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UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Fri Apr 27, 2001 11:32 pm

UK airports in decline: BA chief

By Geoffrey Thomas


AFTER 12 months running the world's biggest international airline, British Airways, Rod Eddington has blamed UK aviation officials for overseeing a 20-year decline in the industry that costs his airline $1.7 billion a year.

The former Ansett and Cathay Pacific chief executive warned in a speech to the London Aviation Club that new terminals and runways were desperately needed or the UK would become the backwater of the European air industry.

In a strong attack on UK's aviation regulators and politicians, Mr Eddington warned of disaster for UK aviation.

"They should start planning for success instead of managing decline," he said.

"Passengers can expect higher fares, overcrowding and worse services."

Mr Eddington cautioned that continuing decline would affect investment, productivity growth and jobs.

He lashed out at environmental groups which opposed developments at Heathrow and other airports because they claimed they would increase noise and fuel emissions.

Mr Eddington scoffed at this, saying that rather than suppressing growth, plans to limit capacity would lead to a build-up of traffic at airports and see more aircraft circling over airports for longer.

This would lead to more noise, more emissions, longer journey times and lost economic growth.

He said that in British aviation nothing had changed since 1988.

"At the time they talked about Terminal Five at Heathrow to solve problems but 13 years down the track not a spade full of earth has been turned," he said.

"Demand for air travel in Britain has nearly tripled since 1975, and Heathrow is operating with the same runway capacity now as then.

"Heathrow is not even the second or third best airport in Europe now, with Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam overtaking us."

He pointed to Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris as an example, which had in recent years received permission to add runways and terminals, and is served by high-speed rail links.

"In 2010 Heathrow will only rank seventh in Europe based on current policies," he said.

Since 1988, Hong Kong, Malaysia and South Korea had built completely new airports.

He predicted airport rage for Heathrow.

"Unless improvements are made, scenes like the director's cut of Blade Runner with even longer queues, frustration, inefficiencies and anger will be normal," he said.

Mr Eddington also said Heathrow was tired and dirty.


2000 West Australian Newspapers Limited
All Rights Reserved.



I thought UAL or AA is the largest airline. What do you mean by 'The biggest Interational Airline'??

Also, I would say HK has the best airport in the world. The most high tech, advanced as well as clean. Also the most expensive..........

 Smile


 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 12:30 am

Thanks for the article;

This is pretty much in line with the Economist article I posted on this board a few weeks back; unless the airports in the UK expanded, BA and other airlines faced a gloomy future.

I think Rod may be right.

CP

ps Don't know whether BA IS the largest in the world or not; depends on what criteria you use I suppose- international route structure perhaps??
 
ryanb741
Posts: 5058
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RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 12:31 am

BA generates more international passenger miles than any other airline. It is the world's leading INTERNATIONAL airline.

Heathrow IS near saturation point, but what worries me is that BA are pinning ALL their hopes on the new Terminal 5 at LHR if and when it gets planning permission. They are even moving slots from LGW to LHR which seems to me to be lunacy considering the lack of space at LHR. I also think Stansted could be used a heck of a lot more than it is now.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
philb
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Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 2:47 am

If BA tried to become a truly British airline and stopped insisting that the vast majority of its pax had to go via Heathrow they might solve their own problems to some extent.

There are modern, efficient airports at Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh with spare capacity and Manchester has an additional runway with spare slots and room to spare in the terminals.

But, the gospel according to BA is that the only worthwhile passenger is the one who pays a premium price and they all want to fly from London.

Where ever Eddington says "Britain", "British Airports" and "British Aviation" substitute "BA" to get the real message as he couldn't care less about bmi, Virgin or any other UK airline.
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 3:12 am

PhilB

What exactly is wrong with BA's attitude?

They've made it quite clear they are here to serve the premium flyer, and NOT the Bucket & Spade brigade (aka economy pax).

I would take a guess that if this is the case, it is not worth the costs of setting up long-haul ops from regional airports.

The premium mkt is in London, period. Premium pax bring profits, the rest can be left to the others etc. etc.

It's called economic rationality, and I can't really see what the problem is!! They're certainly not doing anything wrong, and are perfectly within their rights to complain about LHR, which is all they are (and should) be concerned about.

Personal emotions and economics don't mix.

Rgds,
CP
 
Jaspike
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RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 3:26 am

UK is brill. (i live there) BA is brill. About the airports...I went to EMA a few weeks ago is was well organised, clean, no delays. Perfect day in the airport!

J
 
fax
Posts: 145
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2001 7:55 pm

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 4:07 am

Captain

You may be right with regard to the premium traffic and London.

However, take out the feeder traffic from the regions and are all the London routes still viable and profitable??

Incidently a lot off the feeder traffic currently using LHR is from the continent. Therefore why not bolster routes with potential out of MAN with this traffic and release a few slots down south?

We northerners want nothing more than a bit of fairness, afterall the airline is supposed to be one for the nation.

Note, that not all northerners are bucket and spade whippet owners, Leeds has a Harvey Nick's you know !!.

regards,

Fax
 
BDRules
Posts: 1474
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RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 4:27 am

i am always at EMA and it seems very efficient with very few delays and its got some of the best reports on turnaround times in the country and i know people will say there is not as much traffic there than at LHR but i feel it shouldnt make too much of a difference.

regards BDRules  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 4:37 am

Hello Fax,

Well, my most recent post really answers the question I think, but I will nevertheless expand briefly;

I am well aware that not all Northerners are potential Y class candidates (plenty of country houses and their aristocratic owners plus businessmen etc. in the Northern cities and countryside).

However, there are simply not enough (in BA's opinion) potential premium travellers up there to justify the costs of setting up serious longhaul ops from Manch., Birmingham and others.

BA already serves some primary regional (Euro) and national destinations from UK regional cities in any case. That's probably as much profit with minimal risk as they're likely to get from these airports. Longhaul ops are another piece of cake altogether.

And the feeder traffic?? BA already feeds it's own longhaul ops from regional airports; the rest of BA's pax are probably delivered down to LHR & LGW courtesy of BMI and other Euro airlines.

And the "fairness" thing.

As I have already said, BA already provide service from the UK's major provincial cities to London. You also have other alternatives to BA on top of that. What more do you want??! Big grin

If it's BA longahaul flights from regional airports you Northerners are after, forget it.

The options are

1) Get on a BA Shuttle down to LHR or LGW; catch your BA longhaul departure from there (fairly stress free).

2) Fly longhaul with other airlines-Delta, American, Cathay, Emirates, Singapore-they can't be that bad! Big grin

BA is doing what it considers economic sense. Sometimes economic sense means being humanely irrational.

Rgds
CP
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 4:50 am

ps- Don't forget BA has already tried the Longhaul game out of Manch (LAX and ISB), and both those flights were eventually cancelled.

They are now left with the JFK flight, which is a fairly easy route to make money out of. (re:filling up the front).

I beleive they also axed their JFK flights out of EDI & BHX, although I stand to be corrected on this last point.

Cheers
CP

ps-other LH operators can afford to fly into regional UK cities because they don't already have a base in the UK, and are presumbaly feeding flights from their respective bases abroad.
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 6:12 am

Capt Picard,

I'm not going to pick on you but your lack of years and experience are showing - and I think it is you, with your aspirations to be a BA cadet who is mixing emotion and commerce.

As someone who, in one way or another, has been around aviation for almost 45 years, lived in Britain, North and South for all but 3 of those (the last three) and travelled from both ends of England around the world on business (much of it to do with aviation) I can claim just a small amount of hard earned knowledge.

First off, BA wants business - if it can get premium business fine, but until they downsize the economy cabin on a 747 to 30 seats I won't believe they are in the business of turning away people with smaller budgets. So why not serve the less congested airports where there is plenty of traffic?

There are as many people within a 75 mile radius of Manchester as there are within the same radius of central London (UK population census 1991). Between them, the Midlands and North of England have as many major company HQs, national corporate centres for overseas companies and exporting companies as the South East.

Where do you get the idea that anyone flying in economy is "bucket and spade". If you want to fly for BA, you probably won't need to know why your pax are flying - but don't expect to write such nonsense here and get away with it.

There are more business passengers flying economy around the world than fly in business or first (though all airlines hate to admit it). Companies are forever downsizing travel budgets and it is the comparatively few who travel in anything better than Y class.

As to the history of BA and its predecessors at Manchester, please don't quote just three examples at me - I've been visiting the airport since 1955, have had a little to do with marketing it and the area in general, in the past and could bore this thread stupid with the duplicity of BOAC and BA in their dealings, both in starting and stopping services to New York, Montreal, Toronto, Chicago, Hong Kong, Islamabad, Los Angeles and various destinations in the Caribbean.

As to the LA flight, that was pulling in over 90% load factors in both the cabin and the hold - but not too many business people from the North (where we count the pennies) wanted to pay over massive sums for the privilege of arriving at the same time with precious few extra comforts thrown in.

The record of BOAC/BA in putting a stop to/frustrating and delaying the start of services by other carriers on long haul routes goes back to the 1950s - and the same can be said of their attitude at Birmingham and Glasgow.

Look at the schedules from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester to London. How many of the thousands of seats a day are occupied by people who are just flying the one sector? Very few.

As someone who would be a very rich man if he had £10 for every shuttle flight he had to take to connect at Heathrow, every trip where he had to get out of bed at 4 am to make a reasonable connection to the States and arrive back on a Friday from Europe 3 hours later than a direct service would have allowed, I have a big axe to grind against BA's London orientated policy.

I've held discussions face to face over the years with King, Marshall and Ayling and their attitude has been one of London first, middle and any crumbs to the provinces.

Every other UK or foreign airline that opens up service from a provincial UK airport deserves all the praise and backing it can get - and many are valued by local businessmen and women far ahead of BA.

Thankfully more and more now succeed.

 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:03 am

PhilB

Firstly, I'll accept the fact that you appear to have much more knowledge & experience than I do, being 19.

Secondly, I apologise if you felt you were being patronised by myself. I wasn't trying to be.

I am certainly not mixing my emotions with economics, and the fact that I am aspiring to work for BA has absolutely no bearing/is irrelevant to this entire thread.

"but until they downsize the economy cabin on a 747 to 30 seats I won't believe they are in the business of turning away people with smaller budgets".

You don't beleive. Do you accept the fact that your belief might be different to the FACTS?? Besides, BA aren't quite turning away Economy pax, but limiting their presence on their a/c.

"There are as many people within a 75 mile radius of Manchester as there are within the same radius of central London (UK population census 1991." etc. etc....

Yes, but are they all potential money earners for BA???

"Where do you get the idea that anyone flying in economy is "bucket and spade."

By Bucket & Spade I meant to imply people travelling on B&S fares. I am well aware Business travellers fly Y class. These pax are not BA's main concern.

Sorry, I don't resort to writing "nonsense."

"it is the comparatively few who travel in anything better than Y class."

Well, who do you think we are talking about then??!! The few that BA are interested in!!

"As to the history of BA......" Well that's HISTORY isn't it??!! Times have now changed, strategies have changed, companies have become "lean and mean" etc...

Obviously it is no longer economically viable ANYMORE & for the time being, to operate LH ops out of regional airfields!!!

"Look at the schedules from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester to London. How many of the thousands of seats a day are occupied by people who are just flying the one sector? Very few."

You are missing two points here, possibly three;

1) This is exactly what BA would rather be doing-feeding it's LGW & LHR LH flights from other regions

2) They simply are not interested in LH regional ops-it's TOO COSTLY, and NOT ECONOMICALLY VIABLE. Think about it. And are all those seats being filled by premium pax???? I doubt it....

3) Each person on any given shuttle flight could be connecting to ANYWHERE and on ANY airline. They won't
all be flying EDI-LHR-USA. So the easiest way to go about solving this problem is just to fly ALL of them to LHR, and go from there. The alternative is too costly & complex!!


"As someone who would be a very rich man..." bla bla bla...... well, what the hell do you want me to do about it??

BA have obviously decided that regional longhaul ops are NOT VIABLE. It is applying economic rationality to it's strategy. And all you can do is moan! Now who is letting their emotions out?.....  Insane

"I've held discussions face to face over the years with King, Marshall and Ayling and their attitude has been one of London first, middle and any crumbs to the provinces".

Well doesn't that back my, rather than your,argument up??

"Every other UK or foreign airline that opens up service from a provincial UK airport deserves all the praise and backing it can get - and many are valued by local businessmen and women far ahead of BA."

Well, maybe. I have already said why BA don't adopt this strategy.

Finally, I may only be 19, but this by no means means I cannot challenge your arguments, if I think they are flawed.

And in future, please spare me your personal history/achievements.

I've also spoken to people at BA, I'm a scholar at Cambridge University studying pure math bla bla bla....

See, what relevance does that have....  Insane

CP

























 
g-beak
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2000 6:09 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:26 am

Forget about connecting at LHR, I've got a much better idea. Lets build a new five terminal super-airport at PIK and the southerners can jump on the shuttle up here for their connections hassle free  Big grin

PS BA have never flown from EDI-JFK. They have however flown from GLA-JFK.
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:32 am

G-BEAK

Thanks, I knew I stood to be corrected on the JFK flights out of Scotland!! Big grin

Philb

I don't really have time for reading very long responses, so if you are going to reply back, please keep it short!

The following article brings home a few of the points I was trying to make:

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/443510/

Rgds
CP
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:55 am

Picard,

"And in future, please spare me your personal history/achievements"

Try that one on with your lecturers on Monday morning and you'll have an early meeting with the Dean of your Faculty.

They got where they are and I got where I am by achievements and having a history of being successful.

Achievements and history bring knowledge and experience. Many of my achievements and some of my history has been bound up with bringing aviation to the widest travelling public.

Arrogance from a wet behind the ears student who has passed a couple of exams is nothing but total rudeness.

"You don't believe. Do you accept the fact that your belief might be different to the FACTS?? Besides, BA aren't quite turning away Economy pax, but limiting their presence on their a/c."

So limiting their presence on the aircraft is not turning passengers away? Good job you are not studying logic.

""There are as many people within a 75 mile radius of Manchester as there are within the same radius of central London (UK population census 1991." etc. etc....

Yes, but are they all potential money earners for BA???"

No, they wear woad and use chariots for transport - only people in the south east of England have the business acumen, income and need to travel.

Of course they are potential travellers and could be money earners for BA if it would provide a real service.

Name me one airline in the whole history of aviation that consistently made money out of premium price passengers. Where has the real growth in passengers come from?

"By Bucket & Spade I meant to imply people travelling on B&S fares. I am well aware Business travellers fly Y class. These pax are not BA's main concern."

Good, then they will pick other airlines to fly with; BA will lose more revenue and, one day, will either turn around and become a worthwhile airline or go out of business.

With a possible recession on its way BA will be pleased to get whatever revenue it can.

"As to the history of BA......" Well that's HISTORY isn't it??!! Times have now changed, strategies have changed, companies have become "lean and mean" etc... "

You are showing your lack of age again and a lack of judgement. Company ethos is deeply ingrained, even in so called revamped companies. Also, if you don't look to history for background to how a company/country or individual will/could operate you make a big mistake.

Within the parameters of this topic, BOAC/BA has shaped and continues to shape the air service patterns of the UK, as anyone with even the slightest knowledge of the topic knows and much of that shaping has been adverse for services from/to the provinces.

"Each person on any given shuttle flight could be connecting to ANYWHERE and on ANY airline. They won't all be flying EDI-LHR-USA. So the easiest way to go about solving this problem is just to fly ALL of them to LHR, and go from there. The alternative is too costly & complex!!"

That's arrogant accountant speak - it can be translated as "look at the bottom line, forget the service aspect" - a sure fire way to lose passengers. It makes second class citizens out of the majority of the population.

"BA have obviously decided that regional longhaul ops are NOT VIABLE. It is applying economic rationality to it's strategy. And all you can do is moan! Now who is letting their emotions out?....."

I'm not moaning or letting my emotions out - I'm stating facts. I've sat on enough Committees in the UK looking at airport and airline service policy to know what I'm talking about. I've been there, done that - not just read a text book or company press releases.

"I've also spoken to people at BA, I'm a scholar at Cambridge University studying pure math bla bla bla....

See, what relevance does that have...."

None whatsoever, that's the problem with your argument.

You are trying to justify a wannabe national airline's policy which does nothing for 75% of the country's population from the basis of a little enthusiasm, no experience and a degree course that has little to do with the real world of the traveller - business, tourist or VFR.

As a private company BA will do what it pleases BUT its current strategy is high risk. If it wishes to operate such a strategy it should declare for an open skies policy with the rest of the world to allow foreign carriers free access to all UK airports and should stop moaning about lack of capacity at BRITISH airports when it really means Heathrow, where, as the owner of the most slots, it is the architect of its own problems.


 
EGGD
Posts: 11880
Joined: Sat Feb 24, 2001 12:01 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:58 am

and Amsterdam overtaking us.

erm, where the f*ck did you get this report from? AMS is NOT as big as LHR.


I don't really have time for reading very long responses

And you suppose we have the time to read yours?

PhilB is right, that is all i can say right now.

EGGD (in big mood)
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 8:39 am

Oh Dear Phil B,

I sometimes wonder whether I should just save my breath.......  Insane

Here we go again with the quotes.....  Insane

"So limiting their presence on the aircraft is not turning passengers away? Good job you are not studying logic."

Well, OK they ARE turning Y class pax away!!! Whatever you want, what the hell does it matter, the PREMIUM pax are what matters!!!

"Of course they are potential travellers and could be money earners for BA if it would provide a real service."

A "real service"??? What do you mean by this?? Ops to NRT, EZE, GRU etc. from MAN, BHX, and EDI??? Oh please.....  Insane

"Name me one airline in the whole history of aviation that consistently made money out of premium price passengers. Where has the real growth in passengers come from?"

Here we go again with "history".....Sorry, I am talking about PRESENT strategies at BA with reference to BA ops OUT OF THE UK!!!!

"Also, if you don't look to history for background to how a company/country or individual will/could operate you make a big mistake."

Yes, partly true, but BA is looking towards recent trends in travel, and future trend forecasts, and planning their strategy accordingly.

"look at the bottom line, forget the service aspect."

Well, the bottom line is the bottom line-making money, which now means satisfying demand in a niche market, not flying a daily LAX rotation from GLA or wherever to suit your INDIVIDUAL needs Philb......and improving service WHERE IT MATTERS is the name of BA's game.

"As a private company BA will do what it pleases BUT its current strategy is high risk."

Yes, according to YOU. Have you the same access that BA has, to it's operational stats and forecast trends???

"If it wishes to operate such a strategy it should declare for an open skies policy with the rest of the world to allow foreign carriers free access to all UK airports."

I agree! Big grin But I can understand why they don't!!!

".....should stop moaning about lack of capacity at BRITISH airports when it really means Heathrow, where, as the owner of the most slots, it is the architect of its own problems."


BA is not entirely to blame for the phenomenal success of LHR, and it's resultant congestion now, so spare me that BS!!

If anyone is to blame it's the UK Gov't for acting like pansies whenever the Environmental lobby (or indeed anyone) lashes out at them.

And BA DOES mean LHR!!! Read the article in the first post, and take note of how many times HEATHROW is mentioned!!!

BA, just like any other airline out there is OUT FOR THE MONEY, and will ruthlessly pursue this policy.

The main thrust of your argument seems to centre around the fact that you can't be bothered to get a shuttle flight down to LHR!! Give me a break.....

The truth is out there; how many longhaul flights do BA fly out of regional airports??? Answer: Not many, in fact, only the MAN-JFK flight I think.

WHY???? Answer: Cause their homework suggests IT'S JUST NOT WORTH IT-ECONOMICALLY SPEAKING.

If it was, they'd obviously be providing the services wouldn't they??!!

As for your flippant comments on my status as a student, I will do the mature thing, which is to IGNORE them. Saves time too! Big grin

And why should I necessarily beleive you're the expert you claim to be????

CP


















 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 8:54 am

ps

I think the following (bold) parts of this BA press release underline my arguments on BA's strategy!!!


British Airways today announced further changes to its flying programme as part of its strategy to restore its business to proper levels of profitability.

Schedule changes proposed for the summer 2001 flying season include the transfer of two longhaul routes from Gatwick to Heathrow, the suspension of one loss-making longhaul route, resumption of services to a key longhaul destination, and increased frequencies on other core routes.

In Europe, next summer's timetable will be kept more along this coming winter's lines, with a small reduction in capacity on the previous summer, although British Airways will be looking to strengthen its position on a number of key routes served from Heathrow.

The overall effect will be a capacity reduction, in terms of available seat kilometres, of 10 per cent on the summer before. That is some 2 percentage points more than previously announced. Available seat kilometres at Heathrow will reduce by 9 per cent, and at Gatwick by 15 per cent. In terms of flying hours, however, the programme is almost exactly the same as last summer's, increasing by 1 per cent overall, with a 3 per cent increase at Heathrow and 5 per cent reduction at Gatwick.

In line with other recent steps to consolidate flights to specific destinations at either London Heathrow or Gatwick - rather than split them between both airports - all flights between London and Miami will operate from and to Heathrow. This means the airline will offer two daily Boeing 747 flights between Heathrow and Miami, rather than one a day from Heathrow and one a day from Gatwick.

Services to Rio de Janeiro, which fly on to Sao Paolo, will also transfer from Gatwick to Heathrow. The airline believes profits on this route can be substantially improved through this transfer. As previously planned, daily Boeing 777s will replace the current five 747 flights a week, serving both destinations.

At Gatwick, the airline plans to "delink" the current daily Boeing 747 service to Phoenix and on to San Diego, with both destinations served with their own direct daily 777s, subject to final agreements. With this additional Californian capacity, frequencies between Heathrow and Los Angeles will remain at their winter twice daily rate, instead of thrice daily as last summer.

Also from Gatwick, frequencies to Buenos Aires will be increased - from five 747-400s a week to six 777s.

From Heathrow, British Airways will suspend all services to Kuala Lumpur from the start of next summer season, because of the poor commercial performance of the route. It will offer customers connections to Malaysia over Singapore and maintain a sales presence in the country.

However, the airline plans, subject to final agreements, to resume its own flights to Melbourne, flying from Heathrow four times a week via Singapore. Currently the only "BA" services to Melbourne are its code-shares operated by alliance partner Qantas. The reintroduction of flights by British Airways itself to the Victoria city, after a two-year break, will offer more consumer choice.

As already announced, biggest changes in the coming winter programme, effective from later this month, are to shorthaul operations:

- Routes between Gatwick and Ljubljana and Salzburg are being suspended.

- Jersey-Heathrow services are also being suspended. The Channel Island will be served with six daily flights from Gatwick by our subsidiary and franchisee CityFlyer Express.

- Services from Gatwick to Verona and Genoa will reduce from three to two a day and from two to one a day respectively.

- Operations to Venice and Bilbao will switch from Heathrow to Gatwick

- Tel Aviv services will consolidate at Heathrow, with the daily Gatwick flights sitting there alongside the existing ten Heathrow weeklies.

- Paris Orly-Heathrow flights will be halved, to three a day, before being suspended completely at the end of the winter season, but services to Charles de Gaulle will almost double, from seven to 12 a day this winter.

- Frequencies are being increased to other key European destinations, including Rome, Prague, Munich, Frankfurt and Barcelona.

Key longhaul changes this winter include the suspension of loss-making services to Tehran, with franchisee British Mediterranean taking up this route. Flights to Santiago were suspended on August 1.

The summer 2001 flying programme will require two fewer 747-400s than British Airways has at present - mainly as a result of the Heathrow-Kuala Lumpur suspension. Two more 747-400s will become surplus the following winter, with further unprofitable flying reductions anticipated.

As a result, the airline has decided to dispose of these four aircraft during the year ahead. Expressions of interest have been received from a number of parties, and negotiations are now at the final stage.

British Airways has the largest Boeing 747-400 fleet in Europe, with around 20 more of the aircraft than any of its European competitors. It currently operates 57 Boeing 747-400s in an overall mainline fleet of more than 260 aircraft. Its longhaul fleet also includes 36 Boeing 777s. The airline currently holds firm orders for nine more of these twinjets, with options on a further 16.

Meantime, the airline is reviewing its loss-making Gatwick operations and expects to begin rolling out a revised strategy for its second London base, effective from winter 2001.

Gatwick is strategically crucial to the British Airways group, and the airline will maintain a significant presence at the airport. But it has to be profitable, too. The overall aim is to produce a plan that ensures British Airways has a viable long-term future at Gatwick.

Rod Eddington, British Airways Chief Executive, said: "Our drive to return our business to proper levels of profitability is moving up a gear. The network and fleet strategies I inherited when I arrived at British Airways are exactly right - but they do not go far enough fast enough. We must address poorly performing routes and assets that are not adding value."

CP
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 9:28 am

Dear Picard,

You are full of yourself aren't you?

You are patronising and rude and full of the inexperienced twaddle of youth, backed by a little learning.

You are so full of BA you can't see the wood for the trees. Time and time again BA and its predecessors have declared routes out of the provinces to be uneconomic, only to be proved wrong by other airlines... oh sorry, that's not relevant because its history.

If you knew anything about travel, customer needs, the pressures of business and the sheer frustration of having to change at a hell hole like Heathrow you wouldn't have made that childish remark about taking the shuttle.

You say you don't want to know about the past but query my access to facts and my credentials.

So sit back and read some history Sonny:

1955 initial interest in aviation - regular visits to airfields as a child and teen.

1961 Joined the Air Training Corps, left as a Cadet Warrant Officer in 1966.

1965 First flight on business

1971 Northern Sales Manager for a printing company supplying, inter alia, RR Aero engines with component production inventory systems and many airlines with a range of engineering inventory print.

Much domestic airline travel

1978-1984 Conference Officer, Greater Manchester Council

Amongst other duties relating to developing business to the area (much of it through the airport) I sat on various airport related business tourism committees and had close links with all the major airlines serving Manchester.

Member of the Executive Committee of the British Association of Conference Towns, sat on Conference Air Traffic Development Panels.

Input to BTA Business Traffic Development Panels.

Plenty of travel on business around the world.

Also was Chairman of the Information Committee of the Society of Friends of the Manchester Air and Space Museum

1986-1989 Conference Manager EMAP Maclaren

Three years of intensive business travel.

1989-1998 Managing Director Ashdown Research and Conference Director of BCN.

Devised, organised and ran conferences on ATC, Airport Management, Airport Security, Ground Handling and Ramp Safety and Airport Environment, aimed at Government Ministers, Civil Servants, Heads of ATC Services, Airline and Airport Directors.

Sole owner of Ashdown, partner in BCN.

I was so poor at devising these events that the FAA, the European Commission, IATA, ATAG, ATC Service Directors,major airport and airline directors and equipment manufacturers queued to speak at the events and delegates from, on average, over 60 countries per event were willing to pay top dollar to attend, be the conference in the US, Europe or the Far East.

I was so bad and misguided in my thinking that every conference was sponsored by the likes of the EU, ATAG, Siemens, DFS Germany - to name but a few and I was retained by DFS to run an ATC Training Conference for them.

The work brought me into close contact with some of the greatest names in aviation at all levels, many of whom I can still talk to by just ringing their direct number.

Again, so stupid was I in my understanding of how the world works that, when I got tired of driving 70,000 miles per year, flying around the world and running events with an average turnover of in excess of £150,000 for an attendance of 70-80 delegates, I retired at 51 and can live comfortably for the rest of my life reading industry restricted circulation digests from IATA, ATAG, AOA, various airlines and ATC bodies, with whom I keep in close touch and who, from time to time, try to entice me to run another event.

Most of my friends hold senior posts in aviation. For over 30 years I have been able to access areas on airports, in control towers, engineering bases and airline ops rooms normally open only to industry insiders. I have more cockpit time than I care to remember.

But of course that's history and you are so anally retentive you won't believe it anyway.


 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 4:12 pm

PhilB,

More immature/flippant coments have now convinced me not to take you seriously anymore;

as for your history & credentials, you completely wasted your time Phil; I skipped them all. You can't prove any of the above, and the fact that you have still FAILED to put up a reasoned and concrete argument against mine, (you know what I mean, I'm sure) just further convinces me that you rushed into this argument with your emotions & personal grievences against BA first, without stopping to think whether I may have had a point.

With that attitude, why should I bother with your personal history???

You have now realised that my argument (based on economics) makes more sense than yours (based on what??-personal grievences), but can't accept the fact, especially when a 19 year old with no experience of business (bar two months at a Travel Agency) gains the upper hand in an argument-so you now resort desperately to offenseive comments in order to maintain any sense of dignity you might have left, and conveniently dodge the issues; isn't the anonymity of the Internet wonderful???  Insane

This is the impression I get in any case.....I think you know what I mean.....the style of writing in your responses gives it away....

You keep on arguing about what BA should do if it were a truly "British" airline; all based on wishful thinking. It would be most convenient for me, if BA provided a service from Cambridge Airport to Luanda, but I know why they don't!

I am arguing for what it is doing, based on rational economic principles. What is your difficulty in accepting this concept? (or is it because a 19 year old is trying to make you accept this??  Insane )

It's obvious who is right at the moment isn't it???

I don't deny things might change, but at the moment, I can't see BA operating LH out of a variety of regional airports. Just doesn't make sense to me.

You mentioned the other international airlines at MAN etc. I have already mentioned them as well, and why they appear to be successful. They may well have soaked up the premium demand from the regions, for the destinations that they fly to-even less incentive for BA to get involved!!.

Obviously neither of us will budge from our arguments, so I propose we just drop them.

Needless to say, until I see B777's and B744's at MAN, BHX and others, I'll assume it's for a good reason.

CP
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 5:16 pm

Excuse me.

I started my first post to you saying I wasn't going to go for you and gave cogent answers, based on years of experience as a hobbyist, customer of and supplier to, the airline industry.

As any reasonable analyst would, I stated the facts for the majority of UK air travellers, the history of BA's regional service and tried to put their attitude in context.

You came back with an arrogant and rude attack, based on the fact the you seem to think you know every economic argument and that economics are the only reason to provide an air service and that past history is not relevant.

You also try to debunk my veracity.

When I give you chapter and verse on my background, you say you refused to read it and state your argument is based on economic principles and I refuse to see it, hinting that you suspect that I am doing this because of your age.

One day soon someone who has some authority over you will have the pleasure of bringing home to you the facts that you know very little of life and business and it might be a good idea to take into account and understand why older, more experienced, people can have just a little more idea of what make the world tick and being arrogant from a pointof relative ignorance just makes you look like a petulant child.

Hopefully they will point out that, to make any service work, you have to give the customer what they want -not what the supplier thinks they want.

For your sake, I hope your superior attitude and use of demeaning phrases to those who might just have the edge on you, doesn't land you in trouble.

Being unemployed with excellent qualifications can be a shattering experience.

Wise up. You can't learn everything from selective reading and economics - the science that one day tells us inflation of 7%s bad but when it drops to 2%, is ...bad. That tells us a weak pound is bad, but so is a strong pound.

The science that will eventually tell BA that to fill aircraft and make large profits they need volume business as premium business is a very small and limiting
sector.

 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 5:16 pm

As far as I am concerned, this written version of a presentation given by BA to it's shareholders on 7 March, 2001, really should put the final nail in the coffin:

Q. Could you come back to hubs and the future? First, where do you see Manchester in the British Airways network and, secondly, looking a little further ahead, do you believe there is a need for, or what are the benefits of, having another hub somewhere in continental Europe from your perspective? I know that Rod said in the longer term there is a need for one. What do you think that that brings to you as network planning?


Robert Boyle: I will try to answer that without getting myself into deep water, so you will permit me to be a little cagey on some aspects of that.

Clearly, Manchester is an important market for us, not least because we take a large amount of premium traffic over our London hubs and onto longhaul destinations. There are many gold card-holders who travel every day on the Manchester shuttle, so Manchester is an important marketplace for us.

We have also put a lot of network in and continue to do so to provide point-to-point services shorthaul out of Manchester. It is a tough market and we need to get our costs right and to use the right equipment type and, as I have said, the market is going in the direction of regional jets there. Those bits are clear and every time Manchester Airport come to see me, I am asked the question how about a nice hub in Manchester, we have a second runway etc.

It has never seemed to us a very compelling business case and certainly not one that we are contemplating at the moment. [THANK-YOU!!] Our strategy at the moment is to develop point-to-point services out of Manchester and, you never know, in future if that proves to be a very profitable and successful base, that is the point at which you might then seek to grow more widely. [I ackowledged that things may change IN THE FUTURE].

However, that is not currently in our plans.


That is all I was arguing for!!!

CP
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 6:44 pm

BTW,

Whilst I don't like to reveal my other forum usernames, please also check this link out:

http://www.pprune.org/ubb/NonCGI/Forum57/HTML/001280.html

In fact, I will paste the dialogue here:


AJ
PPRuNe Flight Deck Qualified
Posts: 178
Registered: Apr 2000
posted 27 April 2001 22:39
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Just a quickie;
Do BA see any economic viability in operating regional longhaul hubs, apart from LHR???

Or is LHR really the jewel in their crown??

Cheers
AJ

IP: Logged

EDDNR
PPRuNe Flight Deck Qualified
Posts: 91
Registered: Feb 2001
posted 28 April 2001 08:33
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
NO. They don't even see LGW as an important airport in their plans for 2001 as there is a big withdrawal of the long haul stuff from there.
Rod


I think that is enough for now.

Regarding your references to me being petulant, anally retentive and guarding an air of superiority whilst "attacking" your responses.

I don't consider myself as any of the above, and I think my responses to you were quite reasoned, reasonable and rational; I was most certainly not trying to "attack" you, whatever that means!!???

Furthermore, I do not consider myself superior to anyone, but that does not mean I cannot challenge others if I do not agree with them, be they older, or younger than me.

I'm sure you've heard the expression "adults are just grown-up kids".

I know what this means, and I bet you do too, so don't expect me to kiss your feet and take what you say as the gospel truth just because you happen to be older than I.

The fact is, that here you are a stranger, and I have no way of telling whether you are "for real" or just another 15-year old who can't argue properly. Sorry to be blunt, but I felt it was worth adding.

I think I have now said all that I wanted to say.

CP
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 6:57 pm

I,m a stranger here am I?

You make a fool of yourself all the time. My profile shows I've been here a great deal longer than you.

As to who and what I claim to be, your disbelief shows a distinct lack of judgement and understanding of people. Read my many posts and you will see they hardly show the breadth of knowledge of a fifteen year old who can't argue properly.

And as to arguing properly, you have a lot to learn. When you have argued to win major business contracts worth millions, prepared countless presentations, won debating contests and been asked to lecture as guest lecturer to post graduates, come back and try to teach me something.

As to the BA presentation, I've sat on Committees and heard arguments from them about how their customers from MAN, GLA, EDI etc. are "valuable" and the song has been the same old ditty - valuable when we fly them over Heathrow.

The point about decline and congestion is one of BA's own making. They are Heathrowcentric - just as you are egocentric.

 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:11 pm

Yes Philb,

Bla bla bla.......face it, you've "lost".

"My profile shows I've been here a great deal longer than you."

What on earth has that got to do with anything???

"As to who and what I claim to be, your disbelief shows a distinct lack of judgement and understanding of people."

I'm sorry Phil, but are you seriously advocating we should all beleive what the other says based on anonymous internet board contributions???

That's very naive.....

I might as well just change my profile and claim to be Rod Eddington himself-and you would beleive that???.....

The rest of your post is just pure drivvle.....

Phil I've proved you wrong for the moment, but it seems you just can't take it!!! Just drop it will you??  Insane

CP
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:27 pm

You are an extremely rude, ignorant and egotistical idiot.

Perhaps you should get out more and learn something about real life instead of just pure maths and economics.

"My profile shows I've been here a great deal longer than you."

What on earth has that got to do with anything???"

You said I was a stranger here - I proved you wrong.

"Phil I've proved you wrong for the moment, but it seems you just can't take it!!! Just drop it will you??"

You haven't proved me wrong at all - all you've proved is your oopinion is different to mine and you use the narrowest of bases to form your opinion.

You refuse to acknowledge that anyone can have a different/better/more experienced perspective than yourself. I can take criticism and be found to be wrong from people who hold differing views, argue from a standpoint of mutual respect and accept the facts of the current situation in the context of both history and the future but I have no respect for a wet behind the ears 19 year old who, no matter what his academic prowess, has no experience of life and commerce and who cannot conduct himself in any other way than in a yah-boo manner.

Yet that same person tries to teach someone almost three times his age the "facts of economics" and how to argue.

If this is how you think discussions and arguments should be conducted you are in for a rude shock the first time you try to tell your boss you disagree with him.

Grow up little boy.



 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:49 pm

Oh Dear, I do not like slanging matches, and we have now gone off topic....apologies to the others, but I wish to defend myself;

Phil,

Have you ever met me in person??? No!!

How can you claim I need to "grow up" and that I am an "idiot"??? From what I have written here?? No! because all that I have written so far has been respectful, rational and reasonble;

on the other hand, you have nothing left to do but resort to IRRATIONAL and under the circumstances, very unreasonable offensive remarks (although I don't take them personally).

As for this "yah-boo" nonsense, I take it you think I'm a "typical" Cambridge student, with connections, money etc. and superior airs.

I don't consider myself as such, although I can't prove it to you.

"You said I was a stranger here - I proved you wrong."

No, you are wrong. You are a stranger to me, because I haven't met you face-to-face.

"Perhaps you should get out more and learn something about real life instead of just pure maths and economics."

I've never studied economics, and I also study Geography and Philosophy, obviously if you had studied philosophy you would understand what I meant by "irrational" or the concepts of "irrationality" and "reason".

Also, I recommend you look up the meaning of "socratic dialogue" before jumping to conclusions about my egocentricity or otherwise (I don't consider myself egocentric).

I have been around for 19 years now, and have lived in a variety of countries (Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Argentina, Costa Rica, Kenya and now Angola) and cultures, and met many fascinating people bla bla bla......so I think I have aleady learned a few things about "life."

I honestly can't be bothered to reply to you any longer, so henceforth feel free to vent your spleen without having to wait for my replies.....  Insane

CP




 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 8:50 pm

You may feel the need to defend yourself but defending the indefensible is a waste of time.

Apply your comments about me not having met you and my conclusions to your debunking of my arguments and experience.


 
donder10
Posts: 6944
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 5:29 am

Phil:how Can You Call Picard Egocentric?

Sat Apr 28, 2001 8:53 pm

When you seemed to produce a list of every moment you have ever made in your life to back up an argument up which does more harm to your argument than good
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 9:03 pm

Oh, here we go, another child at the dawn of experience, delving deep into his worldlywise knowledge and trying to tell his grandfather how to suck eggs.

I've nothing against the younger generation having views ideas and wanting to express them.

Hell I did it enough at that age BUT, I was taught to listen to and respect age and experience although not necessarily agree with all the older generation offered.

Most of the people who taught me a great deal about aviation are now in their late seventies or eighties but, even though my experiences and knowledge may have surpassed theirs, I still respect that they have different, and always worthwhile views.

I don't doubt their veracity nor tell them that the past is history and valueless.

Some of today's youth could learn a useful lesson.
 
eg777er
Posts: 1782
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 11:11 pm

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 10:08 pm

Seems you have some serious hangups about the younger generation there PhilB.

I suppose it would piss you off even more to tell you that a 19-year old friend of mine is currently earning well over £500,000 a year - for someone with only 1 year's experience of the industry he is in!

Experience does not matter - it's whether or not you are good that counts in today's world.

Personally, I could reel off statistics about my family relationships with two air transport industry professionals (thanks Mum & Dad!) including one who worked with British Airways at Manchester European Sales, Manager Inverness, Passenger Manager T2 LHR and General Manager Portugal, and the other who worked for North America Fares & Ticketing in the airline and became senior staff at age 28....I could also reel off people I know in the industry - such as the former MD of GB Airways and the present CEO of Gulf Air....

So, in light of all these facts, does it mean that being one year YOUNGER than the Captain mean I know bugger all about aviation? I think not.

BA has always been London Airways, and it will stay like that until there is a viable market from the UK regions. Ever since BA was privatised it lost its public service obligations - it gets no government subsidy and therefore has to make money.

Comparitavely if you look at the carriers flying LH into and out of Manchester they fall broadly into two groups - and some interlink:

1. Carriers trying to get more capacity into the UK as a whole but can't get it from Heathrow or aren't allowed to fly there - DL, AA, CX, SQ.
2. Government owned carriers who get massive subsidies - EK.

And PhilB, the reason "There are modern, efficient airports at Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh with spare capacity and Manchester has an additional runway with spare slots and room to spare in the terminals. " I woyuld have thought was obvious - there's a lack of demand compared to LHR!!!
 
gkirk
Posts: 23347
Joined: Thu Jun 15, 2000 3:29 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 10:16 pm

Hahaha, what an argument! Keep up the good work guys!
BA prefers LHR and to a lesser extent LGW. They will keep MAN and BHX as regional hubs for BRAL and Maersk at the moment I think, with mainline a/c being used for the busier routes.
I think bmi should try their luck out of MAN with more European routes.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sat Apr 28, 2001 10:27 pm

I have no serious hang ups about young people and I couldn't care less how much money someone makes at whatever age.

You say "Experience does not matter - it's whether or not you are good that counts in today's world."

Arrant rubbish. If that is to be the future, look out for real trouble at every level of life. You can only be good at something if you have a good basic knowledge of the subject, experience in dealing with whatever problems and opportunities that subject throws up and, at the same time, apply that experience coupled with a knowledge of the wider environment.

You say "Comparitavely if you look at the carriers flying LH into and out of Manchester they fall broadly into two groups - and some interlink:

1. Carriers trying to get more capacity into the UK as a whole but can't get it from Heathrow or aren't allowed to fly there - DL, AA, CX, SQ.
2. Government owned carriers who get massive subsidies - EK.

And PhilB, the reason "There are modern, efficient airports at Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh with spare capacity and Manchester has an additional runway with spare slots and room to spare in the terminals. " I woyuld have thought was obvious - there's a lack of demand compared to LHR!!!"

What is seemingly obvious isn't always so.

If you follow your first line of argument SQ, DL, AA and CX are filling seats with south east passengers and the holds with south east cargo that can't get onto the Heathrow flights. Rubbish

EK is only "flying the flag" - again total rubbish, the flight is both full and profitable and a second flight is in the offing.

There is massive demand from the areas I mentioned - that's why the shuttles and bmi's flights are packed.

If we go back to the basic statement, BA is warning about a decline in UK air services and airports.

As a company it is saying Britain when it should be saying Heathrow.

As I've said before, if it wants to be a Heathrow and premium passenger only airline, it will either go bust or will change the policy before that happens as history, both in the UK and elsewhere, shows the policies BA is following won't attract enough passengers.





 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 12:38 am

PhilB, I'm sure when CaptPicard enters the Cadet Pilot program (scheme as he puts it) he'll be instructing the instructors.

It would be satisfying to be a fly on the wall when Picard (and eg777er and they rest of these smart-asses) get their first life-humbling expereince (work related or otherwise). Also, it be interesting to see how they act when they've got 20+ years in the working world under their belts.

regards

 
kaitak
Posts: 8967
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 1999 5:49 am

RE: PhilB

Sun Apr 29, 2001 12:56 am

I agree with what you are saying to a certain extent; I live in Jersey and we had a JER-LHR service for 40 yrs before BA took it away. I can understand that BA wants to plan its own strategy, but one would like to think there is some difference between gov't strategy and BA strategy. Or, to be brutally frank, it would be nice to think the gov't had a strategy other than letting BA have its own way.

Unusually, I agree with BA that LHR should have a third runway, although I don't know where they can put it; my favoured option would be the re-development of Northolt as a satellite airport for LHR with a rapid rail link between them. People want to fly to LHR and that needs to be recognised. It's not an issue of LHR -v- LGW or STN, but London -v- Paris - AMS etc. If a new runway is built at or close to LHR, it would need to be accompanied by a recognition that LHR is the country's hub, NOT BA's own airport.

There are many parts of the UK which benefit from access to LHR as a hub, whether it be for tourism, trade, or whatever and the gov't simply cannot stand by while one company, for its own commercial ends, says to a particular region, we have determined that it is more profitable for us to fly to XYZ and therefore, we're cutting your link to Heathrow. This is called putting society before Economy and Gatwick does not qualify as a satisfactory compensation prize.



 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 1:53 am

JonPaul,

You have contributed absolutely nothing new to this thread.

Philb was presented with FACTS which proved that he was wrong, and so as to cover up his embarrasment, he resorted to all sorts of nonsensical and flippant remarks, claiming I was an egotist bla bla bla  Insane

I will repeat this again to you, why on earth should I respect anyone on the sole basis of their age??? Pure nonsense.

Kaitak,

I am only trying to explain why BA has withdrawn capacity from regional routes; I don't necessarily agree with everything they do (Profit first, service second etc.), but I realise that they consider the bottom line, first and foremost, is making money

You should check out the Investor pages at the BA website; plenty of explanations are given there-most of them to do with maximising profit.

"the gov't simply cannot stand by while one company, for its own commercial ends, says to a particular region, we have determined that it is more profitable for us to fly to XYZ and therefore, we're cutting your link to Heathrow"

The fact that you realise BA are adopting these strategies for COMMERCIAL GAINS, puts me in agreement with yourself on that part of your sentence.

As I have already said, this argument is NOT about whether what BA is doing is "fair", it is about WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS??? Answer: Profit.

This is backed up by my extract from BA's recent shareholder meeting above.

I certainly don't agree with everything BA does or provides (cabin service!!! Big grin ), but I know that there is a good reason (most likely rationally economic) behind every move they make.

As for your comment on the government.

The goverment's role in this context is to provide adequate means of transportation between major regional cities in the UK.

As far as ground transportation is concerned, they have failed miserably; the trains are a joke, the motorways are all choked up;

what is needed here, is high speed rail links, not only between city pairs, but between the major airports of Britain; look at France.

In this way, you would still be flying into LGW from Jersey, but heck, you could transfer to LHR on a high speed train/magtrain in under 15 minutes, luggage tagged through for your convenience.

Or alternatively, take the same high speed train to London city in under 15 minutes, from LGW or LHR.

As for the rest of your post, I agree with it, and you seem to understand some of the points I tried to explain to Philb (but I failed!! Big grin )

CP
 
donder10
Posts: 6944
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 5:29 am

Eg777er

Sun Apr 29, 2001 2:35 am

What job does your friend to earn that amount of money at such an age?Thanks,Alex
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 8:47 am

Hello,

Let me say two or three words:
1: Age is a major but not the only indicator of being experienced.
2: Experience is important but what really counts is what you make of it.
3: No one here can say BA's strategy was right or wrong as no one can look into future. That's why - in this case - no one can prove the other wrong.

----- snip snap -------

Here in Berlin currently only one nonstop flight to the U.S exists (TXL-WAS) that LH established after politicans urged LH to do so for a long time. LH has always proclaimed that there was a marked demand for a more frequent service but also that Berlin lacks a real hub which was necessary to offer a number of longhaul flights. LH explains Americans that in Berlin they have no change to book another longhaul flight but back to WAS.

Regards,
NoUFO (eagerly awaiting SXF II)
I support the right to arm bears
 
ryanb741
Posts: 5058
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:36 pm

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 6:06 pm

For what it's worth:

Capt Picard's argument is totally sound based on information provided by BA and aligned to their business objectives over the coming years. LHR flights=higher margins, and with an airline that is cutting capacity on its services these high margins are what it is seeking. Remember, 'Economies of Scale' are dead when it comes to BA's new objectives - it's revenue per seat that matters. This is why BA is going out of its way to move its long-haul services to Heathrow. Age and experience have nothing to do with his argument here - he is providing hard FACTS.

Whether or not this is a correct policy I am not convinced. Like Philb, I agree that service ethos (aligned to a company's brand) is very important when it comes to attracting customers. But, as Picard has explained, BA are effectively in a phase of creating a new brand for BA - an airline for premium pax as opposed to a national flag carrier.

My personal predictions. Well, I believe BA will continue to use LHR as the main hub, with feeder flights from regional airports. But, I reckon that within 5 years or so they will be forced to have a re-think about their 'premium pax' slant. The reasons are as follows.

-ALL pax are demanding more from airlines, from Y class to F class.

- Subsequently, the quality of Y class service has improved drastically (PTV, better/more diverse food options, higher service levels etc)

-So, we have a situation where more people are now willing to save money and fly Y class, because it has improved greatly compared to before.

-This means that within a few years, the emphasis will be on airlines to provide a premium service throughout ALL cabin classes, and perhaps ESPECIALLY in Y class, because Y class is currently the biggest source of TOTAL revenue and is also going to enjoy an increase in demand because of the points outlined previously.

-If BA thus continue to focus on J and Y class pax, they face a difficult decision. Either they ensure they have a premium service significantly better than that provided by the new, improved Y classes (which make the extortionate fares viable to the pax they are trying to attract), or they have a re-think about their whole strategy. My guess is it will be the latter, because most pax flying J and F class don't pay for their ticket themselves, with their companies believing the extra comfort to be a premium worth paying. Once all Y classes offer high levels of comfort compared to before, a trade-off will be made between comfort and price (after all, all companies want to save money) and we will see more business travellers flying Y class, thus providing a dwindling market for BA.

In the above context, BA's plan is a bit short-term in outlook; it's a strategy that will be effective in the next couple of years but after that time it will perhaps need a re-think as the airline market begins to change.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 7:05 pm

Hi Ryan

Thanks for your info;

I had always ackowledged in my posts that BA's strategy might change in the future, in response to changing trends.

I agree with what you say, because from what I understand of the industry, it is highly dynamic, never static. Policies must therefore continually change etc.

Anyway,

This is what I was going to post yesterday:

Hi noUFO (nice username, you’ve obviously made your mind up!!) Big grin

I agree with your no.1 statement; your no.2 statement.

As for no.3.

I would say that if we can prove that BA’s present strategies for the future (capacity reduction in terms of seats, and routes) are based on economics and forecasts for the future, then their present strategies are rational and therefore right.

That doesn’t mean their plan cannot backfire-it may, but based on the information they have on PRESENT trends on travellers using BA, and on future forecast trends, they are indeed doing the right thing, in terms of planning ahead for a profitable future.

If I have proved anything, it is that BA don’t execute decisions based on whether what they are doing/will do is “fair” or “convenient” or “British”, rather what BRINGS IN THE MONEY.

Others remarked that BA were being “unfair” and “mean”, and making grave mistakes and that they should co-ordinate their strategy according to what was “fair” for everyone.

I disagreed, and said that BA were making strategic decisions (for “strategic” read “profit maximisation” ), and therefore how could this be a mistake??

Isn’t capitalism based on capital accumulation and “winner takes it all” philosophy, rather than “fairness”???

That is all I was trying to convey on this thread.

If anyone wants to start a debate on whether BA is right to put profits before everything else, please do-that is a different ball game altogether!!

Rgds
CP


 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 8:18 pm

I have a question for those of you who are businessmen;

Is it not better (specifically in the dynamic airline business) to plan your strategy in short-term bursts, and therefore minimise your exposure to unpredictable events in the long-term future??

At the moment, we can only forecast likely future trends for a few years at a time, at the most (economic trends, of course!!).

Planning your strategy too far into the future surely increases the probability that you will be wrong, and thus have to suffer the consequences, does it not??

Basically, would it not be better for the airlines to periodically revise their strategy every 4 years or so, rather than plan their strategy too far ahead??

Is this not what BA are doing??

Or are they doing exactly this, yet still getting it wrong, in terms of rational economics?? (I find this very hard to beleive).

This is probably all obvious to you, but I would like to read your thoughts on this.

Note I am moving away from my previous arguments above now, so please, no more negative posts.

Cheers,
CP
 
eg777er
Posts: 1782
Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2000 11:11 pm

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 10:16 pm

Basically, flying from LHR is a licence to print money - this has always been the case.

Now, if you are an airline responsible for the livelyhoods of tens of thousands of people, what would you rather do:

Operate almost all services out of a strong LHR hub with many other airlines to give you transfer passengers,

Or spread yourself thinly over the UK regions where the profit margins from your flights may not cover your duplication, triplication or more of your ops costs, staff costs, landing charges etc.

I agree that carriers such as EK (even though they don't pay for their fuel at DXB) make money out of flights to MAN, they do for a reason. They fly from their home bases INTO Manchester. So, their MAN flights can be subsidised by the rest of thier UK operation if need be. However, for BA to move ops to MAN or expand woudl not work as they would be flying OUT of Manchester (PhilB, I trust your elephantine airline knowledge bequeaths you the difference between INBOUND and OUTBOUND scheduled ops and their financing? Or perhaps you've been out of the industry too long?) and would take a much greater risk. When you have employees and shareholders to look after, that risk is not acceptable.

I suspect that BA are watching bmi's services to the US from MAN very closely. Who knows, if they make a success of it, you may see BA operating transatlantic from MAN in a much greater way.

Most of the people here think that just because BA is called 'British Airways' it has some sort of socialist public service obligation to the people of Britain. Bollocks. Sorry chaps, but BA is a private company and they can do whatever they want. If they want to downsize and only fly LHR-NCL and LHR-BAH (suits me!) and lay off all the staff, thats their perogative. If they don't see a business case for flying LH from the UK regions THEY WON'T DO IT!!!! Simple. End of story.

And CP, a word of advice, asking 'who's a businessman' here is the same as asking 'who's a REAL pilot' - you'll just get a load of bullshitters....
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 10:18 pm

Dear Capt Picard,

If you had ever had to plan for a business, or just to live for a few years off your own resources, you would realise it is imperative to plan for the long term (why do you think people are encouraged to get into a pension scheme at ever younger ages)

The whole skill of management is long term planning. Having enough resources in the pot to ride out the bad times and being innovative enough bring out new products or sources of income at a time when traditional products fail to sell used to be the foundation stones of management skills.

Of course, in the short time you have been around, long term planning has been out of fashion.

Economists and bankers (many of whom are only interested in an immediate return) fail to realise that a sound economy (be it personal, company or national) is one that looks at short medium and long term opportunities and risks and plans accordingly.

History shows that the long term successful companies in the world have survived because they have eschewed short term instant gain for long term survival.

Some of the old companies that have either failed or suffered badly in recent years are those that have changed to short termism under the misguidance of new management.

A company needs a good economic base to provide products/services and also establish an effective, experienced workforce. This comes from establishing a broad, repeat customer, base and continually seeking to broaden that base.

Short term reactive planning leads to massive investment followed by dramatic cutbacks and layoffs.

Workers gain and lose jobs and never fully develop skills, customers receive patchy service, poor products and lack of continuity and, whilst a few major shareholders - mostly major institutions - may benefit, short termism leads to overall degredation of the economic base.

Aviation is dynamic but its current dynamism comes from meeting the challenge of serving growing markets environmentally and cost effectively. The basis of air transport is provide a service to the paying passenger at the most saleable price, whilst at the same time ensuring safety, providing employment and making a profit.

Judging from the attitude you and your younger friends on this thread take, I'm glad I won't be around in 40 years to see the mess. Its already starting. Look at the rail industry and telecoms to name but two.

There will be an popular backlash eventually - that may have started with the demos at the various economic summits.

Perhaps its time to return to profit through service and continuity instead of the the grab it quick mentality currently in vogue.

Both the
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 10:30 pm

Philb

Thanks a lot for your info. I apologise if I came across with the wrong sort of attitude, I beleived my posts were reasonable and respectable to yourself and others.
We were debating a topic, I wasn't trying to shoot you down, although sometimes that might have been the impression you got!



I will mull over what you have said for now, and perhaps ask a few questions later.

Vive l'esprit critique etc. etc. Big grin

Rgds
CP

eg777er,

I know what you're saying, but some people do occasionally post some decent info here.
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 10:40 pm

EG777er,

The thousand of jobs that BA are responsible for - which you express in such a paternalistic (that means fatherly in case you can't find a dictionary) way. Do those include the thousands of jobs that they have created, scrapped, created again and scrapped again over the last 29 years leading to employee fear, salary cuts and customer dissatifaction?

As for EK, you are talking total garbage. The route always has made a profit on its own merits and is likely to be increased in frequency.

No doubt in your world, Emirates' Birmingham service is also run because Emirates are in business to subsidise loss making sectors.

I may have an elephantine knowledge of aviation compared to yours (which a gnat would seem to be able to equal) but I have also experience and have worked in commerce and with aviation from before you were thought of.

No doubt you think you are clever with your pathetic attempt at insults about inbound and outbound. What you are is a cheeky kid, who knows nowt, has done less and has a lot to learn about life, manners and becoming an adult.
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 10:47 pm

Philb,

I thought you had decided to stop making pathetic, childish comments with those you disagreed with.

Sadly, I was wrong.

If you disagree with someone, so be it, but why the uneccesary insults.

All you will get back from eg77er is a return of insults, and before we know it, we are back into the pathetic situation of trading insults instead of information.

Please drop that nasty side of your attitude.

CP
 
philb
Posts: 2645
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 5:53 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Sun Apr 29, 2001 11:23 pm

Perhaps you should address your remarks to eg777er.

Re-read his post and then consider where to direct your request.

There are too many teens on this forum full of garbage who are arrogant, immature, lacking in experience and too willing to address people in a way they would never address an older person face to face.

Most of what they post are half quotes, misunderstandings of the real world and they backed up these with rudeness if someone points out a more thought through point of view or one gained from years of expertise.
 
ryanb741
Posts: 5058
Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:36 pm

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Mon Apr 30, 2001 3:47 am

Capt. Picard

I am just a young 'Whippersnapper' who is just embarking upon his business career having graduated last year, but here is my tuppence anyway regarding your earlier question about short-termism within the airline industry.

All businesses should have an ultimate long-term objective - a vision of where they want to be in ten years or so, and all co-members should work with this objective in mind. Within this framework, individual areas of the business are empowered (in a modern organisation) to make decisions which capitalise on current market trends, but this should always be carried out within the long-term objectives of the organisation.

My guess is that BA have decided that their old strategy wasn't up to scratch, probably because they realised that they were no longer 'The World's Favourite Airline', and that other airlines had overtaken them in terms of service levels.

So they have decided to stick with what they know best - the business traveller, and implementing innovative additions to the cabins (flat beds, smiling British girls(!) etc). They may well make some more 'spur-of-the-moment' decisions on a small scale in order to capitalise on market demand(such as providing extra seats to Japan and Korea during the World Cup, for example), but now that they have put in to plan a long-term corporate strategy this will be difficult to alter without a considerable amount of time elapsing.

This is partly because of what are termed as 'Cultures' within Organisations - a kind of value system if you will which is developed over a period of time and requires all its members to adopt these values if it is to be successful. So, if in four years BA discover that actually there IS a renaissance in demand for Y class seats they are pretty screwed really as a large proportion of their expertise and mind-set will be geared towards the supply of premium service to 'premium' pax (eg more F and J class trained F/As (I assume they command higher salaries - not so good therefore using these in Y class where margins are lower), a fleet configured for premium cabins etc). In such a scenario airlines who have developped staff with skill-sets more aligned to meeting the needs of this new market will be at an advantage, and I guess BA will have to lay off a lot of its staff whose skills are no longer required. Therefore, it should by now be clear that BA really do need to be right in their predictions for the future airline market! Otherwise, you can expect Mr Branson and co. to be laughing all the way to the bank! (as if he isn't doing that already......)
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
Bove
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2001 10:32 am

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:56 am

I sincerely hope BA have their arse handed to them by the likes of BMI and Star Alliance ex MAN and hopefully other North UK cities to come.

BA in cahoots with their cronies at CAA/DETR of course have been instrumental in denying BMI the privilege of LHR slots.

Bookings for the MAN-IAD already average 60% and the service hasn't even begun yet. Good luck to Sir Michael in punishing BA for their contrition and rank arrogant behavior.

Eg777er, Capt. Picard--contrary to popular belief, there IS life north of the M25!  Insane
 
Guest

RE: UK Airports In Decline: BA Chief

Mon Apr 30, 2001 5:30 am

Ryan;

Thanks a lot for your views. Let's see what happens!! Big grin

Bove,

"Eg777er, Capt. Picard--contrary to popular belief, there IS life north of the M25".

I think you've missed the point of the entire thread!!!

We were are not discussing whether there are any signs of life North of the M25!! We were discussing whether BA should start-up longhaul ops from the regions!!!

They are two very different things!!

The guy that wrote that phrase on pprune is working on the same logic as Philb!! Namely, that BA should provide international service from the regions, regardless of whether it is profitable or not!! Convenience comes first, is their argument

Rgds,
CP