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BlueTrue
Posts: 51
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Fri Sep 24, 2021 7:52 pm

Big decision coming here for BA/IAG. If they dump Lgw, then they are boxed in at Lhr. That is all fine at the moment, but what will it look like in say three years when air travel has recovered, Lhr is full to bursting again and they have nothing at Lgw. To me, this confirms BA at this size for ever, that is not sustainable. A decision could be made here that starts the long-term decline of BA in terms of size. There are lots of carriers operating at Lgw, they can't all be making a loss on all routes, or else they wouldn't be there. BA has been hashing at Lgw for years now, is the problem Lgw or BA? Would Lgw be better to just accept BA are going, wave goodbye and move on? I'm not sure BA has ever been committed to Lgw, smacks to me that they have always been looking for reasons to claim Lgw doesn't work.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Sep 26, 2021 5:57 pm

LGW doesn't work for BA because they refuse to allow it to compete with LHR. Due to that, they end up with huge issues around seasonality. Too many routes are either summer only or heavily dependent on summer for revenues. I appreciate that's largely the European short haul industry in general but it's even more pronounced for BA shorthaul at LGW.

BA are likely to sell on the Monarch slots that they bought as some of them are at fairly unsociable hours. They did state at the onset of Covid that they would be a permanently smaller airline so this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Those LGW A320s could well come in handy to fly slots that were flown by the 31 747s.

LGW longhaul appears to have a bright future for BA though, there'll be some expansion/reintroductions of routes over the next few months. But I think Balpa decided, quite rightly, they couldn't agree to the worst jet-job T&Cs in the UK with quite frankly potentially dangerous scheduling regulations. That the entire operation of Newco apparently hinged on £2m annual savings from pilots alone I think shows BA were at worst being wholly opportunistic and at best looking to blame someone else for its demise rather than its own inept management of the operation.

Gatwick looks set to be making its 2nd/emergency runway fully operational for about 2029 so it's possible BA may just wait until then to see if they want to get back into LGW short haul as new slots will become available then.
 
Breathe
Posts: 875
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:24 pm

heebeegb wrote:
8herveg wrote:
On a slightly separate note, has BA ended LGW-EDI altogether? If not, when is it coming back? I thought it would have been more a more lucrative route than LGW-GLA which they still operate...



Yes EDI has been dropped. With VS moving GLA flights to EDI, GLA ma be better for feeder traffic for BA LGW.

Not so great for EDI folk wanting to connect with BA long haul destinations that aren't served at LHR. I'm guessing that there isn't that much feed from EDI to justify BA bringing it back?
 
skipness1E
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Sep 26, 2021 6:28 pm

heebeegb wrote:
8herveg wrote:
On a slightly separate note, has BA ended LGW-EDI altogether? If not, when is it coming back? I thought it would have been more a more lucrative route than LGW-GLA which they still operate...



Yes EDI has been dropped. With VS moving GLA flights to EDI, GLA ma be better for feeder traffic for BA LGW.

Only one flight a day each way feeds long haul, both were 3-4 daily and EDI has a bigger business catchment than GLA. The only other reason to keep GLA over EDI is for rotating through for hangar checks, which with no based LGW fleets no longer makes sense.
 
BlueTrue
Posts: 51
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Sep 26, 2021 9:13 pm

BA777FO. That is an interesting comment you make. Are you suggesting that given a chance, Lgw could compete with Lhr? The reason I ask is this. For a long time now I have had real difficulty understanding why we have always been told that Lhr is a more successful airport for airlines than Lgw, yet many operated from Lgw, either as well as Lhr or for years at Lgw before moving to Lhr. We have had it suggested that routes at Lgw were loss making, yet I couldn't understand why airlines would operate from Lgw for years(think American carriers and i know they were made to use Lgw) if those routes were losing money. And then I began to wonder, was it because if they operated from Lgw, that started to have an effect on routes from Lhr, but as Lhr is made out to be the cash king/queen, then the Lhr position had to be protected. It is interesting that BA are now suggesting that they have lost money at Lgw for 9 of the last 10 years, yet as well over the last few years they have also claimed that Lgw is profitable. So which is it? I am beginning to believe that operating from Lgw has a far bigger detrimental effect on Lhr routes that they care to admit, so this is more about protecting Lhr than turning Lgw from loss to profit. Like you say, why would the few pounds saved from pilots salaries make or break this plan when the overall expenses will be in the hundreds of millions if not more. Current claims from BA make no sense.
 
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JannEejit
Posts: 1851
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:21 pm

Breathe wrote:
heebeegb wrote:
8herveg wrote:
On a slightly separate note, has BA ended LGW-EDI altogether? If not, when is it coming back? I thought it would have been more a more lucrative route than LGW-GLA which they still operate...



Yes EDI has been dropped. With VS moving GLA flights to EDI, GLA ma be better for feeder traffic for BA LGW.

Not so great for EDI folk wanting to connect with BA long haul destinations that aren't served at LHR. I'm guessing that there isn't that much feed from EDI to justify BA bringing it back?


Could always catch the bus back to GLA once it's dropped off the GLA passengers going to Florida I suppose ?
 
skipness1E
Posts: 5038
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Sep 26, 2021 10:44 pm

BlueTrue wrote:
BA777FO. That is an interesting comment you make. Are you suggesting that given a chance, Lgw could compete with Lhr? The reason I ask is this. For a long time now I have had real difficulty understanding why we have always been told that Lhr is a more successful airport for airlines than Lgw, yet many operated from Lgw, either as well as Lhr or for years at Lgw before moving to Lhr. We have had it suggested that routes at Lgw were loss making, yet I couldn't understand why airlines would operate from Lgw for years(think American carriers and i know they were made to use Lgw) if those routes were losing money. And then I began to wonder, was it because if they operated from Lgw, that started to have an effect on routes from Lhr, but as Lhr is made out to be the cash king/queen, then the Lhr position had to be protected. It is interesting that BA are now suggesting that they have lost money at Lgw for 9 of the last 10 years, yet as well over the last few years they have also claimed that Lgw is profitable. So which is it? I am beginning to believe that operating from Lgw has a far bigger detrimental effect on Lhr routes that they care to admit, so this is more about protecting Lhr than turning Lgw from loss to profit. Like you say, why would the few pounds saved from pilots salaries make or break this plan when the overall expenses will be in the hundreds of millions if not more. Current claims from BA make no sense.

I remember debating this with TrueBlue(!)
It's a straw man to suggest they were all loss making at LGW, as has been made abundantly clear every time this has come up, it's about comparable performance. The American carriers got the option of using LGW or LHR or both, tried both side by side for a time, compared their own internal numbers between LHR and LGW, and closed their LGW operations. All of 'em, CO, DL, NW, US, and AA. Now they may have been after market share but only DL ever planned on coming back and in a very limited way.
When you say "given the chance, LGW could compete with LHR", it does that today? BA could move as much of their operation to LGW as slots would allow to counteract LHR's price rises, but they won't.
When you say BA operating from LGW has a detrimental effect on LHR what do you mean? That was true years ago and was addressed, recently LGW short haul and LHR had very little overlap. GLA/EDI/AMS and a few but there's been little overlap of late.
 
BA777FO
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:00 pm

skipness1E wrote:
When you say BA operating from LGW has a detrimental effect on LHR what do you mean? That was true years ago and was addressed, recently LGW short haul and LHR had very little overlap. GLA/EDI/AMS and a few but there's been little overlap of late.


That's why LGW for BA short haul will never be the success it could be; BA won't allow too much overlap and because of that Gatwick ends up with lower yielding, largely VFR routes, or summer seasonal routes. Due to the seasonal nature a tight-run operation in summer is vastly over-resourced for winter. Every single BA LGW short haul route made money in the summer season. The problem was that too few made enough to counter the losses in winter.

Successful routes such as BLQ, MRS, LUX, PSA and several others (which were all year round, reducing the seasonal issue) were moved to LHR. Other successful routes where overlap occured were suspended (or were fickle like witg NCE and BCN) at LGW in favour of LHR. The leadership team also said that Newco would not have competed with LHR short haul either.

All Newco would have done was treat the symptoms of a poo commercial proposition rather than address the cause of what created the profitability issue in the first place. Fortress Heathrow wins out again!

Ultimately, with BA being 31 747s light, I think they knew they would struggle to fly the summer 2022 slots if no alleviation was forthcoming. On that basis, they attempted to offer the worst jet-job T&Cs in the country, with a productivity clause that would ensure that would forever remain the case, probably knowing it wouldn't be agreed to and the LGW A320s could fly the LHR slots. That gave them a convenient group to blame for shutting LGW short haul, when Balpa couldn't agree after some underhanded contract/negotiation issues with the company. Shorthaul Gatwick had already been closed for 18 months already anyway - they probably had little intention of starting it up again, they had after all made enough cabin crew redundant they could cover the full long haul schedule and little else. If they had succeeded in getting Newco up and running, they'd have had a stick to beat workgroups with in future to ensure the cost base for crew remained one of the lowest in Europe. As it stands, the prospect of a longhaul command 20+ years after joining is one of the only things that separates it from others for pilots and the staff travel is probably just about the only other thing for other work groups. When growth returns, and it will, the company may well have some staffing issues.
 
BealineV953
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:00 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Tue Sep 28, 2021 1:58 pm

BA777FO wrote:
LGW doesn't work for BA because they refuse to allow it to compete with LHR. Due to that, they end up with huge issues around seasonality. Too many routes are either summer only or heavily dependent on summer for revenues. I appreciate that's largely the European short haul industry in general but it's even more pronounced for BA shorthaul at LGW.

BA are likely to sell on the Monarch slots that they bought as some of them are at fairly unsociable hours. They did state at the onset of Covid that they would be a permanently smaller airline so this shouldn't come as too much of a surprise. Those LGW A320s could well come in handy to fly slots that were flown by the 31 747s.

LGW longhaul appears to have a bright future for BA though, there'll be some expansion/reintroductions of routes over the next few months. But I think Balpa decided, quite rightly, they couldn't agree to the worst jet-job T&Cs in the UK with quite frankly potentially dangerous scheduling regulations. That the entire operation of Newco apparently hinged on £2m annual savings from pilots alone I think shows BA were at worst being wholly opportunistic and at best looking to blame someone else for its demise rather than its own inept management of the operation.

Gatwick looks set to be making its 2nd/emergency runway fully operational for about 2029 so it's possible BA may just wait until then to see if they want to get back into LGW short haul as new slots will become available then.


You are wrong to suggest that Gatwick doesn't work for BA because the airline “refuses to allow Gatwick to compete with Heathrow”.
Something like nine or ten years ago BA created a dedicated Gatwick commercial team. This clearly demonstrated commitment to making Gatwick work. The primary objective was to maximise revenue on Gatwick services. Significantly, the Gatwick team included a dedicated Revenue Management team responsible for setting fares and managing seat availability for the Gatwick services. With little duplication between Gatwick and Heathrow services the Gatwick commercial team were free to do what they felt they needed to do.

I also think you are wrong to suggest that Gatwick doesn't work for BA because the airline’s commercial management of the Gatwick services has been “inept”.
Over time, the fundamental revenue challenge for BA at Gatwick has been yield. In the past, for whatever reason, where the airline operated from Gatwick to shorthaul ‘business’ destinations, compared to Heathrow there was far lower demand for Club, and Traveller yields were lower.
Top of my head I can’t recall which ‘business’ destinations were served from Gatwick when, but in the not too distant past IIRC these included Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich and others. My guess is that if BA went back to those less seasonal ‘business’ destinations, it would be a case of déjà vu all over again.
Against that background, BA concentrated on leisure routes from Gatwick, significantly growing the network by serving new destinations not served from Heathrow.

The dedicated team and commercial focus effectively created an airline within an airline. This approach worked well, and results steadily improved to the point where the business case to replace the last of the 737s with A320s, albeit second hand, was approved.
In 2016 Gatwick shorthaul services made a profit. After years of losses, this was a cause for much celebration.
However, the fun didn’t last. BA found itself competing with Norwegian on a growing number of routes as that airline increased its presence at Gatwick. Going head to head with a business that prioritises revenue growth over delivering a return to investors, and is comfortable with selling at below cost is never going to be easy.

BA and IAG press releases are always very carefully worded. “…Will pursue alternative uses for the London Gatwick short-haul slots” does not read to me as disposing of the one time Monarch or any other slots. Rather, I’d say that IAG has something in mind for its Gatwick slot portfolio.
In the Sunday Times on 19th September there was a lengthy interview with IAG’s Chief Executive, Luis Gallego.
Asked about talk in the aviation industry of IAG buying or merging with easyJet, Gallego said that easyJet is one of several businesses “on the radar” at IAG, but this did not mean a bid was imminent. Asked if he had discussed a merger with executives at easyJet, he said, “We talk to all airlines that can be interesting to us”.
Buying or merging with easyJet would be a fast track way of creating an IAG low cost operation at Gatwick. Having said that, it would of course be subject to scrutiny by regulators.
If in the short term nothing happens with easyJet, then my guess is that IAG will create a stand alone low cost operation at Gatwick.

I entirely agree where you suggest that in pushing for yet more cost savings at Gatwick, BA were ‘being wholly opportunistic’. As Machiavelli said, you should never let a crisis go to waste.
Last edited by BealineV953 on Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
BealineV953
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:00 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:12 pm

BA777FO wrote:
skipness1E wrote:

Ultimately, with BA being 31 747s light, I think they knew they would struggle to fly the summer 2022 slots if no alleviation was forthcoming.
On that basis, they attempted to offer the worst jet-job T&Cs in the country, with a productivity clause that would ensure that would forever remain the case, probably knowing it wouldn't be agreed to and the LGW A320s could fly the LHR slots. .


Hello.
The pre-Covid-19 plan was for all BA 747s to be retired by February 2024, with the following numbers in the fleet at year end:
• 2020: 25
• 2021: 20
• 2022: 12
• 2023: 3
So, through 2022 the 747 fleet would have reduced from 20 to only 12.
Over the past eighteen months new 777-300s, A350s and 787s have been delivered, directly replacing a significant number of the 747s.
 
fcogafa
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:44 pm

Having just flown LHR-NAP and back where allocated club seats on an A320 were up to row 12, ie 48 and on both legs were 95% occupied it seems that leisure routes do attract the higher spenders. This could be as a result of operating from Heathrow, due to my location I wouldn't have used the flight if it was operated from Gatwick and am glad for the extra destination opportunities the move to LHR has given.
 
BealineV953
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:00 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Tue Sep 28, 2021 2:52 pm

BealineV953 wrote:
BA777FO wrote:
skipness1E wrote:

Ultimately, with BA being 31 747s light, I think they knew they would struggle to fly the summer 2022 slots if no alleviation was forthcoming.
On that basis, they attempted to offer the worst jet-job T&Cs in the country, with a productivity clause that would ensure that would forever remain the case, probably knowing it wouldn't be agreed to and the LGW A320s could fly the LHR slots. .


The pre-Covid-19 plan was for all BA 747s to be retired by February 2024, with the following numbers in the fleet at year end:
• 2020: 25
• 2021: 20
• 2022: 12
• 2023: 3
So, through 2022 the 747 fleet would have reduced from 20 to only 12.
Over the past eighteen months new 777-300s, A350s and 787s have been delivered, directly replacing a significant number of the 747s.


I've been trying to work out how many of BA's retired 747s have been replaced.
BA's 'pre-covid' fleet plan showed 11x 747 to be retired between March '20 (when the fleet was grounded) and 2021 year end.
Since March '20 4x 777-300s, 3x A350s and 2x 787-10s have been delivered, a total of 9.
So, at this time 9 of the 11 planned 747 retirements have been replaced.
However, with further deliveries deferred, through 2022 the gap will grow.
 
BA777FO
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:36 pm

BealineV953 wrote:
You are wrong to suggest that Gatwick doesn't work for BA because the airline “refuses to allow Gatwick to compete with Heathrow”.
Something like nine or ten years ago BA created a dedicated Gatwick commercial team. This clearly demonstrated commitment to making Gatwick work. The primary objective was to maximise revenue on Gatwick services. Significantly, the Gatwick team included a dedicated Revenue Management team responsible for setting fares and managing seat availability for the Gatwick services. With little duplication between Gatwick and Heathrow services the Gatwick commercial team were free to do what they felt they needed to do.


I remember when it was formed. I had a good chat with the Gatwick MD and Head of Commercial at the time and it was obvious that they were subservient to Heathrow. After all, the guy that became Head of Commercial at Gatwick was the same one that replaced LGW-NCE/BCN with LGW-PZN and NQY because he didn't want Gatwick competing on the Nice and Barcelona routes. That there was little duplication, indeed: there was little overlap because they weren't allowed to do much. Instead they went on a spree of increasing seasonality - the BA shorthaul ASK reduction from its summer peak to its winter low was over 50% bigger than easyJet's reduction. Furthermore, the MD for Gatwick thought she was going on a shopping spree for new aircraft, instead she ended up with old Airbuses.

I also think you are wrong to suggest that Gatwick doesn't work for BA because the airline’s commercial management of the Gatwick services has been “inept”.
Over time, the fundamental revenue challenge for BA at Gatwick has been yield. In the past, for whatever reason, where the airline operated from Gatwick to shorthaul ‘business’ destinations, compared to Heathrow there was far lower demand for Club, and Traveller yields were lower.


The issue wasn't yields. The yields in summer were very high. That same head of commercial at Gatwick told me so - his problem was that he couldn't make money in winter because all but the domestics, Turin and Tirana experienced frequency cuts in the winter. The network was too seasonal.

Top of my head I can’t recall which ‘business’ destinations were served from Gatwick when, but in the not too distant past IIRC these included Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich and others. My guess is that if BA went back to those less seasonal ‘business’ destinations, it would be a case of déjà vu all over again.
Against that background, BA concentrated on leisure routes from Gatwick, significantly growing the network by serving new destinations not served from Heathrow.


The business didn't really grow. It had 35 short haul aircraft at Gatwick for summer 2008. It never got above 30 in subsequent years. Many of those "new" routes were ex-GB Airways routes too and many others migrated up to Heathrow, such as year-round routes to Pisa, Bologna and Marseille which further exacerbated the seasonality problem. Instead of treating the causes of seasonality with the network the company simply wanted to treat the symptom with a desire for crew to take up part time contracts in the winter.

However, the fun didn’t last. BA found itself competing with Norwegian on a growing number of routes as that airline increased its presence at Gatwick. Going head to head with a business that prioritises revenue growth over delivering a return to investors, and is comfortable with selling at below cost is never going to be easy.


There was very little overlap with Norwegian's short haul network with the exception of a few Spanish routes.

BA and IAG press releases are always very carefully worded. “…Will pursue alternative uses for the London Gatwick short-haul slots” does not read to me as disposing of the one time Monarch or any other slots. Rather, I’d say that IAG has something in mind for its Gatwick slot portfolio.
In the Sunday Times on 19th September there was a lengthy interview with IAG’s Chief Executive, Luis Gallego.
Asked about talk in the aviation industry of IAG buying or merging with easyJet, Gallego said that easyJet is one of several businesses “on the radar” at IAG, but this did not mean a bid was imminent. Asked if he had discussed a merger with executives at easyJet, he said, “We talk to all airlines that can be interesting to us”.
Buying or merging with easyJet would be a fast track way of creating an IAG low cost operation at Gatwick. Having said that, it would of course be subject to scrutiny by regulators.
If in the short term nothing happens with easyJet, then my guess is that IAG will create a stand alone low cost operation at Gatwick.


IAG doesn't have a great track record with LCCs. Veuling was the least profitable opco with the lowest ROIC and Level never turned a profit. But yes, IAG won't be letting the slots go for nothing. Good job Balpa said no though, BA pilots (and extended to that cabin crew at Gatwick and GGS staff) had been underpaid on a benchmark against similar European airlines for quite some time.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Wed Sep 29, 2021 4:44 pm

BealineV953 wrote:
BA777FO wrote:
skipness1E wrote:

Ultimately, with BA being 31 747s light, I think they knew they would struggle to fly the summer 2022 slots if no alleviation was forthcoming.
On that basis, they attempted to offer the worst jet-job T&Cs in the country, with a productivity clause that would ensure that would forever remain the case, probably knowing it wouldn't be agreed to and the LGW A320s could fly the LHR slots. .


Hello.
The pre-Covid-19 plan was for all BA 747s to be retired by February 2024, with the following numbers in the fleet at year end:
• 2020: 25
• 2021: 20
• 2022: 12
• 2023: 3
So, through 2022 the 747 fleet would have reduced from 20 to only 12.
Over the past eighteen months new 777-300s, A350s and 787s have been delivered, directly replacing a significant number of the 747s.


4 77Ws replaced 3 777-200s. Net growth of 1. Delays to the delivery of 787-10s has meant they'll be short of hulls compared to the 2019 plan. They'll need the LGW Airbus fleet if there's no alleviation to the 80/20 rule for summer 2022. They took delivery of 5 A350s and 2 787-10s. Plus the 1 extra 77W that a net loss of 23 long haul airframes and extra A319s also left the fleet.

At the end 2019 BA had 305 total aircraft. At the end of 2020 it 277 - 28 fewer.
 
heebeegb
Posts: 130
Joined: Tue Sep 11, 2007 8:01 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Thu Sep 30, 2021 7:26 am

Why did BA propose a 17 fleet LGW operation if they know they will need those aircraft to fulfill LHR slots?
 
Nickd92
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Thu Sep 30, 2021 9:04 am

Does anybody know the last full Summer (2019) the amount of Short Haul aircraft at LGW? Based overnight not taking into account JER night stop and other different night stops?
 
BealineV953
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:00 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Thu Sep 30, 2021 4:20 pm

BA777FO wrote:
BealineV953 wrote:
BA777FO wrote:


Hello.
The pre-Covid-19 plan was for all BA 747s to be retired by February 2024, with the following numbers in the fleet at year end:
• 2020: 25
• 2021: 20
• 2022: 12
• 2023: 3
So, through 2022 the 747 fleet would have reduced from 20 to only 12.
Over the past eighteen months new 777-300s, A350s and 787s have been delivered, directly replacing a significant number of the 747s.


4 77Ws replaced 3 777-200s. Net growth of 1. Delays to the delivery of 787-10s has meant they'll be short of hulls compared to the 2019 plan. They'll need the LGW Airbus fleet if there's no alleviation to the 80/20 rule for summer 2022. They took delivery of 5 A350s and 2 787-10s. Plus the 1 extra 77W that a net loss of 23 long haul airframes and extra A319s also left the fleet.

At the end 2019 BA had 305 total aircraft. At the end of 2020 it 277 - 28 fewer.


Hello.
Where you said “…LGW A320s could well come in handy to fly slots that were flown by the 31 747s”, rightly or wrongly I got the impression you are saying that the Heathrow slots used by thirty-one 747s would have to be covered.
Knowing that a number of longhaul aircraft have been delivered to BA since the 747s were grounded, l was curious to know how much smaller the BA longhaul fleet is than it was planned to be at this point in time.
As in my post 162, I took the end of March ’20 as my start point, because that was when regular passenger 747 services ended. I’m treating all retirements and deliveries before March ’20 as ‘business as usual’.
4x 777-300s were delivered after March '20.
2x 787-10s were delivered after March '20.
3x A350s were delivered after March '20 (the first 5 A350s arrived in 2019 and early ’20).

You’re correct, I did forget the three 777 retirements. However, the first of the three left the fleet in January ’20, so I’m not counting that one.
So, the retirements are 31 747s plus 2 777s and the new deliveries total 9. Therefore, at this point in time the BA longhaul fleet is 24 aircraft down on the pre-covid plan.
When A350 and 787-10 deliveries resume, the shortfall will begin to close. An A350 made a customer acceptance flight today, 30SEP, so delivery appears to be imminent.

Where you say “They'll need the LGW Airbus fleet if there's no alleviation to the 80/20 rule for summer 2022” you imply that part of the reason for shutting down the Gatwick shorthaul operation was to cover the Heathrow slots.
I very much doubt that.
BA’s longhaul aircraft typically depart one day, and arrive back the next.
BA’s longhaul departure and arrival slots are spread throughout the day. Typically departures to the Americas run from 0830 to 1700 and later, and to Africa and the East from mid-day to 2000 or so.
I’d guess that it is possible to cover the slots used by 24 longhaul aircraft with something like eight shorthaul aircraft, each flying three round trips a day.
BA could come up with eight shorthaul aircraft at LHR by slowing the rate of LHR-based A319 retirements and / or by reducing the A320 fleet at Gatwick.
To protect the Heathrow slots there is no need for anything as dramatic as closing down the Gatwick shorthaul operation.
 
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JerseyFlyer
Posts: 1785
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 7:24 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:02 pm

S22 London flights to Jersey have reappeared today on BA.com, from LHR. They were bookable from LGW up to a week or so ago, but disappeared when the BALPA negotiations went belly up.

I looked at one other former LGW destination, CTA, to find flights also from LHR in July next year.

So it seems BA have given up on european LGW flying until W22 at least. If all the former LGW flying is from LHR next summer, there is no scope for a Vueling or similar option at LGW then either.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 5038
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:03 pm

The thing is, there's surely a part of BA being a LHR based network long haul carrier that could do without the distraction of a secondary business model at LGW as they plan a recovery for the business. There's no future for LGW long haul bow surely, it's even crewed from LHR!
 
BaronHamstead
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:20 pm

BA long haul cabin crew are still Gatwick based, not the flight crew though. After redundancies there are about 300 cabin crew remaining This winter at least 48 long haul departures from Gatwick are scheduled. For summer 2022 it is currently 60. All the routes are suited to Gatwick as largely point to point mainly holiday markets or VFR traffic. Winter will require about 7 to 8 777 aircraft, next Summer 11 777.
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Thu Sep 30, 2021 5:23 pm

skipness1E wrote:
The thing is, there's surely a part of BA being a LHR based network long haul carrier that could do without the distraction of a secondary business model at LGW as they plan a recovery for the business. There's no future for LGW long haul bow surely, it's even crewed from LHR!


It would be great from my perspective as a Jersey resident to see all of BA's London flying at either LHR or LGW - the M25 bus is not a value add for me!

But could BA absorb its long haul LGW flying within its available (or otherwise attainable) slots at LHR? If not, it would need to prune its services, at least until a 3rd runway at LHR becomes available.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Fri Oct 01, 2021 6:46 am

BealineV953 wrote:
BA777FO wrote:
BealineV953 wrote:

Hello.
The pre-Covid-19 plan was for all BA 747s to be retired by February 2024, with the following numbers in the fleet at year end:
• 2020: 25
• 2021: 20
• 2022: 12
• 2023: 3
So, through 2022 the 747 fleet would have reduced from 20 to only 12.
Over the past eighteen months new 777-300s, A350s and 787s have been delivered, directly replacing a significant number of the 747s.


4 77Ws replaced 3 777-200s. Net growth of 1. Delays to the delivery of 787-10s has meant they'll be short of hulls compared to the 2019 plan. They'll need the LGW Airbus fleet if there's no alleviation to the 80/20 rule for summer 2022. They took delivery of 5 A350s and 2 787-10s. Plus the 1 extra 77W that a net loss of 23 long haul airframes and extra A319s also left the fleet.

At the end 2019 BA had 305 total aircraft. At the end of 2020 it 277 - 28 fewer.


Hello.
Where you said “…LGW A320s could well come in handy to fly slots that were flown by the 31 747s”, rightly or wrongly I got the impression you are saying that the Heathrow slots used by thirty-one 747s would have to be covered.
Knowing that a number of longhaul aircraft have been delivered to BA since the 747s were grounded, l was curious to know how much smaller the BA longhaul fleet is than it was planned to be at this point in time.
As in my post 162, I took the end of March ’20 as my start point, because that was when regular passenger 747 services ended. I’m treating all retirements and deliveries before March ’20 as ‘business as usual’.
4x 777-300s were delivered after March '20.
2x 787-10s were delivered after March '20.
3x A350s were delivered after March '20 (the first 5 A350s arrived in 2019 and early ’20).

You’re correct, I did forget the three 777 retirements. However, the first of the three left the fleet in January ’20, so I’m not counting that one.
So, the retirements are 31 747s plus 2 777s and the new deliveries total 9. Therefore, at this point in time the BA longhaul fleet is 24 aircraft down on the pre-covid plan.
When A350 and 787-10 deliveries resume, the shortfall will begin to close. An A350 made a customer acceptance flight today, 30SEP, so delivery appears to be imminent.

Where you say “They'll need the LGW Airbus fleet if there's no alleviation to the 80/20 rule for summer 2022” you imply that part of the reason for shutting down the Gatwick shorthaul operation was to cover the Heathrow slots.
I very much doubt that.
BA’s longhaul aircraft typically depart one day, and arrive back the next.
BA’s longhaul departure and arrival slots are spread throughout the day. Typically departures to the Americas run from 0830 to 1700 and later, and to Africa and the East from mid-day to 2000 or so.
I’d guess that it is possible to cover the slots used by 24 longhaul aircraft with something like eight shorthaul aircraft, each flying three round trips a day.
BA could come up with eight shorthaul aircraft at LHR by slowing the rate of LHR-based A319 retirements and / or by reducing the A320 fleet at Gatwick.
To protect the Heathrow slots there is no need for anything as dramatic as closing down the Gatwick shorthaul operation.


The A319 retirements are often fixed months in advance, there's no scope to delay that now. There has also been a net loss of A319s, it's not just the longhaul airframes. In addition, due to the nature of the slots the 747s would have flown you can't necessarily get 4 sectors out of the A320. You can't get Gatwick levels of efficiency at Heathrow, it's a stick they've used against crew for quite some time! The most efficient Airbus schedule will achieve at most 5 sectors in a day (two out-and-backs followed by a nightstop) but most achieve only 3 or 4 sectors in the day. There's no way you'd cover 30 slot pairs at Heathrow with 8 A320s, many of the departure/arrival times are similar and not overly dispersed throughout the day.

When you lose ~30 long haul airframes with the disparity of slot timings you might get away with flying those with, at best 15 airframes, but more likely closer to 20. BA was already running a lean operation with regards to airframe availability. Without the Gatwick airframes there would have to be ad-hoc cancellations up to but not exceeding 20% of the time.
 
jomur
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:36 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:07 am

BA777FO wrote:

IAG doesn't have a great track record with LCCs. Veuling was the least profitable opco with the lowest ROIC and Level never turned a profit. But yes, IAG won't be letting the slots go for nothing. Good job Balpa said no though, BA pilots (and extended to that cabin crew at Gatwick and GGS staff) had been underpaid on a benchmark against similar European airlines for quite some time.


To be blunt if the pilots don't like the pay they could always go and work for some one else.. No one is forcing any one to stay. Maybe one of those higher paid european jobs..

I would love to see BALPA try and run an airline as they always seem to know best...
 
TUGMASTER
Posts: 1490
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:56 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Fri Oct 01, 2021 8:56 am

jomur wrote:

To be blunt if the pilots don't like the pay they could always go and work for some one else.. No one is forcing any one to stay. Maybe one of those higher paid european jobs..

I would love to see BALPA try and run an airline as they always seem to know best...


CLOWN.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:50 pm

jomur wrote:
BA777FO wrote:

IAG doesn't have a great track record with LCCs. Veuling was the least profitable opco with the lowest ROIC and Level never turned a profit. But yes, IAG won't be letting the slots go for nothing. Good job Balpa said no though, BA pilots (and extended to that cabin crew at Gatwick and GGS staff) had been underpaid on a benchmark against similar European airlines for quite some time.


To be blunt if the pilots don't like the pay they could always go and work for some one else.. No one is forcing any one to stay. Maybe one of those higher paid european jobs..

I would love to see BALPA try and run an airline as they always seem to know best...


Of course. Greedy pilots again. :roll: this is where the ignorance shines through. Balpa determined that the scheduling agreement would have been dangerous - easyJet were on the verge of industrial action over scheduling agreements with similar clauses, only Newco's proposal went further.

Secondly there was a provision in the contract that meant Newco pilots would have to maintain industry leading productivity - they were quite literally the worst T&Cs for a commercial air transport jet job in the UK. This was after BA initially refused to honour a clause in the contract that meant Newco pilots would be BA employees and not employees of a third party. How do you negotiate honestly with a company that goes back on its word?

Perhaps one day, after years of airlines successfully lobbying EASA to water down safety rules on FTLs and scheduling agreements you might thank Balpa when it saves your life. Fatigue is a contributory factor in just about every single fatal air accident.

Secondly, with all due respect, if you understood how seniority uniquely affects airline pilots you wouldn't come out with such nonsense.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:51 pm

TUGMASTER wrote:
jomur wrote:

To be blunt if the pilots don't like the pay they could always go and work for some one else.. No one is forcing any one to stay. Maybe one of those higher paid european jobs..

I would love to see BALPA try and run an airline as they always seem to know best...


CLOWN.


:checkmark: seems as though there's always one...
 
BaronHamstead
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:33 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sat Oct 02, 2021 12:57 pm

Just back to ask if anyone knows what is happening to the Canary Islands and Paphos flights next Summer. This morning still no direct flights showing from Heathrow. I can’t believe they will be dropped! I will have to be patient. Maybe not room for them at Heathrow and they will go from Gatwick! One can dream :D
I also wonder if there is any significance in keeping the old Gatwick flight numbers. Probably not. Unless in the longer term,(2023 onwards) they are still looking for a resolution for Gatwick short haul. Interesting!
Hopefully, long haul will grow as fortress Heathrow becomes more expensive and slot constrained once more.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:31 pm

There are flights on select days to TFS but so far nothing for PFO or ACE ia loaded yet.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 5038
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sat Oct 02, 2021 5:58 pm

BaronHamstead wrote:
Just back to ask if anyone knows what is happening to the Canary Islands and Paphos flights next Summer. This morning still no direct flights showing from Heathrow. I can’t believe they will be dropped! I will have to be patient. Maybe not room for them at Heathrow and they will go from Gatwick! One can dream :D
I also wonder if there is any significance in keeping the old Gatwick flight numbers. Probably not. Unless in the longer term,(2023 onwards) they are still looking for a resolution for Gatwick short haul. Interesting!
Hopefully, long haul will grow as fortress Heathrow becomes more expensive and slot constrained once more.

I'll have what you're smoking buddy. There's zero economies of scale to have a handful of B777s at LGW now short haul is gone. I'd be very surprised if there's a BA presence at LGW for summer 2023. They've just literally gifted all of short haul market share out of LGW to their competitors and publically announced they're closing the whole short haul operation. I can't begin to imagine a business case for BA mainline to start from square one again and grow that from a GLA-LGW "w" leg.
That's not to say IAG might not do something mad like bid for easyJet of course.....

The more we know the more it feels like BA wanted BALPA to give them an excuse to do this, it's been 33 years since BCAL came on board and 30 since Dan Air, and in three decades short haul LGW has (we are now told) never turned a profit despite terms and conditions being slashed and burned in all that time to less than easyJet, who do make money. BA mainline are frankly terrible at every single thing that's not Heathrow.
 
BaronHamstead
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:33 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:02 pm

Skipness IE I take great exception to your reference regarding the 'smoking' I just know long haul will be around a while.
 
BaronHamstead
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:33 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:06 pm

Furthermore, if BA does decide its future is only at Heathrow it is giving itself limited future growth opportunities at an expensive and slot constrained airport.
Growth opportunities would only come about through acquisitions which are not always straightforward and in the medium term unaffordable.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 5038
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sat Oct 02, 2021 7:39 pm

They tried growing into LGW and apparently never made a penny. They make their money at LHR. I work with people every day who parrot the same mantras about "growth opportunities" and "market share" in tune with what everyone wants to hear.
Then you get the endless strategising about how to make money and they keep doing the same thing and never learning.
If British Airways short haul can't make money at LGW after 30 years of trying having cut costs to below easyJet then there is no business case and no ROI to keep trying. It's not a consistently profitable business unit, by recent admission, it's never made money. It's a sheer act of (religious) faith to believe it ever will with BA. Just imagine how much time and resource LGW short haul costs to run and has never, ever delivered a profit? At a stroke BA can focus on the one and only place they have ever been able to make money, LHR. I mean THIRTY YEARS of consistent losses! When you say "you just know long haul will be around" at LGW, I will agree if and only if it can make money on BA's cost base as a stand alone base, crewed with flight deck from LHR and a being fed from LHR's Airbus fleet with cross charging costs and still be profitable? Having lost EDI but gained MAN........? It's like pulling a plaster off IMHO.
 
factsonly
Posts: 3194
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:08 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:55 am

Just noted an interesting development for BA's European LGW flights, some LGW operations have been added to the LHR schedule for that route.

An example LHR - AMS for January 2022:

1. LHR 06:55 - AMS 09:15 BA428/32N daily
2. LHR 07:45 - AMS 10:05 BA2758/320 daily (ex.LGW)
3. LHR 08:20 - AMS 10:50 BA430/320 daily
4. LHR 10:55 - AMS 13:20 BA434/32N daily
5. LHR 11:40 - AMS 14:10 BA2760/32N Mon-Sat (ex.LGW)
6. LHR 12:45 - AMS 15:10 BA438/32N daily
7. LHR 14:10 - AMS 16:35 BA446/319 daily
8. LHR 15:45 - AMS 18:05 BA2762/320 Mon-Fri (ex.LGW)
9. LHR 16:25 - AMS 18:50 BA440/32N daily
10.LHR 17:45 - AMS 20:10 BA442/320 Mon-Fri
11. LHR 18:10 - AMS 20:40 BA2764/320 Thu, Fri, Sun (ex.LGW)
12. LHR 18:40 - AMS 21:00 BA426/32N Sun-Thu
13. LHR 19:45 - AMS 22:05 BA444/32N Sun-Fri

Slot sitting at LHR and AMS or a true schedule?

Source: BA reservations
 
BaronHamstead
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:33 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:23 am

I think with all the Gatwick to Heathrow moves I don’t think slot sitting is an issue! Indeed it might be more of a question of finding slots for some of the exGatwick flights that are still missing!
 
TUGMASTER
Posts: 1490
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 8:56 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 8:52 am

BaronHamstead wrote:
I don’t think slot sitting is an issue!


It is ABSOLUTELY an issue, why do you think all the LGW routes are at LHR anyway, there’s no way BA would surrender those precious LHR slots to other airlines / new entrants.
 
BaronHamstead
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:33 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 9:26 am

You misunderstand me. To move all next Summer’s Gatwick flights to Heathrow needs about 80 slot pairs. In addition if the red list is reduced and other restrictions relaxed the slots BA already have at Heathrow will be needed very quickly. All I’m saying is that if traffic recovers well in 2022 it is going to be tight.
 
JumboMaiden
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:28 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 12:41 pm

BA777FO wrote:
jomur wrote:
BA777FO wrote:

IAG doesn't have a .,,...


Of course. Greedy pilots again. :roll: this is where the ignorance shines through. Balpa determined that the scheduling agreement would have been dangerous - easyJet were on the verge of industrial action over scheduling agreements with similar clauses, only Newco's proposal went further.

Secondly there was a provision in the contract that meant Newco pilots would have to maintain industry leading productivity - they were quite literally the worst T&Cs for a commercial air transport jet job in the UK. This was after BA initially refused to honour a clause in the contract that meant Newco pilots would be BA employees and not employees of a third party. How do you negotiate honestly with a company that goes back on its word?

Perhaps one day, after years of airlines successfully lobbying EASA to water down safety rules on FTLs and scheduling agreements you might thank Balpa when it saves your life. Fatigue is a contributory factor in just about every single fatal air accident.

Secondly, with all due respect, if you understood how seniority uniquely affects airline pilots you wouldn't come out with such nonsense.


WHy would they have needed to interfere with the pilots? I was expecting to see BA invent a new cabin crew only seasonal contract that kept them all busy in summer
and extended into winter for the numbers that required. LHR cabin crew will now be doing flights into Gatwick from GLA/others I read which still seemed cockeyed to me.
 
f4f3a
Posts: 642
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 4:07 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:21 pm

Why can't ba make money at Gatwick is odd if their costs are below easyjet ? Gatwick was one of easyjet biggest moneymakers . Is the loss making at Gatwick a fiddle for taxes ? It just doesn't make sense . Same a/c cheap crew same routes how can one company make money and the other lose it
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 2:03 pm

JumboMaiden wrote:
BA777FO wrote:
jomur wrote:

Of course. Greedy pilots again. :roll: this is where the ignorance shines through. Balpa determined that the scheduling agreement would have been dangerous - easyJet were on the verge of industrial action over scheduling agreements with similar clauses, only Newco's proposal went further.

Secondly there was a provision in the contract that meant Newco pilots would have to maintain industry leading productivity - they were quite literally the worst T&Cs for a commercial air transport jet job in the UK. This was after BA initially refused to honour a clause in the contract that meant Newco pilots would be BA employees and not employees of a third party. How do you negotiate honestly with a company that goes back on its word?

Perhaps one day, after years of airlines successfully lobbying EASA to water down safety rules on FTLs and scheduling agreements you might thank Balpa when it saves your life. Fatigue is a contributory factor in just about every single fatal air accident.

Secondly, with all due respect, if you understood how seniority uniquely affects airline pilots you wouldn't come out with such nonsense.


WHy would they have needed to interfere with the pilots? I was expecting to see BA invent a new cabin crew only seasonal contract that kept them all busy in summer
and extended into winter for the numbers that required. LHR cabin crew will now be doing flights into Gatwick from GLA/others I read which still seemed cockeyed to me.


Cabin crew were already on some of the lowrst contracts in the UK, there's little more that could be done unless you started taking things like the breakfast allowance away. Cabin crew seasonality was smoothed out by their dual-rating on the 777 so extra Caribbean frequencies in the winter kept them, relatively speaking, busier.

The proposed Newco pilot contract had longer and shorter term elements. The A320 schedule dropped off a cliff at the end of the summer season hence BA wanted contracts that resulted in 100% summer working but only 75% or 50% part time in winter. They also wanted wholesale changes to the scheduling agreement to allow for last minute roster changes on a regular basis, reducing the need for reserve pilots and rest day working payments. Then there was the pay element. New joiners at Newco would be paid less than new joiners were being paid back in 2008 in nominal terms, forgetting about inflation since then, then captain's pay, already typically pay capped lower than easyJet, would be cut a further 10-15%. Then there was the clause that Newco needed to have "market leading productivity" and a mechanism was set up to address any instance that was no longer the case. So basically Newco pilots would always be the hardest worked and lowest paid pilots in the UK/Europe and forever leading the race to the bottom.

The longer term plan was then to say "well, you agreed it at Gatwick, so now we need to do it Heathrow". It was opportunistic on a group that for 2020 had taken ~25% pay cuts already and most of this year in the region of 15%.

Since Mixed Fleet/Worldwide/Eurofleet merged there's essentially a mechanism that cabin crew costs won't increase for quite some time. Flying a W pattern on LHR-GLA-LGW-GLA-LHR is cheaper than retaining staff at Gatwick for just one flight (later two when Manchester resumes as well). Enough Gatwick cabin crew were made redundant that arguably they'd have struggled to crew a summer shorthaul operation anyway.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 5038
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 3:07 pm

f4f3a wrote:
Why can't ba make money at Gatwick is odd if their costs are below easyjet ? Gatwick was one of easyjet biggest moneymakers . Is the loss making at Gatwick a fiddle for taxes ? It just doesn't make sense . Same a/c cheap crew same routes how can one company make money and the other lose it

Internal allocation of costs. Ask the Finance Director. It's opaque at best BUT the CEO relies on Finance he doesn't tend to INSTRUCT. That's why EZY base their shiniest NEOs at LGW and BA don't. Everything BA have done at LGW is seem via the question of : "How does this impact LHR?" (Key profit centre) Everything EZY do at LGW is via the lens of "How does this support our bottom line at Gatwick?"

Two competing models.
 
JumboMaiden
Posts: 55
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:28 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 4:52 pm

BA777FO wrote:
JumboMaiden wrote:
BA777FO wrote:


Enough Gatwick cabin crew were made redundant that arguably they'd have struggled to crew a summer shorthaul operation anyway.

(etc)

I understand now. Thanks for that. Every time one asks if they can find a way to alienate crew any more than they have.... someone goes and shows
us how.
 
jomur
Posts: 442
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:36 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 6:19 pm

Seems The new airline at LGW could be back on. Flyertalk reporting Balpa have had a new offer and its going to a ballot soon.
 
BaronHamstead
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2021 4:33 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 6:27 pm

Yes it looks that way! I thought it had gone very quiet on both sides.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:16 pm

Interesting BA has reneged on their threats to sell the slots. Details will drop tomorrow but I imagine it will largely be the same deal slightly repackaged. Pay shifted more to basic pay than variable as was proposed before and some of the nastier scheduling points smoothed out.

I imagine this time it'll pass with a yes vote as sounds like Balpa intends to recommend a yes at ballot.

Unrelated to LGW, but BA may also release some interesting schedule updates soon too - a sign that business is definitely looking up.
 
tonystan
Posts: 1762
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Sun Oct 03, 2021 7:36 pm

BA777FO wrote:
Interesting BA has reneged on their threats to sell the slots. Details will drop tomorrow but I imagine it will largely be the same deal slightly repackaged. Pay shifted more to basic pay than variable as was proposed before and some of the nastier scheduling points smoothed out.

I imagine this time it'll pass with a yes vote as sounds like Balpa intends to recommend a yes at ballot.

Unrelated to LGW, but BA may also release some interesting schedule updates soon too - a sign that business is definitely looking up.


Personally I quietly supported the pilots. It’s clearly a game of chess and the company know it. I could never imagine a day where BA exited LGW for the simple reason that LHR in five years time could not handle a BA operation with a handful of the former lgw routes which we know they would wish to continue operating if they leave lgw.

Fingers crossed a fair agreement is reached and a decent branded operation can remain at LGW.
 
BealineV953
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:00 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Mon Oct 04, 2021 10:17 am

BA777FO wrote:
BealineV953 wrote:
BA777FO wrote:

4 77Ws replaced 3 777-200s. Net growth of 1. Delays to the delivery of 787-10s has meant they'll be short of hulls compared to the 2019 plan. They'll need the LGW Airbus fleet if there's no alleviation to the 80/20 rule for summer 2022. They took delivery of 5 A350s and 2 787-10s. Plus the 1 extra 77W that a net loss of 23 long haul airframes and extra A319s also left the fleet.

At the end 2019 BA had 305 total aircraft. At the end of 2020 it 277 - 28 fewer.


Hello.
Where you said “…LGW A320s could well come in handy to fly slots that were flown by the 31 747s”, rightly or wrongly I got the impression you are saying that the Heathrow slots used by thirty-one 747s would have to be covered.
Knowing that a number of longhaul aircraft have been delivered to BA since the 747s were grounded, l was curious to know how much smaller the BA longhaul fleet is than it was planned to be at this point in time.
As in my post 162, I took the end of March ’20 as my start point, because that was when regular passenger 747 services ended. I’m treating all retirements and deliveries before March ’20 as ‘business as usual’.
4x 777-300s were delivered after March '20.
2x 787-10s were delivered after March '20.
3x A350s were delivered after March '20 (the first 5 A350s arrived in 2019 and early ’20).

You’re correct, I did forget the three 777 retirements. However, the first of the three left the fleet in January ’20, so I’m not counting that one.
So, the retirements are 31 747s plus 2 777s and the new deliveries total 9. Therefore, at this point in time the BA longhaul fleet is 24 aircraft down on the pre-covid plan.
When A350 and 787-10 deliveries resume, the shortfall will begin to close. An A350 made a customer acceptance flight today, 30SEP, so delivery appears to be imminent.

Where you say “They'll need the LGW Airbus fleet if there's no alleviation to the 80/20 rule for summer 2022” you imply that part of the reason for shutting down the Gatwick shorthaul operation was to cover the Heathrow slots.
I very much doubt that.
BA’s longhaul aircraft typically depart one day, and arrive back the next.
BA’s longhaul departure and arrival slots are spread throughout the day. Typically departures to the Americas run from 0830 to 1700 and later, and to Africa and the East from mid-day to 2000 or so.
I’d guess that it is possible to cover the slots used by 24 longhaul aircraft with something like eight shorthaul aircraft, each flying three round trips a day.
BA could come up with eight shorthaul aircraft at LHR by slowing the rate of LHR-based A319 retirements and / or by reducing the A320 fleet at Gatwick.
To protect the Heathrow slots there is no need for anything as dramatic as closing down the Gatwick shorthaul operation.


The A319 retirements are often fixed months in advance, there's no scope to delay that now. There has also been a net loss of A319s, it's not just the longhaul airframes. In addition, due to the nature of the slots the 747s would have flown you can't necessarily get 4 sectors out of the A320. You can't get Gatwick levels of efficiency at Heathrow, it's a stick they've used against crew for quite some time! The most efficient Airbus schedule will achieve at most 5 sectors in a day (two out-and-backs followed by a nightstop) but most achieve only 3 or 4 sectors in the day. There's no way you'd cover 30 slot pairs at Heathrow with 8 A320s, many of the departure/arrival times are similar and not overly dispersed throughout the day.

When you lose ~30 long haul airframes with the disparity of slot timings you might get away with flying those with, at best 15 airframes, but more likely closer to 20. BA was already running a lean operation with regards to airframe availability. Without the Gatwick airframes there would have to be ad-hoc cancellations up to but not exceeding 20% of the time.


I reckon that the BA longhaul fleet is down by 24 aircraft from the number in early March ’20. It’ll be 23 when the next A350 arrives. As in my earlier posts, ‘162’ and ‘167’, the 24 comes from 9 deliveries replacing some of the 33 retirements.

The number of longhaul aircraft available to BA and the number the airline decides to operate are two very different things. If by Summer ’22 demand has not sufficiently returned, some or all of the stored 777s and A380s may not return to service at that time.

The ‘pre-covid’ BA fleet plan showed 16 LHR based A319 ‘G-EU**’ retirements, and 13 of those have gone. If the plan is still to retire 16, then a further three are earmarked to go.
So, there has, as you say, been a “net loss of A319s”. However, the A319s have been replaced by 16 A320neos. Also, over the last two and a half years 10 A321neos joined the fleet, three of which replaced the last three 767s. Overall, I reckon there has been a net increase in the number of aircraft in the LHR-based shorthaul fleet.

BA holds LHR arrival and departure slots throughout the day. For Summer ’22 any longhaul slots to be protected would of course depend on which longhaul service are not being flown. These would not necessarily be services that were flown by 747s. Early morning arrival slots may not be suitable for shorthaul services, but other than that it would not be difficult to use slots that were used in Summer ’19 for longhaul flights for Summer '22 shorthaul services.

If BA operates additional services to hold slots, it would be most ‘slot’ efficient to operate additional services on short sectors like MAN, LBA, EDI and JER, or to AMS using the slots held there for what were LGW services.
Operating on sectors of less than 90mins, an A320 tour certainly can achieve 6 sectors a day, and 5 sectors would be easy.
If BA operates additional services to hold slots, it would be wasteful to operate extra services to destinations in the Adriatic, Greek Islands, North Africa or similar where an aircraft tour would, as you suggest, be only 3 or 4 sectors.

To grow the shorthaul fleet at Heathrow to cover the longhaul slots, BA has a number of options.
A319s that are due for retirement could be kept in service. In normal times retirements are planned many months in advance, with disposals typically programmed to match deliveries of new aircraft. However, it is possible to delay the retirement of an aircraft you own. If this means putting an aircraft through a ‘D’ check, IAG’s accountants would be grumpy, but it can be done.
The ‘G-EUU* A320s that had been based at Gatwick could be kept at Heathrow.
The 18 stored A321ceos could be returned to service.
Taking account of that, I reckon that BA has enough shorthaul aircraft available to cover longhaul slots without any requirement to end shorthaul services at Gatwick.

I find it hard to understand how you can claim that “without the Gatwick airframes there would be ad-hoc cancellations up to but not exceeding 20% of the time” without knowing how many ‘longhaul’ slots BA may want to protect, the size of the longhaul fleet (deliveries of new aircraft, the number of stored aircraft returned to service) or the size of the shorthaul fleet (deliveries of new aircraft, the number of stored aircraft returned to service).
 
BealineV953
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:00 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:45 am

skipness1E wrote:
f4f3a wrote:
Why can't ba make money at Gatwick is odd if their costs are below easyjet? Gatwick was one of easyjet biggest moneymakers . Is the loss making at Gatwick a fiddle for taxes ? It just doesn't make sense . Same a/c cheap crew same routes how can one company make money and the other lose it

Internal allocation of costs. Ask the Finance Director. It's opaque at best BUT the CEO relies on Finance he doesn't tend to INSTRUCT.
That's why EZY base their shiniest NEOs at LGW and BA don't.
Everything BA have done at LGW is seem via the question of : "How does this impact LHR?" (Key profit centre)
Everything EZY do at LGW is via the lens of "How does this support our bottom line at Gatwick?"

Two competing models.


IAG and BA are both very focussed on delivering a return for investors.
BA's operation at Gatwick is not seen as "How does this impact LHR?"
Each part of the business is independently targeted to make money. BA's operation at Gatwick is very much treated as a business in its own right. The revenue from and costs of operating at Gatwick are easy to track. BA would be delighted if it made a profit. If anything, Gatwick does not take its full share of costs.
I suspect the easyJet model is similar. Faced with challenging economic conditions, easyJet chose to invest in Gatwick and Luton and quietly closed their Stansted base.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 5038
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:48 am

Sorry that's wholly wrong. BA LGW is not treated as a business in it's own right, there's some very good posts upthread by staff which explain why. It isn't allowed to fly routes that cannibalise or damage the LHR operation. By way of example it gets LGW-YYZ as a route but only as a seasonal overflow.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:34 pm

BealineV953 wrote:
I find it hard to understand how you can claim that “without the Gatwick airframes there would be ad-hoc cancellations up to but not exceeding 20% of the time” without knowing how many ‘longhaul’ slots BA may want to protect, the size of the longhaul fleet (deliveries of new aircraft, the number of stored aircraft returned to service) or the size of the shorthaul fleet (deliveries of new aircraft, the number of stored aircraft returned to service).


They'll want to protect every slot. At any cost. Getting hold of Heathrow slots will be very difficult otherwise in the future.

There are delivery delays to the 787-10s. A trickle of A350 deliveries may come through but it's going to offset the 747 losses. Only 2 777s are in storage; 2 4-class LGW config. airframes. The rest are operational, albeit 2 in a freighter config with only a First cabin.

Retirements can't be delayed when set in stone, which they now are. I specifically remember it from when the question was asked about the 737s that we ferried off to Victorville and the answer was that they're finalised over 6 months out and once locked in can't be changed.

The initial plan was 17 A320/A321s for Newco at LGW - so that's where many of the A321 ceos are destined for. So compared with summer 2019 LHR will benefit from an extra ~9 airframes. Not enough to offset what was lost, hence there'll be some creativity with flying some of the slots 80-90% of the time rather than 100. It's not as simple as operating an A320 on 6 segments per day because the slots available won't be amenable to that. Plus, Heathrow with its delay prone summers doesn't allow the same utilisation as you could achieve a less congested airfield.

They probably won't be able to use all 12 A380s either. Too many pilots were moved to the A350 and they can only crew about 6 or 7 at the moment and type ratings will take 3 months from start to sign off after final line check. And no courses have been notified for December yet. The pilot's annual PRIAM bid will close shortly so that may be when the recrewing process starts and the CRS pool starts fo empty.

But Newco won't be the same size as LGW short haul in 2019 because LHR will absolutely need the other ~9 airframes.

On the changes to T&Cs that have been discussed there's a reduction to the variable elements of pay and more linked to basic pay which in turn increased pension payments too as basic pay is pensionable but flying pay is not. FOs get a bigger uplift in pay than captains but it's a small improvement all round there. On scheduling there will some trump days, which was always a feature of LGW scheduling in the past, as well as a commitment to a fixed roster pattern after 6 months. Previous ability to make unlimited roster changes has been amended to only up to 14 days before and only on the same original work days, so days off are protected.

All in all, still not great, but probably enough to get it over the line. Ballot closes quickly on October 7th.
 
BA777FO
Posts: 630
Joined: Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:58 pm

Re: New IAG carrier at LGW

Mon Oct 04, 2021 3:38 pm

skipness1E wrote:
Sorry that's wholly wrong. BA LGW is not treated as a business in it's own right, there's some very good posts upthread by staff which explain why. It isn't allowed to fly routes that cannibalise or damage the LHR operation. By way of example it gets LGW-YYZ as a route but only as a seasonal overflow.


That's right. Even BA's leadership team said Newco wouldn't compete with SH LHR aside from a few overlapping routes like in the past with EDI, GLA, FCO and AMS.

It was rumoured years ago that Concorde's fuel bill was added to Gatwick's costs to flatter Concorde's figures. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if it was true.

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