British Airways launches new services from Belfast with routes to Exeter, Leeds Bradford, Newquay and Glasgow

British Airways has announced the launch of four new domestic routes from Belfast this summer, providing key links between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK at a time when booking a holiday abroad remains uncertain.

Over the next few months, the airline will start to operate 18 flights a week between George Best Belfast City Airport and Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford and Newquay airports.

Starting from June 16, 2021, British Airways will operate flights from Belfast City to Exeter on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and to Leeds Bradford on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday. The airline will operate services from Belfast City to Cornwall Newquay starting from July 3, 2021, twice a week on Wednesday and Saturday; while the new Belfast City- Glasgow service will be operated starting August 2, 2021 on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

The new routes will run alongside existing British Airways services between Belfast and London City and London Heathrow airports. The additional services will be operated using BA CityFlyer’s existing fleet of Embraer 190 aircraft. Customers can book via ba.com, with return fares from Belfast to these new destinations starting from £48 each way.

Tom Stoddart, Managing Director of BA CityFlyer, which will operate the new routes, said: ‘We’re delighted to announce these new services from Belfast, which will enhance our regional network and maintain vital connections between Northern Ireland and other key UK destinations.

‘We’re sure these routes will be popular with customers getting away for a UK holiday this summer, as well as those visiting friends and relatives, and we’ll continue to listen to their feedback about where they want to travel.’

Katy Best, Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport, said: ‘Continuity on these services is excellent news for domestic connectivity to and from Northern Ireland. Operated by Embraer 190 jets, these routes will greatly complement the existing British Airways services to London Heathrow and London City enabling passengers to enjoy the excellent British Airways experience to a greater number of destinations.’

Southampton launches new BA’ CityFlyer route to Faro, opens new rapid COVID-19 testing facilities

Southampton Airport has recently announced the launch of a new British Airways (BA) service from Southampton to Faro.

The new CityFlyer service form Southampton directly connects England’s south coast with popular holiday destinations in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Germany. Under a new agreement with Southampton Airport, the airline will operate up to 18 flights each weekend to 12 locations. The seasonal arrangement will run alongside existing services from London City Airport.

Rachel Riley, BA CityFlyer’s Head of Commercial at Southampton airport, said: ‘As we welcome more customers back on board, the launch of today’s operation from Southampton is an exciting extension of our service.’

‘This is a special day for many people, families have been separated from loved ones overseas, businesses have suffered, and we know that our customers haven’t been able to take the breaks abroad that they’ve wanted.’

Matt Hazelwood, Group Commercial Director at AGS Airports Ltd, added: ‘BA’s commitment to deliver connectivity for Southampton and the wider region to some of the most popular destinations in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Germany will be very much welcomed by our passengers now that the safe restart of international travel is underway.’

Separately, Southampton Airport said that new rapid COVID-19 testing facilities have been introduced at the airport. The move follows the successful introduction of testing facilities at Aberdeen and Glasgow airports in March this year. The terminal-based facilities offer passengers both PCR and antigen testing.

Steve Szalay, Operations Director at Southampton Airport, said: ‘The introduction of these fantastic on-site testing facilities will not only provide our passengers with a quick and convenient service, they will be instrumental in providing support to our safe restart plans as international flights resume following the lifting of restrictions earlier this month.’

British Airways Holidays launches exclusive offer for summer holidays at Heathrow

British Airways Holidays has said that it has launched an exclusive offer for customers booking summer holiday packages, featuring complimentary airport experiences at London Heathrow Terminal 5.

The offer applies to holidays with departure dates between June 9 and September 30, 2021, for those travelling in Euro Traveller, World Traveller or World Traveller Plus (economy and premium economy) as part of a Flight + Hotel and/or Car holiday package.

Customers will automatically qualify when spending a minimum of £1,500pp for two people or more, for a minimum of five nights. Existing bookings will also be eligible. Those travelling in Club World or Club Europe (business class) and spending a minimum of £2,500pp will also be eligible for First Wing check in and complimentary access to the Galleries First Lounge at London Heathrow Terminal 5, both of which are exclusive for premium customers.

Ranging from tropical beach holidays to city explorations, the offer applies to all destinations, and features: Premium check-in allowing customers a speedier check-in experience in a designated area of the terminal; Fast Track Security; British Airways Galleries Club Lounges access; and priority boarding starting from June 21, 2021.

Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays, said: ‘After the last year, we know how much our customers are looking forward to getting away this summer. We want to make their experience extra special as we welcome them back to travel, by helping them to begin their holiday in style.’

‘It’s the first time we’ve offered something like this exclusively for British Airways Holidays customers – we believe it’s a brilliant way to celebrate the joy of travel, while continuing to offer flexibility and security for peace of mind.’

The offer includes deposits starting from £60pp, ATOL protection, and three weeks’ notice needed for free amendments or cancellations in return for a voucher in case of a change of plan.

British Airways announces four new short-haul destinations from Heathrow

British Airways has announced the introduction of four new short-haul routes to Wroclaw (WRO) and Gdansk (GDN) in Poland, Riga (RIX) in Latvia and Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) in Romania.

The routes will commence operating from the beginning of July, running throughout summer. All flights will be served from Heathrow, with Wroclaw operating twice a week, and Gdansk, Riga and Cluj-Napoca operating three times a week. Flights operate on days aimed at those visiting friends and relatives for a long weekend as well as those in search of an exciting city break . All flights will be operated by British Airways’ short-haul Airbus fleet.

Wroclaw is known for its attractive architecture and array of stunning bridges and islands that cross the Odra River. Gdansk, located on the Baltic Sea, offers fine museums, a prominent church building and a beautiful old city. Riga, the largest of all three Baltic capital cities, houses a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is known for its Art Nouveau style buildings. Cluj-Napoca is Romania’s second largest city and is often described as a cultural hub. British Airways last operated flights to Riga in 2007, and flew briefly to Gdansk between 1999 and the early-2000s, with the other two being new routes.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: ‘It’s great to be launching new routes as we listen to our customers and assess where they want to travel. We know these four new destinations will be popular with people visiting friends and relatives, but they also offer great city breaks, when the time is right, with flights that head out just before the weekend and return on Sunday.’

Return fares start from £83 to Wroclaw, £85 to Gdansk, £94 to Riga, and £95 to Cluj, and customers can book via ba.com. British Airways offers customers a flexible booking policy, no change fees or a voucher exchange for bookings made for travel before the end of April 2022.

In addition to the four new routes, British Airways will also launch a new summer service to Perugia on 28 June. This service was due to start in 2020 but was delayed following the risks due to pandemic.

British Airways launches new routes to Jersey and Gibraltar from London City

British Airways has recently announced plans to launch two new routes to Jersey and Gibraltar from London City Airport.

The new routes will be launch on June 25, 2021. The airline will operate two flights a week to Jersey and Gibraltar – on Mondays and Fridays – offering key air links for business travellers, holiday makers and other travellers as regulations ease. With fares starting from £42 to Jersey and £43 to Gibraltar each way, customers can book via ba.com.

Tom Stoddart, Managing Director of BA CityFlyer, which will operate the new services, said: ‘It’s great to be able to launch these two new services to Gibraltar and Jersey – it’s something customers have been asking us to do for quite a while. Whether it’s for a holiday or visiting friends or relatives who live either end of route when the time is right, customers will benefit from direct flights to and from the extremely conveniently located London City Airport.’

Minister for Business, Tourism, Transport and the Port of Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar the Hon Vijay Daryanani MP said: ‘This is excellent news and continues to show the confidence that the industry has in Gibraltar as a destination. A seasonal link with London City Airport operated by BA CityFlyer brings yet another operator to Gibraltar and opens up a further catchment area from the UK. This service will complement BA’s mainline services from Heathrow and the local business and financial services community will undoubtedly welcome a link to London’s financial district. Our tourism, retail and hospitality industries can also look forward to greeting customers from the City and the east London catchment area.’

Matt Thomas, Ports of Jersey, Group CEO, added: ‘We are delighted to see the Island once again connected to London City and look forward to working alongside BA Cityflyer. We understand the importance of connectivity to London’s financial centre, as well as for Islanders wanting easy access to central London, or to take advantage of the many onward connections available.’

Both flights will be operated by BA CityFlyer’s Embraer E190 aircraft. British Airways offers flexible booking policy, offering customers no change fees or a voucher exchange for bookings made for travel before the end of April 2022, allowing for options if plans change.

British Airways starts to trial Covid-19 document certification on ba.com

British Airways has said that customers eligible to travel to India will now be able to upload their negative Covid-19 test results and other travel declaration forms directly into their booking on the airline’s website ba.com, in advance of travel.

Running on all flights from London to India, the new trial is part of the airline’s efforts to simplify the departure process as it prepares for the return of international travel. The trial will certify that customers have the correct documentation needed for their flight before they arrive at the airport, allowing them to check-in online and avoid queuing in the terminal.

Customers will receive an email three days before the date of departure, directing them to the ‘Manage My Booking’ function on ba.com where they can find the relevant entry requirements, including a negative Covid-19 test result and a digital declaration form. The customer will then upload each document via ‘Manage My Booking’ which will be certified by the airline within six hours to ensure they meet the entry requirements.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘At British Airways we are preparing for the meaningful return to international travel in the coming months. This means doing everything we can to simplify the journey for our customers, allowing them to travel with confidence and create the best possible seamless, frictionless experience in a new Covid era.

‘We know that innovation and technology hold the key to unlocking international travel. We are already offering access to travel app ‘VeriFLY’ on selected routes and IAG has been helping develop ‘Travel Pass’ with IATA. Now it’s also time to look at what we can offer through our own website. The key benefit of customers being able to upload the correct travel documentation into their booking, is that it enables them to check-in online, speeding up the airport process. We are continually exploring the best possible options to help our customers return to the skies, safely.’

British Airways is planning to roll this trial out to more destinations over the coming weeks and is also working to add this functionality for those destinations to its British Airways app. This will enable customers to securely upload the documentation for their booking directly from their mobile device. The required documentation is decided by the country of destination that a customer is travelling to, which could include negative Covid tests and / or vaccination information.

Digital health travel passport, VeriFLY, is currently available on the airline’s flights from the UK to the US and Canada, as well as all inbound flights to the UK. The app is optional for customers and can be downloaded to a mobile device. The app helps meet the entry requirements of their destination by providing digital health document verification and confirming eligibility.

British Airways appoints new Sustainability head

UK-based airline, British Airways, has today announced the appointment of Carrie Harris as its new head of Sustainability, which it says reflects the increasing importance that it attaches to its sustainability.

Harris joins British Airways from the airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), where she has been group sustainability manager for the past five years. She is a chartered environmentalist, fellow of IEMA (the accreditation body for sustainability professionals), registered environmental auditor and holds two Master’s degrees in Environmental Science and Management.

In her role at British Airways, reporting to Louise Evans, director of External Communications & Sustainability, Harris will be responsible for a team of eight who work on the airline’s strategy for environment, diversity, inclusion & wellbeing, and community investment.

The company stated that last year Harris helped launch IAG’s Flightpath Net Zero, committing the Group to achieving net zero by 2050, which it says is a global first for an airline group and a landmark climate strategy for the aviation sector. During her time at IAG, the company says that she has successfully embedded sustainability into the Group’s business activity and financial planning processes. Her work saw her win IAG the CDP A-list for investor rankings and most improved sustainability report for FTSE 100 and IBEX companies.

Announcing the appointment, Louise Evans, British Airways’ director of External Communications & Sustainability said: ‘Sustainability is absolutely fundamental to British Airways’ future strategy and I am delighted to welcome Carrie to British Airways as head of Sustainability. This is a crucial role in our organisation, and I know Carrie’s expertise, as well as her ability to deliver, will have a hugely positive impact on our sustainability agenda.’

Carrie Harris, in her new role as British Airways’ head of Sustainability said, ‘We know our customers, colleagues and investors want to see sustainability at the heart of everything we do at British Airways, so this is an incredible opportunity for me to build on the great work that is already well underway.

‘As we head into 2021, we’ll be taking a fresh look at all we do to ensure sustainability is embedded in our culture, our operation and our customers’ experience; from technological solutions such as zero emissions hydrogen aircraft and sustainable aviation fuels for the medium to long-term, to operational efficiency and carbon offset and removal projects in the short-term. We’ll also be focused on improving diversity, inclusion and wellbeing within the organisation and ensuring we contribute meaningfully to the communities where we operate in the UK and around the world.’

Later this week British Airways is expected to retire the final 747 aircraft in its fleet, four years earlier than originally planned. The aircraft are being replaced by more modern models such as the A350 and 787 which are between 25 – 4o percent more fuel efficient.

British Airways launches flights and holiday packages to sun destinations for 2021

British Airways has announced the launch of its holiday programme to sun destinations for 2021.

The airline is offering flights and holiday packages at a discounted rate for travel throughout 2021 to sun destinations across its network, including the Canary Islands, the Caribbean, the Seychelles, Florida and Dubai.

Andrew Brem, British Airways’ Chief Commercial Officer, said: ‘As we edge into the winter months and Brits are asked to stay at home, we know our customers are looking forward to booking warm holidays to get away and soak up some sun. It’s been quite a year, and our very special prices reflect that. With travel dates available in 2021 we’d encourage people to make the most of these special prices and jet off on a well-deserved break.’

The holiday packages on offer include a seven-night beach break with flights and hotel starting from £219 per person (pp) to Lanzarote or Tenerife in the Canary Islands in March 2021.

Holidaymakers looking to enjoy Portuguese sun can fly to the Algarve for a seven-night stay including flights from £199pp, also for travel in March next year.

For those looking to enjoy Caribbean beaches, a seven-night hotel stay and flights are available from £599pp to Saint Lucia in June 2021. Alternatively, customers can choose a seven-night stay and flights to St Kitts from £619pp for travel in May 2021. Barbados is another destination on offer for sun-seekers with a £599pp seven-night stay and flights for travel in June 2021.

Further, the company is offering a seven-night stay (including flights and hotel) to the Seychelles in June 2021 for fares from £999pp. Alternatively, customers may holiday in Mauritius with a seven-night stay and flights from £729pp in the same month.

British Airways Holidays is also offering a three-night stay and flights from £419pp for travel on selected dates to Florida in April and May next year. And finally, customers can take World Traveller flights to Dubai for a minimum of three days from £334 return on selected dates up until June 2021.

The airline’s flexible booking policy offers no change fees, or a voucher exchange, for bookings made during the sunshine campaign. Customers can move their flights or holiday in case of any change of plans, as long as their initial travel dates are before the end of August 2021.

British Airways announces flight schedule for November

British Airways has said that it will operate 52 long haul routes alongside its short haul network this month as the airline continues to adapt to changing restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The airline will continue to operate to US gateways including New York JFK, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, with Newark added to the schedule. Flights to the Caribbean continue to destinations including Barbados, Antigua and St Lucia, and flights will operate to destinations across Africa, the Middle East and Asia such as Dubai, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Singapore. Flights to Santiago, and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, are also set to return.

Sean Doyle, CEO of British Airways, said: ‘We continue to connect Britain with a substantial number of destinations across the globe and customers tell us they are reassured by the safety measures we’ve put in place, including personal protection packs, screens, sanitiser stations, adapted meal services and customers and colleagues in masks.

‘The risk of contracting Covid-19 during a flight is incredibly low. IATA, the global aviation industry body, suggests that since the start of 2020 there have been as few as 44 cases of Covid-19 linked to flights. Over the same period some 1.2 billion passengers have travelled. This figure amounts to one case for every 27 million travellers.

‘We believe the best way to get people flying again is to introduce reliable and affordable testing before flying. When this happens and demand returns, we stand ready to reintroduce even more destinations to our network, and carry on connecting even more families, friends and businesses.’

British Airways will also continue to serve domestic destinations including Manchester, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Newquay. In continental Europe, cities like Paris, Munich, Geneva and Amsterdam, among others, will be connected to Heathrow by frequent, direct flights. There are also regular flights to beach destinations such as Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

The operation of any flight is subject to changes, international restrictions and government approval, British Airways said, adding that the airline has a range of measures to keep customers safe when they travel, both at the airport and on board.

British Airways launches luxury flights and holidays deals

British Airways (BA) has said that it has launched a range of luxury flight and holiday deals, offering discounts for travellers and available for a wide range of destinations across its network.

The airline said that Club World, its long haul business class flights to New York will start from £1,199 return, while Club Europe, BA’s short haul business class customers can choose return flights to Bologna from £147 return. Customers can also enjoy return business class flights to Rome from £165, Athens from £195, Montego Bay and Toronto from £1,299, Antigua and Barbados from £1,399.

The holiday offers include three-night getaways to Dubai from £1,325pp and seven-night trips to St Lucia from £1,479pp. For looking to experience the USA, offers include four-nights to New York from £1,299pp, five-nights in Los Angeles from £1,749pp and seven-nights in Orlando from £1,699pp. Seven-night beach breaks to Mallorca are from £349pp, whilst three-night city breaks to Rome are from £259pp, it said.

Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays, said: ‘We know that our customers need absolute reassurance and flexibility right now to enable them to plan their trips, which is why we recently launched our ‘British Airways Holidays Customer Promise’. This outlines exactly what a holiday booking with us guarantees, including the high standards we set for our hotels partners, the unrivalled flexibility we offer to customers and the high quality service we provide to them, from the point of booking to landing back home. We believe that this, combined with these great premium offers, will give customers the confidence to book that special trip and enjoy travel again, knowing that if their plans have to change, their holiday is protected.’

Further, customers looking to reduce the price of their ticket even further using Avios can avail return Club World flights to New York for £299 and 183,000 Avios, Orlando for £279 and 252,000 Avios or Antigua for £299 and 227,000 Avios. In Club Europe, return flights are available to Bologna for £73 and 15,000 Avios, Larnaca for £81 and 23,000 Avios or Athens for £85 and 23,000 Avios.

The flight and holiday offers are only on sale until November 3, 2020. Amid the continuing Covid 19 risks, British Airways and British Airways Holidays offer booking flexibility and enhanced safety measures. In case of any change of plan, customers can change their booking for free, paying any difference in price, or can choose to cancel their holiday and obtain a voucher for travel up until April 30 2022. This now applies to bookings made from March 3 2020 onwards for journeys that are due to have been completed by August 31, 2021.