British Airways recently announced it will be launching nonstop flights to New Orleans from London starting next spring. With the launch of new service, New Orleans will now get direct air connectivity with Europe for the first time since 1982. The long-coveted connection was formally announced before a gathering of local tourism and business leaders at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport on October 20, which is also now being increasingly seen as a “game-changer” for this region.
Media reports said that British Airways will start offering year-round flights services between New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport and London Heathrow Airport effective from March 27, 2017. The flights would be operated four-time per week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The flight duration will be of 10 hours. The airline in a statement said that the outbound flight would depart from London at 3:40 pm local time and reach New Orleans at 7:40 pm local time. The return flight would make its departure from New Orleans at 9:10 pm local time and reach London next day at noon.
The airline will be deploying a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft to operate flights on London Heathrow-New Orleans route. The customers booking business class tickets would be offered a total of 35 fully lie-flat beds in business class cabin. The aircraft will also be offering 25 seats in premium economy and 154 seats in economy class.
According to the reports, British Airways was contemplating to start flights to/from New Orleans last year, but instead decided to launch daily flights to San Jose from London Heathrow. The local business and tourism leaders were lobbying hard to launch flights to/from New Orleans in 2015, which will now be launched next spring from March 27.
The officials at New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport said that they are looking forward to increase their annual visitor numbers to 10.1 million over pre-Hurricane Katrina peak. A study by New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau said that Britain is being seen as the second-largest market for visitors from New Orleans. The launch of direct flights from London to New Orleans is expected to boost business and tourism prospects in the two regions.