Concorde001
Topic Author
Posts: 1186
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2005 12:53 am

Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:15 pm

We all know Branson wants BD, but it is being reported that he wants the airline even more as a result of Open Skies. It makes sense - it might be hard to compete as it does (mainly O & D trafic) on US routes when CO and DL arrive.

Virgin Atlantic Airways, the U.K. carrier controlled by billionaire Richard Branson, is still interested in acquiring BMI after an ''open-skies'' agreement with the U.S. was approved by the Europe Union yesterday.

''We've always said that we remain interested in acquiring BMI,'' Paul Charles, a spokesman for London-based Virgin Atlantic, said in an interview today. ''In the light of open skies, in a few years time there may be more consolidation...''

...BMI ''still makes sense as a strategic fit,'' said Charles. ''We're only a long-haul carrier and it may make sense for us to expand by being a short-haul carrier as well.''

Combining Virgin Atlantic's long-haul network with BMI's short-haul flights would also boost the number of transfer passengers carried and add slots at Heathrow for Virgin, he said.

An offer from Virgin Atlantic ''is something we're not interested in,'' Jo Tabberer, a spokeswoman for BMI, in an interview today. ''It's certainly not something on our radar. There are no talks going on.''

The move to open Heathrow to other airlines may increase the value of takeoff and landing slots at the airport, where BMI owns about 13 percent of the spaces, second only to British Airways' 41 percent.


Source: Bloomberg

Reuters has published Sir Michael Bishop's response to speculation about VS bidding for BD:

Bmi Chairman Michael Bishop was quoted in the Telegraph on Friday as denying his firm was a bid target.

"I've no plans to change the shareholders. People always go on fishing trips but it's business as usual here," the newspaper quoted him as saying.

The bmi spokeswoman added that bmi's position -- that it was not interested in a takeover bid -- remained unchanged


Source: BMI.XML" target="_blank">Reuters

I hope they hurry up and merge! It is interesing to hear SMB say ownerhsip of BD will not change ...when does LH's contractual obligation to buy SMB's shares expire?
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:23 pm

I guess such a move would put an end to all this talk about which US cities BMI will expand to from LHR. Would that mean that VS would then join the Star Alliance, or would that leave a void in the alliance?
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
Kevin777
Posts: 951
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:36 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:41 pm

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
Combining Virgin Atlantic's long-haul network with BMI's short-haul flights would also boost the number of transfer passengers carried and add slots at Heathrow for Virgin, he said.

Indeed, the latter. Right now, many BD slots are used for stuff not "worthy" of LHR, for instance lower-yield short hauls in the U.K., or intra-European transfers via LHR

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
I hope they hurry up and merge! It is interesing to hear SMB say ownerhsip of BD will not change ...when does LH's contractual obligation to buy SMB's shares expire?

I think SK's obligation expires pretty soon, I'd imagine the same goes for LH... with open skies though, BD suddenly became worth much more for these two.. probably, the airline is not as hated by LH and SK now...!

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 1):
I guess such a move would put an end to all this talk about which US cities BMI will expand to from LHR. Would that mean that VS would then join the Star Alliance, or would that leave a void in the alliance?

Agree. I think the best option would be to focus the strengths in a single long-haul UK carrier to the US (in addition to BA) rather than two separate. Also, VS has a much, much better long-haul brand than BD. As for VS in Star? Well, I still think they could be better off alone, but yes, Star is likely closer now..

Either way, go get'em, VS!

Kevin777  Smile
"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:59 pm

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 2):
Agree. I think the best option would be to focus the strengths in a single long-haul UK carrier to the US (in addition to BA) rather than two separate. Also, VS has a much, much better long-haul brand than BD. As for VS in Star? Well, I still think they could be better off alone, but yes, Star is likely closer now..

I don't want to seem single or narrow-minded or anything, but PIT is dying to get transatlantic service back, and since US will not bring it back, it seems that an international airline would hold the only possibility. With BMI already in Star, I figure that they'd be the most likely airline to start service to PIT from Europe. LH said no. I don't think Swiss, SAS, TAP, or Austrian would agree to this either; they'd all say the same thing LH did, "No, it's not feasible."

PIT's international demand is growing, I am sure that by next summer, there will be sufficient demand for at least Summer service to Europe. Bayer is actually making a much larger presence in Western PA, as is Westinghouse/Toshiba. UPMC is expanding overseas as well. Currently, 300 daily passengers depart PIT for Europe, and I only see this figure increasing over time. Plus, some regional flights lost when the hub closed are coming back. Morgantown, Parkersburg, etc... they're returning after poor performance with Regions Air service to CLE. Colgan will be bringing back the service with "larger" Saab340s. When those flights were originally flown to PIT, US used Beech1900s, so IMO, a Saab is somewhat of an upgrade.

I think if VS were to take over and fly LHR-US routes, they'd only focus on O&D cities, and PIT does not have the O&D, so VS will not be coming to PIT if that's the case... What I stated above would hopefully look attractive to an airline in the even that they hopefully look into launching service. They would still need connecting traffic to fill the plane. I am just saying that the return of transatlantic service to PIT would be a huge economic shot in the arm. I think it would help if the international airline was a member of the Star Alliance so that a codeshare between US and this airline could go through. US would provide the connecting traffic for the international airline's flight to LHR. Unless US could propose a codeshare with VS though, but is that likely?

[Edited 2007-03-23 15:01:35]
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
UAL777UK
Posts: 2107
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:16 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:02 pm

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 2):
probably, the airline is not as hated by LH and SK now...!

Exactly, and I think for that reason alone BMI will stay independant or maybe LH will buy into it more?
 
Kevin777
Posts: 951
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:36 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:05 pm

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 3):
Unless US could propose a codeshare with VS though, but is that likely?

I think it could be - after all, VS code-shares with who ever they find right. CO, SQ, EK.. don't they already codeshare with US in the U.S:? They had one with HP back then.

Star or not, VS could codeshare with US I reckon..

Kevin777
"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:16 pm

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 5):
I think it could be - after all, VS code-shares with who ever they find right. CO, SQ, EK.. don't they already codeshare with US in the U.S:? They had one with HP back then.

Star or not, VS could codeshare with US I reckon..

Then all we can do is  pray  for this to happen  crossfingers 
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
flyorski
Posts: 725
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 8:23 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:27 pm

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 4):
BMI will stay independant or maybe LH will buy into it more

I would not be surprised to see LH purchase BMI......
"None are more hopelessly enslaved, than those who falsly believe they are free" -Goethe
 
bmiexpat
Posts: 154
Joined: Wed Sep 21, 2005 11:11 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:58 pm

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 2):
Right now, many BD slots are used for stuff not "worthy" of LHR, for instance lower-yield short hauls in the U.K.,

bmi provides very effective competition to BA on EDI, GLA, ABZ and MAN, and is the only carrier serving LHR from LBA, MME, INV and BFS. Without bmi serving these domestic stations, then quite a lot of the UK would be either without a connection to LHR, or face the old style monopoly fo BA with high fares and poor service!
 
7LBAC111
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 9:17 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Fri Mar 23, 2007 11:52 pm

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 2):
BD suddenly became worth much more

And with the acquisition of BMED, and their slots, they may have been very shrewd, for the first time in living memory, in increasing the value of themselves.

7L
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
jfk777
Posts: 5818
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:36 am

BMI's turn to cash in has finally arrived, SAS & Lufthansa have been a long anxious shareholder to sell. Given Sir Michael Bishop's age, he may say it time to head to the British Highlands with his shot guns and labradors. Other then BA, BMI has the largest stash of LHR slots, these are worth their wieght in Platnuim, the slots may the only valuable part of the airline group.
 
BrianDromey
Posts: 1931
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2006 2:23 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 7:35 am

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 2):
Indeed, the latter. Right now, many BD slots are used for stuff not "worthy" of LHR, for instance lower-yield short hauls in the U.K., or intra-European transfers via LHR

There are lost of airports around the UK which depend on bmi to get them to LHR. As it stands BA, VS, EY, QR and any *A carrier serving LHR use bmi to get into the regions. I agree that there are many routes which bmi may wish to cut if it were to become part of VS or another carrier, but the routes to the regions would not be top of the list. Destinations like PMI, NCE, etc would be more likely to see the chop.

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 10):
the slots may the only valuable part of the airline group.

I respectfully disagree. bmi have a great(if slightly confusing) brand. They have tarnished it slightly, but are working to improve things. The new medium haul seems promising as does the new service concept. They also have a very strong regional operation and a damn good LCC. IF bmi could get its resources together and assign the right equipment and service levels to each route they could do exceptionally well.

I always enjoy my bmi/bmibaby flights. The crews and the service are great, and the fares are pretty good as well. So I'm happy.
Brian.
Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
 
User avatar
metalinyoni
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 8:52 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:20 am

Generally people seem to think VS will aquire BMI, but how unlikely is it that the reverse scenario happens - BMI buying Virgin? Its a genuine question as I have no real idea of the economice of a take over bid either way.
300, 310, 319, 320, 321, 332, 333, 342, 343, 345, 346, 380, 707, 727, 733, 734, 735, 73G, 738, 742, 743, 744, 752, 753,
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:07 am

Quoting MetalInyoni (Reply 12):
Generally people seem to think VS will aquire BMI, but how unlikely is it that the reverse scenario happens - BMI buying Virgin? Its a genuine question as I have no real idea of the economice of a take over bid either way.

Hmmm... I never thought of that, but again the question... Can BMI afford a buyout of a larger, a MUCH larger airline. Granted we've seen this occur already, with HP buying US to become the 5th largest airline in the US, and US made an offer to buy DL (which would have been an abomination of the airline industry if that would have happened IMO.) That would be interesting, and I am sure that the Virgin name would stay and everything. Ya know, maybe a marriage of BMI and VS wouldn't be so bad...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
masseybrown
Posts: 4407
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:40 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:27 am

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 10):
BMI has the largest stash of LHR slots, these are worth their wieght in Platnuim, the slots may the only valuable part of the airline group.

Some of them are - say, the first 30 or so dep/arr pairs. After the new US carriers get a reasonable presence established and the initial frantic demand is satisfied, the slot value will revert to whatever it was worth last week.
 
AirNZ
Posts: 544
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:03 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:41 am

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 2):
Indeed, the latter. Right now, many BD slots are used for stuff not "worthy" of LHR, for instance lower-yield short hauls in the U.K., or intra-European transfers via LHR

Sorry, don't quite get you there. Why are flights within the UK not 'worthy of LHR"??????
Flown:F27/TU134/Viscount/Trident/BAC111/727/737/747/757/767/777/300/310/320/321/330/340/DC9/DC10/Dash8/Shorts330/BAe146
 
BN727
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 2:31 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:21 pm

Just settle down everybody. Open skies are not open yet. If they do open then I hope Southwest and Jetblue go to UK and fly in the face of Euro carriers...Keep the playing field even though. Equal airport landing and airport operating fees should apply to all.
 
VonRichtofen
Posts: 4260
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2000 3:10 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:28 pm

I'm curious as to what other STAR carriers would think of VS acquiring BD, particularly the STAR carriers with a large presence at LHR, namely AC and UA?


Kris
 
luketenley
Posts: 415
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:51 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 1:48 pm

When I talked to a buddy of mine that works for the ACAA, we both agreed on that US won't be the airline to bring back international service to PIT, but from an independent carrier like BMI. I could even see some international flights being chartered rather then scheduled. Could be another option. I do see international flights of some sort coming within the next few years. Traffic is growing at PIT.
Pittsburgh International Airport lover
 
QXatFAT
Posts: 2310
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 3:51 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 3:58 pm

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 5):
I think it could be - after all, VS code-shares with who ever they find right. CO, SQ, EK.. don't they already codeshare with US in the U.S:? They had one with HP back then.

Yes VS used to code-share with HP but that has now been terminated IIRC. With the new US, a few of the code-shares were dropped with VS and Eva. It would be nice for VS to code-share with US until it gets Virgin America up and going on a good size scale. Plus, with a code-share with VS, they can get people to Africa and Asia.
Don't Tread On Me!
 
scotron11
Posts: 1181
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:54 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 4:38 pm

Does VS have the money to purchase BD?? Based on LHR slots alone, BD's valuation could be from £500M-2.2B ($900M-$4.2B). Also, VS is 49% owned by SQ, so where would that kind of money come from?

Because VS is a private company, it's hard to know what kind of profits it generates from their flight operations. Additionally, if VS did takeover BD, it would do nothing to change their severe widebody shortage right now. And I don't see them taking delivery of the 15-20 widebodies needed to launch service to 10 US destinations in a years time.
 
ThePRGuy
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 10:07 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:28 pm

Well this ain't happening
Sir Mick will do his usual stubborn "I'd rather stay in this big house and lose loads of money!!!"
Shame, Virgin Europe (rebrand of bmi) could work, don't know if the Virgin America business model would apply - all airbus though (bar EMB)!!

Actually think about it:
Virgin Blue (Australasia/longhaul to US)
Virgin Nigeria (Africa)
Virgin America (US/Canada shorthaul)
Virgin Atlantic (Longhaul to most areas)
Virgin Express (SN Brussels) (EU)

Add bmi to the portfolio and Sir Dick has a rather large airline empire going on....
Thanks
Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:18 pm

I'd imagine that Lufthansa might be eyeing up at least SAS' share in bmi, the latter company has been in financial difficulties in the past and could make a small fortune from selling their shares to the former company who would want to cash in on the potential cash cow of trans Atlantic flights from LHR, whilst using a respected and well-known(ish) brand like bmi for the services. Lufthansa could invest in the fleet, product and branding - a return to British Midland would certainly do them a lot of good to establish themselves as British and returning to a popular name rather than the moniker they use now - and the new airline would be serving trunk domestic (and DUB) routes, an expansive medium haul network to Central Asia and Africa, and potentially a trans-Atlantic route network. Plenty of potential to turn a basket case airline into a nice money maker. I would hate to see bmi gobbled up into Virgin, they would undoubtedly slash BD presence in the regions.
LCC Lover Lite
 
JGPH1A
Posts: 15080
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 4:36 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:37 pm

Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 21):
Actually think about it:
Virgin Blue (Australasia/longhaul to US)
Virgin Nigeria (Africa)
Virgin America (US/Canada shorthaul)
Virgin Atlantic (Longhaul to most areas)
Virgin Express (SN Brussels) (EU)

Except that Virgin Blue isn't owned by SRB any more, and Virgin Express is being incorporated into Brussels Airlines.
Young and beautiful and thin and gorgeous AND BANNED ! Cya at airspaceonline.com, losers
 
User avatar
ClassicLover
Posts: 3936
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 8:44 pm

Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 23):
Except that Virgin Blue isn't owned by SRB any more,

Not wholly, he still has 20% or thereabouts.
I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
 
Kevin777
Posts: 951
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:36 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:33 pm

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 8):
Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 2):
Right now, many BD slots are used for stuff not "worthy" of LHR, for instance lower-yield short hauls in the U.K.,

bmi provides very effective competition to BA on EDI, GLA, ABZ and MAN, and is the only carrier serving LHR from LBA, MME, INV and BFS. Without bmi serving these domestic stations, then quite a lot of the UK would be either without a connection to LHR, or face the old style monopoly fo BA with high fares and poor service!



Quoting BrianDromey (Reply 11):
Destinations like PMI, NCE, etc would be more likely to see the chop.



Quoting AirNZ (Reply 15):


Sorry, don't quite get you there. Why are flights within the UK not 'worthy of LHR"??????

OK, guess I didn't make myself clear here, sorry! What I meant was that a lot of BD capacity at LHR is used for stuff not worthy of LHR; in the sense that the capacity could be used much better elsewhere.

Flights from the UK to LHR are worthy of LHR, however, IMO only to the extend that pax on these flights are a) high yields going from the various UK dests to London using LHR because it's very convenient or b) connecting to long hauls out of LHR.

If pax on these flights do not fit into the above groups, I think it's a waste of slots. For instance, I was once offered a cheap BD flight GLA (maybe it was EDI)-PMI via LHR.. Now THAT is not worthy of LHR! BrianDormey, perfectly agree with you. Also, low-yields going to London from, say, GLA, can go to LTN or STN - donøt waste precious LHR capacity on this IMO

No offence to anyone!!!  Smile

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 10):
the slots may the only valuable part of the airline group.

Well you're not completely off there...

Quoting QXatFAT (Reply 19):
It would be nice for VS to code-share with US until it gets Virgin America up and going on a good size scale. Plus, with a code-share with VS, they can get people to Africa and Asia

Well, let's see if VS will codeshare with VA in the first place - they don't codeshare with DJ. I think the Virgin group should keep their airlines separate.

Kevin777
"I was waiting for you at DFW, but you must have been in LUV" CPH-HAM-CPH CR9
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sat Mar 24, 2007 11:44 pm

Quoting Luketenley (Reply 18):
When I talked to a buddy of mine that works for the ACAA, we both agreed on that US won't be the airline to bring back international service to PIT, but from an independent carrier like BMI. I could even see some international flights being chartered rather then scheduled. Could be another option. I do see international flights of some sort coming within the next few years. Traffic is growing at PIT.

Yeah, hopefully the annual pax numbers won't be under 10 million for long! I just think that it would be more likely that this airline be part of the Star Alliance, or perhaps US could codeshare with another airline like VS.

Local traffic is coming back. I wonder if Parker is going to continue to bring back service lost from the dehubbing. I don't expect all of it to return (then PIT would once again be larger than PHL and CLT. That isn't happening). I think a focus city/mini hub of 180-220 flights would make sense. PIT had that many in the late Summer of 2005 around the time of the merger. Along with 4 mainline flights returning, including SEA and SAN service, along with additional LAX and SFO frequencies, some regional service is returning courtesy of Colgan Air. I know MGW and PKB-PIT is returning with Colgan using Saab340Bs, an increase from the Beech1900s used prior to the dehubbing. As soon as all of this returns, PIT should have more than 150 daily flights again, and hopefully this number will go up from there.

The glass is half full  optimist 
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:12 am

Personally, I would not like to see bmi swallowed up by Virgin, bmi are my local airline and think with the exception of some "interesting" business moves, have had a proud history representing Britain's second largest airline. They now have an issue that their previous role of being the major competitor to BA has shifted, with easyJet and Ryanair now being the low-cost competitor and they're doing it with the innovation and aggression that bmi cannot match. As a result, the airline has expanded into it's new Central Asian market with the purchase of BMED and the Saudi routes, and will no doubt continue to do well independently expanding across the Atlantic, particularly with the backing of Lufthansa who will want a piece of the UK/US cake.

I can understand the many reasons why a merger with virgin atlantic would make a lot of sense, not least because it would provide a second UK airline with real clout, a huge bank of slots, a very good product and a well-known brand. I just worry that virgin would be too quick to forget about bmi's domestic product, their presence in the regions and their mediumhaul product which all have potential, if not the glamour, to be real money spinners.
LCC Lover Lite
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:55 am

Quoting Lite (Reply 27):
I can understand the many reasons why a merger with virgin atlantic would make a lot of sense, not least because it would provide a second UK airline with real clout, a huge bank of slots, a very good product and a well-known brand. I just worry that virgin would be too quick to forget about bmi's domestic product, their presence in the regions and their mediumhaul product which all have potential, if not the glamour, to be real money spinners.

I can see your point, and I myself am not entirely for the VS takeover of BMI. I said above that it would likely mean that Star loses a member. Then, someone above said that VS could codeshare, say with US or UA, or NW, CO, etc to provide necessary connections at that airline's hubs. Still, I am more for BMI to remain alone...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 2:13 am

VS would probably want to keep the A321 fleet to fly into the lucrative middle east market, where they already fly to Dubai, and would probably keep the A319 aircraft for trunk domestic routes to feed the LHR base - not least with a number of their crews commuting - but the danger is that they would want to close down or sell the two regional elements of bmi; bmibaby and bmi regional.

My ideal solution, and bearing in mind that I want the bmi group to remain independent or in Star, would be for Virgin to buy bmi and become an affiliated member of the Star Alliance - ie VS keeps their independence, but passengers benefit from through-checkin, frequent flyer benefits etc. VS would keep the A319s to fly; BHD, DUB, EDI, GLA, ABZ, MAN, LBA and MME. The airline would use the available slots from closing BRU, AMS and the leisure routes to add more flights to the middle east or across the Atlantic. VS's product on the mediumhaul A321s could be similar to their longhaul fleet, whilst the A319s could be kitted out like the proposed virgin america product, although all-economy. Virgin would then team up with another independent medium-sized low-cost airline with plans to expand (like Jet2 or Monarch) to merge bmibaby and more volumous bmi regional routes into, with any really niche bmi regional markets being handed over to another specialist carrier.
LCC Lover Lite
 
masseybrown
Posts: 4407
Joined: Wed Dec 11, 2002 2:40 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 2:54 am

Quoting Luketenley (Reply 18):
When I talked to a buddy of mine that works for the ACAA, we both agreed on that US won't be the airline to bring back international service to PIT,

I guess somebody at ACAA should know best, but I wouldn't give up on US completely. Parker and Co. seem very pragmatic and if a PIT - Europe flight would be as profitable as other alternatives for the aircraft, I think they'd give it a try.
 
UAL777UK
Posts: 2107
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:16 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:40 am

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 17):
I'm curious as to what other STAR carriers would think of VS acquiring BD, particularly the STAR carriers with a large presence at LHR, namely AC and UA?

I think that they would not be happy at all, it would no doubt signal the end of any connection to the Star Alliance, UA would lose a lot of feed. I am sure that LH has always opposed any idea of VS joining Star. IMHO I think LH will increase its stake in BD, and possibly lease some metal to them so as to expand into the LHR transatlantic market.
 
Glareskin
Posts: 1001
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 9:35 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 3:55 am

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 17):
I'm curious as to what other STAR carriers would think of VS acquiring BD, particularly the STAR carriers with a large presence at LHR, namely AC and UA?

I thought UA was voluntarily reducing it's presence at LHR. Didn't they recently sell some slots to DL? If so they probably won't mind LH buying BD. How about the EU? Isn't the rol of LH getting too dominant in Europe?
There's still a long way to go before all the alliances deserve a star...
 
UAL777UK
Posts: 2107
Joined: Sun Nov 20, 2005 1:16 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:07 am

Quoting Glareskin (Reply 32):
Didn't they recently sell some slots to DL?

They didn't sell the slot, they sold the route authority to DL, a very big difference. UA, still has a couple of leased slots floating about with AC and VS I think, so they have room to expand if they want, expecially with a flight to DEN, although they are struggling with metal at the moment so I will not hold my breath for anything immediate, unless they tweek the schedule evevn more!
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 4:54 am

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 31):
I am sure that LH has always opposed any idea of VS joining Star

I wasn't aware that Lufthansa had a problem with Virgin joining Star Alliance, but knew that Bishop has always had a problem with selling his beloved airline to Branson. Even if he had a sudden change of heart realising that there was a lot of potential money to be made, I'd find it interesting to see how much bmi would be worth, whether Virgin could afford that amount, and whether the Mergers & Monopolies Comission would allow it.
LCC Lover Lite
 
David_itl
Posts: 5946
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:15 am

Quoting Lite (Reply 29):
VS would keep the A319s to fly; BHD, DUB, EDI, GLA, ABZ, MAN, LBA and MME.

Branson's already stated that any takeover of bmi would result in LHR-MAN being canned (now there's a few slots to be used for extra transatlantic for them in an instant!)
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 6:36 am

I wasn't aware that SRB had already made any statements about the future of a merged bmi and virgin atlantic, but interesting reading. I know his personal feeling is that very shorthaul air travel, presumably including MAN-LHR, should be replaced by rail travel, but considering how many passengers could potentially connect to the VS network, and the commuting crews who would otherwise have to take BA flights, surely it makes sense to keep a presence on the route, even if it was with slightly lower frequencies.

Considering how well virgin blue are doing, having a 737 fleet and recently ordering the EMB-170, what would you predict as the future of bmibaby and bmi regional?
LCC Lover Lite
 
David_itl
Posts: 5946
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:02 am

Quoting Lite (Reply 36):
I wasn't aware that SRB had already made any statements about the future of a merged bmi and virgin atlantic

See this link.

Quoting Lite (Reply 36):
what would you predict as the future of bmibaby and bmi regional

I can imagine both to be allowed to continue to operate but under their own steam (or rather, jet propulsion!)
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:13 am

Thanks for the link.

Personally if Virgin bought bmi, I'd imagine that bmibaby and bmi regional would be merged and operated like virgin blue. Low-cost, high-quality, distinctive brand, with a mixture of EMB-170 and B-737NG aircraft.
LCC Lover Lite
 
luketenley
Posts: 415
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:51 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:27 am

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 26):
Yeah, hopefully the annual pax numbers won't be under 10 million for long! I just think that it would be more likely that this airline be part of the Star Alliance, or perhaps US could codeshare with another airline like VS.

Local traffic is coming back. I wonder if Parker is going to continue to bring back service lost from the dehubbing. I don't expect all of it to return (then PIT would once again be larger than PHL and CLT. That isn't happening). I think a focus city/mini hub of 180-220 flights would make sense. PIT had that many in the late Summer of 2005 around the time of the merger. Along with 4 mainline flights returning, including SEA and SAN service, along with additional LAX and SFO frequencies, some regional service is returning courtesy of Colgan Air. I know MGW and PKB-PIT is returning with Colgan using Saab340Bs, an increase from the Beech1900s used prior to the dehubbing. As soon as all of this returns, PIT should have more than 150 daily flights again, and hopefully this number will go up from there.

The glass is half full

200 flights per day would be about right. I have thought about this before. Would be a good size for PIT. As far as international, I would love to see US get some flights since they generate the majority of the traffic here. We will see what happens.
Pittsburgh International Airport lover
 
AirNZ
Posts: 544
Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2005 6:03 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:35 am

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 25):
OK, guess I didn't make myself clear here, sorry! What I meant was that a lot of BD capacity at LHR is used for stuff not worthy of LHR; in the sense that the capacity could be used much better elsewhere.
Flights from the UK to LHR are worthy of LHR, however, IMO only to the extend that pax on these flights are a) high yields going from the various UK dests to London using LHR because it's very convenient or b) connecting to long hauls out of LHR.
If pax on these flights do not fit into the above groups, I think it's a waste of slots. For instance, I was once offered a cheap BD flight GLA (maybe it was EDI)-PMI via LHR.. Now THAT is not worthy of LHR! BrianDormey, perfectly agree with you. Also, low-yields going to London from, say, GLA, can go to LTN or STN - donøt waste precious LHR capacity on this IMO
No offence to anyone!!!

Thanks for the clarification but, unfortunately, I still don't quite fully follow your train of thought and particularly with reference to your points a) and b). I think you might be forgetting that with London being the Capital of the UK, residents from the likes of BHD, GLA or EDI are perfectly entitled to have full service to LHR irrespective of only your 'high yield' claim. Why should LHR be reserved only for international or business passengers, with anyone else being pushed to LTN or STN? Indeed, should BMI follow your train of thought I'll stop flying them anywhere exactly the same as I did when BA withdrew from the UK regions (when a 'flag carrier' can't fly between two UK Capital cities it's time for me to give my business to those who do). I also feel that you're making LHR out to be a holy grail, which it most certainly isn't.
Flown:F27/TU134/Viscount/Trident/BAC111/727/737/747/757/767/777/300/310/320/321/330/340/DC9/DC10/Dash8/Shorts330/BAe146
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:23 pm

Quoting Luketenley (Reply 39):
200 flights per day would be about right. I have thought about this before. Would be a good size for PIT. As far as international, I would love to see US get some flights since they generate the majority of the traffic here. We will see what happens.

I think that as well, and it is good to see some regional feed returning, especially MGW and PKB thanks to Colgan Air. As I said before, US used to have Beech1900s on that route, now Colgan will run Sab340bs 3X daily, at least on MGW-PIT. I think that says something; that is 45 extra seats on that route. (A beech seated 19 pax; a saab 34.) I would like to see more of this service returning. I wonder if Republic will add any more cities with the E70s. I saw when my girlfriend and I were in Pittsburgh, already Republic had at least an E75 or two on PHL-PIT. Will the E75s replace some E70s, or will some E70s eventually go to "new" old destinations from PIT?
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
luketenley
Posts: 415
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:51 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 1:59 pm

Quoting Steeler83 (Reply 41):
I think that as well, and it is good to see some regional feed returning, especially MGW and PKB thanks to Colgan Air. As I said before, US used to have Beech1900s on that route, now Colgan will run Sab340bs 3X daily, at least on MGW-PIT. I think that says something; that is 45 extra seats on that route. (A beech seated 19 pax; a saab 34.) I would like to see more of this service returning. I wonder if Republic will add any more cities with the E70s. I saw when my girlfriend and I were in Pittsburgh, already Republic had at least an E75 or two on PHL-PIT. Will the E75s replace some E70s, or will some E70s eventually go to "new" old destinations from PIT?

I am seeing quite a few E70's and E75's now. Republic was supposed to have a crew base in PIT as far as I know. I would think they would have more flights then they do. We definately have the gate space. As far as "new" old destinations, it would be smarter to start them back with smaller aircraft and ease the bigger ones into it as numbers grow.
Pittsburgh International Airport lover
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 2:35 pm

Quoting Luketenley (Reply 42):
it would be smarter to start them back with smaller aircraft and ease the bigger ones into it as numbers grow.

Oh yeah, naturally. I was just saying that what Colgan Air is starting is already a little larger than what US had in the days of the hub. It's still a turboprop and it will likely stay that way. (I hope it at least stays this way with 3 daily flights to each of those cities. Hopefully the Saabs will do well for Colgan and US...)
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:23 pm

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 40):
I think you might be forgetting that with London being the Capital of the UK, residents from the likes of BHD, GLA or EDI are perfectly entitled to have full service to LHR irrespective of only your 'high yield' claim.

nobody is 'entitled' to anything - if the flights make economic sense for a business to operate they should continue , if they don't make economic sense for a business to operate they should be discontinued .
 
kaddyuk
Posts: 3697
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2001 1:04 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:36 pm

Quoting Kevin777 (Reply 25):
donøt waste precious LHR capacity on this IMO

I fly from GLA to LHR because i WANT to fly to LHR... If i was forced to travel to Luton i'd take the train and avoid flying.

Quoting David_itl (Reply 35):
(now there's a few slots to be used for extra transatlantic for them in an instant!)

You cant do that. The slots are regulated so that you cant cancel other services which are used for flights to the UK and then set them up for flights to other countrys.
Whoever said "laughter is the best medicine" never had Gonorrhea
 
Lite
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2007 1:53 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 8:57 pm

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 45):
You cant do that. The slots are regulated so that you cant cancel other services which are used for flights to the UK and then set them up for flights to other countrys.

I wasn't aware that such a system was in place, rather that the slots were to be used for an airline rather than a route. When bmi gets to launch trans-Atlantic routes, or in the event that Virgin does manage somehow to convince Bishop to sell up, then I really doubt that Virgin would cancel all of the domestic flights. I could see them dropping the low yielding holiday routes which are better served by low-cost or charter airlines, and can see them following the CDG example and dropping AMS/BRU considering there is plenty of airline and train competition to these cities - freeing up these slots to add more longhaul destinations either across the Atlantic or expanding more into BD's newfound niche markets. GLA, EDI, ABZ, BHD and DUB (and I'd say MAN though apparently Branson disagrees) still have the potential to be a direct competitor to British Airways and also for transfer pax & crew be a useful part of the new VS.

Virgin have proven they can run successful low-cost airlines with virgin blue and the launch of virgin america, so let's hope that if Virgin did take over bmi (and they're up against a hostile Bishop and Lufthansa) that they'd manage to deal with the regional network well.
LCC Lover Lite
 
bobnwa
Posts: 4459
Joined: Fri Dec 22, 2000 12:10 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:05 pm

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 40):
I think you might be forgetting that with London being the Capital of the UK, residents from the likes of BHD, GLA or EDI are perfectly entitled to have full service to LHR irrespective of only your 'high yield' claim.

In the US, cities such as SEA, LAX, SFO, PDX to not have flights to DCA which is the domestic airport in Washington the capitol, nor to LGA which is the domestic airport for the largest city in the US. I guess they are not entitled. JFK and IAD are not the desired airports for domestic travel.
 
David_itl
Posts: 5946
Joined: Wed Jun 27, 2001 7:39 am

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 10:14 pm

Quoting Kaddyuk (Reply 45):
Quoting David_itl (Reply 35):
(now there's a few slots to be used for extra transatlantic for them in an instant!)

You cant do that. The slots are regulated so that you cant cancel other services which are used for flights to the UK and then set them up for flights to other countrys

From the Observer

"BMI chief executive Nigel Turner said he expected to switch domestic routes to the US when the 'open skies' deal comes into effect next spring. "
 
steeler83
Posts: 7391
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 2:06 pm

RE: Virgin Wants BMI As A Result Of Open Skies

Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:40 pm

Quoting David_itl (Reply 48):
From the Observer



Quote:
He said BMI is likely to start with three flights a day, possibly to Chicago, Charlotte, North Carolina or New York. BMI plans to buy another three Airbus A330 planes to service the routes. The airline is looking to expand US routes in future.

Do they still intend of going into the lion's den, otherwise known as JFK or ORD? If they think they can pull off LHR-ORD or JFK, all the power to them...
Do not bring stranger girt into your room. The stranger girt is dangerous, it will hurt your life.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: angelopga, AsiaTravel, azz767, Baidu [Spider], BobMUC, Cipango, coolian2, Google Adsense [Bot], jumpjets, KarelXWB, nitepilot79, posti, qf2220, StTim, VCy, VFRonTop, VX321, Yahoo [Bot] and 217 guests