Here is a little piece of the article. It looks like someone is wanting BA to restore services to Saudi and Sir Michael is not happy
“We said we would go in and replace BA. Now BA is keen to get back in again, the British Government has granted open skies. There has been a strong push from government departments to get this route application through and get BA on the route.”
Another interesting part of the article is this sentence
A BA spokesman said: “It’s one possible route that we are considering but no decision has been reached.”
BA never comment on rum-our so they are either serious about returning and are wanting to get the word out before the official launch or Someone should have kept their mouth closed.
The reason BA pulled the route was firstly because the safety of the a/c and crew could not be guaranteed by the Saudi Government and also because credible information was received by both governments that an attack on the aircraft and/or the crew. It was firstly accessed as credible however unlikely and over the weeks went to credible and immanent.
BA couldn't send it's crew to JED or RUH. They decided to try and operate the service LHR/KWI/RUH/LHR and LHR/KWI/JED/LHR. This proved very unpopular and loads plummeted. Passengers started flying direct with SV and BA decided to pull the route as both governments couldn't guarantee the aircrafts safety and the loads where shocking
I can only guess all this has now changed and JED/RUH and even possibly DMM will all soon be back on the BA route network
Speedbird2155 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 898 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 2509 times:
BA's pull out of Saudi was done very reluctantly, due to on-going security concerns. I'm sure that if the opportunity presents itself, as it appears to have done with the new open-skies deal, then BA will be happily looking at when it can re-launch service. BMI would have known that this route was profitable for BA which is why they quickly jumped in and they would also have known that BA's decision to leave wouldn't have been an easy one and so BA would have been looking for the opportunity to return.
AIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2606 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 2316 times:
I don't know why is BMI crying for this one. They wanted Open Skies for transatlantic routes but they do not want it for this market. If they are better they are going to survive. Moreover they could go and get the support of LH if they want to.
Humberside From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 4948 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2206 times:
I think bmi's complaint is that the business department is pushing for this, perhaps when you could argue it is nothing to do with them, but a DfT matter. But certainly compeition works both ways and bmi will always have known BA could return to Saudi one day
Ikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 22109 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2191 times:
Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 2): I don't know why is BMI crying for this one. They wanted Open Skies for transatlantic routes but they do not want it for this market. If they are better they are going to survive. Moreover they could go and get the support of LH if they want to.
That sounds about right. It's good business to fight for access to markets you are not in, but try to protect markets your competitor is not in.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
Kleinsim From Qatar, joined Jan 2007, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 2055 times:
I remember BMI doing very well on the route. Loads are very healthy, especially in summer when flights are basically full no matter what you charge. It would make sense then to try to stop competitors from entering the market and bilaterals are the easiest way to go
Is there any word on how the Saudi government sees the issue? Are they for Open Skies. I can see them trying to protect their flag carrier SV but I am sure Nas and Sama will be pushing for frequencies to the UK as well. Though, of course, trying to get to the UK from KSA with an A320 or a 733 is somewhat difficult since it's just out of range of the A320. An A319 could do it...
BALHRWWCC From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2001 times:
Quoting Kleinsim (Reply 6): Is there any word on how the Saudi government sees the issue?
It says in the first paragraph of the article
"Sir Michael, who last week disclosed that he was selling his controlling stake in Bmi to German carrier Lufthansa for about £315m, said he was concerned at the way the Government had negotiated a new “open skies” deal between the two countries in July".