British Airways is today expected to announce a new route linking Leeds Bradford Airport with Heathrow in a major boost for Yorkshire’s economy.
The widely-leaked announcement marks a return for BA to the refurbished Leeds terminal after many years away.
The flights, beginning on December 9, will be timed to connect with BA’s global network from Heathrow and will be aimed at business travellers who want to make onward journeys to Hong Kong, New York, Johannesburg, Singapore and Sydney.
They will be able to check in their bags and get boarding cards for their entire journey at Leeds Bradford.
Andy Lord, BA’s director of operations, said: “This is a welcome return to Yorkshire for British Airways and we are very excited about flying from this excellent, commercially important airport once again.
“Leeds Bradford has a significant catchment area and we are delighted to offer not only direct flights to London but a well timed schedule that will allow customers from this region to connect with our extensive short haul and long haul flights from Heathrow.”
One way fares from Leeds to Heathrow will start at £42, with tickets on sale from today.
Airport chief executive John Parkin said: “This important new service to Heathrow connects Yorkshire with the world. It provides our businesses with the access they need to emerging and established global markets, and enables those markets to easily come to Yorkshire, bringing their investment and inbound tourism direct into our region.”
The route was made possible following BA’s acquisition of BMI in April.
Speaking in May, BA chief executive Willie Walsh said: “As a result, British Airways is able to manage its wider Heathrow slot portfolio more effectively.
“Airports across the UK and beyond have contacted us about starting services and, subject to reaching satisfactory agreement with them, we plan to also launch flights from Heathrow to Leeds Bradford, Rotterdam and Zagreb and increase frequencies to existing key destinations.”