British Airways operates (2) Boeing 747-400s Washington Dulles – London Heathrow over the summer, and swaps that out for an Airbus A380 and a Boeing 787-9 during winter. Virgin Atlantic and United also fly the route.
When American announced that they would be dropping a Miami – London flight and their joint venture partner British Airways would be picking it up instead I noted,
There’s still the long-running rumor that American might replace one of the two British Airways Washington Dulles – London Boeing 747-400 frequencies, so it’s possible this isn’t the last joint venture swap that gets announced.
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The idea was that British Airways might have too much capacity between DC and London, and that American could deploy smaller aircraft on the route. That would then make larger planes available to take over some London flying currently operated by American such as New York JFK flights. Currently American and BA operate out of different terminals at JFK, meaning their shuttle-like service isn’t as convenient to last minute business travelers as it could be.
Swapping which carrier in the revenue-sharing joint venture operates which route could both match capacity to market and better optimize schedules for customer demand. One theoretical option to do this was having American operate out of Washington Dulles.
That was the rumor a year ago. However sources at American Airlines tell me that is now off the table.