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BA Reconsiders KUL - Again?  
User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Posted (13 years 1 month 20 hours ago) and read 1649 times:

I know I mentioned this when BA pulled out of KUL in March - but an interesting 'scoop' came out of someone at BA.

Apparently, due to the high demand for seats on the LHR-KUL sector (not that anyone disputed this before BA pulled out) which MAS is now enjoying as a monopoly, BA is studying the possibility of restarting flights into Kuala Lumpur. Currently, there are hummings that a new LHR-KUL-SIN service may begin using 777-236ERs as early as this X'mas.

There are benefits of restarting flights soon...

1. BA would now not have to pay landing fees and charges.
2. All its ground services like its brand new 'Kuala Lumpur Lounge' will only need minor touches to reopen.
3. Marketing-wise - they could salvage much of the poor publicity generated by its (some may say premature) withdrawal.
4. KLM is now a real threat to the busy Malaysian market - BA once enjoyed the position of being 'the Premier' carrier to Europe and beyond.
5. With the Malaysian market slowly recovering - Malaysians are starting to travel again and the repegging of the ringgit to the US Dollar to a more realistic value - would help to drive exports once again.

Anyway - wonder what anyone thought of BA restarting services. Frankly - I will return to KLM again since having tried them as an alternative (since BA left) - KLM's service was top-notch and made me wonder why I always chose BA in the first place.

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineShamrock104 From Ireland, joined Sep 2000, 523 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (13 years 1 month 19 hours ago) and read 1515 times:


Yeah I hope that BA start flying to KUL again. I flew LHR-KUL with BA in January and the flight was pretty full, especially where it counts- in Club World. Silly decision to stop flying the route - I also think they had a better on time record than MH on that specific route.


User currently offlineEconojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (13 years 1 month 17 hours ago) and read 1508 times:

How is BA currently serving KUL?

Interlining with SQ or MH through SIN? or interlining with TG or MH through BKK? or
connecting with CX via HKG?

If BA serves LHR-KUL-SIN, does it have unlimited 5th freedom between KUL and SIN? I take it that JL enjoys the freedom to traffic passengers originating from KUL to SIN and vv; I have been ticketed on JL on this sector alone. Perhaps UL does too.

The load factor should benefit from the mixture of KUL- and SIN-bound passengers. Additional passengers could be picked up at KUL for SIN to fill up the empty seats. Also, this provides a bridge for QF passengers from Australia to travel to KUL via SIN, instead of losing them to more expensive interline agreements with MH or SQ.

The question is if LHR-SIN-KUL would be better. I guess that also depends on the timing of the flight.


User currently offlinePhileo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (13 years 1 month 7 hours ago) and read 1475 times:

Dear MAS777

'the repegging of the ringgit to the US Dollar to a more realistic value - would help to drive exports once again'

May I asked when Malaysia government has reset the value of RM?


User currently offlineOdiE From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1641 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (13 years 1 month 5 hours ago) and read 1457 times:

I just arrived from LHR on a MAS flight last Saturday and it was filled to the brim in the Economy Class! There's not even a spare seat available on that flight. Plus, they operate thrice a day on Saturday, this makes it worse for checking in, since the earlier flight was full as well, there is more than 600 people checking in at the same time! This is the first time I see big queues at the Club and First Class (not so much at First though!)

Since BA left KUL, MAS had been operating its flight with very healthy load factor. They should really re-consider operating into KUL again. It's hard to get a seat on the LHR-KUL v.v. even when MAS started their new flights!

However, I find that most of the passengers on the LHR-KUL route were actually transit passengers to other Far East destinations and more importantly, Australia! Maybe BA can reconsider opening again LHR-KUL-SYD again!

LHR-KUL-SIN would be better than LHR-SIN-KUL, cause the latter still have a Singapore stop, which most passengers dislike. They might as well take SIA then.

Now that MAS monopolizes the lucrative KUL-LHR route, and as the only carrier which provide non-stop service between London and Kuala Lumpur, MAS fares to /from London from/to Kuala Lumpur had risen quite a lot!

By the way, what happen to their KUL lounge at the Satellite Building? Was it closed and then another carrier took over from BA?

Cheers.


User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 27
Reply 5, posted (13 years 1 month 3 hours ago) and read 1435 times:


I think LHR-KUL-SIN is a non-starter. Come on, how could BA offer a competitive SIN service operating a one-stop service? It's going back to the routes of the early 1980's! This will only make sense if it's a dedicated KUL service or with someplace like CGK added on. Definitely not SIN. As for the "Kuala Lumpur Lounge" - well, the last time I checked, it was construction rubble...

And Mas777, where did you get all this insider information about the re-pegging of the ringgit? Now, that'll be the REAL scoop!


User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (13 years 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 1415 times:

The repegging of the ringgit is not new news - the consideration has been in the news for some time now and word has it that when the Thai Baht hits 40 to the US Dollar - the ringgit may be repegged at 4.20

Anyway - Econojetter points out LHR-KUL-SIN could reap in some benefits as Qantas currently interlines with MAS on flights to Singapore to connect with their hub there. BA could provide a daily KUL-SIN service in the early evenings - well timed for connections departing for Australia at SIN. BA does have 5th freedom rights at KUL and so could pick up passengers like JAL currently does - but local KUL-SIN traffic are merely seat-fillers with not much profit gain to the airline - which is why linking KUL to SIN as a hub for BA and QF would be such a GREAT idea!

Airpearl - BA does not have to offer SIN as a one-stop service as there are more than 4 flights a day with QF and BA which fly nonstop from LHR. This new routing will only help ensure that the LHR-KUL remains sustainable by connecting it to the OneWorld hub at SIN. BA currently still has no plans to return to Jakarta as the political situation still remains uncertain.

BA currently does not have any interline arrangements with either MAS or SIA - passengers still wishing to fly BA out via Singapore just catch the most convenient shuttle connection.

Odie - Some relatives just flew out to KL that same weekend and Golden Club was also full - they couldn't get seats to fly on Saturday and ended up catching the noon flight on Sunday.


User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 27
Reply 7, posted (13 years 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 1409 times:


Mas777, I can't help but be intrigued by whatever wonderful fantasies involving KLIA and Malaysia you have ... they really should employ you as a journalist in Malaysia.

First, the repegging of the ringgit. I don't see how this will figure in BA's decision whether or not to return to KL. Whilst it's true that the ringgit has been under pressure, that as you so rightly say, is no new news. The government has said that there would be no repeg but the market feels differently. The repeg may help exports but it will also increase domestic inflation. If air fares do not rise on a repeg, yields ex-Malaysia would fall further. If fares do rise, fewer Malaysians will travel abroad (coupled with the higher relative costs abroad) and ticket sales will fall. All in all, a bad thing for BA or indeed any airline operating into Malaysia.

Yes, SIN is indeed a BA/QF hub. But the KUL-SIN connection is adequately served by MH and SQ and has been for some time. BA will have neither the right aircraft or frequency to operate this route effectively. QF has flown the KUL-SIN sector before, and the reason they pulled out was not for the lack of passengers but because they could have deployed their scarce capacity/rights on higher yielding routes. KUL-SIN is definitely not one of them! (JL has to sell cut price tickets to fill their daily MD11's on the one daily service they have between the two cities.)
Remember that BA has rights to a limited number of weekly flights between LHR and SIN. Will you as BA choose to use hard-won rights for 7 weekly flights into SIN on an indirect onestop route with little hope of end-to-end passengers? I wouldn't imagine this being high on BA's business plan.


User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 8, posted (13 years 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1382 times:

Airpearl,

Your first paragraph is interesting as I do work as a freelance journalist. Perhaps you ought to read more carefully to the points below.

1. I never mentioned the fact that my original posting were my thoughts - just something I got from a source at BA. They are not MY fantasies or whatever you have presumed.

2. The repegging of the ringgit should the Thai Baht hit 40 to the US Dollar was reported in the Far Eastern Economic Review (I think - may have been Asiaweek come to think of it) about a month ago and I believe the New Straits Times about the same time. Other press agencies have also speculated this in the past. I stand corrected that I should have pointed out in the original post that this is speculative, but I did state in my last posting that this is a '...consideration...'

3. True you are correct about the reduced spending power of Malaysians should the ringgit repeg but for the majority of airlines - cargo is the real money earner - something airlines would stand to gain by increased exports - which at the moment are affected by the artificially high ringgit.

4. If you read my last posting - neither BA nor any other airline ever intends to compete with MAS or SIA on the Shuttle service. However - they could use their own aircraft to feed connecting passengers into/out of their SIN hub. QF operated only 3 times a week effectively connecting KL passengers only 3 times a week into other Australian ports via Singapore. I did point out that the KUL-SIN sector would never be an earner for the airline - so don't see where/who you are disputing with.

5. BA does have rights for an additional 7 weekly flights into Singapore currently not used.

Anyway - Back in your court as they say...


User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 27
Reply 9, posted (13 years 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1345 times:

Mas777,
As a writer, you would know that the very essence of good journalism is credibility - being able to present facts fairly, accurately and which are supported by credible evidence. As someone who lives in KL, I will be thrilled (nay, ecstatic!) if BA chooses to return and I certainly hope your friend at BA is right.
But consider the evidence I am presented with:

1. You say BA restarts the route with a LHR-KUL-SIN. As I highlighted earlier, it's a route that makes little sense for an airline which has limited traffic rights into SIN. If what you say about BA having only 7 unused frequencies to SIN is true, then they would be wasting these rights with a route that is unlikely to yield much end-to-end LHR-SIN traffic (and thus losing potentially more lucrative business). Econojetter mentioned LHR-SIN-KUL as an alternative - perhaps that'll make slightly better sense for BA.

2. You say that they need the feed from KUL into their SIN hub - now, that's true. But with this flight, BA can realistically offer only one measly flight a day - probably timed to meet some but not all BA/QF services ex-SIN. So, MH and SQ will still continue to play a role as the connection carrier - as they do for all the many many other airlines which have chosen to serve Malaysia via Singapore. So is BA's one flight more trouble (and less lucrative) than it's worth? You also say KUL-SIN will "never be an earner" for BA. Why have it then?

3. You say BA do not have to pay landing fees and charges. That's not entirely accurate - landing fees and charges are waived for frequencies exceeding 4/week. Nonetheless I agree that it's an attraction as compared to previously.

4. The "Kuala Lumpur Lounge" is cited as a benefit. If BA want a lounge, they need to reconstruct one, brand new!

5. Both you and OdiE mention how full MH flights are on the LHR-KUL route. I have no reason to dispute this. - after all, it is one of MH's most lucrative sectors. However, is this reason enough for BA to restart LHR-KUL especially when, as OdiE finds, most of the passengers "transit.. to other Far East destinations.. and Australia". So, even with a "monopoly" on this route, MH appears not to sell KUL (as an O&D destination) but the Far East and Australia. Without 6th freedom traffic, can MH even sustain one daily KUL-LHR flight? I really don't know.

6. You say that "cargo is the real money earner" for "the majority of airlines" to support your argument that increased exports with a re-pegged ringgit will attract airlines like BA to return. I don't have enough info to confirm what you say about cargo revenue is accurate but only know that MASkargo made a whopping huge loss. Malaysia's largest exports requiring air transport are in semiconductors/electronics and manufacturing. The semiconductor market in the US is in the doldrums - and no amount of tweaking of the exchange rate will change that. A large proportion of Malaysian exporters in the manufacturing sector are multinationals who import semi-knocked down parts. They assemble these parts in Malaysia and re-export them to third countries. As the parts are already valued in US$ and the only value added in RM is in labour content, the exchange rate makes little difference.


But hey. I hope you and your BA friend are right. After all, if BA has chosen to start flying to the Turks and Caicos this winter - KUL should be worth at least a couple of flights a week!




User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 10, posted (13 years 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 1323 times:

I didn't mention the source as being a friend - anyhow...

I reckon there will be potential to fill seats on the LHR-SIN even if the flight stopped at KUL for 60 mins. Many passengers on the LHR-SIN route connected flights at KUL (much like the reverse). British Airways used to offer seats on the KUL sector whenever its services into SIN were full (when BA33 flew into KUL). There is scope for expansion by BA and QF at SIN. With such a large market on the Kangaroo route - you'd be surprised how many passengers do NOT know or care if flights have a stop on the way or not. Many passengers would book to fly on a particular day and not care if it takes an extra 70 mins or so.

Or do you still think - 7 unused slots would be more beneficial to BA than 7 used ones via KUL. BA would then operate more than 3 flights a day in its own right into SIN - albeit one of them stops en-route?

I don't think LHR-SIN-KUL would work as well, as BA would not be competitive with MAS in routing its sole service via SIN. This would be the same mistake QF made in the 1990s.

If the flight was timed to arrive KUL at 1800 and depart at 1900 - there would be potential to connect passengers daily with Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide with ease. Passengers for Perth, Darwin, Cairns would have a little longer to wait at Changi. The return service would also connect passengers in the opposite direction. LHR-SIN-KUL flight timings would be more difficult to connect passengers if you work it out. Perhaps then, BA and QF could contest with MAS on the Australian routes. As I mentioned - although KUL-SIN would never be an earner - there is potential to generate income from the provision as a feeder.

Besides - KL is an important stop on the Kangaroo route. Travel agents I have spoken to have said that a reason MAS does so well in its Australian routes from Europe is the fact that it is the ONLY airline offering Malaysia as a stop en-route. The majority of passengers still stopover enroute either in each direction or in one-direction - BA, QF, SQ, TG, CX, GA all do not conveniently offer Malaysia as a stopover destination. BA is aware of that - which is why BA33 operated LHR-KUL-SYD for a short spell - but that's a different story completely!

One of the main reasons BA reintroduced the 747-400 initially on the LHR-KUL route was to increase the cargo volume at KUL - not merely due to passenger numbers. The 777 was subsequently introduced in an effort to cut fuel costs but the combination of reduced passenger/cargo volumes spelt the end to the route.

I can't understand how postings have implied that O&D LHR-KUL load factors are poor and that the majority of passengers are in transit and therefore not worth operating. Airlines do not depend solely on O&D traffic - otherwise Singapore would not be the 'hub' it is.

Your fifth point - would also make SIA not able to sustain its services to LHR since the majority of SIA's passengers are in transit (unfortunately for KUL - mostly to Malaysian cities!).

Hey - we would all love to see BA back in KL - it was a real turning point in KUL's history when BA left. I just think its great that they are reconsidering (supposedly). Of course - from my last trip on BA33/34 in February - if the payloads during the UK off-season was that healthy (I couldn't get a seat on a Fri. night in Club - and had to fly the next day) - perhaps someone at Waterside may finally twig - hey - perhaps we can make some money after all with BA33/34 flying again!

Anyway - I think this discussion is getting tedious now.


User currently offlineEconojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (13 years 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1323 times:

Mas777,

Just some comments:

... about BA routing passengers via KUL when its SIN flights were full. First of all, it was because the KUL flight was already there at that time. I know you mean to say that there will be people travelling to SIN willing to do LHR-KUL-SIN, but would that be a popular choice?

The difference between LHR-KUL-SIN and LHR-SIN-KUL is that the former is first and foremost a LHR-KUL and the latter is first and foremost a LHR-SIN flight. Never mind that LHR-KUL-SIN can also transport SIN-bound travellers. The motivation for LHR-KUL-SIN must be that one expects the huge majority of the passengers would be leaving the flight in KUL. Now consider the potential of KUL and SIN. For BA/QF, KUL is a destination (and gateway to the rest of Malaysia), while SIN is both a destination and a transfer hub. Which one has better potential? One might argue that LHR-KUL is underserved. However, that won't be an issue of concern for BA unless LHR-SIN is overserved, which does not seem to be the case anyway.

Yes, LHR-SIN-KUL is not competitive if one talks about KUL as a destination and MH as the competitor. That is no doubt a significant issue in the eyes of the traveller who wants go to KUL. However, when MH flights are full, do KUL-bound passengers originating in London have any other choice than to go indirect? Traditionally, the best alternatives would be SQ via SIN, KL via AMS etc. BA's LHR-SIN-KUL will already be better than those in one way... it is a same-plane service. Is it necessary for BA to go head-to-head against MH and expose itself to greater risk?

... about KUL as an important intermediate stop on the Kangaroo route. I have no doubt that a significant number of people are interested in KUL or other cities in Malaysia. Getting BA to fly into KUL for that reason would seem like overkill, since Kuala Lumpur is only 4 hours drive away. Business travellers who want to take a little holiday sidetrip and are serious about visiting Malaysia will not have any problems finding their way in from SIN. BA/QF can make it easier by serving KUL but at what cost? Besides, since BA/QF are using SIN as a hub, they would probably not want to dilute interest in SIN as a stopover point in favour of KUL.

... about O&D traffic and 6th freedom traffic. MH does not survive on O&D alone, neither does SQ. But we are talking about BA/QF here, who have chosen to co-ordinate their services around SIN. So it depends on which airline you are talking about. On the LHR-KUL route, MH would evaluate its potential based on both O&D and 6th freedom, while BA would have to evaluate it pretty much based on O&D potential alone. That will be the case, unless KUL is connected to Australia by either BA or QF, which is a different scenario.

Your explanation about the B747 vs the B777 is confusing. B747: higher cost, higher volume; B777: lower cost, lower volume. So which capacity better reflects the demand on the route? From what I remember, the B747 flights went 5x weekly (some continuing to SYD, some to CGK), then KUL-SYD and KUL-CGK were dropped in favour of 6x weekly turnaround B777 flights, i.e. better frequency and not much change in total capacity. What was the problem?


User currently offlineLutfi From China, joined Sep 2000, 766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 3 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 1308 times:

The Thai baht is at 45 to the USD, and no sign of ringgit repegging

User currently offlineKrisworldB777 From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 570 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (13 years 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 1293 times:

I think that BA would do very well by bringing back 2 flights from the closet and joining them up. Last July, BA stopped their daily 747-400 BA 11/12 LHR-SIN-PER-SIN-LHR in favour of a Qantas codeshare from SIN to PER. If BA restarted their PER flight via KUL with the 777, I'm almost positive they would do extremely well. They could codeshare with QF and would provide passengers travelling to Europe / Australia with a new stopover destination. I really don't see why it wouldn't work!

User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 27
Reply 14, posted (13 years 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1278 times:

Mas777,

I totally agree with Econojetter's comments... with just two more points to add:

You say that "many passengers do not know or care if flights have a stop... and not care if it takes an extra 70 mins or so".
Perhaps so for economy class; if the fare was cheap enough you'd be able to fill any amount of seats - but certainly not for Club and First. And that's where it matters. On a highly competitive route like LHR-SIN where BA is pitted against the might of noneother than SIA, it would be grossly unwise of them to offer a third daily frequency with a stop en route. Not only will this flight be unpopular for premium class passengers and thus make it 'low yield', BA will have the perception of being uninnovative on a route where the prowess of a carrier is in its innovation

The second point is a matter of fact: BA/QF have just closed their dedicated sales office in Kuala Lumpur, retrenched most of their KL based reservations staff and moved the remaining 5 or so into the CX office. That doesn't sound like an airline on the verge of a return, does it?


User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 15, posted (13 years 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1262 times:

This discussion is becoming circular - Airpearl - you mention that for high yield passengers not wanting to stop enroute at KUL for SIN but think LHR-SIN-KUL would work better. The same applies as high yield passengers for KUL wouldn't want to endure a longer flight time either. I just fail to see that a LHR-KUL-SIN would 'dilute' the BA/QF hub at SIN - I think it will only strengthen it.

About O&D - Many have forgotten the fact that BA carried a large percentage of passengers from its Transatlantic and European services into KUL also. Eastern USA passengers now do not have the option of travelling with BA into Malaysia. A LHR-KUL-SIN service would connect KUL into their SIN hub for onward traffic - so again - I'm not quite sure what the discussion centers on.

I know about the office closing - many close friends worked in that office - and some were transferred to CX or offered posts in Singapore - not quite sure about this one but even they themselves have heard that there were discussions about BA returning.

About the aircraft used by BA - the 747-400 did serve LHR-KUL return for a short spell and after the 777 was introduced - the advance timetable for Winter 2001 scheduled the 744 back in service - but the plug was pulled. I don't have answers for that one - and that was again discussed to death some time ago.

Just spoke to some people at the City about the repeg - word has it that it may still go ahead - don't know when, how or why. They did however say to watch out for it...?

Anyway - this discussion has become somewhat interesting huh - but I will be seeing the guys at Waterside again soon - will keep you lot up to date - should anything develop.  Smokin cool


User currently offlineBokratensa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1257 times:

Why did BA stop its KUL service in the first place?
 Sad


User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 17, posted (13 years 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1248 times:

Bokratensa - oh NO - don't start that again. Search for the old posts...  Sad

User currently offlineEconojetter From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 430 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (13 years 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1256 times:

Mas777,

OK... here goes...

So we are talking about high-yield O&D pax.
LHR-KUL-SIN is liked by KUL-bound but disliked by SIN-bound pax. LHR-SIN-KUL is liked by SIN-bound but disliked by KUL-bound pax. Will there be more high-yield pax bound for SIN or will there be more for KUL? I'm inclined to believe SIN is more a high yield destination than KUL. I don't know if you disagree. Anyway, if you agree, there's still the question of how much more? I don't know, and won't know until I manage to see some figures.

Now we talk about high-yield pax going to Australia. Let's say SYD.
To this category of pax travelling with BA... which one is more appealing? LHR-SIN-KUL or LHR-KUL-SIN? The former... don't you think so?

BA would love to please everyone if it could and didn't have to choose. Passengers on LHR-SIN and LHR-SYD would be happy to see LHR-SIN-KUL. Passengers on LHR-KUL would be happy to see LHR-KUL-SIN. If you were BA, which one should it be?

OK... that's just one factor. Now you brought in the issue of passengers who will want to connect through LON to fly to KUL. I therefore mention passengers who will want to connect through LON to fly to SIN. Again, these passengers have one reason to fly to KUL, that is to disembark at KUL; but they have two reasons to fly to SIN - either to disembark at SIN or to connect via SIN.

At this point your argument might be: but look! there are so many flights to SIN already compared to KUL. KUL is terribly underserved. Just look at how full those MH and KL flights are. Are the load factors into SIN significantly lower? If it really is so, why is AF flying only into SIN when it might actually absorb the large spillover enough to also fly to KUL? Why is EK not having more than 4x weekly that fly nonstop from DXB to KUL instead of stopping enroute in DAC? Why does SR merely codeshare and not bring its own capacity into KUL? Why have none of these airlines actually acted to pick up the slack in capacity? Again, I have no figures to show but the behaviours of these airlines indicate some preference for SIN. Why do they prefer SIN?

Other comments...
You mentioned that the LHR-KUL-SIN would connect KUL to their SIN hub for onward connection. Who are the passengers who would benefit from this arrangement? Those originating from LHR? Certainly not. Those originating in KUL or chose to stopover at KUL? Yes. Are there many? What's the size of that market? Note that LHR-SIN-KUL would serve KUL-originating passengers wishing to connect at SIN just as well. Those who choose to stop over at KUL instead of SIN are more inconvenienced by the LHR-SIN-KUL (I always mean the LHR-SIN-KUL-SIN-LHR rotation and not LHR-SIN-KUL-LHR when I type LHR-SIN-KUL) arrangement, but only by one extra stop.

About diluting the SIN hub... that is because by choosing LHR-KUL-SIN over LHR-SIN or LHR-SIN-KUL, BA might miss out on yield from passengers actually wishing to disembark or connect at SIN. Back to the debate of KUL vs SIN, destination vs destination plus connection; or if you will, (destination+stopover) vs (destination+stopover+connection). Furthermore, airlines can, to a certain extent, modify their flow of traffic through intermediate points depending on what they market. If BA wants to offer KUL as a stopover, it will have to market it, which will, at some point, be at the expense of the SIN stopover offer.

I am not, as a consumer, against BA launching LHR-KUL-SIN if it so chooses. The greater the choice, the better, and I would be silly to complain. I am not even counting it out totally. Hey... with aircraft idling due to readjustment of another route, with a sudden interest in Malaysia or crisis in MH's operations, they might just put it to test.

I was just somewhat bothered by your reasoning. You just seemed to be changing reference points (e.g. starting with O&D traffic, and then suddenly pulling in connecting traffic to support your argument) within a single debate. That, or you were mostly seeing from the point of view of a LHR-KUL frequent flyer or KUL-supporter. Being concerned about the near monopoly on the KUL longhaul market and shortage of seats from time to time is fine, and I would be too if I were you, but it is unfortunate that it appears to overwhelm your evaluation of the viability of this BA service.


User currently offlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7360 posts, RR: 14
Reply 19, posted (13 years 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1240 times:
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Think I'll stick to the MAN-KUL service on MAS as I don't want to travel to LHR when there's a nice alternative from my local. This route is doing pretty well with something like 75% loads, having gone from 777s to 747s and from via MUC to going non-stop. Passenger numbers have almost doubled since it went non-stop (something for airlines to contemplate: passengers might prefer non-stop rather than one-stop).



User currently offlineAirpearl From Malaysia, joined May 2001, 943 posts, RR: 27
Reply 20, posted (13 years 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1228 times:

You are right Mas777, premium class passengers travelling from LHR to KUL will prefer a nonstop service, such as the one MH operates, to a onestop service if BA operates LHR-SIN-KUL.
I also believe, as Econojetter does, that SIN is a higher yield destination than KUL. Which means that, if faced with a choice BA would select to operate a nonstop to SIN rather than KUL (ie. LHR-SIN-KUL and not LHR-KUL-SIN) , because it is more profitable to do so! What does this mean for BA? It remains competitive in SIN and offers a slightly inferior product in KUL. In terms of profitability, this route will generate high yields on the SIN leg, with a 'low yield' add-on to KUL. Remembering that it was poor yields (and not a lack of passengers) which resulted in BA pulling out of KUL in the first place - what is the incentive for BA to return in this scenario? Not much, eh?
In the end, I think a BA LHR-KUL service will only make sense if there is strong O&D traffic with enough premium class business to make this route profitable. A SIN-addon can only be an interim measure. With the Malaysian economy heading into trouble yet again, this route appears unlikely to happen for a while.



User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (13 years 3 weeks 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 1187 times:

As I have mentioned - this discussion is far too circular - we all seem to be arguing the same points but failing to agree. Airlines would like both O&D and onward traffic to make a route profitable. Econojetter - your first four paragraphs seem rather circular too.

There is no doubt that KUL lost out to SIN as BA and QF consolidated their operations to make SIN a OneWorld hub. Hence QF31 today even routes through SIN from Sydney into London.

All I mentioned was the fact that BA was considering returning to KUL and it would be interesting to see how they do it.

A major factor why many other airlines are not looking at KUL and instead only operate to SIN - is the fact that many of these carriers have different agreements with the Malaysian DCA for traffic rights. AF, SR, etc as mentioned will only code-share as they need to keep their SIN services strong and struggle to do so. BA has the advantage in having both hub status at KUL and SIN (something they gained by letting SQ and MH into London as often as they do) - AF and SR don't have similar rights at KUL.

KLM on the other hand is taking up quite a lot of slack from BA's departure - KLM has also been smart enough to take MAS as a partner to share in its cautious stance with KUL.

I don't claim to be a 'pro-BA returns to KUL' fan as someone mentioned - anyone who 'knows' me - knows the fact that for quite some time now - I have always flown with KLM, AF, NG and even SAS to travel to KUL - whilst having only flown with BA twice this year in Jan and Feb on the LHR-KUL route.


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