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Topic: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: Englandair
Posted 2005-10-26 02:10:07 and read 3724 times.

Hello,

British Airways currently serves only 12 longhaul routes from London Gatwick, five of which are to the USA. Due to Bermuda Two and the current US/UK agreement, BA are unable to serve ATL, DFW, IAH, MCO & TPA from their main base of Heathrow (thus serving them from LGW instead). Now obviously with slot constraints as they are, British Airways are very unlikely to want to serve the likes of Orlando and Tampa (primarily leisure routes ex UK) from LHR but what about the other three?

With the current open skies talks between the EU & US I've been wondering a lot about the future of BA (longhaul at least) at Gatwick.
Take Houston for instance- apparently one of BA's biggest earners. The traffic connecting to oil rich Africa is so important for BA that there is a daily shuttle from ORD to IAH just so BA can get the feeder pax. It seems to me that given the chance (which may appear soon) BA would jump at moving IAH "up the road"! Any thoughts?
What about the other 2? Dallas is of course also one of the oil capitals of the world, and oil means money. Atlanta? Another important business market that BA can't currently serve from their main hub, but may be able to soon.

Could we see some of the traditional Gatwick routes joining the other key US business cities at Heathrow if the 'rules' change? It's well known that slots and ground space are an issue at LHR but would BA sacrifice, say a NCL rotation, in order to free up slots for a money making route?

I have had a couple of glasses of vino (and the cheap stuff too!) so if I'm rambling, my apologies, but I'd love to know your views on the future of BA's LGW-USA services should the current agreements change.

Many thanks!  Smile

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: JoFMO
Posted 2005-10-26 02:41:42 and read 3678 times.

I expect GTW loosing all US destinations beside some leasure orientated ones like Las Vegas, Tampa and Orlando.
Maybe BA even leaves GTW as a whole.

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: VV701
Posted 2005-10-26 03:20:06 and read 3646 times.

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 1):
I expect GTW loosing all US destinations beside some leasure orientated ones like Las Vegas, Tampa and Orlando.
Maybe BA even leaves GTW as a whole.

I agree that BA would quit LGW for long haul. Certainly services to ATL, DFW and IAH would be moved to LHR, particularly if DL, AA and CO flew from these cities to LHR. To leave the 'leisure' flights to MCO and TPA at LGW would be very costly and the number of slots needed to transfer them to LHR would be relatively small.

However BA with only 37 per cent of slots at its home base at LHR - much smaller I believe than any other non-British major international airline - could not afford to quit LGW. Indeed some short haul flights could be mover there from LHR to create slots for the incoming long haul flights.

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: DeltaGator
Posted 2005-10-26 04:48:09 and read 3588 times.

Please pardon my ignorance but this topic has interested me lately given the news clippings and talks of renegotiation. Any info you could give would be great.

I understand the limitations of Bermuda II and how it allows AA, UA, BA, and VS only to fly into LHR from the States. VS was not an original party to it so what all had to happen for them to be added.

Regarding LGW, I know BA uses it for the longhaul routes to the States for those cities you already mentioned but I have these questions. Why can't they fly to those cities out of LHR? Is that part of Bermuda II as well? How much domestic/EU traffic does BA fly out of LGW? What other longhaul routes do they serve out of LGW and why there instead of LHR?

It just doesn't seem like good business sense to have two hubs, albeit LGW is most likely smaller in size, in the same city. I understand they have to because of current constraints but having two sets of infrastructures to handle long haul aircraft has to be expensive to maintain.

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: BCAL
Posted 2005-10-26 10:35:32 and read 3491 times.

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 3):
VS was not an original party to it so what all had to happen for them to be added.

Laker (Skytrain) was the second designated UK carrier in the original Bermuda II agreement, although all their flights originated from LGW. Following Laker's collapse, BCal was granted temporary permission to operate on some routes until their merger with BA when VS successfully bid for the routes. Interestingly, BD did not submit any bid at the time the licences were available. It is stated that they did not have any suitable long haul fleet at that time and were concentrating on expanding their short-haul network. Today, BD is complaining how unfair Bermuda II is, stating that they should be allowed to operate US routes from LHR, and pressing hard for open skies. Seems like a case of sour grapes.

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 3):
Regarding LGW, I know BA uses it for the longhaul routes to the States for those cities you already mentioned but I have these questions. Why can't they fly to those cities out of LHR? Is that part of Bermuda II as well?

You will find an excellent primer of Bermuda II here Bermuda II Synopsis (by B747-437B Jun 12 2002 in Civil Aviation)

Quoting DeltaGator (Reply 3):
What other longhaul routes do they serve out of LGW and why there instead of LHR?

Apart from Atlanta, Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston, long-haul routes flown by BA from LGW are

  • Orlando and Tampa, which due to Bermuda II cannot be operated from LHR
  • Antiqua, Barbados, Bermuda, Kingston, St Lucia and Tobago which are operated from LGW as they are principally tourist destinations so that valuable slots at LHR are put to more efficient use.
I believed that BA also served Nairobi from LGW but this is no longer listed.

[Edited 2005-10-26 10:54:07]

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: Englandair
Posted 2005-10-26 16:06:09 and read 3313 times.

As well as the shuttles from Antigua to Tabago & St. Lucia, there's also one to Grenada.

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: RayChuang
Posted 2005-10-26 16:16:35 and read 3286 times.

I think BA will continue to fly from LGW for long-haul, but only to tourist-oriented destinations: MCO, LAS, and a few others. Most of the flights that cater to premium passengers will likely be moved to LHR, especially once LHR completes Terminal 5's first phase.  Smile

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: Kiwiandrew
Posted 2005-10-26 16:20:08 and read 3279 times.

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 6):
I think BA will continue to fly from LGW for long-haul, but only to tourist-oriented destinations: MCO, LAS, and a few others

BA doesn't fly to LAS - that is a VS route  Smile

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: FlyCaledonian
Posted 2005-10-26 19:27:54 and read 3216 times.

I think that post 9/11, when BA really dumped the idea of operating a dual hub system based on LHR and LGW, we saw BA move all the key flights to LHR except IAH, ATL and DFW that are specifically mentioned under Bermuda II. Open Skies would see those flights move to LHR, leaving LGW as a leisure orientated base for BA. Don't forget, a lot of shorthaul routes that overlap with LHR have been dropped at LGW too.

Open Skies would also bring other issues into play.

UA would possibly look at launching DEN-LHR. Under Bermuda II this flight would have to operate to LGW if UA launched it now, where it has no operations, so incurring more costs. It would also force BA to switch its DEN-LHR flight to LGW, but UA aren't going to launch the flight just to do that. Suggestions that the remaining LHR-JFK turn is to keep the slots warm for just such a DEN service when it becomes possible.

LHR slots - CO and DL would be the two carriers most definitely wanting the most LHR slots. NW and US would too, while AA would need them to transfer its DFW/RDU flights. The UK government wouldn't just be able to magic those slots up, nor give them away. My hunch is that any agreement would not, indeed could not, come fully into play until 2008 when T5 opens. Even if the slot issue was resolved how can the present LHR accommodate all those additional North American flights in the existing terminals? You've got to think that DL, for example, might want to launch JFK-LHR, while AA might add SJC-LHR, and as I've speculated UA DEN-LHR.

LGW future? VS and BA (Except IAH/DFW/ATL) would probably maintain their existing LGW North American operations. Out of the US carriers, CO could maintain a 757 EWR-LGW link for local traffic, as well as the seasonal 757 CLE-LGW, alongside 2xdaily 777 to LHR. DL and AA might be forced to initially operate from ATL and DFW respectively into both LGW and LHR until they were able to get enough slots at the latter. Could, however, the new US look at staying at LGW, as this would be cheaper than a move to LHR, or would it feel it needed to be at LHR?

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: A340600
Posted 2005-10-26 19:38:18 and read 3170 times.

As many have said in here, if the Bermuda II agreement stops I think we will see the IAH/DFW/ATL services going with the leisure orientated flights remaining. VS have already done this, pretty much all leisure flights now operating from LGW. I would be pretty sure that a lot of the US carriers would move but LHR simply cannot get the slots out of thin air and LGW is still needed in that way. US are the most likely to stay as FlyCaledonian said.

The short haul ops have been reduced on some cross over routes with LHR but there is still quite a strong business network, whether or not this remains i'm not too sure.

[Edited 2005-10-26 19:39:44]

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: VV701
Posted 2005-10-26 21:47:21 and read 3062 times.

The problem of an Open Skies agreement is the slots that would be required to give even one additional US airline anything like a significant and profitable service out of Heathrow.

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 8):
My hunch is that any agreement would not, indeed could not, come fully into play until 2008 when T5 opens.

Of course terminal capacity is also an issue. But when T5 solves that problem there still will not be a substantial number of slots available. It seems to me that the only solution is the third (short) runway. At present that is on more or less permanent hold because of EU pollution regulations. So I wonder if the EU negotiates an Open Skies solution whether they will waive the atmospheric pollution regulations so that theoretical Open Skies become a practical possibility.

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: FlyCaledonian
Posted 2005-10-27 01:01:48 and read 2973 times.

It's been suggested that LHR could increase capacity by altering runway operations, and that would bring terminal capacity into play. short of that third runway no way you'll get all those LGW trans atlantic flights into LHR otherwise.

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: N1120A
Posted 2005-10-27 01:11:32 and read 2966 times.

Quoting JoFMO (Reply 1):
I expect GTW loosing all US destinations beside some leasure orientated ones like Las Vegas, Tampa and Orlando.
Maybe BA even leaves GTW as a whole.

BA doesn't fly to Las Vegas, and London Gatwick is LGW. GTW was Berlin-Gatow

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 8):
The UK government wouldn't just be able to magic those slots up, nor give them away. My hunch is that any agreement would not, indeed could not, come fully into play until 2008 when T5 opens.

Terminal capacity is definately not the biggest issue at LHR, it is the fact that they have nearly 70 million passengers per year only using 2 runways.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 10):
At present that is on more or less permanent hold because of EU pollution regulations.

You could probably pretty easily get through those if runway slots on the new runway were only given to clean aircraft

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: IADLHR
Posted 2005-10-27 01:23:40 and read 2942 times.

Some how or another I dont think it will be 2008 until the Openskies comes into full play.Tthe Irish government wanted a 2-3 year phase in of the elimination of the SNN stopover.The US told Ireland that was unacceptable.

So following that line of reasoning, I wonder what the US would say if there was the same phase in at LHR.

Topic: RE: Future Of BA @ LGW If Open Skies Goes Ahead?
Username: FlyCaledonian
Posted 2005-10-27 01:27:41 and read 2939 times.

sorry to disagree on the terminal capacity, but have you seen LHR in the morning with all the international arrivals? Be hard work at the minute squeezing the LGW ops in


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