Transatlantic Boom: British Airways Restarts Four US Routes This Week

British Airways has resumed Heathrow to Las Vegas and Gatwick to Tampa, while on the day of writing, it’s the turn of Gatwick to Orlando and Heathrow to Baltimore. BA now has 22 US routes from London, with another two to resume in December and one in March.

BA Tampa
British Airways currently serves Tampa five-weekly. Photo: Tampa International Airport

What’s happening?

Helped by the US reopening to most fully vaccinated Europeans on November 8th, increasing confidence and demand, more routes across the North Atlantic have reopened. They were last served in March 2020 and come a month after Austin and San Diego returned.

Exactly one week after restrictions eased, two routes returned on November 15th. BA275 took off from Heathrow and Las Vegas (an airport-pair it initiated 11 years ago) along with BA2167 from Gatwick and Tampa, 4,427-mile (7,125km) apart.

On November 19th, it’s the turn of BA2039 from Gatwick to Orlando and BA229 from Heathrow to Baltimore. The service to Florida took off at 12:54 local time and when writing has just passed Land’s End in Cornwall and is north of the Isles of Scilly.

Now 22 US routes

In the current week, BA has 223 outbound flights across 22 routes from London to the US, analyzing Cirium schedules reveals. That’s 72% of the departures it had in a comparable week in 2019, although as always, it says nothing of passenger traffic, fares, or loads.

  • Heathrow to JFK: five-daily departures
  • Heathrow to Los Angeles: 17 weekly
  • Heathrow to Boston, Newark, Washington, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco: twice-daily
  • Heathrow to Dallas: ten weekly
  • Heathrow to Atlanta, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle: once-daily
  • Gatwick to Tampa and Heathrow to Austin and San Diego: five-weekly
  • Gatwick to Orlando and Heathrow to Baltimore: three-weekly

At over seven in ten flights, BA has a higher proportion of flights back than Europe to the US as a whole (59%). It’s also better than when all airlines between London and the US are combined (56%). While JetBlue has entered the market, Norwegian and Air New Zealand no longer operate, and Delta is at only 43% and United 41% of the flights they had before.

BA B777-300ER
This week, BA uses the B777-300ER (as shown), B777-200ER, B787-8, B787-9, and B787-10 to the US. The B777-200ER is very much the most deployed. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

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Nashville and New Orleans return next month

Two more routes – Heathrow to Nashville and New Orleans – will return on December 9th. They’ll have three weekly flights each, and both utilize 214-seat B787-8s, which are lower-premium (and therefore more flexible) equipment versus BA’s larger B787-9s.

BA US network
BA has 22 US routes this week. In addition, other airports (shown in green) will return later, two in December (Nashville and New Orleans) and one in next March (San Jose). Image: GCMap

And then San Jose… but what about others?

Once Nashville and New Orleans are back, the only other known resumption will be San Jose (California), due on March 27th, the first day of the summer season. With five-weekly flights, it too will see the smallest B787 variant.

Earlier this week, we identified that Indianapolis might be coming next summer, along with the return of Pittsburgh and Portland (Oregon). However, when writing, uncertainly exists over whether they will materialize then or at all.

Will you be flying across the North Atlantic soon? Share your plans in the comments.