Well the ice must have melted again since I finished working for Eastern Airways at the end of last year. At that time (Dec 2003), the friendship was most definately over, bmi were making an all-on assault on routes already served by T3
, though some were at ridiculous frequencies, such as NWI
once daily, compared to T3
's three flights each weekday.
At that point, T3
were still using BD
service to send pilots over for training on the J41 simulator in Washington, but I don't know if they ever got discounted fares for using this service.
Eastern Airways and bmi of course did have a bit of a love affair before all of this, as they code-shared on MAN
-DND. Neither route lasted long, but T3
have since re-launched the INV
service on their own and it's now a success.
Believe me, from what I saw first-hand, Richard Lake (joint owner of T3
) is a very, very, shrewd businessman and whilst I am sceptical about this story being true, IF
it happens then you can bet they will have got the aircraft on fantastic rates and the routes will be ones which are firmly geared at the business market and can do well at Eastern Airways 'Premium' fares. This is exactly what happenned when T3
obtained BACX's entire J41 fleet a couple of years ago. They also obtained a number of existing J41 routes from BACX which were doing very well (for example NCL
) and then put the remaining J41's to good use on other former BACX routes which had struggled to make money with larger DH3/ATP aircraft, such as BHX
Like a fine wine, one gets better with age.