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The British Airways strike has been extended through to 30 August but, as I wrote yesterday, there is a small silver lining – the Qatar Airways A320 that have been operating some of BA’s short-haul routes will now be hanging around for a little bit longer.
I explained yesterday why the Qatar A320s are a bonus to those lucky enough to have them fly their routes and, since that blog posted, I’ve had a few messages asking how you can tell which routes the “better aircraft” will be flying.
The truth is that you can’t tell for sure which aircraft will be flying your route until the day of departure as aircraft get swapped around all the time….but we do have a reasonable idea which routes the Qatar Airways A320s have been flying so far.
The original 9 Qatar Airways aircraft that arrived to save BA’s posterior had the following registrations:
And, while a couple appear to be back working for Qatar Airways again (presumably replaced by others), we can use these registrations coupled with the FlightAware app to see what the remaining aircraft have been up to.
These two have been flying routes to Toulouse, Madrid, Istanbul, Oslo and Warsaw:
A7-ADE has done a few trips to Stuttgart and thrown in a Barcelona flight or two as well. While A7-ADF has serviced, Warsaw, Luxembourg and Prague:
And these two aircraft have been flying to Munich, Zagreb and Newcastle:
If you’re looking at BA.com and wondering if an upcoming flight will offer you the unexpected comfort of a Qatar Airways A320 there are two ways check:
- Through “Manage My Booking – the fight details section will show you what aircraft you’re scheduled to fly.
- If you have yet to book you can see what aircraft is scheduled to operate the route you’re looking at on the page displaying your flight choices:
There is no way to guarantee that you’ll get a Qatar Airways A320 operating your British Airways route….but some routes appear to have a higher probability than others.
From the little bit of research I’ve done I’d say that if you’re flying to/from Warsaw, Istanbul or Munich you have an above average chance of getting one of the good aircraft but there are plenty of others on which you could get lucky too.