sean377
Posts: 1128
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2001 1:18 am

BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:24 am

Spotted an article on BBC News:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6441103.stm

The British Mediterranean Airways (BMed) round-trip flights between London's Heathrow and Cardiff International have been taking off six days a week since October.

They have not appeared on departure or arrival boards, none of the 124 tickets were sold and all passenger seats remained empty.
Flying is the second greatest thrill known to man... Landing is the first!
 
sam1987
Posts: 550
Joined: Tue Jul 19, 2005 11:27 pm

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:44 am

I think that's fair enough, as long as KJ plan to do it for as little time as possible.

If the CAA will have rules that mean slots always have to be used, then of course some airlines are going to have to utilise them with empty or nearly empty flights.

Many airlines have "slot warmers". Take BD, for example, they put on extra (half empty) Embraer flights from LHR to LBA and MME whenever they need to keep a slot warm.
Next flights: LGW-LBA-LGW, LHR-SIN-SYD, SYD-BKK-LHR, LGW-GRO, GRO-CIA, CIA-MAD, MAD-LGW
 
BA777
Posts: 2048
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 11:40 pm

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:10 am

Same with a few years back FlightLine using the 146 from LHR to MAN and back every morning keeping a slot warm for QF i believe....

Its only the fact that BMED have more of an inclination towards BA (well, used to due to the ownership etc) and the media have picked up on it.

Henry

P.S. Sam, 120/120 for me on the synoptic paper  Smile
 
theginge
Posts: 496
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:53 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:25 am

This has been discussed on here many times in recent months, it is only this weekend that the media have picked up on it.

If there is anyone to blame it is the system for allocating slots and having to use them 80% of the time. It is fair enoough when things are going well but if it creeps up suddenly like it has done with BMED and they had a slot with no route to operate it at quite short notice then there should be something there that an Airline can get the slots back after not using them for the season as long as they use the full allocation the next season.
 
8herveg
Posts: 1103
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:01 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:34 am

Can airlines not just buy slots but not use them until theyre needed?
 
sfuk
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Sep 12, 2005 9:30 pm

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:02 am

Quoting 8herveg (Reply 4):
Can airlines not just buy slots but not use them until theyre needed?

No, they're on a 'use it or lose it' basis apparently??

Stu
 
vv701
Posts: 5805
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:07 am

Quoting 8herveg (Reply 4):
Can airlines not just buy slots but not use them until they're needed?

At LHR if you do not use a slot on 80 per cent of all occasions over a certain (?) time period it is confiscated and reallocated. So no. Airlines cannot just buy slots and not use them, at least at LHR.

It sounds very expensive to to ferry a 320 from LHR to CWL every day and ferry it back the following day as BMED have been doing since the start of the winter schedules. But at least they are avoiding BAA's high parking charges at LHR.
 
cardiffairtaxi
Posts: 298
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:08 pm

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:09 am

Quoting Sean377 (Thread starter):

As reported months ago
 Wink
British Med A320 LHR-CWL Tonight.Why? (by Cardiffairtaxi Nov 6 2006 in Civil Aviation)
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:12 am

Another bandwaggon for Brown, Cameron and the Greens.

It is a ridiculous waste, however, and shows up just how the system is flawed. Use it or lose it is the way to go but occupying airspace, runways and gates with no end in sight other than to hold onto slots for as long as possible is worthy of Alice Through The Looking Glass.

If an airline cannot regularly use a slot to carry passengers on a legitimate service, the slot should be given to another carrier

[Edited 2007-03-12 19:21:20]
 
vv701
Posts: 5805
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:16 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 6):
At LHR if you do not use a slot on 80 per cent of all occasions over a certain (?) time period

For 'certain (?) time period' read 'six months'.
 
bastew
Posts: 745
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:21 pm

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 2:45 am

BMI used o also use a saab340 on a LHR/EMA rotation for a while to keep a pair of slots.
 
britannia191a
Posts: 229
Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 2:31 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 3:15 am

How about all the positioning flights airlines do. For example Monarch may position a flight from Manchester to Gatwick??Theres no tax penatlies
 
boysteve
Posts: 887
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 7:02 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:39 am

Quoting BA777 (Reply 2):
Its only the fact that BMED have more of an inclination towards BA (well, used to due to the ownership etc) and the media have picked up on it.

I disagree, I think it would have made the media no matter who operated the flight.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 6):
At LHR if you do not use a slot on 80 per cent of all occasions over a certain (?) time period

The time period is 6 months. I agree that it is a stupid system we have in place if it encourages an airline to take such a decision. What do the rules allow? I mean could BMED not have leased the slots to another airline for the winter period? Was this ghost flight the only option available to them?
 
trintocan
Posts: 2728
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2000 6:02 pm

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:31 am

There we go, there are the absurdities of the rules of slots, especially at crowded airports like LHR. For starters, this sort of thing is not at all new, as indicated above - I certainly remember the QF flights with a BAe-146/ ARJ to MAN to keep the slots active. The thing is that the heavily congested LHR is still seen with such prestige that airlines will do anything to hold onto the slots there - the costs of using crew, fuel and so on is seen as minimal compared to the long-term benefits of keeping the slots. The trouble is that such flights are certainly not "green" and at this time will invariably cause controversy.

This sort of behaviour sounds suspiciously like BA - then again, KJ is a co-operative partner of BA. KJ had other problems in terms of deploying the plane elsewhere - unlike the EU, most of the destinations of KJ are outside and flights are governed by bilateral agreements limiting service numbers. Additionally, KJ cannot serve the same destinations as BA's mainline fleet so from the simple standpoint of keeping the slots they had no real options.

LHR slots cannot be held unused ad infinitum - if not used 80% of the time over a 6 month period they will be withdrawn and reallocated. On a different note, positioning flights are not really the same as these ghost flights because, while they do use slots the planes then go on to do regular services afterwards.

It must be a sight at CWL to see the BA-liveried A320s coming in daily now - I have not been down to the airport of late.

TrinToCan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
B747-437B
Posts: 8777
Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:39 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 9):
For 'certain (?) time period' read 'six months'.

No it isn't. The time periods are specifically the IATA Winter (last Sunday in October to the Saturday before the last Sunday in March) and the IATA Summer (last Sunday in March to the Saturday before the last Sunday in October) Scheduling Seasons.

Slot historicals are a very complex subject with a number of local rules and special loopholes. There are a fair number of people who specialise as consultants in this field.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
gilesdavies
Posts: 2280
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:51 pm

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:44 am

Whoops sorry! I did honestly do a search and bought up no results... (Have now requested my thread gets deleted!)

Running a little short of time but here are my comments in the opening to my thread for the same subject:

I was just reading the below link about BMED the BA franchise that BMI has recently acquired, about flying an empty A320 from LHR to CWL, they are offering no tickets for sale on this flight... Apparently this flight has been operating six times a week for BA for quite some time, just to secure one of BA's valuable slots at LHR, until they make better useage for this runway slot.

Now BMI have taken over the BMED, the route is now due to end from next week.

BMI Phantom Flight Service Grounded

I think I remember reading how Qantas operated a similar kind of flight between LHR and MAN, just to secure one of their slots.

Is this common practise at LHR, as I assume the airport operates a "Use it, or loose it!" policy on runway slots.

Does any other airports have airlines operating similar routes?

This is just my opinion...
But I think the CAA or some other related authority should intervene on these kind of flights, and force the airlines to surrender the slots it they are not willing to use the slots to fly a "proper" commercial service selling tickets to passengers.

I bet other airlines would jump at the chance of using these slots!

Im not some eco-activist and cannot admit Im as "green" as I could be! But when airlines are getting bad press here in the UK about flying and carbon emmissions. "Phantom" flights like reported above do them no favours!
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:48 am

Quoting Gilesdavies (Reply 15):
But I think the CAA or some other related authority should intervene on these kind of flights, and force the airlines to surrender the slots it they are not willing to use the slots to fly a "proper" commercial service selling tickets to passengers.

Exactly - not having a route structure where they can easily pick up another flight is not a reason for holding on to something badly needed by other airlines and the travelling public.
 
theginge
Posts: 496
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:53 am

RE: BMed Operating Empty Flights LHR-CWL

Tue Mar 13, 2007 6:49 am

The ending of the LHR-CWL flights as has nothing to do with BMI taking over BMED, although that article says it has. It is the fact that the IATA summer season begins in a couple of weeks when the slots will be used again for commercial services. The service would have stopped if BMI had bought BMED or not.

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