British Airways launches flights out of Cambridge Airport!

There are some phrases you never expect to be writing and that is one of them.  However, confirmation arrived yesterday that British Airways franchisee SUN-AIR of Scandinavia is launching a service to Gothenburg.  From Cambridge.

Services start on March 2nd.  Flights will only depart on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Sun-Air of Scandinavia

Whilst the British Airways press release says “This is expected to be a popular route amongst business travellers”, what they actually mean is “This is expected to be a popular route for employees of Astra Zeneca”.

Astra Zeneca is actually underwriting the service.  I am told that it has committed to purchase 20 tickets for every flight.

(This is not new.  I believe that some US routes operated by BA are underwritten by Glaxo and other major employers.)

According to the airport:

Flight BA8235 will depart Cambridge at 07:00 each morning and arrive 10:00 at Gothenburg’s Landvetter International Airport.  Flight BA8236 from Gothenburg will depart at 18:00 each evening, arriving in Cambridge at 19:00, Monday to Thursday. It will be serviced by fast and comfortable 32-seat Dornier 328 regional jets.

Passengers travelling with SUN-AIR through Cambridge International Airport’s newly refurbished terminal will enjoy a spacious and relaxing hotel-style departure lounge, including a Costa Coffee bar and snacks, complimentary Wi-Fi and short check-in times, as well as the VIP JETability Lounge for applicable British Airways Gold and Silver card or oneworld frequent flyers.   The airport is located only three miles from Cambridge city centre and offers on-airport car parking and good public transport access. It is also close to all major road networks, meaning regional centres such as Peterborough and Ipswich are easily reached within an hour.

Yes, there is a lounge!  It is not available via Priority Pass or Lounge Club though.

The flights are already available for booking via ba.com.  It is included in Reward Flight Saver with a return flight presumably costing 9,000 Avios and £35 in Eurotraveller.  At the time of writing yesterday afternoon, no redemption flights had yet been loaded.  No business class seems to be available.

The airport code for Cambridge is CBG if you are looking up the flights (Gothenburg is GOT).  This is another one to add to my forthcoming comprehensive guide to Avios redemptions from regional airports.

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Comments

  1. Presumably it’ll be 9000 Avios + £35 return? LHR-GOT which is further is in zone 1…

  2. Alastair France says:

    There have sadly been a few false starts with offering services out of Cambridge. Darwin Airline had some good routes, but for whatever reason often when I tried to book a flight it had been cancelled – although I did use a few times to Paris and connecting through Amsterdam.

    CityJet then offered services to Dublin and Amsterdam but also didn’t last long. I guess load numbers were probably the issue.

    There is a lounge, though it’s pretty small! But the whole departures area is very pleasant and you wouldn’t struggle to find a seat.

    The airport is pretty convenient for the A14 – particularly if you are on the East side of Cambridge, and short check-in times are the norm. When Suckling offered the route to Amsterdam with a 7am flight I once left home (twelve miles East from Cambridge) at just prior to 6:30 and caught a punctual departure.

    Good luck to Sun Air on this one – it does seem there is a captive market, and sadly Gotenburg isn’t a major destination for me – but might be interesting to see what connections are there…

    • AstraZeneca has a hub in Gothenburg with 2500 employees and a hub in Cambridge, currently at 1000 employees but they hope to expand it to 2500. As Raffles says, they are underwriting the service so that their scientists can collaborate more readily. I would not be surprised to see this go twice daily on Mon-Thurs.

    • Guesswho2000 says:

      It is good for the A14…unfortunately I live West of Cambridge, and the A14 there is not a road anyone wants to be using!

      That said, it’s good that a mainstream airline is looking to use the airport. Unfortunately, cash fares leave a lot to be desired, understandably I guess, and not just from BA – I looked at AMS from there on a few occasions, but it’s always been cheaper to fly from London. The GOT route is no different – cash fares with BA are £259 from CBG vs £59 from LHR.

      That said, it’s a bargain using RFS; not that I’ve got any need to go to Gothenberg, and for a leisure visit I’d probably go from London anyway.

  3. Nice to see BA have finally realised that some people live North/East of London and we’re not all in LHR/LGW territory :p

    Living in Essex I wish they’d try either STN or SEN, even if for limited routes. Heathrow is such a drag from where I live and since BA abolished LCY-ARN I’m using heathrow more and more for work.

    • I don’t think BA have realised anything as they’re not really operating the route.

      Raffles: you should have confused everyone and written EZ offers services out of Cambridge as that’s the code for Sun Air but everyone thinks it’s the code for that Orange thing that you can spend Nectar points on 😉

      Got some more updates on Virgin East Coast. Their Twitter team have said that the extra benefits for frequent travellers will not come in until 2016. By then I’ll have gone and hunted out alternatives.

      They also claim that they did research with 2000 people in a combination of on stations, on trains and focus groups and Nectar is overwhelmingly what people wanted! Of course they never asked those that were existing members of the scheme.

      If you’re on Twitter follow @saveecrewards and also Tweet @askVirginEC saying you’re unhappy with the changes. I’ve still not found anyone who was surveyed so let me know if you were asked.

  4. Gotenburg can also function as a cheap ex-EU airport for long haul flights.

    • DeltaCharlie says:

      Thinking exactly the same!
      Maybe I can tempt Mrs DeltaCharlie into that, if now we can leave from our home town.

  5. I welcome flights from CBG (my nearest airport) but these flights are £269 each way, and there is no reward availability at all on ba.com – am I missing some way to take advantage of this without shelling out £500+ for a short haul flight?

    • Prices will settle down . They only hit the system yesterday. A friend at Marshalls was saying they would be launched at £79 ew . Zeneca will want to make back some money on this hugely expensive idea

    • At present only semi-flex oneway fares have been loaded. Give BA revenue management a chance to work out what the other prices should be.
      That said BA*EZ is usually quite expensive, but EZ is definitely worth the money.

  6. The Darwin and city routes failed because the flights were empty. Often between 1 and 5 people on a flight. Also I didn’t like that in Amsterdam they used a gate which was about 6 miles walk through the airport. This service looks here to stay as its underwritten. But its potential for a weekend away is limited for me as nob fri-sat-Sunday flights mean a weekend break would have to be 4 nights. That’s a bit too much time in Gothenburg for me. Prices are stupid at the moment (£560) return. But should settle down in the next couple of weeks to normal fares. Ex Europe long haul could be a good idea. But I doubt it will be as good as when we had the darwin/city jet flights to Dublin and Amsterdam. Parking is free at Cambridge airport.

    • Alastair France says:

      Parking isn’t always free at CBG – I’ve paid £10 a day in Darwin days (but did have free parking booked for a long haul trip through AMS on CityJet before they pulled the route), but I’d agree the loading was usually pretty terrible – I was the only passenger on a CDG once and only flew one time on Darwin with more than nine others on the plane. A pity, because Cambridge Airport is very pleasant and efficient. It was quite funny thoughas the only passenger – you would get pulled over for the “random” search and always the interview with Special Branch at Cambridge. Guess they wanted something to do! Mrs F works within walking distance of the airport now so parking isn’t an issue for me any more.

      Would be very interesting to see what they do do with the aircraft and crew over the weekend – if it happens to be going anywhere that would make for a good weekend trip and Sun Air could be persuaded to make it part of the schedule…

  7. Strangely enough I was only last night reading about ex-Europe flights from Gothenburg to SFO.

    GOT-LHR-SFO return is £353 in S and Q class seats in mid August, midweek
    This compares to £716 for LHR – SFO return

    Adding Cambridge to Gothenburg for 160 return still allows for a healthy saving.

  8. Raffles: there is no business class on Sun Air. However their economy class is basically as good as BA Club Europe anyway.

  9. 20 seats block booked by AstraZeneca on each flight for only 12 to sell to public, will last as long as contract lasts

  10. Joey North says:

    Its a shame Cityjet stopped the flights to Amsterdam. The problem for me was the timing (very early or mid afternoon departure) which was suited to business travellers. Nice idea, but clearly business were not making sufficient use of the service. Meanwhile up the road at Stansted, Easyjet flights to Amsterdam are always full. Lots of tourists come to Cambridge, and alot of travellers live in Cambridge. I hope carriers can invest in services running at sensible times for the tourist sector, before Cambridge council turns the airport into Bovis homes…

  11. IslandDweller says:

    Puzzled about the crew logistics. Wonder if they position early on Monday? Surely the plane isn’t going to sit around all weekend unused at Cambridge?

    • I wondered the same. Maybe it’ll position to/from LCY and operate a flight there, instead of positioning to/from GOT?