UK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2580 posts, RR: 31 Posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1668 times:
Given that bmi have announced the termination on the LHR-MME route after 40 years, I would be interested to know peoples' thoughts on a replacement air link between Durham Tees Valley and the Captial.
In the 80s and 90s there were 5 flights a day on this route using DC-9s and later F100s and B737s. I can remember well-timed, full-to-the-brim flights on B737s with 20 rows of Business Class and the last 3 rows Economy (only because the curtain couldn't go back any further!). bmi have gone a long way to killing the route with reduced frequencies (was reduced to 3 a day in 2000) some dreadful time changes making it less attractive to the business regulars and significantly reducing the connectivity at LHR. Downgrading the aircraft from A319/A320s to ERJ-145s and more recently ERJ-135s was the final insult.
I beleive a well timed link to the Capital can work and think instead of clinging onto the hope that bmi will be back (see Durham Tees Valley Airport press release), the need to be talking NOW with the following:
1) Aer Lingus - LGW (since they are just opening a base there...)
2) FlyBe - LGW
3) VLM - LCY
4) BA CityFlyer - LCY
5) Eastern Airways - LCY
I'd love to see a well-advertised, well-timed 3 per day link to LGW with Aer Lingus, but maybe an A320 is just a bit too big. Even so, MME management need to start talking now...
Antonovman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 719 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1643 times:
I remember working at MME years ago when we first got the "jet". A DC9-15
It replaces the viscount who had ploughed up and down for years
5 times a day on the DC9, we were so proud of it even it it was 15 years old
How about Ryanair to STN, its better than nothing ....maybe
Richcandy From France, joined Aug 2001, 713 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1568 times:
My first point is the British Midland were a great full service carrier. When I used to fly them from BFS to LHR in the early 90's you had a drink service followed by a full meal. On a one hour flight this was good going. Unfortunately when the LCC's started BMI have not adjusted well into a more budget branded airline. (just my view)
The issue with MME as has already been pointed out is that the passengers on the route are high end business passengers or connecting passengers. So EZY or FR into LTN or STN is not going to help. The only airline that could really operate the route into LHR other than BMI is BA and we know that thats not going to happen.
So for the business passenger going to London for the day, you are going to have to fly from NCL. For the leisure traveller maybe FR or EZY will start if not you might want to think about the train. For the connecting passenger well its going to be AMS and KLM will be very happy.
Cwldude From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 691 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1309 times:
I think MME could do with a twice daily rotation into LGW for the purpose of connecting flights, there's always the Gatwick Express into Victoria then if the price is right on the flights! Even though the likes of EZY and BE are NCL airlines, would they really want to compete with BA on their NCL-LHR route? It's a good opportunity for either airline to expand in the area and go into MME.
Even though I've never been anywhere near there, I've always liked MME and the recent problems they've faced with route cuts and whatnot, it's been hard times for them, but I like that they always pull through! They'll find a way
Thomson Airways - The UKs premier charter airline // now flown : BY -AA -AJ -AE -AT; OO -AX -AU -RA -BG; BRIG; OBYD
UK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2580 posts, RR: 31
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1163 times:
Quoting Gkirk (Reply 7): EI = NCL airline
BE = NCL airline
VLM = Possible?
BA = NCL airline
T3 = Possible, but highly unlikely
I think to dismiss any possibility of EI looking at it because it happens to fly to NCL (from DUB) is a bit too negative...
EI: They have only ever flown DUB-NCL. There is no EI base at NCL but there is one at LGW. LGW-NCL is already well served by BE but there is no LON-MME link. Don't forget that the London link from LBA has just been lost too. Some of these pax may wish to go across to MAN to fly to LON (those in West Yorks perhaps), but there is now no London air link from not just County Durham and Cleveland, but also a large part of Yorkshire.
I think EI is a door seriously worth knocking on, even if there is just a remote chance that they could consider it.
BE: I tend to agree with you that their NCL-LGW route may put them off seriously considering MME-LGW, particularly as there is no BE 'base' at LGW.
BA: Again, I agree. Although there are high-end businessmen in the MME area who have used the route for years, the capacity of a RJ85 or RJ100 may be too much for a LCY-MME link.
T3: More realistic, but with their prices they will only appeal to businessmen and any leisure traffic will probably drift north to NCL.