Gone Again: British Airways Pulls 3 US Routes For The Rest Of Winter

Despite recently resuming, British Airways will no longer serve Baltimore, Nashville, or New Orleans this winter. However, the routes are bookable again in the summer. It comes as BA has continuously reduced the number of seats on sale from Heathrow to the US, variously reflecting omicron, entry and testing restrictions, and the demand environment.

BA 787
Baltimore, Nashville, and New Orleans will return in April or May. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying.

What’s happening?

British Airways has pulled Baltimore, Nashville, and New Orleans soon after they restarted. Baltimore returned on November 19th and Nashville and New Orleans on December 9th. They benefited from Holiday demand but will temporarily cease.

New Orleans will end on January 15th, Nashville the day after, and Baltimore on January 17th, but they’ll be back in the summer. So too will San Jose, BA’s last US route to return. The California airport, not far from San Francisco, was expected to resume on March 27th but is now bookable from mid-June.

In the past few weeks, multiple BA routes to the US have seen seats for sale reduce for the remainder of the aviation winter season and into summer. Looking at the rest of winter, OAG data shows that planned capacity exceeded 1.6 million seats in early October, which has reduced by 27% to 1.2 million in the current week, as shown below.

The rest of winter_ how BA's US capacity has reduced
BA’s has cut 4% of US seats in the past week, based on Jan. 1st to Mar. 26th inclusive. Source of data: OAG.

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When will they resume?

The routes are now bookable as follows. In the week they restart, they’ll use 214-seat B787-8s, with no first class, 35 business seats, and an almost one-quarter larger economy cabin than the B787-9. The B787-8 is especially good for thinner leisure or lower-premium long-haul services. These include Pittsburgh and Portland, which will also be served this summer.

The resumptions will happen as follows:

  1. New Orleans: April 26th, four-weekly, B787-8
  2. Baltimore: May 2nd, once-daily, B787-8
  3. Nashville: May 9th, once-daily, B787-8
  4. San Jose: June 13th, once-daily, B787-8 (five) and B787-9 (two)

San Jose stands out. Inaugurated in May 2016 and last served in March 2020, the 5,369-mile (8,640km) route will see two B787-9s a week, according to BA’s latest schedule upload. In the first week, they’ll be used on Fridays and Sundays. BA’s B787-9s have 216 seats, with 23% in first and business.

BA 787 Chicago
Later this year, the B787-9 (shown here) will be the main variant to San Jose, while Nashville will variously see the B787-10 and B787-9, based on BA’s latest schedule information. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

Asia routes have also been scaled back

The developments mentioned above come as BA cuts three routes to Asia – Bangkok, Beijing Daxing, and Shanghai Pudong – for the summer. All three are now bookable from October 30th, the start of the next aviation winter season.

Meanwhile, summer flights to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Tokyo Haneda have been reduced by half to once-daily. Two flights a day to the hard-hit Far East destinations were excessive in the current environment. It is another reminder of the precarious state of demand and more changes will occur.

What do you make of the latest developments? Let us know in the comments.

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