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User currently offline9V-SPI From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2000, 59 posts, RR: 0
Posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 2656 times:

It has just been announced that as from next year BA will be pulling off the LHR-KUL route due to low yields. What is BA doing wrong on this route?? How could they operate this route to make a profit on??? It just seems really strange that MH can operate a twice daily service and a thrice weekly service from Manchester and the demand be there for them.

I would love to hear your comments/suggestions on this route.


11 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 391 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2621 times:

the same applies to their planned axing of Islamabad and their former Karachi services, why? 

.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineG-KIRAN From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2000, 736 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2617 times:

Its all very funny really.First Lufthansa pulled out of KUL due to decreasing demand while MAS flies daily(I think) to Frankfurt and Munich using 747s and 777s.Air France followed suit halting routes to Paris while MAS flies 6 times a week using 747s.Meanwhile KLM and Lauda Air still have services to KUL and Alitalia code-shares with MAS from Rome.
MAS also flys to New York(Newark) and LAX.But the only US airline to fly to KUL is Northwest which flies to LA Gaurdia via Tokyo and Detroit using a Dc10 while MAS uses 747s and 777s.
The Malaysian government is trying to promote KUL as a hub so they cant be to blame I think.
May be European airlines cant compete with MASs multiple flights plus good service on board.
So now that gives MAS all the potential traffic from LHR,CDG,FRA,Manchester,Zurich and Zagreb to KUL.

User currently offlineApioca From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2613 times:

Operating costs! seems the logical answer.

MAS payscales do not match those of western airlines.

User currently offlinePhileo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 2612 times:

If you want to fly to LHR via KUL, in terms of general airfares evaluation:

Cheapest=SIA (due to need of transit in Changi)
after that=MAS
Most expensive=BA

It was really surprise to come across BA couldn't make profit on 6 times weekly flight to KUL with B772. How come the smaller aircraft with higher frequency strategy fails in this route?

User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2939 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2589 times:

A problem with many carriers is the fact that they tend to see Singapore and Malaysia as a single market - so Kuala Lumpur historically has lost out to Changi. Many airlines had been using SIN as a hub and therefore find it difficult to use KUL as a 'second' hub...'second' being the operative word here.

Malaysia Airlines however does not see KUL as an alternative hub but the reverse is true with SIN as a feeder airport into KUL so offers passengers the best service out of KUL - which makes sense as the national carrier.

Put yourself in this position - you want to fly KUL-(say)FRA. Lufthansa still tries to sell itself through STAR offering the 'Lion' or 'Angel' connection via SIN or BKK...why would anyone CHOOSE to fly via either airport when MAS offers 6 non-stop flights a week? Most airlines do the same 'ALL FLIGHTS via SIN' in the small print...that's like AA or UA only offering passengers a LHR-JFK service via CDG or AMS - true some passengers may not mind a transfer but in the long run people are going to desert that airline.

Interestingly, on Malaysia's busiest long-haul route to London - BA has decided that KUL is no longer worth competing on - does the new chief from Ansett have anything to do with this - as he decided that AN pull out of KUL also. If BA thinks that they can continue to capture their rather large market in Malaysia (which I can vouch for they HAD) via Singapore - they have got that very wrong.

As an Executive Club member who has flown continuously since 1981 between KUL and LHR - I can say that the service has been consistently poor and this member is going to fly KLM or indeed MAS from now on.

Frustrated with BA's stupendous timetable for KUL - even with their 6-weekly 777 service - they had the stupidity of not offering a Friday night service which is when just about every working person would find ideal to catch at the end of the week - my last few trips have been with MAS' MH1 service at 2200hrs on that Friday night - which has to be booked months in advance....and I can still remember when BA once reduced frequencies down to an illogical 3x week which everyone found highly restrictive.

On the customer service side of things - as the largest European carrier into Malaysia for many years until KLM overtook them last year - BA never seemed to try and build on any traffic that they got...

...so this is a sad event for Malaysia Aviation but not entirely unexpected.

Perhaps British Midland should apply for BA's licence to serve KUL as one of its first long-haul services...

User currently offlineGardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2562 times:

Interesting to note that over the last few years KUL has lost many world-class carriers, Air New Zealand, Ansett Australia, Qantas, Air France and now BA.
From Europe, dont CSA still fly to KUL? I know they did at some stage. And so did Balkan.
Maybe Virgin will launch its own flights there, I know they do code share with MH however.

User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2939 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2544 times:

Balkan and CSA pulled out of KUL during the 1990s. Virgin will NOT fly into KUL although this may change with BA pulling out...VS has plans to fly into Singapore and waiting to terminate code-share with MAS.

User currently offlineAFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 25
Reply 8, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 2530 times:

Hello Mas777,

Could you please give us an idea of what BA "did" beyond KUL (ie. flights to Australia/rest of Asia)?

Thank you,

Best regards,
Alain Mengus

User currently offlineSIA fan From Indonesia, joined Aug 2000, 728 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2521 times:

I believed BA 033 once continued on to CGK. I remembered that BA restarted its operations to CGK in 1993 from twice weekly flights up to 6 weekly flights in 1998 because the flights were very popular. However because of the economic crisis they had to reduce its flights and ultimately terminating the service to CGK. Could this be one of the reasons why BA pulled out of KUL? I mean before they could fill the flights with passengers from CGK and KUL, but after they pulled out of CGK, they need to fill the flights with passengers from KUL only.

User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2939 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2512 times:

British Airways has served Kuala Lumpur for 50 years - the routes they have flown are innummerable. BA even formed Malaysia-Singapore Airlines!

During the early 1980s, BA flew BA11 and BA9 via KUL using B747 Classics via Muscat/Bahrain/Abu Dhabi/Bombay and onwards to Singapore/Perth/Melbourne/Sydney/Auckland/Brisbane.

In 1984, BA took Kuala Lumpur off the Kangaroo route on certain days because there was sufficient traffic to operate a L1011 TriStar as BA33 via Bahrain/Abu Dhabi/Bangkok and onwards to Manila. Gradually all of BA's services to Kuala Lumpur were operated using the TriStar. This was just about the beginning of the end as the TriStars were unpopular and flight times were too long (on certain days the flights took 19 hours to reach London whilst Malaysia Airlines were flying 747s with just one-stop at Dubai in 15 hours.)

In 1989, British Airways reintroduced the 747-Classic on BA33 and passengers returned with profits. BA also introduced BA149 which operated LHR-KWI-MAA-KUL which was unfortunately caught in Kuwait at the start of the Gulf War - British Airways received much poor media publicity in the Malaysian press as passengers were negotiated out of the war-stricken city. BA suffered badly from this and passengers switched back to MAS.

The 747-400s arrived at about the same time and BA reintroduced Kuala Lumpur on to the Kangaroo route diverting BA9 via KUL on flights to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Auckland. BA149 also became a one-stop service via MAA. BA stopped flying KUL-MNL at this point and began researching Indonesia as a possibility.

The reintroduction of BA9 had a positive effect as BA was beginning to compete with MAS once again but MAS was always one-step ahead and began a daily non-stop service using its own 747-400s.

During the mid-1990s, frustrated with UK-Malaysian aviation talks MAS sought help from Virgin who were keen to bash BA. MAS got the approval to double its services to London. BA Malaysia meanwhile appealed to BA London to take MAS on and compete but BA London did not listen (to be honest that is the bottom line) and on concluding its stake in Qantas decided to let QF run its Malaysian operations. QF was not keen on KUL as a destination and BA Malaysia fought back to reinstate someone from BA to run the operations. With this BA launched a weekly LHR-KUL-CGK service which was well-received and well liked by passengers.

BA33 was a huge success operating full on the LHR-KUL sector and picking up some traffic between KUL and CGK. KUL-CGK operated on average with about 100 passengers on each flight. BA London approved BA Malaysia's plans to expand and the service went up to 6x a week until the economic crisis forced BA to ditch CGK.

In 1998, BA revamped BA33 to fly LHR-KUL-SYD which again was well-liked and well-received but QF saw little profit on it code-share so a new strategy had to be conceived. BA decided to go it alone and operate a point-to-point LHR-KUL service. Disaster as the 747-400s were oversized and ripped profits from the route.

The arrival of the 777s saved the route and is BA's longest 777 service but as we see it has only just saved the route for over a year - come April - we say 'Farewell to BA' who ironically built Malaysian Aviation.


User currently offlineAFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 25
Reply 11, posted (15 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2505 times:


Thank you very much for this long and informative post Mas777!

Best regards,
Alain Mengus

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