Monkeyboi From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 457 posts, RR: 3 Posted (8 years 10 months 20 hours ago) and read 3793 times:
I've seen loads of posts on here recently about BA suspending routes, many of the posts seem to feel that BA has not fully considered the implications of doing this.
Anyway, last week I picked up the latest copy of the weekly 'BA News' (Staff paper) and there was a whole spread in there about the job of 'Network Planning'. It went on to describe all its duties, which includes deciding to suspend a route.
From Robert Boyle, Diector of Commercial Planning, BA:
"BA's route network strategy can be divided into three main categories. Heathrow serves as the airline's hub, serving point-to-point and transfer flows. Gatwick is biased toward shorthaul point-to-pont services, leisure oriented longhaul destinations, and serving US destinations, which are prevented by bilateral agreement from being operated from Heathrow. The third is BA's regional network, mainly serviced by BA citiExpress. Before prposing to suspend an exisiting route, network planning will monitor the route for a period of time and try various actions to stem losses. For example they may ask the sales or marketing teams to give the route a more specific focus, and perhaps review fares. To reduce the routes costs, network planning may also consider changing the aircraft to a smaller type, or reducing frequencies. If these measures fail to improve results, network planning looks at whether the route is making a positive contribution to the route network as a whole. For example, a route may not be profitable in it's own right, but it may add high volume demand onto other routes in the network. Only after these factors have been considered will network plan that a route be suspended. Once they have agreed to a detailed proposal about suspending or adding a route, network planning presents this to the leadership team, who make the final decision."
Speedbird2155 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 856 posts, RR: 5 Reply 2, posted (8 years 10 months 19 hours ago) and read 3582 times:
I think this post is simply in response to those persons who seem to think that BA should fly routes just to be able to say that they fly to certain places and to emphasis that if the route doesn't serve BA's financial position, then it will be dropped.
Monkeyboi From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 457 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (8 years 10 months 18 hours ago) and read 3492 times:
RTFM...indeed, this is a post aimed for those to read that don't understand why BA suspend routes and make comments like 'but BA has been flying there for 50 years' or 'everytime I flew that route the plane was full'. It was to have an (albeit indirect) positive spin to it.
Indeed I am a big BA fan and one of their loyal employees.
Scotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3 Reply 5, posted (8 years 10 months 17 hours ago) and read 3353 times:
Airlines are a business, plain and simple. If a route is not making money, why operate it? As to their EU operations, maybe they should create a wholly owned subsidiary, that way it won't impact so much on their profitable operations.
They say they are barely breaking even on their EU ops, so why keep them? If they are so important for their long-haul, so be it, then don't complain.
Madhatter From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 240 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (8 years 10 months 11 hours ago) and read 3161 times:
The emphasis that BA do appear to be placing is on maintaining their intercontinental long haul services and that appears to be where the money is being made if their European services are just breaking even yet they're still making a profit. A controversial move would be to break up the airline again into what it was prior to 1974 and have to seperate carriers - one concentrating on short haul and the other on long haul. The short haul carrier would be a franchise operation under the BA name but this would be able to merge BA Citiexpress into it as well. A lower cost operation such as GB Airways operates could work very well whilst still maintaining a great feeder service for the long haul routes. This would also be a way around possible merger issues with Iberia regarding giving up slots at LHR as the main long haul BA would control less slots and thus would not need to give up slots? Just a thought?
BCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 18 Reply 11, posted (8 years 10 months ago) and read 2787 times:
Quoting AIR MALTA (reply 8): And what if GB airways ceases to be a BA franchisee, what will happen to all BA destinations served by GT and which were transeferred to them like FAO, OPO and AGP.
GB's franchise agreement with BA runs until 2010 and anything might happen between now and then.
For routes that BA operated in its own right but are now operated by GB Airways under the franchise agreement, the rights would revert to BA. BA would then have to choose whether to operate the route itself or relinquish it. GB Airways could then tender for the route but might face competition from bmi among other UK carriers.
Many of the routes currently operated by GB Airways as franchise partner are routes that GB established in their own right, partially under the BA umbrella with the affiliate membership of the oneworld global airline alliance. If the franchise agreement terminated, GB would have to decide whether it had the full resources to continue the route as an independent carrier.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
Cornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 55 Reply 12, posted (8 years 10 months ago) and read 2768 times:
Its worth looking at what happened when Maersk Uk/Duo stopped flying, having been a BA franchise carrier out of Birmingham. Some of the routes BA restarted themselves, some they just dropped all together, figuring they weren't worth it. Would be the same with any other franchise carrier such as GB. If it was a lot of routes, they could conceivably farm them out to another carrier as franchise.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
DoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 13, posted (8 years 10 months ago) and read 2730 times:
Regarding the franchise/route agreements, I know for a fact that another BA franchise, Bmed owns all of the slots it uses at LHR, even those used to operate former BA mainline routes (THR, AMM, DAM etc.)
If in theory BA and Bmed parted ways, am I right in thinking the above routes would revert to BA, but not the slots?
Monkeyboi From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 457 posts, RR: 3 Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 2620 times:
Madhatter, i'm sure BA would LOVE to do what you propose....turn the LHR short-haul 'mainline' operation into a CitiExpress sunsidiary or have the staff working to a contract similar to those of the crews at the LGW 'euro-gatick' operation.
There is one major stumbling block though.....the 4,000-odd cabin crew and 500 pilots with 'mainline' contracts at LHR short-haul and their Trade Unions. I can't speak on behalf of the pilots, but for the Cabin Crew 90% are in the rather militant 'BASSA' union. All our union negotiated payments, number of days off, conditions etc actually form part of our 'Contract of Employment' and cannot be changed without the Union gaining the permission of it's members. No changes in our hours worked, pay, break periods, days off, leave entitlement (all of which are very generous) etc can be enforced by the management.
Why would a union be "militant"? Not to digress from the post, but what grevious unholy sin has BA committed in the world of aviation industrial relations to warrant a union being "militant".
Obviously, BA management have been concerned for some time that the EU ops were not contributing much to the group as a whole. I think most of their profits on the transatlantic were about even for the losses on their short-haul, and that was pre 9/11!
They say they are breaking even now, which given the current climate, is no mean feat. But I guess it's not good enough.
Monkeyboi From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 457 posts, RR: 3 Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2011 times:
The union-management relationship within BA in-flight services department can be quite a strained one. Obviously the management come up with these ideas to reduce costs, but can't introduce them because of the union. The unions stamp of approval is not only required for making changes to our terms and conditions but also anything from reducing crew numbers on flights to changing the in-flight service. The history isn't great with the last strike occuring in 1997 and costing BA millions. There are two unions within BA for cabin crew, BASSA, who claim to represent 90% on the short-haul cabin crew (and 85% of long-haul cabin crew). And 'Cabin Crew 89 union' (the more BA management 'friendly' union) who for somewhat dubious reasons do not release their membership figures. But taking into account the fact that a small percentage of the crew are in no union it's membership probably stands at about 5%.
Although BA's short-haul network as a stand-alone network does not generate profit, they are ESSENTIAL for feeding BA's long-haul flights. Indeed, on the huge profit making trans-atlantic routes around 40-55% (depending on the route) of the passengers on-board have used a BA short-haul flight to transfer via LHR.
BA short-haul, while expensive, is a necessary evil for BA. Short-haul would be nothing without having the long-haul network to feed onto. And the long-haul network would struggle without the feed from the short-haul network.