Dstc47 From Ireland, joined Sep 1999, 1409 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (9 years 11 months 1 hour ago) and read 2787 times:
EI is indeed to return to Bristol from the end of March.
This is a rather odd decision, as EI have been dumping their UK provincial service points, especially those where FR are also present, to open up service to European mainland locations, where the returns and fleet utilisation is better.
Even stranger is the "once a day" mid day frequency, hard to see this being particularly satisfactory.
But given the historic nature of EI & BRS, nice to see them going back there.
Mcmahonsmr From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 318 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2527 times:
I was a bit surprised to see this news. I finally found the announcment in an obscure part of their website. Not living in Ireland anymore, I can't say whether they announced this new route with all the bells and whistles - like another DUB operator would. Perhaps it was in the Times, SBP etc.
I'm assuming that they found another way of stretching a UK Provincial route into the network given the delivery of the new 320s. Again, to re-iterate the flight times are odd, and not all that convenient for business travellers - this route appeals to the leisure market.
As for the other rumors... I'm not a big fan of rumors. Especially after the "Big CO Announcement on Monday" thread. Nonetheless, on other boards I have seen the San Francisco/Miami route. But there also seems to be a fascination with Cape Town. The rumor, and I stress that word, is that there is difficulty with cabin crew etc.
I would suspect that if we are going to see a new route - it will be Miami. The airline can operate the route daily with only one aircraft. While service to SFO and CPT would be WFS at best.
I'm glad to see EI turning around. On the other hand their inflight product is in serious need of an upgrade. Their J class transatlantic, a product which I once found excellent, is lagging behind the competition. Inflight entertainment, particularly in J with only 5 channel PTVs, and economy with rickety communal CRT dislays, needs serious upgrading. EI-DAA isn't enough.
Would you want to sit 12 hours on the way to Cape Town on the sleeperette seats in business? Or would you go BA flatbed via LHR, and get showers and massages etc? Yes, EI have the ishimi massage at the lounge but again, insufficient. SAA's 346 - is way ahead of the game.
I tend to think though, that soon we will see further announcements of new routes to start in March or June.
Kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12176 posts, RR: 35 Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2359 times:
There was a rumour of EI starting a SIN service, but it hasn't come to anything. As Mr. McMahon said, EI has had problems with crewing, but it has also fallen a bit behind on the service front; its J class needs updating and PTVs on A330-200s would be a good idea.
If they're going into competition on the Asian market, they need a good product and since EI has gone into the low cost arena, albeit very successfully, I don't think the commitment is there. Sure, they could compete on price, but yields are pretty low and people who are choosy about airlines - those willing to pay more - will want to go for the blue chip airlines.
Also, with EK looking likely to start a service to Dublin, that would also provide a direct service to most possible EI destinations, so they may have missed their chance.
Styles From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 89 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2298 times:
I would expect to see more Continental European destinations, to follow EI's succesful upgrade of service to Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc. before any long haul news. CPT is certainly a goal, but the crew issues need to be resolved before it can commence.
I concur on the J class product for EI trans atlantic; they definitely need to rework it as it has suffered over the last few years. At current, they would be ill equipted to compete against the Asian carriers if they were to open any long haul routes eastbound.
Mcmahonsmr From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 318 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 2230 times:
Talk about crew problems - wondering have they instituted the buy on board initiative yet on the UK and Continental European routes? Successful / unsuccessful as of yet? Customers receptive? Or can we say that Irish consumers are willing to accept LCCs as the norm? Can they implement the LCC concept on their transatlantic service or any future long haul destinations?
I doubt it. I highly doubt American or Asian consumers are going to warm to this concept for such long flights. I, too, have the heard the rumor on Singapore, which makes some sense - given the possibilities of oneworld feeds to Australia.
These new routes, Miami, San Francisco and Toronto (I've seen that too), Singapore and Cape Town have been discussed at great length. We all know that the bilateral is the main issue with Miami, San Francisco ans Toronto. Singapore and Cape Town appear to be crew issues.
But again, it falls back on the 330 upgrades. Alright, I think we all can agree that the 333s used on SA - Massachusetts">BOS and SA - New York">JFK are fine for the time being. But surely, the 332s need to updated if they are to be used for long hauls. SA - Florida">MIA-DUB is a long flight. So is SA - California">SFO-DUB. And especially is SIN-DUB and CPT-DUB. Business travellers have become used to the standard flatbed technology found in SA)">AA First, BA First and Club, SQ Skybed, and SA First. I think passengers in this market are willing to travel to LHR first for these amenities and travel onwards to DUB on BD or EI. As always, the economy passenger will consider the price first. But, a savvy economy traveler is going to weigh up the difference in price and level of comfort on board and the price difference involved. I still think SA)">AA, BA, SQ, and the SA 346, have the competitive advantage.
As a side note, I dropped off a relative of mine for the EI104 SA - New York">JFK-DUB flight about a week ago. There was no Premier check-in. The agent who ultimately checked in my aunt was rude. And, utterly refused to allow my aunt a third piece of checked baggage. If the airline is going to treat its premium passengers in an abusive, cattle like manner they aren't going to win any new customers. In the end, when I saw what was going on I went over to the desk. Again, I thought the agent was rude. She refused to call management - saying there was nothing he could do - ok??. In the end, the bag went free of charge when I remarked that I knew the J cabin was booked 6/36 and economy at less than 50%. I can see charging economy passengers - they need to make up the loss of money somewhere - but not premium passengers.
Apparently lounge policy has changed as well - no guests either.
Should they be marketing a "premium economy" cabin instead? Maybe so?