British Airways Reveals More A350 Routes

Filed Under: British Airways

A couple of months ago British Airways revealed the Club Suite, which is the name of their new business class product. This product caught almost all of us off guard, as British Airways is going from offering a pretty lousy business class seat, to offering what looks like an excellent product.

The catch is that the rollout of this seat will be fairly slow. While most long haul planes should feature these seats within several years, in the meantime the A350 is the only plane that will guarantee these seats, since the A350-1000 is being delivered with this new business class seat.

British Airways’ planned A350 routes

At the same time that British Airways announced the new Club Suite, they also revealed the initial plans for the A350.

First British Airways will fly the A350 between London and Madrid for several months starting July 1, 2019. This is to familiarize crews with the plane and seats, and to work out any kinks before the plane starts long haul service.

After that, Toronto and Dubai will be the first cities to get the A350.

As of October 1, 2019, British Airways will operate the A350 on the following frequency between London and Toronto:

BA93 London to Toronto departing 1:05PM arriving 3:55PM
BA92 Toronto to London departing 6:30PM arriving 6:40AM (+1 day)

Then as of October 8, 2019, British Airways will operate the A350 on the following frequency between London and Dubai:

BA107 London to Dubai departing 12:45PM arriving 11:00PM
BA106 Dubai to London departing 1:30AM arriving 6:15AM

Well, now British Airways has announced a further two routes to be operated by the A350.

British Airways A350 will fly to Bangalore & Tel Aviv

In addition to Toronto and Dubai, British Airways has now revealed the next two A350 routes.

British Airways will fly the A350 between London and Tel Aviv as of December 1, 2019, with the following schedule:

BA163 London to Tel Aviv departing 8:55PM arriving 3:40AM (+1 day)
BA162 Tel Aviv to London departing 6:15AM arriving 9:40AM

Next, British Airways will fly the A350 between London and Bangalore as of January 1, 2020. The schedule for that flight is as follows:

BA119 London to Bangalore departing 1:45PM arriving 5:00AM (+1 day)
BA118 Bangalore to London departing 7:00AM arriving 12:40PM

Bottom line

We can expect that Toronto, Dubai, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore, will be the first four long haul destinations to be operated by the A350-1000. That’s because British Airways will only have four A350s by the end of 2019, and those routes use up all of those “frames.”

With a bit more efficiency they might be able to squeeze in one more short route, but I doubt that will happen.

On top of that we can expect that by the end of 2019 British Airways will also have two 777-300ERs in a new configuration, and we don’t yet know which routes those will be on.

What do you make of the first routes that British Airways chose for their A350s?

Comments

  1. Tel Aviv has surely been chosen for the new BA seat to compete with VS flying the route now.

  2. Is there already more information on which flight to Madrid the A350 will be? I made a speculative booking on the current 777 for July 1 and I hope it will be the A350.

  3. I hope the economy seat has more support and comfort in the a350. They are almost crisp thin now the seats, even if slightly more legroom, it isn’t much use if your back is in agony.

    It is true that economy has got worse, while premium cabins have improved.

  4. I wounder if the refurbished 777300s will keep their first class or if they will eliminate first on these planes as the business class seat count will inevitably go down with the new seat ?

  5. Bangalore?! For goodness sake… Could have picked any other US route or Far East route.

  6. @Aaron

    A number of US routes have F cabins and BA won’t want to lose those passengers.

    VS is putting it’s new A350’s on LHR-JFK so may get some traffic from BA.

    @Ryan – no guarantee as it depends on the delivery of the planes to BA and then the putting it in the rotation.

  7. @Luk,

    They will reduce the amount of F seats I believe to 8 seats, like the 787, but will keep First Class on the 777s. The design will take a cue from the 787 seats.

  8. @ Lucky
    “The catch is that the rollout of this seat will be fairly slow.”

    Really? I haven’t seen a final timeline confirmed, only Alex Cruz’s interview in which he said the main reason they chose this seat was that it guaranteed the fastest-possible roll-out.

    So I’m intrigued to know what the roll-out speed is, and how that compares to, say, UA’s Polaris or Qatar’s Qsuite or Delta’s One, or anyone else, really?

    And what do you think would be a reasonable timescale, as you think the BA timescale (whatever that is) is “slow”?

  9. Always wondered why so many European airlines pick ~3 a.m. as their arrival time into Tel Aviv. Swiss, BA and others… what’s restricting them from doing daytime flights?

  10. @Paul

    the rollout will be as quick as it can be but apparently the real limiting factor is that the manufacturers can only complete 3 seats a day* so approx 90 seats per month (assuming 7 day a week working).

    One A350 has 56 CW seats so it takes approx 5 weeks production to complete two planes. I make that 20 planes a year max

    * I can’t remember if Lucky has covered that aspect but a couple of other travel writes have

  11. Seriously no LAX? Come on BA — there is way too much good competing product already out there — you can’t expect loyal customers to put up with the current CW for that much longer??!

  12. Tel Aviv actually makes sense but Bangalore? 56 Club Suites from 48 Club World which I didn’t think carried such heavy loads? What an upgrade! To be quite honest I was expecting Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, DC, or Kuwait as premium-heavy desinations as they carry their most important flyers.. Bangalore definitely never crossed my mind

  13. Bangalore does make sense as it is considered silicon valley of east and most of the IT firms are either in Hyderabad and Banglore while not many airlines have direct flights to those cities
    Mumbai or any other US, Asian routes have first class which they dont want to remove and get more money out of existing first class
    And believe me Banglore route never goes empty in business class

  14. Thanks, ChrisC. Very interesting.

    Let’s see what Lucky thinks is an appropriate speed – or how it compares to others who are, presumably, faster.

  15. I’m a BA frequent flyer and it just annoys me that they haven’t put the Club Suite onto the routes I fly most often. I occasionally have to go to Toronto but normally I go to other places as well and don’t fly there from London.

    And they are rolling out the Club Suite in a relatively short time, it’s less than many other airlines but it could be bigger. But given the constrains British Airways is under I would cut them slack.

  16. @Ray

    The premium destinations you are mentioning actually have First Class demand, so they are a step above BLR, which has fine CW demand but not really FC demand.

  17. I agree with MS’s comment on Bangalore. People have a tendency to stereotype an Indian city as third world economy-heavy traffic. I don’t know what made them choose an Indian city but beyond that, Bangalore is the only city that makes 100% sense.

    Literally all the top IT management whether based in LHR or BLR will fly business. It was operated by a 747-400 before with low yield in F so they are now getting rid of it. They had monopoly on that route until…until AI recently started a BLR-LHR flight which (through insider info) has the youngest traffic on all AI long haul flights. BA has a good chance of maintaining their current monopoly by upgrading their product and not let young leisure flyers switch over to AI’s 787 Y product (less worse out of AI’s 777 and 787 products).

    It’s an extraordinarily palpable decision..

  18. To all those people surprised at Bangalore, let me tell you BA have themselves once claimed that India is one of their highest revenue centre like the US and China . Plus the growing competition with ME3 has led to BA up gauging BLR.
    I hope BOM/ DEL gets club suite 77W too

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