Earlier this year we reported on the news that BA would return its A380s to service.
Now the airline has confirmed that it will initially bring back four of its A380 aircraft which will fly to short-haul destinations “to allow for crew service familiarisation” in November. These will later operate to Miami, Los Angeles and Dubai in December.
The news was revealed as part of the airline’s ‘biggest schedule since March 2020’, which includes plans to fly to 23 US airports from Heathrow from December, with up to 246 flights per week – this is more than any other transatlantic carrier, according to BA.
This comes after the news that the US will reopen to fully vaccinated travellers from November, putting an end to the strict restrictions which halted transatlantic travel for over 18 months. The airline has said that route launch dates are subject to change depending on the exact date that the US borders reopen.
The airline will be adding more services to city destinations, including New York which will increase to five a day, followed by eight times a day in December. BA will also operate double-daily services to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Miami and Toronto; and daily services to Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Houston and Vancouver.
The carrier will also restart a number of services in October and November, such as routes to Austin, Orlando, Tampa, San Diego, Las Vegas and Baltimore. This will be followed by routes to Nashville and New Orleans in December.
On its short-haul network, the airline has added 13,000 seats to leisure destinations, and increased flights to key European cities with 48 weekly services to Amsterdam, 33 to Geneva, 35 to Dublin, 28 to Milan and 21 to Paris, Berlin and Rome.
Destinations such as Marrakech and Dalaman will appear on flight schedules in time for the October half-term, and the airline will also launch a new service to the Turkish resort of Antalya. Meanwhile, it will restart routes to ski destinations such as Innsbruck, Grenoble and Salzburg from December.
Winter sun destinations also feature on the airline’s schedule, with 12 weekly services to Barbados and nine each to Antigua and St Lucia – these will be split across Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Flights to the Maldives and Mauritius will also increase to ten and six per week respectively during 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.”
Meanwhile, the airline’s 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.
British Airways lounges have also begun to welcome customers back as travel restrictions ease around the world. The Concorde Rooms at New York’s JFK and Heathrow Terminal 5 reopened in September, and lounges in Chicago, Washington, San Francisco and Houston are expected to open this week.
Earlier this week Qatar Airways too announced plans to return some of its A380s to the skies.