British Airways (BA) is strengthening its German network and aircraft fleet at London City Airport this summer with two new routes and an additional Embraer 190 jet. New three times daily weekday flights will launch to both Berlin and Hamburg, which together with existing services to Dusseldorf and Frankfurt means the airline will operate more than 70 flights each week to Germany direct from the Docklands.
The growth will be supported through the arrival of an additional 98-seat aircraft, arriving in June, will be the 20th Embraer to join the British Airways fleet at London City. The extra routes mean that BA will have its busiest ever summer at London City Airport where it will operate over half the flights, despite speculation that it could cut its operations related to a change in ownership and charges at the Docklands facility.
Hamburg is currently served by British Airways’ franchise partner SunAir but from May 8, 2016 it will take over the route using larger Saab 2000 aircraft, more than doubling the number of seats available. The Berlin route, serving Tegel Airport, will be the airline’s first link to the German capital from London City, a route that was last served in the previous decade by Lufthansa between January 2008 and March 2009.
"Germany is a very important market for us and these new routes give both our business and leisure customers a much wider choice of destinations with a well-timed schedule,” said Luke Hayhoe, general manager commercial and customer, London City, British Airways.
The new route to Berlin will also help facilitate the airline’s new weekend leisure offering from London Stansted with the aircraft operating a return service from Berlin to the airport on Friday evenings before returning back to the German capital on Sunday afternoon and flying back to its Docklands home that evening from Germany.
Alongside its hub offering at London Heathrow, long- and short-haul predominantly leisure links from London Gatwick and business flights from London City, BA is introducing a leisure programme from London Stansted during summer 2016 to the popular holiday sunspots of Faro, Malaga, Palma and Ibiza using this BA CityFlyer Embraer 190 jet.
The new routes will launch from May 28, 2016 and will operate on a weekly schedule with flights to Ibiza, Malaga and Palma on Saturdays and Faro on Sundays. These are all markets currently served by BA from at least two other London airports – City and Heathrow, while Ibiza, Faro and Malaga are also served from Gatwick.
This growth will place BA in direct competition with the more frequent operations of Ryanair on all four routes, while easyJet regularly serves the three Spanish markets from Stansted and Thomas Cook Airlines offers holiday packages to both the Balearic Islands from the London airport.
BA’s arrival at Stansted will provide better accessibility for customers from parts of London, the Cambridge area and the growing east of England region and will provide options for frequent flyers in these areas to use and gain loyalty points while taking leisure getaways.