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Time For BA To Reassess Its Route Network?  
User currently offlineSkyhigh From Australia, joined Nov 2005, 236 posts, RR: 6
Posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10461 times:

Just a thought, please don't flame me...

As we all know BA is very focussed on transatlantic flights. In the most recent Airliner World magazine it was written that the Middle east is one of the only areas with increasing traffic in today's economic climate. I believe that oil rich areas such as Western Africa are also a safe bet.

BA use to have a well established route network to Damascus, Jordan, Lebanon etc, as well as Western Asia such as Tbilisi which were sold to BMI. I realise that BA codeshare on many if not all of these flights but would it be worth BA picking up the routes themselves again, much like they have done in Saudi Arabia? I'm not sure about their past presence in Western Africa but with regards to the Middle East it's not like they are establishing new markets, they already have a name and a presence in them.

Other Airlines seems to be adapting and changing routes to meet new market conditions such as Singapore Airlines starting Kuwait and Cathay Pacific increasing flights to the region as well as Australasia. As of yet I haven't seen BA be proactive like this at all.

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineShamrock321 From Ireland, joined May 2008, 1612 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10398 times:

Tblisi or any part of Georgia is not in Western Africa!

BA have a great presence in the USA and are probably the best know foreign airline operating to the US, so I dont think we will see them making significant US cuts at any stage.

The problem with BA sending some of their own metal to Georgia and other CIS countries is that these routes dont have the demand for 777/747 they are more suited for A319/320/321 so in order to operate these flights they would have to cut US frquencies for slots and EU routes or aircraft, altough not such a crazy idea at the moment because both US/EU routes are struggling , I think BA would struggle to commit to these routes long term.

Another problem may be traffic rights to some of these countries and competition from EK/EY/QR/MS/TK etc is already pretty high.


User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 10395 times:

BA have increased flights to DXB recently and have also upgraded capacity by sending 747's instead of 777's on some days.

BA are also re-starting the RUH and JED routes at the end of May this year. These flights also arrive into LHR with good connections out to the US. The flights departing the UK though arent great for people connecting from the US (Eastern seaboard anyway) as the pax have a long layover in LHR before the flights deaprt at around 2045 in the evening



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineAIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2531 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10389 times:

I think you're right to say that BA needs to reassesses its route network.

I think BA needs to look at having DOH and MCT served with non stop flights. May be using their 767s there. As for ex BMED routes now seerved by BMI, I think that these destinations are regulated by strict bilaterals and that BMI is the designated carrier for these routes. So even if BA wants to serve, they won't be allowed. BA is not allowed to share codes on flights to BAKU.

While Southa America could be safe with the IB merger, BA has to really take a closer look at Africa and Asia where it is really traling behind. Be it with code shares.

As for India, BA is trying to get Go air on board for a franchise operation. While interesting, I haven't heard of this airline.



Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
User currently offlineCityofAthens From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10344 times:

The question of ex-BMED routes was brought up a few months back in BA's internal staff newspaper, and the answer given by a Network ops rep was that they simply wouldn't make any money for BA. Certainly I know that a lot of BMED aircraft were flying around empty on certain routes along the network, and that's on Airbus 320s and 321s, so likely a disaster on anything larger.

BA flew to GYD/baku, ALA/Almaty and THR/Tehran with 777s and/or 767s in the past and it just wasn't good enough to stay in the network.

Despite the current downturn, I don't think BA needs to significantly alter its network. It flies to all the major business centres of the world and some other important locations and I think it should stay that way.

Otherwise in around 2 years time when business picks up again (and it will) BA is going to get caught flying to peripheral destinations whilst everyone else starts to rake in the money on the old routes again.


User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1708 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 10332 times:



Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 2):
BA are also re-starting the RUH and JED routes at the end of May this year. These flights also arrive into LHR with good connections out to the US. The flights departing the UK though arent great for people connecting from the US (Eastern seaboard anyway) as the pax have a long layover in LHR before the flights deaprt at around 2045 in the evening

Currently, KSA traffic is dominated by SV's sizeable network, KLM and Lufthansa. BA was at one point a pretty big carrier sending 767s and 747s to RUH, DMM and DHA but once it withdrew there was a market that LH and KLM filled (or tried to fill).
The KSA used to be BA territory, and when BA returns they are reclaiming a position they had held since the BOAC days.

Quoting Skyhigh (Thread starter):
BA use to have a well established route network to Damascus, Jordan, Lebanon etc, as well as Western Asia such as Tbilisi which were sold to BMI. I realise that BA codeshare on many if not all of these flights but would it be worth BA picking up the routes themselves again, much like they have done in Saudi Arabia? I'm not sure about their past presence in Western Africa but with regards to the Middle East it's not like they are establishing new markets, they already have a name and a presence in them.

Indeed. At one point BA served HBE, HRG, LXR, SSH and CAI in Egypt through BMED. I assume they weren't able to compete with the low-yield tickets flooded by charters.

With regards to the Gulf, it is now time to de-link the multistops. They're cute to fly on, but that's about it. By the end of 2010, BA should make RUH, JED, KWI, MCT, AUH, BAH, DOH daily (or maybe 5x in MCT's case) 777s (or even 767s at certain times) and DXB multi-daily using 777/747s. It'a shame that BA doesn't have any A330s that serve airlines like KLM so well on these routes year-round.
BEY is probably AF/KLM territory, but in AMM I see potential because of RJ. With the right feed, daily 767s would be just about right.


User currently offlineCOEI2007 From Vanuatu, joined Jan 2007, 1912 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10086 times:



Quoting Skyhigh (Thread starter):
Other Airlines seems to be adapting and changing routes to meet new market conditions such as Singapore Airlines starting Kuwait and Cathay Pacific increasing flights to the region as well as Australasia. As of yet I haven't seen BA be proactive like this at all.

They are re-launching Kuwait. and SQ and CX are cutting back, and i'm sure they will cut back even more over the next few months

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 3):
BA has to really take a closer look at Africa and Asia

Its not really the best time to look at Asia, but i'm sure there is more growth oppertunities from Africa


User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3976 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 10078 times:



Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 3):
As for India, BA is trying to get Go air on board for a franchise operation. While interesting, I haven't heard of this airline.

Very very interesting... anyone think its likely to happen?


User currently offlinePar13del From Bahamas, joined Dec 2005, 7654 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 9913 times:

All post so far talk about destinations BA used to operate and will need to once the travelling climate picks up, all good points, however, I think what is more important is what BA will have to offer when the climate does pick up. In places where BA has no service why would someone choose BA over any of the other carriers, that is a delicate balancing act which has to be carefully looked at, LHR presently offers numerous connection options, timings on some especially for folks from the eastern seaboard could be improved, however, T5 does have some good facilities and does make the wait less cumbersome.

User currently offlineStyles9002 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 534 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 9798 times:



Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 1):
BA have a great presence in the USA and are probably the best know foreign airline operating to the US

I'd reckon that Air Canada is probably more widely known.



It is what it is.
User currently offlineHUYfan From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 1413 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9635 times:

With RJ operating daily Amman from LHR, I don't see a need for BA on the route. Any additional flights should be operated by RJ. In terms of the Middle East/Central Asia, the only possible successful routes would be Baku (which they cannot serve due to frequency restrictions), possibly Tehran, and maybe Dammam at a stretch. This would depend on being able to force bmi out of the Saudi market, something I expect BA will be able to do pretty quickly. Other ex-BMED territory markets would be a triangle 767 route LHR-Khartoum-Addis Abbaba-LHR maybe 3 times a week, and a 3 weekly 767 LHR-Almaty-Bishkek-Almaty-LHR. BA could oust bmi from these routes no problem.

Regards

Mike


User currently offlineHUYfan From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 1413 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9617 times:

Another market BA could make difficult for bmi would be Freetown, Sierra Leone. Astraeus were carrying on average 170 pax twice a week with BMED averaging 60 pax/flight 3 times a week. With these combined loads, BA could make a 3 times weekly 767 flight work no problem. Even maybe extend the flight to Abidjan or Dakar.

Regards

Mike


User currently offlineTomcbaker From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 48 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9566 times:

The problem is, where does BA make the cuts from if it is going to use large aircraft? BA's bread and butter is transatlantic to north america. I agree that with the economy, many of BA's traditional routes are not doing as well and their route structure needs to be re-examined. However, the economy will get better and the traditional transatlantic routes that have been BA's focus for a long time will continue to be. If BA moves its 777/747 aircraft to the middle east/asia, they will be forced with either growing/expanding their fleet size when North American traffic increases again, or simply not adjusting to meet heightened demand. In either case it is dangerous.


tomcbaker
User currently offlineMutu From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 538 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9275 times:



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):
With regards to the Gulf, it is now time to de-link the multistops

That was certainly going to happen when the new 772's entered service and havent heard anything to suggest this has changed UNLESS demand isnt there, so the new frames will cover the early 744's parked at CWL.


User currently offlineAnkaraflyjet From Turkey, joined Mar 2007, 282 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9254 times:
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It would also be a good move by BA to reinstate Ankara London as BMI suspended the route which still has a lot of potential. Ankara is the second largest premium traffic in Turkey and is not on One World map at present. BA could either extend one of the daily IST service or combine Tbilisi or another CIS or ME route with Ankara easily.

User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8500 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9254 times:
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How about Asia: Nagoya, Osaka, Seuol and Kuala Lumpar, all have been served by BA in the last 20 years.

User currently offlineLuckyone From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 2234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9142 times:



Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 1):
Tblisi or any part of Georgia is not in Western Africa!

Reread the post...

Quoting Skyhigh (Thread starter):
as well as Western Asia such as Tbilisi which were sold to BMI.



User currently offlineBwaflyer From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 690 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 8602 times:



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 5):
Indeed. At one point BA served HBE, HRG, LXR, SSH and CAI in Egypt through BMED. I assume they weren't able to compete with the low-yield tickets flooded by charters.

SSH and HRG were GB Airways flights from Gatwick. HBE services operated by Bmed were transferred to CAI after the bmi takeover. This route has been very successful and is about to be upguaged to a 3 class A330-200 from a 2 class A321 (originally operated on a A320).


User currently offlineAIR MALTA From Malta, joined Sep 2001, 2531 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 8506 times:



Quoting Tomcbaker (Reply 12):
If BA moves its 777/747 aircraft to the middle east/asia, they will be forced with either growing/expanding their fleet size when North American traffic increases again, or simply not adjusting to meet heightened demand. In either case it is dangerous.

If LHR was big enough, BA could have had a better network. I am afraid that if BA wants to expand, it will have to find another place (LGW) or try to buy slots from other airlines...
If BA were to start KIX, SEL, KUL again, they would have to reduce shorthaul from LHR and this is not sustainable.



Next flights : BRU-ZRH-CAI (LX)/ BRU-FCO-TLV (AZ)
User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1708 posts, RR: 11
Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 8308 times:



Quoting Bwaflyer (Reply 17):
SSH and HRG were GB Airways flights from Gatwick. HBE services operated by Bmed were transferred to CAI after the bmi takeover. This route has been very successful and is about to be upguaged to a 3 class A330-200 from a 2 class A321 (originally operated on a A320).

IIRC the flight routing was LHR-HBE-ADD and the flights were extremely useful during the summer. Out of Alex, the only decent airline is LH charging sky-high fares. Even OA manages to rip people off ex. Alex.
The bmi route to CAI is going to get better when the A332 is deployed. Thanks to the MS codeshare, it's like having two flights per day as well.

Quoting HUYfan (Reply 11):
Another market BA could make difficult for bmi would be Freetown, Sierra Leone. Astraeus were carrying on average 170 pax twice a week with BMED averaging 60 pax/flight 3 times a week. With these combined loads, BA could make a 3 times weekly 767 flight work no problem. Even maybe extend the flight to Abidjan or Dakar.

It's not a matter of BA just making life difficult for bmi. It's a matter of if they can fill the plane. West African yields are supposed to be extremely high for airlines operating there. But it's probably a matter of restrictive bilaterals that prevent airlines from serving West Africa well (look at Air France and the measly frequencies they have to some places).

Quoting HUYfan (Reply 10):
and maybe Dammam at a stretch

Once upon a time DMM (or DHA) was a highly profitable place for BA, and during the 1980s it used to get a daily 747 (I don't have a full history though). But I'm sure times have changed so I can't really comment. But bmi currently flies there, as does KLM and Lufthansa, not to mention the leaked traffic flown via BAH. There's definately a market and it's up to BA to win that.


User currently offlineB747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7983 times:

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 3):
I think BA needs to look at having DOH and MCT served with non stop flights. May be using their 767s there.

Flying non-stop to DOH and MCT has been mentioned on here during the past year as something BA were looking at.

Quoting AIR MALTA (Reply 3):
BA has to really take a closer look at Africa and Asia where it is really traling behind

Are they though? And considering the mammoth drop in traffic to Asia, is now the time to add more focus to Asia?

They don't fly to KIX or NGO. However, considering that NRT is now once daily, and both JL and NH have cut their links between KIX and NGO to LHR, I don't see why BA would do any better on these routes (at the moment at least).

MNL and TPE now only have KLM as the sole European airline serving them. I don't think BA's presence on those routes would be very profitable - especially considering the excellent connections on CX via HKG.

KUL was served 3 daily on certain days by MH. For years they tried various methods to make the 3rd daily flight work (including routing it via Penang and Langkawi), they finally ditched it. With Air Asia now operating the route, and intense competition from Middle Eastern airlines, I don't see how BA could turn a profit there.

BA frequencies to China have slowly been increasing over the years, but I wonder how big the market is. Air China only use 332s and 343s to LHR whilst sending 744s to CDG and FRA. Perhaps the fact that BA's frequencies lag behind those of their European competitors has something to do with the fact that the UK to China market is a lot smaller and LHR isn't in a great place to offer connections from Europe to China.

The only place where I think BA could excel is to ICN, however, given the state of the UK and Korean economies at the moment I think it is a no-go. The GBP and KRW are two of the worst performing currencies at the moment, and I believe last year the KRW was second only to the Icelandic Krone in the ranks of the worst performing developed world currencies.

Quoting Styles9002 (Reply 9):
Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 1):
BA have a great presence in the USA and are probably the best know foreign airline operating to the US

I'd reckon that Air Canada is probably more widely known.

Well, from my experience, as far as Americans are concerned, British Airways doesn't exist. An airline called British Air, however, does exist.

Quoting Tomcbaker (Reply 12):
The problem is, where does BA make the cuts from if it is going to use large aircraft? BA's bread and butter is transatlantic to north america. I agree that with the economy, many of BA's traditional routes are not doing as well and their route structure needs to be re-examined. However, the economy will get better and the traditional transatlantic routes that have been BA's focus for a long time will continue to be.

I think that's the problem, and is why BA shouldn't make any major alterations to their network.

[Edited 2009-03-21 12:16:29]

User currently offlineTheginge From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 1136 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 7681 times:



Quoting Ankaraflyjet (Reply 14):
It would also be a good move by BA to reinstate Ankara London as BMI suspended the route which still has a lot of potential. Ankara is the second largest premium traffic in Turkey and is not on One World map at present. BA could either extend one of the daily IST service or combine Tbilisi or another CIS or ME route with Ankara easily.

I heard that when BMED were flying it it was busy on occasions but then other days there were only 20 people onboard.


User currently offlineElevate From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 144 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6891 times:



Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 2):
BA have increased flights to DXB recently and have also upgraded capacity by sending 747's instead of 777's on some days.

Correct, 4 daily flights;
1x B744 (BAW107/BAW106)
1x B763 (BAW105/BAW104)
2x B772 (BAW109/BAW108) (BAW127/BAW126)


User currently offlinePlanesarecool From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 4124 posts, RR: 11
Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6709 times:



Quoting Elevate (Reply 22):
Correct, 4 daily flights;
1x B744 (BAW107/BAW106)
1x B763 (BAW105/BAW104)
2x B772 (BAW109/BAW108) (BAW127/BAW126)

Not quite. 25x weekly - BA127/6 is only four times a week. Also, BA105/4 is operated by 777 equipment on three days a week.


User currently offlineWAC From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 9 months 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 5978 times:

BA lost out on ICN and it will be near possible for them to successfully enter the Korean market. Firstly LH and AF/KL have a very high presence. LH serve ICN with FRA and MUC and AF serves CDG (twice with KE codeshare) and KL AMS (KE seves also but not daily). OZ and KE serve LHR. FI also do a good job also. ICN has great yields for Europe, I ve never been on a flight less than 90% full. BA were stupid to leave ICN and I doubt they will ever serve it as it would take too many resources. Shame as I would make BA may preference to fly to Europe especially now with T5.

25 Ankaraflyjet : I flew the BMED and BMI flight between LHR and ESB very frequently. On most of the flights there were more pax heading to Ankara than Damascus or Tbi
26 Directorguy : I'm sure I saw an Air China 747 at LHR last August operating the evening departure. If you count HKG, UK-China is quite substantial. BA and CX combin
27 B747-4U3 : When BA entered the Shanghai market a few years back they faced intense competition from VS, AF, LH and KL. They managed to penetrate that market, so
28 RJ111 : LHR-HKG is always going to be a huge market.
29 BestWestern : Would Ankara not be better served as a Turkish Airlines route, or would ESB LHR need the feed that BA can provide in London?
30 SA744 : Hello all Do you think we will see any changes of metal on the JNB route maybe change one of the flights to T7. I am not sure how traffic is doing at
31 Humberside : Havent TK passed most Ankara services over to their LoCo AndalouJet now?
32 Ankaraflyjet : Ankara LHR route would need the BA feed to be profitable or in the case of BD or TK would need the feed from other Star carriers from LHR. Ankara "ES
33 Raffik : It's a real shame that BA pulled out of the BMED routes. Ofcourse, not all routes were profitable, but there were destinations they could have viably
34 Directorguy : This was because during the early jet age, there was no such thing as a nonstop route. Typicall you'd see VC-10s or 707s operating London-Beirut-Bahr
35 VV701 : Looking through the post there are quite a number of well reasoned discussions as to where BA could possibly expand. However in the absence of free sl
36 Skyhigh : I'm certanly no expert on the economics of flying but aren't some of these Middle Eastern/Mediterranean/West Asian/West African extremely high yieldin
37 TristarSteve : During the present winter season, BA has selectively cancelled flights, making sure that the total operated of each flight number remains above the 8
38 VV701 : Yes. Buit what would they do when and if the economy picks up? They would need to decide whether to discontinue the new routes or not to respond to t
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