British Airways to Introduce Dusseldorf Link from London City

BA CityFlyer, the London City-based operational division of British Airways (BA), is to introduce a new direct link to Dusseldorf from September 1, 2013, marking the return of flights between the Docklands facility and Germany’s seventh largest city by population in over three years.  The airline will introduce a three times daily rotation on the route on weekdays and two flights over the weekend using a 50-seat Saab 2000 wet-leased from UK regional carrier Eastern Airways.

This will mark BA CityFlyer’s debut on the route and only its second direct service into Germany from London City.  Since it was formed in March 2007 the carrier has served Frankfurt, a strong business market, after inheriting the route from BA Connect, but despite strong network growth over subsequent years it has not shown any previous aspirations to grow in Germany. 

“We have launched a number of new leisure routes from London City in the past couple of years.  Now we are very excited to be going to a great business city like Dusseldorf which offers significant trade links with the City of London.”

Luke Hayhoe
General Manager Commercial, BA CityFlyer

“We have launched a number of new leisure routes from London City in the past couple of years,” said Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ General Manager Commercial for BA CityFlyer.  “Now we are very excited to be going to a great business city like Dusseldorf which offers significant trade links with the City of London.”

According to archived schedule data, the London City – Dusseldorf route was previously served for six consecutive years by German carriers.  In April 2004, European Air Express launched flights but these lasted just a year until April 2005 when Lufthansa entered the market and subsequently served the link using its own regional equipment and latterly on its behalf by Contact Air until flights were suspended in March 2010. 

Although there have been no services to Dusseldorf from London City since that date the wider London market is linked to the German city with scheduled links from Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted airports.  British Airways and Lufthansa currently have flights from Heathrow, while low-cost carriers easyJet and airberlin provide flights from Gatwick and Stansted, respectively.

According to official statistics from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), 856,908 passengers flew between London and Dusseldorf in 2012, up 1.8 per cent on the previous year.  When Lufthansa previously served the London City – Dusseldorf market it was handling around over 25,000 passengers a year, recording totals of 30,360 (2007), 35,071 (2008) and 26,141 (2009) in its last three full years of operation on this airport pair.

To accommodate the new route, BA CityFlyer is to modify its operations between London City and the Isle of Man, as the Saab 2000 of Eastern Airways is currently deployed on this domestic route.  The airline presently offers up to three rotations per day using the 50-seat turboprop but will cut the operation to just a daily flight from September 2, 2013, albeit using a larger Embraer 170 jet.  At the current time no reservations are being accepted beyond the end of the summer schedule suggesting that BA CityFlyer will close the route at the end of October.