gilesdavies From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 3203 posts, RR: 1 Posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 16438 times:
Air Blue have announced on their Facebook and Twitter accounts today that they are to start operations from Luton and Birmingham from later this year in Q4...
It states the Luton service will operate via Istanbul, but no news on if the BHX service will be direct or not.
The news is very limited and there is no news on frequencies, dates of when the service will start or cities in Pakistan they will fly to.
They also state they are seeking slots at LHR too.
The airline is due to receive two A340-300 later this year and could be possible these will operate the MAN and BHX services, hence why they don't state a city the BHX services operate via. An A340, non stop to somewhere like Pakistan would not be possible off of LTN's 7000ft runway, so would assume this will be operated by one of their A319/320's.
Faddypainter From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2010, 135 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16189 times:
Quoting gkirk (Reply 1): BHX I'd imagine will start as an A319/321 via Istanbul
Here is their exact Facebook message:
"We can confirm that Airblue will be serving two new destinations to UK. First is Birmingham and second will be London Luton. The London Luton route will be served via Istanbul."
I don't know about you, but to me that reads that BHX would be direct with A340, why else would they explicitly mention only LTN having a stop over?
KaiTak747 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2012, 251 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 11898 times:
This is a good move by Air Blue. There is a huge Pakistani expat community in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Bradford...etc. Lots of VFR traffic, although quite low yield I would imagine, and competition form PIA. So with good loads I'm sure these routes will be a success.
Just because this area has a significant population from the Asian subcontinent, doesn't mean they are from Pakistan and this is where they want to travel too!
Luton has a huged mixed ethnic population, many of these people are however from Bangladesh and India too.
Pakistan is also a large country, and I am assuming Blue Air is going to be flying to Islamabad... Even though LTN maybe their local airport, it maybe in their interest to fly from BHX or LHR where they can also fly to Lahoare and Karachi direct with PIA.
This is an exciting move for LTN, but I am not wholly convinced it will be the instant success people think. Marketing and a good price will also be key!
Like mentioned previously, I hope this route is not a warm-up act until they slot access to LHRm and then pull the plug on the LTN service.
AI used to do a DEL-ATQ-BHX-YYZ-BHX-ATQ-DEL route, which was perfect as the vast majority of the Midlands Indian population is Sikh, and obviously Amritsar and the Punjab as a whole is where their VFR requirements lie. The demand is still there, but since AI dropped out when they encountered severe financial problems the slack has been taken up by other carriers. Turkish, Mahan, Turkmenistan and Emirates have all profited from AI's retreat.
imiakhtar From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 10422 times:
Quoting 777way (Reply 15): Why arent any Indian carriers interested in targetting their communities the way PIA and Air Blue are?
Airlines serving EU-Pakistan face much less competition compared to EU-India. Since BA pullout following the Marriot bombing, there are no EU carriers serving Pakistan. As such, airlines flying to Pakistan are able to command higher fares for VFR routes which are generally low yielding.
In 2011 the population of Luton was estimated at 203,000. Of the total population those with Pakistani ethnicity was less than 9 per cent.
If your market is less than 20,000 for a new air service it is far from huge. Air Blue will need to draw their passengers from a much wider area than just Luton if their LTN service is to be successful. Here recognise that a five-days-a-week 320 service would offer 43,680 seats each way per year if the aircraft was configured to seat 168 passengers. So if every Luton Pakistani resident flew a return trip to Pakistan by Air Blue from LTN once every year - most unlikely - and all passengers originated in Luton - also unlikrly - the load fractor would be less than 50 per cent.
Giancavia From Jamaica, joined Feb 2010, 1614 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 10057 times:
I Dont think anyone is saying they would even remotely be all from luton, Luton is well located to draw people in from all directions. Dont take the HUGE to literaly, Just a bit of local humour some people will get. Having said that Nearly 10 percent of 1 town on the otherside of the world being from 1 country is a pretty big lump.
vv701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 8668 posts, RR: 25
Reply 22, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 9840 times:
Quoting Giancavia (Reply 21): I Dont think anyone is saying they would even remotely be all from luton
I never suggested that all Air Blue's passengers for their flight from LTN would come from Luton. Indeed I pointed out they would need to come from a much wider area than just Luton. However I was addressing the comment that the Pakistani population of Luton was "HUGE".
I have already shown that the Luton population would only half fill a five-days-a-week A320 service if every Pakistani Luton resident, man, woman and child, made a return flight once a year. So in the context of this thread the Pakjistani population of Luton is clearly not "HUGE"but is numerically relatively small. The Luton Pakistani population cannot therefore by itself be the reason for launching this flight. I assume that Air Blue are looking to their new service from LTN to draw passengers from a very much wider area including all of Greater London. In 2006 it was estimated that the Pakistani population of all the London Boroughs was 170,000 out of a total UK population estimated at just below one million.
777way From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (3 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 9703 times:
New routes info has been removed from facebook page, apprently page was hacked and PA have posted this message there.
"We would like to inform you that the page was hacked and the posts you saw about expansions were posted by those who hacked it. Its been back into safe hands and we the admins would like to say that whatever was posted was under discussion but Airblue has no confirmation regarding that. As soon as the information is available the page will be updated about it. We at this page have always been cautious about revealing something that has no foundations from within the Airblue. We will continue to do so and until the A340s are here and until the relevant airport and Airblue sign the route opening papers this page will not confirm it.
We apologise to those who have been offended by the posts or messages or anything that might have been said."