British Airways is one of the legacy airlines that has been expanding to the US quite aggressively. They recently added flights to Ft. Lauderdale, New Orleans and Oakland. The airline has also announced flights to Nashville. They will also be the first regular operator of an A380 to Chicago ORD. Apparently, their Joint Venture with American has been very successful, to the degree they are expanding from their secondary/leisure hub at Gatwick. British Airways adds Gatwick flights to Toronto and Las Vegas.
Didn’t they fly to Las Vegas from Gatwick before?
As a matter of fact, they did. They used to fly the route, but cancelled it in favor of their Heathrow service. With the current economic conditions, and the price of fuel, they have decided to start flying again to Gatwick from Vegas, starting on March 27, 2018. The flight will be operated 3x weekly. BA will fly a leisure 777, which has 40 Club World Seats, 24 World Traveller Plus, and 219 World Traveller seats. The flight will have the following schedule:
BA2277 Gatwick to Las Vegas departing 11:55AM arriving 2:45PM T, F, Sun
BA2277 Las Vegas to Gatwick 4:35PM arriving 10:35AM (+1 day) T, F, Sun
Toronto Getting More Love
British Airways currently flies twice daily from Toronto to Heathrow. The airline will launch 3x weekly flights from Gatwick to Toronto starting in May 1, 2018. The new flight to Gatwick will be operated by a mix of 4-class and 3-class 777s. The four class 777s have 12 First Seats, 48 Club World, 40 World Traveller Plus, and 122 Economy seats. The 3-class 777 is the same as the leisure 777. Although BA does not have many 4-class 777s at Gatwick, this aircraft will probably be ferried from Heathrow as BA receives their 787-9s and their new A350s. This will boost the number of daily flights to a max of three from Toronto. The flight will have the following schedule:
BA2271 Gatwick to Toronto departing 11:55AM arriving 2:45PM T, F, Sun
BA2270 Toronto to Gatwick 7:45PM arriving 7:50AM (+1 day) T, F, Sun
Gatwick has long been a secondary hub for BA. They fly mostly leisure routes and less premium heavy routes, such as the Caribbean. They also fly a modest European network from the airport. Virgin Atlantic has as similar long haul strategy, and BA has competed with them very well. With the introduction of LCCs to the game, BA and VS have had to up-the-ante. The airlines now face competition from WestJet in Canada, and the ever growing threat of Norwegian. Norwegian has aggressively expanded their Gatwick long haul operations and now have a sizeable network. In order to compete, BA is probably launching these flights. This would allow them to fight off the increasing threat.
There has been a large expansion from the US to Europe recently. From WOW Air expansion and Norwegian, to Delta adding Indianapolis, it seems that everyone could land a new TATL flight. Legacy carriers have had to adjust to the new rules of the game. The British Airways Gatwick flights are just an example of this trend. This trend has extended to US legacy carriers, with Delta’s expanding European partnership to fight off LCCs, and United adding London-Denver in order to combat Norwegian. Soon enough, American will jump on the bandwagon.
What do you think? Is British Airways acting as a reaction to Norwegian and other LCCs? Should they add capacity to those routes, instead of opening new ones? Let us know!
If you want to stay up to date with the latest airline news follow me on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn!
Also follow Travel Update and Boarding Area on Twitter!
H/T: One Mile at a Time
Images from: Wikimedia Commons and the Authors. Images by the author may be used with attribution to this post.