There will soon be twice as many flights and roughly twice as many seats between London Heathrow and Basel.
British Airways’ current three flights a day monopoly will be broken on March 27. That is when Bmi will begin competing against BA with a similar three times a day service which will also be rostered for A319 aircraft.
Bmi will operate the Heathrow-Basel route in conjunction with code-share partner Swiss. At the same time Swiss will cease to operate its current Basel service from London City (LCY).
It represents a significant step up in capacity because the Swiss service from LCY is presently operated twice a day with smaller Avro regional jets.
The extra seats from Heathrow should mean, at least in the early days, keener fares for passengers. It’s also good news for those Star Alliance fans who find Heathrow more convenient.
Those losing out include passengers who currently find LCY more convenient. These travellers will either have to make their way to Heathrow or use Zurich (served by BA and Swiss from LCY) instead.
Bmi will also be serving Basel from Manchester from the same date. The current Swiss flights on the route, operated by Avro jets, will be replaced by a single Bmi service operated by an A319.
The introduction of new Basel flights would suggest Bmi has begun finding duties for the A319 planes which will no longer be rostered for the Heathrow-Manchester route from the end of the winter timetable (see online news January 17).
Says Felix Rodel, Swiss country manager for the UK and Ireland, “This latest co-operation with our partner Bmi is just another example of how we can further enhance the offer to our customers by working closely together within the Lufthansa Group.”
Report by Alex McWhirter