In the latest change spotted in the British Airways summer 2021 schedule, the airline has done away with its direct flight to Buenos Aires. From the end of March, British Airways will operate the service with an Airbus A350 that stops in Sao Paulo for an hour.
Airlines around the globe have been altering their schedules to cope with a decrease in passenger demand. This has seen many routes closed down or scheduled with smaller aircraft. However, some airlines seem to have taken to condensing two routes into one. This saves fuel and money, allowing for more efficient operations.
A short stop in Sao Paulo
Instead of operating two flights to the same region of South America, British Airways has decided to condense the flights into one. While this allows for less capacity on the route, it also enables the airline to cut costs related to two flights.
For example, much less fuel will be required, which also benefits from producing fewer emissions. However, the airline also has a lower crew need for the flights. The flight is not a fifth freedom flight, meaning that passengers cannot book tickets to travel from Brazil to Argentina. According to flight schedule data, the following will be operated daily by an Airbus A350 from March 28th, 2021,
- BA247 will depart London Heathrow (LHR) at 22:25. Following an 11-hour 45-minute flight, the A350 will touch down in Sao Paulo (GRU) at 06:10 the next day.
- BA247 will then depart Sao Paulo an hour later at 07:10. It will fly for a further three hours, landing in Buenos Aires (EZE) at 10:05.
- BA246 will depart Buenos Aires at 11:50, arriving in Sao Paulo two hours and 40 minutes later at 14:30.
- BA246 will then depart Sao Paulo at 15:30 following an hour layover. After an 11-hour, 25-minute flight, the Airbus A350 will arrive back at London Heathrow at 06:55, two days after it departed.
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Given that the rotation is operating daily and takes over 24 hours, British Airways will require two Airbus A350s to make the route work. Thankfully, it currently has seven Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, with further deliveries expected.
Stopovers are rare
While not non-existent, stopovers are relatively rare in airline schedules. The primary stopover flight that British Airways is known for is its route from London to Sydney, stopping in Singapore. This is a fifth freedom flight, as passengers could book to travel from Singapore to Sydney.
The airline also operated a stopover at Shannon on its Cityflyer flight to New York. This was necessary as the aircraft could not depart from London City with enough fuel for its transatlantic hop. Passengers would clear immigration in Shannon and arrive in New York as domestic passengers. Since British Airways retired its last A318 earlier this summer, this route is off the cards moving forwards.
What do you make of British Airways’ new routing to Buenos Aires? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!