While the flight proved unsuccessful for BA
during the months leading up to its suspension, we must remember that there were very important extenuating circumstances. Not only was there 9/11 and SARS, but also the Iraq war.
Once the economy settles into expansionary mode (fairly soon, I should imagine), I am certain we will see the return of transatlantic service. If served correctly, the market has major potential.
Personally, I think we would see LH
here before KLM, but not by much! Amsterdam is the 2nd biggest O&D city out of SAN
, after London (this information verified by the Director for Airport Business and Administration during the Port District era). With partnership agreements with Northwest and Continental already in place, plus the inevitable tie-up with Delta and SkyTeam, KLM could leverage connection opportunities for the San Diego market in a way British Airways never could. The same goes for Lufthansa and its relationship to United and US Airways. Remember, British Airways had zero
revenue-generating assistance from American Airlines, due to antitrust restrictions. One reason why British Airways temprorarily failed in San Diego, but found amazing success in Phoenix, is the America West codeshare arrangement. For medium-sized markets like San Diego, Phoenix, or Portland, domestic partnership agreements are essential, and that's something BA
just never had here.
At any rate, if nobody beats them to it, I think we'll see BA
back here by next year. Probably as an extension of PHX
(going to a 747 this summer!) or LAX