British Airways will be making a return to London Stansted Airport (STN). This means British Airways will once again serve four London-area airports, complementing Heathrow Airport (LHR), Gatwick Airport (LGW), and City Airport (LCY).
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British Airways starts weekend-only flights from London Stansted
As of May 18, 2024, British Airways will be launching weekend service from London Stansted Airport. Specifically, the airline will use BA CityFlyer Embraer E190s to fly to Florence (FLR), Ibiza (IBZ), and Nice (NCE). Each route will have one weekly frequency, with a flight departing on Saturday and returning on Sunday.
The Florence service will operate with the following schedule:
BA7016 London Stansted to Florence departing 2:15PM arriving 4:30PM
BA7017 Florence to London Stansted departing 6:30AM arriving 8:45AM
The Ibiza service will operate with the following schedule:
BA7308 London Stansted to Ibiza departing 9:35AM arriving 12:05PM
BA7309 Ibiza to London Stansted departing 12:50PM arriving 3:15PM
The Nice service will operate with the following schedule:
BA2332 London Stansted to Nice departing 2:15PM arriving 4:30PM
BA2333 Nice to London Stansted departing 9:20AM arriving 11:20AM
This will be the first time since before the pandemic that British Airways flies to London Stansted. For context, the airline most recently launched operations there in 2016, before scaling back flights in 2018. It has now been several years since the airline operated any service there.
The logic for this London Stansted Airport service
You might be thinking “well that seems odd, the airline is operating once weekly service out of an airport to three destinations with inefficient timing.” The thing to understand is that these jets are usually based at London City Airport, which is London’s short haul airport serving many business routes.
The catch is that London City Airport is closed over select weekend hours (1PM on Saturday until 11AM on Sunday), so ordinarily these planes would just be sitting idle. So the decision to fly out of London Stansted Airport is obviously intended to generate some incremental revenue with these planes when they’d otherwise be parked.
Presumably these planes will operate the short 27-mile hop from City Airport to Stansted Airport for positioning purposes, complete with crew. Then the planes will overnight at their destinations, before returning the following day with the same crews, and then returning once again to City Airport.
Given that there’s almost no opportunity cost to this service, this seems sensible enough. Admittedly this service will largely be targeted at those looking to take an eight night holiday, unless people book travel into or out of Stansted in one direction, and into or out of another London-area airport in the other direction.
As of the summer of 2024, British Airways will be making a return to London Stansted Airport, with a total of three weekly flights. The airline will operate on weekends, with one frequency to each of Florence, Ibiza, and Nice. This will be operated by CityFlyer Embraer E190s, and the service is clearly intended to utilize planes that would otherwise be parked at London City Airport while it’s closed.
I’m curious to see how this service performs — will these frequencies be maintained, could we see more flights added, or will they be reduced over time?
What do you make of British Airways’ London Stansted plans?