steeler83
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BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:15 am

I have been following the thread regarding the US-EU open skies proposal. One airline caught my eye when I was looking through this, BMI airways. They have been pushing for such an agreement since 1998 because they want to do an expansion into the USA. I guess this means adding more cities besides ORD and LAS. The only way they could do this would be if a EU-US open skies agreement were to happen, given that BMI flies out of LHR.

I would like this thread to be specific to BMI and how it will function should US-EU happen (although from some of the posts, it looks like there is a tentative agreement), so I would not hijack the current open skies thread.

I am kinda hoping that something happens between BMI airways and PIT (keep in mind that I seriously doubt this will happen...) Perhaps US could bank some flights, or even add frequencies to IND or CMH or other places for a BMI A330 to LHR. This is just a though; again I doubt this will occur...

I am interested in other thoughts. What other cities might BMI be intersted in. Do you suppose they'd go to PHL, despite heavy competition with BA with 777s? How about PHX or CLT? (I am sure these are more likely than them coming to PIT)
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IADLHR
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:25 am

At first I think they would do LHR-JFK, maybe LHR-LAX. Since they are a member of Star Alliance, I would think that, at first,after JFK and LAX, they would pretty much limit themselves to Star hubs in the US. Perhaps, down the road a bit they would consider expanding into other cities.

[Edited 2007-03-07 18:30:13]
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:37 am

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 1):
At first I think they would do LHR-JFK, maybe LHR-LAX. Since they are a member of Star Alliance, I would think that, at first,after JFK and LAX, they would pretty much limit themselves to Star hubs in the US. Perhaps, down the road a bit they would consider expanding into other cities.

I am thinking more along the lines of just sticking with the Star Alliance hubs. If they were to go into JFK from LHR, they're going against BA with 777s and larger. I believe BA flies 747s on that route. I think they also use the same for LAX service as well. Who knows, maybe they might be able to handle JFK and LAX or SFO first, and then fly into the Star hubs. Oh wait... SFO IS a star hub... United... oops

The only 2 US cities they fly to are Star hubs... Chicago (ORD) - United, and LAS with US.
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IADLHR
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:54 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 2):

I am thinking more along the lines of just sticking with the Star Alliance hubs

I think somewhere they have publicly said they would first go to JFK. Now that UA no longer does LHR-JFK, JFK would be filling in an obvious missing link in Star.
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:00 am

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 3):
I think somewhere they have publicly said they would first go to JFK. Now that UA no longer does LHR-JFK, JFK would be filling in an obvious missing link in Star.

Oh yeah, I forgot about UA discontinuing LHR-JFK.

But if they do limit themselves to the Star hubs, would they only include PHL, PHX, CLT, IAD and DEN then? Do you see them going into the focus cities like BOS or PIT? They may not be hubs, but they are significant bases in US' system... BOS I could see; high O&D...
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Humberside
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:04 am

bmi could go for up to three strategies

Star hubs - stick a codeshare with UA/US on the routes and they should be relatively risk free compared to any other US routes. BUT this would require the agreement of UA/US
Major cities that arent Star hubs such as JFK/EWR/BOS/MIA - lots of demand but lots of competition. Although Star might want bmi to do this, LHR-NYC for example is a huge hole in Star's worldwide network
Niche routes - this would be very high risk but significatly reduce the chance of facing any competition. This would be cities like PIT, IND, BDL but bmi would need to be sure there would be enough demand. And the lack of connections at the US destination (except at PIT) could be a problem

But while bmi have the LHR slots for new US service, they would need new aircraft (unless they dropped existing long haul flights). And A330/B767/1340/B777's aren't exactly readily available at the moment ...
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IADLHR
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:08 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 4):
But if they do limit themselves to the Star hubs, would they only include PHL, PHX, CLT, IAD and DEN then? Do you see them going into the focus cities like BOS or PIT?

Possibly IAD early on. The way I see it, UA may have to pull a frequency to do Denver-LHR. Of course they could upgrade other IAD flights to 747 to compensate. However, I wonder if BD would do LHR-IAD to replace the possible loss of frequency of LHR-IAD.

My question is what will happen to their ex-MAN-USA flights. Will they stay or be cut and the aircraft shifted to LHR-USA?

I forgot about BOS and PHX. PHX maybe, perhaps. However, before that would come BOS im sure of that.

Dont know if they would possibly try LHR-MCO or MIA. It will be interesting.
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:33 am

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 6):
Dont know if they would possibly try LHR-MCO

I think they used to fly to MCO... or was that VS... no, as a matter of fact it was VS, they pulled out of MCO by 2001.

Given that, MCO probably could work.

Quoting Humberside (Reply 5):
bmi could go for up to three strategies

Star hubs - stick a codeshare with UA/US on the routes and they should be relatively risk free compared to any other US routes. BUT this would require the agreement of UA/US

Hmmm true. I hope US and UA would agree to that. Unless US wants to go to LHR from PHL or CLT. UA already has flights into LHR, but I think they're only from ORD and IAD now. So yes, I wonder if both of those airlines would agree to such a codeshare...

Quoting Humberside (Reply 5):
Major cities that arent Star hubs such as JFK/EWR/BOS/MIA - lots of demand but lots of competition. Although Star might want bmi to do this, LHR-NYC for example is a huge hole in Star's worldwide network

Yeah, as IADLHR pointed out, UA pulled their JFK-LHR service, so the door is open for bmi to come in...

Quoting Humberside (Reply 5):
Niche routes - this would be very high risk but significatly reduce the chance of facing any competition. This would be cities like PIT, IND, BDL but bmi would need to be sure there would be enough demand. And the lack of connections at the US destination (except at PIT) could be a problem

So regarding connections at the US destination, PIT is the least problematic, considering they have 150 daily flights on US, while IND has about 50 or so with NW? I don't know about BDL though...

The thing with PIT that could be a problem, well it is like you said... bmi has to be sure that demand exists for such routes. PIT does not have too much of that. However I still think that this could change. Maybe there would not be enough demand for daily service, but perhaps weekly or seasonal service to LHR eventually...

If I was a member of the ACAA, I would be thinking about this... I am sure the folks at PHL are considering this as well, but there is plenty of demand for daily bmi service I would think...
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lovinitflyboy
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:52 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 7):
as a matter of fact it was VS, they pulled out of MCO by 2001.

Virgin still fly to MCO from both LGW and MAN, and and even GLA starting this year, you can see upto 4 VS 747-400 in MCO at the same time, so it must work for them.

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 7):
UA already has flights into LHR, but I think they're only from ORD and IAD now

also SFO & LAX
 
AlanUK
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:00 am

IF bmi gets the go ahead to fly to the USA, IF the open sky agreement is reached, I don't feel JFK would be a good option to start. BA has a huge advantage on this route.

BA flies 11x flights a day to New York, on a mixture of 747 High Club World density, and 777s. Add to that the strong parternship with fellow OneWorld's American Airline and you have a very safe and very powerful stronghold on this sector. BA's New York route is by far the most convenient for business traveller due to its frequency and convenience (BA's Terminal 7 at JFK).

bmi could start on the thinner routes with A330s where competition may not be so tough. I'm thinking of places such as Detroit, where BA operates a 767, and where the car industry still provides a lot of business traffic.

That said, the Open Skies Agreement is still far from done!
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:00 am

Quoting Lovinitflyboy (Reply 8):
Virgin still fly to MCO from both LGW and MAN, and and even GLA starting this year, you can see upto 4 VS 747-400 in MCO at the same time, so it must work for them.

Ok so I was apparently mistaken here. Thanks for the correction

Quoting Lovinitflyboy (Reply 8):
also SFO & LAX

And I was wrong here, too... right, what aircraft and how many frequencies does UA fly on SFO and LAX-LHR?

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 9):
BA flies 11x flights a day to New York, on a mixture of 747 High Club World density, and 777s. Add to that the strong parternship with fellow OneWorld's American Airline and you have a very safe and very powerful stronghold on this sector. BA's New York route is by far the most convenient for business traveller due to its frequency and convenience (BA's Terminal 7 at JFK).

Yeah, those were my thoughts as well, but I guess some think that maybe another airline like bmi might pull off LHR-JFK. With BA's 11 flights and AA's flights, yeah. I don't see this being very successful for bmi...

Quoting AlanUK (Reply 9):
Open Skies Agreement is still far from done!

No question. There will be disputes left and right about this. An internation Wright dispute if you will... how long did that last until that eventually went away?

[Edited 2007-03-07 20:04:43]
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Richard28
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:56 am

I doubt that BMI could mount much of a challenge from LHR.

They have already shown they could not survive against foreign competition and local competition (VS & BA) to Mumbai, and I dont see anything dramatically different in flying to the USA.

Competing against BA, VS and all the US carriers will be too much for them - and add to that other european carriers could fly direct from LHR to the USA as well under open skies.

Plus they haven't got the metal to launch a proper USA campaign (and certainly not for the envisaged October commencement date).

My guess would be niche markets are all BMI will play in, if at all.
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:05 am

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 11):
They have already shown they could not survive against foreign competition and local competition (VS & BA) to Mumbai, and I dont see anything dramatically different in flying to the USA.

Competing against BA, VS and all the US carriers will be too much for them - and add to that other european carriers could fly direct from LHR to the USA as well under open skies.

Plus they haven't got the metal to launch a proper USA campaign (and certainly not for the envisaged October commencement date).

Yeah, I have seen their fleet list. Only 42 aircraft, with 3 of them, A330s, being the only capable aircraft for transatlantic flights. True, that is not a whole lot to work with... And the A330 is not a competitive aircraft when placed against a T7 or larger...

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 11):
My guess would be niche markets are all BMI will play in, if at all.

Interesting...  scratchchin 
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timboflier215
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:53 am

If bmi had a larger widebody fleet, they could be a serious player, what with all their LHR slots. As it is, even with open skies, they will not be able to do anything of substance at all.
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:50 am

Quoting Timboflier215 (Reply 13):
If bmi had a larger widebody fleet, they could be a serious player, what with all their LHR slots.

Like if they had some 23 aircraft instead of 3... Just out of curiosity, how long has bmi been flying?
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star_member
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:11 am

i think under open skies, LH may find uses for the LHR slots that belong to BD either flying under their own banner or supplying aircraft. i think LH would want more control though. i understand LH is obligated to buy more shares in BD is sir michael wishes. the proposition would certainly be more appealing under open skies.
 
atmx2000
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 9:49 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Thread starter):
I am kinda hoping that something happens between BMI airways and PIT (keep in mind that I seriously doubt this will happen...) Perhaps US could bank some flights, or even add frequencies to IND or CMH or other places for a BMI A330 to LHR. This is just a though; again I doubt this will occur...



Quoting Steeler83 (Thread starter):
I am interested in other thoughts. What other cities might BMI be intersted in. Do you suppose they'd go to PHL, despite heavy competition with BA with 777s? How about PHX or CLT? (I am sure these are more likely than them coming to PIT)

I think this would be low priority. It makes sense to connect to Star hubs first, like PHX and CLT. They would have an advantage in that both ends are a hub for them.

Quoting Humberside (Reply 5):
Although Star might want bmi to do this, LHR-NYC for example is a huge hole in Star's worldwide network

UA dropped it because they don't have a hub at either end. But it would be difficult for BMI.

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 11):
They have already shown they could not survive against foreign competition and local competition (VS & BA) to Mumbai, and I dont see anything dramatically different in flying to the USA.

They have alliance partners in the US to feed them traffic. US Star alliance passengers might prefer connecting in LHR over FRA, though obviously the connections are less extensive from LHR on Star carriers.
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Bicoastal
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 10:21 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 7):
UA already has flights into LHR, but I think they're only from ORD and IAD now.

Wrong....they fly from SFO, LAX, ORD and IAD to LHR. Denver is the only United hub without a United flight to LHR.
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steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:33 am

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 17):
Wrong....they fly from SFO, LAX, ORD and IAD to LHR. Denver is the only United hub without a United flight to LHR.

Somebody already corrected me on that... I didn't realize that there were LHR flights from SFO and LAX, but that is a rather dumb and unintelligent assumption to make just because they're on the west coast and provide to be a greate gateway to the Orient.
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luketenley
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:47 pm

Yeah I definately think if PIT does get international flights back, it is going to be from an airline like BMI and not US. So do people that I know that work for the ACAA. As far as if they are looking into anything yet, I have no clue.
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scotron11
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:48 pm

Quoting Timboflier215 (Reply 13):

If bmi had a larger widebody fleet, they could be a serious player, what with all their LHR slots. As it is, even with open skies, they will not be able to do anything of substance at all.

Could be an attractive acquisition for an American carrier? I know LH/SK have been wanting to get rid of their shares in BD for a while now, and I don't see LH doing LHR-USA flights. And there also has been the rumor that VS would like to take them over. But even VS doesn't have the aircraft for a major expansion of LHR-USA flights.
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 12:56 pm

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 20):
Could be an attractive acquisition for an American carrier? I know LH/SK have been wanting to get rid of their shares in BD for a while now, and I don't see LH doing LHR-USA flights. And there also has been the rumor that VS would like to take them over. But even VS doesn't have the aircraft for a major expansion of LHR-USA flights.

I guess that is possible. So I guess the only airlines capable of any USA expansion are EI and BA?
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atmx2000
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:00 pm

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 20):
Could be an attractive acquisition for an American carrier? I know LH/SK have been wanting to get rid of their shares in BD for a while now, and I don't see LH doing LHR-USA flights. And there also has been the rumor that VS would like to take them over. But even VS doesn't have the aircraft for a major expansion of LHR-USA flights.

I don't think ownership allows are changing under the new agreement, and may become more restrictive for US stakes in EU carriers.

Perhaps if the open skies agreement allows EU carriers to have flights originating from any EU country, an EU carrier will buy out BD and operate it as a hub. It makes more sense for LH to open a western European hub if they can seemlessly incorporate the operations into their own, at least for US and EU flights.
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scotron11
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 1:11 pm

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 21):

I guess that is possible. So I guess the only airlines capable of any USA expansion are EI and BA?

I guess them and US carriers. Maybe BD would be attractive to USAirways?? Or Continental? It would give CO all the access they need, and them some!
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:29 pm

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 23):
I guess them and US carriers. Maybe BD would be attractive to USAirways?? Or Continental? It would give CO all the access they need, and them some!

True, but doesn't BD run an all-Airbus fleet IIRC? I guess BD, in that regard, would seem rather valuable to US.
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timboflier215
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Thu Mar 08, 2007 11:20 pm

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 20):
Could be an attractive acquisition for an American carrier?

Maybe. But foreign investors cannot own more than 49% of a British carrier, otherwise it will lose it's status as a British carrier (hence why SQ own 49% of VS).

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 14):
how long has bmi been flying?

It started out in 1938 as an RAF flying school. Became British Midland Airways in 1964. Current livery adopted in 2000. Their website (flybmi.com) has a good section on it, if you're really interested.
 
scotron11
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:11 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 24):

True, but doesn't BD run an all-Airbus fleet IIRC? I guess BD, in that regard, would seem rather valuable to US.

It certainly would give them the aircraft they need. And seeing US was ready to buy DL for $10Bn, how much would they need for 49% of BD??
 
steeler83
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RE: BMI And Open Skies Agreement

Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:44 am

Quoting Scotron11 (Reply 26):
It certainly would give them the aircraft they need. And seeing US was ready to buy DL for $10Bn, how much would they need for 49% of BD??

Oh oh! How about a very small fraction of what the DL offer was?!! Wow! This would look rather interesting. Only through a US-EU agreement I am sure, though...
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