British Airways announced yesterday that it is closing its route to Chengdu in China after three years.
I have been calling out this route since it launched. I was told by a BA employee that the plug was very nearly pulled before a single flight had departed, so poor were forward bookings. I am not sure how it has limped on for three years, although I am sure that cargo must have played a part.
The last flight to Chengdu will depart on 12th January.
If you were far more cynical than me, you may link this news to reports that the Government was due to finally decide on Heathrow expansion today although the decision has now been delayed a few days longer.
British Airways is very keen for the third runway plans to be scrapped. The chance of BA being given additional slots equal to its current % of slot control at Heathrow is somewhat lower than nil. It faces both a massive increase in landing fees and a sharp increase in competition. Is BA sending a message to the Government? If we cannot make flights to China pay (along with all the routes to India launched and closed during the last decade) then where are the extra flights from a third runway going to go?
This is all speculation, of course.
As – it must be said – is the rumour that New Orleans will be the beneficiary of the slots and aircraft freed up from closing Chengdu.
There have been local press reports of a major airline announcement so this would make some sense, as would BA dropping back to a ‘safe’ US destination.
Have a think about whether you would be interested in a New Orleans holiday next year. If the route is announced – and I stress that it isn’t certain – there will be two Club World seats immediately available on EVERY service. You would have little trouble getting your preferred dates if you moved quickly.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (December 2023)
As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards. Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points. These points convert at 1:1 into Avios.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY), FREE for a year & four airport ….. Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
Crazy 100,000 points (TO 9th JANUARY) and a huge range of valuable benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Run your own business?
We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,500 Avios.
You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.
There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.