Quote: The future of the only air link between Leeds-Bradford International Airport and London has been called into question by airline bosses.
Sir Michael Bishop, chairman of airline BMI - the only airline to fly between Leeds-Bradford and Heathrow - has called into question the cost of airport charges at the Yeadon airport and described them as an issue that needs to be resolved in order to maintain the service.
A letter from Sir Michael to Michael Goodwin, chairman of Leeds-Bradford, lists a series of concerns regarding the Heathrow service.
In the letter Sir Michael says: "These fees will need to drop significantly in cash terms for the service to remain viable.
"Airport charges are a big percentage of the cost base of any short haul route and remain higher at Leeds Bradford than we pay at any other airports in our network.
"We note that the airport has been recently sold at a premium and its new owners will be keen to re-coup their investment.
"Therefore this is a serious issue and we did write to the financial advisors handling the bid process making them aware of our requirement to pay considerably less if the service was to be maintained."
Sir Michael also mentions that other regional airports have gained financial support from "local interests", desperate to retain the link to Heathrow and suggested this as an option for Leeds-Bradford.
He also urged business and leisure groups to "use the service or lose it".
The issue is to be discussed at a Leeds-Bradford Airport Consultative Committee meeting tomorrow. Sir Michael had been responding to a letter from Mr Goodwin, expressing concerns that the connection may be under threat due to the knock on effect of increased charges at Heathrow.
Peter Willis, operations director at Leeds-Bradford played down the speculation that the service could be lost between the region and Heathrow.
He said that the level of charges would be discussed between both parties - although a settlement was some way from being established.
He also said that passenger levels on the London Heathrow service "went through peaks and troughs".
BMI operates several services a day between Leeds-Bradford and Heathrow.
Humberside From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 4913 posts, RR: 5 Reply 4, posted (6 years 2 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4389 times:
One fact that is often forgotten about the train is that is not attractive for anyone who needs to go to LHR for a connection. Train to Kings Cross, tube to Paddington and Heathrow Express is not attractive for anyone with luggage. Until we get intercity and high speed services to Heathrow, the train is no option for connecting passengers
Boeing74741R From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2007, 1125 posts, RR: 0 Reply 5, posted (6 years 2 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 4308 times:
Quoting Humberside (Reply 4): One fact that is often forgotten about the train is that is not attractive for anyone who needs to go to LHR for a connection. Train to Kings Cross, tube to Paddington and Heathrow Express is not attractive for anyone with luggage. Until we get intercity and high speed services to Heathrow, the train is no option for connecting passengers
Correct, but apart from people going to LHR on transit the train option is attractive for just about everybody else.
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 week 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3920 times:
UK dismal situation. I use LBA-LHR as a means to connecting to other flights, as does many of the regular passengers. This rtoute axe will be a pian in the neck. Plus the person who moaned about the Embrarers and the fact MAN is better, remember we at LBA still get free drinks on BMI.
Do we... Not to LHR as Joe Public you don't, certainly do on Regional services, but not mainline during the week.
I was being a bit mean... will be sorry to see it go, but with Gordon's joke eco tax hikes, the thing isn't worth it unless you get a Baby fare and you have to do that 364 days in advance for the morning flight down!
Parking at Leeds £ 20, Ticket £ 320, Heathrow Express £ 30 - Daft money for a day in town and a sporadic service to say the least.
Train £ 260 first class, wi-fi all the way and as many free shortbreads as you can half inch, Service every half hour and quicker.
...which will mean connecting passengers will just go to AMS and connect to European and worldwide services from there. So Star Alliance will probably suffer a bit.
I have used the LHR-LBA link many times and it has only seemed busy on Sunday evenings, when the trains finish early and lots of people need to get back to Yorkshire having spent the weekend in the south east.
If this route goes it will be an enormous blow the Yorkshire economy. Leeds Airport is struggling (apart from the low cost services, other routes seem to be chopped and changed all the time) and the loss of a link to London will be tragic.
LPL, BLK, EMA, HUY and BHX have all lost their London services. LBA is just another on the list as transitting passengers use AMS instead and domestic passengers take the train or car.
Next flights: LGW-LBA-LGW, LHR-SIN-SYD, SYD-BKK-LHR, LGW-GRO, GRO-CIA, CIA-MAD, MAD-LGW
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 17, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3619 times:
The domestic route network taken as a whole, within the UK is appalling. we loose so many transfer passengers through other hubs namely, AMS, but also CDG and increasingly MAD.
Our rail network cannot be compared to the excellent fast networks of the TGV in France or the Swiss service. We need vital air links with our capital and the regions. sadly EK and the like squeeze out airlines like Manx and BD domestic flights and we are left with changing trains umpteen times to get to Heathrow.
Bmiexpat From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 18, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3591 times:
Quoting Orion737 (Reply 15): The domestic cituation in this country is adysmal. Routes are constantly being announced, built up and then axed. BMI are spealists at this iw seems.
Can you give any evidence to back up the claim that bmi are specialists in announcing, building up and axing domestic routes? The way I see it bmi have the biggest domestic network from LHR, approx 48 daily flights to the regions as well as maintaining a faily decent regional operation from LBA and MAN to Scotland.
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 19, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3559 times:
Rumours of MME and LBA being cancelled. Actual services from LPL, BHX, EMA all cancelled. No LHR connections now from these airports due to BD pulling out. They announce other routes too, like the recent proposed one from Luton which rather didnt happern or happened for a few days.
Bmiexpat From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 175 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3547 times:
Orion737, apart from a recent route from LTN that was announced but not started (which I have no idea about, perhaps you can give some more details about that), the only other examples you can give are rumours and routes that were axed over 8 years ago!!! I can see what you mean about bmi being specialists at announcing, building and dropping routes.
ZuluTime From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 156 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3530 times:
BMI Regional route starts and stops:
Aberdeen-Amsterdam (launched & axed after one season)
Aberdeen-Brussels (launched & axed after one season)
Southampton-Amsterdam (put on sale but never flown)
Leeds-Lille (launched & axed after one season)
East Midlands-Paris (moved back to Baby)
Luton-Brussels (put on sale but never flown)
Glasgow-Knock (flown then dropped, Baby now starting the route some time later)
Various efforts at Edinburgh-Munich including putting on sale
RyanairGuru From Australia, joined Oct 2006, 4074 posts, RR: 2 Reply 23, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3504 times:
MAN-TLS was dropped because there was not anough business traffic to sustain it after Jet2 started, so they instead switched to Lyon which flyBE had just dropped (former BA Connect). Makes sense since there was a whole in the market...
Last year BD increased frequenceies on LHR-MME due to high demand, doesn't sound like they will drop it then. LBD alas, it can only be a matter of time... KL will lap it up, and eventually surely EK will start (is the runway campable of a 330?) due to the level of ethnic traffic out of the region.
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 24, posted (6 years 1 week 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 3476 times:
They fought so hard to bring a business class product to the LHR-AMS, BRU, CDG markets and then did a policy U turn which ailienated their higher end business travellers and helped out their rivals. thus they are operating an LCC service from high monetary gateways.
I think a certain founder, who fought so hard for these routes has finally gone bananas, trying to destroy what he built up and the very essence, the business traveller, which he built his business around/for.
25 ZuluTime: Frequency increase on LHR-MME was only about holding slots - nothing more, nothing less. The route used to have five flights a day (as did LBA-LHR) an
26 David_itl: Whilst LBA-LHR may go due "commercial considerations", it looks like MAN-LHR may be canned due to "political considerations" should the Conservative P
27 Orion737: This is the 'personal' view of one Tory MP, not the Conservative party line. Has BD managed to maintain market share on the MAN-LHR route since their
28 Sam1987: Not high demand - just slot warmers at LHR BD currently have five flights a day (four A319s and the late evening BD421/422 operated by one of their L
29 XXXX10: Used to use thois route about 4 times a year, it was about the same price as going by trian First Class. Tried to book a couple of months ago and it w
30 Zkojh: intresting reading an artical 2nite, and if LHR get the 3rd runway, then regional routes to the north/midlands and the west country would stay and be
31 BMED: I always thought that the ERJ flight was a slot warmer as it departed so close to the other LBA flight?
32 Sam1987: They offer reasonable prices on those routes (I assume because of competition from other carriers) but the LHR-LBA prices are not reasonable at all.
33 UK_Dispatcher: Add MAN-NWI to that list too. I personally hope the LHR-MME route remains. MME is BD's longest served route from LHR - now in its 38th year. I do hop
34 XXXX10: Absolutely. I refuse to pay more to fly to LBA than it costs to go yo EDI/GLA Also there is a real time saving on the longer flights.
35 APYu: If it was that important to the Yorkshire economy more people would be using it and it wouldnt be under threat.
36 Sam1987: True, but a regular air service from LHR to any airport in the UK is good for the local economy even if the flights are only half full.
37 David_itl: Especially if some airlines don't exactly like flying out of the regions!
38 Bmiexpat: And if the flights are only half full, is the airline still going to make any money on it or should they be flying the route and making a loss out of
39 GT4EZY: If BA were to operate this route, I am sure they would have more success due to the fact that they have a huge amount of connection possibilities. How
40 Sam1987: I say BA should take over BD's entire LHR operation!
41 Bmiexpat: And see them axe a load more domestic services to use the slots for long haul flights and increase fares due to lack of competetion... that makes a l