Last year, British Airways raised eyebrows among the UK aviation industry as it made an important return to the regions of the UK. Throughout the summer, the airline’s Cityflyer “Jungle Jets” flew to Birmingham, Bristol & Manchester over the weekend and offered an array of flights to holiday hotspots across Europe. This was a token presence, but clearly successful, as British Airways Cityflyer will continue to expand its regional offering next year.
The addition of two more Embraer aircraft next summer, will mean British Airways will be able to increase frequencies on existing routes to holiday hotspots, make weekday London City-Milan Linate and Frankfurt more convenient for business travellers and add three new routes. Specifically, they will add holiday services from Edinburgh and Manchester to Florence and a new service from Manchester to Dublin, adding to Aer Lingus’ frequent services, of which British Airways codeshare on.
British Airways is the largest airline at London City Airport where it operates to 33 destinations in the UK and Europe. The newly sourced aircraft will also allow Cityflyer to cement and expand their offering from London.
London City to Milan Linate flights will increase from 11 to 23 flights a week, Frankfurt increases from 20 to 24 flights a week and Dublin increases from 32 to 36 flights a week. This expansion means that business travellers from central London will have more choice to key destinations across Europe.
In addition to the new routes to Florence, from May 2018, there will be extra weekend flights from Manchester to Malaga, Ibiza and Palma, an extra weekend flight from Birmingham to Palma and an extra weekend flight from Bristol to Malaga.
British Airways will also be recruiting 20 new pilots and cabin crew for this operation – which is great news for the airports which will receive this investment. Whilst some may view this new found presence in the regions pitiful, I think this displays a marked change of strategy for the UK’s national flag carrier and the fact that this operation continues to grow – offering comfort and convenience onboard Embraer aircraft – shows that British Airways is gaining traction in the wider UK market and their operations have been a success.