Lazyshaun From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 545 posts, RR: 0 Posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6742 times:
Because of this deal with the US and the UK, there can only be 2 airlines operating to the US from LHR (BA & VS) , and 2 US airlines at LHR. BUT, if UA go bust, who will become the next US airline in LHR, or does it not work like that?
I'm not saying UA will go bust, but IF they do...
Although, it may take a while before they properly stop, and judging by the state of the 6 mains in the US, it could be any of them...
Commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10617 posts, RR: 62 Reply 4, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 6694 times:
Well, needless to say, I think it is very difficult to tell. No doubt, when or if (though I doubt it will happen) UA's slots and route authorities to LHR become available, an international diplomatic lobbying campaign and political pressure exertion will be at a level never before witnessed in the history of international civil aviation.
There are four US carriers that want at those slots: Continental, Delta, Northwest and USAirways. Of those, CO and DL have perhaps the best chances of getting meaningful, large access to LHR in the event of a UA collapse, as both are significantly larger at Gatwick than NW or US.
However, this is completely dependant on whether the US and UK governments can agree on the terms of another US carrier servicing Heathrow. Back in 1991, when AA assumed TW's former route authorities and UA assumed PA's, the UK government made it clear that it was a one-time, "special" arrangement not to be repeated.
That being said, I doubt that the UK would truly stick out and completely refuse to allow at least one other US carrier, in some form or another, to operate their own metal to LHR as the UK now has two carriers flying LHR-US, namely British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. In addition, the UK government may -- and I stress may -- be seen at a slight negotiation disadvantage relative to their bargaining position fourteen years ago because the US and the whole world knows that the EU is pressing harder and harder to abrogate all US bilaterals with European powers and that any agreement made today between the US and British governments could be null and void tomorrow.
Bottom line: in the very unlikely event of a UA shutdown and the subsequent availability of their LHR slots and authorities, the likelihood is that at least one American carrier, and perhaps more (although unlikely), would be given access to LHR using UA's slots after intense and incessant international diplomatic and legal wrangling from both sides of the pond.
Commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10617 posts, RR: 62 Reply 6, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6661 times:
Quoting DAL767400ER (Reply 5): I'm not 100% sure, but I believe Continental has first rights on any vacated LHR slots, should either UA or AA leave the market.
Nope. Unlike with many other international aviation route authorities, LHR rights have no official backups, as technically there are no other carriers with the legal right to fly from the United States to Heathrow but AA, UA, BA and VS. Bermuda II, the arrangement under which current LHR rights exist, stipulates that only these four carriers or their "corporate successors" may service LHR-United States routes. And, as was seen in 1991, determining for the world exactly what constitutes a "corporate successor" is an extremely difficult and intensely political process.
Well, CO is significantly larger at LGW than DL, but no doubt these two carriers would be the immediate frontrunners in any bid to succeed at UA at LHR. But, as I said, I doubt this will ever come to pass as I don't think UA is going to collapse any time soon.
Thrust From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2686 posts, RR: 10 Reply 7, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6633 times:
I think that is correct, DAL767400ER. When I was at LHR in at on January 3rd, 2003, I remember seeing a sign for Continental Airlines...likely Continental would be able to pick up LHR slots first...DL is a bit iffy....I think NW might have a better chance because they are not so concentrated in one city like DL is. In addition, they have several aircraft to choose on those routes...DL is limited to 8 Boeing 777s and their 767-300ER fleet....I think the 763ER is too small for most of the LHR routes, and it lacks the range to fly to London from the west coast nonstop. DL has focused almost all of its flights exclusively out of Atlanta, with the exception of their SLC hub. CO is in a much better position to operate the routes than DL, especially considering DL's fleet is mostly 767s, and from what I'm seeing the LHR slots demand at least several Boeing 777s or A330s at the smallest possible plane size...CO could better serve the routes than DL at this point. I don't see why NW does not have a shot at LHR....they are more flexible than DL, and have the A330s to do the LHR routes. Simply put, DL isn't flexible enough to do the LHR slots in my opinion. They are too concentrated in ATL and are too limited in Boeing 777s to do the routes. (Besides, LAX-LHR, SAN-LHR, and SFO-LHR all demand the range of a 777....DL has only 8 Boeing 777s right now, and they are already working hard enough. The only way DL could actually begin operating these routes efficiently would be to configure their 764ERs, which I doubt they'll do. these routes demand airplanes bigger than the 767-300ER...currently DL has few aircraft able to do the routes from the west coast.
ConcordeBoy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6591 times:
Quoting Commavia (Reply 6): Bermuda II, the arrangement under which current LHR rights exist, stipulates that only these four carriers or their "corporate successors" may service LHR-United States routes. And, as was seen in 1991, determining for the world exactly what constitutes a "corporate successor" is an extremely difficult and intensely political process.
Yes I seem to recall....
...though I'm also pretty sure DAL767400ER is correct in that CO does have a litigatory advantage as per the same legislation that allowed it to codeshare with VS nonstop from the mainland also specifies it has 1st dibs should A) B-II be amended or C) another USA carrier default in entirity.
Mendis showed me something about this a few years back, let's see if he'll chime in.
Commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10617 posts, RR: 62 Reply 10, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6552 times:
Quoting ConcordeBoy (Reply 8): though I'm also pretty sure DAL767400ER is correct in that CO does have a litigatory advantage as per the same legislation that allowed it to codeshare with VS nonstop from the mainland also specifies it has 1st dibs should A) B-II be amended or C) another USA carrier default in entirity.
I'm not aware of the stipulation you speak of, but I will take your word for it. However, I think CO would probably be the leading candidate for LHR access anyway, regardless of whether they have a preexisting legal right, as they are the largest US carrier at LGW.
Commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10617 posts, RR: 62 Reply 12, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6542 times:
Quoting Levg79 (Reply 9): If that was true, only VS, BA, AA, and UA would be operating LHR-United States. Then how is the following possible?
My apologies. I should have been more clear. This agreement only covers access to LHR by American and British carriers. The British government has throughout time granted access to several other countries' carriers for rights from Heathrow onward to the United States, like Kuwait Airways, Air India, Air New Zealand, etc. as you said.
DAL767400ER From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 5721 posts, RR: 48 Reply 13, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6503 times:
Quoting Thrust (Reply 7): DL is limited to 8 Boeing 777s and their 767-300ER fleet
The total of the 763ER stands at 59, out of which 51 are currently being used for international flights.
Quoting Thrust (Reply 7): I think the 763ER is too small for most of the LHR routes,
204 seats is an appropriate number. AA's 777s don't have that many more seats, which is due to the fact that AA has significantly more First/Business seats.
Quoting Thrust (Reply 7): and it lacks the range to fly to London from the west coast nonstop.
Delta has operated FRA-LAX with the 763ER before, so range is no issue.
Quoting Thrust (Reply 7): DL has focused almost all of its flights exclusively out of Atlanta, with the exception of their SLC hub.
If you mean European flights, replace SLC with JFK, and to a extent CVG. In total, ATL is the biggest hub for DL, followed by CVG and SLC.
Quoting Thrust (Reply 7): CO is in a much better position to operate the routes than DL, especially considering DL's fleet is mostly 767s, and from what I'm seeing the LHR slots demand at least several Boeing 777s or A330s at the smallest possible plane size...CO could better serve the routes than DL at this point.
The A330 is basically in the same seating range as the 763. And CO is stretched with planes as well. They need all their 777s for the flights to Asia, and the largest planes CO could free up, thanks to more 757s across the pond, would be their 764ERs, which seat 40 seats less than their 777, iirc.
About DL being limited with their resources, let's do some speculation on what DL *could* do.
First, they could pull their 777s on ATL-CDG and CVG-CDG and replace them with 763ERs, freeing up the 777s for LHR. The capacity drop will be taken car of by AF plane upgrades (773s to ATL and CVG ). Of course, this requires 3 763ERs. Well,let's have AZ operate the 2nd daily FCO-ATL flight, and you have one. FRA needs the 777 capacity, so you can't pull that one. However, you can still pull the one off ATL-MXP, have a 763ER there, and a new AZ flight to ATL. With these changes DL would have 4 777s for LHR, as well as 5 763ERs, for a total of 9 flights. Not to mention, it would be very likely that DL would reduce their 4x daily ATL-LGW service, by 2 flights, so LHR could be served 11x daily, and that without even converting any 764ERs.
Of course, this is all still a fantasy of an armchair CEO, but in aviation, anything can happen .
Sllevin From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 3376 posts, RR: 6 Reply 14, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6486 times:
The Heathrow slots are highly coveted and the slaes of those rights by UA will be one of the two core pieces that UA, much like Pan Am, will sell off prior to a bankruptcy in order to raise capital to continue operations. (The other pieces being the Japan rights).
Expect a bidding war. Heathrow is so coveted that any of the other majors will certainly take mortgages on their mothers and grandmothers, if not sell them outright. In the FlyerTalk weekend in Houston, Larry Kellner of CO was clear that Heathrow the thing he really wannts -- that it commands a 30 percent premium over Gatwick.
That said, I'd look for NW, which is in the best financial shape, to really put down the big bucks and come away the winner, but it'll be a giant poker game.
PVD757 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3393 posts, RR: 17 Reply 15, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 6471 times:
I personally think that it will be tied up in negotiation for the imediate future. The EU has been trying to take control of all agreements between the US and Europe. I'm sure they will have last say as to who gets the rights. I wouldn't be surprised they try to screw the US airlines over and give them to BMI.
PlaneSmart From New Zealand, joined Dec 2004, 739 posts, RR: 0 Reply 16, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6459 times:
If UA were to go bust, it would be managed in such a way that assets, including rights are retained under a UA or approved alternate banner, by ensuring 'trigger' events for relinquishing them, are not activated.
Do you not think that lawyers on both sides of the Atlantic haven't already looked at how this can be done, in such a way that it cannot be successfully challenged?
UA's ultimate marriage partners may well be one or more of the airlines that aspire to those slots anyway.
Carpethead From Japan, joined Aug 2004, 2876 posts, RR: 4 Reply 17, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6409 times:
If the availability of widebody aircraft is the issue, NW would be only one running, as they have more A330s on the way and the DC-10 retirement can be pushed back.
There's significant seat gap between the 763 & 333. NW has 298 seats compared to low 200s,
If UA were to go bust, BA would absolutely reap rewards with increased flying at least the core UA hubs like SFO, ORD & IAD. VS would upsize on those routes where it competes with UA but is limited on the number of slots.
Commavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 10617 posts, RR: 62 Reply 18, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6397 times:
This whole discussion about whether CO, DL, NW or any other airline has aircraft of appropriate size or the sufficient availability of such aircraft is pretty much a moot point. If any US carrier, and particularly CO and DL -- which have lobbied so long and so hard for access to LHR -- was given the right to land their metal at Heathrow, I am fairly certain that they would make the planes available even if they had to cut somewhere else. The opportunity to fly to LHR, arguably the most prestigous, high-yield and reliably profitable market on Earth, only comes along very seldomly. CO and DL would jump at the chance to fly their 767s, 777s or whatever else to LHR, no matter what it had to juggle around with its network to make it happen. LHR is just way too important!
LAXDESI From United States of America, joined May 2005, 5085 posts, RR: 48 Reply 19, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 6375 times:
Does the Bermuda 2 restrict the total no. of seats or the restriction strictly for no. of flights between USA/UK? If restriction is strictly on no. of flights, then why isn't every carrier using 747-400?
Ripcordd From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 1080 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6201 times:
If UA would go out of business they first would start selling off the LHR slots which will goto the highest bidding even if that means no other US carrier is allowed to fly into LHR. You would see Virgin/BA/AA probably buy most of the slots to keep out the competion. And just like LHR you have the NRT slots which are like gold also. And in the NRT case you would prob see JL/NW/ANA buy most of those slots to keep out competition there as well. The slots are almost priceless
SESGDL From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3436 posts, RR: 10 Reply 23, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 6154 times:
Quoting Thrust (Reply 7): DL is a bit iffy....I think NW might have a better chance because they are not so concentrated in one city like DL is.
What are you talking about? If DL got LHR access expect to see at least ATL-LHR, CVG-LHR, JFK-LHR, BOS-LHR, FLL-LHR, and more if they could. CO would simply do the usual IAH-LHR and EWR-LHR. Since when has DL been too dependant on ATL? They have three European gateways, ATL, CVG, and JFK. BOS also was for a short time in 2001.
ExFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9 Reply 24, posted (8 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 6123 times:
Quoting FA4B6 (Reply 20): Well since Airbus is so hot to give B6 330's ... I say B6 should enter the bidding war ... get a few 330's, and give it a run ...
I love it...boarding one of these to London:
Seriously, I don't think HMG or the US Antitrust Division would look kindly on having the number of US/UK airlines serving LHR drop from four to three. And I'd guess that if AA ever wants a shot at getting immunity from antitrust for the BA hook-up, they'd pass on bidding.
Most likely outcome? Either CO or NW, and since either one would represent SkyTeam, I suspect they'd work out in advance who would bid. (Wouldn't be surprised if they've already informally decided this between them.)
Of course, you could have some wild card...if they've got their financing in line, perhaps Primaris might change their business plan around to take advantage of the opportunity? (Their website claims that they intend to start flying to London in 2Q/2007. This, of course, presumes they ever start at all...)
Actually, if the US airlines believe that Bermuda II will be superceded by a EU-wide agreement with the US, the bidding war might not amount to that much anyway.
25 USAir330: Any chance that US Airways would have a better chance of getting these slots since they are part of the Star Alliance, or no?
26 MAH4546: If they put in the highest bid. UA isn't going to accept a lower bid because they are "friends".
27 Thrust: US Airways already flies to LHR, correct? I thought they do PHL-LHR with an A330?
28 Commavia: Unfortunately for them, no they don't. They have a daily A330 PHL-LGW and a daily A330 PHL-CLT. US does, however, desperately want to fly to LHR, jus
29 Lazyshaun: Wouldn't it be great if Pan Am bought UA, and Pan Am aircraft would once again be at LHR.... Anyway, back to reality, AA is bigger at LHR than UA, but
30 Cubsrule: It's interesting that all or nearly all US-LHR flying now is done with a 3-class product. That would surely change under any of the scenarios being di
31 IADLHR: Lets not forget that whatever US carrier ended up with the LHR slots, they would have some available aircraft as they would be dropping LGW in favor o
32 AKelley728: The reason you saw signs for Continental at LHR is because CO code-shares with VS from LHR.
33 AKelley728: Currently CO flies 777s 2x daily to LGW. If CO were to get LHR I could see them immediately moving the 777s over to LHR, and LGW going all 752.
34 Commavia: I doubt if CO would even still fly to LGW if they had the chance to fly to LHR. Nobody high-yielding business traveler worth their wallet in F ticket
35 Zone1: It would be nice to see DL bring back European flights from BOS, but with the MassPort not letting terminal A have customs, I doubt we will see DL fl
36 Commavia: I agree. I don't know where DL could fly in Europe from BOS. LGW is out for the obvious reasons -- the same reasons it failed the first time -- no hi
37 Mcdu: Who is going to take AA's slots at LHR when they go under?