BA Resumes Flights Between Heathrow And Faro
Published on 30th April, 2014 by
In what is seen as a major boost to tourism in the Algarve region, the UK’s biggest airline, BA, has launched a new service between Faro airport in the Algarve and Heathrow in London.
It is more than 10 years since passengers could fly the British flag carrier between these two airports. The route was formerly operated by GB Airways, a franchise wholly owned by BA, that flew in BA livery and used BA’s reservations system. The company suspended services between Faro and Heathrow over 10 years ago, but still operated services to other UK airports.
However, when BA decided to sell GB Airways to Easyjet in 2007, the GB Airways aircraft were re-branded with Easyjet’s distinctive orange livery, and the familiar Union Jack colors on aircraft tails were no longer a common site at Faro airport.
Now, passengers can see the familiar BA tail more frequently at Faro. As and from the 30th of March last, BA has resumed services between Heathrow and the Algarve’s main airport. An Airbus A320 in the BA livery arrived from Heathrow on that Saturday to a welcoming party that included officials from Faro airport, Portuguese tourism officials and local dignitaries.
Airport fire trucks were on hand to douse the inbound aircraft in the traditional aviation baptism ceremony. In addition, all the passengers on the inaugural Heathrow service received personalized gifts, including a sample of the region’s famous almond cake.
In a further vote of confidence in the Algarve tourist market, BA announced its intentions to increase its service between Faro and the UK. It has doubled its daily service from Faro to Gatwick, now providing two services each way every day. The airline will also introduce services between London City airport and Faro during July and August.
While other airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair have provided services between the Algarve and the UK, none of them flew into Heathrow. That meant that people who wanted to connect with BA long haul flights, most of which originate in Heathrow, had to travel overland to get from airports like Luton, Stansted and Gatwick to make those connections.
The new connection from Faro to Heathrow makes it much easier for passengers to avail of BA’s long haul services. Not only will they be landing at and departing from Heathrow, but they will be using the same airline, a major plus when there are any delays.
At this point in time, the airline will be offering just two flights per week between Heathrow and Faro, These will operate on Saturdays and Sundays, departing from Heathrow at 4.15pm and leaving from Faro at 7.45 pm. The flight time is 2.5 hours.
Authorities in the Algarve view the re-launched service as a major vote of confidence in the region’s tourist trade. Slots at Heathrow are viewed as premium slots, and BA must be very confident of achieving maximum capacity on its Faro service to allocate two of these precious slots to the route.
Faro airport is the only airport in the Algarve region capable of taking large commercial jets. As such, it is the primary gateway for tourists to that part of Portugal.
Published in: Travel