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Why No U.S. Service To Gibraltar  
User currently offlineboeing71234567 From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 66 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 13945 times:

Seems like a good destination for U.S. flights. Very touristy, and could be a good money maker.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinerwSEA From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 3105 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 13921 times:

Quoting boeing71234567 (Thread starter):
Seems like a good destination for U.S. flights. Very touristy, and could be a good money maker.

So many reasons:
- touristy destinations are low-yielding and generally aren't profitable, especially for long-haul flights
- most tourists to the area instead fly in and out of Spain; DL for instance flies to Malaga
- there are few flights to Gibraltar in general, other than to the UK
- short runway would be difficult for long-haul, not to mention limited capacity due to the runway having an at-grade crossing with the only road in and out of Gibraltar

Gibraltar is mostly a day trip for people travelling in Southern Spain, as opposed to a destination in and of itself. The flights into Gibraltar today are mostly to Britain and are due to the commonwealth ties. The fact that there aren't even flights to CDG, AMS, FRA, etc. speaks to the lack of demand for connecting and/or long-haul flights.


User currently offlineextspotter From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 992 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 13779 times:

Plus as the runway is "one ended", when any kind of weather occurs, the flights into GIB are diverted (usually to AGP). Plus the road crossing the airfield just adds to the inconvenience.


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User currently offlineacabgd From Serbia, joined Jul 2005, 666 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 13771 times:

Aren't only British airlines allowed to operate regular flights out of Gibraltar, as it is in fact a military airfield owned by the British Govt?

Whatever, in addition to all of the above stated by rwSEA, I see another two problems for lack of US traffic:

- The runway is rather short for widebody planes (6000ft)
- Tourist attractions are located rather closer to Malaga, Seville, Granada, Marbella etc, 50-100 miles up the coast which are served fine by Malaga and Seville airports, offering plenty of connections.



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User currently onlineTurkish350XWB From Switzerland, joined Jan 2009, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 13641 times:

Quoting acabgd (Reply 3):
Aren't only British airlines allowed to operate regular flights out of Gibraltar

Nope, i flew MAD-GIB on IB in March 2008. Don't know if this flight still exists. Bad loads (approx 20-30%). The pilot had to cancel the first approach because of a truck on the runway  


User currently offlineRobffm2 From Germany, joined Dec 2006, 1117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 13534 times:

Gibraltar is a nice little day trip. Was there located myself back in the 1990ies for about 8 months.
I used to live direcly next to the runway facing the Marina.
At that time there were scheduled flights to the U.K. and Morocco, both operated on Gib Airways. And there were some charters, also from the U.K.
Flew several times to Tangier, a short hope of 70 km. Never landed at GIB due to inconvenient times.
Several times flights were delayed diverted due to strong winds at the rock. I believe that if a plane had mad a first landing at GIB attempt Spanish authorities would not let it land in Spain.

Only a few years the political tensions became less and flights to MAD were introduced, but if memory serves correctly they were soon cut back again due to lack of pax.

http://www.andalucia-travelguide.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/11/gibraltarrunway.jpg
pic from andalucia-travelguide.com


User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4288 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 13414 times:
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Quoting rwSEA (Reply 1):
there are few flights to Gibraltar in general, other than to the UK

One of my friends in London -- a "blue badge" guide for a tour company -- was trying to sell her small high-rise vacation condo in Gibraltar to a few of us who she knew were near retirement age. That led me to look into connecting flights to GIB, since I'm still working and would be traveling back and forth from/to the US. The first issue was that most flights from the US arrive at LHR and most flight departing for GIB leave LGW. Second, it looked like someone had gone to *a great deal* of trouble to make sure no GIB flight matched up time-wise with any US flight. As it turned out, connecting to GIB is a pain -- between the sparse number of flights and the odd departure times.  hissyfit 

Incidently, the runway at GIB is only 6004 feet. I'm not sure that could even accommodate trans-Atlantic jets.

[Edited 2010-08-05 09:05:01]

User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6330 posts, RR: 9
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 4 weeks ago) and read 13363 times:

Quoting Robffm2 (Reply 5):
Gibraltar is a nice little day trip.

Definitely! But the key words here are "day trip". Everything else worth seeing in that area is in Spain. People are going to make a day trip to Gibraltar from Spain, not vice versa, so why fly longhaul to a day trip destination?


User currently offlineRAFVC10 From Spain, joined Sep 2005, 1980 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 13188 times:
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Quoting acabgd (Reply 3):
Aren't only British airlines allowed to operate regular flights out of Gibraltar, as it is in fact a military airfield owned by the British Govt?
Quoting Turkish350XWB (Reply 4):
Nope, i flew MAD-GIB on IB in March 2008. Don't know if this flight still exists. Bad loads (approx 20-30%). The pilot had to cancel the first approach because of a truck on the runway

And until this spring, regional Spanish carrier Andalus operated daily flights from GIB to MAD and BCN with ERJ145!

Regards,

Gerard



El dia que los gilipollas vuelen, no podremos ver la luz del sol!
User currently offlineikramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21534 posts, RR: 59
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 13046 times:

Quoting Robffm2 (Reply 5):
Gibraltar is a nice little day trip.

Wow, that looks nothing like the Prudential Insurance logo anymore. I guess things change.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineIBA346 From France, joined Jan 2010, 29 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 12779 times:

Quoting RAFVC10 (Reply 8):
And until this spring, regional Spanish carrier Andalus operated daily flights from GIB to MAD and BCN with ERJ145!
Quoting Turkish350XWB (Reply 4):
i flew MAD-GIB on IB in March 2008. Don't know if this flight still exists. Bad loads (approx 20-30%).

Iberia started and stopped its service from MAD to GIB and then Andalus started and stopped a similar service. GB Airways also gave the MAD route a go for a short while. There are currently thus no GIB-Spain services. Its a real shame. Spain prevented directed flights to GIB for many years due to the sovereignty issue. Literally years of negotiations ended in the Cordoba Accords which allowed joint use of the terminal and the direct services. In fact the start of Spain -GIB flights was heralded as the great success of the agreement and perhaps a new sign of co-operation over Gibraltar between the three sides (Spain , UK and the Gibraltar Government). Now no airline can make a Spain-GIB service work. A new terminal is being built (due for completion next year) and I dont know if that will change things. But for now the only regular routes are to BA to LHR (recently moved from LGW), U2 to LTN, and Monarch flights to MAN and LTN.


User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3038 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 12756 times:

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 1):
So many reasons:
- touristy destinations are low-yielding and generally aren't profitable, especially for long-haul flights
- most tourists to the area instead fly in and out of Spain; DL for instance flies to Malaga
- there are few flights to Gibraltar in general, other than to the UK
- short runway would be difficult for long-haul, not to mention limited capacity due to the runway having an at-grade crossing with the only road in and out of Gibraltar

Gibraltar is mostly a day trip for people travelling in Southern Spain, as opposed to a destination in and of itself. The flights into Gibraltar today are mostly to Britain and are due to the commonwealth ties. The fact that there aren't even flights to CDG, AMS, FRA, etc. speaks to the lack of demand for connecting and/or long-haul flights.

All good reasons. Well written post.


User currently offlineaviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1355 posts, RR: 11
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 12063 times:

US to Gibraltar. Is this a joke?


Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlinecolumbia107 From Gibraltar, joined Aug 2004, 358 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 12053 times:

Quoting Turkish350XWB (Reply 4):
The pilot had to cancel the first approach because of a truck on the runway

That must have been the FOG truck carrying out its regular sweeps of the runway. I fear the pilot was not accurate in his remarks on that particular occasion as he must have been told of the truck's function.

Quoting extspotter (Reply 2):
Plus the road crossing the airfield just adds to the inconvenience

Unless I have missed it no one has made reference to the construction of a new road which will allow vehicular traffic to flow to and from the Gibraltar/ Spanish border without having to cross the runway. In fact the road will flow through a tunnel at the East end of the runway.

Would love to post a photograph which at the time it was taken, clearly shows the construction of the trench upon which the tunnel is currently being built. Regrettably I do not know how to attach it.

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 6):
The first issue was that most flights from the US arrive at LHR and most flight departing for GIB leave LGW.

BA flies LHR/ Gibraltar daily. Albeit, in the summer the flight departs at 8am which does not provide much time for inbound passengers to make the connection as most of the early flights from the US into LHR tend to arrive from circa 6am onwards.



In God we trust
User currently offlinegoldorak From France, joined Sep 2006, 1846 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 11855 times:

There would be many cities in Europe that would warrant a non-stop flight to the US before Gibraltar. When you see that DL/AF cannot sustain a daily 757 LYS-JFK   or the almost lack of US flights from GVA...

User currently offlinelapper From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 1565 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 10022 times:

Quoting extspotter (Reply 2):
Plus as the runway is "one ended", when any kind of weather occurs,

Has this changed? I flew into GIB a few times in the 90's and landed in both directions.


User currently offlineRobffm2 From Germany, joined Dec 2006, 1117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9927 times:

Quoting columbia107 (Reply 13):
Would love to post a photograph which at the time it was taken, clearly shows the construction of the trench upon which the tunnel is currently being built. Regrettably I do not know how to attach it.

Just upload it to any picture sharing site (like Picasa or anywhere else on the web), then link it by using the UBB code in this format: . You might want to check the Posting Help as well.

Would love to see the picture of the tunnel and how it connects to Devils Tower Road.


User currently offlinemusang From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 864 posts, RR: 7
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 9827 times:

Quoting rwSEA (Reply 1):
limited capacity due to the runway having an at-grade crossing with the only road in and out of Gibraltar

With the level of traffic at the moment, closing the road crossing for (guessing) half a dozen landings and half a dozen take-offs a day doesn't make any difference to capacity.

Quoting extspotter (Reply 2):
runway is "one ended", when any kind of weather occurs

Strict crosswind direction/strength limits are published for landings in either direction. They're slightly different, but it's not one-way for reasons of wind. From memory there are cloud-break approaches to either runway so vis/cloudbase doesn't make it one-way either.

Regards - musang


User currently onlineTurkish350XWB From Switzerland, joined Jan 2009, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 9410 times:

Quoting columbia107 (Reply 13):
Quoting Turkish350XWB (Reply 4):
The pilot had to cancel the first approach because of a truck on the runway

That must have been the FOG truck carrying out its regular sweeps of the runway. I fear the pilot was not accurate in his remarks on that particular occasion as he must have been told of the truck's function.

After the happening the pilot made an announcement, telling that the tower said him to cancel the approach...


User currently offlinethrufru From Marshall Islands, joined Feb 2009, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 9124 times:

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 6):
Incidently, the runway at GIB is only 6004 feet. I'm not sure that could even accommodate trans-Atlantic jets.

The runway is sufficiently long for landing of most aircraft. The problem is trying to depart, fully fueled for a transatlantic flight from a runway of that length.


User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 36
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8982 times:

Sorry, but this is a rather strange topic. Do you really think an airline wants to fly a long-haul aircraft (at least a 757) to such a tiny airport with a difficult only 1800 m runway? That's almost impossible. Im am not sure if it is still like this but not long ago a public road crossed the runway. When an aircraft landed or took off they had to close a barrier before.

User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 36
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8900 times:

Quoting ZRH (Reply 20):
Im am not sure if it is still like this but not long ago a public road crossed the runway. When an aircraft landed or took off they had to close a barrier before.

When you look at Google Earth you can see the cars crossing the runway   .

[Edited 2010-08-06 04:27:19]

User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4288 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 7613 times:
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Quoting ZRH (Reply 20):
Sorry, but this is a rather strange topic. Do you really think an airline wants to fly a long-haul aircraft (at least a 757) to such a tiny airport with a difficult only 1800 m runway? That's almost impossible. Im am not sure if it is still like this but not long ago a public road crossed the runway. When an aircraft landed or took off they had to close a barrier before.
Quoting ZRH (Reply 21):
When you look at Google Earth you can see the cars crossing the runway

There was a photo of it in Reply#16, but I see it's been removed.

I'm in MSY waiting for a flight, but I'll see if I can post one later in the day.


User currently offlineRobffm2 From Germany, joined Dec 2006, 1117 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7402 times:

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 22):
There was a photo of it in Reply#16, but I see it's been removed.

Take a look at reply 5.

 


User currently offlineHT From Germany, joined May 2005, 6525 posts, RR: 23
Reply 24, posted (4 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7343 times:

Would it lead to "off-topic" to discuss if an airport on the other side of the border could be a viable option ?
The Spanish coast in both directions has seen massive construction of residential homes in recent years and while the AP-7 Toll Motorway is easy to drive on, it still takes a considerable time to reach AGP.
While it could be a bit difficult to find a space of suitable land near La Linea, I am confident that such an airport would be a guaranteed success, IMO.
Foreign and national leisure travelers using the usual bunch of LCCs would be a sure clientèle ...
-HT



Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
25 Post contains images kgaiflyer : Okay, here's a better view.
26 JBAirwaysFan : I would think IF there was any type of US-GIB service it would have to have a stopover in SNN on the way back similar to the LCY-JFK service since GIB
27 SR4ever : Gibraltar is also kinda offshore financial centre, but the scale is just too small... It would indeed be a good idea to have more flights on GIB-Euro
28 Viscount724 : For a city with a population of only 450,000 and a catchment area of about 700,000, GVA has much better transatlantic service to both the US and Cana
29 SR4ever : Very much agreed, especially as the nearby city of Lyons and its 1,200,000 never managed to sustain direct flights to JFK (AF, AA, AF/DL) and YMX (AC
30 vv701 : To put the popularity of GIB as a destination in context here are the total passenger figures between both GIB and not-so-far-away AGP and all UK airp
31 IBA346 : This is not necessary. The new terminal being built at GIB will allow direct access to Spain (La Linea), without having to 'enter' Gibraltarian terri
32 HT : This is really good news; I wasn't aware of it. Having first to go through UK-immigration at GIB then another immigration at the Spanish border (ente
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