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ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:23 pm

From today's Scotsman:

Stagecoach boss takes on BA

Gethin Chamberlain


STAGECOACH tycoon Brian Souter is to go head to head with British Airways in the capital by launching a new 16 flights-a-day service between Edinburgh and London’s City airport.

ScotAirways is to pull out of Glasgow and concentrate all its resources on a new service aimed at the Edinburgh business market.

The Business Express concept will be launched this month after the company, part-owned by Stagecoach founder Brian Souter, concluded it could make more money by withdrawing from Glasgow.

The airline will charge around £140 for a single journey on its 31-seater turbo-prop Dornier 328 aircraft, although some flights will be available for £49 through an internet booking system.

Last night, Mr Souter said the decision had been driven by commercial reality and the realisation that there was a gap in the market for a fast commuter shuttle service.

He said: "Edinburgh is the right market for this product. It seems to us that Edinburgh is where the disposable income is, it’s where the business market is buoyant and in Glasgow, it is quite difficult to make that business product work. We’ve been doing Glasgow for two and a half years now and our trend in Glasgow has not been good."

He claimed ScotAirways has reported "phenomenal" business in the Edinburgh market, with year-on-year growth in excess of 120 per cent.

The company will take on British Airways by claiming it provides more flights each day between Edinburgh and London.

Mr Souter will claim, in a campaign expected to start next week, passengers could cut an hour or more off their travelling time because of reduced check-in times and less time spent boarding and disembarking from the smaller aircraft operating on the route.

He said the company believed it had identified a gap in the market between the large carriers such as British Airways and the budget operators.

This week, ScotAirways announced the suspension of its service between Aberdeen and London City airport, two months after taking the route over from British European.

The previous day, the airline had suspended flights between Inverness and London City after four months of operation.

Last night, Mr Souter said: "We’re pulling out of these places because we’ve not been finding the market has been coming through for this type of business "
 
Flying-Tiger
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RE: ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:26 pm

Ehh, are we talking about 16 flights in each direction or 16 flights in total? Still, already 8 flights in each direction means that they need at least 2 Do328. Are these the ones they have pulled from other airports due to the crisis?

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vfw614
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RE: ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:28 pm

That's what I call clever marketing - making a ballyhoo about more flights on EDI-LCY so that it almost goes unnoticed that you cut 3 of 5 of your Scottish destinations....
 
vfw614
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RE: ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:31 pm

Probably 8 each - remember Ryanair announcing 30 daily flights from the Hahn base - and when you looked closely at it, it boiled down to 15 arrivals and 15 departures.
 
Hoffa
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RE: ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:34 pm

On the balance Ceilidh, would you call this good or bad news for Scotland?
 
Flying-Tiger
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RE: ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:39 pm

Well, to answer my own question: 16 in EACH direction, makes a total of 16*31 seats=496 seats per day to LCY.

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Guest

RE: ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:45 pm

I too assume that it is probably 8 flights a day in each direction - which gives them an hourly service during working hours. They can increase that if demand merits.

The reality is that LCY remains almost exclusively a business travel destination, with very few leisure pax using it.

Passengers from EDI wanting to connect to long haul flights at LHR will continue to use BA and BD; and those leisure pax wanting to travel cheaply between EDI and LON will continue to use EZY and GO.

I suspect that this service is merely an indicator of deeper problems at Scot Airways; and that the main beneficiaries will be City types travelling between Edinburgh (Scotland's primary financial centre) and the City of London.
 
Flying-Tiger
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RE: ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:51 pm

No, look at their web site. They state 16 flights (including 3 BE code-shares) in each direction.

Regards
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vfw614
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RE: ScotAirways Drops GLA; Takes On BA!

Fri Jan 11, 2002 10:54 pm

Here in Germany, we had an airline called Tempelhof Express. In 1998, they started a service between Berlin (new capital) and Cologne/Bonn (old capital) with a Dornier 328, competing head-on with Lufthansa and Deutsche BA jet services. While those two operated into Tegel airport in Berlin, TEX operated to Berlin's downtown airport Tempelhof, hoping to attract business-travellers for the route. All of their flights were packed, but after a year or so they had admit that you simply cannot make money with a full Dornier 328 on a trunk route on which you compete with 150seat aircraft - even if business passengers are willing to pay an extra premium for a downtown airport service, the price of a business ticket the airline could realistically charge with regard to the competitors' fares was never enough to make the service viable - and I doubt that Berlin THF was/is more expensive than London LCY which must be one of the most expensive airports in Europe.