American Airlines and Aer Lingus increase flights to US

American Airlines and Ireland’s Aer Lingus launch their codeshare agreement this week offering customers more choices of flights to the United States.

With a view to enhancing connectivity between the U.S and Europe, American Airlines will place its code on Aer Lingus flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and Dublin (DUB). Customers can also book codeshare flights on Aer Lingus from DUB to Amsterdam (AMS); Birmingham, UK (BHX); London Gatwick (LGW) and Manchester, UK (MAN); and from LHR to Belfast City, Northern Ireland (BHD); Cork, Ireland (ORK) and Shannon, Ireland (SNN).

‘We are excited to extend our relationship with our newest joint business partner, Aer Lingus, with this codeshare agreement,’ said Anmol Bhargava, American’s vice president of Alliances. ‘Through our trans-Atlantic joint business, customers have more choices to key destinations in Europe and now, Ireland.’

Reid Moody, Aer Lingus’ Chief Strategy and Planning Officer, said: ‘After almost two years of restricted travel we know that demand for dream vacations, business travel, and reconnecting families and friends in 2022 and beyond will be stronger than ever. We are delighted that through the codeshare agreement with American Airlines, Aer Lingus customers will be able to avail of greater connectivity options and more seamless travel between the U.S. and Europe via our Dublin hub, which also has the added benefit of US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) pre-clearance located in Dublin. Last week’s decision by the Irish Government to remove pre-departure COVID-19 test requirements for double-vaccinated passengers is more welcome news for those planning to travel. We look forward to extending our warm Aer Lingus welcome to more and more customers in the months ahead.’

Additionally, customers traveling with Aer Lingus will now be able to book codeshare travel on American Airlines flights from Chicago O’Hare (ORD) to Albuquerque, New Mexico, (ABQ); Nashville, Tennessee (BNA); Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW); Los Angeles (LAX); Seattle (SEA); San Francisco (SFO); San Jose, California (SJC) and Tucson, Arizona (TUS). Further expansion of the codeshare is also planned in the near future.

Aer Lingus joined the Atlantic Joint Business (AJB) between American, British Airways, Iberia and Finnair last year. In summer 2022, Aer Lingus will operate over 100 routes, flying to over 71 direct routes and to 62 destinations from Ireland to the UK and Europe. The airline will operate 16 transatlantic routes from Dublin and Manchester UK to North America and the Caribbean. Aer Lingus is a member of International Airlines Group (IAG), one of the world’s largest airline groups.

Virgin Atlantic launches new services to Austin, Texas from London

Virgin Atlantic is launching new direct services from London to Austin, the capital of the Lonestar state of Texas and the airline’s first new route to the US since 2015.

The four times a week service will launch on 25th May 2022 and will operate on the airline’s 787-9 aircraft boasting 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats. Flights, which will operate Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, are on sale starting Wednesday, January 12 at www.virginatlantic.com. Flight number VS232 will depart Austin at 6:05 p.m. and arrive in London at 9:00 a.m. for a next-day arrival, with return flights departing London at 11:35 a.m. and arriving in Austin at 4:05 p.m. All times are local.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic said, ‘We are incredibly excited to launch this new service to Austin, Texas. With an impressive food, arts and music scene, we know it’s a destination our customers will love to explore.

‘The US has been our heartland for more than 37 years since our first flight to New York City in 1984. Since US borders opened to UK travellers on 8 November, it feels extra special to be launching new flying, especially to the fantastic city of Austin.

‘There are so many synergies between Virgin Atlantic and the city of Austin. We love their philosophy and desire to celebrate local brands, businesses and communities and we cannot wait to welcome customers, both existing and new onboard, flying them safely to explore this fabulously quirky city.’

Jacqueline Yaft , CEO, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport commented: ‘We are thrilled to welcome Virgin Atlantic to Austin and Central Texas. This exciting new partnership helps meet our goals of continued recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and furthers our commitment to being the Gateway of Central Texas for both leisure and business travellers alike.’

Flights are on sale from Monday 10th January at www.virginatlantic.com with return Economy fares starting from £409 per person. In addition to flying customers, Virgin Atlantic will offer 20 tonnes of cargo capacity on each flight.

Virgin Atlantic has extended its policy of unlimited free date and flight changes for new bookings, giving further flexibility to customers, for travel up to December 31, 2022.

British Airways announces resumption of transatlantic flight from Gatwick to Tampa

Following the reopening of US borders for British holidaymakers, British Airways has announced the resumption of its first US transatlantic flight from Gatwick to Tampa, Florida.

The airline’s services to Tampa will operate three times a week. British Airways will also resume flights from Gatwick to holiday-hotspot Orlando on Friday November 19. This is the first time the airline has operated to these destinations, and to the US from Gatwick, since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

British Airways is planning on operating to 23 US airports this winter, more than any other transatlantic carrier, with 246 flights a week from January. Besides Tampa and Orlando from Gatwick, flights to much loved cities Nashville and New Orleans will restart in December from Heathrow.

Claire Bentley, Managing Director of British Airways Holidays, said: ‘Orlando and Tampa are among our most popular destinations, so we know how much our customers are looking forward to heading back. Florida is such a diverse state, so whether it’s a relaxing beach holiday, a theme park adventure or an epic road trip, there’s something for every type traveller. In addition, we’re offering a wide range of British Airways Holidays deals to suit every budget.’

British Airways Holidays is also offering a number of holiday and fly-drive packages to Florida, including seven nights at the 3-star Ramada by Wyndham Kissimmee Gateway, Orlando from £499pp, travelling on selected dates between January 10 – January 31, 2022 inclusive; seven nights at the 3- star Universal’s Dockside Inn and Suites, Orlando from £969pp, travelling on selected dates between January 1- February 28, 2022 inclusive; seven nights at the 4-star Holiday Inn Harbourside, Florida Beach (Tampa): from £599pp, travelling on selected dates between January 10- February 10, 2022 inclusive and seven days at Tampa, fly-drive from £699p travelling January 1- 28 February 22. Reservations can be made before December 6, at www.britishairways.com.

British Airways operated its first flight to the US when restrictions lifted on November 8 to JFK airport on the airline’s BA001 service. The airline’s A380s will operate to the US once again, with the super jumbo jet operating to Miami from Heathrow from December 5, Los Angeles from December 9 and Dallas from March 27. The airline is currently operating seven flights a day to New York, increasing to eight from mid-December.

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.

British Airways to resume service from Austin to London

British Airways is set to resume its nonstop service from Austin to London-Heathrow on October 13, as the transatlantic service will return to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport following a 17 month absence.

The resumed service is scheduled for three days a week on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Flight number BA190 will depart Austin at 8:05 p.m. and arrive in London at 10:10 a.m. the following morning. BA191 departs at 12:10 p.m. arriving in Austin at 4:45 p.m. All times are local.

‘We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our Austin flights and we are honored 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 America 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.’

‘We are thrilled to be welcoming back British Airways to Austin and celebrate the return of nonstop service to London-Heathrow,’ said Jacqueline Yaft, Chief Executive Officer for AUS. ‘The resumption of nonstop transatlantic between our two cities is great news for both business and leisure travellers alike.’

British Airways has introduced several measures at the airport and on board to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its customers and crew. These include social distancing measures, the wearing of facemasks and hand sanitizer stations. The airline is cleaning all key surfaces including seats, screens, seat buckles and tray tables after every flight, with the air fully recycled once every two to three minutes through HEPA filters.

British Airways to resume nonstop flights to London Heathrow and San Diego International Airport

British Airways has said that it will resume services between London Heathrow and San Diego International Airport on October 13.

The year-round nonstop flights will operate three times weekly on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. Flight BA272 will depart San Diego at 7 p.m. and arrive in London the next day at 1:25 p.m. Flight BA273 will depart London at 1:45 p.m. and arrive in San Diego at 4:55 p.m. All flight times are local. Tickets are available to book at britishairways.com.

‘We are beyond thrilled to hear that British Airways will resume their flights between San Diego and London in October,’ said Kimberly Becker, San Diego County Regional Airport Authority President and CEO. ‘London is the largest demand market between San Diego and Europe due to the robust business relationships between the two cities and provides San Diegans a convenient hub to connect to destinations across Europe and beyond.’

Marie Hilditch, British Airways’ Head of North America sales said: ‘We can’t wait to welcome our customers back on board our San Diego flights and we are honored to be playing our part in reuniting families and friends with their loved ones after such a long time apart.

‘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.’

The airline is the first carrier to resume nonstop service to Europe from San Diego. It is suggested that traveling passengers review the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) international travel recommendations as well as the UK Government’s health and travel requirements for the U.S.

The resumption comes after British Airways suspended the service in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. British Airways has introduced a number of measures at the airport and on board to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its customers and crew. These include social distancing measures, the wearing of face masks, and hand sanitizer stations. Prior to travel customers will also receive details on preparing for their next flight.

Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic announces return of operations to London Heathrow

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic will resume operations at London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 3 beginning on July 15.

Terminal 3 has been closed for over a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On resuming operations, Delta will offer nonstop service between Heathrow and Atlanta and New York via John F. Kennedy International Airport. However, U.S. entry restrictions for non-essential travellers from the U.K. still apply.

Currently, Virgin Atlantic destinations such as Antigua, Barbados, Grenada and Israel are all classified as ‘Green’ on the U.K. government’s travel list, and travellers will not need to quarantine upon their return to Great Britain.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer of Delta, said: ‘We’re delighted to finally be back on our home turf and I know our teams can’t wait to warmly welcome our customers to Terminal 3, as they return to the skies in style, as they fly safe and well with Virgin Atlantic.

‘Whilst it’s a constructive step that many of our customers can imminently enjoy our much-loved facilities, the Government still needs to recognize the US as a ‘Green’ destination. Whilst travel between the UK and US is closed, £23 million in economic value each day is restricted. We urge the UK Government to move the US to the UK’s ‘Green list’ and for the Biden administration to repeal the 212F proclamation for UK travellers.’

‘Moving back to our home in Terminal 3 will allow our customers to once again enjoy the award-winning experience they have missed during the pandemic,’ Nadia Clinton, Delta’s Regional Sales Manager, said in a statement. ‘Our modelling studies conducted with Mayo Clinic put the risk of transmission on a plane traveling between the U.K. and U.S. at 1 in 1 million meaning customers can travel safely. Coupled with the high vaccination rates in both countries, we implore the U.K. Government and Biden Administration to allow non-essential travel to resume.’

With the return of Delta and Virgin Atlantic to London Heathrow, Clubhouse, Revivals lounge and Upper Class Wing will reopen, offering complimentary a la carte menus including five-star dining, smaller tapas dishes, meats and cheeses from the deli and afternoon tea.

Virgin Atlantic announces flight services to Pakistan from London Heathrow and Manchester

Virgin Atlantic has said that it is launching flights to Pakistan from London Heathrow and Manchester.

Subject to applicable regulatory approvals, the UK airline will fly three new routes from London Heathrow to Lahore, London Heathrow to Islamabad, as well as from Manchester to Islamabad. The new services will operate on one of Virgin Atlantic’s newest, most fuel efficient aircraft, the 787-9, boasting 31 Upper Class suites, 35 Premium and 192 Economy seats. The flights are on sale now with return Economy fares starting from £504 per person, Premium from £756 and Upper Class from £1,986.

The new services include Manchester to Islamabad operated four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday) starting on December 10 2020, with return economy fares starting from £562 per person, Premium from £779, and Upper Class from £2,051; London Heathrow to Lahore, operated four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday) starting on December 13 2020, with return economy fares start from £519 per person, Premium from £756 and Upper Class from £1,986; and London Heathrow to Islamabad, operated three times a week (Mon, Wed, Sat) starting on December 12, 2020, with return economy fares start from £504 per person, Premium from £756 and Upper Class from £1,986.

These new services will open up over 290,000 seats between the UK and Pakistan annually while also offering connections for customers travelling from destinations throughout North America, including New York JFK, Los Angeles, Washington, Boston and San Francisco via London Heathrow onwards to Pakistan. Connections from European destinations will also be available through code-share and interline partners.

Delta to restart London Heathrow passenger services from Detroit

Delta has recently announced plans to restart its passenger services from the United States to U.K as demand for air cargo is driving demand for passenger travel.

Beginning May 21, 2020, flights will operate three times weekly between Detroit and London. The flights will also be available for customer travel.

‘Keeping global supply chains open is more important now than ever and these new services will enable suppliers to meet the needs of their customers,’ said Shawn Cole, Vice President – Delta Cargo. ‘We’re receiving daily requests for shipments of medical supplies as well as goods that keep businesses in operation. By also opening these services to passengers, we can facilitate essential travel between the U.K., Europe and United States.’

With the COVID-19 pandemic still underway, Delta has implemented several measures to keep its customers safer on board and in airports. These include: sanitizing the aircraft before every flight; using advanced air circulation systems with HEPA filters that help extract viruses; capping capacity throughout the aircraft to ensure onboard customer spacing; adjusting the boarding process to encourage more space for safer travel by boarding all flights from back-to-front; providing supplies directly to customers when available, including hand sanitizers; and requiring employees and customers to wear a face mask or appropriate covering when travelling.

‘The safety of our customers is always our number one priority, and their wellbeing is the reason we have implemented these wide-ranging measures,’ said Roberto Ioriatti, Vice President – Transatlantic. ‘The advent of COVID-19 is changing the way we fly and that’s why our focus on cleanliness will remain in place always. We hope that these efforts will give our customers greater peace of mind when they step on board.’

Cargo will be transported between Chicago and London, via Detroit, increasing the shipping opportunities for cargo customers. The Heathrow service will be operated using a Boeing 767-300 with 26 tons of cargo capacity.

The flight will depart London Heathrow at 1255 on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, arriving into Detroit at 1630. On return, the flight will depart Detroit at 1800 on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving into London Heathrow at 0855 the following day. The flights will operate to and from Heathrow Terminal 2, as Terminal 3 is currently closed. There are limited retail outlets open at both airports and all lounges are currently closed.

United Airlines to start year-round Dublin-San Francisco service

United Airlines has announced that it will start operating a new, year-round, daily nonstop service between Dublin Airport and its hub at San Francisco from next summer.

The new daily service will depart Dublin at 11.50 arriving in San Francisco at 14.20. The return flight will depart San Francisco at 15.55 and arrive in Dublin Airport at 9.45 the following day. The airline will operate its new route with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, starting June 6, 2020.

Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said, ‘United is a valued customer serving Dublin Airport for more than two decades and we are particularly delighted to see it adding a fourth destination to its route network next summer.’

‘San Francisco is the global tech centre of the world and many of the companies based there have offices in Ireland. This new route will further grow tourism and trade between Ireland and the US and provide greater choice and flexibility for both business and leisure passengers. We will work closely with United’s management team to ensure this new service is a success in both directions.’

‘Dublin and Silicon Valley are two regions synonymous with big tech,’ said United’s Vice President of International Network Patrick Quayle. ‘Many global tech companies have a major footprint in both regions, and they need a carrier with an extensive worldwide network to help conveniently connect their business. As the only US airline to serve Ireland from the West Coast, United is uniquely suited to provide the connectivity these companies and economies need to continue thriving.’

From Dublin, United Airlines also operates services to Chicago, Newark, and Washington D.C. Currently, Dublin Airport has flights to 190 destinations in 42 countries operated by 50 airlines.