Airmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 372 posts, RR: 2 Posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 1628 times:
Great, they're seeking a third flight too, and I hope they can replace BA on the Pakistan routes in the future. Do PIA have unused slots at Heathrow that VS or BMI could utilise with code shares to any Pakistani city?
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 1605 times:
Typical VS shenanigans to get more publicity. The quote of the week comes from Shahnawaz Hussain, the Indian Civil Aviation minister who said something along the lines of "If they had simply asked for a third flight in the first place, they could have been awarded one. However, if they resort to blackmail we will call their bluff."
Sure enough, their bluff was called and VS decided to stay in India anyway. Aww...
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 5, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1542 times:
However, is 3 flights a week profitable?
Probably not, but VS needs to understand that they are guests of Air India to use any of these frequencies. They are not entitled to them as per the bilateral. Branson came up with a brilliant idea to reverse-codeshare these unused frequencies and presented it to Air India, who saw the benefits and agreed to HIS terms. Branson personally was in Delhi to negotiate this agreement and of course pulled a PR prank when he was there too by alleging that BA had denied him boarding to get back to London - the truth was that the flight was oversold and they simply refused to sell him a revenue ticket since they were already sold out. The terms were for 2 initial weekly frequencies, plus a third frequency CONTINGENT upon AI being awarded additional slots at LHR for their own operations. The AI slots never materialized and hence the third frequency didn't materialize. Rather than approach the Indian Government and REQUEST the third frequency anyway, VS instead chose to serve a termination notice and THEN publicize their pullout "because 2 frequencies are not sufficient". Well guess what buddy, if you wanted more frequencies, it might have helped if you had asked.
Air India is perfectly happy to give VS more service on dormant DEL-LHR frequencies (forget about BOM though, that is a fortress that even a Virgin won't be allowed near) as long as they get their codeshare block on the flights as well. In the end it allows AI to gain incremental revenue at virtually zero cost, and more importantly to both VS and AI, it weakens BA's market share to/from India. However, the Indian government will not (nor should they) capitulate and give VS their own rights to fly to India as long as the Indian flag carrier is denied Heathrow access for already awarded but dormant frequencies.
B747-437B From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (11 years 4 months 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1510 times:
Whats the problem with Heathrow access to AI's 5 dormant frequencies?
Therein lies the problem. AI has FREQUENCIES but no SLOTS to operate them. So even though they have the right to operate the flight, they don't have permission to land the plane at Heathrow, at whatever time of day. That essentially renders the rights useless. India's position is that until SLOTS are allocated to AI that ALLOW them to use these rights to actually operate flights, they will not allow a SECOND British carrier into India, nor will the allow ADDITIONAL services by BA to other Indian cities. Which, IMHO, is a very reasonable condition.