I heard a rumour from a friend (who happens to fly for the 'world's favourite') that the UK CAA is to withdraw traffic rights for Malaysia Airlines on 6 weekly services into the UK from 2005. This is directly due to the expiration of the Virgin-Malaysia Airlines code-share agreement signed in 1995.
Rumour also has it that these 6 frequencies (presumable ex-LHR) will be reissued to British Airways to relaunch flights back into Kuala Lumpur.
1. Is this not rather unfair of the UK CAA to 'withdraw' traffic rights in favour of a local carrier?
2. Virgin Atlantic as far as I know block books about 30 seats on two daily services operated by MAS - which would account for about 420 seats a week in each direction between London and Kuala Lumpur - which would only translate to just over one weekly 747 service in capacity terms and not the 6 frequencies proposed to be removed.
3. When MAS applied to obtain British Airways' 7 weekly slots when BA withdrew from Malaysia a few years ago - the UK CAA declined and offered MAS an additional 4 services only into LHR. So - how can they be justified in removing more traffic rights than was first granted?
This will be very important to the next round of talks to be held between Malaysia and the UK - and could in fact cause major negative publicity for British Airways in Malaysia if it does indeed plan to return at MAS' cost...