Changes to British Airways’ longhaul flying programme for the summer 2003 season will reflect the airline’s drive to maximise revenue on profitable routes, reduce its cost base and work its assets harder.
There will be an increase in flights to four North American destinations and a reduction in capacity to Brazil and Argentina. Flights to Caracas in Venezuela and Bogota in Colombia will transfer from London Gatwick to Heathrow.
Seven additional weekly flights between Heathrow and Chicago will be added next year plus five additional weekly flights between Heathrow and New York, three additional weekly flights between Heathrow and Toronto and three additional weekly flights between Gatwick and Houston. Services from Heathrow to Houston which currently operate via Washington will operate via Chicago.
Flights to Melbourne via Singapore will also increase from five per week to a daily service.
On South American routes, the airline’s daily service to Rio de Janeiro via Sao Paulo will reduce to four flights per week. A non-stop service to Buenos Aires, which operates three times per week, will fly, in future, via Sao Paulo. These changes are due to the economic downturn in Brazil and Argentina which has led to a drop in passenger demand on these routes.
The transfer of the service to Caracas and Bogota from London Gatwick to London Heathrow will improve the route’s profitability and enable it to flown by a Boeing 767, rather than a Boeing 777, which is a smaller and more appropriate aircraft for the passenger demand on the route.
Martin George, British Airways’ Director of Marketing and Commercial Development, said: “We have been able to increase capacity on some North American routes next summer by working the assets of our business harder. This means focusing on profitable routes and making the most effective use of our aircraft fleet.”
The summer 2003 schedule starts on 30 March 2003.