British Airways is looking to add two new routes to Portugal next summer. Both routes will head to the Azores Islands, with the destinations of São Miguel and Terceira being targeted by the British flag carrier. The announcement comes on the same day the airline looks towards what it calls “the perfect flight”.
Following the launch of its latest special livery last week, British flag carrier British Airways is currently on a considerable sustainability drive. The airline committed to being carbon neutral by 2050 over a year ago and is actively pursuing sustainable technologies such as hydrogen flights with partner ZeroAvia.
Two new Portugal destinations
As mentioned above, British Airways is launching two new routes to Portugal next year, specifically the Azores Islands. Firstly, the airline will launch an Airbus A320 service to São Miguel’s Ponta Delgada on July 2nd. The route will run once a week until September 3rd on Saturdays, to the following schedule,
- BA 522 – London Heathrow (LHR) 09:35 – Ponta Delgada (PDL) 12:40
- BA 523 – Ponta Delgada (PDL) 13:35 – London Heathrow (LHR) 18:25
The second route, heading to Terceira, will launch just a week later, on July 10th. The route, also served by an Airbus A320, will end slightly shorter, with the last flight scheduled for August 28th. The route will run on Sundays to the following schedule,
- BA 420 – London Heathrow (LHR) 07:55 – Terceira (TER) 11:10
- BA 421 – Terceira (TER) 12:10 – London Heathrow (LHR) 17:05
Commenting on the route launch, Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Network and Alliances, said,
“After a difficult 18 months, it’s fantastic to be in a position to launch two new routes next summer from Heathrow. These two Islands in the Azores will be the perfect addition to our network, offering more choice in one of the most popular regions in Europe for British sunseekers.”
The perfect flight?
Speaking about the new offer to the Azores, British Airways highlighted that The Azores is the first archipelago in the world to be certified as a sustainable destination by Earth Check. The airline is also looking at how it can operate the perfect flight from a sustainability standpoint. Last week British Airways revealed a new blue climate-inspired livery to highlight its environmental goals.
Yesterday the jet flew to London Glasgow for the third time since it received its new paint scheme. Yesterday’s flight was slightly different from the other two. In partnership with Heathrow Airport, Glasgow Airport, NATS, BP, and Airbus, the flight was powered by sustainable aviation fuels, with a blend of 35% SAFs.
However, this wasn’t the only trick in the British Airways handbook to make the flight as sustainably’ perfect’ as possible. Having fueled up the flight, it was pushed back by a remote-controlled motok vehicle powered by renewable electricity.
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Once the aircraft had been pushed back, only one engine was powered up for the taxi to the runway to slash the emissions associated with taxiing. NATS’ air traffic controllers gave the flight a direct routing with a continuous climb and descent. Without holding, more emissions were avoided. Again only one engine was used for the taxi into the stand at Glasgow airport.
According to British Airways, the airline reduced CO2 emissions by 62% compared to a similar flight held in 2010. 34% from more efficient aircraft and operations, 28% from the use of sustainable aviation fuel, with the remaining 38% offset using high-quality, verified carbon offsets.
Of course, this was just one flight, which on its own doesn’t achieve much. However, the airline will be hoping that data from this flight will feed into practices that could be adopted in the future to make even more flights sustainable.
What do you make of British Airways’ new routes and the perfect flight? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!