ei 168 wrote:
I’m not so sure about that. They had a an office in Dawson Street until 2014, when they then decided to shut their office because of the Middle East routes that was eating into their transfer loads. They had an Irish section on their website but that’s a sorry excuse now with no promotions and you have to go through London(phone) if you need anything.
Yes - you made a very valid reference to the DUB office closing in 2014. However, a lot has changed since then. For example, EY is dropping PER, which is one of the biggest transfer markets from DUB. Meanwhile, EK has slashed capacity to New Zealand by 60%, and QR can't get further rights to Australia (like BNE). IMO, the ME3 is losing steam. If a non-stop SQ service was launched (as opposed to sending Irish through LHR), I would be confident that SQ could win a fair bit of traffic from the ME3 (and/or others). CX's comments that forward bookings to and from DUB are encouraging, support this view too.
Bear in mind the BA and CX codeshare MAN-LHR but do not codeshare the daily MAN-HKG non-stop service. Search on the BA website and we find "Sorry, there are no direct flights for this route, flights with connections are below.", IAG appear to be not overly fussed in missing out on the MAN route/premium flyers and so I hardly think they will brokering a deal for DUB-HKG that offers fewer non-stop departures than MAN.
Comparing MAN with DUB is like comparing apples with oranges.
- BA's fleet is not the right fit for MAN - it's too premium heavy. For long-haul flights ex-MAN, BA would face two unsustainable options - 1) using a premium-heavy plane out of MAN, despite the limited premium traffic, or 2) having a second configuration with lower premium seat exposure, but at the expense of efficiency and scale. Given that BA can't compete effectively at MAN, why should it support a competitor there, when it can channel traffic on its own metal through LHR? Bear in mind that LHR is different, as it's frequency sensitive, and so there is a benefit to greater frequency offerings through code-sharing.
- We're talking about a potential JV at DUB, not just code-sharing. That wouldn't work ex-UK, because BA and CX would never get approval for this - they would control far too much of the market (with both LHR and MAN) for the competition authorities to be satisfied that there wouldn't be a negative impact on consumers from collaboration. At DUB, such forces are not at play - there is no flight from DUB to East Asia (yet), and even by the end of this year with both CX and HU, there will only be 6x weekly flights combined. There's an argument that on such marginal routes, co-operation will enhance sustainability.