British Airways has launched a host of new routes ahead of non-essential travel from England reopening on Monday. It seems that the airline isn’t afraid of a lack of demand for so-called ‘amber’ destinations, as these make up the backbone of the 93,000 new seats revealed today.
UK airlines are keen to make the most of whatever travel they can following an abysmal start to the year. Last week British Airways operated just 17% of its pre-pandemic flights, as travelers from the UK are currently banned from all but essential travel. From Monday, the airline will be keen to serve the massive increase in demand anticipated.
Not afraid of amber
It seems that British Airways is not afraid of a lack of demand to amber destinations. From today, the airline will begin to sell tickets for 13 destinations, including ten in Greek holiday hotspots and two in the Canary Islands.
These flights will begin operating from June 21st in response to the solid demand for relaunching flights to holiday destinations. Most of these areas are currently labeled as amber. As opposed to new routes, these are routes with greater capacity than previously. Until the UK revisits the traffic light list, it won’t be possible to say it will become green. June 7th is when the list is set to be updated, according to travel analyst Paul Charles.
|Destination||Frequency per week (Pre-2021)||Frequency per week (2021)||Frequency Increase|
Commenting, Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances, said,
“It’s clear Britons are hoping that their favourite destinations will be open by the time summer comes. We want to provide them with access to book seats to the places they love to help them get away, and trust that if they can’t travel, we will be there for them with incredible flexibility to make changes to their bookings.”
A red-list addition?
Interestingly, also on the list of new routes was a destination that will be on the UK government’s red list from 04:00 tomorrow. This destination is Bodrum in Turkey. The red list means that passengers won’t be able to fly directly from Turkey to the UK, meaning that British Airways must have some level of confidence that Turkey will come off of the red list again within the next two months.
A missing green-list country
Another interesting point is the lack of one of four green-list countries where international travel will be viable from Monday. While the airline has a healthy flight schedule to Tel Aviv, Gibraltar, and Portugal, Iceland is noticeably absent from the list. Flights to Keflavik are not scheduled to resume until June 22nd, meaning British Airways could miss out on a chunk of travel demand.
Simple Flying has contacted British Airways regarding the lack of flights to Iceland. This article will be updated accordingly.
More Cityflyer routes
For those not ready to fly outside the British Isles, British Airways’ subsidiary Cityflyer is also adding two new domestic routes to Guernsey. On Mondays and Fridays, the airline’s Embraer E190s will fly out of City, heading to Guernsey, before flying to Edinburgh. The aircraft will then fly back to Guernsey before returning to London City. The schedule differs depending on the day of travel, with flights operating between June 25th and September 27th. As an example, the Monday itinerary is,
- BA3281 – London City (LCY) 11:30 – Guernsey (GCI) 12:35
- BA2342 – Guernsey (GCI) 13:15 – Edinburgh (EDI) 14:50
- BA2343 – Edinburgh (EDI) 15:40 – Guernsey (GCI) 17:15
- BA3282 – Guernsey (GCI) 17:55 – London City (LCY) 19:00
On Fridays, the first flight will depart London City at 08:30, with the jet arriving back at its base at 16:00.
What do you make of BA’s route announcements? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!