hamad
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British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:43 pm

I have a friend who is a flight attendant with southwest, and he told me that he heard that British Airways are going to stop their daily phoenix flight. Is that true? that would be really bad if it happens, as it is the only non-stop flight to Europe from Arizona
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HB-IWC
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:58 pm

If it were to happen, then British Airways would follow Lufthansa's lead. LH withdrew from the FRA-PHX route in February 2004. BA has previously withdrawn from San Diego, which used to be a tag on to the PHX flights, when the route was still served from Gatwick with DC10-30s and later with B744s.
 
Jean Leloup
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:02 pm

Hard to imagine that there woudln't be enough tourists in the PHX area to make a Europe flight happen... so I take it that the problem is yield?
Next flight.... who knows.
 
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chrisnh
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:15 pm

'Yield' is a function of how profitable the seat is, correct? If a seat on that flight 'costs' $500--loaded with the cost of fuel, the cost of labor, etc.--and it is 'sold' for $800, then $300 is the yield, correct?

Now, it seems to me that 'yield' is likely to be at its best in markets where two conditions exist: Where the number of people that waht to board that plane is high...and the number of alternative means of travel (i.e. competing nonstops) is low.

So why doesn't that perfectly describe Phoenix???

Chris in NH
 
HB-IWC
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:26 pm

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 3):
Now, it seems to me that 'yield' is likely to be at its best in markets where two conditions exist: Where the number of people that waht to board that plane is high...and the number of alternative means of travel (i.e. competing nonstops) is low.

So why doesn't that perfectly describe Phoenix???

For starters because, BA's PHX flights is not only attracting London-bound traffic, but also a multitude of connecting traffic, for which there's plenty of alternative travel options available. I'm not sure what the O&D numbers between London and Phoenix look like, but I don't believe those numbers alone would warrant a daily nonstop widebody flight.

A second aspect to be addressed is the amount of high-yielding premium traffic. Lufthansa stopped its flight first and farmost because it could use the resources in other parts of its network with a higher demand for front end seats. Why would BA be able to do what LH couldn't in terms of attracting F and J traffic?

Anybody in here knows whether the HP interline agreement is still in place?
 
Elagabal
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:29 pm

Hi ChrisNH,

I'm not in the know on BA's route planning or day-to-day revenues, so everything that follows is speculation.  Smile

Still:

It's possible to have a relatively weak yield situation with a destination like (I assume) PHX if the people who want to travel are essentially tourists, like yours truly. Airlines make most of their money carrying premium travellers (first & business class). They can run a profit off cheap seats, certainly, but if you measure earnings as a proportion of revenue, the margins on premium tickets are higher. (Plain English: the swish service doesn't cost /that/ much more for the airline, relative to how much they can ask for it.)

Sure, if you have a bunch of ordinary folks with no other way to get to Europe, you can run a profit from packing a plane with relatively expensive coach seats. This works best if you fly a great fat plane to somewhere with a lot of beaches. Thing is, though, that BA could fly to somewhere else - let's say, Dubai - where there ARE businessmen willing to pay high prices, and in numbers. They only have so many aircraft, so figure: if you make a little money in one place, and a lot in another, where ya gonna go?

I do hope BA continue serving PHX - I've flown that route, very nice experience - but if they have to pull the plug, well, c'est la vie.
 
cornish
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:35 pm

Elagabal is right in his logic.

Additionally, it may be felt that the numbers involved, premium or otherwise could be put on AA codeshares from ORD or DFW for example, freeing up the BA aircraft for another more profitable destination/service.
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:48 pm

If I remember rightly BA switched the daily three class 777 (No First) for a six times weekly four class 744 (With First) in the hope that it could sell more economy seats. I assume BA was having healthy cargo loads on the route too. The issue could be though that Rod Eddington is demanding that all parts of BA play their part in contributing to BA's overall profitability, with the stated aim of BA achieving a 10% return from its activities.

Now if the PHX service can channel premium passengers through LHR onto othr services it might not be so crucial for the PHX service to achieve that 10% return as it may be considered to add value to the network as a whole. But if a lot of that connecting traffic is in low-yielding economy, then it's a different matter. BA has shown with the dropping of JED, RUH, BOG and CCS that it won't maintain longhaul routes for the sake of it.

As Elagabal says, BA might consider that 744 - and it's scarce LHR slots - better utilised serving another destination. Don't forget, BA is set to add seven weekly services to India this Winter, with MAA increasing from twice weekly to six times weekly and BLR gaining a new thrice weekly service. Both routes are ideal for a 744 (Being capacity constrained), so BA withdrawing from PHX at the end of the Summer would free an aircraft and LHR slots. PVG services are due to launch in June - five times weekly - and BA freed up a 777 with the dropping of services to JED and RUH.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.
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AIR MALTA
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:04 pm

Don't you think that in the longer term, it won't be healthy to such cut routes. I have pointed it out many times in this forum. A lot of people in Europe don't think about BA when they want to travel. AF and LH come first because they have so many more destinations now. It is ok to drop loss making routes. But I don't think it is wise to drop routes that just make it. The added value of those routes would be the widely presence of the BA brand. And in the longer term, things could get better. Now in BOG and CCS, AF and LH will fill the gap making it harder for BA to re-enter the market again. That is what happened to KUL as well. I don't think operating KUL was that bad.
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Speedbird2155
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:20 pm

Air Malta

Simply having a presence on a particular route when it doesn't make sense economically is not something that airlines will engage in, especially in times like these when they are trying to increase profitability and lower operating costs. As said above, if the aircraft and LHR slots can be better utilised, then it will be. Brand presence does you no good, if you go out of business. Also, because BA might potentially drop a route, doesn't mean loss of brand recognition, particularly in the US where BA codeshares on a number of services and passengers can use these flights to connect to BA mainline at any number of US airports.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:23 pm

Air Malta, BA is operating from a slot constrained airport where it can't even base all its operations (Most Southern European flights are served from LGW). Plus the carrier under Bob Ayling, and Rod Eddington, decided to focus away from connecting traffic to O&D and Premium markets. BA slashed its Far East network because connecting via LHR just wasn't viable when compared to the more central locations of CDG/FRA/MUC. Why fly west to LHR from the Continent to fly back East to go to Asia when it can be quicker to go with AF or LH? BA has its critics for the strategy it pursues, but it is making money and wide network coverage does not simply make for a profitable carrier, especially when you're based at LHR. More destinations means more slots, or serving other destinations less frequently - and BA doesn't operate 68 flights a week from LHR to JFK/EWR because they don't make money. Overall it's that type of operation - good yield, good frequency - that BA views as adding more value to its network than a three times weekly 767 service to BOG and CCS. If PHX goes it is because BA believes it can make more money elsewhere.
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cornish
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:28 pm

If phoenix is cut, doesn't that mean that a carrier can apply for another US city to serve the UK under Bermuda 2. I'm sure in the past, where carriers have completely pulled out of a city, leaving no UK service, then other carriers have applied for rights on another route.

Is this still the case?
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:47 pm

Yes, it would be Cornish, though it would have to be served from LGW unless it was a designated US gateway to be served from LHR. BA could only switch its PHX flights to LHR because it was the sole carrier on the route and it achieved a minimum number of passengers over three consecutive years.
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cornish
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 9:53 pm

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 12):
though it would have to be served from LGW unless it was a designated US gateway to be served from LHR. BA could only switch its PHX flights to LHR because it was the sole carrier on the route and it achieved a minimum number of passengers over three consecutive years

I thought as much. Would first rights go to any carrier wishing to take over operation of PHX-LON (presumably LGW)? With no obvious candidate to do so (unless VS or BD tried to take a punt on it), I guess then other carriers could apply for other cities. Can BA just apply for greater frequency on another US route as a replacement, or do other non-served cities get first call under Bermuda II or other carriers on routes they do not serve but has direct services (like say UA taking on DEN-LON)?
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:21 pm

BA can add capacity to other US cities it already serves regardless of Bermuda II. I still wonder if PHX could go to provide the slots and aircraft for MAA/BLR.

BD would unlikely want to apply for a service as their stated aim is for Heathrow services across the Atlantic, which they can't do under Bermuda II. LGW would involve setting up a new station, with no feed, so is unlikely. MAN services are covered by a separate Open Skies agreement with the US (That applis to all UK regional airports and STN).

VS might want to launch a new destination, but the only US destination that featured on VS's Top 10 wish list was ORD, and under Bermuda II VS can serve that route already, and from LHR. Is Fort Lauderdale a possability from LGW though?

I think if PHX was dropped you won't see another carrier step in, nor another gateway added. I don't think CLT has been replaced as a UK carrier designated gateway since BA dropped it. The last gateway to change was LAS, which VS was able to add when BA dropped PIT (VS initially lost out on the right to serve LAS when BA won the right to serve DEN when an additional gateway was up for grabs).
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fbgdavidson
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:12 pm

I don't think BA will drop PHX, reading this months Highlife last night there was a feature actively promoting the destination
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cornish
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 11:40 pm

Thanks FlyCaledonian for the info. I don't think VS or BD would take it on - unless VS connected it as part of an additional LAS flight maybe.

Like you say, I can't realistically see any other US city being added in its place that isn't already served by a UK carrier apart from maybe Fort Lauderdale.

Interesting to see if it really does go - BA does need those India slots from somehwere - when are they due to start those new services again ?
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Byrdluvs747
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:01 am

I don't think BA will drop PHX as well. If I remember correctly, before BA dropped SAN altogether, they used to fly from SAN to PHX to pick up more pax.

Now BA uses PHX to connect pax to SAN and the Grand Canyon. It's more convenient to fly PHX-SAN on HP's A320's than from LAX-SAN on AA's RJ's. It's also more beneficial to BA since, HP has more intra-southwest capacity to SAN than AA does.
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cornish
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:06 am

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 17):
Now BA uses PHX to connect pax to SAN and the Grand Canyon. It's more convenient to fly PHX-SAN on HP's A320's than from LAX-SAN on AA's RJ's. It's also more beneficial to BA since, HP has more intra-southwest capacity to SAN than AA does.

But they have added an extra daily flight from LHR to LAX last year. Maybe they feel that the numbers going on to SAN can be served adequately with AA from that direction - esp. if PHX itself isn't performing.

If BA quickly needs the slots for somewhere it feels is more lucrative (like India) then don't be surprised if it dorps a niche destination like PHX.
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
HB-IWC
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:07 am

Quoting Cornish (Reply 16):
Interesting to see if it really does go - BA does need those India slots from somehwere - when are they due to start those new services again ?

I don't think the slots are that much of a problem for BA. If worse comes to worst, they can always swap some domestic or European slot for the Indian services. There might, however, be an issue with available resources to operate the seven extra longhauls. It is unlikely that BA has an extra aircraft just sitting around for these extra services, and there's only so much one can achieve with optimising current schedules to once again reinforce daily utilization.

In general, however, if BA's analysts have come to the conclusion that PHX doesn't contribute enough to the network as a whole and to BA's bottomline in particular, and if they calculated that the available resources can be deployed with a higher return elsewhere in the airline's system, it's pretty sure the BA management will follow its analysts and cut PHX as a destination. After all, they've done it before and for exactly the same reason with SAN.
 
cornish
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:09 am

Quoting HB-IWC (Reply 19):
I don't think the slots are that much of a problem for BA. If worse comes to worst, they can always swap some domestic or European slot for the Indian services. There might, however, be an issue with available resources to operate the seven extra longhauls. It is unlikely that BA has an extra aircraft just sitting around for these extra services, and there's only so much one can achieve with optimising current schedules to once again reinforce daily utilization.

True enough - it probably is the aircraft that is needed more so than the slots. Although if they took the aircraft they may well use those PHX slots for the India flights (although i don't know what time of day they leave LON).
Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
 
stirling
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 12:42 am

Phoenix is like the Canary Islands......without the Ocean.

What I mean is that, and it's entirely MY OWN speculation, that Phoenix is more of a domestic draw than it's northern neighbor Vegas which is a truly global destination.
If the Canaries are so popular, then why are there NO flights from the USA? I refer to the Phoenix enigma....

Phoenix does not go after that same low-end market that seems to flock to Florida or Casino destinations. Scottsdale? Hello! Prepare to drop 150USD to 200USD a night to stay in someplace respectable in March. Phoenix has become the backyard of those golf-loving denizens of Southern California.
As big as Phoenix is....it's growth is very unusual, it's hard to compare Phoenix and other US cities of the same size....which usually have a larger pool of "OLD" Money....which leads to higher-yield passengers. Airline traffic follows business. Someone once asked why CVG is one of Delta's hubs. The answer is found in any number of the 20 or so odd products of theirs that the average American comes into contact with each day. Proctor and Gamble.

Phoenix is like that kid in the sixth grade, who's already six foot tall. Give Phoenix time to grow into the body.......

Last thing. Weather. Too damn hot in the summer. Even the locals don't want to be there when it's 115F outside.... unlike up there in the air-conditioned 24hr paradise of Las Vegas.

Give Phoenix time.
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masseybrown
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:24 am

HB-IWC, yes, the HP-BA codeshare is still in place and was recently (last month or so) expanded to include a few more California and Nevada points.
 
acefreighter
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:47 am

BA is not going to pull off Phoenix. It is doing well.

Don't believe what a Southwest flight attendent tells you !!!
 
Byrdluvs747
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:10 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 21):
Last thing. Weather. Too damn hot in the summer. Even the locals don't want to be there when it's 115F outside.... unlike up there in the air-conditioned 24hr paradise of Las Vegas.

LOL! So true. That's why I fly to SAN almost every weekend during the summer. However, having lived in Vegas and now PHX, I can tell you that LAS gets some nasty summer weather as well.

Quoting Acefreighter (Reply 23):
Don't believe what a Southwest flight attendent tells you !!!

I was going to say that as well, but as soon as you mention WN in the negative the WN cult members start jumping your case.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
JGPH1A
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:12 am

Quoting HB-IWC (Reply 4):
Anybody in here knows whether the HP interline agreement is still in place?

If you mean the codeshare agreement, yes it is still in place - BA puts their code on HP flights from PHX to LAS, SNA, LAX, BUR and other places in SoCal (can't get the whole list, I'm not at work  Smile )
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Byrdluvs747
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:24 am

The codeshare covers PHX-TUC/LAS/SLC/ABQ/RNO/BUR/OAK/ONT/SNA/SJC/SAC and LAS-LAX/SFO.
The 747: The hands who designed it were guided by god.
 
anstar
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:55 am

I see Detroit or Baltimore going before Phoenix.
 
MAH4546
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:04 am

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 14):
Is Fort Lauderdale a possability from LGW though?

FLL can be served from LHR.
a.
 
BA
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:39 am

If BA does drop PHX, it would render its code-share agreement with America West pretty much useless.

If that happens, then I think it would be a smart idea for them to code-share with Frontier out of Denver to serve that connecting traffic they were achieving in PHX.

Perhaps they'd eventually upgrade the DEN flight to a daily 744 from its current daily 777.

Speaking of PHX, does anyone know why it operates as a daily except Wednesday 744? Wouldn't it just make more sense to operate it daily 777? I'm assuming they experienced poor loads on Wednesdays which is in the middle of the week which leads me to suspect that this flight is mostly full of leisure travelers and tourists and not much business traffic which makes me conclude that the flight is low-yielding.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
uafedexflyboy
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 3:44 am

I find it hard to believe that BA would be discontinuing service to PHX. I work at the gates adjacent to the one BA goes out of everyday, except wednesday, and they never seem to have any problem filling their 744. I've had numerous conversations with their gate agents and they say it usually goes out full or with only a handful of empty seats.

I don't know where this WN FA got her info. but I would say it is definitely not correct.

On a side note; It's kind of funny that this thread appeared today. Yesterday, the BA flight did not operate into or out of PHX like it has every Sunday for quite some time. It wasn't because they're going to pull out, it was because there was a mechanical problem in LHR that caused the inbound leg to be cancelled and thus cancelled the outbound as well.

(Source: BA Duty Supervisor in PHX)
 
Beany
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 4:53 am

Right then, first time post from a long time lurker so be gentle!!

I have spent a lot of hours twiddling my thumbs on BA288 and BA289 as my girlfriend is from Phoenix and is currently studying down in Tucson at the University of Arizona so I feel as though I should post my view.

I have used this service twice this year and both times there have not been a spare seat on the entire aircraft. Before I get shot down in flames, I know this doesn't mean the aircraft is making money for BA but believe me, fares on this route do not come cheaply (compared to LAX on BA anyway).

I have been aware of whispers about this route finishing as far back as 2003 and have been keeping an eye on it since then as it is my lifeline to my girlfriend and I really do not fancy changing at LAX or DFW.
Despite these whispers, it has changed from a daily 777 to 6x weekly 744 and every time I have flown it, its has been full. I am aware the change was probably made due to the increased size of the World traveller cabin and thus trying to increase revenue from the majority passenger base.

In November 2004, the governor of Arizona came on a trade mission to London with various other Phoenix officials including the Sky Harbor 'Acting Aviation Director' David Cavazos. They met with British Airways Chairman Martin Broughton and pushed for British Airways to reinstate the Wednesday service.
Martin Broughton said there were certain conditions that must be met including the increase of business travellers and Sky Harbor keeping their landing fees reasonable. He said that for the winter schedule starting in October 2005, it was quite possible that it would resume a daily service.

The Governor of Arizona and the Aviation Director were quoted as saying after the meeting that they were confident that British Airways would eventually go to 10x weekly. They also said that British Airways had promised to advertise Phoenix and Arizona as a destination more (this links in with what Fbgdavidson has said in the fact that its in Highlife this month) as according to figures, more Britons think the Grand Canyon is in Nevada rather than Arizona!!!

In the last year, passenger numbers have increased on the PHX route by 17 percent and thus the PHX route has leap frogged over Seattle and Denver in terms of passengers carried and remains in front of places like Baltimore and Detroit. Once again, I know this doesn't mean its profitable, but the last time I flew it, Club World seemed to be full of Honeywell employees so that must be a good sign.

Anyway, last point - it would be a shame if it was dropped as in my view, it is the easiest point to enter the USA by a mile. The immigration queues are non existent - its just the bags that take ages to come through!!! Also, when my girlfriend went home on the 28th February, Angelina Jolie and baby Maddox were on board so at least some people must be paying to travel in FIRST  Smile
 
Caspian27
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:03 am

It would seem to me that with the proximity of the Grand Canyon (one of the most visited tourist destinations anywhere), Sedona, scenic high-desert, Dial HQ, large AmEx presence, large banking presence with Wells Fargo & Bank One/JP Morgan, car manufacturer proving grounds and the high-tech presence in Chandler with Intel and some smaller chip makers that PHX should be able support both tourist & business travelers.

You would also think that Phoenix being the 6th largest city in the US/14th largest MSA would have a large enough population to warrant a European non-stop.

I don't see BA dropping it.
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AV8AJET
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:05 am

Beany

I totally agree with you having taken this flight twice last year, in March on the 772 then again in Oct with the 744 and not a single seat left on either flight in either direction. This flight seems packed all the time!! It would be a great loss to see this go!!!

One thing I have wondered if BA were to give up the route, would Virgin take over? Since they have singed a codeshare agreement with HP wouldn't it make sense for them to come to PHX, or is the connection traffic in LAS enough for both Virgin and America West?
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chrisnh
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:07 am

OK...so let's go on the assumption that BA is abandoning this route because the 'yield' isn't there. Isn't this the kind of thing they (or any airline) calculates BEFORE they start up a new route??? I mean, don't these airlines have tons of computing horsepower (and the brainpower to go with it) to analyze a route like this BEFORE they even decide to serve it? Did it not occur to ANYONE that a route like this, largely, would comprise leisure (i.e. lower-yield) traffic?

I realize that this is one flight out of hundreds, but the point I was trying to make is that the front-end analysis SHOULD have pegged this flight's yields to a reasonably accurate degree, no? And if not, why not? It's expensive to open up stations like PHX, SAN et al and then 'realize later' that they didn't get the yields they expected. I guess if you can't see that PHX-LGW is more of a leisure market than a business one, then someone wasn't doing their job at BA (or LH for that matter).

Chris in NH
 
LHSTR
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:17 am

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 34):
OK...so let's go on the assumption that BA is abandoning this route because the 'yield' isn't there. Isn't this the kind of thing they (or any airline) calculates BEFORE they start up a new route???

This was surely done by both LH and BA. But it is still a forecast. Just think that one C-Class pax less than expected reduces revenue by about $1500 per flight, or $3000 roundtrip. Multiply this by 365 and you miss about $1.1 million in one year. The problem is, that probably both airlines expected higher than realized yields and loads. Happens, but cant be changed.
 
094147
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:23 am

Beany is totally correct. According to published reports in the Arizona Media, the meeting with our Govenor Janet and Chairman Marty were "Smashing".
British Airways has added an International Flair to Terminal Four which is fabulous.
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Beany
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:26 am

AV8AJET

I think you probably have more chance of seeing Elvis singing on the Moon than Virgin flying to Phoenix. VS seem to stick to prime business routes like HKG, NRT and JFK and core holiday routes like LAS, The Caribbean and MCO where they know they can fill a 744 with screaming kids in the back and affluent folk up front.

As much as I like Phoenix as a place, there aren't going to be many screaming kids in the back of a VS 744 to PHX as the 'Mouse' doesn't live there!
I suspect the reason they have a codeshare agreement with HP is so holiday makers can do a two centered holiday in say SFO and LAS and thus use HP to get between the two.

I also suspect VS have a hit-list of destinations they want to serve (like DXB) but just cannot at the moment due to equipment shortages and if BA pulled PHX then VS wouldn't have the equipment anyway let alone the desire. Unless of course Disney built a theme park on Camelback mountain  Smile
 
aussiestu
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:28 am

Somebody knows somebody who works for Southwest who said BA are going to drop PHX? HELLO! Unless you are Willie Walsh or Rod Eddington then its all just speculation. Lets just hope that BA does NOT drop PHX. I truelly think the traffic is too good to drop this route, can see other US destinations going before this.
 
jacobin777
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:40 am

Couple of questions..

1) why does BA have codeshare with HP, when BA is part of OneWorld? Wouldn't AA be able to cover some of the codeshare flights?

2) if the pax volume is not upto par (if the rumour is correct) would it be hypothetically possible to switch to a 767? I'm sure there is enough demand to warrant a 767 few times a week...
"Up the Irons!"
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 5:54 am

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 3):
'Yield' is a function of how profitable the seat is, correct? If a seat on that flight 'costs' $500--loaded with the cost of fuel, the cost of labor, etc.--and it is 'sold' for $800, then $300 is the yield, correct?

Yield is simply the amount of revenue generated by a flight, typically measured in terms Revenue per Available Seat Mile (RASM). Yields in a given market/flight can be low (which may = loss, breakeven or very slim profit) or high (which can be read profitable). Yield therefore has nothing to do with profit or loss in a direct sense, but yield levels are very directly connected to the bottom-line financial performance of a given market/flight. Yield has a very minimal connection with load factors and market share but has everything to do with what types of fares pax are paying.

Which is why LH dropped FRA-PHX-FRA. Although load factors were consistently high, yield (average revenue generated per available seat) was low, meaning the route was probably somewhere around breakeven. LH therefore redeployed the aircraft commited to the route to a market where they saw the probability of higher yields and adequate return/profit. On a similar note, back when fuel prices were considerably lower than now, Swiss claimed they were losing money on their ZRH-LAX-ZRH route (opb MD-11) in spite of 88% average load factors.

Sadly (I have begun to consider when I will make a trip to Europe from PHX on BA through LHR -- hope I will be able to do so) the story is probably much the same for British Airways' LHR-PHX-LHR service, meaning I will be disappointed, but not surprised, if/when BA stops their flights in this market.
 
VS11
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 6:40 am

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 34):
OK...so let's go on the assumption that BA is abandoning this route because the 'yield' isn't there. Isn't this the kind of thing they (or any airline) calculates BEFORE they start up a new route??? I mean, don't these airlines have tons of computing horsepower (and the brainpower to go with it) to analyze a route like this BEFORE they even decide to serve it? Did it not occur to ANYONE that a route like this, largely, would comprise leisure (i.e. lower-yield) traffic?

Many of these flights are "legacy" flights, which were launched many many years ago when the world, and in this case US and UK, aviation industries were in a different condition. Before, in the absence of LCC, it may have been cheaper to fly PHX-LON direct but now with LCC it may be cheaper to fly it via LAX. Flying is very price sensitive so it is not uncommon to fly e.g. BOS-Detroit-AMS if it is cheaper than the direct BOS-AMS flight.

Also, before if BA were able to cross-subsidize routes, now in the face of growing competition from VS and subsidized US carriers, BA has to think several times in deciding which routes to support.

VS11
 
monkeyboi
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 7:17 am

I work for BA and there hasn't even been so much as a whisper about dropping the route. Every time I have worked this flight it has been full.

Before getting too worried, if you check out the post that started this thread..."my friend that works for Southwest says....". Not quite a reliable source of BA's future network plans!  Smile)
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:50 am

Monkeyboi, any BA flights to the US in your opinion that aren't going out full, especially up front, and that could be considered at risk instead? I've heard DFW, DTW and BWI all mentioned on here before. I guess from some of the later posts on here BA's strategy for PHX has maybe been paying off, i.e. using the 744 over the 777 to get more World Traveller passengers onboard, and try and improve revenue from the flight that way. I'm assuming BA uses the 744 with 14 First and 38 Club World seats to maximise the World Traveller cabin.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
fokkerf28
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 9:31 am

BA is doing well in Phoenix and usually carries a full load plus a lot of cargo. The flight has been weight restricted many times and cargo left behind.
Today we have two BA flights on the ground due to a diversion yesterday.
 
futureatp
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:24 am

Fokker

It was also my understanding when I worked at HP the BA flight was usually pretty full. I know I off-loaded plenty of bags from LAX, SAN, etc. connecting to LHR.

It is also my understanding that cargo requirements prompted the switch from a 777 to a 747 and not the number of seats available in each cabin class. That would make sense if even the 74 has to leave cargo behind. (It is my understanding that while the 777 has more belly space, it cannot match the 747 in payload)

John
 
phxairfan
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:48 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 21):
Last thing. Weather. Too damn hot in the summer. Even the locals don't want to be there when it's 115F outside

Are you kidding 110 is perfect weather, and 115 just makes you feel nice and warm. I love it. Yes I'm serious.
 
Bridogger6
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 10:52 am

I am completely with Phxairfan, I love the heat. And so I'm not entirely off topic, I have also noted that the BA flights out of Phoenix are sent off mostly filled to capacity.  Smile
 
HB-IWC
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:22 pm

Quoting ChrisNH (Reply 34):
OK...so let's go on the assumption that BA is abandoning this route because the 'yield' isn't there. Isn't this the kind of thing they (or any airline) calculates BEFORE they start up a new route??? I mean, don't these airlines have tons of computing horsepower (and the brainpower to go with it) to analyze a route like this BEFORE they even decide to serve it? Did it not occur to ANYONE that a route like this, largely, would comprise leisure (i.e. lower-yield) traffic?

Yield functions are not time invariant, but are, to the contrary, very dynamic. That is why, for sure with an airline like British Airways, any route is always under revision. Analysts never drop the ball when it comes to route performance, and are always looking for better ways to deploy the airline's scarce available resources.

So, whether the PHX route is or isn't making money at this point is really not the issue for the airline. The real issue is whether the resources that are invested in the route could conceivably be deployed more optimally elsewhere in the network, and these kinds of considerations, let alone the calculations that are involved, involve enormous sets of data, to which outsiders don't have access.

Being involved in operations and planning on a daily basis, I know not to take any route for granted. Performance of a particular route is not always what it looks like at first glance, and one needs to take a look at the global picture of how a particular route fits in the airline's network and what it is contributing to that network, before one could possibly come to a somewhat reliable valuation of the route.

So, high load factors, left-behind cargo and passenger numbers that exceed those of other North American stations, while valuable information, doesn't even come close being a reliable analysis of BA's Heathrow-Phoenix route. At this point, I tend to put more emphasis on Lufthansa's abandoning of Phoenix last year, as I believe that LH's analysts were looking at the same kind of numbers as those which BA is currently dealing with.
 
fokkerf28
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RE: British Airways Stopping Their Phoenix Flight?

Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:25 pm

Future ATP
You are correct, they went to the 747-400 so they could carry more freight.
The 777 was never weight restricted out of Phoenix, in fact BA use to truck the excess to Los Angeles in order to get it out. That's when the powers that be decided to use an aircraft that could carry more payload below wing.

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