vv701
Posts: 5773
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:12 am

In a previous, now archived thread, 'BA To Offer All Business/First Class Flights To US', the application made by BA to operate premium class only flights from any European airport to any point in the USA was discussed.

In a Q & A section of 'Overview' which is 'The New Magazine for British Airways Shareholders', CEO Wille Walsh in a written response to the question:

'Is there anything in the new Open Skies treaty between the EU and the US for British Airways?'

responds:

'We are going to examine every possible opportunity to take advantage of Open Skies. We plan to launch a new business flying FROM the US direct to key European destinations next year building on the strength of our brand and reputation.'

In the above quote it is my emphasis on the word 'FROM'. But recognising that this is a considered, written message to shareholders and not an off the cuff verbal reply I deem the exact wording of the statement to be significant. It suggests that BA plan to establish BA business flight hubs in the USA to operate flights to continental European airports.

I guess that they will work closely with AA on the services offered so that they complement rather than compete with their OneWorld partner's product offering. This may suggest that the favoured routes would be from AA hubs like DFW, MIA and ORD to European airports like AMS, CDG, FRA, MAD, MXP and ZRH where there is no current AA service. On the other hand it could be that the planned BA US hubs would not look for feed from AA domestic flights or their services from Latin America so much as offer competition from the hubs of other US airlines and uany nder-served major US cities thus significantly expanding the OneWorld product offering. What do others think on this issue?

If BA do establish US hubs as the Walsh statement suggests then one issue they will have to face is to get their aircraft to an appropriate service facility. Here I see one possibility that they could implement a route structure that embraced LHR as one of the European destinations from each US hub. But if they choose the option to operate out of AA hubs they could use aircraft that are common to the AA and BA fleets (752, 763 or 772) and rely upon their American partner for servicing.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:30 am

Quoting VV701 (Thread starter):
If BA do establish US hubs as the Walsh statement suggests then one issue they will have to face is to get their aircraft to an appropriate service facility.

BA already have offsite major servicing e.g. 747 & 777 at Cardiff with planes being ferried empty to the appropriate facility; thus I would assume that planes would be fed into such facilities from the most convenient point. Line engineering facilities would probably be outsourced at each base.
 
vv701
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:46 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 1):
BA already have offsite major servicing e.g. 747 & 777 at Cardiff with planes being ferried empty to the appropriate facility; thus I would assume that planes would be fed into such facilities from the most convenient point. Line engineering facilities would probably be outsourced at each base.

But there is a significant cost difference in ferrying an aircraft from LHR to CWL for servicing than, for example, ferrying it from DFW to CWL. The cost of a ferry flight could be eliminated if BA operated their flights out of AA hubs like DFW where I assume (?) there is a service facility for the 752s, 763s and 772s it operates. (I do not think there is much possibility of BA operating a Premium Class service from DFW or any other US airport to CWL.)
 
Bongodog1964
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Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:49 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 2):
But there is a significant cost difference in ferrying an aircraft from LHR to CWL for servicing than, for example, ferrying it from DFW to CWL.

True, but they would do the ferry flight from the European end of the route, as the distance would be far shorter
 
amirs
Posts: 1184
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2003 7:20 am

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:57 am

That the same program Virgin is planning.
 
vv701
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Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 3:46 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 3):
they would do the ferry flight from the European end of the route, as the distance would be far shorter

Yes. And the fuel costs from AMS or CDG would be little more than for a current ferry flight from LHR. But I had the crew costs in mind. Presumably the crews would be based out of the US hubs.

Currently it is usual for aircraft going to CWL for maintenance or for other engineering work to be on an 'exchange programme'. So, for example, on the evening of 7 June 744 G-BNLB was ferried LHR-CWL and 744 G-BNLV was ferried CWL-LHR later that same evening. This sequence of out-and-back ferry flights happens commonly and it seems almost certain that both flights are operated by the same flight crew.

Of course this could happen from a European airport with one aircraft being ferried to CWL and being replaced by another being ferried from CWL. But as the cabins of these aircraft would be different to those operating in non Premium-only configuration such exchanges would require a pretty big fleet if one aircraft were to follow another into CWL. BA simply does not currently have the aircraft to establish such a fleet unless it is going to cut back its LHR based fleet significantly which I doubt very much.

However if they do get US authority to operate these continental European routes I think we would either see their four 772 options being immediately firmed up if they decided to use 763s or 772s on these services or more 32x options being converted to firm orders for 321s if they chose to use 752s on the new routes into Europe.
 
Bongodog1964
Posts: 3072
Joined: Wed Oct 18, 2006 6:29 am

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:19 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 5):
However if they do get US authority to operate these continental European routes I think we would either see their four 772 options being immediately firmed up if they decided to use 763s or 772s on these services or more 32x options being converted to firm orders for 321s if they chose to use 752s on the new routes into Europe.

Can they get their 763's back from QF, as they would, after the fitting of a new interior be suitable
 
ikramerica
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 4:22 am

Quoting VV701 (Thread starter):
If BA do establish US hubs as the Walsh statement suggests then one issue they will have to face is to get their aircraft to an appropriate service facility.

BA could choose the 788 for this service, and if rumors are correct that AA would be a goldcare provider for the 787... well, do the math.  Smile
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
scotron11
Posts: 1181
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:54 pm

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 1:29 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 2):

But there is a significant cost difference in ferrying an aircraft from LHR to CWL for servicing than, for example, ferrying it from DFW to CWL

Doesn't AA have a maintainence base in Tulsa? So, if need be, BA's 757/777/767 could be maintained there, no?
 
Skidmarque
Posts: 65
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:47 am

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Sat Jun 16, 2007 8:14 pm

I was at a presentation a couple of weeks ago where Willie Walsh was talking about this idea, he mentioned 767s and 757s.
DUCK !
 
vv701
Posts: 5773
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: BA Plan Premium Class Services From US To Europe

Mon Jun 18, 2007 11:29 am

Quoting VV701 (Thread starter):
In a Q & A section of 'Overview' which is 'The New Magazine for British Airways Shareholders', CEO Wille Walsh in a written response to the question:

'Is there anything in the new Open Skies treaty between the EU and the US for British Airways?'

"Overview" is now available on the Web at:
http://media.corporate-ir.net/media_...rol/69/69499/overview_lores_nc.pdf
The magazine contains a number of other articles of interest, not least 'Fleet of the Future' that starts on page 21.

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