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Is BMI Just A Feeder Airline At LHR For Star?  
User currently offlineGilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3032 posts, RR: 2
Posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 4011 times:

There is another thread on here about the future of BMI at Manchester, but reading through that made me think...

I was wondering what the percentage of passengers flying through LHR on BMI were actually O&D and Connecting passengers?

Is one of the reasons why BMI can succssfully operate out of LHR to destinations like DUB, INV, ABZ, GLA, EDI, BHD, MME and MAN is as purely a feeder service for other Star Alliance members out of LHR to onwards destinations.

If BMI did not operate these routes would they litrally be a useless airline for the likes of Star Alliance, cause lets face it. Their onwards connections to Europe from LHR is now pathetic and other European Star Alliance members can pick up these routes...

So really my question is, while other airlines in Star Alliance offer great onward connections around the world. BMI is only one use to Star Alliance at LHR and that is to fill up the planes with passengers who live out of rach of LHR?

Is BMI a bitch for Star Alliance?  Wink

While many airlines offer their onwards connections at their home hub, the connections for BMI are extremely limited in their own right.

14 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRwylie77 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 367 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3940 times:

Interesting thought, but I'm not sure bmi know themselves what they are!

I know I've flown on a bmi flight from Glasgow to LHR, and there were a number of American tourists connecting on United at LHR...must be the same with Singapore airlines feeding their flights to Asia and beyond from LHR...also if you live in Durham and need to fly to Germany, an easy connection on Lufthansa...

Does anybody have any more reliable data to support this?


User currently offlineIMatAMS From Netherlands, joined Feb 2005, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3901 times:

I think that that is basically what they are. At least from AMS there seem to be a very large number of Star connecting passengers on the BMI flights to LHR. I know that is why I use them. I think that BMI has a important role for Star, and especially for AC, UA, NZ, and to a lesser extend SQ feeding passengers into their LHR hub.

IM


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27027 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3869 times:

Im BMI Star Gold and I only ever use them to connect to one of the big Star Carriers like LH UA or now I prefer to fly from DUB direct into Europe and avoid the HELL that LHR is these days. I fly LX and LO if I can and then I get my miles and lounge access also.

Personally for me BD are just a connecter service.


User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3853 times:

I fly UA, a hell of a lot out of LHR and its not unusual to have a considerable amount of Scots and Irish on the flight who have flown in on BMI.
IMHO, they are more a feeder for the Star boys at LHR than O & D.


User currently offlineSam1987 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 946 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3769 times:

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
Is one of the reasons why BMI can successfully operate out of LHR to destinations like DUB, INV, ABZ, GLA, EDI, BHD, MME and MAN is as purely a feeder service for other Star Alliance members out of LHR to onwards destinations?

I expect most of BD's domestic destinations would not be profitable if they didn't have feed from the Star Alliance network.

That said, LHR to/from BHD, LBA, INV and MME are routes that are only operated by BD, so probably carry a lot of O&D pax as well.



Next flights: LGW-LBA-LGW, LHR-SIN-SYD, SYD-BKK-LHR, LGW-GRO, GRO-CIA, CIA-MAD, MAD-LGW
User currently offlineLHRBFSTrident From UK - Northern Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3502 times:

Quoting Sam1987 (Reply 5):
That said, LHR to/from BHD, LBA, INV and MME are routes that are only operated by BD, so probably carry a lot of O&D pax as well.

BD kicked BA's arse at BFS with their Diamond Service way back when - before Star Alliance was even thought of. BA had all the long-haul connections, and BD had none, yet they flew services in direct competition (BA on the hour and BD on the half hour? IIRC) and although BA flew with the larger 757, BD picked up a huge amount of O&D on its 734s.

BA eventually reduced capacity to BFS, then reduced fequencies and BA finally pulled out of BFS-LHR altogther - BD made the switch to BHD (not sure which of those events came first...)upgraded to the 321 and now BD is the only game in town from London for self-respecting walk-up full-Y pax to Belfast, as few of these pax will put up with the schlep to a more minor London airport, only then to arrive at bloody Aldergrove

The UK domestic trunk route market is really massive - Star Alliance would have a huge hole in it's network without a UK domestic carrier, and BD was a proven force in the market that really gave BA a significant challenge. BD's euro connections were something that just came part-in-parcel with the domestic network IMHO.

Of course the whole point of an alliance is to provide connections, but just because connecting BD pax exist on UA/NZ/SQ/AC out of LHR, doesn't necessarily speak to the fact that that's BD's only purpose. I would really be interested to know how the revenue is split on a Star Alliance through-ticket for BD - I tend to think they just get thrown a few scraps of currency and that the real money in their domestic network is in the O&D (or maybe it's in the 'Buy-on-board'  Wink )

But then I guess the general consensus here is that BD don't even know where their revenue comes from, so how are we supposed to...



Next up: LAX-LHR NZ002 Y SkyCouch! LHR-LAX NZ001 Y
User currently offlineZkojh From China, joined Sep 2004, 1707 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3424 times:

well I use them everytime I fly home from AKL to MAN (NZ as far as LHR) and in the past have not had a problem, however I want to return to the UK soon and the earliest I can get a flight back to good old MAN is 26 Feb as BD is fully booked out (interesting - must be the next route to get the chop Hehe) though saying that NZ is very full too for a change!! just shame about the hong kong - london bit the other night 160 empty in coach!!


NZ 787-9 flying between PVG - AKL ! CAN'T WAIT!!
User currently offlineLHRBlueSkies From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3257 times:

The problem stems from Sir Michael's reluctance to push ahead and expand, instead he played, and still plays, the slow and steady game. This is one reason why James Hogan jumped from being the blue-eyed boy at bmi, to Gulf Air, and from there to Etihad. Unfortunately, the world has moved on, and bmi are playing catch-up, not quite sure whether to go LCC, or try and play mid-field, offering LCC on some routes, and split service on others. Messy!

They are probably better offer either accepting they are ourely a Star-feeder, and make the best of it, or select a few key trunks domestic and international routes and feed them into a long-haul base at LHR & maybe MAN.

Or they could go another route and sell their slots to Virgin, and feed them!!!



flying is the safest form of transport - until humans get involved!
User currently offlineStarGoldLHR From Heard and McDonald Islands, joined Feb 2004, 1529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3067 times:

BMI is just another example of an old man who doesnt want to let his child grow.

So instead bmi gave birth to it's baby in the back yard of a birmingham council house, now it's got asthma.

when SMB retires LH will plough considerable cash into the venture, and maybe then Virgin will Join star alliance, or ramp up for serious long haul competition from LH in the UK.



So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
User currently offlineThowman From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 363 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3041 times:

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 9):
when SMB retires

I think it is more like when he dies/sells, as although he might retire, he'll still be the majority share holder and prevent any take over/sale to rivals such as SRB.


User currently offlineKevin777 From Denmark, joined Sep 2006, 1165 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3035 times:

Quoting Gilesdavies (Thread starter):
Is BMI a bitch for Star Alliance?

For *members SK and LH, BD is rather an annoying ex-wife that you're still stuck on because you have to pay her subsidies. Nothing would thrill SK and LH more than getting control of bmi, so they could do with it what they want - probably selling off a lot of the LHR slots and eventually sell off what's left to an PE fund or whatever.

Quoting Rwylie77 (Reply 1):
Interesting thought, but I'm not sure bmi know themselves what they are!

I'm not sure either...

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 4):
IMHO, they are more a feeder for the Star boys at LHR than O & D.



Quoting Sam1987 (Reply 5):
That said, LHR to/from BHD, LBA, INV and MME are routes that are only operated by BD, so probably carry a lot of O&D pax as well.

In overall economic terms it must be better to use the scarce slots at LHR for feeding to the longer hauls - if you're just, say, going from INV to London, taking up space at STN would be more reasonable. If BD mainly does feeding, in additiojn to some relatively high-yield O-D on LHR-UK and a few others, I think it's viable in the long-run. However, O-D with low/medium-yields to LHR is a waste of good slots.

Kevin777  Smile



"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
User currently offlineLite From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2896 times:

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 11):
For *members SK and LH, BD is rather an annoying ex-wife that you're still stuck on because you have to pay her subsidies. Nothing would thrill SK and LH more than getting control of bmi, so they could do with it what they want - probably selling off a lot of the LHR slots and eventually sell off what's left to an PE fund or whatever.

Lufthansa and SAS will soon be out of their requirement to share the losses and profits on flights out of the UK to their nations, I think it is actually at the end of the year, or the end of next year. After that, Sir Bishop still has two years in which he can sell the entire airline to Lufthansa, but the new CEO has made it perfectly clear that he isn't interested in this happening, I think he prefers to play with flag carriers, rather than second-rate second airlines.

bmi used to have a fantastic product under British Midland and Diamond Service, but as has already been mentioned, the world has sadly moved on. People simply aren't willing to pay the premium for better service any more, which caused the rash decisions behind bmibaby and tiny fares. The airline cannot provide the best price, service or route network of a competitor to BA - however you view them; easyJet and Ryanair are now able to offer a far more competitive service from other London airports.

The proposed purchase of BMED I think will be the turning point from bmi, and I wouldn't be surprised if we saw more shorthaul routes facing the chop - initially the daily leisure routes, but slowly some of their trunk markets - admitting defeat to the low-cost airlines, BA and the trains. They will move over to worldwide niche markets which have been ignored, or do not provide the right stimulus, for BA or VS, but where there is profit to be made by a smaller airline with a lower-cost structure. The airline will probably do this either in co-operation with BA (as they already do on the Saudi routes) or with Star. bmibaby will probably be sold to another low-cost airline to finance this expansion, as the regions don't seem to be that important to bmi any more, even though it used to be their hometurf and bread & butter market. baby just don't have the resources to be as successful as they can be independently, and their route networks well fit in with those of other LCCs. regional might be kept as a toy for SMB to play with, or could work as a very successful niche regional airline with the British Midland brand.


User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4105 posts, RR: 51
Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2812 times:

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 9):
BMI is just another example of an old man who doesnt want to let his child grow.

So instead bmi gave birth to it's baby in the back yard of a birmingham council house, now it's got asthma.

 rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl  rotfl 
THAT is the funniest thing I have read on these forums for a very long time!

Brilliant!



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineBrianDromey From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 3920 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2778 times:

I think that bmi and BMED could work quite well together. Especially if bmi manage to tie in the servies with their own domestic UK and *A flights from other regions. bmi has already identified that its niche is going back to excellent service to the mideast from LHR, further evidenced by the elimination of CDG from its route netork.

To that extent BMED is a good match. Others have mentioned that a large chunk of revenue comes from teh BA franchise, buit if BD codeshare with other *A carriers on the route, it could work well. Especially as all the *A carriers should be consolidated in one area @ LHR.

I also think that the expanion of regional bodes well for things to come. BD are slowly getiing the picture that they cannot compete with the loco's. Period.

The asmathic chav that is bmibaby needs serious attention. BMI are ordering 20x new aircraft(apparently), so perhaps E-jets to replace the 735/733 fleet and take over the domestic A319 flights to LHR. Ultimately I believe that WW will be floded back into BD. Its just not viable. Perhaps there would be a build up of a hub at MAN/EDI and the 330s based there.



Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
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