Heathrow or Gatwick? At least someone has made their mind up!

Garuda have become the latest of many airlines to move from Gatwick to Heathrow. There is a well-established pattern for foreign airlines to test the waters on the UK market at Gatwick and then, as soon as they can get slots, move to Heathrow. Better transport, a wider and wealthier catchment area and connections all over Europe and the rest of the world make Heathrow the aim for any airline flying to the UK.

Gatwick appears to work well for budget and leisure flights but that is it. Even the airlines who are succeeding at Gatwick at the moment, do not want a second runway because they fear they will have to pay for it.

The logic for a third runway at Heathrow is overwhelming but what would happen if the government took the easy option and decided in favour of Gatwick? No airline would willingly give up their position at Heathrow. Reduced charges at Gatwick probably would not tempt them either since they do not at the moment. If existing airlines at Gatwick were faced with higher charges to pay for the runway they might be forced to move all or some of their flights to Stansted or even Luton.

The pull of Heathrow is so strong that the only way to break it would be to close the airport completely. Clearly that s not going to happen.

Garuda know what they are doing – we must hope the government does too.


Route News Stop Press

• AeroMexico is cancelling its Mexico City–Rio de Janeiro service on 21st June.

• Air China launches a thrice-weekly Beijing–Montreal service on 29th September.

• Austrian is coming back to Manchester with the launch of a daily service from Vienna on 10th September.

• Brussels Airlines is cancelling its service to Nairobi from 25th October.

• Copa Airlines is launching a daily Panama City–San Francisco service on 27th September.

• Emirates will introduce a daily Dubai–Bologna service on 3rd November.

• South African Airways will be replacing Dakar with Accra as intermediate stop on four of its seven weekly flights between Johannesburg and Washington Dulles from 1st August.

• TACV Cabo Verde Airlines will launch weekly services to Natal and Joao Pessoa this autumn.


Route News Stop Press

• AeroMexico is launching a daily Mexico City–Vancouver service in December.

• British Airways is launching a thrice weekly Heathrow–Reykjavik service at the end of October and a twice weekly Heathrow–Salzburg service on 5th December.

• TAM Airlines is launching a four-times weekly service between Brasilia and Buenos Aires Ezeiza in 3rd July.

• Thomas Cook Airlines is launching twice weekly services from Manchester to Boston and Los Angeles in May 2016.

Route News Stop Press

• Air Canada is launching a nonstop Toronto–Delhi service in November, to be operated initially four times a week.

• Air India is increasing its Delhi–Birmingham service to daily from 21st December, operated by Boeing 787 equipment.

• Bergen Air Transport has launched a twice weekly service between Bergen and Sumburgh.

• Blue Islands is cancelling its services from Jersey to Amsterdam, Paris and Zurich early in the new year.

• Delta is launching a Philadelphia–Heathrow service on 7th April.

• FlyBe is launching a Belfast City–Liverpool service on 2nd February, with 17 weekly flights using Dash8-Q400 aircraft.

• Kenya Airways cancelled its Nairobi–Delhi service in November – it previously operated a four-times weekly service.

• Qatar Airways is increasing its Doha–Manchester service to twice daily from 16th February.

• Turkish Airlines is launching a five-times weekly Istanbul–Abuja service at the beginning of March. From 25th OCtober the airline will introduce a non-stop Istanbul–Cape Town service – currently served as a one-stop service via Johannesburg.

• United is expanding next summer to Europe, with new daily services between Chicago and Dublin, and Newark and Venice.

• Virgin Atlantic is introducing a second daily Heathrow–Miami service for winter 2015-16, starting on 25th October.


Ludicrous route alert

Here’s a classic. Vienna and Bratislava are not the closest capitals in the world – Rome and the Vatican City, and Kinshasa and Brazzaville are both closer pairs. However they are close enough to drive in around 40 minutes, centre to centre. You can also take the bus or train, or even travel by hydrofioil on the Danube.

And from next April, you’ll also be able to fly. Why? Because Niki is introducing a six-times weekly service. These flights are primarily for positioning purposes, but nonetheless the airline plans to make them bookable for fare-paying passengers. This is despite the fact that Vienna Airport levies €33 fees on each internatonal departing passenger. One really has to wonder why Niki are bothering.

Route News Stop Press

• AerLingus launches a Dublin–Washington Dulles service on 1st May, operated four times a week.

• Air France is launching an initially thrice-weekly Paris CDG–Vancouver service on 29th March.

• Atlantic Airways launches a twice-weekly summer service between the Faroe Islands and Edinburgh on 30th March.

• British Airways is launching a twice-daily Heathrow–Bilbao service on 29th March.

• Thomas Cook Airlines UK has launched a weekly Gatwick–Sal service, operating until 23rd March. In December 2015 the airline plans to launch a twice-weekly Gatwick–Reno service – the first transatlantic link to the Nevadan city.

• Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that it will operate its last of its Little Red services on 26th September 2015, from Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

• Vueling is launching services from Barcelona to Birmingham and Dublin, and from Rome to Gatwick next spring.

Route News Stop Press

Bmi Regional is planning an increased service next summer on routes from Bristol to Aberdeen, Frankfurt and Munich, and from East Midlands and Newcastle to Brussels, all of which will have thrice-weekday services.

• British Airways launches four leisure destinations from Heathrow next May. Corfu will receive four weekly flights, while Kos, Olbia and Split will be served twice weekly.

KLM is launching an Amsterdam–Edmonton service next May, operated four times a week.

• Virgin Atlantic is cancelling its “Little Red” Heathrow–Manchester service at the end of March. Other route cancellations will follow.

Route News Stop Press

This month’s route news from Inside Traveller is available here. Below are further news items that missed the editorial deadline:

• Aeroflot is cancelling its twice-weekly Moscow–Toronto service at the end of October.

• British Airways is launching a five-times weekly Gatwick–Seville service on 29th March, and will be transferring its Heathrow–Las Palmas service to Gatwick from the same date. At the same time it will be cancelling its service to Colombo.

• CityJet is cancelling its services from Cambridge to Amsterdam and Dublin at the end of October.

• Myanmar Airways is launching a five-times weekly service between Yangon and Seoul from 26th October.

• Snowbird Airlines is launching a twice-weekly service between Enontekio in northern Finland and Gatwick on 6th December.

• WOW air is launching a thrice-weekly service between Reykjavik and Dublin on 2nd June.

Route News Stop Press

September’s route news from Inside Traveller is available here. Below are further news items that missed the editorial deadline:

• Air Canada is suspending its Ottawa–Frankfurt service between 25th October and 27th March.

• Philippine Airlines is returning to New York JFK from 15th March, with a four-times weekly service from Manila, via Vancouver.

• Qatar Airways has introduced a five-times weekly nonstop Doha–Cape Town service, replacing its previous thrice weekly service via Johannesburg.

• Ryanair is launching a Stansted–Cologne service next summer.

• Swiss is cancelling its Zurich–Kiev service on 1st October.

Route News Stop Press

July’s route news from Inside Traveller is available here. Below are further news items that missed the editorial deadline:

• Aegean Airlines is converting its twice-weekly summer service between Athens and Manchester to a year-round operation this winter.

• British Airways is cancelling its services between London City and Aberdeen and Stockholm at the end of October. At the same time it will be introducing an up-to five-times daily London City–Dublin service.

•  Emirates is cancelling its Dubai–Kiev service at the beginning of August.

• FlyBe is launching its “FlyShuttle service” on 26th October, which will see the airline operating an up-to thrice-daily service on the Jersey–Southampton–Leeds/Bradford–Aberdeen route with Dash8-Q400 aircraft.

• Ryanair is launching new routes from Scotland on 26th October. Up to three flights a day will be flown from Stansted to Edinburgh and Glasgow. A thrice-daily Glasgow–Dublin service will also be launched, though the daily link between Prestwick and Dublin will be dropped.

• US Airways is introducing a second Charlotte–Heathrow service from 13th September.

• Virgin Atlantic has announced details of its inaugural Boeing 787 operations. From 19th December the new equipment will be introduced progressively on services from Heathrow to Boston, Washington and JFK.