Yes, I know we’re heading to the end of 2017, and winter is out there being pretty damn cold and boring. Well, British Airways has announced its plans for serving the UK regions for 2018!
The airline will be serving destinations from three regional airports – namely, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham.
(and yes, as I’m often fond of saying, there is life in the regions beyond London – trust me!)
The destination list has changed from last year, and you’re advised to check the timings on them These routes run between Thursday and Sunday normally, and on very specific frequencies. Most routes run a there-and-back routing, with some routes gaining increases in frequency.
The grand list of routes include:
- London City Airport (well, the plane operating these weekend routes has to come in from somewhere…)
The routes will operate between May and September. You’ll need to check BA.com to identify what’s running when.
Services will be operated by BA CityFlyer Embraer E-190 aircraft. These offer a 2-2 seating formation aboard them, with a two-class service being offered (Club Europe and Eurotraveller).
Have a look at my reviews of them if you haven’t been on an Embraer E-Jet before (and I’m sure a lot of my readers would agree that an E-Jet is better than a CRJ on a lot of legs).
The main difference between Club Europe and EuroTraveller however are very minimal (depending on the fare). As Club Europe will utilise the 2-2 seating (as it does on all CityFlyer routes), the main benefits are :
- Lounge Access (if offered by the airport)
- On-Board Meal (rather than going to the Buy-on-Board)
- Luggage (if you’ve selected a Hand Baggage Only fare).
Luke Hayhoe, British Airways’ general manager customer and commercial on the launch states:
“Following the successful launch of our regional flying this year we are delighted to resume flights from these three important UK airports next summer. We have looked at what our customers want and have altered our schedule to provide improved departure times and the extra flights and capacity on the most popular routes.”
Lead-in prices start to Palma start at £46 from Manchester and Birmingham, and £50 Bristol each way on a Hand Baggage Only fare.
It’s good to see British Airways return to the regions – but again – these routes are more about utilising the aircraft during the weekend (when they are traditionally doing charter work or sitting idle), rather than a grand re-entry into serving the regions to other destinations.
It has long ago ceded that ground to low-cost carriers and regional carriers.
Still, for those who want to top up redeem Avios, or pick up some Tier points from their local airport (without wandering down to London)… as well as those considering holidays – this offers a reasonable set of options.
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