British Airways adds Tokyo Haneda, Buenos Aires now non-stop; Alitalia and Air France also adding long-haul routes
European flag-carriers seem to have decided that new long-haul services are worth pursuing as Air France, Alitalia and British Airways have all announced “new” long-haul services during the last week. British Airways, whose last new long-haul route from London Heathrow was Las Vegas (in October 2009), will start five-times weekly flights to Tokyo Haneda from 19 February next year, now that the previously domestic-only airport has opened itself up for international services. From next March the airline will start daily non-stop flights to Buenos Aires, which BA currently serves via Sao Paulo.
Air France is also expanding in South America with the resumption after over a decade of flights between Paris and Lima in Peru. The route will operate five times weekly from next June. The airline is also introducing a new three-times weekly service to Orlando. This summer the only scheduled carriers operating flights from Europe to Orlando were Aer Lingus (from Dublin), British Airways (London Gatwick), Lufthansa (from Frankfurt) and Virgin Atlantic (from Glasgow, London Gatwick and Manchester).
Not to be left out, Alitalia has announced that it will resume flights from Rome to Rio de Janeiro from 4 June next year. This summer the only non-stop flights between Europe and Rio were operated by Air France (from Paris), British Airways (from London Heathrow), Iberia (from Madrid), TAP (from Lisbon) and TAM (to Paris).