Nutmeg Avios

New routes galore: IAG budget long-haul, Flybe @ Heathrow, KLM @ City, Flybe @ Southend

There has been a glut of new route announcements this week so I thought it was worth putting them together in one place:

IAG to launch a budget long haul airline out of Barcelona

IAG, the parent company of British Airways and Iberia, has outlined plans to launch a budget long haul airline out of Barcelona.

This is presumably in the same vein as the new British Airways routes from Gatwick to Oakland and Fort Lauderdale – ie something which is being done for no other reason than to annoy Norwegian.  Norwegian has already announced plans to start long haul flights to the US from Barcelona next year.

You can see the details on Reuters here.

Whilst Barcelona is the main Vueling hub, it is not yet clear if that brand will be used.  It is also not clear where the aircraft will come from, although it appears that the fleet will only consist of two planes initially.  Rumoured destinations include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Buenos Aires, Santiago de Chile, Havana and Tokyo.


Flybe confirms launch of Heathrow services

As per the rumour I reported on a couple of weeks ago, Flybe has now confirmed the launch of services from Edinburgh and Aberdeen to Heathrow Terminal 2 from March.

These will use the old Virgin Little Red slots.  There will be 3 flights per day to Aberdeen and 4 to Edinburgh with a reduced service at weekends.

Details can be found on this page of the Flybe website.  Remember that Flybe services earn Avios points (but not tier points, unless booked as a BA codeshare) and can also be redeemed via and (but not as Reward Flight Saver).


KLM launching Amsterdam flights from London City

After an 8 year gap, KLM is returning to London City Airport.  Flights to Amsterdam begin on 6th February and will eventually ramp up to four flights per day from late March.

Details, including flight times, can be found on the KLM website here.

Flybe new Southend routes

Flybe confirms new routes from Southend

Stobart Air, in its guise as a Flybe franchise, has announced a raft of new routes from Southend Airport.

(You may remember that I had a day out at Southend Airport earlier in the year – click to read.)

The new destinations are:

  • Budapest
  • Cologne
  • Dubrovnik
  • Figari
  • Lyon
  • Milan Malpensa
  • Perpignan
  • Prague
  • Reus
  • Venice
  • Vienna
  • Zadar

Flights start in May and will operates 2-5 times per week depending on route.  You can book at

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  1. Slightly o/t report on Flyertalk that BA are restarting/adding routes from Man long haul and Europe.

  2. PLEASE keep us updated on any BA/Manchester routes. It drives me nuts having to go everywhere via Heathrow, and Gatwick flights have become a thing of the past since the shuttle from Manchester was abandoned. JFK and Orlando services would be awesome.

    • Anna, you know Virgin fly from Manchester??

      See their new routes starting in the Spring

    • I suggest stop flying BA…

      • Mr(s) Entitled says:

        I for one have pretty stopped flying BA. It’s gone from a carrier of choice to one that I am indifferent too.

        Door to Gate at MAN is 30mins for me and I have Virgin/US Carriers going West and M.E., EU and Asian Carrier flying East. If I have to change I’d rather do it somewhere more interesting than T5 were the lounges have been eroded so much over the years.

        Priced up Dublin yesterday. Ryanair had twice the direct availability of IAG and was half the price. For short haul Ryanair is simply a better product. Also have Monarch, Jet2, EasyJet and Flybe.

        My only interest in BA returning would be for potential RFS to longer distance short-haul destinations. RFS from the regions doesn’t make sense anymore.

    • BA?? I hadn’t realised people in the north west had such low aspirations.

  3. Wonder how long the Southend routes will last. (I was hoping for Dublin.)

    • As Stobart also owns the airport, I imagine it is pretty low risk for them as they benefit from both sides (eg money from the flight and money from whatever passengers spend at the airport).

  4. Flybe using dash8-400 props is not my cup of tea,!!!

    • I have just changes an Alaska Airlines booking so that we are flying on Q400 rather than 737-900 (more convenient time too). I wanted a small (Q400 is actually fairly small) aircraft as we shall then fly home on A380.

  5. Yes thanks, aware re Virgin, however I use BA to collect and spend avios, e.g we have CW flights to Grand Cayman next year courtesy of avios and companion voucher,and BA is the only UK carrier to fly this route so it works quite well for us. But it would be great to be able to fly direct to some other destinations. Also Virgin actually work out more expensive than BA in school holidays which at present we are stuck with!

  6. FlyBe have now suspended Dundee to Amsterdam, presumably due to radar issues.

    • The radar issues isn’t the true story. True story is that the Dash 8 on the AMS route does a lot of tail scrapes if it’s a circling approach. Logan air fly a SAAB2000 in and out without issue.

      • BlueThroughCrimp says:

        Why would Dundee’s runway be any different from tail scrapes than any other runway?
        I know it has weight issues, so that rules out anything of a decent size, but I can’t fathom out that.

        They’ve also been very poor in handling the re-routes.

        I flew it once, and it was fine, but on of use for point to point. I couldn’t rely on it for a same day connection.

        • Agree, I’d be very interested in hearing more of the story behind this. Very disappointing they’ve cancelled it, a lot of people had already used the route and there was a lot of excitement about it locally.

  7. I thought IAG already had budget longhaul……’s called BA CW!

  8. I don’t really why anyone would want to operate as Flybe franchise, unless it a very cheap way to access a booking system.

    It is a shame BA don’t seem to franchise in the UK anymore as that would be much more interesting.

    • Loganair found it worked (and then didn’t).

      In what is a low margin business, though, the fees must add up.

  9. I will probably use the Flybe service, but 2 hours flight time from EDI to LHR – is that just honesty on their part with the typical delays to services arriving at Heathrow or are they running slowly?

    • I did Flybe Edi to Lcy during some bad weather and it took nearly 2 hrs. I kept looking at my watch thinking I counted wrong.

  10. Interesting discussion re DND from pilot forum…

    • BlueThroughCrimp says:

      Yes, I read that earlier, but still no real reason given.
      Time will tell, I guess.

      • Indeed. The comfort of what different pilots are used to (radar vs visual) made a bit of sense, but still feel there’s more to the story!

        • BlueThroughCrimp says:

          Yes. Perhaps if that is the case, blaming it on the (lack of) radar could generate investment to improve it, rather than blaming it on training and competence issues at FlyBe.