*****BREAKING NEWS: British Airways has confirmed it is to launch a new route from Heathrow airport to New Orleans next year, using a B787-8 aircraft.*****

British Airways is to drop its Heathrow-Chengdu route from mid-January.

In a statement the carrier said:

“We regret that we have decided to suspend the Heathrow to Chengdu route. We have a proud tradition of flying to China but despite operating this route for three years it is not commercially viable.”

The last flight leaving Heathrow will be on January 12, 2017, with the final return flight departing Chengdu the following day.

BA launched flights to the Chengdu, its fourth Chinese destination, in 2013.

At the time IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh said that “Chengdu is an extremely important destination for us. It has achieved an amazing expansion in economic growth in sectors such as the automobile industry, electronics, IT, software and pharmaceuticals”.

The route started as a three times-weekly service, rising to five times-weekly in summer 2014 when it switched operations from a B777 to a B787 aircraft, although this was cut back to three times-weekly during the winter schedules.