apodino
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Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 1:48 pm

Ok, now before people start flaming me about airlines preffering LHR to LGW for various reasons, I have some legitimate observations about this, and was wondering what people thought about this.

1. United is the only one of the US legacy carriers not to serve LGW. Even AA, which does serve LHR and with the Oneworld alliance incentives, still sends metal to LGW from non Bermuda 2 cities.

2. DEN is currently not a Bermuda 2 city. If UA ever launched service from here, it would have to be to LGW, which would also force BA to move the DEN-LHR flight to LGW. Now UA, which has a large frequent flyer base in DEN, would be able to scoop up much of the O and D on this route from BA, and BA wouldn't be able to connect passengers as easily with more of their flights being at LHR. Also, this would allow UA to tap into a huge feeder market in that are, where they could feed a lot of passengers from destinations (ASE comes to mind) to LGW in just one stop, instead of two stopping them to LHR. UA would kill BA on this route.

3. There really isn't much Star Alliance opportunities to feed passengers in LHR. If UA is going to feed into the Star Alliance, they would be more likely to send passengers to FRA, where they could connect on LH. Therefore most of the PAX are going to be O and D in London. I have read that the locals on that side prefer LGW to LHR for ease of access, and ease of use. I have found most americans who make the trip to have the same view, especially since Terminal 3 in LHR is a zoo compared to the south terminal at LGW.

4. It would allow them to add flights to London without getting new LHR slots. While they still have LHR and will still focus service there, they can run maybe one 763 from both ORD and IAD. Or they can do it to get DEN service without waiting for Bermuda 2 changes, since Bermuda 2 changes likely mean DL, NW, and CO will step up competition at LHR.

Just some thoughts. I will post more later, but this has been on my mind for a while, and I was wondering what people thought of it. I had United benefits for a while, and as much as I like London, the one reason I didn't non rev over there, was Heathrow. Now that I have benefits on US, which serves Gatwick, I am much more likely to go back over there.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 1:56 pm

I actually prefer LGW over LHR myself, but why would UA want to start up a new station just for one flight a day when they paid hundreds of millions of dollars to serve the airport across town?
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jetdeltamsy
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:04 pm

UA serves Heathrow because that's where the money is.

There is little or no money to be made at LGW.

AA continues their presence there for prestige.

All the rest can only get the rights to LGW.

[Edited 2006-05-28 07:05:01]

[Edited 2006-05-28 07:05:30]
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
boeingfever777
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:04 pm

How many flights does UA have going into LHR daily?

SFO-LHR 1x daily
LAX-LHR 1x daily
ORD-LHR 1x daily
IAD-LHR 1x daily
JFK-LHR 1x daily

Am I missing any?
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chrisa330
Posts: 545
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:08 pm

More like:

SFO-LHR 2x daily
LAX-LHR 1x daily
ORD-LHR 3x daily
IAD-LHR 4x daily
JFK-LHR 1x daily
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:11 pm

Dont assume that all US legacy carriers serve LGW by choice. It has been made very clear they all would rather have the ability to serve LHR instead.
If/when an open skies agreement comes to pass and the carriers can secure needed slots, expect a mass migration away from LGW for the US airlines.

The reason AA is at LGW is that is served LGW prior to its acquisition of TWA's authorities. As Bermuda II did not allow service to LHR primarily from the carrier DFW hub which forced to maintain is position at LGW and add service to non Bermuda II cities eventually.

United was in a much different situation as the carrier did not serve London (an barely Europe) at all prior to its purchase of Pan Am LHR routes.
A single DEN flight at LGW would not be a very marketable flight for United particularly as it would lack tie in with Star partners particularly BMI. Also remember LGW provides lower overall yields particular for premium classes which prefer LHR. Lastly, the cost of running a separate London station for a single flight would even further diminish profit potential.

In regards to facilities, at LHR, T-1 will become the Star Alliance terminal as part of facility realignment after T-5 comes on line making connections much easier under a single roof.
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cornish
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:15 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
but why would UA want to start up a new station just for one flight a day when they paid hundreds of millions of dollars to serve the airport across town?

And for that matter have been selling/transferring some of their slots at LHR to boot.

It would make no sense for their business model to start offer a single flight into LGW when they can just transfer traffic through one of their US hubs onto a LHR flight.
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
 
boeingfever777
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:17 pm

Quoting ChrisA330 (Reply 4):
More like:

SFO-LHR 2x daily
LAX-LHR 1x daily
ORD-LHR 3x daily
IAD-LHR 4x daily
JFK-LHR 1x daily

Thanks Chris... Just looked at the UA.com website, didn't really know the frequency. I was more making sure I got the cities correct. (11) dailys to LHR is a few though. Thanks again  Smile
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:18 pm

Quoting ChrisA330 (Reply 4):
LAX-LHR 1x daily

Goes double daily starting next week.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:27 pm

Another way of looking at this is, what would UA really gain by flying DEN-LGW?

I live in PDX and can fly to LHR on UA with a single connection in either SFO, LAX or ORD.

Is there any city of significance west of the Mississippi that UA serves that's not connected to one of those three gateways?
International Homo of Mystery
 
sllevin
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:37 pm

You raise a good point that UA sacrifices money by not operating DEN-LGW, but, on the other hand, I think they feel that cost of setting up shop at LGW for a single flight would make it uneconomical.

Steve
 
planesarecool
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 2:44 pm

Also there is question of gate space at Gatwick. In the south terminal there is pretty much no room in the mornings (which is when they would want to be here).

At a typical peak time at Gatwick south terminal, US, NW and VS pretty much take up the satellite, CO take up gates 13, 15, 17 and either of 12, 14 or 16 (CLE flight), QR use Gate 19, MON use gate 21. 23/24/25/28 is used pretty much by charter long hauls and the 'even numbered' gates 12-22 are occupied mainly by charters, easyJet or European carriers, such as PS and KM. Of course a B767/B777 in gates 1-10 would be out of the question.

In the north terminal - DL, EK, CE, FCA and AEU would take gates 46-50. Long haul gates 50-60 (minus 56/57) would be used by BA. 61-63 are taken by AA. In pier 6, Etihad use 102, BA use 111 and 101 is usually taken by either FCA or AEU.

So if they were to start services to LGW, they would probably find themselves on a remote stand, just like Ghana International, which isn't going to be popular with passengers.
 
apodino
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 3:11 pm

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 5):
Dont assume that all US legacy carriers serve LGW by choice. It has been made very clear they all would rather have the ability to serve LHR instead.
If/when an open skies agreement comes to pass and the carriers can secure needed slots, expect a mass migration away from LGW for the US airlines.

I still don't see why this is. I can't believe that people would pay that much more to be only 10 miles closer to London, but with much much worse access into the city, not to mention the confusion and the crowds that LHR have, and the traffic. LGW is so much simpler. And with everyone being at LGW, how can United compete with that being in a worse airport? I just don't get it.
 
sllevin
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 3:16 pm

I happen to like Gatwick, but Heathrow still works better for most people. Especially if you are not going into the city itself, then the connections from Paddington are better.

In addition, Heathrow still has significantly more connecting options, especially as far as Star Alliance goes.

Steve
 
cornish
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 3:24 pm

Quoting Sllevin (Reply 13):
n addition, Heathrow still has significantly more connecting options, especially as far as Star Alliance goes.

Absolutely - remember Bmi has no presence at all in LGW so there's no Star connections to other points in the UK or Ireland and only limited connection possibilities by other star carriers into Europe.
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
 
Arsenal@LHR
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 8:55 pm

Quoting Apodino (Reply 12):
I still don't see why this is. I can't believe that people would pay that much more to be only 10 miles closer to London, but with much much worse access into the city, not to mention the confusion and the crowds that LHR have, and the traffic. LGW is so much simpler. And with everyone being at LGW, how can United compete with that being in a worse airport? I just don't get it.

This is a myth, LHR has excellent access into central London, by tube (Piccadilly line, 40-45 minutes), Heathrow Express, (15 minutes), by taxi (expensive though), there are also many buses and coaches going into central London and all areas around London. All the tourist and business areas are less than 10 miles away. LGW is in rural England, 25 miles away from London. As for the crowds, LHR is not unique, there are crowds at JFK, LAX, CDG, FRA, NRT, SYD, YYZ or any major airport in the world, LHR is no different. And LGW is hardly a small and local airport, it is much smaller and is extremely crowded unless you fly in at late evening or early morning. The South terminal is like a zoo during the day, nobody can confidently say that LGW is less crowded than LHR, it doesn't feel like it.

There is also the question of economics, United flies to where it can make money, the yields are much higher at LHR, businessmen prefer to fly from LHR, it's supply and demand. LGW caters mainly for leisure and tourist markets.
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dutchjet
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 9:31 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 9):
Another way of looking at this is, what would UA really gain by flying DEN-LGW?



Quoting Sllevin (Reply 10):
You raise a good point that UA sacrifices money by not operating DEN-LGW, but, on the other hand, I think they feel that cost of setting up shop at LGW for a single flight would make it uneconomical.

Steve

Firstly, if UA opened up DEN-LGW, BA would be forced to move its Denver service back to LGW (it now can operate to LHR due to lack of competition, a wierd provision in B-2), for me, thats reason enough......if BA was at LGW, it could not offer all of those connections to Europe/mid East, etc, which would benefit the DEN-FRA flight operated by STAR partner LH.

Second, Denver is a major hub for UA that should have access to London, even if it is Gatwick.......CO manages with Gatwick out of its hubs, DFW uses Gatwick out of LGW and survives, etc.....a daily 777 on DEN-LGW is long overdue.

Quoting Apodino (Reply 12):

I still don't see why this is. I can't believe that people would pay that much more to be only 10 miles closer to London, but with much much worse access into the city, not to mention the confusion and the crowds that LHR have, and the traffic. LGW is so much simpler. And with everyone being at LGW, how can United compete with that being in a worse airport? I just don't get it.

Pax prefer LHR........thats London's airport in most pax mind; Gatwick, Luton, Stansted are all alternate choices and it will always be like that. LHR is prefered for connection possibilities, etc. Do you think that the renegotiation of Bermuda 2 would have become such a mess and poltical issue if the US carriers stuck at LGW did not want Heathrow access so badly?? Simple answer, LHR is the flagship airport for the UK and its where the most money is to be made.
 
B707Stu
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 9:58 pm

Quoting Apodino (Reply 12):
I still don't see why this is. I can't believe that people would pay that much more to be only 10 miles closer to London, but with much much worse access into the city, not to mention the confusion and the crowds that LHR have, and the traffic. LGW is so much simpler. And with everyone being at LGW, how can United compete with that being in a worse airport? I just don't get it.

Quite simple, ask anyone who lives North of London, for them LGW is awful to get to. With the exception of CO passengers going from other UK airports, and maybe a few DL and US paxs from MAN, LHR is far more convenient for UK O/D travellers north of London for long haul service, period.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 10:04 pm

I think that if the UA/US merger had gone ahead then UA would serve DEN-LGW as they would also have other services to LGW ( CLT and PHL ) - this is assuming of course that the merger would not have killed the airline off completely .

Incidentally , I know that BII is a very complicated agreement , but why is it that a UK carrier ( BA) can serve DEN-LHR but not a US carrier , even one with 'grandfathered' rights into LHR ( UA) . I know that if UA started DEN-LGW that BA would have to change to LGW ... but if BA decided that was uneconomical and just dropped DEN altogether I believe that UA would still have to operate DEN-LGW not DEN-LHR ? I know that there are quite a few BII experts on Anet so I would be interested in your views on this.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 10:28 pm

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 16):
a daily 777 on DEN-LGW is long overdue

I don't know if I would go that far. Back when CO operated a hub at Stapleton, CO 34/35 to LGW sometimes couldn't even operate daily all year round, it was just too hard to fill a DC-10 even with the Hawaiian and South Pacific connections to it. I used to love that flight because it was usually so lightly loaded. Western tried it too, and it didn't even last two years.

The idea of killing BA's flight to LHR just to operate a doubtful service to LGW doesn't seem like the best of strategies, but then, I'm not an airline CEO, armchair or otherwise.
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A340600
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 10:41 pm

Quoting B707Stu (Reply 17):
Quite simple, ask anyone who lives North of London, for them LGW is awful to get to. With the exception of CO passengers going from other UK airports, and maybe a few DL and US paxs from MAN, LHR is far more convenient for UK O/D travellers north of London for long haul service, period.

But it's horrible to get to the South of England, which many people want to travel to, fair enough not as many as London. But the South Coast is very popular as are parts of Kent etc which are much easier to access via LGW.

Sam
Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
 
ualcsr
Posts: 348
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 10:46 pm

Aresenal....

I agree; LHR has excellent connections into Central London and is much more accessible than LGW. Further, there are many more affluent, business travellers in the western and northern areas of London than there are in the south; for these pax, LHR is much closer and offers a much wider variety of flights than LGW. Finally, you have to consider the Surrey/Reading/Berkshire factor. Most communities in these areas are relatively affluent--Reading is a major business center in the UK--and they're all much closer to LHR than LGW. Bottom line, LHR is where the money's at and I can't see UA spending money to open a new station which would probably be marginally profitable, if at all.
 
dutchjet
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 11:19 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 19):

I don't know if I would go that far. Back when CO operated a hub at Stapleton, CO 34/35 to LGW sometimes couldn't even operate daily all year round, it was just too hard to fill a DC-10 even with the Hawaiian and South Pacific connections to it. I used to love that flight because it was usually so lightly loaded. Western tried it too, and it didn't even last two years.

The idea of killing BA's flight to LHR just to operate a doubtful service to LGW doesn't seem like the best of strategies, but then, I'm not an airline CEO, armchair or otherwise.

I too remember the Western and CO experiments......but those were a very long time ago. Back then, UA, WA, Frontier-1 and CO all shared Denver and before airline traffic and international traffic boomed. UA now is the key powerhouse in UA: aside from small but clever Frontier-2, UA owns Denver as far as O&D and connecting traffic and certainly has the power to make Denver-London flights work. Just look at how well BA and LH have done out of Denver - rumor has it that those flights make lots of money and go out with great loads and very nice yields one a year round basis.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 11:28 pm

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 22):
Just look at how well BA and LH have done out of Denver - rumor has it that those flights make lots of money and go out with great loads and very nice yields one a year round basis

I don't disagree with you at all that DEN is a viable international gateway, nor that BA and LH are having their cake and eating it too to LHR and FRA.

It's simply my opinion that the reason those flights have been viable is because they are to airports that themselves are important in the scheme of things, and are where people want to fly. I still don't see the economic sense of UA splitting up their investment at LHR, and hacking off the connection DEN has to LHR, even if they don't run it, just to fly once a day into LGW.
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srbmod
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Sun May 28, 2006 11:53 pm

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 16):

Second, Denver is a major hub for UA that should have access to London, even if it is Gatwick.......CO manages with Gatwick out of its hubs, DFW uses Gatwick out of LGW and survives, etc.....a daily 777 on DEN-LGW is long overdue.

Just because a city is a hub for an airline, that doesn't mean that it should fly to every city the other hubs fly to, in particular international flights. Just because DL flies to LGW from ATL and CVG doesn't mean that SLC (or JFK) should have a flight there as well. DL doesn't offer JFK-LGW flights because of the number of NYC-London flights already (British Airways, Air India, American, Eos, MaxJet, Kuwait Airways, Royal Jordanian, United, Virgin Atlantic @ JFK and British Airways, Continental, and Virgin Atlantic @ EWR). I think that someone like VS, BD, or BA could probably jump in on ATL-MAN and do pretty decent, but is unlikely to happen.
 
vv701
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 12:35 am

Quoting Arsenal@LHR (Reply 15):
All the tourist and business areas are less than 10 miles away.

This is hugely misleading. It reads as if you are saying that all of London's tourist and business areas are less than 10 miles from LHR. Of course if you leave central LHR by road and take the direct route into London along the M4 and A4 and stop after ten miles the only tourist spot you will have passed near is Kew Gardens and you will still be 2 miles short of the Hammersmith flyover that is exactly 12.13 miles from T3 (the UA LHR terminal). The only major business area you will have passed is that dominated by the Glaxo Smith Kline building.

To reach the City of London and tourist spots like the Tower of London you need to drive 20 and not 10 miles from LHR. (T3 to the Tower is 20.1 miles by the shortest route.)
 
dutchjet
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 2:07 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 23):


It's simply my opinion that the reason those flights have been viable is because they are to airports that themselves are important in the scheme of things, and are where people want to fly. I still don't see the economic sense of UA splitting up their investment at LHR, and hacking off the connection DEN has to LHR, even if they don't run it, just to fly once a day into LGW.

Being that UA has yet to launch a Denver-Gatwick service, your position is the one that UA most likely agrees with, that is, its not worth the effort of opening a station at LGW simply to handle a flight from Denver. Whether UA really cares that Denver benefits from UA's lack of service by having a BA operated connection to LHR is doubtful.

Quoting Srbmod (Reply 24):

Just because a city is a hub for an airline, that doesn't mean that it should fly to every city the other hubs fly to, in particular international flights. Just because DL flies to LGW from ATL and CVG doesn't mean that SLC (or JFK) should have a flight there as well. DL doesn't offer JFK-LGW flights because of the number of NYC-London flights already (British Airways, Air India, American, Eos, MaxJet, Kuwait Airways, Royal Jordanian, United, Virgin Atlantic @ JFK and British Airways, Continental, and Virgin Atlantic @ EWR). I think that someone like VS, BD, or BA could probably jump in on ATL-MAN and do pretty decent, but is unlikely to happen.

We are talking about a Denver-London connection here......not an obsure or niche route. I agree that when an airline has multiple hubs, it need not service every city from each hub, for example, UA serves BRU out of its IAD hub and I would not expect UA to link Denver and Brussels, but this is London, a major world capital with huge demand from biz and lesiure pax, Denver-London does make sense for UA. BA is filling up its airplanes flying between London and Denver while UA sits back and watches - doesnt make sense.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 2:17 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 26):
BA is filling up its airplanes flying between London and Denver while UA sits back and watches - doesnt make sense.

BA is filling up its planes not just to London, but to Heathrow.

Does anyone know what the O&D or connecting traffic numbers are on UA's change of gauge service from Denver to Heathrow on UA920 and UA958? It would seem if there was enough pent-up demand to fly UA between Denver and London, UA would dedicate an internationally-configured aircraft all the way for one of these flights, such as American does with AA66 flying DFW-ORD-LHR.

[Edited 2006-05-28 19:18:49]
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dutchjet
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 3:13 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 27):
BA is filling up its planes not just to London, but to Heathrow.

True, and Lufthansa is filling up planes to Frankfurt.

And, UA tries to route pax travelling from Denver to Europe and return via its other hubs. UA should be dominating service from Denver to Europe, but instead has given the market over to BA and LH? Is it because of the LGW issue? Is it a shortage of aircraft? Or is it poor route planning? I really dont know. When UA does wake up and tries to launch Denver-Europe services, its will have to compete with the European carriers that are well-established on their routes, does that make sense?

The situation reminds me of Frontier and its success on routes between Denver and the Mexican beach resorts.....for years, UA had no interest in those routes either and opened up a huge market for UA's key competitor at DEN.
 
burnsie28
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 3:28 am

Quoting Apodino (Thread starter):
2. DEN is currently not a Bermuda 2 city. If UA ever launched service from here, it would have to be to LGW, which would also force BA to move the DEN-LHR flight to LGW.

I thought it had to be a Bermuda II in order for that city to be even served from LHR. VS wants to go some places but cant because of Bermuda 2, cities that "dont" have competition.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 2):

There is little or no money to be made at LGW.

Then Why are US Airlines making money to London?

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 16):

Firstly, if UA opened up DEN-LGW, BA would be forced to move its Denver service back to LGW (it now can operate to LHR due to lack of competition, a wierd provision in B-2),

Again if thats so, why can BA still fly DTW-LHR?
 
dutchjet
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 3:33 am

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 29):
Again if thats so, why can BA still fly DTW-LHR?

To be honest, I dont know, but the Detroit-London route has a long history with US carriers......PA, DL, then NW.

When Pan Am first flew Detroit-London (I talking about before the UA-PA deal), didnt PA fly from Detroit into Heathrow? Is it because only two U.S. carriers can fly into LHR, and NW is not one of them? Bermuda 2 and its modifications is a very tricky and difficult document.

I do know that if UA opened Denver-London, both the UA and BA flights would then have to fly into LGW.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 3:56 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 30):
didnt PA fly from Detroit into Heathrow?

Yup, in 1969 PA54/55 flew DTW-LHR with (interline?) service on NW from MSP. PA56/57 flew DTW-BOS-LHR.
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A330323X
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 4:07 am

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 18):
I think that if the UA/US merger had gone ahead then UA would serve DEN-LGW as they would also have other services to LGW ( CLT and PHL ) - this is assuming of course that the merger would not have killed the airline off completely .

Yes. And UA was not just planning on starting DEN-LGW after the UA/US merger, UA was also going to start flying IAD-LGW to complement its IAD-LHR service.

http://www.projectbarbell.com/images/routemap.ua_merger.intl.bmp
I'm the expert on here on two things, neither of which I care about much anymore.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 4:37 am

Quoting Apodino (Thread starter):
4. It would allow them to add flights to London without getting new LHR slots.

United has downsized LHR in recent years and has sold off slots. They are doing the opposite of expanding in LHR, so I can't see why they would want to expand at LGW.

Quoting Apodino (Thread starter):
3. There really isn't much Star Alliance opportunities to feed passengers in LHR. If UA is going to feed into the Star Alliance, they would be more likely to send passengers to FRA, where they could connect on LH.

Lufthansa is the dominant Star Alliance airline for connections in Europe. Tons of people go via Frankfurt or Munich, but BMI does have a presence in LHR.

Quoting Sllevin (Reply 10):
You raise a good point that UA sacrifices money by not operating DEN-LGW, but, on the other hand, I think they feel that cost of setting up shop at LGW for a single flight would make it uneconomical.

I personally don't think Gatwick is why United doesn't fly from Denver to London. United doesn't seem to want to build DEN as an international hub. It is great for domestic connections, but ORD, SFO, and IAD are United's big international gateways. I think the fact that United doesn't fly form DEN to NRT shows this. NRT is very important for UA, yet they still connect people flying from DEN to NRT via SEA. I think UA would start DEN-NRT before DEN-LGW.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 22):
Just look at how well BA and LH have done out of Denver - rumor has it that those flights make lots of money and go out with great loads and very nice yields one a year round basis.

I agree that there are some opportunities out of Denver, but I don't think UA is the one trying to cash in on them. People can already fly on United through ORD or other hubs. DEN is a little redundant for international flights. It is great for domestic flights, but its position in the middle of the western half of the country isn't that great for international connections.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 4:51 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 2):
There is little or no money to be made at LGW.

That's just simply not true.

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 2):
AA continues their presence there for prestige.

AA continues their presence there because DFW needs service to London.

Quoting Kiwiandrew (Reply 18):
I think that if the UA/US merger had gone ahead then UA would serve DEN-LGW as they would also have other services to LGW ( CLT and PHL ) - this is assuming of course that the merger would not have killed the airline off completely .

UA would have switched that PHL service to LHR so fast your head would have spun.

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 29):
I thought it had to be a Bermuda II in order for that city to be even served from LHR. VS wants to go some places but cant because of Bermuda 2, cities that "dont" have competition.

Yes that's true for both LHR and LGW. There are cities in the US that cannot have LGW service.

DEN is an LGW city, but the loophole allows BA to serve from LHR.

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 30):
To be honest, I dont know, but the Detroit-London route has a long history with US carriers......PA, DL, then NW.

Simply put, DTW is an LHR city and BA is an LHR airline, but NW is not. That's why NW has to continue to serve LGW while BA flies from LHR.

Philadelphia is similar - its an LHR city, but US must serve LGW because they are not an LHR airline, hence why United would have swapped LGW for LHR there post-US merger.

N
 
UAL777UK
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 6:27 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 33):
I personally don't think Gatwick is why United doesn't fly from Denver to London. United doesn't seem to want to build DEN as an international hub. It is great for domestic connections, but ORD, SFO, and IAD are United's big international gateways. I think the fact that United doesn't fly form DEN to NRT shows this. NRT is very important for UA, yet they still connect people flying from DEN to NRT via SEA. I think UA would start DEN-NRT before DEN-LGW.

Its the worst kept secret at UA, that when and if open skies are signed for LHR, UA will open a route to DEN. Theres massive potential for that route not into LGW, its LHR where people want to fly to. The costs of opening up LGW for one or two flights would be rediculous. Theres no connection options for LGW either, Star is going through LHR.
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 6:37 am

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 35):
. Theres massive potential for that route not into LGW, its LHR where people want to fly to. The costs of opening up LGW for one or two flights would be rediculous. Theres no connection options for LGW either, Star is going through LHR.

Isn't there a member of its alliance that could take care of it's ground services?
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dutchjet
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 6:41 am

Quoting Dtwclipper (Reply 36):

Isn't there a member of its alliance that could take care of it's ground services?

I was thinking exactly the same thing, or a ground service company could handle a LGW flight. And, not that there a several stations in Europe to which UA only flies one flight per day....say BRU.
 
ual727lhr
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 6:58 am

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 33):
United has downsized LHR in recent years and has sold off slots. They are doing the opposite of expanding in LHR, so I can't see why they would want to expand at LGW.

Unfortunately for UA, Rose is right, UA have downsized at Heathrow over the last several years. The reasons for this are manyfold and not just poor foresight by successive UA managements---although that certainly is a prime factor. The main reason UA has downsized at LHR is lack of airframes. Since 9/11, UA has gone from 44 to 34 747-400s and retired all its 767-200s (which used to fly the majority of New York City area flights to and from LHR) and has also given back some 777-200s due to the bankruptcy process. At the 2001 peak, UA had 3 flights per day from JFK to LHR and one 777 daily from EWR to LHR which, by the by, was UA906. UA906 originated in DEN, frequently as the same 777 which continued to London, so there was at least same plane, one stop service from DEN to Heathrow. No more. UA906 always did very well passenger load-wise and cargo-wise, but in cutting costs, muscle was cut.

Further examples of cutting muscle since Chapter 11 include cancellation of JFK-CDG, JFK-HKG, LAX-CDG, SFO-CDG, DEN-FRA, LAX-AUK, JFK & MIA to all Latin American destinations and downgrading JFK-NRT to a 777 from a 747-400. UA management are content to allow Star Alliance partners fly out of UA hubs with UA being the feed.

In the early 1990s when UA bought PAA authority all over the world, it ended up with more Latin American authority out of MIA than AA, but this was never fully pursued under the distractions of ESOPs and attempted acquisitions of AWA and AAA prior to 9/11.

UA still has an impressive slot authority at LHR, but without more airframes and a determination to use them, they will continue to go fallow or be leased to Star Alliance partners LH and BMI (as is happening with the intra-Europe slots that were at one time flown by UA 727s).
 
boysteve
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 7:35 am

Quoting Arsenal@LHR (Reply 15):
This is a myth, LHR has excellent access into central London, by tube (Piccadilly line, 40-45 minutes), Heathrow Express, (15 minutes), by taxi (expensive though),

Personally I think that LGW is better connected than LHR.
From LGW you have Gatwick Express (30 mins to Victoria every 15 minutes) which is within walking distance of many tourist attractions. You have Thameslink (29 mins to London Bridge, every 15 mins) which then continues to the City. Both of these routes offer normal train fares and not the very expensive Heathrow Express, which takes you to Paddington. I guess that 99% of passengers arriving at Paddington then have to take the tube or taxi to where they really want to go!
If I was on expenses travelling to London I may choose LHR. If I was paying then LGW every time! As for the tube taking 40-45 mins, to Earls Court maybe, but its 50 mins to the West End, and an hour to Kings Cross or to change for the city. Its also very sweaty, not a patch on an air conditioned train from LGW, no matter how packed.
 
gigneil
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 7:53 am

Quoting UAL727LHR (Reply 38):
Further examples of cutting muscle since Chapter 11 include cancellation of JFK-CDG, JFK-HKG, LAX-CDG, SFO-CDG, DEN-FRA, LAX-AUK, JFK & MIA to all Latin American destinations and downgrading JFK-NRT to a 777 from a 747-400

JFK-HKG lasted a very, very short time and was never successful. That route is outside the range of their low MTOW 777s with any workable payload, and the 747-400 was flying with almost 200 seats empty due to restrictions.

N
 
roseflyer
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 11:35 am

Quoting UAL727LHR (Reply 38):
UA still has an impressive slot authority at LHR, but without more airframes and a determination to use them, they will continue to go fallow or be leased to Star Alliance partners LH and BMI (as is happening with the intra-Europe slots that were at one time flown by UA 727s).

Does anyone know how many slots United actually controls at LHR? I know that they have 11 daily flights, but how many slots do they have. I have heard that UA leases slots to Lufthansa and that they have sold some slots with some to BA and others to EK I believe.

Overall there is more to Europe than London. United codeshares with Lufthansa, so has a significant presence in Germany. People on A.net seem to praise Heathrow a little too much in my opinion and act that any slot there is golden and guarantees profit. That isn't the case otherwise BMI would be a successful airline since it is the number two airline at that airport in terms of number of slots. If UA can make more money sending its widebodies to Asia or Germany or wherever else, then they should do that. BA and AA dominate the market for passengers between the US and London even though the two airlines can't codeshare.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 12:50 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 41):
That isn't the case otherwise BMI would be a successful airline since it is the number two airline at that airport in terms of number of slots.

If bmi were able to use the slots they have to fly to the US from LHR then they would be a very successful airline indeed!
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 1:26 pm

Quoting Burnsie28 (Reply 29):
Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 2):

There is little or no money to be made at LGW.

Then Why are US Airlines making money to London?



Quoting Gigneil (Reply 34):
Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 2):
There is little or no money to be made at LGW.

That's just simply not true.

The BIG $$ is business and first class (paid) fares between North America and cities connecting through Heathrow to onward destinations. Not to mention that LHR to/from North America fare (Y, C & F) are among the highest yield in the world.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
apodino
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 1:28 pm

I think one thing people forget. If all these US airlines race to LHR in the event of a Bermuda 2 relaxation, you are talking about at least a potential 40 extra flights into LHR. With all the traffic LHR already has, that to me seems like you are really going to congest things in LHR to the point of near standstill. So these slots have to come from somewhere. Who becomes the sacrificial lamb?

Not only that, but one need only look at the industry in the US. If all these airlines start competing at one place, supply is going to skyrocket, and demand will likely remain stagnant. This is going to cause fares and yields to drop, not go up.

Another thing to remember is that UA is not only the only us legacy not in LGW, but also the only bermuda 2 airline not in LGW. And wouldn't it be nice for United to find a creative way to fill all the TED flights into den, allowing even more high yield traffic to other hubs? I think United would have so many positives on this. And as someone else mentioned, most flights in LGW are ground handled by a third party, so you don't need to invest much money on equipment or personell in the station.

I am not sure what the fetish is for LHR, I think its the most overrated airport in europe, especially with CDG, AMS, and even FRA having more capacity. I don't know what Delta's big deal is with LHR, since most of their London traffic is already O and D, and they have three other skyteam airports in CDG, FCO, and AMS that they can send connecting pax through. Ditto with NW and CO.

And as a Boston native, who once flew BOS-LGW on VS, I am very dissapointed that there is no longer any scheduled service to LGW. VS moved the flight to LHR, DL had a flight, but canned it afer 9-11, and AA had one daily into LGW for a while too. Now in order to fly from BOS to LGW, I have to connect in either PHL or EWR. Not that I mind has a plane freak, but some pax might. Especially when they find its a half hour walk to customs from the plane, and thats in terminal 1. I don't know what 3 is like.
 
SFORunner
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 3:13 pm

Quoting Apodino (Thread starter):
There really isn't much Star Alliance opportunities to feed passengers in LHR.

Star Alliance non-stop flights from LHR/LGW (on May 29 - according to the Star Alliance timetable)

ARN x6/x0
CPH x6/x0
FRA x10/x0
CDG x5/x0
MUC x7/x0
AMS x7/x0
VIE x5/x0
ZRH x6/x0
WAW x3/x0
LIS x3/x2

Not exactly FRA, but not exactly chopped liver. Especially compared to the options out of LGW.
 
LAXintl
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 4:27 pm

Quoting Apodino (Reply 44):
I am not sure what the fetish is for LHR, I think its the most overrated airport in europe

Not according to the masses. LHR was the number airport in Europe and third busiest overall worldwide by passenger volume.

Its pretty indicative how the 3 largest UK mainline carriers make use of London Airports. BA is basically forced to run a secondary operation at LGW, Virgin primarily operates its leisure routes from LGW while BMI does not even serve LGW at all.

There simply is not the demand, nor money to be made at LGW as compared to LHR. Love it or hate, LHR is the place to be.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Mon May 29, 2006 9:49 pm

Quoting UAL727LHR (Reply 38):
Further examples of cutting muscle since Chapter 11 include cancellation of JFK-CDG

Actually UA never operated JFK-CDG. They did apply for the route and announce their intention to service it but, IIRC, the slots (the US and France did not have an open skies agreement at the time) were awarded to AA to begin SJC-CDG and to DL to start an extra ATL-CDG.
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Humberside
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Tue May 30, 2006 12:42 am

Quoting SFORunner (Reply 45):
Star Alliance non-stop flights from LHR/LGW (on May 29 - according to the Star Alliance timetable)

ARN x6/x0
CPH x6/x0
FRA x10/x0
CDG x5/x0
MUC x7/x0
AMS x7/x0
VIE x5/x0
ZRH x6/x0
WAW x3/x0
LIS x3/x2

And also EDI, ABZ, INV, GLA, BHD, DUB, MAN, LBA, MME, CDG, HAJ, BRU, NCE, ALC, PMI, Venice, Naples (I think), Mumbai, Jeddah and Riyadh on bmi. Oslo, Stavanger and Gothenburg on SAS. Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Cologne on Lufthansa, Porto, Faro and Maderia on TAP plus Zagreb and Rijeka on Croatia Airlines (star regional member)

As for LGW there is

TAP to LIS, OPO, FAO and Maderia
SAS to Bergen
Austrian to Innsbruck
Croatia (regional member) to Dubrovnik, Pula and Split
Adria (regional member) to Ljubljana

Star airlines also serve STN and LCY
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vv701
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RE: Why No UA In LGW?

Tue May 30, 2006 2:08 am

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 42):
If bmi were able to use the slots they have to fly to the US from LHR then they would be a very successful airline indeed!

If bmi 'use the slots they have to fly to the US' then they will lose most of their existing customer base and have to establish themselves in a new market competing with airlines (AA, BA, UA and VS) who are well established in that 'new' market. Initially the investment in establishing themselves in a completely different market would be extremely high. If they did things right and offered the product potential customers want (which seems to be a bit problematic for them in their existing markets that I assume they know better than the trans-Atlantic market), then eventually they might get a good return on their high investment provided they did not go bankrupt first. My guess is that they would go bankrupt and that LH and UA and perhaps SK would carve up their LHR slots for their own use.

Finally the Star Alliance anti-trust immunity could be at risk if bmi and United were operating together in concert out of LHR

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