British Airways eyes New Orleans for possible 787 service

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New Orleans International airport could be the next destination for British Airways in the USA, say airport executives.

The airport has provided the Oneworld alliance carrier with a prepared statement in the event it announces a new London Heathrow-New Orleans flight but it has not been notified of a decision, says Iftikhar Ahmad, executive director of the New Orleans Aviation Board, on the sidelines of the Airport Council International North America’s (ACI-NA) Jumpstart conference in Edmonton on 25 June. The flight would be operated on a Boeing 787, he adds.

“New Orleans is back with a vengeance,” says Ahmad.

Anna.aero reported earlier the same day that New Orleans was at the top of BA’s list of potential new destinations in the USA.

BA says that it is "constantly reviewing" its network and looking for new opportunities to expand but does not have any information on new routes to North America at this time.

Willie Walsh, chief executive of BA-parent International Airlines Group (IAG), told Flightglobal in November 2013 that the carrier planned to add at least five new cities in the USA as it takes delivery of 787s.

“Don’t be surprised to see more expansion from Heathrow into North America,” he said. “I think Austin came as a surprise to people.”

The five cities would be in addition to Austin, which it launched this past March.

BA operates six 787-8s and has firm orders for two more -8s, 22 787-9s and 12 787-10s, Flightglobal’s Ascend Online database shows.