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.
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.