British Airways commences new service to Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen from Heathrow

British Airways has announced the launch of its new service between London Heathrow and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen

Located on the Anatolian side of the city, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) is the gateway into Istanbul’s rich history, culture, shopping and dining.

The new route between London Heathrow (LHR) and Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen (SAW) will operate four times per week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays on a mix of A320 and A321 aircraft. Return fares start from £368 in Club Europe (British Airways’ business class cabin) and £130 in Euro Traveller (economy).

British Airways’ Head of Corporate Sales in Europe, Elisabeth Ruff, said: ‘As we continue our investment programme into new products, services, and technology, we’re excited to open up even greater connectivity between two of the world’s leading cities, Istanbul and London.’

Berk Albayrak, CEO, Sabiha Gokcen Airport, said: ‘British Airways has become the 45th airline to operate to Sabiha Gokcen and now our passengers can benefit from its extensive global route network. British Airways serves 200 destinations in more than 65 countries and with their large fleet and renowned services, the addition of this route will undoubtedly further enhance the travel experience of our guests.’

Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen has become the latest destination to join British Airways’ network, with the inaugural flight landing on Thursday June 1, 2023. Sabiha Gokcen serves 154 destinations located across 51 countries via flights operated by 45 airlines.

UK holidaymakers opt for staycations and pub visits this summer

With costs rising on foreign holidays and high temperatures this summer, Brits are looking to holiday closer to home and enjoy the Great British Pub as part of their staycation this summer.

As almost 50% of international tourists choose to visit a pub on their trips to the UK, pubs are showcasing their international draw to UK holidaymakers with diverse food menus, newly renovated accommodation and great British hospitality. The call from pubs comes as data shows that the average cost of a family holiday abroad has rocketed over the past few months, with everything from car hire to accommodation rising in price.

Even before the pandemic struck, pubs across the UK were a hugely popular destination of choice for UK holiday makers. In 2019 Brits took 1.7bn day visits, 50 million of which were to a pub, generating £2billion for the economy each year.

Kevin Georgel, Chief Executive of St Austell Brewery, which owns over 170 pubs across the Westcountry, said: ‘People can see the pub as a place for a pint and nothing else, but that couldn’t be further from reality. We’re really proud to serve our beers in our pubs, but we’re also proud to offer menus teeming with locally sourced ingredients and classic Westcountry fare, in stunning locations that need to be seen to be believed.

‘Over the past two years, we’ve really invested in our accommodation for overnight guests too. If people are travelling a few hours, by car or train, we want to make it easy and enjoyable for them to make the most of their staycation and give them a memorable experience. There are so many elements which make Great British Pubs the perfect boltholes for relaxing and exploring new areas across the UK.’

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: ‘We’re all feeling the pinch at the moment with rising costs all around us, but us Brits don’t need to spend money on travelling far, because we are lucky to have a world-renowned cultural institution on our doorstep.

‘We’re encouraging people to get out and explore the UK, and head for pubs not only for a pint but to eat and stay as well. And if you need some inspiration on where to go stayinapub.co.uk showcases pubs with accommodation in beauty spots across the country, from the highlands to the Cornish coast.’

British Airways to offer Aviation American Gin onboard

British Airways and Aviation American Gin have announced a new partnership with the Aviation American Gin launching on board.

The announcement comes as British Airways is set to launch a new route to Portland, Oregon on June 3. Flights will operate five times a week – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. This route will also open up a whole variety of connections for holidaymakers to explore the West coast of America.

Customers flying across the pond and all other long-haul routes will be offered the tipple from the in-flight menu, while short-haul customers will be able to buy it from the on-board Speedbird cafe. The partnership builds on the opening of a brand-new area – the Aviation Gin bar in the airline’s Club Lounge in JFK airport in October 2021.

Founded in Portland in 2006, Aviation American Gin is infused with a blend of botanicals – cardamom, coriander, French lavender, anise seed, sarsaparilla, juniper, and two kinds of orange peel to create a refined gin.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience said: ‘Offering our customers a premium experience throughout their journey is important to us. Partnering with Aviation American Gin is another great addition to our on-board service.’

‘We hope our customers join us in celebrating, with a refreshing gin and tonic,’ Gareth Williams, International Brand Director at Aviation American Gin said: ‘We’re so excited to get on board with the UK flag carrier British Airways and take Aviation American Gin to new heights – the sky! Through this partnership, we’re keen to enhance each traveller’s experience with a deliciously refreshing Aviation Gin cocktail for flyers to enjoy on journeys near and far, offering an American twist on this quintessentially British drink!’

Aviation American Gin is also available from British Airways’ US and UK lounges and to purchase from the in-flight shop High Life. 50ml Aviation American Gin is available from the Speedbird cafe priced at £6.

British Airways announces new daytime flight from Newark to London Heathrow

British Airways has announced the launch of a new, daytime flight from Newark Liberty International Airport to London Heathrow – its third daily flight from Newark to London as business travel returns in 2022.

The additional flight, which launches on June 6, will depart at 7.55am from Newark – allowing travellers to spend an extra night in the New York area before departing on business or leisure, or to arrive in the evening in London to spend the night at home or their hotel. The flight will depart Heathrow at 7.10pm, also allowing travellers to spend the entire day in London before flying to Newark.

The airline is also resuming its ‘daylight’ service from JFK in March – a convenient option particularly for business travellers, and customers who prefer to travel during the day. The additional Newark flight offers added convenience for customers living in Manhattan, Staten Island and New Jersey. The flight will operate daily on a Boeing 777-200 with 48 Club World seats, 40 World Traveller Plus seats, and 184 World Traveller seats.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances said: ‘We are pleased to be launching our third daily flight from Newark, to further strengthen our New York – London schedule. The convenient morning departure is popular with customers who might prefer having an extra night in New York or arriving in London in the evening to start their following day more refreshed.

‘Including American Airlines, we offer the largest and most convenient schedules from the New York area to London and are the only airline or alliance that offers service to and from both major New York and London airports. As we continue to co-locate our New York and London operations with American Airlines, we will provide a more seamless journey for our customers allowing them to access our combined 15 daily departures’

From April 2022, all flights to JFK and EWR from Heathrow on BA and AA will depart out of BA’s Terminal 5, and by next year, all British Airways flights in JFK will depart from AA’s home in Terminal 8.

The new daytime flight is on sale with return fares starting from $690 in World Traveller and $3,195 in Club World. The fares include taxes, fees and carrier charges.

British Airways announces new route from Heathrow to Nuremberg

British Airways has said that it will be introducing a new destination to its Heathrow short-haul network, Nuremberg, Bavaria’s second largest city after Munich.

The airline plans to initially operate four flights per week on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays starting on the March 27, 2022, and then intends to increase the schedule to six per week starting from May 1, 2022 and four times a week in winter, from October 30, 2022 to March 25, 2023. Flights will be operating from London Heathrow Terminal 3.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances, said: ‘After over 20 months of travel restrictions we know our customers are looking for new and exciting places to visit, so the addition of this route to our short-haul network ahead of the summer season is perfect timing for anyone who would like to plan their trips for the year ahead.

‘Nuremburg offers something for everyone, ranging from sightseeing in the sunshine to exploring the German markets at Christmas, so we hope our customers take full advantage of this new destination to our network.’

British Airways’ return flights to Nuremberg will start from £69 in Euro Traveller and £202 in Club Europe. Or customers can use Avios as part payment, £59 plus 1,000 Avios or £72 plus 24,500 Avios in Euro Traveller and Club Europe respectively.

Customers travelling in the airline’s Euro Traveller (economy) cabin can pre-purchase items from the Speedbird Cafe, in advance of travel, or can order additional snacks and drinks on board the flight directly to their seat using their mobile device. Customers travelling in Club Europe (business class) have access to priority check in, lounges and restaurant style complimentary dining, including items from the airline’s ‘Best of British’ menus.

Last month, British Airways CityFlyer also announced new short-haul routes from London City to Luxembourg, Barcelona, Guernsey, Jersey, Milan and Thessaloniki operating from March 2022.

The airline has also relaunched new gateways to the US, through the Atlantic Joint Business, such as London to Portland and Barcelona to Los Angeles as well as the addition of the islands of Sao Miguel and Terceira to British Airways’ Heathrow short-haul network launching this summer.

British Airways City Flyer offers new European routes for summer 2022

British Airways is launching four new routes across Europe for the coming summer season.

Operating from London City Airport, customers can now book to fly to Barcelona, Luxembourg, Milan and Thessaloniki – adding to BA CityFlyer’s network. Flights to all destinations will operate on BA CityFlyer’s Embraer E190 aircraft. Luxembourg and Milan will operate from March 27, every day of the week. On 18 June, Thessaloniki will launch, operating once a week on Saturday, while on 19 June, Barcelona will operate six times a week – every day apart from Saturday.

A limited number of tickets start from the below fares, based on a return ticket in Euro Traveller to Barcelona with fares from £82; to Luxembourg from £82; to Milan from £104 and to Thessaloniki from £126. Routes to Jersey and Guernsey are also returning following their launch in Summer 2021. Flights will operate on Monday and Friday from June 20 to September 2.

Tom Stoddart, Managing Director of BA CityFlyer, which will operate the new services, said: ‘As customers start to plan their next summer getaway, we wanted to offer new routes to some of the most popular European destinations. Conveniently accessible from London City airport, they are a great addition to our extensive network.’

British Airways has introduced a flexible booking policy allowing customers to exchange their booking for a voucher or move their dates without incurring a change fee if their plans change. British Airways Holidays’ customers also have access to a range of additional flexible booking options, as part of the company’s Customer Promise, including securing a holiday with a deposit from £60pp.

British Airways restarts Baltimore/Washington service

British Airways has said that it has resumed its nonstop service between Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and London Heathrow on Friday, November 19.

The transatlantic service was suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘The return of this premier international service from British Airways is great news for our travellers,’ said Ricky Smith, Executive Director of BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. ‘This route will benefit our business and leisure passengers, and help support our continued recovery.’

British Airways will operate its BWI Marshall Airport service on its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, which accommodates 214 passengers in a three-class configuration. After a 20-month interruption, the airline will initially restart its BWI Marshall service three days per week, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. British Airways will add a fourth weekly flight starting in December, to operate on Thursdays.

‘We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our Baltimore flights, and we are honoured to be playing our part in reuniting families and friends with their loved ones after such a long time apart,’ said Marie Hilditch, British Airways’ Head of North American Sales. ‘The safety of our customers and colleagues has always been at the heart of everything we do. We know some customers won’t have flown for a long time, we can assure them we have a range of Covid-19 measures in place to provide stress and hassle-free travel.’

‘British Airways has been a terrific partner and a valued member of BWI Marshall’s portfolio of carriers,’ said Maryland Transportation Secretary Greg Slater. ‘Their return is another step in the airport’s steady recovery from the impact of the pandemic, and comes at the perfect time to accommodate the increased demand we are expecting over the holidays.’

Focused on safe and healthy travel, BWI Marshall Airport is reminding customers that federal regulations continue to require masks or face coverings in the airport terminal and on commercial flights. While passenger traffic remains below 2019 levels, BWI Marshall Airport remains the busiest airport in the region. About 95 percent of airport food and retail concessions are now open at BWI Marshall.

British Airways announces biggest schedule of flights since March 2020

British Airways has announced the launch of its biggest schedule since March 2020, with additional services to cities across the globe.

The airline has also announced the return of its first A380 aircraft in November. British Airways’ A380 will initially operate to a number of short-haul destinations in November, shortly followed by operating to Miami and Los Angeles in the US, as well as Dubai in December.

Across its US network, British Airways will be increasing the number of flights it operates with services to city destinations including New York, which will initially be increasing to five a day, followed by eight in December. The airline will also be operating double-daily services to Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, Dallas, Miami and Toronto, as well as daily services to Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle, Atlanta, Denver, Houston and Vancouver

In addition to frequency increases, in October and November British Airways will restart services to Austin, Orlando, Tampa, San Diego, Las Vegas and Baltimore. In December the airline will also start flying to Nashville and New Orleans once again, which both proved popular when they first launched. The airline is set to fly to 23 US airports this winter with up to 246 flights a week, more than any other transatlantic carrier.

British Airways has increased flights to a number of short-haul destinations by adding 13,000 more seats to holiday hot spots this October, including to Marrakech, Dalaman and to the Turkish resort of Antalya. British Airways will be restarting a number of ski destinations including Innsbruck, Grenoble and Salzburg from December.

For Christmas break, British Airways is extending its Caribbean programme with 12 services a week to Barbados and nine each to Antigua and St Lucia, which will be split across Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Flights to popular luxury Indian Ocean destinations, Maldives and Mauritius, will also be increasing to 10 and six per week over the Christmas period.

Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said: ‘This is an exciting time for British Airways and our customers as we see borders re-opening. With welcome news from the US, we are dramatically increasing flights and bringing home some of our A380s to give our customers as many options as possible. Elsewhere across our network we are also adding additional services to destinations all over the world, to ensure our customers can take advantage of a much-needed holiday.’

Across its short-haul network, British Airways will also be increasing flights year-round to key European cities with 48 weekly services to Amsterdam, 33 to Geneva, 35 to Dublin, 28 to Milan and 21 to Berlin, Paris and Rome.

British Airways’ subsidiary BA City Flyer, is expected to operate a schedule of 43 flights a week to Edinburgh, 33 to Dublin, 25 to Glasgow, 18 to Belfast, 16 to Amsterdam, 15 to Rotterdam, 15 to Berlin, 12 to Frankfurt, 12 to Dusseldorf and 11 to Zurich. The airline is also set to launch a new route from Belfast to Birmingham, as well as new ski destination Salzburg, from London City and Southampton.

Virgin Atlantic announces new route from Manchester to Montego Bay

Virgin Atlantic has announced new services from Manchester to Montego Bay in Jamaica, and will also increase the frequency of its flights from Manchester to Barbados.

The UK airline has resumed flying from Manchester on August 7 with flights to Barbados, and as travel restrictions begin to relax, will be restarting services to Orlando, Atlanta, New York and Islamabad over the coming months. The new Caribbean services to Montego Bay and Barbados will serve increasing demand from consumers in the northwest for a relaxing holiday to a sunny destination.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented, ‘We’re thrilled to announce that we have added Jamaica to our portfolio of destinations flying from Manchester, our home in the north, along with increasing frequency to Barbados.

‘We are seeing a real demand from our customers in the northwest for luxury holidays in the sun as they are keen to escape on their next adventure after a challenging year. Both Jamaica and Barbados offer the ultimate getaway for those looking to enjoy island life, from hiking incredible waterfalls, surfing at white sand beaches, exploring distinct local caves, to swimming with sea turtles, the tropical island’s offer something for everyone.

‘We look forward to welcoming customers heading off on holiday or travelling to visit their loved ones back onboard.’

Virgin Atlantic will launch thrice-weekly seasonal winter services from Manchester Airport commencing on November 6 on the airline’s Airbus A330-300 aircraft with 31 Upper Class, 48 Premium and 185 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats. Services will go on sale from August 18, 2021 with return Economy flights starting from £428 per person.

Karen Smart, Managing Director at Manchester Airport, said, ‘It’s wonderful to see Virgin Atlantic further increase its flying programme from Manchester Airport this winter, making a further commitment to the North. We look forward to supporting Virgin Atlantic with launching these new flights this winter, knowing Jamaica and Barbados are popular destinations for our customers.’

Further to the launch of its Manchester service to Jamaica, from November 20, Virgin Atlantic will be increasing its Heathrow services to Jamaica, from three flights up to daily as well as increasing flying from Heathrow to Barbados, from daily flights to 11 times a week.

Virgin Atlantic earlier launched new flights from Edinburgh with flights to Barbados and Orlando. Additional new services include a new winter seasonal service from London Heathrow to St Lucia as well as new services to the Bahamas launching on November 20, and the first direct service from Europe to St Vincent and the Grenadines in October 2021.

British Airways to fly The British And Irish Lions to South Africa this summer

British Airways has said that it will fly the 37-strong British & Irish Lions squad to South Africa on June 27 for the much awaited Lions Tour.

The Lions’ tour in Johannesburg will see the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales embarking on an eight-game Tour of South Africa, including three Tests against World Champions, the Springboks.

Both The British & Irish Lions and Springboks will be carried across the country to matches by British Airways’ franchise partner, Comair.

The team will be heading directly to Johannesburg on a charter flight from Edinburgh, following The Vodafone Lions 1888 Cup clash against Japan at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday 26 June at 3pm.

Sean Doyle, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO, said: ‘We are honoured to be flying The British & Irish Lions to South Africa ahead of their tour. After a difficult year, we look forward to uniting the nation through sport and cheering them on. From everyone at British Airways, we wish them the best of luck and hope to carry them home as champions.’

Ben Calveley, Managing Director for The British & Irish Lions, said: ‘We are delighted to be flying with British Airways for the 2021 Castle Lager Lions Series. We know the squad and management will receive a warm welcome from British Airways staff and enjoy a safe, comfortable journey to South Africa, landing in Johannesburg ready to take on the world champions.’

British Airways is reinforcing its commitment to sport as the airline is currently the Principal Partner to Twickenham Stadium, Official Airline Partner to England Rugby and has been the Official Airline Partner to Team GB and Paralympics GB since 2008.

The British & Irish Lions have toured South Africa on 13 previous occasions, since the first Tour in 1891.