British Airways Doubles Down On London-San Diego Route

ba boeing 787-8
Credit: Jeff Garrish/British Airways

Rising demand is pushing British Airways (BA) to add a second daily flight to San Diego International Airport (SAN), which is reporting rapid growth in passengers bound for Europe.

BA has been operating daily flights between London Heathrow Airport (LHR) and SAN since June 2011. According to SAN, passenger levels on the LHR route have risen by 28% compared to 2019.

The airline will begin operating the route 2X-daily from April 20, 2024. It is the only carrier flying the LHR-SAN route, with American Airlines and Finnair placing their codes on the flights.

“The additional flights to London will begin to address the increased demand to and from our region,” the airport says in a statement.

BA’s website shows the Oneworld carrier currently operating an Airbus A350 on the long-haul route, which has a flight time of around 11 hr. According to SAN, BA will use a Boeing 777-200 and a 787-8 when it begins operating the route 2X-daily in April 2024.

The 777 is configured to seat 272 passengers, while the 787 seats 214 passengers. The 486 daily seats offered in summer 2024 will be an increase of 47% over daily seats offered on the route currently, SAN says.

“Leisure and business travelers from San Diego will have added opportunities to explore London and beyond, while giving travelers from the rest of the world increased access to San Diego’s beautiful beaches and year-round sunny climate,” SAN CEO Kimberly Becker adds.

Overall, the number of SAN passengers bound for Europe is up 12% compared to 2019.

Neil Chernoff, BA’s director of networks and alliances, says the added frequency demonstrates the carrier’s “commitment to the region,” adding, “This new frequency will offer more options and convenience for our customers and is a welcome addition to our California schedule.”

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.