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Why Don't BA Operate Cargo Aircraft  
User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7531 posts, RR: 17
Posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3580 times:

British Airways World Cargo do not operate any aircraft of their own. Of course they fill the holds of BA passenger aircraft. They also used to have a 744 operated for them by Atlas Air:

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Then Atlas Air took a 49 per cent stake in a new airline, Global Supply Systems, that's raison d'etre is to operate freight flights on behalf of BA World Cargo:

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They also usually have a 742 on wet lease from Atlas Air:

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and take space and code share with Korean Air Cargo. Except for the Korean aircraft that operates into LHR, the other 747s fly out of STN. A lot of transfer freight makes the quite long road journey between the two airports.

For shorthaul air freight I also believe that all (?) DHL flights operating into LHR are operating on behalf of BA. These flights are usually at the weekend when LHR slot constraint is not so critical and DHL has spare capacity from its own business package work.

But why has BA not had its own in house freighter operation since they sold G-KILO to CX back in the early to mid 1980s?

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3567 times:

My guess would be the price in gas these days. Many airlines, including WN have cut out mail cargo from their passenger fleets due to gas prices. Outside of gas, the amount of effort and time to make an airline just for cargo along with maintaining an entire fleet of cargo aircraft is a logistical nightmare for an airline like BA. With Atlas, LH, and other international cargo operators the risk for a return in profit is too high to invest 100% in, outside of their current investment in the global cargo operations.

My guess.

Matt



"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineRTFM From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3390 times:

Quoting UA777222 (Reply 1):
My guess would be the price in gas these days.

Well BA pay for the fuel on the wet-leased freighters anyway and any bought space agreement (like the ones they have with KE, JL & BR) will be priced accordingly to cover those costs. The reason that BA don't own their own freighter fleet is all the other costs associated with buying a running a small 'airline within an airline'. Plus it makes it easier to lay on or reduce capacity to take account of fluctuations in the markets.


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9375 posts, RR: 29
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3358 times:

On the contrary, a lot of airlines realise that the additional revenue from freight is most welcome. Leave it to a GSA to do the sales and handling and get a fixed price for each kg flown, and the rest is pure profit as long as the additonal fuel needed for the uplift is paid. Leisure Cargo in Germany has a lot of customers who have been flying empty bellies around before they got acustomed to that business model,

BA was, with a few exceptions, never a cargo airline. They have a very bad reputation in that field some of which is caused by the "White Elephant" in LHR, a cargo centre that swallows freight and more than often they hever find the pieces again. Transit times are a night mare and unless you have a through palett you better not try to use that service. More, running the main operation from LHR and cargo from STN is not such a good idea either.

LHR is simply too congested and the place is too small to accomodate a sizeable cargo operation. With the massive wide body passenger a/c prsence, the overall tonnage still is quite impressive.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineBA787 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 2596 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3338 times:

They list on the BA World Cargo site that they operate 744f and 742f and 752f who owns the 752f then

Was about to ask about this myself

Tom Big grin


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9375 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3311 times:

Quoting BA787 (Reply 4):
They list on the BA World Cargo site that they operate 744f and 742f and 752f who owns the 752f then

DHL does. Some of these flights on which BA codeshares are operated by A300F as well. DHL runs an extensive operation at LHR using the available connectivity.



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User currently offlineBA787 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 2596 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3291 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 5):

Is that why many of the ex BA 752's go to DHL then?

Tom


User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9375 posts, RR: 29
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3288 times:

Quoting BA787 (Reply 6):
Is that why many of the ex BA 752's go to DHL then?

No, I do not see any connection there. BA wanted to get rid of a couple of 752's and DHL needed some, that's all.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineTristarSteve From Sweden, joined Nov 2005, 4007 posts, RR: 34
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3265 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 7):
No, I do not see any connection there. BA wanted to get rid of a couple of 752's and DHL needed some, that's all.

It was a few more than a couple. I think it was 34 aircraft.


User currently offlineWrighbrothers From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 1875 posts, RR: 9
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3176 times:

Quoting VV701 (Thread starter):
But why has BA not had its own in house freighter operation since they sold G-KILO to CX back in the early to mid 1980s?

I'd guess that the cost of operating them is not as atractive as wet-leasing, probably cheaper.
BA used to operate 707 freighters aswell, but were sold.

Wrighty



Always stand up for what is right, even if it means standing alone..
User currently offlineLeezyjet From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 4042 posts, RR: 53
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 2 days ago) and read 2966 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 3):
They have a very bad reputation in that field some of which is caused by the "White Elephant" in LHR, a cargo centre that swallows freight and more than often they hever find the pieces again.

An old friend of mine used to work for BAX Global, and they were shipping a tractor to someplace with BA, and it got "lost" in the cargo centre at LHR !!!.

It wasn't until he threatend to drive down there and search for it himself that they managed to find it.

How the hell does a cargo company manage to loose a TRACTOR ???


 crazy 



"She Rolls, 45 knots, 90, 135, nose comes up to 20 degrees, she's airborne - She flies, Concorde Flies"
User currently offlineRTFM From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 424 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2821 times:

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 3):
BA was, with a few exceptions, never a cargo airline. They have a very bad reputation in that field

Well I don't know what the 2005 rankings were but in 2004 BA were the 12 largest cargo carrying airline in the world in terms of FTKs (and that includes FedEx & UPS) which hardly indicates that they are 'never a cargo airline'. (Incidentally they are the largest cargo airline in the world that does not own any freighters.) They were also voted Cargo Airline of the Year in 2005 by Air Cargo News. Still I guess that's just their opinion against yours.....


User currently offlineETA Unknown From Comoros, joined Jun 2001, 2077 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2693 times:


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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.


As well as the 707's, BA experimented with a single 747-200F, three 747-236B combis and two leased MEA 747 combis. The freighter was deemed not suitable to their business model and sold to Cathay Pacific- the combis were refitted to all passenger use after only two years.


User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25358 posts, RR: 49
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2660 times:

Its most likely that it is cheaper for BA to lease in capacity such as the Atlas B747s then establishing its own pure cargo fleet again.

I'm sure if the economics favored a dedicated in house cargo fleet BA would not hesitate to make the move.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9375 posts, RR: 29
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2629 times:

Quoting Leezyjet (Reply 10):
How the hell does a cargo company manage to loose a TRACTOR ???

by ignorance of the employees. Someone placed it in a location where it is not supposed to be and that is all it needs. I used BA/BE cargo a lot decades ago, when BE still had their Vanguard freighters, was Ok then.

I would not even dream on using BA for FRA/LHR loco freight, it just takes toolong to get the shipments out of their system. LH is bad enough, suffering from the more than poor service Menzies as handling agents give them and the LH customers, but BA is worse.

Quoting RTFM (Reply 11):
Cargo Airline of the Year in 2005 by Air Cargo News. Still I guess that's just their opinion against yours.....

My opinion is based on working experience. Of course, BA is a large carrier of cargo by sheer size of their intercontinental fleet and the bellies they have to fill daily. They never took off as a combination carrier like AF , LH or KL. There may be many reasons for that, I have mentioned some here, the location and the fact that the channel has to be crossed by road feeder traffic may be two more reasons.

Now the test to get established on the continent by using is axed as well. BA will remain what it was most of the time, a belly carrier.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
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