA’s fleet to survive the culling brought on by COVID-19. BA is also adding capacity back to transatlantic routes that had previously been mothballed.
Here are all the details from British Airways:
British Airways is set to welcome back its first A380 aircraft in November and operate its biggest schedule since March 2020, with additional services to cities across the globe, including the US.
British Airways’ A380 will initially operate to a number of short-haul destinations to allow for crew service familiarisation in November, shortly followed by operating to Miami and Los Angeles in the US, as well as Dubai in December.
News that the airline’s A380 aircraft is re-joining its fleet follows the announcement that vaccinated Brits will be able to travel to the United States from November. The airline is set to fly to 23 US airports this winter* with up to 246 flights a week, more than any other transatlantic carrier.
Across its US network, British Airways will be increasing the number of flights it operates with services to city destinations including New York, which will initially be increasing to five a day, followed by eight in December. The airline will also be operating double-daily services to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Miami and Toronto, as well as daily services to Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Houston and Vancouver
In addition to frequency increases, in October and November British Airways will restart services to Austin, Orlando, Tampa, San Diego, Las Vegas and Baltimore **. In December the airline will also start flying to Nashville and New Orleans once again, which both proved to be a hit with customers when they first launched.
Closer to home, British Airways has increased flights to a number of short-haul destinations by adding 13,000 more seats to holiday hot spots for families to get away this October. Popular leisure destinations Marrakech and Dalaman will appear on flight schedules again in time for October half-term, and brand-new services to the Turkish resort of Antalya will also be launching. Looking ahead to the winter, British Airways will be restarting a number of ski destinations including Innsbruck, Grenoble and Salzburg from December.
To help customers get away for some much-needed summer sun this Christmas, British Airways is extending its Caribbean programme with 12 services a week to Barbados and nine each to Antigua and St Lucia, which will be split across Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Flights to popular luxury Indian Ocean destinations, Maldives and Mauritius, will also be increasing to 10 and six per week over the Christmas period.
Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: “This is an exciting time for British Airways and our customers as we see borders re-opening. With welcome news from the US, we are dramatically increasing flights and bringing home some of our A380s to give our customers as many options as possible. Elsewhere across our network we are also adding additional services to destinations all over the world, to ensure our customers can take advantage of a much-needed holiday.”
Elsewhere across its short-haul network British Airways will be increasing flights year-round to key European cities with 48 weekly services to Amsterdam, 33 to Geneva, 35 to Dublin, 28 to Milan and 21 to Berlin, Paris and Rome.
British Airways’ subsidiary BA City Flyer, is expected to operate a schedule of 43 flights a week to Edinburgh, 33 to Dublin, 25 to Glasgow, 18 to Belfast, 16 to Amsterdam, 15 to Rotterdam, 15 to Berlin, 12 to Frankfurt, 12 to Dusseldorf and 11 to Zurich. The airline is also set to launch a new route from Belfast to Birmingham, as well as new ski destination Salzburg, from London City and Southampton.
To coincide with the increase in services as the world re-opens, the airline’s lounges are also welcoming customers back. In September customers were invited to enjoy British Airways’ Concorde Room in London and New York. Lounges in Chicago, Washington, San Francisco and Houston are expected to open this week.
Customers using exclusive lounges can benefit from exciting new developments, such as the introduction of ‘Your Menu’ – a new initiative developed in the last few months to allow customers to order food and drink directly to their seat by simply scanning a QR code on their mobile device.
Exciting news and I hope it returns to the Chicago-London route soon as this is my favorite airplane to fly on these days.