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New routes: BA launches Edinburgh to Chambery, Virgin Atlantic to launch Tampa?

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News in brief:

British Airways launches Edinburgh to Chambery

British Airways has launched a new weekend route for the Winter season from Edinburgh Airport.

From 17th December, the airline will operate a weekly ski service to Chambery in France.

It will run all the way through to 15th April 2023.

Flights will operate on Saturdays only, with a 9.30am departure from Edinburgh and a 2pm departure from Chambery.

The services will be operated by BA CityFlyer on behalf of British Airways using an Embraer E190 aircraft. British Airways likes to operate regional routes over the weekend using these aircraft which are grounded due to the closure of London City Airport.

Flights are already bookable, for cash or Avios, on ba.com. Remember that the E190 fleet has 2×2 seating so there is no ’empty middle seat’ in Club Europe.

Virgin Atlantic to launch Tampa

Virgin Atlantic to launch Tampa?

The slot allocation report at Heathrow for the upcoming Winter schedule (which starts on the 29th October) has just been published.

We’ve already reported on JetBlue gaining permanent slots at Heathrow but there have been a few other changes.

Whilst most of the ‘new’ routes are simply extensions of existing summer slots, it looks like Virgin Atlantic could be launching a brand new flight to Florida, complementing its Miami and Orlando flights. This would be in the form of a new direct flight to Tampa.

The slot allocation is for one flight per day, seven days per week.

This seems relatively sensible, given that leisure travel demand is still outstripping business travel and with Florida one of Virgin’s key destinations. It also integrates well with Virgin Holidays.

Whilst Virgin has received slots for the route, there is no guarantee it will actually launch the flight. It could still back out – we will have to wait and see.

Apart from JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic, other slot gainers – all of which have come from Russian carriers – are:

  • Avianca – four flights per week
  • WestJet – three flights per week
  • China Airlines – four flights per week
  • Vistara – seven flights per week

What isn’t clear is what will happen when the Ukraine crisis ends, Russian sanctions are lifted and the Russian carriers request new Heathrow slots. Unless they are made available, it is very likely that UK airlines would be blocked from flying to Moscow in retaliation.

H/T London Air Travel and Edmond Rose via LinkedIn.

Comments (38)

  • Paul says:

    Wonder if Tampa will be a 330neo launch route?

  • David says:

    The most important factor here is that it’s LHR/TPA instead of Gatwick and at last some competition for BA on this route. I fly it regularly and the planes are old and dirty, the seat is ancient and often broken, the food is poor and the staff are miserable. Add in sky high fees, and the only thing going for it is that I’m using Avios. Will happily switch to VS from Heathrow.

  • Richard M says:

    Chambery is lovely in summer too, pretty close to both Lyon and Geneva if all else fails.

    Don’t hold your breath for any resumption of flghts to Moscow for at least 5 years unless something dramatic happens.

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