I can see a merger with IB
being very beneficial. the two brands are too specific and well known to merge the brands themselves to a "ROYAL EUROPEAN AIRWAYS" hybrid but an AF
/KL type linkup may work well.
There are a lot of synergies there:
Both have large fleets of Airbus narrowbodies. Both have in-house MX
facilities for these and there could be scope for downsizing there - perhaps moving all D-Check work to one site and streamlining the C-checks through a dedicated MX
pool etc. I would also contend that BA
could take on the major Trent (A346) and RB211 (757) maintenence work for IB
, whilst IB
takes on the CFM-powered A320s from BA
The short-haul needs to be standardised on one model and the specifics need to be clear. A LoCo based costs structure, with strong emphasis on web-based bookings, self-service check-ins etc. Food and drink should be tailored to each route as required, taking into account yields and the amount of traffic etc. For instance, LGW
doesnt need it, whereas LHR
should have it. Franchise opportunities are there for the taking IMHO - serve Starbucks coffee onboard for the same price as you get it in the terminal. Offer a wider coffee menu e.g.: lattes etc - not just bog standard coffee - it will sell very well no doubt. Starbucks to do the catering (sandwiches, muffins, pastries etc) - this will be tremendously popular.
Both have a full-service long-haul network dedicated to South America in IB
's case, and the rest of the world in BA
's case. Other than GRU
, I would drop all the other South American flights ex LGW
and interline pax through MAD
. As grim a posibility as this may be now, with improvements to the IB
product it would work fine. BA
could make much better uses of the slots it will free up. Likewise, all IB
pax for Far Eastern destinations should be routed through LHR
would be well advised to look more closely at long-haul from MAN
now that BMI
have stimulated the market and all but left - the 767s MAN
will not compete with the CO
777 - they need updating in a big way. Have a daily 777 service to Mumbai and Islamabad with competitive pricing. IB
would benefit massively from a programme to ensure a common product in all classes for both airlines.
I see it as:
Y - similar to what Emirates have now 31" pitch and newer PTV's in every seat in long-haul. Special attention needs to be paid to the long-haul 767s. More emphasis needs to be placed on the benefits of WTP and IB
may benefit from introducing this.
C - Club World is fine and doesnt need changing. It just needs standardising to make it the uniform standard. IB
's C Class needs bringing up to CW
standard. I understand this will take a great deal of work.
F - IB
doesnt have a first I dont think and it may be best to leave it this way.
There needs to be a great deal of cross training for cabin crew - there are differences in service culture and standards and these need to be addressed. It should be borne in mind though, that IB
has its own identity, and it is vitally important that this be retained. This does not mean that it cant be brought up to BA
standards but you cant just implement the BA
product and hope it succeeds. IB
will need a new livery but BA
's is strong.
In terms of fleet planning I dont see there being too much to say - IB
is almost all Airbus and will stay that way. I see the A350 for them in large numbers, and potentially a 8-10 frame order for the A380 as well given time. BA
I doubt will order the A350, and I see 773ERs and 787s for them sooner rather than later. They will probably jump on the A380 bandwagon eventually but probably not until it is proven and the bugs have been ironed out after a delayed EIS. Also I suspect they would prefer the larger -900 version as they only really need the A380 for flagship routes such as LHR
and the -900 will offer even more superior economics than the -800.
Future Airbus narrowbody orders for IB
(and i dont doubt there will be more - A321s certainly for BA
and possibly some more A319s for IB
) are the only synergies I see in terms of future fleet plans for a merged BA
A link-up would work very well. IB
is a very profitable airline, and so is BA
. Both have different styles, but there are a great deal of aspects that would benefit from harmonisation. There can be little doubt that IB
would benefit from an improved in-flight product, whilst BA
could see massive benefits by tapping into IB
's extremely strong presence in South America; a market where it has traditionally done well, but has struggled of late. A common short haul product across both carriers and a far-reaching interline codeshare, noting BA
's very close relationship with fellow OneWorld partner American Airlines, and IB
's similar relationship with LANChile will bring great benefits if executed correctly.
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???