northernlights
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 8:13 pm

Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 9:57 am

Is there any BD employee that knows more about the next news?
Is BD seriously considering flying to India/South Africa?  Confused

Bmi plans long-haul flights to India if 'open skies' talks fail

Bmi, Britain's second-largest full-service airline, is planning to launch long-haul services from Heathrow to India and South Africa if talks aimed at opening up the transatlantic market fail to make progress.

A last-ditch round of negotiations is due to take place next week between American and European Union officials that could see air services between Heathrow and the United States liberalised after a deadlock lasting more than six years.

The talks are the final opportunity for Brussels to strike an EU-wide "open skies" deal with the Bush administration before the US government closes down for the presidential elections in November. EU transport ministers are due to meet on 10 June to consider any proposal which emerges from the talks.

Speaking in Washington yesterday, Sir Michael Bishop, the chairman of bmi, said if a deal was agreed his airline could be ready to start transatlantic services from Heathrow next summer, at prices below those presently being charged.

Jeffrey Shane, Under Secretary of State at the US Department for Transportation, said he was "cautiously optimistic" that a deal could be struck. "The two negotiating teams have come to a substantial agreement on what is achievable and what must be delivered," he added.

The current bilateral agreement between the US and UK limits access to Heathrow to just four carriers - British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, United Airlines and American Airlines. Bmi, Heathrow's second-biggest operator, has been lobbying for the right to start transatlantic services from the airport for four years without success.

Sir Michael said the US and the EU stood on the verge of a "landmark agreement" which must not be blocked by the vested interests of BA and Virgin. He said demands by BA and Virgin for "sabotage" - the right to operate internal US routes - in exchange for opening up Heathrow to more US carriers was a "red herring" designed to derail any chance of agreement.

If no agreement is reached in the next two months, then progress will be stalled for at least a year. In that case, Sir Michael said bmi would look seriously at launching services to Delhi and Bombay and Johannesburg and Cape Town in South Africa.
 
B747-437B
Posts: 8777
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 10:12 am

There is a better chance of BMI getting permission to operate LHR-US routes than LHR-India routes. The 17 frequencies will be almost maxed out on both sides in the winter 2004 schedule (UK : BA 17+1, India : AI 13, VS 3) so unless a new bilateral is negotiated on that front, it aint gonna happen.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
747firstclass
Posts: 821
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 2:45 pm

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 10:15 am

I, for one, think that if BA and VS is allowed to sabotage any US/EU openskies that other EU nations and the UScan live with, it is time for the US to renounce Bermuda II. AS it is, even with an openskies agreement, where are the slots going to come from at LHR for all the US carriers?
 
rutankrd
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 4:52 pm

Firstly "Sabotage" is right on the nail BA will go to any lengths to block access to LHR even to perpetuating the MYTH that its FULL !
Well slot constrained yes but full nowhere near !
If the runways go to mixed mode then MORE landings can be accommodated. Actually whilst not acknowledged when using 09 this already happens between 0600 -0730 as the BA long hauls prefer to land on the southern runway along with KLM and QF for easy access to T4.
After all we're only talking about single figures extra services in reality what say 2 Delta, 2 Northwest,
3 Continental and 3 for BMI ,and one of the Continental is likely to be an evening arrival when the airport is already getting slow(This I'll be an EWR flight to compete with BA/UA/AA/VS JFK no doubt)
Hope Brussels can get this anti -competitive Bermuda ii well and truly trashed without the BA interference encountered by my own government at every turn for the benefit of the customers and fair trade.
Its a completely separate matter that should have NO bearing on the Transatlantic international services the fact that BA in particular publicly express that want access to the US domestic market, and I for one don't believe they really do anyway.
On the other hand the Oneworld alliance BA/AA MUST now be allowed to go ahead fully by Brussels with no slot reductions/penalties since the KLM/Air France merger and their alliance partners DL/CO/NW, along with LH/UA have their blessing.
 
Britair
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 3:50 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 5:21 pm

I think you'll find the term is "cabotage" - the right to carry passengers domestically within the USA.

You may be surprised to find that BA's stance is in support of opening access to Heathrow. This of course is only if we get an equal treatment in our relationship with American Airlines (like UA/LH, KL/NW etc). A quick search on ba.com will uncover speeches by Rod Eddington (our CEO) who time and time again has reiterated this. BA is not afraid of competition, BA is afraid of unfair and outdated rules in the industry. This includes Bermuda II, but also all the other bi-lateral agreements. BA ultimately sees a global open skies as the way forward. Aviation is one of the last industries to be so regulated. It is time to change that. I mean for goodness sake, all the world drinks Coke, eats at McDonalds, grabs a coffee at Starbucks and wears GAP clothes! You dont see a national example of each in each country! Why not aviation?

As for BMI's expansion plans: I have to control my cynicism for that! They really have no direction anymore do they?? Asking for India rights is harder than USA-Heathrow rights!!! Just ask Virgin!! And I would be interested to see how BMI's transatlantic fares can be significantly lower than the current market! Other than to trash the market - and fare wars on the transatlantic have historically not been a pretty sight for the new entrants. The current players have deep pockets when it comes to this market. For most it is their most profitable and they will go to any lengths to protect it.

Cheers.
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 8:54 pm

I have never understood why British Airways thinks that it should be allowed to carry pax between Kennedy and Los Angeles in return for increased access by US carriers (and other UK carriers operating US bound flights) to Heathrow. I dont get the connection. If the USA said that BA could add frequencies at San Francisco only if Southwest could start a London-Manchester shuttle, everyone would think that was outrageous. The simple answer is, inspite of what BA states to the media, it enjoys and benefits from Bermuda 2 and profits from its dominant position on routes out of Heathrow to the US - any type of open skies arrangement between the UK and US would only harm BA's current position.

Re BMI, this once impressive airline is confusing just about everyone in recent years and most observers do not have a clue as to what they are doing. BMI bought their A332s with plans to fly them between Heathrow and the US, hoping that the US/UK would work out some type of agreement or amendment to Bermuda 2 - when that did not happen, they used the A332s on routes from Manchester to Washington and Chicago (hubs for STAR partner UA) as a second choice, BMI has admitted this by saying that if and when opeations out of Heathrow to the US would become possible, BMI would drop Manchester immediately. BMI has not had great success on its transatlantic services.

As for future BMI long-haul plans, BMI cannot seem to decide whether they want to develop flights from Manchester to US destinations, or from London to non-US destinations. There have been lots and lots of rumors, South Africa, HongKong, Canada, Gulf destinations, etc have been tossed around. I think that India is a problem because of the bi-laterals.

Where will BMI go to next, your guess is as good as mine.
 
gkirk
Posts: 23345
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 9:46 pm

I've heard any India and SA flights would be from MAN, and not LHR.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
azmd80
Posts: 275
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:19 pm

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 11:11 pm

Hasn't already BD operated transatlantic flight from LHR to US on 2 A330?
I know that some route were disconnected after 11/9 (last summer I take one 330 operated for SAA from MXp to JNB so some route could be disconnected).
What about this two Ac now?
 
gkirk
Posts: 23345
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sat May 22, 2004 11:19 pm

The 3 BD A330s operate from MAN, and not LHR, to IAD, ORD and YYZ.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
azmd80
Posts: 275
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 8:19 pm

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sun May 23, 2004 12:19 am

For the new destination are planned new AC ?
 
schooner
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2001 10:29 pm

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sun May 23, 2004 3:40 am

Britair, I think you will find that "Sabotage" was meant to be a play on words. Could be completely wrong though!

Cheers and good luck to bmi, they need a break.
Untouched and Alive
 
David_itl
Posts: 5946
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sun May 23, 2004 4:43 am


Here we go with an earlier thread

They have NEVER said they will pull MAN once LHR is opened up; they wanted in preference:

1) LHR long-haul only
2) Dual LHR + MAN
3) MAN long-haul only

Now as events have transpired, they are doing option 3 and doing as they expected (they anticipated 3 years before the routes would make money, with them counting the present year as the 3rd year). They now appear focused away from LHR for long-haul BUT they just don't have the kind of feeder network at the moment to create/become a hub for them (unless you want to include SK/LH, but they'll be feeding their own hubs)

David
 
donder10
Posts: 6944
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 5:29 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sun May 23, 2004 5:12 am

Firstly "Sabotage" is right on the nail BA will go to any lengths to block access to LHR even to perpetuating the MYTH that its FULL !
Well slot constrained yes but full nowhere near !
If the runways go to mixed mode then MORE landings can be accommodated

And yet BA have been one of the biggest backers of dual runway operations which renders your 'will go to any lengths' argument,void.

Secondly,BA currently have 1 daily to DEL,1 to BOM,2 to CCU and 2 to MAA?And AI has 13 flights from the UK to India as well as daily(?) flights to JFK and 3x a week to ORD from LHR.As I understand it,Virgin's 3 weekly flights into Delhi are utilising Air India's traffic rights which can't be used due to a lack of slots.Surely with Air India having around 23 weekly flights from LHR it is time for UK airlines to be allowed extra flights into India in return?
One side of the argument anyway Smile
Regarding MAN-India,would it be a success even if there were no traffic rights issues?Although there is a sizeable Indian community in the area would there be enough business class traffic to sustain the route?
 
BestWestern
Posts: 6998
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 8:46 pm

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sun May 23, 2004 5:18 pm

Bishop has already said at their AGM that he does not expect services ex LHR to the US to be opened up in the near future.

Yet again, BMI in complete flux as to their future strategy, and allowing a three aircraft division ruin their formally successful Heathrow operation. If they do finally get future rights for long haul ex Heathrow I expect even further reductions on flights to business cities in Europe - which will even further reduce their ability to win business passengers.

When will LH get bored of BD and sell them to VS, just like BA got bored of Deutsche BA. How long can this drain on LH management resources last?
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
behramjee
Posts: 4323
Joined: Sat Aug 02, 2003 4:56 am

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sun May 23, 2004 5:52 pm

it would be better if BMI start long haul flights from MAN to India because then from MAN, they can feed the Indian pax to their YYZ-IAD and ORD flights...all these North American cities are heavily populated and popular with Indians all year round so it would be wiser for BMI to start from MAN than from LHR as its more difficult from LHR due to the various legal bilateral agreement problems.
 
BestWestern
Posts: 6998
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 8:46 pm

RE: Bmi Plans Long-haul Flights To India

Sun May 23, 2004 5:58 pm

BA have no problem with loads ex Manchester to the US, but with yields. Indian VFR traffic wont help this. The last thing they want to do is fill the A330 with more low yielding transfer traffic.
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!

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