British Airways recently announced international expansion from its hubs at Gatwick and Heathrow. The airline is fueling an international expansion even amidst the impending Brexit. With the recent approval for a third runway at Heathrow, British is in a great position to continue to expand. The airline has been fortifying its Heathrow offering, as well as adding connections at Gatwick. The airline is a member of the oneworld alliance. It also has a Joint Venture with American, Iberia and Finnair. The airline added routes to its leisure markets, as well as others from Heathrow. British Airways expansion will hopefully continue and expand its presence in more markets.
Santiago de Chile:
British Airways is going to add a direct link to the Chilean Capital of Santiago. Santiago is a hub for LATAM Chile. With Qatar Airways purchasing a stake in LATAM and IAG, it makes sense that they would attempt to have closer ties. There are currently no direct flights between Santiago and Heathrow. The airline will serve the route with one of its 787-9 aircraft. This aircraft has their newest version of First Class, as well as their refreshed Club World and World Traveller Plus cabins. The airline will fly 4 times a week, and it will allow seamless connections to destinations in South America. Also, this will be the airline’s longest route, with a total travel time of around 14 hours and 40 minutes.
The City of New Orleans has been looking for a long time for a direct link to a major hub in Europe. Recently, British Airways and the New Orleans Airport announced a new route linking the airport to London. The airline last flew this route in the early 80’s with a L1011 aircraft. The flight will operate 4 times a week. The airline will fly one of their new 787-8s to MSY. The aircraft comes with refreshed cabins in every class. The flight will allow people in the Big Easy to reach Europe’s busiest international hub directly, in less than 10 hours. The flight will operate to and from Heathrow Airport.
Fort Lauderdale continues to expand its international footprint. With the recent announcement of Emirates flights to Dubai, it wasn’t long until a new airline joined in. British Airways just announced a new route from its Gatwick hub to FLL. The flight will operate 3 times a week during the low season. They will increase to 4 during peak travel dates. Thei will fly the route with a three class 777. The aircraft may have the refreshed cabins, but there is the possibility that the aircraft will still have the older style seats. The flight is the third Florida destination from Gatwick, joining Orlando and Tampa. The airline also flies to Miami from Heathrow.
The airline will soon start seasonal flights from Gatwick to Cape Town. This will be their first destination in South Africa from Gatwick. The flight will operate 3 times a week. The airline will fly a four class 747. The aircraft will offer their most crowded configuration of First Class. The flight will take a little over 11 hours. The airline is trying to add leisure flyers into the Cape Town market.
I am a huge fan of airline expansions. I love to see airlines launch new routes and connect the world further. The 787 and A350 have made otherwise impossible routes feasible. The expansion of British Airways during their country’s turbulent times shows the airlines’ and the country’s determination. The British will either way overcome whatever the future holds for them. Both Virgin Atlantic and British Airways have tough times ahead, but they will succeed. I truly hope to see Virgin expand just like BA has in the past weeks.