There have been a few British Airways coronavirus developments in recent days which are worth mentioning. We didn’t rush out an article at the time as very few of you are currently flying, but it is worth being up to speed with what is going on.
British Airways pulling out of London Gatwick
British Airways has moved all flights from London Gatwick to London Heathrow Terminal 5 with immediate effect.
The move was probably inevitable when Gatwick decide to restrict its opening hours to 2pm to 10pm. The North Terminal closed last night – easyJet had already grounded its flights – and all remaining flights are now consolidated into the South Terminal.
Officially, this is due to run until 1st May. Unofficially, the move could last a lot longer. If British Airways resumes a ‘full’ flight programme at relatively low levels of capacity – and it is unthinkable that all destinations will reopen to passenger traffic at the same time – then I can imagine the entire operation remaining at Heathrow.
The same goes for Virgin Atlantic, which has consolidated its few remaining services at Heathrow.
BA’s Gatwick flights will all move to Heathrow Terminal 5 because ….
British Airways has moved out of Heathrow Terminal 3
The last British Airways flights from Heathrow Terminal 3 were due to take place on Sunday.
All future services to cities including (this is not a full list) Cape Town, Miami, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Lisbon and Prague will now be from Terminal 5.
British Airways has also decided to permanently end flights to Helsinki. This was another Terminal 3 route. BA’s oneworld partner Finnair will now be the sole operator from Heathrow. This is unfortunate as British Airways often ran good Club Europe deals to Helsinki for £250 or less, whilst Finnair is substantially more expensive in Business Class.
(Finnair is continuing to run two daily flights between Helsinki and Heathrow during the current crisis.)
Changes to British Airways catering
If you are travelling soon, you will notice substantial changes to in-flight catering. Basically, there isn’t any.
On short-haul, you will receive a bottle of water and a pack of pretzels in Euro Traveller. (Buy On Board is no more.) Hot drinks are described as available ‘on request’. In Club Europe, you get a biscuit instead of the pretzels.
On long-haul, you will not receive anything more adventurous than a sandwich, irrespective of which class you are flying. Passengers are being encouraged to bring their own food although, due to security restrictions and the fact that most airside restaurants are closed, this isn’t always practical. BA will not reheat any food you bring yourself.
All special meal options are suspended.
No alcoholic drinks will be provided.
Menu cards, newspapers, magazines, ice etc have been removed from aircraft.
IAG launches cargo-only flights
In order to keep a few aircraft busy, IAG Cargo has launched a series of new ‘cargo only’ routes.
Full details are on the IAG Cargo website here. British Airways will be flying three to seven days per week to:
- Dallas Fort Worth
- Washington Dulles
- New York JFK
- Los Angeles
- San Francisco
- Tel Aviv
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