Summer 2011 will see the joint business between American Airlines, British Airways and Iberia deliver more benefits to customers as schedules are coordinated across the North Atlantic and more destinations are launched.
From March 27, American Airlines and British Airways will effectively create a transatlantic shuttle service between the top US-UK routes by aligning the timing on their schedules.
The biggest change is on the Heathrow – New York route. Previously, of the 11 daily flights to New York, five left Heathrow at almost exactly the same time, leaving gaps of up to three hours between services.
Now flights will depart every hour, on the hour between 1pm and 8pm from Heathrow. There will also be a maximum of only an hour and a half between morning departures.
Chicago flights inbound to London previously had four flights departing the Windy City at similar times around 5pm and 8pm. Now the flights will be evenly spaced, departing at around 5pm, 6pm, 7pm and 8pm. The 9am and 9.45pm slots will remain as they were.
Two of the three Miami flights from London clashed around 10am, and these have now been split to leave at 10am and 11am. The 1.30pm has moved to 1.35pm.
The joint business will also now give customers the chance to fly direct between New York (JFK) and Budapest starting from April 5, and between Chicago and Helsinki, both seven times a week on American Airlines from May 1.
British Airways will launch daily services to San Diego from June 1, marking the airline’s return to the route after eight years.
The British carrier will also increase its services from Gatwick to Cancun from two to three a week from March 27.
Iberia is starting the only direct flight between Spain and California; flying between Madrid and Los Angeles three times a week from March 28, with an additional flight between July and September. Iberia will also launch new flights between Barcelona and Miami three times a week from March 29.