British Airways Launching Cincinnati Flights In 2023

British Airways Launching Cincinnati Flights In 2023

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British Airways has just revealed its newest transatlantic route, and it’s an interesting one.

British Airways adds London to Cincinnati route

As of June 5, 2023, British Airways will be launching a new flight between London Heathrow (LHR) and Cincinnati (CVG). The flight will operate with the following schedule:

BA121 London to Cincinnati departing 4:05PM arriving 7:45PM
BA120 Cincinnati to London departing 9:30PM arriving 10:15AM (+1 day)

The service will operate year-round, 5x weekly in the summer season, and 4x weekly in the winter season. The 3,963-mile flight is blocked at 8hr40min westbound and 7hr45min eastbound.

British Airways will launch flights to Cincinnati

British Airways will use the Boeing 787-8 for its new Cincinnati service, which is the carrier’s smallest long haul aircraft. The aircraft features a total of 214 seats spread across three classes of service, including 35 business class seats, 25 premium economy seats, and 154 economy seats. Unfortunately no 787-8s feature British Airways’ new Club Suites.

British Airways Club World on the Boeing 787

This will be British Airways’ 27th US destination served directly from London, as the airline operates a total of 300 transatlantic flights per week from there. When it launches, this will be the only nonstop flight from the United Kingdom to Ohio, Kentucky, or Indiana. Interestingly in late 2021 there were rumors that British Airways would launch a route to Indianapolis, based on filings with Heathrow Airport. That never materialized, though.

Here’s how Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances, describes this new route:

“This is the first time we’ve flown this route, and we can’t wait to connect two cities which both have so much to offer. Not only will this open up these destinations to customers on each side of the Atlantic, but it will also improve connectivity between the Cincinnati region, Europe and beyond, with opportunities to connect to our wider network via London.”

My take on British Airways adding Cincinnati flights

It’s always awesome to see secondary airports get more long haul routes, as there’s a huge value-add for passengers. This will be Cincinnati’s second transatlantic route, as Delta also operates service from there to Paris (CDG). Furthermore, over a decade ago, Delta operated a route between Cincinnati and London, but that route hasn’t been operated since.

At the end of the day these routes make sense on a couple of levels:

  • American Airlines and British Airways have a transatlantic joint venture, so between the two airlines, they should have no problem filling these planes with passengers connecting from the area to London and beyond
  • I imagine that the local government is providing significant incentives for this service to be offered, and that this played a major role in the service being added; the economics of long haul routes work a lot better when there’s government support
  • The regional government claims that the economic impact of this new service for Cincinnati will be $172 million over the course of three years, which is also how they justify offering incentives for this service; I always find the claims of economic impact for new routes to be a bit questionable
Delta also operates transatlantic flights from Cincinnati

Bottom line

British Airways is launching a new year-round flight between London Heathrow and Cincinnati, which will be the carrier’s 27th transatlantic route out of London. The service will operate 4-5x weekly with a Boeing 787. This is no doubt an exciting new service for the Cincinnati area, as it enables all kinds of global one-stop routings.

What do you make of British Airways adding Cincinnati flights?

Conversations (50)
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  1. Jill Guest

    As a Cincinnati resident who loves London....I AM SO happy!

  2. Chris V Guest

    The 788 is a game-changer that makes long, thin routes work. One of the first was JAL using theirs from NRT to BOS. In the same way that small houses are often called ‘starter homes,’ that’s what the 788 represents for the airlines that have them. On the CVG route, the natural progression will be to the 789, which is where I think it will stay.

  3. Shawn M. Guest

    @Concordeboy I think what was meant by the significant increase in one-stop connections that will be available with this new BA flight are all the new options to secondary cities in Europe, and beyond in places throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Indian Subcontinent that don’t have nonstop service from any US airports. That’s what was pitched in the press conference if you happened to have watched it.

  4. Peter Hannaford Guest

    BA will steal a bunch of front end business from Procter & Gamble on this route. A big money spinner

  5. LEo Diamond

    Maybe they got a deal from P&G that will buy a certain amount of seats daily?

  6. Grant Guest

    It’s hard to believe that CVG, CLE, and PIT were all abandoned as hubs. You don’t have the congestion and the pricing of the east coast or ORD, but you’re almost right there. Why would someone rather connect through EWR or PHL than one of these?

    But good for Cincinnati. I’m glad they’re getting some international service restored.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "Why would someone rather connect through EWR or PHL than one of these?"

      No. But would a plurality of travelers choose to pay a premium to connect there over EWR/PHL? Also no.

      And there lies the issue for the former hubs.

    2. Tim Dunn Diamond

      The issue is that the Midwest had multiple hubs under each of the former pre-merger airlines. There is no need for PIT, CVG and CLE given remaining hubs at ORD (AA), DTW (DL) and ORD (UA).

      None of which changes that DL is still the largest airline at CVG and that is not going to change by what BA does.

    3. MaxPower Guest

      That's ignorant. Plenty of people would and do pay a premium to connect in Heathrow over an East Coast airport.

    4. Jason Guest

      A hub needs two things in order to be successful - a great location/terminal facilities AND a very large local demand. Cincinnati, while a large city, never generated and still doesnt generate, enough local demand. While there are some exceptions, like Charlotte, there are reasons why they succeed and others dont. But in general, Cincinnati, while a great place to connect, simply wasnt large enough. And in a consolidated market, Detroit, which generates way more...

      A hub needs two things in order to be successful - a great location/terminal facilities AND a very large local demand. Cincinnati, while a large city, never generated and still doesnt generate, enough local demand. While there are some exceptions, like Charlotte, there are reasons why they succeed and others dont. But in general, Cincinnati, while a great place to connect, simply wasnt large enough. And in a consolidated market, Detroit, which generates way more local traffic, makes more sense for Delta to have as a lower midwest hub.

  7. Robert Fahr Guest

    Many EU carriers take the two year incentive only to cut and run (yes I know the UK is not in the EU). BA seems to commit only if they see real sustainability.

  8. D3kingg Guest

    Yes people have business to do in Kentucky . Whiskey and horses. Cincinnati is right on the border. Columbus Ohio isn’t to far of a drive from Cincinnati either. Could work.

  9. MaxPower Guest

    this clearly shows Delta's surrender of the CVG market. After Delta completes the exit of its CVG hub (which, having been there, they have. the terminal is deserted), AA just does have the better hub network for CVG.
    If your options out of CVG are ATL, DTW, and MSP with Delta vs ORD, DFW, MIA, CLT (for connections). Why would you ever fly Delta? AA can now get you anywhere in Europe with one...

    this clearly shows Delta's surrender of the CVG market. After Delta completes the exit of its CVG hub (which, having been there, they have. the terminal is deserted), AA just does have the better hub network for CVG.
    If your options out of CVG are ATL, DTW, and MSP with Delta vs ORD, DFW, MIA, CLT (for connections). Why would you ever fly Delta? AA can now get you anywhere in Europe with one stop via the #1 destination in Europe, Heathrow.
    Like Memphis before it, a former Delta hub is headed toward oneworld dominance.

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "If your options out of CVG are ATL, DTW, and MSP with Delta vs ORD, DFW, MIA, CLT (for connections). Why would you ever fly Delta"

      You randomly/erratically eliminated several of the hubs DL connects CVG to, in an attempt to make it seem like there's some disparity of destinations that either carrier could get you to, via a 1stop.

      Strange.

    2. MaxPower Guest

      I mentioned the ones unique to DL and AA. AA also can fly customers to NYC nonstop or earning AAdvantage miles to SEA on AS.

    3. MaxPower Guest

      Facts are facts and Delta has a much less business-hub network in terms of unique nonstops to DL. The unique AA destinations are far more useful business destinations vs DL unique destinations (aside from Target in MSP with P&G).
      Has Tim Dunn found a new Delta bestie?

  10. Ross Gilde Guest

    DL from Cincinnati to Paris CDG? Didn't they suspend at COVID?

    1. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      Resumed in August.

  11. Tim Dunn Diamond

    BA and DL are the only two airlines that have aggressively gone after non-hub cities to their hubs... DL started w/ PIT-CDG, then IND and RDU (DL has retained its CVG-RDU service.).
    DL is still very protective of CVG - something the airport doesn't entirely like but DL still pays for more of the terminal than they use.
    Let's see what DL's next steps are - BA clearly has the advantage with far...

    BA and DL are the only two airlines that have aggressively gone after non-hub cities to their hubs... DL started w/ PIT-CDG, then IND and RDU (DL has retained its CVG-RDU service.).
    DL is still very protective of CVG - something the airport doesn't entirely like but DL still pays for more of the terminal than they use.
    Let's see what DL's next steps are - BA clearly has the advantage with far more slots at LHR but DL could easily start adding CDG and AMS service from secondary cities that BA serves. If it comes down to merely connecting passengers, neither BA or DL can support a transatlantic traffic just on the local traffic -which means that connecting/beyond flights from some of these secondary cities could become "very affordable."
    While it might come down to picking your poison, CDG is still a better connecting airport than LHR.

    1. MaxPower Guest

      lol. In what way is the most connected airport in the world, Heathrow, worse than CDG for connecting? You and your crazy world you live in.

    2. ConcordeBoy Diamond

      "the most connected airport in the world, Heathrow"

      Um, you're about 3yrs behind the times.

      LHR isn't even in the top-20 for OAG "most connected" global hubs anymore, despite being #1 in 2019.

      https://www.oag.com/megahub-airports-2022#top-50-global

    3. The nice Paul Guest

      “CDG is still a better connecting airport than LHR”

      Fascinating. LHR is poor if you’re making connections (especially if the flights use different terminals), but it’s still one of the few airports in Europe that is easier for connections than the hellhole that is CDG.

      I wouldn’t recommend either.

    4. Tim Dunn Diamond

      Personal preference is one thing.... data is another. CDG is a better connecting airport than LHR and the data shows that.

    5. shoeguy Guest

      Nonsense and bias, as usual. Neither CDG nor AMS are any better for connections over LHR. All 3 have their challenges and limitations.

    6. Tim Dunn Diamond

      again, real data shows that AMS and CDG connect more global traffic than LHR and it is in part due to higher airport capacity at those two EU hubs and the fact that BA has a lower percentage of slots at LHR.
      The LHR local market is larger but BA has to use a much higher percentage of its capacity at LHR to serve the local market than AF does at CDG or KL...

      again, real data shows that AMS and CDG connect more global traffic than LHR and it is in part due to higher airport capacity at those two EU hubs and the fact that BA has a lower percentage of slots at LHR.
      The LHR local market is larger but BA has to use a much higher percentage of its capacity at LHR to serve the local market than AF does at CDG or KL does at AMS. The same is true for LH at FRA.
      that reality, not personal preference, has implications for each of those carriers' US partners = and explains why DL and UA have a higher share of the LHR market plus their EU based networks and beyond than AA/BA have of Europe and beyond taken cumulatively.

  12. Jayne Gill Guest

    Great news. Took us two days to get to Cincinnati from Heathrow last time we travelled.
    Will use this flight regularly.

  13. John Guest

    I think CVG is an interesting market and we could see even more international flights or a focus/hub for an airplane like breeze. It's not because of Cincinnati itself but because u basically have 12-13 million people within a couple hours of the airport, Indy, Columbus, Louisville, Dayton, Lexington, West Virginia are all within an easy drive of CVG. I think we will see more growth out of cvg

  14. derek Guest

    Those older seats are actually better if you snag the window seat. That is like a private room, sort of a mini Etihad Apartment.

    1. Evan Guest

      "Mini Etihad apartment" is a bit over the top, but I agree - love the privacy of the window seat in this configuration when flying by myself.

  15. Will Guest

    Terrific news. This will corner the thoroughbred industry in Kentucky (and those traveling to KY) alone - lots of premium cabin travel.

    1. D3kingg Guest

      @Will

      Whiskey and bourbon !!!!! Also guns.

  16. MG Guest

    BA will be increasing our service to 6 a week next year out of PIT, so it appears to be potentially working on the investment they thew to them.

  17. John T Guest

    Ben you said AA can provide feed for this service. But AA only flies from hubs to CVG and they already fly from all their hubs to London. Why would someone in, say, Dallas want to fly DFW-CVG-LHR?

    1. Icarus Guest

      Cost , availability, timing

    2. Terence Guest

      Feed as corporate and leisure customers who have loyalty or contracts with AA in general, even when they originate in CVG.

    3. Ned Member

      Thank you! Something tells me we'll be seeing TONS of two-stop award itineraries. Can't wait to fly XXX-CLT-CVG-LHR with the privilege of paying a BA fuel surcharge.

    4. Jordan Gold

      Did he say provide "feed"?

      As others mentioned. The AA sales team in the USA is obviously massive. Corp contracts etc.

      There is probably a decent amount of CVG-LHR via CDG, that will switch to nonstop over the course of the year.

      AA/BA sell DFW-LHR (via numerous points) - at any given time, they can switch fares to flow passengers over CVG when nonstops in a certain class are full.

      QF's PER-LHR is not...

      Did he say provide "feed"?

      As others mentioned. The AA sales team in the USA is obviously massive. Corp contracts etc.

      There is probably a decent amount of CVG-LHR via CDG, that will switch to nonstop over the course of the year.

      AA/BA sell DFW-LHR (via numerous points) - at any given time, they can switch fares to flow passengers over CVG when nonstops in a certain class are full.

      QF's PER-LHR is not a success on its own. QF makes sure to switch fare classes/capacity to flow Eastern Aus cities over PER, rather than SIN as and when needed.

      Yield management is an art, helped by Sabre in the past. Now run entirely I'm sure by AI.

  18. Weymar Osborne Gold

    Awesome! I live in Dayton, so I've long been wanting to see some TATL service out of Cincinnati and/or Columbus

  19. askmrlee Guest

    This is great and yet it still baffles my mind why there is no longer any non-stop CVG to SFO service, although Breeze will start the usual 2X/week type service in 2023.

  20. TheDude Guest

    I hope they add Charleston, SC back eventually!

  21. Steve Allen Guest

    Cincinnati probably makes more sense geographically than Indianapolis. Indy flyers have many options out of Chicago too but Cincy can also easily pull from Louisville, Lexington, Dayton, Columbus. Plus big corporates in Cincy (Proctor and Gamble being one).

  22. TravelinWilly Diamond

    I remember when AF used to fly 747-200s to CVG back in the early aughts when CVG was still a major hub for DL.

    I’m old.

    1. shoeguy Guest

      Yes! And SN also flew the 747-300 into CVG for a time, and DL operated AMS, CDG, FCO, FRA, LGW, and MUC. At one time, CVG was at around 600 daily departures for DL.

    2. LS Guest

      DL had directs to Zurich back then too - took it many times as a kid visiting family in Switzerland

    3. shoeguy Guest

      Indeed, they did. Forgot about ZRH.

  23. DFWFlyer Guest

    CVG is also one of the fastest growing freight hubs in the US, huge potential to fill with freight to make the economics work. Global hub for many of the major freight airlines.

  24. KelleyCVG Guest

    When CVG was #2 Delta hub the London Gatwick flight was always over sold. As a Delta 360 it's a shame Delta hasn't added new service, but happy for the airport to gain British Airways to Heathrow.

  25. Alex2 Guest

    As someone living in Cincinnati, this is awesome!

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

ConcordeBoy Diamond

"the most connected airport in the world, Heathrow" Um, you're about 3yrs behind the times. LHR isn't even in the top-20 for OAG "most connected" global hubs anymore, despite being #1 in 2019. https://www.oag.com/megahub-airports-2022#top-50-global

2
ConcordeBoy Diamond

"If your options out of CVG are ATL, DTW, and MSP with Delta vs ORD, DFW, MIA, CLT (for connections). Why would you ever fly Delta" You randomly/erratically eliminated several of the hubs DL connects CVG to, in an attempt to make it seem like there's some disparity of destinations that either carrier could get you to, via a 1stop. Strange.

2
Robert Fahr Guest

Many EU carriers take the two year incentive only to cut and run (yes I know the UK is not in the EU). BA seems to commit only if they see real sustainability.

2
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