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Will We Ever See A Star Carrier On LHR-BOS?  
User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6826 times:

I have learnt that we should never say never in the airline industry but i was wondering if there was anyway the above might happen and see a Star Alliance carrier on the route? I appreciate that OW have the route tied up with BA/AA but some of us Star junkies would love to see a Star carrier on this route instead of having to back track from ORD/IAD or wherever. I can only see the merged UA doing it or BD if LH ever wanted to have a sniff at TATL flying from LHR but thats a very, very long shot.

Any thoughts?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineVS11 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6773 times:

Well, did you think of Virgin Atlantic?  

Seriously, from what I have heard, VS wanted to join Star Alliance but BD were blocking them so now under the new BD ownership things may change.

I doubt BD would start flying it but the new United/CO seems very realistic - United used to fly the route before. Maybe once they get their B787's they would restart.

Also, CO still code-shares on the Virgin Atlantic flight so you should be able to use and earn miles. Unless you really don't like Virgin.

But OW totally dominates this market so I don't know if the ATI would affect them - right now both AA and BA have 3 daily flights for a total of 6 daily OW flights.

[Edited 2010-08-20 09:04:56]

User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6351 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6750 times:

Quoting VS11 (Reply 1):
I doubt BD would start flying it but the new United/CO seems very realistic - United used to fly the route before. Maybe once they get their B787's they would restart.

I personally think the 787 would be a waste on this route...much better utilization on routes that wouldn't normally exist WITHOUT the 787 (i.e. IAH-LOS). The new UA/CO will be so big that it wouldn't surprise me if a 757 or 767 gets thrown on the BOS-LHR route...it's a relatively short route where the a/c could then do a transcon domestically before and after crossing the pond.


User currently offlineusairways85 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 3435 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6706 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 2):
I personally think the 787 would be a waste on this route...much better utilization on routes that wouldn't normally exist WITHOUT the 787 (i.e. IAH-LOS).

I understood the statement the same, however I think the OP meant once the 787's arrive it will free up aircraft that would then free up an aircraft for the route.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 1):
But OW totally dominates this market so I don't know if the ATI would affect them - right now both AA and BA have 3 daily flights for a total of 6 daily OW flights.

FWIW, with the BA/AA ATI this will be rightsized with 1 carrier taking over the route.

[Edited 2010-08-20 09:17:29]

User currently offlineVS11 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6692 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 2):
personally think the 787 would be a waste on this route...much better utilization on routes that wouldn't normally exist WITHOUT the 787 (i.e. IAH-LOS). The new UA/CO will be so big that it wouldn't surprise me if a 757 or 767 gets thrown on the BOS-LHR route...it's a relatively short route where the a/c could then do a transcon domestically before and after crossing the pond.

Certainly, there is wisdom in what you say. I was simply coming from the perspective that as the B787 is meant for longer and thinner routes (not that LHR-BOS is such), the new United/CO may decide to have a base of B787's in Boston so that they fly to more international places out of Boston, not just to London.


User currently offlineVS11 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 6648 times:

Quoting usairways85 (Reply 3):

FWIW, with the BA/AA ATI this will be rightsized with 1 carrier taking over the route.

If that's the case, it will probably be BA.


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6562 times:

Quoting VS11 (Reply 4):
Certainly, there is wisdom in what you say. I was simply coming from the perspective that as the B787 is meant for longer and thinner routes (not that LHR-BOS is such), the new United/CO may decide to have a base of B787's in Boston so that they fly to more international places out of Boston, not just to London.

= If they base a 787 in BOS, they would probably fly to NRT and make Logan authorities incredibly happy ...

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinefcogafa From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 850 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6528 times:

Quoting VS11 (Reply 4):
FWIW, with the BA/AA ATI this will be rightsized with 1 carrier taking over the route

Isn't it the case that BAW/AAL must make a slot available for someone to serve that route, but if they don't get a taker they keep it?


User currently onlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8501 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6425 times:

I'm surprised that neither UA not US serve the route given how big the premium market is. EWR is just too close for CO to open a route from BOS, IMO. BOS-LHR is one to BA's top performing routes because of the high percentage of premium passengers. And it's not exactly a thin route either with daily 3x744(BA,VS)+2x772(BA,AA)+1x767(AA). VS often operates the A346 too. US would do well here I think because US actually has a loyal and large customer base at BOS.

User currently offlineusairways85 From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 3435 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6414 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 8):
I'm surprised that neither UA not US serve the route given how big the premium market is. EWR is just too close for CO to open a route from BOS, IMO. BOS-LHR is one to BA's top performing routes because of the high percentage of premium passengers. And it's not exactly a thin route either with daily 3x744(BA,VS)+2x772(BA,AA)+1x767(AA). VS often operates the A346 too. US would do well here I think because US actually has a loyal and large customer base at BOS.

I think you answered your own question. Regardless of US' loyal base they would be going up against carriers that have long established themselves in the market with far superior premium cabins than US.

Anyway US doesn't operate TA flights outside of its hubs, you are far more likely to see PHX-Europe than BOS-LHR.


User currently onlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8501 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6232 times:

Quoting usairways85 (Reply 9):
Anyway US doesn't operate TA flights outside of its hubs, you are far more likely to see PHX-Europe than BOS-LHR.

Well, hadly anyone does. I still think that if an American carrier were to start this route it would be US because the others have a hub in NYC which is just too close to BOS. I'd be shocked if even AA doesn't drop it now that they have ATI with BA. Lets not forget that US has operated TATL from BOS in the past, albeit to FRA.


User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6691 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6152 times:

UA flew BOS-LHR from 1999-2002.


"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlineDFWEagle From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1075 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6036 times:

Let's not forget that the DOT ruled AA/BA must give up 2x daily LHR slot pairs for a competitor to use specifically on BOS-LHR, if anyone requests them. The competitor chooses the slot times, so they could optimise their schedule and dramatically reduce the high barriers to entry normally caused by LHR slot restrictions. It's a short route, easily in the range of the 757, so it would not be huge risk for US to take the slots on offer and give it try. They would have the local market, plus connections including LGA/PHL/DCA and could also code-share on the regional network of BD from LHR. It might just work out for them, and if it doesn't, they won't have lost that much.


Ryan / HKG
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33077 posts, RR: 71
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6024 times:

Quoting DFWEagle (Reply 12):
Let's not forget that the DOT ruled AA/BA must give up 2x daily LHR slot pairs for a competitor to use specifically on BOS-LHR, if anyone requests them.

AA/BA do not need to, technically, give up anything. They need to give an airline a short-term lease that need not extend past October 2020, among other arduous conditions that so dramatically reduce the value of the concession that an airline serious about launching Boston-Heathrow is better off buying the slots - which are appreciable assets - especially in this depressed market.



a.
User currently offlineDFWEagle From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1075 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5918 times:

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
AA/BA do not need to, technically, give up anything. They need to give an airline a short-term lease that need not extend past October 2020, among other arduous conditions that so dramatically reduce the value of the concession that an airline serious about launching Boston-Heathrow is better off buying the slots - which are appreciable assets - especially in this depressed market.

A peak time arrival slot at LHR (before 8am) is very hard to come by and virtually all are currently used by well established long haul carriers that are not likely to sell them. When they do, the cost is enormous. US has so far failed to procure such slots even for PHL-LHR (it operates a less desirable later schedule), so in the event they could get competitive slots, that would be the first priority.

My point was that by using the slots from AA/BA, US Airways would greatly decrease the start up cost and risk to them on BOS-LHR, and allow them to test the market without having to find and pay for slots, and without using resources that would be better allocated to PHL-LHR. Ten years is not really a short-term lease and US would have plenty of time to buy slots of their own if the route was a success. If it is not, they can just return the slots and forget about it.



Ryan / HKG
User currently offlineVS11 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5785 times:

Quoting DFWEagle (Reply 14):
A peak time arrival slot at LHR (before 8am) is very hard to come by and virtually all are currently used by well established long haul carriers that are not likely to sell them.

So who will administer the divestiture of the slots of BA and AA? I am assuming each one will give away one pair. What will happen if more than two carriers apply for those slots? How are they going to decide who gets them?


User currently onlineairbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8501 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 5742 times:

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 11):
UA flew BOS-LHR from 1999-2002.

Yes but UA/CO now have a hub "right down the street" at EWR, so the odds I'd give UA to return to BOS-LHR are slim to none.

Quoting DFWEagle (Reply 12):
The competitor chooses the slot times, so they could optimise their schedule and dramatically reduce the high barriers to entry normally caused by LHR slot restrictions. It's a short route, easily in the range of the 757, so it would not be huge risk for US to take the slots on offer and give it try.

I think US would be nuts not to take it. An A333 on this route could get feed from a number of US/CO/UA destinations on top of the local *A passengers who now have no choice but to backtrack and connect in some other city.


User currently offlineTOMMY767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6691 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5706 times:

Quoting airbazar (Reply 16):
Yes but UA/CO now have a hub "right down the street" at EWR, so the odds I'd give UA to return to BOS-LHR are slim to none.

UA has a base in BOS though and a cult following amongst locals as well. If they ever tried BOS-LHR on a CO 757 I think they could make it work.



"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33077 posts, RR: 71
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5688 times:

Quoting VS11 (Reply 15):
So who will administer the divestiture of the slots of BA and AA?

Again, there is no diversture of slots. It is lease of slots until October 2020.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 15):
I am assuming each one will give away one pair.

AA, BA and IB have effectively merged their slots. Doesn't matter "who" gives a pair - the slots are pooled.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 15):
What will happen if more than two carriers apply for those slots? How are they going to decide who gets them?

I'm sure AA/BA will want to give it to the top-bidder.



a.
User currently offlineVS11 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 5628 times:

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 18):
I'm sure AA/BA will want to give it to the top-bidder.

Why should they be compensated for the lease? It is not like AA or BA paid anything for the slots, especially BA. They are forced to lease the slots because they voluntarily enter into a commercial agreement. Nobody owes them anything. I am not entirely sure but I am assuming AA got the slots by purchasing TWA. If they want to revenue-share with BA, fine, it is their decision but nobody should be obligated to pay for their slots. Nobody is forcing them to operate 3 flights a day or to team up with BA.


User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5454 times:

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 11):
UA flew BOS-LHR from 1999-2002.

Oh yes, dont I know it. I flew the route loads of times and when it was dropped I was gutted hence why I started this thread.

Quoting TOMMY767 (Reply 17):
UA has a base in BOS though and a cult following amongst locals as well. If they ever tried BOS-LHR on a CO 757 I think they could make it work.

I would so like to see this hppen but my "concern" will be that the merged UA will just stick to flying into the hubs as opposed to flying the LHR-BOS route but I sure hope I am wrong. I am sure a 757 would work.


User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33077 posts, RR: 71
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5404 times:

Quoting VS11 (Reply 19):
Why should they be compensated for the lease? It is not like AA or BA paid anything for the slots, especially BA. They are forced to lease the slots because they voluntarily enter into a commercial agreement.

Because the terms of the agreement specifically state that if more than one airline requests the slot, AA/BA are allowed to give the slots to the highest bidder. Read the agreement before stating such baseless assumptions. And the statement that AA and BA did not pay for the slots is patently false. They each did pay for the slots. AA especially purchased every single slot it has from TWA or third parties. Most of BA's slots probably have come from times when slots were cheap or practically free, but that's simply a good investment on its part.

Meanwhile, nobody has requested the slots for a reason: nobody wants them. UA/CO can get free slots from Lufthansa/bmi: Delta from Air France/KLM; and Virgin does not qualify because it has so many unused slots at Heathrow, so it does not qualify under the agreement to acquire any slots. It is certainly ironic considering that Virgin continues to cry wolf over competition.

[Edited 2010-08-21 01:57:17]


a.
User currently offlineDFWEagle From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1075 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4902 times:

Quoting VS11 (Reply 15):
So who will administer the divestiture of the slots of BA and AA?

An independent commission, approved by DOT, will be set up to administer the slots.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 15):
I am assuming each one will give away one pair.

After antitrust immunity, AA/BA will pool their slots together to form a single portfolio so the slots will not come from one specific carrier. Neither carrier necessarily needs to reduce its Atlantic schedule since BA could reduce its short haul schedule instead. More likely, they could move the handful of short haul leisure routes back to LGW that they moved to LHR recently to keep hold of slots while BA reduced its schedule in the recession.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 15):
What will happen if more than two carriers apply for those slots? How are they going to decide who gets them?

There are various criteria used. The highest priority is to choose the carrier which will provide the most effective competition in the market. So one factor is that if someone wants both slots for a 2x daily service, they have priority over someone else that only wants slots for 1x daily service. As mentioned above, AA/BA also have an opportunity to choose their favoured carrier which may also taken into account, dependent on the situation. This would most likely be based on whether or not the entrant has offered monetary compensation for the lease (and how much!). It’s not mandatory to offer compensation, but optional and likely to improve the chances of success.]

It’s also important to note that there are strict eligibility criteria to apply for the slots. For example, carriers must demonstrate that they have exhausted all options to get slots themselves from their alliance partners etc. As part of this, they (and alliance partners) must not be operating less transatlantic LHR service than at any point in the last few years. I expect DL to apply for something, since the recently announced additions of ATL/DTW-LHR appears to make them eligible to apply, which could be why these less-than-daily flights were added in the first place.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 19):
Why should they be compensated for the lease? It is not like AA or BA paid anything for the slots

Huh? AA certainly did pay for the majority of its LHR slots.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 19):
I am not entirely sure but I am assuming AA got the slots by purchasing TWA.

None came from the TWA takeover, but 8 pairs were BOUGHT from TWA in 1991, when AA also purchased the LHR authority. Other slots have been BOUGHT from third party carriers such as Gulf Air and Iberia for hundreds of millions of dollars. Only a minority of slots were allocated to AA for nothing by the slot co-ordinator, and these are the less competitively timed ones, such as those that can only be used for daylight US-LHR flights, arriving very late at night.

Quoting VS11 (Reply 19):
Nobody owes them anything
Quoting VS11 (Reply 19):
If they want to revenue-share with BA, fine, it is their decision but nobody should be obligated to pay for their slots. Nobody is forcing them to operate 3 flights a day or to team up with BA.

If the government wants to allow more access to LHR in return for ATI, sure, they can tell AA to make slots available to let carriers compete. But why do you think that AA should not get compensation at market rates for their slots? Why should these carriers compete at an advantage with free slots that every single other carrier would have to pay for? Your suggestion seems more like a Communist style, state ordered re-distribution of assets. Thats not the aim here - it is to allow carriers the chance to use LHR slots to compete, when they would otherwise be unable to.



Ryan / HKG
User currently offlinefcogafa From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 850 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4846 times:

It is quite possible that the BA/AA tie up will actually release slots as co-ordinating currently competing flights or using larger aircraft could lead to more capacity than is required. These slots will presumably then be used to open new routes or increase flights on other, lesser served destinations.

User currently offlinestyles9002 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (4 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 4360 times:

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 13):
They need to give an airline a short-term lease that need not extend past October 2020,

I'm not sure how you define 'short-term' but in this instance I would probably not consider a 10 year lease 'short-term'. In my amateur opinion, such a lease would be more accurately consider a mid- to long-term lease. GAAP or IFRS would most likely compel that the treatment of such a situation to be.



It is what it is.
25 VS11 : MAH4546 and DFWEagle, Thank you very much for your answers. They were very informative. As to the AA slots, I did say it was an assumption as I didn't
26 USAirALB : Didn't US fly BOS-FRA/LGW in the 90s?
27 airbazar : It's worth noting however, that AMS is the hub and BOS a spoke, hence the twice daily flight. BOS-LHR for a *A carrier would be a stand-alone p-2-p r
28 atct : I could definitely see US doing BOS-LHR with a 757 or possible 76/A330. They have a pretty large operation at Logan as well as potential connections f
29 AirBuffalo : As much as I'd like to see a different *A carrier do it, US is in the best position, due to the feed that it gets from its other BOS flights. Despite
30 Post contains links McG1967 : Airport Coordination Limited www.acl-uk.org who manage the slots at UK airports are doing the slot adminstration. More details here: http://www.compe
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