gkirk
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BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:32 am

Ok, at the moderators request, lets have a discussion regarding British London Airways.
Discuss why BA/LA are so London orientated, why they have almost deserted everywhere outside of London, and whether they should be allowed to call themselves "British" Airways.

Discuss...
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
cornish
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:48 am

Quoting Gkirk (Thread starter):
Ok, at the moderators request, lets have a discussion regarding British London Airways.
Discuss why BA/LA are so London orientated, why they have almost deserted everywhere outside of London, and whether they should be allowed to call themselves "British" Airways.

So can we widen this to all those many other international airlines who barely operate international flights with their own metal outside one or two home bases?.......because that would cover most legacy airlines in Europe and most in the rest of the world too  Wink
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
 
speedbirdegjj
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:12 am

If the regions dont make a contribution to the overall economic viability of the airline, its pretty much a 'no brainer' really. The days of flying an archaic and obsolete route network in the name of prestige just doesn't cut the mustard. The regions have been tried in various guises over the past few years and just haven't really offered anything.

Yes the cost base is an issue in an increasingly cut throat low cost market, but to think its possible to match the loco's on price whilst still offer the whole 'BA' package was never realistically going to work. The difference here between the regions and to an extent LGW when compared to LHR, is that the average yield on any given route is substantially lower. Its all well and good attracting passengers with a £69 lead in fare but its only sustainable with a % of seats sold at a higher fare level, which just wasnt really happening, or a least not often enough, to make those routes pay.

If you take AF for example, their regional network is flown for the most part by its regional franchise / subsiduary partners, specifically designed to carry out that task. With this advantage you are able to set your cost base to suit your market. It does work in the UK, and for BA, for example GB airways are able to sucessfully serve markets that BA mainline most likely couldn't, but the whole BA Connect / BRAL / Citiexpress situation was born from a different animal, and its always been my personal opinion that without wiping the slate clean, the regional market we see today was never going to be a particuarly happy staming ground.
 
cambrian
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:23 am

The argument about profitability from the regions is a valid one. If there is no money to be made, then that should be the death knell of any loss-making service.

However, BA's objective has been to protect fortress Heathrow at all costs. Is it possible to operate short, medium and long haul flights from the regions? Of course. Did BA have the will to make this happen? Arguably not. BA aren't even committed to Gatwick, so the regions have no chance.

BA have also missed an opportunity to diversify their exposure to risk by being so dependent upon Heathrow.

As to the name, arguably BA do not deserve the epithet, "British". Even before the BA Connect carve up, they had shrunk outside London, and did not even serve Wales at all since their retreat from Cardiff. The growth of the present BA domestic routes was achieved by the take over of several regional carriers (including Cambrian!) who were committed to their base airports. Take over by BEA, then BA resulted in homogenisation and gradual withdrawal from the regions. The logical conclusion to this process is the current BA Connect debacle, which will see the UK's second city, Birmingham, without any BA service.
 
airways45
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:30 am

BA has in recent years preferred to encourage people to fly on domestic services via LHR rather than have dedicated point-to-point services from the regions.

So, they have left it to others such as Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Continental, KLM, Air France, Lufthansa to take passengers away from LHR by operating regional routes.

Whether or not the above carriers make much money is up for debate. The regions are indeed often lower yield, and provide less first class or business class passengers.

However, parts of the LHR BA model depends upon feed from transfer traffic and I'm sure for BA if Paris CDG provides greater opportunities than, say, EDI, GLA or MAN then quite rightly they will support CDG. That's what shareholders would expect .

Remember when BA used to fly dedicated 737-200s from Manchester and Birmingham? Remember when Birmingham had the A319s? Remember when Manchester had the Pakistan flights (and LAX direct back in 1993 or so). Remember when BHX and GLA had BA services to JFK and Boston? Ah the days when London Airways wasn't as obvious...

Airways45
 
speedbirdegjj
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:44 am

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 3):
However, BA's objective has been to protect fortress Heathrow at all costs. Is it possible to operate short, medium and long haul flights from the regions? Of course. Did BA have the will to make this happen? Arguably not. BA aren't even committed to Gatwick, so the regions have no chance.

You make a valid point cambrian, but i think sometimes too much is made of the decision to concentrate ops at LHR at the expense of the regions. It could be argued that the airline doesnt have the man power, aircraft or resources to economically operate these services, in which case the theory of concentrating ops from LHR seems a sound financial one. The UK market in general, is in a state of transition, the surge of loco's in the regions has required BA to step back and look at how best to defend its market position. I'm convinced that the best way to do this is to concentrate the business on the higher yielding traffic ex London, and let the loco's fight it out for the regional business.

Quoting Airways45 (Reply 4):
Remember when BA used to fly dedicated 737-200s from Manchester and Birmingham? Remember when Birmingham had the A319s? Remember when Manchester had the Pakistan flights (and LAX direct back in 1993 or so). Remember when BHX and GLA had BA services to JFK and Boston? Ah the days when London Airways wasn't as obvious...

The golden years of regional flying indeed - however the absence of Orange tailed 319's, screming babies on the tails 737's and when an airline called Ryanair flew HS748's into Luton, highlights the way in which the regional market in the UK, probably more so than anywhere else in Europe has changed.

To reitierate my point from above the only way BA could ever aspire to make a profitable presence outside of London, the way the market is today, would be to create an airline from scratch with labour and operating costs to match.....

.... Mmm reading that back - perhaps they should call it 'GO'  Wink
 
cornish
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:56 am

Of course it is easy to criticise BA for their reliance on LHR - but surely as much flack should be directed to bmi and Virgin for not taking the opportunity to develop bigger regional networks either. Long haul neither show any commitment to the regions other than a few leisure routes out of MAN and one ORD service. VS uses Gatwick as nothing more than a leisure base too. bmi with their half decent feed into MAN and a struggle to build long haul services out of LHR (with no US rights) have not taken the opportunity to build from MAN. Look at the IAD debacle.

As is well known by analysts, by and large the regions are much lower yield markets. That means there are only niche route that can really work for a high cost network operator. Far more logical for a lower cost operator like Globespan to take up these opportunites - and thats what is happening.

Short haul is another matter. BA could have made this work - but they really would have had to start from scratch to do it rather than the hash up that BA Connect was. As mentioned above - far more logical is that AF and LH way to have franchise/niche operators flying many of these services for you with smaller aircraft and lower costs.
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
 
cambrian
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:59 am

Quoting SpeedbirdEGJJ (Reply 5):
The golden years of regional flying indeed - however the absence of Orange tailed 319's, screming babies on the tails 737's and when an airline called Ryanair flew HS748's into Luton, highlights the way in which the regional market in the UK, probably more so than anywhere else in Europe has changed.

Yes, but these competitors were able to muscle in on the act due to traditional carriers (and BA especially) underserving, or not wanting to serve these markets.

I am also not sure how this myth has emerged that people outside the M25 can't afford to travel in the premium classes.

If anything, BA's focus on Heathrow has become an albatross. LHR is terrible for connecting, and even bad for passengers originating there. I live in Central London and wherever possible, I take Swiss or Lufthansa from London City, with a convenient connection in ZRH or FRA to almost anywhere.

If any airline deserves the title "British". it is surely KLM?
 
Lite
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:18 am

I don't think anybody necessarily begrudges British Airways for trying to make themselves profitable by focusing on where the money is, London, but the way that they've treated us north of the M25 is what causes so much resentment. BA's failure to find a decent regional airline business model for the merged conglomerate that was British Airways CitiExpress was really the beginning of the end. Incompetent management, lack of investment and seemingly no interest to compete effectively with growing low-cost airlines all culminated to the mess which became BA Connect. I don't think the airline really ever had a chance, because by 2006 there were airlines with far more efficient business models who were hemming in BACON from all angles. What BA could have done potentially was to have merged Go and BACX giving BA a stronger low-cost brand from the region from the word go, ie all non LHR/LGW flying could have become low-cost, but integrated Exec Club and oneworld benefits into Go, however we know that wasn't the case. I think flybe provided the next best bet, as flybe was what BACON always wanted to be - a low-cost, regional airline. Flybe have done it successfully now for a few years, and this merger will create a far stronger regional carrier to go up against the likes of Ryanair and EasyJet. I would personally like to see BA use their 15% to encourage BA passengers to support flybe - maybe through providing some Exec Club and oneworld benefits, whilst allowing flybe to do what they do best.
LCC Lover Lite
 
BCAL
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:20 am

You must first remember that airlines are no longer the state-owned enterprises that can offer subsidised services or services that are more for status than for profit. Like many of today's industries, airlines must swim or sink. The airlines can no longer offer services for the convenience of the public, but services where there is demand and the rewards are sufficient to generate sufficient return on the investment. The days when BA could offer frequent or direct services from smaller airports are gone, as many of these are either unprofitable or the airline's assets can be deployed elsewhere more profitably.

BA is not alone. Apart from internal services (many of which are in any event relegated to regional partners), AF, LH, IB and other major airlines are so Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid orientated, yet are there any calls for each of them to be renamed Air Paris, Luftfrankfurt or Madridaberia? Why is American Airlines allowed to call themselves American when many US cities are not their hubs? You may also argue that if AA, NW or EK can operate on (say) GLA-JFK/NEW or GLA-DXB, then why not BA? After all, GLA is on BA's domain? Simple explanation, each of AA, NW, and EK operate from JFK/NEW/DXB which are their hubs and GLA is an outpost, whereas if BA operated from GLA to any of these destinations, GLA would have to become a BA hub. The economics just do not work out.

Why has BA deserted many UK provincial airports? Like I said, the airline has to swim or sink. To swim it must be self sufficient and therefore if the economies of operating from non-London airports do not work out and/or the demand is not there, why should the airline continue operations just because the provincial airport is in Britain? If there was a demand for services, and the route could be operated profitably, BA would be there.

British Airways today is simply a name and not a state-owned carrier. There is nothing to state that they cannot be called British because they have almost deserted everywhere outside London. To say this should be applied is like saying Virgin Atlantic should drop the Atlantic, as their flights are not exclusive to flying over the Atlantic. The only stipulation is that to be the designated UK carrier on many routes, no more than 49% of BA's issued share capital can be held by non-UK domiciles.

BA did not become a major presence at LGW until the late 1980s when they took over British Caledonian. There were two main reasons for this takeover. First, BA did not want another airline getting a foothold in the UK market, as would happen had a merger taken place between BCal and SAS. Second, BA management realise that the scope to expand at LHR was restricted and the only way for the airport to expand was to develop a second hub at LGW. Remember, however, that this was a decision taken nearly 30 years ago when civil aviation was in a different political climate than today. Remember also that it is partly due to Bermuda II that some services cannot be relocated to LHR. BA did have a major presence at MAN but other carriers have appeared on the scene to dilute BA's market share. If Branson Airways wants to operate MAN-JFK where there is less demand and less premium traffic, why should BA not let them?

And the LCCs are now quickly appearing on the scene to make BA's predicament worse.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
cornish
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:27 am

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 7):
I am also not sure how this myth has emerged that people outside the M25 can't afford to travel in the premium classes.

There is no myth that people outside the M25 can't afford to travel in the premium classes, but there is a reality that there is a far lower proportion to make it work profitably on regular scheduled services. There are some routes where it can work, but an awful lot than can't.

Having done enough route development work in the past, i know how much harder it is to get higher yielding traffic in the regions - and I'm someone who has done a lot of work to try and get more regional access by both UK and overseas airlines. an inevitalby London and the South East have a much higher business demand - both inbound and outbound (this is not just about UK travellers remember) on a much greater number of routes. As would be expected by the economic capital of a country. Its not just business either - LON gets a far higher number of high end tourists too.

god I've done enough route studies where the figures just haven't worked - unless regional development support is thrown into to help the route be sustainable. I wish it wasn't the case, but sadly its reality....
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
 
gkirk
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:29 am

Notice it's the Londoners defending BA  Wink  duck 
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
BA787
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:38 am

Quoting SpeedbirdEGJJ (Reply 2):

 checkmark 

Quoting SpeedbirdEGJJ (Reply 5):

 checkmark 

Quoting Airways45 (Reply 4):

Excactly.


BA have made it relatively clear that they operate a hub and spoke system, out of LHR. Yes, yes you all say, but waht about LGW? What about it, its pretty obvious why BA use LGW, shortage of LHR slots and lower costs for less profitable flights. Ask most BA employees which is seen as more important? Jus look at fleets for example, the more prestigious and well looked after A32S serve LHR ops whereas the old and tired 737s serve LGW. Another reason for LGW is all the problems with flights to the states, meaning that to offer flights to DFW, BA need to use LGW. I don't profess to understand this law thing, and don't really want to, but i think its another reason for LGW

So we've established that LHR is BAs more prestigious and more pride worthy base. I can understand why some people complain about BAs absence in the rest of the UK, but at the end of the day, BA offer connections to most UK airports from either LHR or LGW, meaning that most of the UK are within 70-100 miles from a BA flight to London, where a helluva lot of destinations await them. The routes out of other UK airports only really work with a true LCC strategy, such as flyBe or LS, the only other flights that I could see would be profitable for BA would be international (non EU) flights, especially American flights, such as MAN-JFK. I can see a BHX-JFK working, despite competition.

Also lets not forget, most of the ex BAcon routes have been taken over by flYbe, meaning that the routes are still served, by, in most cases, better looked after a/c, lower ticket prices and a bigger REGIONAL network, meaning people can fly EDI-BHX-La Rochelle. Lets be honest, BA connect a/c were a bit shit really, the ERJs were uncomfortable and the Q300s noisy. The only savior of the fleet was the AVROS, which are staying anyway.

I still hold the view that it is better for BA to get rid of these routes to someone who can serve them better, than keep operating them at a loss.

So no, i don't think London Airways is fair, because, given BA's small stake in flyBe, some could argue and I will, that BA still serves the same routes it used to and has a bigger presence in the UK than ever before.

I for one would rather fly BE than BA Connect Big grin
 
EGNM-LBA
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:15 am

I find the whole ‘London Airways’ thing a bit tedious. It only ever seems to be uttered by people who, by the very nature of the statement, don’t know the first thing about the economics of running an airline and seem desperate to find a scapegoat for why their local airport isn’t doing so well in certain markets.
At the end of the day, the shareholders of British Airways Plc demand an acceptable return on their investment. If large-scale operations from airports outside of Heathrow and Gatwick offered those returns they would be taking them. If they weren’t, the shareholders themselves and their brokers would be placing pressure on them to do so. BA has been managed by numerous different teams over the last 20 years and the fact is none of them, including the ones headed up by an Australian and an Irishman, have been convinced by regional UK operations. Nor have various teams at Virgin or bmi. The fragility of the airline business and the wafer thin margins means that a business like BA will not walk away or ignore huge profit streams on the basis of some regional snobbery.

Ultimately it is simple. There are hub airports and there are airports that feed hubs. In the UK, Heathrow is a hub airport. Manchester, Birmingham et al are airports that feed hubs. Some of the hubs they feed are local, some are more distant. But the principle behind EK flying to Dubai and feeding their hub there, is no different to the principle of BA feeding their LHR hub or AF feeding CDG. Reading some of the ‘London Airways’ rants I am often struck by the contradictory views people put forward in this regard and they will laud EK for developing a feeder flight into DXB but bemoan BA for adopting exactly the same principle. It also strikes me that a degree of tunnel vision is present in certain areas of the UK who seem blissfully ignorant that the local councils, chambers of commerce and RDAs of many UK centres would give their high teeth for a BA link into LHR. Come to my city and ask the business community here what they would think of a 4 or 5 x daily link into T5 next year. Probably the same answer you would get in Liverpool, Sheffield, Teesside, Jersey, Inverness, the Isle of Man, Northern Ireland……
 
Humberside
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:28 am

Quoting Cambrian (Reply 3):
The logical conclusion to this process is the current BA Connect debacle, which will see the UK's second city, Birmingham, without any BA service.

Being picky, but as long as Sun Air remain a BA franchise, There will be a BA service to Billund

BA are London Airways because that is were the money is with the way their current business model is. And they do have shareholders to please. So from a business perspective you cant blame BA for being London Airways. (Although if they ever try to pretend to be the UK national carrier I dont think that would be right. I would never consider using BA, KLM provide a far more convienent service from my area and many other UK regions)

However you could hardly call some off Europe's other national airlines Air Frankfurt etc. AF maintain a fairly decent presense in the French regions, especialy at Lyon. Holland doesn't have many regions, but KLM manage to maintain some services from regional airports. And Lufthansa has a two hub structure, a good presense at DUS plus sizeable operations at other regional airports including Hamburg. So why can they do it and BA can't?

I think the LoCo's are the reasons for BA almost withdrawal from the regions. There are far more LoCo's in the UK regions than in Germany or France. And theres another example of this in Spain at BCN - increased LoCo competition, IB pull most services and launch Click Air
Visit the Air Humberside Website and Forum
 
CYatUK
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:32 am

So what will be the name of BA flights operated by GB Airways under the BA Connect name and service. Will they retain the "pay for food and drink" policy or are they going back to BA service?

At the moment the BA website shows these flights operated by GB Airways with BA Connect service.
CY@Uk
 
GDB
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:33 am

To call BA 'London Airways', first insert large chip on the shoulder of your choice.......

Sorry, but I've been in BA long enough to have seen major commitments to the regions, since privatisation too.
What happened? My best guess is that they did not make a lot of money, or when the industry had a bad downturn (remember the one starting in Sept 2001?), they became unviable.

In an ideal world, I would much rather see much more in the regions, including international flights, long haul too.
But, as BCAL says, history and events created a second hub at LGW.

Despite everything, events outside their control, events very much in their control too, BA are still a world class international carrier, doing rather better than many.
And without a Chapter 11 umbrella, without any hand outs that a few EU carriers are STILL getting, with a major scheduled UK competitor right on their doorstep-name any other European' national' carrier with similar and is based in the EU nation that was the first to have a LCC presence and has the biggest LCC sector still.

Given the absurd title of this thread, I'd say the originator is lucky to have had the well reasoned, informative responses above from some members of this site.
 
by188b
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:34 am

Glaswegian here -

If we rename British Airways,

lets rename

TAP - Air Portugal to Air Lisbon
Iberia - to Air Madrid
Air France to Air Paris
SAS - to Air Copenhagen
Finnair - to Air Helsinki

....yawn

and while we are at it Air Berlin to Air Europe!  Smile
next flights : BD LHR-TXL J, FR SXF-STN Y, SN BRU-LHR Y, MA LHR-BUD Y, BA BUD-LHR J, BA LCY-SNN-JFK J, BA JFK-LHR J, BA
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:18 am

Well to all those who so much more than BA and say the regions are a great untapped goldmine, draw up your business plan and pop down to Barclays and see what they say!

Yes, they had 737s and later 319s operating from MAN and BHX. But the LoCos starting making inroads. They tried to downsize and go for frequency with the jungle jets and Avros above fewer flights with bigger aircraft. Didn't work either.

They tried a dual-hub at LGW, but it was too close to LHR and drove the costbase up to duplicate so many flights when the market showed the prefence was more flights from one airport (LHR) to another, rather than a 50-50 split between LGW and LHR.

Yes, flights to Belfast, Inverness, Jersey, Plymouth and Newquay have gone from LHR, but at such a slot constrained airport are you going to retain those flights when you could use the slots and fill a 747 to HKG or JFK and amke a hell of a lot more money?

All the main political parties in the UK are moving to a greener agenda. Do you want to stay in such a low-yield, cut-throat market as the UK regional one is if after the next General Election you could see massive tax hikes on domestic flights?

Just why aren't BA flying from MAN to DXB, SIN, KUL, ORD, EWR, ATL, etc? Oh hang on, because MAN isn't a hub, whereas all those are for the respective airline. Just as BA can maintain flights from LHR to PHX, SEA, BWI, DEN that US carriers can't, and serves the most US cities overall from one airport. Do people ask why if CO can serve TXL and HAM from EWR, then why can't LH do the reverse?

As for LH, it's based in a bigger, more populous country, and has greater feed from Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, the Low Countries and the Alpine States. It's better situated hubs mean loads of feed can be drawn in. The UK is one the western fringes of Europe. One of the reasons there are so few Far Eastern flights is that other carriers can draw more European feed. To use LHR you backtrack across Europe, then fly over it again.

Would this thread exist if LHR had an extra runway and BA was able to draw in feed from a lot more regional airports? No. But some people seem to think we're still in the 1970s where competetion was a novelty.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
VonRichtofen
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:26 am

I have a question regarding BA. WTF is going on with their luggage handling??? BA started flying in YYC in Dec. 2006. The amount of pax missing their baggage off this flight is ridiculous. Some pax in desperation walk over to the AC wing of the airport and start asking us AC staff about their bags! I'm not talking a bag missing here or there, I'm talking people going on a ski trip and missing everything for days on end.

What the hell is going on???

Kris
 
antonovman
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:57 am

all this London Airways stuff is getting tedious. What do you guys expect ?
Double daily flights ABZ - SIN, NCL - SYD, CWL - BKK, MME - SFO ???
They are doing the same as any other airline, linking their flight thru the main hub, ie LHR
 
philb
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:15 am

Quoting EGNM-LBA (Reply 13):
It only ever seems to be uttered by people who, by the very nature of the statement, don’t know the first thing about the economics of running an airline and seem desperate to find a scapegoat for why their local airport isn’t doing so well in certain markets.

Well I DO know about the economics of running an airline, I HAVE been party to meetings discussing BA's routes out of Manchester and I HAVE 51 years of watching what BA and their predecessors have done to discourage competition and the development of services out of provincial airports.

Let's give an example from 25 years ago which was very personal. At the time I was Conference Officer for Greater Manchester and also an executive member of a Chamber of Commerce Committee working with the airport authority to develop direct routes from Manchester. Working with a Professor at Manchester University, I had won an major international conference (which attracted 1500 foreign delegates) to take place in 1985. I approached BA to be the Official Carrier and they agreed. I had expected them to offer promotional fares on the routes served into Manchester from around Europe and North America.

Not a bit of it. The only routes on which promotional fares were offered which did not involve a change at LHR were those from Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Heathrow Shuttle for London based delegates. All other delegates wishing to avail of some pretty good promotional conference fares HAD to change at LHR - even for destinations as close as Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris. As can be imagined, not too many pax were picked up from Europe and BA expressed a "disappointment" at the uptake.

London Airways is a cap which has fitted well for many years and, from today, fits even more closely. Heathrow Airways it will become as soon as it can find an excuse to ditch Gatwick, a pill once worth swallowing to get rid of BCAL and Dan Air.

Quoting GDB (Reply 16):
To call BA 'London Airways', first insert large chip on the shoulder of your choice.......

Sorry, but I've been in BA long enough to have seen major commitments to the regions, since privatisation too.

Do BA employees get Brownie points for sticking up for their management?

Quoting GDB (Reply 16):
What happened? My best guess is that they did not make a lot of money, or when the industry had a bad downturn (remember the one starting in Sept 2001?), they became unviable.

Strange. According to the figures Manchester suffered least of all airports in the UK served by BA in the aftermath of 9/11. Probably because the economy class passengers are made of sterner stuff than the pampered types who help pay your wages and live in the "South".

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 18):
Just why aren't BA flying from MAN to DXB, SIN, KUL, ORD, EWR, ATL, etc? Oh hang on, because MAN isn't a hub,

At the time you were busy being born Manchester had its BA 1-11 Division - profitable and with a breadth of services to Europe which was always seen as being the basis for a hub. To come up to date, the Connect services into Manchester only needed a little flair and vision to create a hub situation but flair and vision in the so called national airline vanished around 1939 and never came back.

As for the continued debate about yields, look at the demographics and ask why millions of business pax travel through MAN every year and "can't" support the required proportion of high yield seats. One good reason is the enticements over the years by BEA/BOAC/BA to use the London flights to connect at LHR and help boost LHR services. Can anyone supply current REAL figures for how many high yield UK based pax out of LHR actually come from the Home Counties and how many from the rest of the UK. I know in the 1980s and early 1990s it was around 65% Home Counties 45% Provinces (mainly MAN, EDI, GLA, BHX in that order) and the growth in direct services to the US and Asia ex MAN between 1988 and 1992 caused some annoyance in certain quarters at BA because the Shuttle service suffered as did certain ex London long haul services' high yield figures - there was talk of "competing with one's self".

If I still had anything to do with the development of Manchester (area and airport) I'd be happy to see the back of BA and be looking to develop links with airlines willing to offer the product wanted by the local customers..
 
planesarecool
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:15 am

Quoting Antonovman (Reply 20):
all this London Airways stuff is getting tedious. What do you guys expect ?
Double daily flights ABZ - SIN, NCL - SYD, CWL - BKK, MME - SFO ???
They are doing the same as any other airline, linking their flight thru the main hub, ie LHR

And all people do is moan about the lack of BA service from their airport, and then say they're happier without BA anyway.
 
Lite
Posts: 269
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:31 am

Quoting Planesarecool (Reply 22):
And all people do is moan about the lack of BA service from their airport, and then say they're happier without BA anyway.

People are happier without British Airways, because instead in the regions we are now being treated to airlines who have an interest, and are able to put in the effort, to make flights from the regions work. We moan about the lack of BA service because had BA had the forsight to do what airlines like bmibaby and flybe are doing, then the national carrier would have a strong national presence - which other carriers seem to have been able to have adapted to.
LCC Lover Lite
 
EGNM-LBA
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:43 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 21):
Well I DO know about the economics of running an airline

What is the cost per annum to BA of stationing a B777 in MAN (include here diseconomies of scale, i,e, additional engineering, schedule recovery costs etc)
What volume and yield is needed to cover this cost per seat / km and generate a return above the BA internal hurdle rate
What is the BA internal hurdle rate
Based on market research, what routes provide the necessary volume / yield to achieve or beat the hurdle rate
 
philb
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:04 am

I'm not party to BA's internal workings and, anyway, your question is a nonsense in as much as stationing one solitary aircraft at a given place isn't a sensible use of resources just as the solitary B767 to JFK can only survive because the aircraft is written down, the crew costs have been finely honed and the route has maintained a yield that in some way works for BA.

Your question may well be valid when the 767 becomes obsolete as what can replace it - your 777 of course -.and the simple answer will be the route is almost certain to be dropped, barring political pressure.

The argument isn't about BA placing an odd long haul aircraft here and there.

It IS about developing patronage, long term loyal custom and services required by the potential clientele and, where they cannot be provided (for reasons of economics) not blocking the competition by insisting that licences are not granted (as BEA/BOAC/BA did consistently until the EU stopped that nonsense) and diverting passengers via an inconvenient en route plane change by means of discounting connecting fares to regular business users.

It is about developing a route structure to serve the UK's second biggest market with a population difference in a 75 mile radius of LHR and MAN so slight as to be unremarkable.

It is about ensuring that the UK has diverse access to benefit both incoming and outgoing markets to the benefit of the whole country - not just in terms of money but in terms of reputation, acceptable experience and ease of connection.

It is also about changing the perception that the UK has only one place of importance and the rest of the country has nothing to offer in terms of business, tourism and development potential.
 
EGNM-LBA
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:32 am

I'm sorry Phil, but you are simply reinforcing the arguments put forward by myself and many others in this thread as to why this "London Airways" ranting is simply nonsense. YOUR motivation is to see Manchester (your local city) prosper and thrive and a personal drive it seems to tackle centuries old traditions around a London bias in this country's business infrastructure. I have absolutely no problem with any of that. However you simply must get into your head that BA's motivation is to make money for their shareholders and that their business does not exist to help push Manchester up the civic pecking order. BA have absolutely no obligation to "change the perception that the UK has only one place of importance". They have an obligation to make an acceptable return through capital growth and dividend payments to their shareholders. End of story.
With this in mind, why would BA foresake easy profit making opportunities at MAN if they were really there? First rule of business is if you spot a gap in the market, move quickly because someone will get there first. All of the evidence from BA, bmi, virgin suggests that gap just doesn't exist and the type of business model you are desperate for BA to operate out of MAN, is not an easy profit making opportunity. If it were, they would be doing it and if they weren't, bmi, or virgin or a new start-up would be. It is still a mystery to me why there are a group of posters on here so convinced by the huge profits to be made from a regional hub-spoke operations why they do not (a) send a detailed business plan into BA or (b) present the business plan to some venture capitalists to secure funding. I suspect people who think they understand the economics of the airline business actually know much less than they would like to imagine.
 
philb
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:59 am

I'll come back on this tomorrow - about to go to bed
 
EDICHC
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:45 pm

Kinda late on the scene to this thread considering the debate I seemed to generate on another thread  wink 

As I was trying to say before my arguement is that BA uses a national title (British) , a national emblem (stylised Union Flag) and as a result is perceived by the public (in the south-east anyway) as the 'national flag carrier'.

Well as far as I am concerned BA will soon have very few staff indeed located outside London, they have little and certainly dispropotionately small representation among their staff from (what some posters insultingly refer to as regions) the three less popultated member nations of the UK. As such they should not use the title British. They do not promote or represent Britain as a whole in fact they distort the conception of Britain overseas. Since relocating to NZ I have grown weary of the 'England is Britain' conception which the current image and practices of BA simply reinforces.

I would never be so naive to suggest that a plc should not be free to adopt a business plan that is in the best interests of it's shareholders. But a company which pays lip-service to the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (and to large parts of England for that matter) has no right to use the title British
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EDICHC
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:36 pm

Quoting Cornish (Reply 1):
So can we widen this to all those many other international airlines who barely operate international flights with their own metal outside one or two home bases?.......because that would cover most legacy airlines in Europe and most in the rest of the world too

Most legacy carriers only represent 1 nation.

BA purports, by use of the title British, to represent the 4 constituent member nations of the UK (techincally incorrect as NI is not part of Great Britain, but it's citizens are British). In my opinion they fail to do this miserably. They can either play the plc free hand or the national flag carrier but not both. An expression involving cake and a desire to eat it springs to mind here
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Gemuser
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:42 pm

Quoting Philb (Reply 21):
Can anyone supply current REAL figures for how many high yield UK based pax out of LHR actually come from the Home Counties and how many from the rest of the UK. I

Irrelevant! They prefer to send them via LHR because it's more profitable for them. Can't really argue with that for a commerical company, unless it's against the law!

Quoting Lite (Reply 23):
then the national carrier would have a strong national presence -

What national carrier? You haven't had one since BOAC & BEA were merged and sold!

Quoting Lite (Reply 23):
which other carriers seem to have been able to have adapted to.

As EGNM-LBA said the other carriers are operating their UK regional routes as spokes, something BA can't do OR are loco, which BA are not.

Quoting Philb (Reply 25):
diverting passengers via an inconvenient en route plane change by means of discounting connecting fares to regular business users.
It is about developing a route structure to serve the UK's second biggest market with a population difference in a 75 mile radius of LHR and MAN so slight as to be unremarkable.
It is about ensuring that the UK has diverse access to benefit both incoming and outgoing markets to the benefit of the whole country - not just in terms of money but in terms of reputation, acceptable experience and ease of connection.
It is also about changing the perception that the UK has only one place of importance and the rest of the country has nothing to offer in terms of business, tourism and development potential.

None of this is BA's problem or responsibility! So why should they spend shareholders money to achieve these goals? They'd be shot by the market place if they tried, unless they believed they could make a better return on investment by following your goals, which obviously they don't believe, so they can't!

Speaking as an outsider with no emotional attachment, the fact is as a commerical enterprise BA will go where they think the most profits are to be made and that apparently is LHR.

This situation is not unique to the UK, the same thing happens in Oz. QF focuses on SYD & MEL, because 65% of the population live within a 200 kilometer radius of those cities, hence they are more profitable. People from other states complain about QF as "Sydney Airways" and the reason is exactly the same, thats where the money is! (PS I think the Victorian are a bit over the top, MEL is doing very well from QF, the other states are right, but they are NOT profitable enough.

Gemuser
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plunaaircanada
Posts: 87
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:07 pm

Quoting Gkirk (Reply 11):
Notice it's the Londoners defending BA

LOL that's so true!  alert   duck   Big grin

puac  flamed 
(E)ngines (T)urning (O)r (P)assengers (S)wimming
 
Tristarsteve
Posts: 3364
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:09 pm

Good morning from Stockholm.
In the twenty years I have worked here BA has had flights to LHR LGW MAN BHX and for two summer seasons EDI. The flights have always been operated with a Club/Economy mix. But except for flights to LHR, the max number of Club seats on the aircraft was 18.( This is the minimum.) I have never ever seem more than 18 club seats on any BA aircraft out of here to anywhere except LHR. In 2000 we used to operate 3 B737-400 a day to LGW with 18 Club seats on each, and 6 flights to LHR. 2 of these were with B767, and in the evening the flight regularly went out with 180 Club seats, full with paying pax. When this flight was operated with a B737, it regularly operated with two rows of Economy seats, the rest being Club.
The BAC111s that went to MAN and BHX usually had 2 Club pax.
There was never any Club class load to anywhere but LHR.
After 2001, we only operate to LHR and there is no chance of returning to the UK regions. The Club load has reduced now because of the new ticketing policy, but Club loads of 70-80 are quite normal.

And now to something else.
A lot of you comment that KLM has a much better regional operation than BA. Don't you imagine that BA would love to have the capacity to operate flights from the regions to LHR to feed their hub? If the slots were available and cheap enough, I am sure BA would operate regular feeder flights into LHR just like KLM does from the UK regions to AMS. But the slots are not available, and they are expensive, so BA operate larger aircraft to places with the demand for Business seats.

OK I will stop rambling and go back to work.
 
EDICHC
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 4:23 pm

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 30):
Quoting Lite (Reply 23):
then the national carrier would have a strong national presence -

What national carrier? You haven't had one since BOAC & BEA were merged and sold!

 checkmark 


Absolutely spot-on there Gemuser! See my above posts!
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jonnywishbone
Posts: 103
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:33 pm

Economically, focussing on LHR is correct for BA, but I personally feel the opportunity cost of cutting out the regions has not been truly thought about.

As I have said before, I wont travel MAN-LHR-FRA now that BA have gone, so i'll probably move to LH... This gets me Star points, which get me free flights with Star Alliance airlines... I gradually move away from BA, moving my Gold Card to Star, using their long haul network and becoming loyal to them.

Am I a regional anomoly? I think not, just a common sense merchant who has not got the city fat cat wallets seen in London, yet travels club globally on business and certainly seems to be in similar company when I travel.

London Airways, yes, Fatcat Airways yes, 95% of the population airways, NO!

If only BMI had the balls to go for it, they could make Manchester work a treat, not only does the place operate fully when there is 1cm of snow, you get your bags and all sorts... Oooh it's like travelling used to be!

BA are betting on Termnal 5 being their saviour and I hope it is. I can't see how though as a third runway is at least 10 years away, the airport is at saturation and they have already over-subscribed the terminal before it opens, never mind when stands are full because of delays. The only saving grace might be that your baggage gets to you.

Speaking to a conspiracist on the ticket desk at MAN, there are thoughts that BA want BE to f*** it up so that they can get back in there, buying the company for 10% and start a regional operation again.... Toooo many mushrooms my friend!
 
cornish
Posts: 7651
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:05 pm

RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 6:41 pm

Quoting Philb (Reply 21):
Strange. According to the figures Manchester suffered least of all airports in the UK served by BA in the aftermath of 9/11. Probably because the economy class passengers are made of sterner stuff than the pampered types who help pay your wages and live in the "South".

Ok well cut out the petty north vs south line. While i may disagree with some of your arguements I respect your point of view. But don't go down this silly line of name calling without backing up your argument with further understanding of the figures.

Now I am well aware of Manchester's figures at the time, that of other UK airports and those across the global market. Reason for this is that I was IATA's senior traffic analyst and market forecaster. It was my job to analyse IATA's member airline O&D stats for example. And yes MAN's figures went down less than LHR's in the aftermath. But if you were fully aware of the figures you would see that it wasn't UK passengers that were the reason for the downturn - we kept travelling. It was US and Far Eastern travellers that really cut back on their travel. additionally a lot of business travellers were not able to travel due to company regulations. And that naturally impacted LHR with a far higher proportion of these travellers and long haul than MAN with a more short haul and UK outbound leisure profile.

And that I'm afraid is a fact- so don't sink to petty name calling. And don't ever refer to "the South". There is a big difference between the Southeast and Southwest for example. And for someone like me - London is technically part of "the North".

Quoting Philb (Reply 21):
If I still had anything to do with the development of Manchester (area and airport) I'd be happy to see the back of BA and be looking to develop links with airlines willing to offer the product wanted by the local customers..

Well MAN need to get their finger out. BA have no interest, BD neither, VS aren't bothered. Either the MAN management need to work harder and give more incentives or accept that there may not be the interest for long haul based aircraft from anyone UK-based other than the primarily leisure lower cost operators like Globespan.

Quoting EDICHC (Reply 29):
Most legacy carriers only represent 1 nation.

BA purports, by use of the title British, to represent the 4 constituent member nations of the UK (techincally incorrect as NI is not part of Great Britain, but it's citizens are British). In my opinion they fail to do this miserably. They can either play the plc free hand or the national flag carrier but not both. An expression involving cake and a desire to eat it springs to mind here

And British Midland also use the title British and fly the UK flag - Virgin describes itself as the UK's flag carrier too and flies the UK flag. Are they representing the regions sufficiently too ? No they are not. Do you feel this applies equally to them.

And what about Globespan? - models itself as Scotland's airline, yet seems far more interested in developing long haul services out of MAN. surely that should be just as upsetting for Scots ? Ultimately all these airlines are doing what they feel is right for the business (whether that proves to be right or wrong ).
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
 
vv701
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:16 pm

Quoting FlyCaledonian (Reply 18):
As for LH, it's based in a bigger, more populous country

It has two hubs, FRA and MUC. Like BA it has to focus on its hub operations for economic reasons. So here is a question:
If LH is the German national airline why can't you fly by LH from the capital of its country to Europe's largest international airport, LHR?

Here's an answer:
Because Berlin is not (for good historic reasons) an LH hub (although it could have been made a hub at some point over the last 18 years).

What surprises me about the UK with BEA and BOAC and subsequently British Airways all making LHR their lifetime home, why the only other truly international British airlines, British MIDLAND International - sorry, bmi - and Virgin Atlantic both set up their main hubs at LHR.

Of course if you go back 20 years many companies included the word 'British' in their name. Amongst them were British Telecom (who now call themselves BT Group), British Petroleum (BP), British Steel (Corus Group), British Insulated Callendar Cables (Balfour Beatty), British Aerospace (BAE Systems), British Gas (BG) and so on. Today we have British Airways, British American Tobacco, British Land and British Assets and very little if anything else. Yet when it was suggested back in 1997 that British Airways, on its way to its new identity launched in June of that year, had even considered changing its name there was an outcry in the British national press lending weifght to the anti-tails campaigns.
 
cornish
Posts: 7651
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2005 8:05 pm

RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:25 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 36):
It has two hubs, FRA and MUC. Like BA it has to focus on its hub operations for economic reasons. So here is a question:
If LH is the German national airline why can't you fly by LH from the capital of its country to Europe's largest international airport, LHR?

Here's an answer:
Because Berlin is not (for good historic reasons) an LH hub (although it could have been made a hub at some point over the last 18 years).

I know what you are saying - but your answer is not strictly accurate in that there are a number of other German airports that are not LH hubs that have LH services into LHR.

Obviously there is a history element here in that LH weren't allowed to serve West Berlin for many years - but that restrictin has long gone of course. More pertinent is the fact that Berlin is not a high yield market, despite being the capital (and remember there really isn't very much in its hinterland at all). Although it would doubtless be politically popular for LH to offer a wide range of services including long haul from Berlin (in the East of the country where the economy is weakest), the reality is that it would be very hard to make them profitable. So LH doesn't do it - and focuses on FRA and MUC.

But yes i confess, even now it surprises me, given LH's big presence at LHR, that they don't offer at least a couple of TXL services a day.
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
 
CaptLockheed
Posts: 134
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:41 pm

Who cares about BA?

Just fly someone else who wants your custom..

Cross you fingers and hope for an open sky agreement and see how BA does then ... hopefully bye-bye BA!
 
philb
Posts: 2645
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:54 pm

Quoting EGNM-LBA (Reply 26):
I'm sorry Phil, but you are simply reinforcing the arguments put forward by myself and many others in this thread as to why this "London Airways" ranting is simply nonsense. YOUR motivation is to see Manchester (your local city) prosper and thrive and a personal drive it seems to tackle centuries old traditions around a London bias in this country's business infrastructure. I have absolutely no problem with any of that. However you simply must get into your head that BA's motivation is to make money for their shareholders and that their business does not exist to help push Manchester up the civic pecking order.

Please don't tell me what my motivation is and please don't patronise me. I've been watching the aviation scene in Manchester since 1956. I have been personally involved in the development of the area and its air links, I've been a regular passenger out of Manchester for many years in times past but I haven't lived there for over 20 years - though I keep very much in touch. My view would be the same if we were talking about any airline claiming to be a "flag carrier" and "national" airline in any country were the same story to be replicated elsewhere.

What we are talking about is the way BA and its predecessors have treated the UK provinces, and Manchester in particular, over the last 55 years. Prior to 1952 BEA and BOAC had a monopoly on all air services in the UK. Any other airline operating did so under licence from the national carrier on scheduled service, charter flights operated under a different regime. I'll stick to Manchester for the moment as it is the case I know best.

From 1952 onwards other airlines could offer scheduled services in their own right. When Manchester wanted a link to New York, BOAC said it couldn't be done profitably, the runway was too short and their wasn't a market. In October 1953 SABENA added Manchester as a stop on its NYC service. They built and developed the service and introduced the DC7C in December 1956 - when BOAC said it couldn't be done. In April 1960 Sabena introduced the B707 on the service.

Now, what the the British long haul carrier do in response? In 1954 they introduced a spasmodic Stratocruiser service which, more often than not, used RAF Burtonwood due to "runway restrictions" at Manchester - restrictions that did not bother SABENA or Swissair's transatlantic DC6 freighters. In June 1955 the Strats briefly re-appeared but were withdrawn again and it wasn't until April 1957 that a regular service with DC7Cs was introduced, only to be withdrawn again "because of runway work" in December. April 1958 saw their return and Britannias appeared in 1959 with 707s arriving in October 1960, though the service was spasmodic - "runway limitations" being the excuse.

By 1963 SABENA was THE airline out of Masnchester to NYC. They were the first to operate non-stop, the first to operate the 707, the first to operate the 707 non stop and they never let down their clientele.

This badly affected BOAC. As the flag carrier it was under pressure to serve he provinces but the attitude in talks was one of begrudgement and bad grace compounded by an economic reality that SABENA (which had no other reason to serve Manchester other than profit) was making life too tough for BOAC. So what did BOAC do? They pressured the government to withdraw the 5th freedom rights under which SABENA operated. This could not be done but the government were able to reduce the rights from a daily service to just 2 flights per week - an uneconomic proposition for the Belgian carrier and the service ended in March 1964. BOAC replaced the service with a daily summer service, and just thrice weekly in the winter. It was over 12 years before BCAL provided any competition and over 24 years before a US carrier challenged the monopoly.

In Europe BEA similarly stitched up the North West public. The routes they did fly into Europe were on "Pool Agreements" with other national carriers where the number of services, which flights would be operated by which airline and how many flights were arrived at by agreement. BEA used an argument based on total access to the UK rather than an airport by airport arrangement which airlines such as Air France, Lufthansa, Alitalia and Iberia used in their countries. By this means they directed the bulk of Pool flights tto Heathrow.

Whenever a non flag carrier tried to initiate direct services from Manchester (and other provincial airports) to Europe (such as Hunting Clan and Eagle in the period 1958- 1960) BEA objected and, where they did not suceed in their objection, appealed and regularly mangaed to ensure the service licences that were granted were for limited and often irregular services. When their Pool partners wished to add extra flights to both Manchester and Birmingham, BEA only backed off if the equipment used was deemed "inferior" to BEA's (e.g. Sabena's use of CV440s opposite BEA's Viscounts), even though BEA would share the revenue!

From 1956 Aer Lingus built up a wide range of profitable European flights from Manchester, outside of the Pool, using fifth freedom rights. By 1966 Manchester was as profitable for Aer Lingus as Dublin. Most flights were using Viscounts, some used 1-11s. BEA was using Tridents and Viscounts in competition and was losing out. Following the BOAC precedent against SABENA, BEA pressured the government and all fifth freedom rights were withdrawn by 1971. End of competition and many well used and profitable services.

BEA opened their 1-11 Division at Manchester as a "mini - airline". It prospered for many years and built good loads (note "loads", not necessarily premium rate pax). By the early 1980s it no longer fitted the BA idea of structure in the light of the upcoming privatisation. It was wound down and eventually closed.

In a previous post I've mentioned the consternation caused in some BA circles by the Asian and US services through Manchester in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Let's look at the BA MAN -LAX service. Opened to fill a demand it regularly hit over 90% load factors in pax and in what went in the hold. It was withdrawn as it did not meet BA's revenue targets, i.e. there were few premium passengers.

If an airline cannot make a reasonable living out of 90% loads what is wrong? Reminds me of the railway companies excuses for delays which we have all become used to - "wrong type of rain/snow or leaves on the line in Autumn".

Apart from SABENA and Aer Lingus let's look at other airlines that operated/operate out of Manchester and presumably have to make a profit and have/had sustained service to Manchester on which the national airline stated they could not profitably operate:

Wardair to many points in Canada
Lufthansa to many points in Germany
Emirates to Dubai
Singapore to Singapore
American to Chicago
Delta to Atlanta
Laker to JFK, Miami and Los Angeles
Pakistan to points in Pakistan (not including transatlantic stopovers)
QANTAS to Sydney (only withdrawn when BA took a major interest in QANTAS)

There are others.

The fact is that, whilst I totally agree that BA has to make a profit, should do what it feels is best for its shareholders and should develop its strengths, it still goes about its business around the world as Britain's flag carrier. It is perceived by most foreign nationals as the Britain's only international airline. The question that should be asked is "What is wrong with BA that it can't operate profitably outside of London (and Heathrow in particular)"?

Please look at the figures in the table on this link which shows the most up to date figures available from a most authoratative source:

http://www.airports.org/cda/aci/disp...?zn=aci&cp=1-5-212-1376-1380_9_2__

If an airline cannot generate revenue from an airport so high in the international passenger rankings, it either couldn't care less or hasn't a clue about generating business. In any other industry, based on those figures, the Manchester market would be a prime target for a local supplier

Now to the VS and BMI argument. In real terms VS is a small carrier with a restricted destination list centred on a particular business market and a wider leisure market. It already addresses the markets it sees as profitable from Manchester but, much as I like the product and the boss, it cannot be compared to BA as a major domestic/regional/medium/long haul carrier.

BMI is widely regarded here as a basket case. Whatever else, it is a domestic/regional/medium haul carrier. It hasn't the equipment, structure or cash to become a true long haul carrier capable of sustained service other than on the current services it operates and it has problems enough at LHR to solve before looking at building services elsewhere.

Quoting Cornish (Reply 35):
Ok well cut out the petty north vs south line. While i may disagree with some of your arguements I respect your point of view. But don't go down this silly line of name calling without backing up your argument with further understanding of the figures.



Quoting Cornish (Reply 35):
And that I'm afraid is a fact- so don't sink to petty name calling. And don't ever refer to "the South". There is a big difference between the Southeast and Southwest for example. And for someone like me - London is technically part of "the North".

I'm not petty name calling. Many of the business pax out of LHR are pampered and you've only to read the threads on this forum to realise just how petty they can become with threir worries about the type of seat/PTV or meal.

As for knowing the difference between North and South, I've lived in the North West and Sussex, so I probably know it better than you.
 
EDICHC
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 7:59 pm

Quoting Cornish (Reply 35):
And British Midland also use the title British and fly the UK flag - Virgin describes itself as the UK's flag carrier too and flies the UK flag. Are they representing the regions sufficiently too ? No they are not. Do you feel this applies equally to them.

BMI at least offer international routes out of EDI

They also have their own staff presence there unlike BA in the near future.

[Edited 2007-03-06 12:00:38]
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EGNM-LBA
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:13 pm

Quoting Philb (Reply 39):
Please don't tell me what my motivation is and please don't patronise me

It's not up for debate - it's obvious from your posts.
To save me from reading the war and peace extract that follows, tell me - does it include any income and cost figures to justify why the business plan YOU want to see an airline adopt out of Manchester is actually something anybody would want to implement. Stop telling us, why you want it happen or why you think it should happen, tells us in hard facts why it makes commercial sense.
 
philb
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:21 pm

Quoting EGNM-LBA (Reply 41):

I've seen some arrogant posts on this Forum over the years but you take the biscuit. Perhaps if you weren't so arrogant you might read the piece and learn something from someone who has real knowledge of the history, the facts and who has seen at first hand exactly how BA and its predecessors have worked and evidently still do, as opposed to yourself who hasn't
 
Candid76
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:21 pm

You wouldn't expect to hear this from me as a MAN diehard, but from a commercial perspective (as that is my role in the airline world) I don't entirely blame BA for their Heathrow obsession. But from my point of view (as I have said many times before) where they have gone wrong is that they did not build up a secondary hub at MAN - not for routes that would rely on high yield pax, but the kind of hub they operate at Gatwick. This would have encompassed a mix of leisure biased two class long haul routes (with high density 767s) and maybe a few long haul trunk routes to places from where they could feed into oneworld hubs (such as HKG, ORD, SYD) and have reasonable O & D demand. Again, these don't need to have first class cabins. This could just as easily be done with a lower cost subsidiary or even a model such as the AML experiment at LGW. The domestic and European network could have been used to feed these flights - yes, this would have affected feed into LHR but would then free up more seats for direct pax from there and also BA could ensure that lower yield transfer traffic was fed through MAN and premium traffic was fed through LHR. Instead of this (and largely for historical reasons as pointed out earlier in the thread) they chose to do this from LGW, which has always struggled, not least because it doesn't compliment LHR as much as a MAN hub would. Of course the opportunity to do this has now passed, and BA are understandably focused on Terminal 5 at LHR, which might work very well for them, or as with all new projects, might cause them major headaches initially.

This brings me on to the issue of yields. Look at the long haul point to point carriers that serve MAN and what market predominates? You will find that it is the Indian sub-continent traffic, notoriously low yield yet this market continues to generate incredible growth way beyond all other long haul markets. This proves that in fact low yield longer haul routes are sustainable from MAN despite what some commentators think. In fact given the proliferation of low cost airlines competing on European leisure routes (often from other airports) long haul is MAN's best prospect long term.

In order to create a sea change in the economics of UK air travel it isn't just BA who need to mend their ways - the business community needs to spread its wings from London (this is beginning to happen), the UK tourist industry needs to stop trying to market London to the exclusion of the rest of the UK (Scotland is much nicer!) which may help offset another of MAN's big problems - the lack of inbound tourism (remember BA face far more low cost competition at LTN and STN than any operator does at MAN, but it is the inbound traffic that sustains those airports).

Once BA has been renamed London Airways may I suggest we rename Virgin to London Gin (which may provide them with a tonic) and bmi to British South East (or BSE for short)!

Oh, and finally a word of warning to BA. Open skies is coming. Those LHR fans who go on about the goldmine which LHR undoubtedly is have conveniently forgotten to mention that the protected position enjoyed on transatlantic routes by BA and VS is a large factor in this. Take that away and see the profits crumble, and then it won't be quite so great to have all your eggs in one basket. The stock market has already noticed this, and they are not fools.
 
EDICHC
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:26 pm

Quoting Cornish (Reply 35):
And what about Globespan? - models itself as Scotland's airline, yet seems far more interested in developing long haul services out of MAN. surely that should be just as upsetting for Scots ? Ultimately all these airlines are doing what they feel is right for the business (whether that proves to be right or wrong ).

Globespan does not use the word Scottish in it's name, but is Scottish based and employs Scottish staff. As I recall from the days when I worked for them, LC branded themselves "Scotland's Airline" and carried that branding on their fleet. Don't tell me they did not serve Scotland.

Take away the maintenance facilites in GLA & CWL and in the near future how many non-English staff will 'British' Airways have i.e staff who have direct contact with the customer?
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cornish
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:35 pm

Quoting Philb (Reply 39):
I'm not petty name calling. Many of the business pax out of LHR are pampered and you've only to read the threads on this forum to realise just how petty they can become with their worries about the type of seat/PTV or meal.

Yes you are. you are just damaging the credibility of your argument by saying that. Yes there are arsehole business people flying in and out of LHR just as there is in MAN - just like there are plenty of good business people too. Likewise you can find plenty of good and bad economy passengers out of any airport.

All you've done is make it sound like you've got a big chip on your shoulder. That may not be the case but the moment you started talking about individual people thats exactly how it came across. and that makes you sound very petty. You'll be telling everybody next that absolutely everyone who lives in the posh parts of Cheshire is a wonderful person with no bad manners or habits whatsoever next....

Quoting Philb (Reply 39):
As for knowing the difference between North and South, I've lived in the North West and Sussex, so I probably know it better than you.

And now you do it again - "so I probably know it better than you." an immediate assumption that I haven't lived anywhere else. Hmm well I've lived in London for a fair while now (I have to to do the job I enjoy). I've also lived in Newcastle - is that far enough North? and of course I grew up in the far South West where I know full well about the issue of limited regional access - being further from London on ground transport (in time terms) than Manchester. I've also lived in a couple of other countries in europe too.

Added to that I've done a hell of a lot of regional air service work in this country - both in terms of directly attracting operators or advising regional government. A lot of work in Scotland in particular, and others in the UK, both North and south. And that is directly working with the figures involved and seeing whether it truly would be profitable or not.

So when you tell others not to patronise you, don't do it to others yourself. There are others here who may not be as old as you, but have direct up to date knowledge of the aviation industry in this country and the rest of the world.

I'm happy to listen to your arguments and debate them in a civil manner you - but don't start getting petty "north/south" here, because it immediately switches off people to your arguments.
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
 
philb
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:50 pm

Unfortunately this is all about a North South argument. Currently, by its actions, BA is making the point that the provinces, north of London, cannot generate enough yield for its business model and therefore it won't serve the bulk of the country it claims to fly the flag for.

It isn't a new argument from the Heathrow based carrier. In 1982 I was in a meeting where a BA senior executive, backed by a government minister (nodding in agreement), stated that Manchester business and Manchester people in general were not air travel minded and the per capita expendable income in "The North" was not sufficient to justify any attempt to increase BA's services.

Quoting Cornish (Reply 45):
You'll be telling everybody next that absolutely everyone who lives in the posh parts of Cheshire is a wonderful person with no bad manners or habits whatsoever next....

Cat calling kettle?

Quoting Cornish (Reply 45):
There are others here who may not be as old as you, but have direct up to date knowledge of the aviation industry in this country and the rest of the world.

Now it's you making assumptions that I don't.

Let's drop this. The important thing to debate is that the UK outside of London has seen a mjor re-shaping of its air services to the detriment of all yet the company that has foisted this upon the travelling public of all backgrounds, incomes and needs continues to masquerade as Britain's flag carrier.
 
EGNM-LBA
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:51 pm

Phil - I am genuinely sorry if I have offended you. I am trying to keep the debate on the crux of the issue which is commercial viability. A number of others are making the same points and, with the greatest of respect, your potted history of MAN over the last 50 years is still failing to address this key question of the commercial viability for the sorts of services you want to operate from MAN. Clearly you have much experience and knowledge so please show us the income and cost streams associated with the sort of venture you envisage and we can have an interesting and informative debate about viability. At the moment all of your posts have the underlying theme of suggesting it SHOULD work using circumstantial & annecdotal evidence and examples of previous services that, in aviation terms, were operating in ancient history. Simply highlighting that MAN has 22m pax per annum and therefore is a 'big' airport is not the same as proving the economic case for a long-haul network or a hub/spoke operation. Saying that EK get healthy seat factors on MAN-DXB is not proving that BA could make an adequate return on MAN-DXB or similar. I am working on the very simple premise that profit making opportunities do not go unnoticed and left alone. I therefore will always take the view that the failure of anybody to expolit the perceived opportunity is pretty much a cast iron guarantee that it doesn't exist. I am not seeing any evidence as yet that suggests this a flawed view. So, let's not fall out, but debate the crux of the issue which is £££££.
Cheers
 
cornish
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:57 pm

Quoting EDICHC (Reply 44):
Globespan does not use the word Scottish in it's name, but is Scottish based and employs Scottish staff. As I recall from the days when I worked for them, LC branded themselves "Scotland's Airline" and carried that branding on their fleet. Don't tell me they did not serve Scotland.

But they don't serve CPT, JNB or NYC out of Scottish airports - but they do out of MAN or LPL. From EDI, Scotland's capital and wealthiest city they can only manage a long haul flight to Toronto. even some flights to Florida. Just a bunch of flights to European leisure destinations that the charter carriers all go to anyway. Where are the flights to Orlando, Calgary, Vancouver, Cape Town, Jo'burg, Boston, New York that they seem to be able to manage from other airports ? Hardly big commitment to Scotland's capital is it.

Yet this doesn't seem to bother you ? But then you mention you used to work for them so perhaps that's why you turn a blind eye - yet I know there are other Scots on this forum that are less than impressed that Globespan's focus seems to be south of the border these days - at least they are being consistant in their views.

Quoting EDICHC (Reply 40):
BMI at least offer international routes out of EDI

and how many exactly on their own metal? BRU, CPH. A couple as code shares. not a huge commitment is it ?
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
 
gkirk
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RE: BA Aka London Airways Thread

Tue Mar 06, 2007 9:06 pm

The fact that GSM does long haul from MAN isn't good enough, they are a Scottish airline so should focus on flights from ABZ, EDI and GLA. Not MAN, not LPL, not NCL, not STN, not LGW.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!