April 11, 2018 / 3:35 PM / 10 months ago

British Airways says cheaper ticket now for sale on some long-haul routes

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: British Airways logos are seen on tail fins at Heathrow Airport in west London, Britain, February 23, 2018. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British Airways said cheaper fares were now for sale on certain long-haul routes, launching its new “basic” ticket price in a bid to compete with low-cost carriers on trans-Atlantic routes.

British Airways, owned by International Airways Group (ICAG.L), said on Wednesday that a “basic” one-way fare, a ticket which excludes a check-in bag and does not allow customers to select their seat, would cost from 175 pounds ($249) between London and Boston in the United States.

That compares to low cost carrier Norwegian’s (NWC.OL) 145 pound cheapest available fare according to its website on that same route.

British Airways is launching the fare in conjunction with its trans-Atlantic joint business partner airlines, American Airlines (AAL.O), Finnair and Iberia, in a move designed to counter rising competition.

The airlines are battling Norwegian and other budget carriers such as Canada’s Westjet (WJA.TO) and Iceland’s Wow Air, which are all stepping up expansion on routes between North America and Europe.

British Airways said that the new basic fare would also be available on flights to Oakland, Denver and Philadelphia in the U.S., as well as some other global destinations, but not yet on tickets between London and New York.

“If they (the fares) prove successful, we’ll look to roll them out to other destinations in the future,” British Airways said when asked about when the basic fare would be available on flights to New York.

Virgin Atlantic in March also added a cheaper ticket it called “economy light”.

($1 = 0.7041 pounds)

Reporting by Sarah Young, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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