BA to launch flights to Leeds, Rotterdam and Zagreb

BA says it plans to launch flights from Heathrow to Leeds Bradford, Rotterdam and Zagreb, in addition to a new route to Seoul announced last week (see online news May 3).

In a statement announcing IAG’s financial results for the three months ending March 31, 2012, CEO Willie Walsh said that as a result of the group’s purchase of Bmi, “British Airways is able to manage its wider Heathrow slot portfolio more effectively and is launching a new route to Seoul later this year”.

“Airports across the UK and beyond have contacted us about starting services and, subject to reaching satisfactory agreement with them, we plan to also launch flights from Heathrow to Leeds-Bradford, Rotterdam and Zagreb and increase frequencies to existing key destinations”, said Walsh.

IAG announced a first quarter operating loss of €249 million, before exceptional items, which Walsh said was “mainly due to a €281 million, 24.9 per cent rise in fuel costs, driven by higher prices, the reduced impact of hedging and emissions charges”.

Of this figure Iberia made an operating loss of €170 million, with recent pilots’ strike costing €25 million.

Walsh said: “Iberia’s performance reflects the weakness of the Spanish domestic market and industrial action by pilots opposed to actions by Iberia’s management to improve the airline’s efficiencies.

“For British Airways, although the London market and demand for transatlantic travel remains strong, its performance has been affected by rising fuel costs. 

“The financial performance of our business continues to be undermined by government actions. In addition to the UK government increasing the world’s highest aviation tax – Air Passenger Duty – by double the inflation rate, the Spanish government plans to increase departure taxes from Spain by up to €10 per passenger.”

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Report by Mark Caswell

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  • Being the national carrier of the UK, all major and smaller cities must be served with convenient connections to at least major European cities.

  • A welcome option to fly from Leeds to Heathrow, but I’d question BAs longterm commitment since they pulled out of virtually all internal flights a while ago. Going back suggests a lack of genuine longterm planning.

  • And the KLM flights between Rotterdam and Heathrow were very popular, the flights well occupied ! Rotterdam airport is easy and you are quickly out of it and on your way. Very pleased it comes back.

  • It’s an interesting move by BA to offer a Heathrow to Leeds/Bradford flight. I think there other most resent domestic addition was to Newquay (not sure is LHR or LGW) but didnt stay long. They have added Scottish links from LCY, however generally I have never felt BA is much bothered with offering services from other UK cities, just look at Manchester, just two London routes now. I wonder if they will stand firm on there LBA link or as others have said its just to keep LHR slots. Interesting how KLM does seem to value serving a wide selection of UK domestic points.

  • Anyone have an idea as to when the Rotterdam flights are being launched and from Heathrow or Gatwick?? Need to do a trip mid October and my preference is BA. Cant find it anywhere on the BA website.

  • I was pleased to discover that British Airways has decided to use the song “London Calling” by The Clash in a television commercial to promote its contribution to the London 2012 Olympics.

    It’s good that BA sees fit to celebrate this festival of supposedly friendly competition between teams based on nation states with a song about an imagined apocalyptic future in which the capital city of the United Kingdom is devastated by war and threatened with starvation and flooding.

    We are continually bombarded with claims to the effect that events such as the Olympics promote peace between nations, and it is commendable that the self-proclaimed national carrier feels able to counter such ideological misrepresentation and instead associate the forthcoming games with violence and destruction.

    “Now that war is declared and battle come down” is indeed a fitting slogan for London 2012. Well done, BA!

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