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If anyone you know needs a reminder that the current crisis is far from over, point them in the direction of an airline schedule. While some airlines are clearly doing their best to ramp up operations and restart routes (e.g. Qatar Airways), a lot of major airlines are still running vastly reduced services and are pushing back the dates for planned service resumptions.
As the current crisis took hold, British Airways quickly reduced its schedules to just a fraction of what they once were and consolidated its operations around its London Heathrow power base. Gatwick operations were mothballed and most of the short-haul and long-haul leisure routes that the airline normally operates out of Gatwick were either suspended or moved to Heathrow following with dramatic cuts to their frequencies.
In recent weeks, British Airways has been slowly getting a lot of its services back up and running, and a major sign that the airline could see demand for its services slowly returning was seen as the resumption of operations out of London Gatwick. The airline had already essentially accepted the fact that its summer 2020 season was beyond salvage (the UK’s quarantine regulations didn’t help) but there were plans in place to move a significant number of BA’s short-haul routes back to Gatwick from 7 September. This is no longer the plan.
In a very recent British Airways schedule update, the airline’s planned return to London Gatwick has been pushed back to 9 November 2020…and that’s just a provisional date for now. If the virus spikes we have been seeing around Europe in recent weeks continue, it’s highly likely that we’ll see the British government reimpose quarantine rules on passengers arriving into the UK from various European nations. If that happens there’s every chance that British Airways won’t resume services out of Gatwick until next year.
British Airways Moves Orlando Flight To Heathrow
Not only has the latest British Airways schedule change seen the airline push back the restart of operations out of Gatwick, but it has also seen BA move one of its planned daily flights between London and Orlando to Heathrow for Winter 2020/21. Here’s the planned schedule from 1 November:
BA2037 LGW 11:40 – 16:25 MCO (Daily Service)
BA205 LHR 14:15 – 18:55 MCO (Daily Service)
BA2036 MCO 18:25 – 07:30+1 LGW (Daily Service)
BA204 MCO 21:10 – 10:15+1 day LHR (Daily Service)
Bearing in mind that, generally speaking, British Airways operates its leisure routes out of Gatwick and routes that see more business travelers out of London Heathrow, this move appears to be a clear sign that demand for travel on the more business-orientated routes isn’t expected to come back any time soon. If business travel was showing signs of recovery British Airways wouldn’t be “wasting” valuable Heathrow slots on flights to Orlando.
[HT: Routes Online]