New BA leisure routes launched for Summer 2014

British Airways announced a number of new leisure routes last week for Summer 2014.

What is fascinating about this selection is that they are mainly leisure routes. BA has spent a lot of time in recent years moving leisure routes over to Gatwick, and moving semi-leisure routes like Prague over to Heathrow Terminal 3 instead of Terminal 5. This appears to be an attempt to utilise aircraft at weekends which are not required for core business routes.

The new routes are Heathrow to Oporto, Mykonos and Santorini.

Santorini

Oporto (home of a snazzy new InterContinental if you have a lot of IHG points) starts on March 30th with the other two starting over 3rd/4th May.

There will be only two flights per week on each route so you may end up flying one leg on another airline or being very inflexible over when you travel.

Full Avios availability for these routes does not yet seem to have been loaded, looking at a few tests I tried.

BA is also launching Heathrow services to Malaga and Faro. These routes are already served from Gatwick / City. Among routes with service increases, the stand-out is Palma, which goes from two to five flights per week.

It is not yet clear where all of the slots for these services will come from. So far, the only announcement is that Heathrow to Agadir and Alicante will cease at the end of March 2014. This only frees up five slots per week, though, so there must be more to come.

One interesting bit of long-haul news is that a NINTH daily Heathrow to JFK service is being launched. This is replacing one of the American Airlines services. I get a feeling that – since AA only has a limited number of 777’s with the new flat bed seating in business class – they are doing this in order to be able to claim that all AA / BA services to New York will have a flat bed.

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Comments

  1. IIRC BA only go from Manchester to Heathrow and Billund (great if you like Lego!), there was the route that went to Gothenburg and then onto Aarhus but that seems to have stopped (which is hardly surprising, when I went to Gothenburg there were a dozen people on the flight out and 4 of us on the way back). As a Cumbria-based Avios collector I think my points are best used on hotel stays at the moment.

    • Don’t forget you can redeem on Monarch and Flybe via avios.com

      • I looked at Flybe via. Avios (not intentionally… it gave me the choice of a Flybe flight). It didn’t fall under the normal Avios (RFS) pricing scheme though – is that normal? If it helps, I think I was weighing up the option of flying from MAN -> EDI

    • Get yourself along the a69 to Newcastle and you can have the connection flight to Heathrow inc on your avios redemption if there is availability .

  2. TrollBasher says:

    I “think” redemption availability is now all loaded.

    I’ve nabbed a MAN-LHR-JMK in June, Club Europe, for 40,000 +£50 fees.

  3. I don’t understand why BA can’t add some of these leisure routes to Manchester. There are lots of us up here who’d use them. A long weekend to anywhere isn’t feasible if you have to change at LHR both ways.

    • Agree it’s definitely a pain, but I tend to fly to LHR on the Friday, overnight there and get the first flight from LHR in the morning. Then snooze a bit on the plane and arrive late morning before heading back (connecting straight through) on the Sunday mid/late afternoon. Luckily from EDI we’ve got a lot of flights to pick from (as well as the fully LCY/LHR/LGW options) so it makes it a little easier.

  4. trickster says:

    I’ve seen plenty of (mid week) availability for RFS bookings to Santorini.

  5. I arrived in Mykonos this morning, a 30 minute flight from Athens with Aegean. I am writing this while enjoying the sunset. I went to Santorini last year so BA is a bit late for me. Both of these airports are very basic -nothing resembling a lounge for all you CE flyers. I remember there being a lack of seats in the departure area when I left Santorini.

  6. I thought Heathrow was “full” and there was a desperate need for a third runway to accommodate slots for important future business destinations in China and Brazil?

    Yet strangely BA can find room for lots of new short-haul routes …

    (Yes, I know short-haul and long-haul slots aren’t necessarily interchangeable. But it does make BA look very contradictory when one week Willie Waksh bleats on about LHR desperately needing capacity then announces lots of new routes the next.)

    • I think we can all agree on the fact that a 3rd runway is needed at Heathrow. Regardless of what we think of WW.