British Airways serves the most US destinations of any foreign airline based outside of North America, operating flights (or scheduled to operate flights) to 25 US cities. BA has really been on an expansion kick recently, announcing flights to New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale, and Oakland of 12 days late last year, with more new routes expected to be announced this year. There was much speculation as to what these routes might be, though likely candidates seemed to be Nashville, Indianapolis, or St. Louis (BA has got both coasts covered pretty well, so it seemed like launching more flights to the midwest/upper south would help them fill in some of the blanks on their route map).
Last week, The Tenessean reported that BA was close to announcing flights to Nashville, with the story putting the announcement “as soon as next week.” The reports seemed credible (the sources cited, while anonymous, seemed to work for either BA or the Nashville airport authority), and Nashville seemed like a logical new destination for BA, so I was pretty sure that we would actually see this route announced pretty soon.
Today, BA announced that it will begin nonstop London-Heathrow to Nashville flights as of May 16, 2018. The flight will operate five times weekly (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday) using a Boeing 787-8 (with 35 business class seats,, 25 premium economy seats, and 154 economy seats, for a total of 214). The original Tennessean article mentioned that the airport would be offering “incentives” (in other words small subsidies, which is entirely normal and aren’t even close to enough to decide whether a route succeeds or fails) to BA for launching the route, though I’m sure BA will perform pretty well, since it will have a monopoly on travel to Europe from the Nashville area. As with most new BA routes, one can expect plenty of award availability, given BA’s policy of making 2 business class and four economy class seats available when the schedule opens plus more seats closer to departure.
Congrats to Nashville on this big news!