BA London service to switch to Heathrow
British Airways will switch its Bermuda service from London Gatwick airport to London Heathrow from the end of March.
The airline will fly Boeing 777s on the route, and the travel time from Heathrow to Bermuda is expected to be seven hours and 20 minutes.
The first regular daily flight from Heathrow will be on March 28, and is scheduled to depart from Terminal 5.
Heathrow is Britain's busiest airport, and Terminal Five is its busiest terminal in terms of passenger numbers and flights.
The Bermuda Government said Heathrow flights have the potential to stimulate significantly greater demand from the rest of the world, particularly European cities.
David Burt, the Premier, said: “This is a signature achievement which will provide a foundation to extend Bermuda's tourism reach into Europe. The entire team who worked on this deserves our thanks as we set the stage for a new opportunity for tourism growth. British Airways has been a longstanding and valued partner and through this relationship we have partnered in an innovative change that will be welcomed by travellers to and from Bermuda.”
The flights from late March will be four times per week.
Neville Tyrrell, Minister of Transport, said there would be “clear benefits for international business and tourism as a result of this decision which should prove pivotal in the island's pandemic recovery.”
It is hoped the change will eliminate time-consuming ground connections between Gatwick and London and stimulate demand for leisure travel.
Glenn Jones, interim chief executive officer of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, said: “We are enthusiastic about this London airport shift and have already begun talks with British Airways and local hotel partners to create special consumer offers to launch the Heathrow service next year. While the city hasn't changed, we treat this development like an entirely new route because we believe the whole European travel landscape changes now in a positive way.”
Neil Chernoff, British Airways director of network and alliances, said:
“This is the first time we have flown to Bermuda from London's biggest airport for over three decades and we look forward to welcoming customers to experience our world class facilities at Terminal 5.”
The adjustment to the route followed discussions between British Airways and Bermuda's air service development team, which is made up of the Bermuda Airport Authority, BTA, Bermuda Skyport Corporation and air service consultants Ailevon Pacific.
With reduced air travel due to the global pandemic, slots became available at Heathrow that would otherwise not have been possible.
Lester Nelson, CEO of the Bermuda Airport Authority, said: “The Bermuda Airport Authority is committed to creating value for Bermuda and is excited by the connectivity benefits that Heathrow Airport will offer the island.”
Representatives from the Association of Bermuda Insurers and Reinsurers, Association of Bermuda International Companies, Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, Bermuda Hotel Association and Bermuda Business Development Agency were among industry groups consulted on the move.
The BA service to Bermuda has already undergone a change this year. The service stopped on March 20 when regular scheduled commercial flights at LF Wade International Airport were halted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
When the BA service resumed on July 17, it was from the North Terminal at Gatwick, rather than the airport's South Terminal, which remains temporarily closed due to reduced demand for air travel. London Gatwick does not expect the South Terminal to reopen until mid-2021.