San Diego Business Journal

British Airways announced Oct. 6 that it will offer daily nonstop flights from San Diego International Airport to London’s Heathrow Airport starting June 1. It will be the first such service offered locally since 2003.

At an airport news conference, airline officials said the service stems from a newly launched joint business agreement involving British Airways, American Airlines and Spanish carrier Iberia.

“Combined selling and scheduling means that we will be able to operate routes that would not have been feasible for us to operate individually,” said Kevin Burns, a regional director with British Airways.

British Airways Flight 272, on the carrier’s Boeing 777 aircraft with 275 seats, will leave daily from London at 3:05 p.m. local time and arrive in San Diego at 6:15 p.m. local time. The flight will depart San Diego from Terminal 2 at 8:05 p.m. local time, arriving in London at 2:25 p.m. the following day.

British Airways hasn’t offered local flights to London since 2003, when it discontinued San Diego service amid companywide cutbacks. The industry at the time was reeling from a global slowdown in air travel following the terrorist events of September 2001.

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders noted that the new flights will benefit the region’s tourism and business promotion efforts, as London is a key destination city for local residents and corporate travelers.

“The importance of this service cannot be overstated,” Sanders said.

— Lou Hirsh