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LON-MME... Any Takers?  
User currently offlineUK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2597 posts, RR: 29
Posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1741 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...

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAntonovman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 724 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1716 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  Smile


User currently offlineVarig_dc10 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1693 times:

I don't think any of the combinations you have suggested will work.

I've flown this route numerous times. Normally so that I could catch a connecting flight from Heathrow or if I was returning home from a flight coming into Heathrow.

The point I'm trying to make is, why would I want to go to LGW or LCY?

If I wanted to spend a day/weekend in London, it's normally easier/cheaper to get the train.

If I'm connecting to an onward flight, it is normally from LHR. Driving up to NCL and flying direct to LHR, is a lot easier than flying MME to LGW or LCY, then getting a train or bus to LHR.

Don't get me wrong, I think it is a real shame. I can remember flying Viscounts on this route.

But for me, unless they get someone to fly direct to LHR, I think they are wasting there time.

I think another contributing factor to the demise of this route, is the popularity of AMS.

Where I work, most people prefer to connect at AMS, they think it is a better airport than LHR.

regards,
varig_dc10.


User currently offlineSunshine79 From UK - England, joined Jan 2006, 1760 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1683 times:

I reckon BA will push up their prices on the NCL-LHR route because there is no competition to LHR now.


Formerly alcregular, Why drive when you can fly?
User currently offlineRichcandy From UK - England, joined Aug 2001, 734 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1641 times:

Hi

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.

Alex


User currently offlineVarig_dc10 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 360 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1641 times:



Quoting Sunshine79 (Reply 3):
I reckon BA will push up their prices on the NCL-LHR route because there is no competition to LHR now.

I'm not so sure.

If someone is traveling to London for a weekend trip etc, then BA are still competing with the railways, which take you direct to the centre of London.

If someone is traveling further afield and is only using LHR as a connection, then BA is effectively competing with KL & AF, and possibly EK & LH.

regards,
varig_dc10.

P.S. Someone should check the spell checker... it thinks 'centre' is spelt 'center'.


User currently offlineBennett123 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 7809 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1597 times:

You must have a US spell checker.

User currently offlineGkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24964 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 1465 times:

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



EI = NCL airline
BE = NCL airline
VLM = Possible?
BA = NCL airline
T3 = Possible, but highly unlikely



When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineCwldude From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 691 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1382 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  Smile



Thomson Airways - The UKs premier charter airline // now flown : BY -AA -AJ -AE -AT; OO -AX -AU -RA -BG; BRIG; OBYD
User currently offlineCwldude From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 691 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 1382 times:

It's also a great opportunity for T3 to expand their ABZ-MME service to London... that could definately work!


Thomson Airways - The UKs premier charter airline // now flown : BY -AA -AJ -AE -AT; OO -AX -AU -RA -BG; BRIG; OBYD
User currently offlineUK_Dispatcher From United Arab Emirates, joined Dec 2001, 2597 posts, RR: 29
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1236 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.


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