British Airways flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur resume soon

Photo courtesy of Bloomberg

British Airways (BA) resumes flights to Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok this year, marking a significant step in its regional expansion strategy.

Chairman and CEO Sean Doyle expressed the importance of this strategic return.

“For a global carrier like us, expanding our network in Asia as quickly as possible is crucial. With more aircraft joining our fleet in the coming years, we are looking East as well as West in our expansion plans.”

Doyle made these remarks during a oneworld alliance briefing at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 80th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit.

BA will reintroduce daily flights to Kuala Lumpur from London Heathrow starting November 10, utilising its state-of-the-art Boeing B787-9 aircraft. Additionally, thrice-weekly flights to Bangkok will resume from Gatwick Airport on October 28, serviced by B777-200ERs.

The airline had previously cut Kuala Lumpur from its route network in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, after reinstating direct flights in May 2015. Before this, the last direct flight to Malaysia’s capital was in 2001.

BA is poised for growth, with its parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), converting six B787-10 options into firm orders in July last year. These aircraft are expected to be delivered between 2025 and 2026. IAG has also added another six B787-10 options, alongside 18 B777-9s with options for 24 more, and three Airbus A350-1000s with options for an additional 10.

In March, the airline announced a £7 billion (approximately 326 billion baht) transformation plan aimed at revitalising its fleet and services. This comprehensive overhaul includes new aircraft and cabins, enhanced customer service, sustainability initiatives, and upgraded digital platforms. The plan also features new First Class suites and premium airport lounges, aiming to restore BA to its former glory as one of the world’s leading airlines, reported New Straits Times.

“We’re making very good progress. We’ve rolled out several customer benefits like free WiFi messaging and improved catering. We’ve also opened new routes to Lagos, Dubai, and Miami. There’s a lot more to come.”

ORIGINAL STORY: British Airways reignites Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur routes

British Airways (BA) is recommencing its connections with Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, adding fuel to the excitement of travellers eager to explore Asia once more.

Starting in late October, British Airways will be steering its Boeing 777s three times a week from London Gatwick (LGW) to Bangkok, veering away from the previous daily flights from Heathrow. However, first-class cabins will not be available on the revived service. Meanwhile, Kuala Lumpur will witness daily flights from London Heathrow (LHR), signalling BA’s robust commitment to expanding its Asian network post-pandemic.

Aviation experts speculate on BA’s strategic shift, indicating a deviation from its traditional market routes. Kuala Lumpur’s limited direct links to Europe offer BA a golden opportunity to tap into unexplored territories. As for Bangkok’s relocation to Gatwick, it’s a tactical move to tackle lower yields while keeping the route popular.

BA Chairman and CEO, Sean Doyle unveiled a 7-billion-British-pound (approximately 31 billion baht) modernisation plan, aligning with the reintroduction of these Southeast Asian links. The plan encompasses a myriad of upgrades, from enhanced customer care to environmental sustainability initiatives, promising a transformative journey for both passengers and the planet, reported Aviation A2Z.

Furthermore, BA’s Executive Club members are in for a tech-savvy treat, with the introduction of free in-flight wifi messaging services, set to take off from April 3. Moreover, the airline is sprucing up its short-haul aircraft with new cabins and seats, featuring extra-large overhead luggage bins.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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