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A British Airways Airbus A380 taxis in Los Angeles. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

British Airways Expands European Network as Leisure Heads to Heathrow

British Airways has announced that it will be launching four new short-haul routes to Eastern Europe. The summer routes will begin in July, and all operate from the airline’s London Heathrow home.

The first of the flag carrier’s new flights is on July 1 to Wroclaw. The other three services to Gdansk, Poland; Riga, Latvia and Cluj-Napoca, Romania start the following day.

All routes will run throughout the summer season until September 26. British Airways will operate the services using its short-haul Airbus fleet, including A319s, A320s, A320neos, A321s and A321neos.

Flights to Wroclaw will be twice per week on Thursdays and Sundays. The other destinations will receive thrice-weekly services on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. The airline says it picked its flight days to allow for long weekend trips.

British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, Neil Chernoff, said in an airline press release, “It’s great to be launching new routes as we listen to our customers and assess where they want to travel.”

“We know these four new destinations will be popular with people visiting friends and relatives, but they also offer great city breaks, when the time is right, with flights that head out just before the weekend and return on Sunday,” continued Chernoff.

British Airways previously served Riga until 2007 and operated flights to Gdansk from 1999 into the early-2000s. Cluj-Napoca and Wroclaw are completely new destinations for the British oneworld carrier.

In Poland, British Airways also flies to Kraków and Warsaw. The start of the Riga service will be the airline’s only Latvian flight; however, it does already fly to Romania with its Bucharest service.

In addition to the four new destinations announced today, the airline has also set a date to start service to Perugia in Italy. The service, which was due to start in July 2020, was delayed due to the pandemic. However, the flight is now planned to launch on June 28.

British Airways will not be the only airline offering services to the announced destinations from the U.K., though. Ryanair operates to all the destinations announced, including Perugia, from London Stansted. Wizz Air also flies to some of the newly announced cities from London Luton.

Blue Air will compete directly with British Airways on the Cluj-Napoca service, starting from London Heathrow on May 18.

New Leisure Services From the Capital

After over a year of COVID restrictions, it’s no surprise that travelers want more leisure trips.

In December, Greek airline Aegean announced it would be upping its leisure services. The airline said the move was to support the recovery of tourism in Greek islands.

Aegean announced new seasonal services from Heathrow to Heraklion, Mykonos, Santorini and Thessaloniki, all popular tourist destinations from the U.K.

Similarly, Air France is to launch flights from Heathrow to Nice in June.

British Airways also took the opportunity to consolidate some of its leisure offerings into its Heathrow hub. Services to Antigua, Orlando and St Lucia are all due to start from Britain’s busiest airport this summer.

Connor Sadler
Connor Sadler
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