British Airways confirms increased capacity to South Africa-001

Potential in the future for the A380 to be introduced

airlineBA777flying3Having introduced an additional 3 weekly flights between London Heathrow and Johannesburg last year on a trial basis, British Airways has now confirmed that the flights will continue to operate during the rest of 2013. That means it will offer 17 flights a week between the 2 business centres.

British Airways already operated a double daily 747 service between the 2 cities with both flights operating overnight. The additional 3 weekly flights are operated by 777-200 aircraft, flying overnight between the UK and South Africa and returning as a day flight. Ian Petrie, regional manager for Africa had this to say: “We’ve always said that we constantly review our routes and will add capacity where there is demand. That’s exactly what we’ve done.”

British Airways PlcBoth the 777 and 747 offer a four class service (the only airline to do so between the cities), with a choice of First, Club World, World Traveller Plus & World Traveller.

In addition to flights to Johannesburg, British Airways also operates year-round flights between Heathrow & Cape Town with a double daily 747 service during the high season (the UK winter), reverting to a single, daily service for the rest of the year.  With South African Airlines having pulled out of the Cape Town route, the only direct competition the airline faces is from Virgin Atlantic which operates the significantly smaller A340.

British Airways PlcThe popularity of the Johannesburg service does again raise the question of whether, following on from Los Angeles & Hong Kong, it will be one of the destinations that British Airways decides to serve using its brand new A380s (the airline has a total of 12 A380′ on order).  British Airways may decide to revert to just 2 flights a day, operating 1 by 747 and 1 by the A380. Not only would this give the airline roughly the same weekly capacity as the current  17 flights a week, it would also free up slots at capacity constrained Heathrow.

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