British Airways announces their third A380 destination — Johannesburg as of February 12, 2014

Put down your scones, clotted cream, and crumpets, it’s time for an announcement from everyone’s favo(u)rite airline….

Back in March, British Airways announced their two inaugural A380 destinations, which are Los Angeles and Hong Kong starting in October and November of this year, respectively.

Well, they’ve just announced their third A380 destination, which will be Johannesburg. Per, the service will operate three times per week as of February 12, 2014, and six times per week as of March 10, 2014.

It will operate the following service:

BA55 London to Johannesburg departing 6:00PM arriving 6:55AM (+1 day)
BA56 Johannesburg to London departing 8:15PM arriving 5:15AM (+1 day)

As of February 12, 2014, the A380 will operate BA55 Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, and it will operate BA56 Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Then starting March 10, 2014, it will operate BA55 every day except Tuesdays and BA56 every day except Wednesdays.

Anyway, if you want to use OneWorld miles to get to South Africa, flying British Airways is one of the few ways to get there, though the fuel surcharges make it somewhat prohibitively expensive if originating in the US. For that matter, they also don’t release much award space on the route, so it may be a moot point anyway.

I’m hardly surprised by this announcement given that their two European competitors — Air France and Lufthansa — also fly A380s to Johannesburg. At the same time I can’t help but think the plane could be utilized better elsewhere, given that it sounds on the ground in Johannesburg for over 13 hours.

Filed Under: British Airways
  1. Why not do a daytime flight down and nighttime flight back; that way they can use the same plane. UA does the same on their flight IAH to EZE where the plane just sits there.

  2. All A380’s (and mosts flights) to JNB sit there the whole day (LH/AF) KL does a direct return (& has 2 flights per day).
    It’s a high airport.

  3. My LAX-JNB tickets on BA (with a stopover in LHR) was $3200 in taxes and fees for 2 F tickets on miles. About $2200 of that was YQ.

    They charge max YQ on each of the 4 segments – LAX-LHR, LHR-JNB, JNB-LHR, LHR-LAX.

    It has a lot of paid F, I’m sure that’s why they are using it on that route.

  4. I guess CPT isn’t set up for 380’s otherwise it would make sense to do a turn there in the daytime, like TK does? Finding domestic award space in SA can be tough.

  5. @lucky – is it possible that BA and AA charge different taxes / fees / surcharges for the same redemption on BA metal. AA is charging me more than double the money ($650 vs $300, though obviously less miles on AA 90K vs 135K). This is for a India – US one way in F.

  6. AFAIK, AF and LH use the waiting time in JNB for deep-cleaning and thorough checking of their aircrafts, as it’s way cheaper than in their home bases…

  7. @beachfan: Congrats on pulling that off! I had planned on using a Chase 2-4-1 for that exact trip. Had so much trouble finding any availability that I wrote software to scrape regularly and despite being completely flexible over the entire calendar I simply couldn’t put together a roundtrip. Been running for over 5 months now and quite a few days LAX-LHR had ZERO days with 2xF seats on the ENTIRE calendar!

    Anyway, back on topic: Glad to see them bringing new longhaul online, so insane that they haven’t managed to complete the “new” First fitting still 🙂

  8. @ SK — If you don’t mind me asking, what city pair are you looking at? Just priced out a BA F itinerary through both AA and BA, and taxes were within a few dollars of each other.

  9. @lucky – strange, looking at BOM-JFK. What are you getting the taxes as – closer to $300 or to $600 ?

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