If you are flying between the UK and continental Europe – particularly if you are taking advantage of low cost flights – the chances are that you will be travelling on one of a fairly small number of narrow-body aircraft types.
However, if you know where to look, there are numerous opportunities to fly short-haul on bigger aircraft types, including those that are usually only to be found on much longer (and more expensive) routes.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the most useful for those of us travelling to, from and around the Continent for rail-related reasons. Some only run on certain days of the week, these are shown in brackets.
Iberia – BA522 18:30 Heathrow to Madrid (7 days a week – can be either A330 or A340)
Iberia – IB3166 15:50 Madrid to Heathrow (7 days a week – can be either A330 or A340)
Air China – CA961 06:55 München to Athinai (W/S)
Air China – CA842 11:25 Barcelona to Wien (M/F/Su)
Swissair – LX1574 07:10 Zürich to Wien (F)
Swissair – LX1575 09:40 Wien to Zürich (F)
Swissair – LX1018 12:50 Zürich to Düsseldorf (F)
Swissair – LX1019 14:55 Düsseldorf to Zürich (F)
Swissair – LX1026 17:45 Zürich to Düsseldorf (F)
Swissair – LX1027 19:50 Düsseldorf to Zürich (F)
Finnair – AY832 10:20 Heathrow to Helsinki (M/W/Th/F/Su)
Finnair – AY831 08:00 Helsinki to Heathrow (M/W/Th/F/Su)
British Airways – BA456 06:20 Heathrow to Madrid (7 days a week)
British Airways – BA428 06:45 Heathrow to Amsterdam (7 days a week)
British Airways – BA902 07:05 Heathrow to Frankfurt (M/T/W/Th/Su)
British Airways – BA632 11:55 Heathrow to Athinai (7 days a week)
British Airways – BA780 13:15 Heathrow to Stockholm Arlanda (7 days a week)
British Airways – BA460 13:50 Heathrow to Madrid (M/T/W/Th/F/Su)
British Airways – BA558 18:20 Heathrow to Roma Fiumicino (M/T/Th/F/Su)
British Airways – BA551 08:00 Roma Fiumicino to Heathrow (M/T/Th/F/Su)
British Airways – BA429 10:25 Amsterdam to Heathrow (7 days a week)
British Airways – BA903 10:55 Frankfurt to Heathrow (M/T/W/Th/Su)
British Airways – BA457 11:10 Madrid to Heathrow (7 days a week)
British Airways – BA781 18:00 Stockholm Arlanda to Heathrow (7 days a week)
British Airways – BA461 18:25 Madrid to Heathrow (M/T/W/Th/F/Su)
British Airways – BA633 18:30 Athinai to Heathrow (7 days a week)
There are also a number of domestic UK flights using BA 767s, on the Heathrow to Glasgow and Edinburgh routes. The oldest of these planes dates from 1989 and they are scheduled for imminent withdrawal.
British Airways – BA458 07:25 Heathrow to Madrid (Summer 2017 – details TBC)
British Airways – BA459 11:45 Madrid to Heathrow (Summer 2017 – details TBC)
Korean Air – KE933 18:10 Wien to Zürich (Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday)
Air France – AF1681 09:40 Heathrow to Paris CDG (until October 2017, daily except Wednesday)
Air France – AF1680 07:30 Paris CDG to Heathrow (until October 2017, daily except Wednesday)
Ethiopian Airlines – ET725 19:30 Stockholm to Wien (Monday/Wednesday/Friday/Sunday)
LATAM Chile – LA704 15:05 Madrid to Frankfurt (7 days a week)
The situation with aircraft is far more fluid than that with trains. I’ll endeavour to keep this list as up-to-date as possible, but if you’re aware of any amendments that I need to make, please don’t hesitate to let me know.