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Flights round-up: new BA Mykonos route, more Flybe to Heathrow, BA drops Orly, more Flybmi routes saved

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There has been a lot of route news in the last few days so I thought I’d get it all out of the way in one round-up:

New British Airways route to Mykonos – decent Avios availability

British Airways has announced a new service from London Stansted to Mykonos.

This will use an Embraer E190 aircraft which serves London City Airport during the week.  This means it is a weekend-only service:

  • Departs Stansted 10.05, arrives Mykonos 15.50 (Sunday)
  • Departs Mykonos 16.35, arrives Stansted 18.35 (Saturday)

(EDIT: we originally said in error that both legs were Sunday.  Confusingly, it is actually Sunday out and Saturday back as the aircraft returns / leaves to London City.)

It will operate from 19th May to 29th September.

There was still decent Avios availability when I checked yesterday.  Remember that:

  • these flights are 2×2 seating so there is no ’empty middle seat’ in Club Europe
  • you still get free drinks and a snack in Economy / Euro Traveller

If you are a BA Gold card holder, remember that you cannot book this service using a ‘double Avios’ Gold Priority Reward – explained here – because it is operated by BA CityFlyer.

The trade-off is the cancellation of London Stansted to Nice this Summer.  If you are booked on this service you will be moved to another British Airways flight from another airport.

British Airways Stansted Mykonos

Flybe adds a sixth daily flight from Heathrow to Edinburgh

Flybe has been moving quickly since its sale to a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium completed this week.

We have seen the announcement of Heathrow to Guernsey, using the Virgin Atlantic slot previously leased to bankrupt Cobalt Air.

A fifth daily flight to Edinburgh, from 31st March, was announced a few weeks ago.  Flybe has now announced plans to add a sixth daily Edinburgh flight from 22nd April.  This will operate out of Heathrow Terminal 2.

From Heathrow, there will now be an earlier 06.40 departure to Edinburgh.

Coming back, there is now a later 20.45 departure into Heathrow (22.20 arrival).

Remember that you can still earn Avios on Flybe flights which are flown before 30th April.  You can also redeem Avios until 30th April, for flights up to a year ahead.  You should be a little wary of making Flybe bookings from November onwards, however, as the airline is likely to see a major shake-up of its timetable from the start of the Winter schedules.

Details of the Flybe / Avios partnership are here.

Flybe adds sixth Edinburgh to Heathrow service

British Airways drops London City to Paris Orly

British Airways has announced the suspension of its flights from London City to Paris Orly.

Flights will end on 1st June, with BA stating that they were not commercially viable.

Loganair launches Derry to Stansted

Loganair picks up additional Flybmi services

Loganair is picking up more services operated by its ex-sister company Flybmi.

We have already covered the launch of:

  • Aberdeen to Bristol (commences 4th March)
  • Aberdeen to Oslo (commences 4th March)
  • Aberdeen to Esbjerg (commences 4th March)
  • Newcastle to Stavanger (commences 25th March)
  • Newcastle to Brussels (commences 25th March)

Loganair has now announced the launch of:

  • Derry to London Stansted (commencing 27th February)

This flight operates with a generous public subsidy so it is not surprising to see it back so quickly.  In additional, Loganair is starting:

  • Derry to Manchester (commencing 24th May)

although this was never a Flybmi route.

If you will find yourself on any of these services, take a look at our review of Clan Loganair, the new Loganair frequent flyer scheme.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for the latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios from current offers and promotions.)

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Comments

  1. Hi Rob, the Mykonos flight is actually London City-Mykonos-London Stansted on a Saturday and London Stansted-Mykonos-London City on a Sunday

    So you’ll have to mismatch London airports or holiday durations – the very civilized time means public transport will be possible to either airport at least!

    There are also various other partial cancellations at off peak times reported on Flyertalk, the Cityflyer operation seems much more simple and less crew intensive this year

    • How is it mismatching, you can do STN-JMK-STN out Sunday back Saturday (which gives you a whole day to pack and unpack if you work M-F!)

      An LCY flight also operates every weekday…

      • I mean mismatching in the sense of not possible to do a standard 7- day duration from one airport. Obviously workable either using LCY or LHR in combo or doing a 6 or 13 night duration

  2. Rob, it seems like your belief that Virgin would not use Flybe to feed longhaul from LHR was wrong unless they are happy just to benefit from the popularity of flights into LHR. Another possibility is that with Edinburgh being the most visited place in UK after London they see it the other way round with Virgin and Delta flight into London feeding Flybe into Edinburgh.. All a bit odd given they terminated their own Little Red service using aircraft’s at least twice the size. From BMI days I seem to recall there were changes at LHR which rendered the use of small aircraft like ERJ unattractive. Has something changed, there now seems to be an increasing number of small aircraft using LHR? If FlyBMI could not make their routes work then what makes Loganair think it can make them work?

    • Hi BJ,
      Loganair will take over just six former Flybmi routes. What makes you think that those routes specifically were unviable?

      • I was thinking more generally, based on Rob’s rough estimate of average loads in a previous article. But, sure, Loganair or anybody else picking up the pieces will certainly only pick those they think are viable..

    • I think I read somewhere that turboprops have lower handling fees at LHR hence why Flybe use the Dash 8s.

      • Could this be because they leave less wake so facilitate closer packing of takeoffs?

        • They are smaller planes though, so logically smaller fees because I think the landing fee is fixed.

        • Because they are slow compared to a jet on take off they normally require and extra minute before launching the next departure. So actually they cost ATC time. They are also the same wake category as a B737 or A320 for example.

      • Those Dash-8 Q400’s have a tiny amount of overhead luggage space, a bag that fits in a BA A319 will struggle to cram into a FlyBE plane. The dragons at the gate can be overly ruthless with enforcement on bag size.

        I can’t see many US Delta pax enjoying the experience, particularly when FlyBE charges £50 for the privilege of collecting hand luggage from the back of the aircraft after landing.

        Virgin should flog them and lease a decent aircraft for the ABZ/EDI- LHR routes, otherwise it could seriously damage the brand.

        • Yes it’s pretty un-passenger-friendly. I won’t fly them if connecting from EDI as can’t take a reasonable carry-on and chance of checked bag going AWOL is a little bit too high for my liking, And it has happened to me with FlyBE albeit connecting at Manchester and it was a real pain.

    • It is more to do with Virgin having spare Heathrow slots I think.

      Little Red proved that people didn’t really want to do T2 to T3 connections. That said, obviously any additional revenue from a handful of connections is better than nothing.

      • Although the dedicated transfer setup worked well from what I remember reading, T3 to T2 where security was required was a bit more of a pain but I can’t imagine that was the main issue overall given BA have exactly the same issue for T3 departures connecting to domestic T5 services…

    • Really hoping they become available for redemption via VS Flying Club, would love to have this through-booking option on VS from EDI again!

  3. I’ve had a Nice to Stanstead flight cancelled as a result of this. Had a connection booked on easyJet to Glasgow 1 hour later.
    A reroute to LCY is no good for making that connection and the only option is BA from Heathrow to GLA at £150pp
    BA saying it’s not their problem.
    Any advice on how best to resolve and what BAs duty is?

    • Depends when you’re due to fly, but I guess put you on an earlier flight out of NCE so that you can make the connection?

    • The only hope you have is to complain to BA AFTER you have flown and they will probably give you a few thousand Avios. Maybe see if you can get a LCY-GLA on Avios and spend them in advance.

    • A one hour connection to a flight with a different carrier was cutting it fine to begin with!
      Could you not ask BA to re-route you NCE-LHR-GLA, pay the additional cost and then get a refund from easyJet?
      Their only obligation is to get you from Nice to London at a similar time on the same day.

      • Agreed – you’d almost certainly have missed this as you would have needed to clear immigration and security at Stansted which is no quick process on a summer Saturday!

        Have you checked Avios seats LHR-GLA – can sometimes offer up some options ? Though you are still risking a self-connect option. Otherwise I would take the BA refund and swap the Easyjet to Nice-Edinburgh

        • Might have actually been 1.5 hour connection IIRC. NCE-EDI is good suggestion. Thanks.

  4. Can we expect to be able to use virgin miles on Flybe flights anytime soon?

    • This for me along with a Virgin equivalent of the RFS and free domestic connections for international redemption flights (like BA) will decide if I use Virgin coming from ABZ via LHR or MAN.

  5. chris1922 says:

    “Remember that you can still earn Avios on Flybe flights which are flown before 30th April”. I’m semi-regular on GLA-BHX and back, and have a few flights in the diary. BUT, my Avios account has been closed, where will any Avios I earn end up ? Or will I simply not earn then now ? I know it’s not much, but I use FlyBe more than BA (currently), so any earning opportunity is welcome.

    • Open an aer lingus/veuling account which can then be used on the avios.com website.

    • Open a new Avios account at flybe.com/avios (or, more sensible, at the Aer Lingus site if you want it to survive post 30th April).

  6. Apologies as no Bits:
    Girlfriend and I will be off to Oman for a week next month. Only booked Kempinski in Muscat so far. Any recommendations? (ex. Hilton Salaha).

    • Anantara in Jabal Akhdar mountains is very nice. Alila also good nearby if you get a better deal. Need a four by four to drive up there, but you should be able to find a reasonable 4*4 rental from Muscat (cheaper than the hotel’s pick up charge). Note it will be a lot cooler in the Mountains than Muscat… Shanrgi La Al Husn near muscat also good, with nice beaches and free afternoon tea and free mini bar refills a nice touch (only at Al Husn, not the two sister, cheaper, Shamgri La next to it)

    • Jake Mcloughlin says:

      The shangri la (30 mins from muscat) is a great beach resort. Worth a few days to put your feet up or do some water sports.

      In terms of activities the grand mosque is stunning (particularly on the inside) and not as busy as the one in Abu Dhabi. The opera house and old souqes are worth a visit.

      We also hired a car and went to niswa fort.

      It was too hot when we went but the wadis (rivers) and outdoor actives are also supposed to be good. The hotel will be able to organise

    • Pf & Jake thank you both. Noted on the Al Husn resort and I’m very excited to see the Al Niswa fort (gf less so) !

      • I would suggest a day trip to Wadi Shab. You can also visit one of the sink holes on the way back to Muscat.

  7. Disappointed about the cancellation of LCY-ORY flight – having taken it Mon-Thurs for the past 6 months it has always been full!

    • ‘Fullness’ of flight does not equal money made… I and many others have been shouting about that here for years. The dimmest person in the world could fill any flight ten times over if allowed free rein to set fares… If the asset can be used more productively elsewhere then it absolutely should be.

      I have flown LCY-ORY, and did so because fares were fairly low (relative to other routes). This I think is more of a giveaway as to why it’s being canned.

      I doubt the €60 credits for the terminal cafe (in lieu of lounge) helped either.

    • It could be that the first flight on monday and the last flight on thursday was full.
      Used in this case like you Kev, for passengers spending a week in Paris.

      But some flight reports have shown not great loads during other time of the day and week.

      And it was like this also with Cityjet/ AIr France (only AF coded or in codeshare later when Af sold Cityjet).

      I was surprised BA decided to try the route after Cityjet withdrawn it.
      But orly is a slot constrained airport like LHR.
      This is due to political reasons, otherwise ORY could do as many flights as LHR.
      So I guess BA was maybe also playing some slot sitting exercise at ORY.
      Either because BA want to do something else for LEVEL or needs maybe now to return some slots who were maybe attributed to air berlin.

      I remember taking this flight with Cityjet 20 years ago in the middle of the day.
      It was a very good one because of a load of 50% at that time already.

  8. OT. What travel insurance can peoole here recommend – not on basis of price, but cover and positive claims experience? Including cover for flights not starting in the UK and full medical without preapproval for emergencies? No preexisting conditions.

    • MoneySavingExpert has done work on this – Liverpool Victoria at around £200 was (may still be) Best Buy.

      • At that price, you may as well get an Amex Platinum. I have only heard of positive experiences, but interested in others’ opinions…

    • If you can meet the criteria than the HSBC premier insurance was good for us.
      We had a moderate pre-existing medical condition and it was covered without any extra premium.

      Oh, and it’s free.

  9. OT: looks like my travel plans for next year will clash with the refurbishment of the IC Hong Kong. Any recommendations for an alternative? Thanks.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Hotel Icon is very good. Not a chain hotel though.

    • Entirely depends on price. Ritz, 4S or Mandarin Or are all of a good standard from what I have heard. The peninsular is good if you want something more ‘traditional’. Haven’t stayed but have had dinner.

      I have stayed at the Cordis twice – its in kowloon – but the club rooms offer a great lounge for a v.decent rate. Nice rooftop swimming pool and above a metro station so really easy to get around.

      Depending on what you want to do, I would stay here and save the money for other experiences.

      • I loved the Cordis too. Fab rooms, great service and nice attention to detail. A small touch, but I still remember it: the maid untangled and tidied up the lead of my iPhone charger with a stylish Cordis branded piece of velcro!

    • Grand hyatt has the best outdoor pool in HK. Highly recommend staying there.

    • Thanks all.

  10. I want to book Gatwick to Charles de Gaulle via BA but operated by Vueling, so I can take advantage of the BA lounge. The BA website will let me do this up to the end of March but not beyond. I’ve seen this before when the schedule changes from winter/summer and vice versa. Can anyone hazard a guess when BA will load the flights?

    • In general, Vueling code share flights for the next season are loaded quite late on BA & IB.IB flights operated by VY are already loaded on IB systems for the summer season.. no idea when VY summer flights will be available on BA systems

  11. OT: how long does it take for points from my SPG amex to turn up in my marriot bonvoy account?

    • 6 days before monthly statement date

      • Ok. Mine have recently gone and not turned up in my bonvoy account yet. My first month having the card so i’m not sure how it works.

        • Have you checked Amex haven’t made you a new Marriott account – apparently this is known to happen even if you have given them the correct account number?. I am also in my first month of having the SPG card so waiting to see how it works out.

        • What Simon says is true, but that is when they leave Amex. They take a further few days to appear on your Marriott account.

  12. *FANTASTIC* news that Loganair has saved the DERRY to London route, the only direct service linking London to the northwest of Ireland!
    I’ve been using the route for years (as it was operated by Ryanair before Flybmi).
    It’s always been very reasonably priced if you book in advance and the Flybmi service felt like flying with a boutique airline. Haven’t flown Loganair before but looking forward to giving them a go.

    • I do not know if Loganair has already announced wich type of aircraft it will fly.
      But ironically you may fly on an ex-flybmi aircraft on that route.
      I read Loganair had already planned to take two aircraft from flybmi.
      And it was a decision taken before the closing of flybmi.

  13. OT before my husband upgrades his gold amex chargecard to platinum am I right in thinking he should cancel my supp card as we can then add again later for more points?

    • thehornets says:

      I would, but you may find that they issue a supplementary plat anyway, even if you had cancelled the gold supp prior to the upgrade.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Likely you will get a supp anyway.

      An extra gold supp still triggers the 5k

    • I cancelled but still received the supplementary. After speaking to chat I explained and they added the 5k manually.

  14. Managed to book 6 seats out to Mykonos from stansted and 4 back again (will have to sort the other two later) over may half term! Thanks for the heads up Rob.

  15. zappomatic says:

    Regarding CityFlyer catering, on the JMK route it’s not merely a snack ie. crisps, popcorn or biscuits. Breakfast gets the same bacon roll/cheese and tomato panini/fruit and yogurt as given out on domestics, then after 9.30am it’s a cold meal consisting of a bread roll and butter, salad with chicken/pulled pork/smoked salmon/poached salmon depending on rotation, cheese and biscuits and a chocolate cake.

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