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Rumor: New Orleans To Get a New Carrier? And Will it be to London?

British Airways will most likely fly their 777 aircraft to New Orleans

British Airways will most likely fly their 777 aircraft to New Orleans

New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY) has been on a bit of a roll – they are one of two secondary airports, Austin International Airport (AUS) being the other, that have been attracting new services for their constituents and catchment population (read: business for them, too).

Rumors are abound that MSY is about to announce a new service to their airport this week – and the money is on British Airways (BA). We’ve already mentioned AUS – and with good reason – because BA has already commenced services to the city on their 777 aircraft, and from what we see the flight is doing very well. Both load factor and yields are high. In fact they’ve already upgraded the flight to a 4 class 777 that also features First Class, that’s how well the flight is doing.

For MSY, BA is again being touted as the mystery new airline, with the intention of offering a new non-stop flight to London from New Orleans, marking a return to the market for the airline that ceased operations to the city back in the 80s.

Per The Advocate:

 

New Orleans officials had scheduled a special announcement Tuesday at Louis Armstrong International Airport, with speculation growing over whether the city had landed the big fish it was after: British Airways.
There has been speculation all year since the success of Austin that British Airways was set to announce a new American destination with either Nashville or New Orleans being touted as the main suspects on this one – and it seems as though MSY has won out.
This is a big development for the city, and a big news for oneworld travelers based there – this will prove to be the first full service link to Europe and will enable flyers to bypass the traditional funneling through AA hubs in Florida or Delta’s fortress in Atlanta or United through Houston. The Advocate continues:
While New Orleans’ airport offers nonstop service to several foreign cities, mainly in the Caribbean, most international carriers have bypassed the Crescent City since the 1970s, instead favoring larger regional hubs like Atlanta and Houston.
The Advocate also appreciated how big a development this is for MSY and their vital tourism industry:
But for years, local business leaders have worked to lure a large international carrier to provide direct service between New Orleans and a premier European destination — with London being their fondest dream. Getting nonstop flights to and from such a world business capital, they reasoned, would help draw more international travelers and diversify New Orleans’ tourism-heavy economy.
Overall, if this does indeed materialize it will be a huge development for the city and for flyers, especially oneworld elites who want easier access to Europe and beyond. It also gives you a flat bed option which is currently lacking in the market. It usually only takes one – then others will follow. We’ll keep you posted on the impending developments on this one.
We wouldn’t surprised to see that if BA starts these flights, within 6 months to one year another European major will follow, hopefully from one from either SkyTeam or Star Alliance to provide competition and choice for other elites based in New Orleans and in the South.
Let’s hope that MSY can welcome back the famous Speedbird some time soon!
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