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British Airways is introducing more choice and benefits for passengers as it extends the number of routes operated by its new aircraft and increases frequencies across its long-haul network for the summer 2014 schedule from March 30, 2014. A key aspect of the expanded long-haul operation is the deployment of the Airbus A380 on a second US route and the introduction of Boeing 787 Dreamliner services into four new markets.
The UK carrier now has three A380s and four 787s but following the arrival of additional aircraft in the coming months it has revised its schedules to accommodate the new jets. Johannesburg has already been confirmed as the third destination to be served by its A380s from London Heathrow following the successful introduction of the type on its routes to Hong Kong and Los Angeles this year. The A380 will make its scheduled debut on the route from February 12, 2014, increasing to being used on 6 of the 14 weekly flights from March 12, 2014 and to a daily operation from September 2, 2014.
Now, BA has confirmed that Washington will also be served by the Super Jumbo from September 1, 2014. The A380 will replace a Boeing 747-400 five days per week on the carrier’s morning rotation from London; the airline also has a daily evening flight and a four times weekly afternoon flight, providing a total of 18 flights per week between London Heathrow and Washington Dulles. According to data from the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), a total of 953,954 passengers flew on this route, which is also served by United Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airways, in 2012.
The arrival of additional 787s will mean that the type will be introduced into four new markets in 2014, adding to BA’s existing flights with the Dreamliner to Newark and Toronto and previously announced flights to Austin. The Indian city of Hyderabad will become the first scheduled long-haul destination outside of North America to be served by BA’s 787s when the type replaces a 777-200ER on the carrier’s daily flight from March 30, 2014.
Just over a month later on May 5, 2014, BA will switch the operation of flights to its new Chinese destination, Chengdu, from a 777-200ER to a 787, at the same time increasing frequencies from three flights per week to five. From June 5, 2014, the type will replace a 767-300ER on one of BA’s two daily rotations to Philadelphia, while from July 5, 2014 the Dreamliner will be introduced on the daily link to Calgary, again replacing a 767-300ER.
These new aircraft deployments will also enable BA to make some capacity, frequency and schedule adjustments in other parts of its long-haul network. From May 6, 2014 its London Heathrow - Tokyo Haneda route will move from five times weekly to a daily schedule and will be re-timed to offer a more convenient 8.50am departure from Haneda (currently 6.35am).
BA’s link to Mexico City will see a sixth weekly 747-400 frequency from April 27, 2014 and the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo will see ten rather than seven weekly flights from June 1, 2014. Meanwhile, Cape Town will also gain an extra three 777-200ER rotations a week through South Africa’s cooler winter season (the Northern Hemisphere’s summer) taking it from a daily service to 10 flights a week and accommodating an additional 219 customers in four cabins.
Other changes include the introduction of additional flights to Entebbe, New York JFK, Seattle and Seoul Incheon and aircraft changes on flights to Accra, Jeddah, Los Angeles, Moscow Domodedovo, Nairobi, Tel Aviv and Toronto. For full details of these changes and more details of BA’s revised long-haul schedules, please read this post from our blog, Airline Route.
“Thanks to the arrival of the new aircraft – the centrepiece of our £5 billion investment in improvements for our customers – we’re delivering on our promise to introduce new destinations and an even better schedule,” said Richard Tams, head of UK and Ireland sales, British Airways. The £5 billion investment in new aircraft also includes the introduction of smarter cabins, elegant lounges, and new technologies to make life more comfortable for passengers in the air and on the ground.
“We’re delighted to be able to roll them [the new aircraft] out across more of our network and hope our customers enjoy them on these important Indian, Chinese and American routes. We’re also pleased to be able to increase services to the likes of Chengdu, Haneda, Mexico City and Cape Town where there is significant demand and we know regular direct flights are important to our customers,” added Tams.
This just represents the next stage of BA’s new aircraft deployment and further announcements are expected in the coming year as more destinations are certainly expected to be added to the two types’ route map as BA is due to receive 12 A380s and 24 787s over the next three years.