As British Airways looks to kickstart its route network for the 2021 summer season, British Airways today revealed plans to launch four new short-haul European routes. The news comes as the airline industry as a whole looks to recover from the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Across the continent, airlines are looking to regain some semblance of a summer travel season. It is hoped that vaccines will allow travel to recover. However, many airlines believe that we will be looking at a late summer season. One thing is agreed, short-haul travel will recover sooner than its long-haul counterpart.
Four new routes
As part of its recovery plan, British Airways today announced four new European routes. The new routes are set to launch in early July and will run throughout the Summer 2021 season. Four cities will be added, serving three countries. These are Wroclaw – Poland, Gdansk – Poland, Riga – Latvia, and Cluj-Napoca – Romania.
According to British Airways, all of the routes will be operated by the airline’s Airbus A320 family aircraft fleet. Each of the routes will start from London Heathrow. The flights will begin at £83 for Wroclaw, with the minimum Cluj-Napoca fare starting at £95.
Alongside the new routes announced today, the airline also revealed another route that is not entirely new. Last year British Airways had been due to launch flights from London Heathrow to Perugia. However, due to the grounding of many of the airline’s aircraft and routes, this didn’t go ahead as planned. Instead, the airline will push forward with launching the route this summer.
Recovering from its worst crisis
There’s no doubt about it, the COVID-19 pandemic is the worst crisis in history that British Airways has dealt with. Towards the pandemic’s start, the airline’s former CEO, Alex Cruz, said that it was worse than 9/11, the 2008 financial crash, and other similar crises. It’s now gone on for around a year since those comments were made.
According to data from RadarBox.com, the British flag carrier is operating about 15% of the flights that it was running back in 2019. The airline has been hit particularly hard, given the UK Government’s firm stance on travel restrictions. Currently, travel out of England is only permitted for a handful of essential reasons, while almost every arrival must quarantine and pay for expensive PCR tests. It is hoped that moving to a traffic light system in May may prompt a slight return of the travel industry.
Commenting on the state of aviation yesterday, the airline’s current CEO, Sean Doyle, remarked,
“We do need to move in a quicker and more coordinated way. Trust me, we want to get travel back up and running safely… I think we can craft solutions that can get the industry back up and running in a far more compelling way than we would have done at any other time of the pandemic.”
Would you like to fly on any of BA’s new summer European routes? Let us know what you think and why in the comments below!