News in brief:
British Airways launches two new ski routes
British Airways has announced two new routes from Heathrow to Grenoble and Turin in time for the Winter 2017 ski season.
These routes already operate from Gatwick and those flights will remain. There will be two weekly flights to Turin (Sat, Sun) and one to Grenoble (Sat). The routes start on 2nd December.
BA has also announced increased frequencies on other core ski routes:
Heathrow to Salzburg doubles from two to four per week (Mon, Fri added)
Innsbruck gains two additional weekly services
Reykjavik gains an additional daily flight
Sofia and Zurich gain an additional weekly flight
Tallinn flights are also available for the first time this Winter following the recent route launch
These flights are all available for booking at ba.com. Importantly, the standard Avios allocation is also there (two Club Europe, four economy) on these new services, even for super-peak dates.
Whilst redemption flights for key ski dates disappeared months ago on existing flights, you may be able to snag something on one of these new services if you act quickly.
Whilst they will probably have gone by the time you read this, yesterday morning you could have booked the new Salzburg service over February half term (Friday 9th to Friday 16th) on Avios even though cash tickets were £330 in economy and £550 in business.
BA drops two routes to Norway
In other news, British Airways is suspending flights from Heathrow to Stavanger and Bergen from 28th October 2017.
At present, the only options being given to passengers are rebooking for a date earlier than 28th October or a transfer to a flight to Oslo. You would need to make your own way to Stavanger or Bergen at your own cost. If neither of these are suitable, you will be refunded.
Air Passenger Duty reform in Scotland agreed
The Scottish Parliament voted by 108 to 11 on Tuesday to replace Air Passenger Duty in Scotland from April 2018.
The new tax will be called ADT (Air Departure Tax). The level has not yet been anounced but the indications are that it will be no more than 50% of current levels and will be abolished entirely in the medium term.
Newcastle Airport has led calls from airports in Northern England for a similar changes to UK APD, claiming that flights may relocate to Glasgow or Edinburgh. This is not an unreasonable view, given that the potential saving for a family of four flying in a premium cabin would be over £300.