Miami heat: the city is ideal for a winter escape, especially with the A380 servicing the route this season. Photo: Getty Images

Inspiration • January 2017

Where do pilots go on holiday?

The Club asked a panel of well-travelled British Airways pilots which destinations they want to travel to when they’re off duty

Central and South America, says Captain Rob de Martino, Airbus A380 fleet
I’m looking forward to our new Boeing 787 planes flying to Lima and San Jose (Costa Rica) in 2017. Sandwiched between the mighty Andes and the Pacific Ocean, the approach into Lima takes us over the mountains where, on a good day, we are treated to some of the most heart-stopping views. Costa Rica is so vibrant and was named the world’s happiest country in 2014. It has everything from fantastic beaches and wonderful wildlife to eco forests – and the best coffee.
New route on your radar? I always enjoy returning to Florida, so I am thrilled that BA will be flying to Fort Lauderdale from July 2017. An alternative gateway to the dynamic city of Miami (a 30-minute drive away), it’s a great jumping-off point for a cruise to the Bahamas or Caribbean.

Miami, says Senior First Officer Ilkka Tahvanainen, Airbus A380 fleet 
We’re flying the A380 to Miami in the winter season. It’s one of my favourite places because there’s so much to do in the area, from beaches to shopping, plus the Everglades and Florida Keys are within driving distance. As a bit of a space aficionado, I also love the Kennedy Space Center, where you can try the Shuttle Launch Experience simulator – it apparently provides an even more realistic ‘ride’ to orbit than Nasa’s own crew-training simulators ever did.
New route on your radar? I’m excited about the flight to Oakland, which will give an extra entry point to the San Francisco city and Bay Area. Rent a car while you’re there to explore the nearby Napa and Sonoma wine regions.

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Into the wild: Canada’s National Parks are a big draw for visitors. Photo: Getty Images

Canada, says First Officer Chloe Harrison, Airbus A320 fleet, Gatwick 
I’ve always wanted to explore Canada and discover its vast national parks, majestic heritage sites and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains. As a keen rider, I’m also excited about the mountain-biking scene there – it’s home to some of the best bike parks in the world.
New route on your radar? I fly over Croatia quite regularly, so would love to do a road trip there from Pula, taking in the undulating hills and scenic coastline.

The Middle East, says Senior First Officer Aoife Duggan, Airbus A320 fleet 
After a long week at work, there’s nothing better than waking up to the sunshine over the Arabian Gulf in Dubai (when I fly as a passenger). On the descent into the airport, there are wonderful views of the Burj Khalifa. I’m also a big fan of Amman, because I love taking a day trip to the Dead Sea for some rest and relaxation. Petra is also a must. It’s one of the most awe-inspiring places I’ve been to.
New route on your radar? Zakynthos. I’ve never been to any of the Greek islands, but I fly over them regularly and they look stunning.

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Rocinha, Rio’s biggest favela. Photo: Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro, says Senior First Officer Stuart Green, Boeing 777 fleet
I’m always excited to fly to Rio de Janeiro. The city has such a great buzz about it, particularly in the favelas (shanty towns). I run a UK-registered climbing charity for disadvantaged children there called Urban Uprising that helps a local school in Rocinha, Rio’s biggest favela. Approximately 100,000 people live in the houses that sprawl across the hillside, all centred on Oscar Niemeyer’s famous bridge. It’s also five minutes from the beautiful Sao Conrado beach.
New route on your radar? I’d love to visit Santiago to explore the surrounding vineyards that sprawl from the foot of the Andes, before venturing north for star-gazing in the Atacama Desert.

This article has been tagged BA, Travel Tips