April 2024

How do we… decide on a new route?

Jakob Zimmermann
Jakob Zimmermann

Senior Manager, Network and Fleet

To celebrate the debut of two spectacular BA Euroflyer routes to Agadir (31 March) and Jersey (23 May), we ask Jakob Zimmermann – Senior Manager at BA Euroflyer – to reveal the golden rules for choosing a new destination. Plus, once you’ve discovered the secrets to getting a new route off the ground, test your know-how with our destination quiz…

1) Identify the opportunity
The first step is to identify where we want to fly. We review demand patterns, analyse customer needs, and monitor what the competition is doing. Put it this way – we are always on the lookout for new routes!

2) Check the feasibility
Next, we explore whether we can actually fly to the destination. We work with operational teams to assess aircraft and airfield limitations. After all, we need to make sure that the plane has the range to make it there.

3) Make the case
Now it’s time to look a bit closer at the profitability. We negotiate support from airports and tourist boards and if the route is looking profitable, we prepare our business case for it and get approval from all relevant stakeholders at British Airways (such as the airlines Leadership Team). Then, green light! 

4) Prepare for launch
Just before launch, we coordinate with many areas of the business, everyone from Revenue Management to Ground Operations, to ensure readiness. We prepare the schedule, secure slots at both ends of the flight and work with the press office and marketing teams to discuss promoting the route. Obviously, the fares also need to be made available to customers so that they can book tickets. 

5) Start selling
We then ‘press the button’. Flights are loaded on to ba.com and, at a pre-agreed time, our colleagues in Commercial Operations push them live. From here on in, we monitor the sales performance, and the various operational teams begin prep for the debut flight. And, with that, we have grown another route!

This article has been tagged Destination, Technology