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Themotionman
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Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:31 pm

There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?
 
User001
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:35 pm

It does well on Indian diaspora pax flying between Birmingham and Armitsar. Its a very price sensitive market.
 
mandyhaslott
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:35 pm

Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


Amritsar Amritsar Amritsar.

It's all about Birmingham to Amritsar...
 
alan3
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Thu Jan 17, 2019 9:36 pm

I found that intriguing too but I believe it survives due to connections to India, in particular to Amritsar which serves the large Punjabi population of Birmingham area.

LHR has far more competition to the region so likely wouldn't sustain as large an aircraft.
 
8herveg
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:05 am

Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


According to flightradar24, the route is primarily served with a B752 and sometimes B738. Not sure where you got the B77L from - unless it's an error?

Thanks
 
EZYAirbus
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:27 am

The route 9/10 is Boeing 757-200, on some occasions you do see the Boeing 737-800 and around the holidays over christmas and new year they did use the Boeing 777-200LR same as Easter time, you will see the 77L again, surprisingly good loads on all flights
http://www.glenneldridgeaviation.com
 
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gunsontheroof
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 11:49 am

Pretty sure HY still flies BHX-TAS for the Amritsar connections as well...
Picked a hell of a week to quit sniffing glue.
 
oldannyboy
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:31 pm

...as well as Air India flying Amritsar-BHX on the 787...
 
[email protected]
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:08 pm

gunsontheroof wrote:
Pretty sure HY still flies BHX-TAS for the Amritsar connections as well...


No HY any more.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
sw733
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:26 pm

I actually ended up on this flight a few years back somewhat unexpectedly, and I can assure you it's massively dominated by Punjabi's and (to a lesser extent...much lesser extent) other Indians.
 
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LH748
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:45 pm

Considering the difficulty to ever get a Turkmen visa it's not really O/D traffic they're aiming at except for the little Turkmen community abroad. Most passengers will connect at ASB. Last year I also had the option to take TUA on FRA-ASB-BKK-ASB-FRA but went for KU via KWI instead.
On their German site TUA promotes their connections to Bangkok, Beijing, Amritsar and Delhi and to my surprise they also fly nonstop from Frankfurt to Yerevan. Seems to be a fifth freedom flight I had not heard about yet.
306 310 318 319 320 321 333 343 388 ATR72 733 737 738 739 743 744 748 752 753 763 764 772 77W 788 CRJ7 CRJ9 E170 F100 MD11 RJ1H
AA AB AC AF AK AZ BA DE DL EW FD FR HF HG IB IR MF KU LH LT LX OD TG TK TP UA VJ VN WN W6 YP YW
 
anshabhi
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 2:53 pm

Turkmenistan Airlines was for a long time the only international option for Punjabis (including Sikhs) to go to West directly from Amritsar.
Now Amritsar has nonstop flight to BHX, and a QR connection but Turkmenistan remains a popular option.

Fun Fact: The fares on this route are fixed and not dynamic. And, it's Impossible to book it online. It's only bookable through a travel agent. Even the official website asks you for a bank transfer.
 
YYZLGA
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:57 pm

I've always been a bit surprised that EK doesn't operate to Amritsar. I know there's also a substantial market from YYZ. AI used to operate direct flights to Amritsar from YYZ.
 
klakzky123
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 5:59 pm

anshabhi wrote:
Turkmenistan Airlines was for a long time the only international option for Punjabis (including Sikhs) to go to West directly from Amritsar.
Now Amritsar has nonstop flight to BHX, and a QR connection but Turkmenistan remains a popular option.

Fun Fact: The fares on this route are fixed and not dynamic. And, it's Impossible to book it online. It's only bookable through a travel agent. Even the official website asks you for a bank transfer.


I think Turkmenistan Airlines is no longer an IATA member so they are unable to distribute using their own ticket stock. They instead have Hahn Air do it for them under Hahn Air's IATA code and ticket stock. It's some pretty goofy stuff.

I do think they have direct bookings now (at least in Europe they do). I've heard of people managing to book direct. But given the airline we're dealing with, I'd suggest one book on Hahn Air stock instead.

But the fixed price thing is definitely true. Truly an odd duck airline.
 
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:41 pm

YYZLGA wrote:
I've always been a bit surprised that EK doesn't operate to Amritsar. I know there's also a substantial market from YYZ. AI used to operate direct flights to Amritsar from YYZ.


Or FZ.

There are 3 daily flights ATQ-DXB, 1 each by 6E, IX, and SG.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
gunnerman
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 6:55 pm

Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?

After today four of the weekly flights are operated with the 737, the other (on Sundays) with the 757.
 
BHXRunway15
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:11 pm

Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


I won't cover the reasons for the service as this has been well covered but I believe the service has run continually since it started although I can't be 100% sure. It has been affected over the years by the competition most of which has disappeared except for Air India and lesser extent Qatar.


Some figures are below and you can see the initial Air India recommencement in 2014 the T5 pax dropped in 2015 and then again more recently when Air India split the Delhi to 3 direct to ATQ and 3 direct to Delhi thus destroying the Delhi pax and connections but also affecting the T5 figures - double blow for BHX as the combined services are now carrying less, The first full month of Air India operating 3 direct ATQ's and 3 x direct Delhi, T5 was only down just at 2% and Air India 19% on 2017 but that that was also partly due to going from daily to 6 a week. The load factor below has not been worked out too accurately as the aircraft varies so I have used 190 seats but the 77L's were few usually restricted to Easter and the summer holidays and Christmas.

Year..... passengers....sectors......average per flight.....estimated load factor
2017...…. 42756...……...396...……... 108...………………... 57%
2016...…. 35474...……...297...……….119...………………... 62%
2015...…. 43933...……...372...……….118...………………….62%
2014...…. 59448...……..405...………..147...………………….77%

2018 thus far 50243 so it will end just a few thousand less than 2014 but the highest for 3 years and it is averaging around 120 per flight at around 60% load factor.
 
9w748capt
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:20 pm

I've always been intrigued by this flight. Have to give it up to T5 for capitalizing on this opportunity. I'm sure it's a much needed source of foreign currency. There are certainly some interesting reviews on skytrax. Would love to see a TR. I'm assuming they serve Indian food even ex-BHX?
 
jmc757
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:36 pm

Turkmenistan have operated this route since the 1990's. It started as a result of some enterprising travel agents serving the Punjabi communities in the West Midlands. Specific travel agents had an agreement with the airline and were almost exclusive ticket providers for this route. It wasn't quite a charter, as they've always been scheduled services.

There's been other airlines doing similar over the years. Uzebikstan via Tashkent (and also went on to New York for some years). Air Slovakia with 757s via Bratislava, and even Kyrgyzstan did a short spell with A320s via Bishkek. Another with a 757, the name escapes me, but it made the national press when they had to ask the passengers to pay for the fuel on credit cards!

There's been others too, often very short lived. It's purely down to there being a lot of demand from the region for connections to India, but there not being a main carrier serving the route. Credit to Turkmenistan sticking with it though - an odd route but it must work.
Last edited by jmc757 on Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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DLHAM
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 8:36 pm

mandyhaslott wrote:
Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


Amritsar Amritsar Amritsar.

It's all about Birmingham to Amritsar...


Whats the point about BHX and Amritsar?
My Instagram Account: Instagram
 
9w748capt
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:02 pm

DLHAM wrote:
mandyhaslott wrote:
Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


Amritsar Amritsar Amritsar.

It's all about Birmingham to Amritsar...



Whats the point about BHX and Amritsar?


Did you read the thread?
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:21 pm

DLHAM wrote:
mandyhaslott wrote:
Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


Amritsar Amritsar Amritsar.

It's all about Birmingham to Amritsar...


Whats the point about BHX and Amritsar?


It’s the most massive Punjabi community on earth along with Vancouver.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
peterinlisbon
Posts: 1908
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:45 pm

Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


How dare you question the wisdom of the dear leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow?
 
sw733
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 9:50 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


How dare you question the wisdom of the dear leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow?


Gurbanguly Mälikgulyýewiç Berdimuhamedow rolls right off the tongue
 
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:08 pm

In the 1990s, Tajik also served BHX and carried pax to/from ATQ.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
Themotionman
Topic Author
Posts: 210
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Jan 18, 2019 10:47 pm

peterinlisbon wrote:
Themotionman wrote:
There are some odd routes that intrigue me as to why they exist. Most of these routes exist because of industry links or large migrant population. One route that I have not found an explanation for is ASB-BHX? AFAIK, there are no major business links between the two cities and no large Turkmen diaspora in Birmingham and vice versa. So why does this route exist and why is it flown by a B77L when the LHR flight is flown by a B752?


How dare you question the wisdom of the dear leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow?


I did have to think twice before posting. :ziplip: :spin:
 
SQueeze
Posts: 324
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:01 pm

9w748capt wrote:
I've always been intrigued by this flight. Have to give it up to T5 for capitalizing on this opportunity. I'm sure it's a much needed source of foreign currency. There are certainly some interesting reviews on skytrax. Would love to see a TR. I'm assuming they serve Indian food even ex-BHX?


I just posted a TR! For DEL-ASB-LHR

Yes, lots of Indians, but not from DEL.
And no, no Indian food, may be it has to be by request?

https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=1418509
 
TrafficCop
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:07 pm

Maybe to get some great BBQ and watch the Crimson Tide!!!!

Sorry could not resist..
 
klakzky123
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Fri Mar 22, 2019 6:43 pm

YYZLGA wrote:
I've always been a bit surprised that EK doesn't operate to Amritsar. I know there's also a substantial market from YYZ. AI used to operate direct flights to Amritsar from YYZ.


They can't. The current bilateral doesn't give them the right to fly to Amritsar. I think they would shift some capacity to Amritsar if they could.
 
Rav720
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:23 pm

klakzky123 wrote:
YYZLGA wrote:
I've always been a bit surprised that EK doesn't operate to Amritsar. I know there's also a substantial market from YYZ. AI used to operate direct flights to Amritsar from YYZ.


They can't. The current bilateral doesn't give them the right to fly to Amritsar. I think they would shift some capacity to Amritsar if they could.


FlyDubai to fly to Amritsar but they don't have the rights. Indian carriers are flying 3x daily to DXB but it doesn't give them a onward connection to Europe/North America
 
bladenl
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:49 am

Well reported off course now Turkmenistan airlines is blacklist in the EU the flights to BHX are suspended. (for a month they chartered a Wamos air A330) Now with the ridiculous detours flights have to take to fly from Ashgabat to Amritsar due to Pakistan airspace closure for east west transit traffic the whole route might never come back again, even once the blacklist is reversed. Lufthansa is currently helping out to bring them up to International standards.

Main issues where long flights to London often operated with B737-800 that took off without enough reserve fuel from London either arriving in Ashgabat below fuel minima or making refuel stop at Turkmenbasy without putting it in the flight plan. Also they operated all B737 without life jackets but operating them to London required flight over water. They thought they could get away with it .and for many years they did.

I flew often on the Ashgabat to Almaty route. They would not refuel at Almaty to safe cost, than if taxi times at Almaty were long or headwinds in winter on westbound flight we would suddenly divert to Mary to take fuel. The new airport at Ashgabat is really impressive though. I hope these guys will make it back to Europe one day. It really is one of the more interesting and exotic airlines around.
 
SCQ83
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Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:26 am

LAXdude1023 wrote:
It’s the most massive Punjabi community on earth along with Vancouver.


If Amritsar to the UK is such a big market, why don't Emirates or Etihad fly there? Billaterals?
 
bladenl
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Mar 22, 2019 11:52 am

Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:44 am

SCQ83 wrote:
LAXdude1023 wrote:
It’s the most massive Punjabi community on earth along with Vancouver.


If Amritsar to the UK is such a big market, why don't Emirates or Etihad fly there? Billaterals?


Billaterals; yes but of more importance incredibly low yields. The Turkmens managed to make a few bucks out of it (pre-blacklist) also by working directly with the Punjabi owned local travel agents in Birmingham. The Punjabis were attracted by short travel time, super low fares and generous luggage allowances with transit times catering only to the specific BHX-ASB-ATQ transit usually operated by the same old B757 workhorse all the way through. Now with the blacklist and the pakistan east west transit closed it a closed chapter in a unique niche market.
 
amc737
Posts: 90
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2018 11:56 am

Re: Turkmenistan to Birmingham? Why?

Sun Mar 24, 2019 9:07 am

Turkmenistan had been the great survivor of Birmingham, over the years many airlines have tried the BHX-CIS-India route yet only Turkmenistan have been consistent. Over the years Kazakhstan Airlines, Tajik Air and Kyrgyzstan Airlines have all had a go with Tu-154s (typically each used the same aircraft each week), at one point Kyrgyzstan used a leased A320. Uzbekistan also flew to BHX on their way to JFK. As far as I'm aware Uzbek and Turkmenistan only used Boeing's to BHX rather than Russian Aircraft.

While has been mentioned Amristar is the primary focus these operators offered connections to other points in India and Pakistan. Worth remembering most of these operators flew in the 90's before Emirates had started operating into Birmingham so could capture a larger slice of the east bound market. Things have very much reversed, in the 90's most of BHX long haul was trans-atlantic with a daily BA 757 and American 767 heading west along with Canadian charters and Orlando operated by UK charters and American Trans Air, while heading east your options where a weekly TU-154. Now with little Atlantic bound but Emirates, Qatar, Air India and PIA go east and until recently Turkmenistan.

amc737

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