British Airways cancels all flights from Leeds Bradford Airport
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Judging by a raft of cancellation emails sent out to our readers this afternoon, British Airways has, permanently, suspended flights from Leeds Bradford Airport to London Heathrow. I cannot see any flights on ba.com for any future date.
Leeds Bradford was an experiment that, unfortunately, never fully worked.
Leeds Bradford to Heathrow had historically been a successful bmi British Midland route until rail improvements led to the service being axed in 2009. British Airways revived it in 2012.
We know that, in 2016, the route carried 165,000 passengers across 20 weekly flights, so an average load of around 80 passengers each way. This isn’t huge, of course, but the real value would have been in the connecting traffic onto the long-haul network.
In February 2018 it dropped to 10 flights per week. There comes a point where the frequencies simply aren’t good enough for business travellers who require flexibility and this may have been a cut too far.
What is a shame is that Leeds Bradford is currently undergoing a major period of expansion. Construction work is about to start on a new terminal building and Leeds Bradford now has three (!) airport lounges.
To be honest, I would have expected British Airways to support or even grow its regional network over the next year or so. Realistically it will need to do quite a bit of slot-sitting if it is to retain its full Heathrow slot portfolio. Shuttling aircraft up to Leeds and back is a quick and easy way to do that whilst pulling in connecting traffic.
Looking at the list of other carriers on the airport website, it will continue to be served by Aer Lingus, Aurigny, Jet2, KLM, Ryanair, Tui and Eastern as well as holiday charters.
The big winner here is KLM which retains multiple daily flights and can go back to scooping up the local long-haul business traffic and funnelling it through Amsterdam.
How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 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:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
Get 25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher at £20,000 Read our full review
There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
British Airways American Express
5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review
You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 13th June, the sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card is doubled to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – and you get £200 to spend at Amex Travel too! Apply here.
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points AND a £200 Amex Travel voucher until 13th June! 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.
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
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.
EDIT: Applications for this card are temporarily suspended due to IT issues with the British Airways On Business SME loyalty scheme.
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
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.
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.