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Concorde001
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Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:50 am

Interesting article as BA cancelled all of its flights to Belfast from LHR in 2001 after 9/11.

British Airways is keen to restart its Belfast to London Heathrow route but is being prevented from doing so because of "infrastructure constraints'', the airline's chief executive said last night.

The service, which had operated from Belfast International Airport, was axed in 2001 in the wake of the US terror attacks. Willie Walsh, who was guest speaker at the Ulster Society of Chartered Accountants' annual dinner, said it had been a "difficult decision'' but one which BA was forced to make.

Addressing 400 guests at the Culloden Hotel, Cultra, Mr Walsh said: "This was a difficult decision at the time - and the route remains one that we would consider reviving if infrastructure constraints allowed us to.

"Sadly, Belfast is only one of many regional routes we have had little option but to give up because of the severe scarcity of runway slots at Heathrow.''

Mr Walsh said there are many destinations which BA has had to remove from the Heathrow network because of the unavailability of slots.


Source: BA plan to restart route is grounded

I think it is interesting to hear the CEO of BA saying that this particular route is one which the airline has its eye one! What do you make of it?
 
ikramerica
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:00 am

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
I think it is interesting to hear the CEO of BA saying that this particular route is one which the airline has its eye one! What do you make of it?

Just fighting open skies with a attack from the rear.

If they really felt this route was worth it, they'd reshuffle their current LHR use. They'd upsize a couple of other routes, increase O&D routes to other UK cities, etc.

But what he's really saying is: we deserve to own LHR, and open skies would only make it tougher to do that.

If the route's so great, maybe LH, AF, KL, etc. will run it once open skies takes hold...  Wink
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:17 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
If the route's so great, maybe LH, AF, KL, etc. will run it once open skies takes hold...

Cant they already fly it..I though any EU airline could fly between any two points in the EU
 
ikramerica
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:20 am

Quoting EXAAUADL (Reply 2):
Cant they already fly it..I though any EU airline could fly between any two points in the EU

but I would assume there's more of an attraction to do it when AF, for example, can fly internationally from LHR as well...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
egmcman
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:32 am

BD serves LHR - Belfast City and U2 operates LGW-Belfast services.
 
mutu
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:44 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
But what he's really saying is: we deserve to own LHR, and open skies would only make it tougher to do that.

One of THE most unintelligent comments I have ever read. Complete twaddle

I am sure WW was being polite and diplomatic on the issue but there are many hurdles to this route being reinstated, profit being the main one. BA only holds about 38% of the LHR slots, not a lot for its homebase and certainly far less than most other major airlines at their resoective homebases.
 
AirNZ
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:47 am

Quoting Egmcman (Reply 4):
BD serves LHR - Belfast City and U2 operates LGW-Belfast services

So does Flybe - BHD-LGW
Flown:F27/TU134/Viscount/Trident/BAC111/727/737/747/757/767/777/300/310/320/321/330/340/DC9/DC10/Dash8/Shorts330/BAe146
 
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shamrock350
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:56 am

Aer Lingus wanted to step back into Northern Ireland with flights to Belfast from LHR and they could well do so, they will announce a new hub outside Ireland in the next few months. Funny seeing as Walsh is the former Aer Lingus CEO.
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:59 am

I'm surprised tbey axed it in thew first place, surely there must be a lot of feeder traffic from N Ireland that BA is missing out on?
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
ikramerica
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:19 am

Quoting Mutu (Reply 5):
One of THE most unintelligent comments I have ever read. Complete twaddle

Sorry, but your comment is out of line and naive.

Here's a timeline:

BA makes unreasonable demands on open skies talks that aren't given much weight.
EU-US open skies just was "resolved" without giving BA what they wanted
UK threatens to block it under pressure from BA
Backlash from all other entities.
BA CEO makes comments about how LHR is just so restricted, he can't even serve the interest of the British Isles...

It is not at all "twaddle" that Walsh is trying to build LOCAL support for their objection to open skies. That's why he's talking about how he already can't serve the market well enough. It's implied that open skies will make it that much tougher.

His comments, however, are the real "twaddle" because the route seemed to make sense pre-9/11, so what does 9/11 have to do with not reinstating it? The reality is BA is making money elsewhere and pretending that they are too constrained at LHR to do anything about it. They could expand O&D routes out of LGW to open up LHR slots for Belfast (and connections internationally) but instead, it's better to cry "poor BA, we only have 40% of slots."

It's politics. Nothing more.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
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shamrock350
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:37 am

Quoting Mutu (Reply 5):
I am sure WW was being polite and diplomatic on the issue

I dont think saying:

U.S. carriers ''will struggle to get anywhere near us'' and Dublin-based Aer Lingus is also unlikely to succeed at expanding profitably across the Atlantic because ''their premium product is years behind,'' while BMI, which offers U.S. routes via Manchester, England, doesn't have the long-haul capacity to grow, he said.

Remember that he is the one who ran the Premier product on Aer Lingus into the ground and now Dermot Mannion is left picking up the pieces at EI. WW is now left trying to protect BA and their great superior product at LHR by not letting any possible rival in. I respect WW for taking the lead at BA and for saving EI but that isn't "polite" or "diplomatic".
 
Tristarsteve
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:41 am

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
the route remains one that we would consider reviving if infrastructure constraints allowed us to.

What he means is that if a third runway is ever built at LHR, BFS is one of the routes BA would operate with the new slots they could obtain.
It won't happen next year!
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:53 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
Just fighting open skies with a attack from the rear.

AMEN.... the best part of this whole open skies treaty is that the US now has the rest of the EU against BA. And BA has the nerve to say that it will support Open Skies but on its terms... like it is in the position to negotiate for itself.

I doubt very seriously that the US will be terribly interested in making it any easier for BA when the heat is really put on the UK government by the rest of EU to once and for all end the protectionism that has shielded BA for WAY too long.

This treaty is one of the most important issues for Europe... it is notable for the US but is far more important for the EU as a whole - not just for the airline industry.

BA knows full well that it will redeploy many of its assets to overfly LHR and serve point to point markets between the US and Europe and within Europe but it wants to do that AND protect its LHR hub.
 
mutu
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 5:56 am

Quoting Shamrock350 (Reply 10):
Remember that he is the one who ran the Premier product on Aer Lingus into the ground and now Dermot Mannion is left picking up the pieces at EI. WW is now left trying to protect BA and their great superior product at LHR by not letting any possible rival in. I respect WW for taking the lead at BA and for saving EI but that isn't "polite" or "diplomatic".

Well ironically LHR is one of the worst airports in the developed world now and is not a benefit to BA or anyone else. BA has plenty of competition already. My point is that BA WILL publicly come out against open skies as currently drafted (what would the reaction in Congress be if BA welcomed the proposals!) It is WW job to get the best deal possible. But if anyone thinks that using the resumption of flights to Belfast as a bargaining chip will gain anything then they are mistaken. That is my point. Of WW hadnt been in Belfast he would never have said a word. If he had been in Calgary he would have said "we would love to go daily if we had the infrastructure", if in Shanghai the same, if in Sao Paulo "we would love to go twice daily all year round if we had the infrastructure", and if in Manhattan "we would love to go 14 times daily if we had the infrastructure at JKF and LHR!!!" Its just dinner talk being made relevent to the audience. When we was asked the question by locals who frankly still unhappy about BA dropping the route he gave the diplomatic answer. He was NOT having a pop at open skies.
 
mutu
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:07 am

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 12):
Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
Just fighting open skies with a attack from the rear.

AMEN.... the best part of this whole open skies treaty is that the US now has the rest of the EU against BA. And BA has the nerve to say that it will support Open Skies but on its terms... like it is in the position to negotiate for itself.

I doubt very seriously that the US will be terribly interested in making it any easier for BA when the heat is really put on the UK government by the rest of EU to once and for all end the protectionism that has shielded BA for WAY too long.

This treaty is one of the most important issues for Europe... it is notable for the US but is far more important for the EU as a whole - not just for the airline industry.

BA knows full well that it will redeploy many of its assets to overfly LHR and serve point to point markets between the US and Europe and within Europe but it wants to do that AND protect its LHR hub.

Cripes, you would think that BA faced no competition at its homebase!!!!!!! ANyway enough , this is not going anywhere constructive. (PS where are these spare assets BA can redeploy to overfly LHR? ANd where are the spare frames that AA/UA/DL/CO have to set up a LHR based european network? They dont exist we all know the outcome of this proposal will be nothing very much different to today )
 
Concorde001
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:12 am

Ikamerica, I think you need to have a look at BA's history to understand why some of your comments are incorrect and completely wrong!

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):
His comments, however, are the real "twaddle" because the route seemed to make sense pre-9/11, so what does 9/11 have to do with not reinstating it? The reality is BA is making money elsewhere and pretending that they are too constrained at LHR to do anything about it. They could expand O&D routes out of LGW to open up LHR slots for Belfast (and connections internationally) but instead, it's better to cry "poor BA, we only have 40% of slots."

It's politics. Nothing more.

Looked at as a whole, BA's shorthaul flights have been unprofitable between 1996 and 2005 and losing the company alot of money. Why? Because of deregulation in the EU and the rapid growth of LCCs. Consequently routes which were in direct competition with U2 and FR (of which London-Belfast and London-Dublin were the first), BA was badly hurt. According to BA, by 2001 LHR-Belfast had lost BA £38 million over four years*!

This process was taking place at a time when BA was making one of the worst mistakes in its history, namely that of transforming LGW into a large hub where services to North America, South America, Africa, Pakistan and the Middle East were gradually introduced to create a hub and spoke system that would compliment Heathrow. This project taught BA a lesson, that having a dual hub operation in the same city was a bad idea. BA was losing alot of money and by 1999/2000 BA was in dire straits. Its then CEO Bob Ayling was booted out and Sir Rod Eddington was brought in to help BA recover from a £244 million loss, the largest since privatisation! When 9/11 occurred, BA was hurt real bad and it was near bankruptcy....and I am being serious. In 1997, BA's shares stood at 760p a share. By mid September 2001, BA's share price stood at 150p - 40% was lost after the attacks in New York and Washington and the company was valued less than Ryanair! *

BA was running low on cash and CEO Rod Eddington took drastic action called 'Future Size and Shape'. BA drastically reduced LGW operations leaving a few longhaul routes and shorthaul leisure destinations in place. These LGW slots were taken up by U2! Money making LGW routes were then transferred to Heathrow. Now, with BA having only 35% of slots at LHR in 2001, BA had to cut routes that were either losing money, or not making enough in order to complete transfers from LGW. Consequently, out went Dublin, Belfast and many more.

It is important to remember this was happening at a time when BA received NO financial support from the British Government or the EU. This is in direct contrast to American carriers that did received support!

So you see Ikaamerica, you are wrong in many ways. And as for this comment of yours:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):
The reality is BA is making money elsewhere and pretending that they are too constrained at LHR to do anything about it.

Yes BA is making, but pretending to be constrained at LHR? They don't have to pretend, BA is constrained at LHR...that is fact. BA only has 40% of slots at LHR - compare that AF,KL,LH,CO's near 55-60% of slots at CDG,AMS,MUC, FRA and EWR!

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 9):
It's implied that open skies will make it that much tougher.

I have read Willie Walsh's comment twice and not anywhere is a link made between Open Skies and more regional flights within Britain. All Willie Walsh is saying with respect to Belfast is that Heathrow needs more capacity if regional services are allowed to flourish. And if you think about it, more capacity at Heathrow is good news for CO, DL, NW and US, all of whom want to serve Heathrow.

Sources:
* Source for figure relating to BA's loss on LHR-Belfast
* Source for figure relating BA's share price after 9/11
 
planemanofnz
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:09 am

It always amazed me how airlines like AF, KL, LH and BA do not serve Northern Ireland. I am hoping that EI sets up a base in BHD/BFS this year and I also hope that LHR is one of the routes that they intend to serve. I'm sure they could take 2 flights off DUB and maybe 1 each of ORK and SNN to give them space to run such a route?

Maybe EI in BFS/BHD is dependent on the power sharing agreement set to be made up?
 
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OA260
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:23 am

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 8):
I'm surprised tbey axed it in thew first place, surely there must be a lot of feeder traffic from N Ireland that BA is missing out on?

Im suprised they lasted as long as they did!!! I was living in Belfast at that time. The flights were never full apart from a Friday night out and Sunday night back. Also it was a political route carrying Paisley and Trimble to Westminster. BA tried to axe it before 9/11 but the unionists kicked up and someone in the government must have had a word with BA. 9/11 was a good excuse for them to give it up. Shame though as it was a good route with a good service onboard. Full hot meals and free drinks. I used to get standby tickets for GBP.35 return plus GBP.5 tax!!!! It would be nice to see them back again but I dont think they would survive with BE U2 AB BD all offering London area flights.
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:45 am

BA gave up Belfast, and BMI picked it up.

At the end of the day BA pulled it.
If they wanted it back they could drop Brussels/Paris (which is going to go into terminal decline in November anyway) once Eurostar takes 2 hours city centre to city-centre.

Eurostar will cause a bigger impact than most people think, I even expect VLM from City Airport to be affected.

Ba could pick up Belfast then.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
cjbmibe
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:23 am

BD did not pick up BFS-LHR, they ran it in competition for a while with BA. Both served LHR from Belfast International. Soon after 11/09/01 BD moved to BHD, Belfast City which is better access for the main LHR users, about 3 miles from the city centre, not out in the country like BFS. Being in BHD allows for easier connections onto public transport and is closer to the majority of the population. And technically SK, LH and SQ serve Northern Ireland as they codeshare with BD into BHD. AF used to codeshare with BE. All the European carriers could go into each others markets and spread, but until demand or funds allows they wont.

I do find it a little strange that a lot of airlines are complaining about lack of slots at LHR, but BD who mostly used 321's on LHR-BHD have now downsized to 320's and 319's and added 1 more Monday and Friday return. About the 319, stop being cheap BD and get moving floors or ULD's into them. I thought the ability to use ULD's in a 319 would allow them to speed things up. Permitting everything works ULD's can be out in 5 minutes from warning beacons go off and another 5 to load the return bins, but they have us manually loading which requires a fair bit of time and more energy to do than using ULD's. It also give the bags more chance to get damaged, a 300% greater chance, instead of being handled 2 times (into/out ULD) they are handled onto dolleys, off the dolley, into the plane, out of the plane, onto dolley/mallagan, onto the reclaim belt.

BA once had a route network in Northern Ireland that would rival U2 and BE. Over time they have lost focus of the regions and retreated into LHR. BA, as any profitable airline - hard for a few american carriers to claim, has done as it has seen fit in the ever changing air industry to keep afloat. BA has kept itself going, as much as people moan and cry about them, they are still flying - without any government intervention or investment. They must be doing something right. BA, BEA and BOAC have used LHR for a long time, they do deserve some protection of thier home turf. Its funny, it appears the American posters here are having a go at BA who are not happy with plans to encroach on its territory; yet if a full, proper and equal Open Skies was announced I'd love to see how the Americans would react. You want access to our airports, the ability to pick up people and fly them around Europe... yet the US will not allow the EU the same courtsey, I somewhat believe that the current Open Skies is skewed totally in America's favour. Also, how many US carriers would go under or into Chaper 11 (which does not exist in the EU) when European airlines started ops there.

On a happier note, about Northern Ireland aviation:
BD are due to announce soon whether they are staying in BHD and expanding (possibily starting Regional or moving WW from BFS) or moving out completly. Having just added a 9th Monday & Friday return I think its the first. There is also talk of a 10th return if they can get permission for a 10pm flight - allowing for better connections outbound and inbound.
BE are planning to introduce a further 2 Q400's and 2 195's in BHD by November
And apparently U2 and FR are fighting to get into BHD. They have been trying to get in for years but being a city centre airport there just isnt enough space. The reason we have BD in BHD is because U2 moved into BFS and was paying something riduculous like £0.50 per pax for landing and BD was playing £10.00.
With reintroduction of LCY flights and in light of BE's proposals the old Apron down by the old Terminal will come into Commercial use again. The apron has been used by Bombardier/Shorts and for General Aviaiton since it closed. The old terminal is used by BE engineers, Cargo and the Car Rental companies for servicing the cars.

[Edited 2007-03-11 00:35:40]

[Edited 2007-03-11 00:42:46]
How can I soar like an Eagle when I have to work with these turkeys?
 
EZYAirbus
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:27 am

Quoting Egmcman (Reply 4):
U2 operates LGW-Belfast services.

Also BFS-LTN and BFS-STN
http://www.glenneldridgeaviation.com
 
awthompson
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:54 am

I live and work in the vicinity of Belfast and travel regularly to London for two different reasons. One is to connect with long haul flights from LHR. The other is to attend business meetings in the centre of London.

When connecting on long haul flights from LHR, I have only one choice, that is BMI from BHD to LHR. It is very risky to book their 'tiny' fares as I found out to my detriment in December when my QR flight from Doha into LHR was delayed several hours and I missed my BMI back to BHD. I had to pay for overnight accommodation in London and for new flights for myself and my wife the next morning back to BHD. BMI could not help us since I had only booked their "low cost" fare option.

However, to buy a 'full service' ticket on the same route, the price can be almost as much as my long haul flight! In fact I am travelling BMI to LHR this Monday back Tuesday - only booked last Thursday. Since this is business and not out of my pocket, the price is not just so important. But my return fare is £262.40. By picking certain flights it could have been over £400 return. This is ridiculous.

What I am saying is that we need competition again to LHR from either BHD or BFS, I don't mind so much although BHD would be nice.

When in GLA a couple of weeks ago I could not help notice that they have a very frequent BA service to LHR (almost every hour at times of the day) when BA don't even come to Belfast at all.

I would like to see BA back with 'full service' fares but at a reasonable price somewhere in the middle.

No-one has yet listed all of the current Belfast to 'London' options at present:

BMI BHD-LHR
Easyjet BFS-STN
Easyjet BFS-LTN
Easyjet BFS-LGW
Flybe BHD-LGW
Air Berlin BHD-STN
and talk of another airline resurrecting the BHD-LCY route operated in recent years by Flybe.
 
atmx2000
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:00 am

Quoting Cjbmibe (Reply 19):
BA, as any profitable airline - hard for a few american carriers to claim, has done as it has seen fit in the ever changing air industry to keep afloat. BA has kept itself going, as much as people moan and cry about them, they are still flying - without any government intervention or investment. They must be doing something right. BA, BEA and BOAC have used LHR for a long time, they do deserve some protection of thier home turf.

By all accounts BA derives the majority of their profits from routes to the US. They have access to most of the top US gateways airports from the primary UK gateway, while several US airlines that have hubs in those airports don't have access to BA's hub. I would suggest the "something right" BA and its predecessors has done was advocating for the scrapping of the original Bermuda agreement and fighting against changes to Bermuda II.

Quoting Cjbmibe (Reply 19):
You want access to our airports, the ability to pick up people and fly them around Europe... yet the US will not allow the EU the same courtsey, I somewhat believe that the current Open Skies is skewed totally in America's favour.

The US should not allow EU member countries to choose to negotiate as block when convenient for them and have the perks of being separate nations when convenient. The US should only agree to give up intra-European 5th freedom rights in exchange for individual EU member countries losing representation in international aviation organizations.

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 15):
Yes BA is making, but pretending to be constrained at LHR? They don't have to pretend, BA is constrained at LHR...that is fact. BA only has 40% of slots at LHR - compare that AF,KL,LH,CO's near 55-60% of slots at CDG,AMS,MUC, FRA and EWR!

Why do people continue this silly line of argument. BA only has ~40% of the slots at LHR because LHR is primarily an international gateway. BA and other British airlines fly quite a bit more to other countries from LHR than within the UK, with only a small percentage of flights being domestic. UK airlines can't possibly expect to get to fly to an airport in another country without airlines from the foreign country getting reciprocral rights. If you want more domestic slots, the only way is to reduce international routes and frequencies bilaterally so that both UK and foreign airlines can fly as many international flights to the UK. Of course BA wouldn't want to do that, because those routes bring in more revenue.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:07 pm

Quoting Awthompson (Reply 21):
It is very risky to book their 'tiny' fares as I found out to my detriment in December when my QR flight from Doha into LHR was delayed several hours and I missed my BMI back to BHD. I had to pay for overnight accommodation in London and for new flights for myself and my wife the next morning back to BHD. BMI could not help us since I had only booked their "low cost" fare option.

bmi would not help you under any circumstances. It was the QR flight that was delayed into LHR and therefore it would be their responsibility to look after your rebooking, hotel etc.... as long as you had bought a through ticket. By buying a bmi tiny fare you were obviously buying seperate tickets, no doubt because it is cheaper, and therefore this is the risk you take if any one of your flights is delayed. bmi sells through fares BHD/LHR/DOH, if you had bought one of those you would have been looked after if your flight misconnected.
 
8herveg
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:59 pm

Quoting Awthompson (Reply 21):
and talk of another airline resurrecting the BHD-LCY route operated in recent years by Flybe.

This is going to be operated by CityJet (Air France)
 
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OA260
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 9:49 pm

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 23):
bmi would not help you under any circumstances. It was the QR flight that was delayed into LHR and therefore it would be their responsibility to look after your rebooking, hotel etc.... as long as you had bought a through ticket. By buying a bmi tiny fare you were obviously buying seperate tickets, no doubt because it is cheaper, and therefore this is the risk you take if any one of your flights is delayed. bmi sells through fares BHD/LHR/DOH, if you had bought one of those you would have been looked after if your flight misconnected.

Exactly the point I was going to make. Next time spend the few extra pounds for peace of mind and get a through ticket and bags checked through and both boarding cards at BHD. Its worth it for the security of being looked after if you mis connect. If you are doing seperate tickets allow 4 hours at least between flights!!!! There are very competitive fares from BHD to all over the world using Star Alliance carriers if you book early and use a travel agent from my experience. Travel agents still have consolidated fares that you cant get on the internet.
 
bmiexpat
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:05 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 25):
Exactly the point I was going to make.

Cheers, but you know some people will take any opportunity to bash bmi. Tiny fares were introduced purely for the point to point leisure travellers, and if you try to take advatage of them for making seperate ticket connections then on your head be it!

With regards to bmi fares on the LHR/BHD route, it's not their fault that BA pulled off the route, and being a business with a responsibilty to it's shareholders they are going to charge the highest fares they can on the route so blame BA for handing the route to bmi on a plate rather than bmi for making the most of the opportunity.

Lots of people have slated BA recently for it's concentration on LHR and the sale of the regional network to flybe, but the pull out from Belfast was in my opinion a bigger crime against the regions than the sell off of BAConnect. If BA really wanted to restart flights to Belfast they could do so tomorrow, but it would mean axing more profitable routes to do so, so what is really holding them back is their desire to make more money elsewhere, and screw the population of Northern Ireland.

[Edited 2007-03-11 15:08:39]
 
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OA260
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 10:42 pm

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 26):
Cheers, but you know some people will take any opportunity to bash bmi. Tiny fares were introduced purely for the point to point leisure travellers

Yeah well ive been accused of bashing BMI but i like to think of myself as 50/50. Im a BMI Gold card holder and have been for the last 5 years. When i bash its as a customer and from personal experience. I cant fault them in their on board service level or their product. I love the direct boarding from the lounge in BHD and the business class on that route. I dont like the Indian call centers and I believe that the service level has gone down since they moved it from the UK. Also if you have missing miles on your account its torture trying to get them credited. On the whole though they are a good airline and recent announcements seem to be encouraging. I remember when they flew from BFS. BA was on the left and BD was on the right . The best thing they ever did was move to BHD its alot better to get to everywhere from there.
 
vv701
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Sun Mar 11, 2007 11:56 pm

You can be sure that when a CEO of any company travels to make a public speech about an aspect of his or her company's business the real audience for that speech is unlikely to be those sitting there listening to it. Nevertheless the CEO will carefully choose the actual listeners, the location and the timing. Further he or she will not couch his comments so obliquely that they mifght not be understood. Otherwise the whole exercise will be a complete and utter waste of his or her very valuable time.

So Willie Walsh, when he went to Northern Ireland, had a point to make relevant (but not necessarilly exclusively so) to Northern Ireland and he made it directly not obtusely.

First why Northern Ireland? Well it is a province of the UK without a BA air link to LHR. But there are many other places that are both provincial but without a BA air link. However he is Irish so where better, where more believable?

Why now? Well having chosen Northern Ireland what better time then immediately after the recent election to Stormont and the British and Irish governments' deadline for the formation of a power sharing government? The eyes of both politicians and journalists are on Northern Ireland and its future, both political and econmic. And, of course, good communications are key to a successful economy.

Why infrastructure? Well if you do not say what you mean do not bother to say it. T5 is infrastructure but is a done deal and cannot effect the presence or absence of an LHR -Nortern Ireland service. So Walsh would not have travelled to Northern Ireland over that. But

Quoting TristarSteve (Reply 11):
a third runway is ever built at LHR

is not a done deal, is infrastructure and not only has a direct bearing on the absence of a BA air link to Northern Ireland but on BA air links to other provinces in the UK that no longer have such links like Plymouth.

So those who give a meaning to Walsh's words that he did not say and does not have anything directly or indirectly to do with either infrastructure or Northern Ireland are either flying their own pet kite or are smoking something or simply do not understand the real world of business lobbying politicians.

BA wants a third runway at LHR almost more than anything else. Then it can feed passengers from the UK provinces into its international LHR hub instead of watching them fly to the KLM international hub at AMS on KLM cityhopper (from as many as 14 UK airports), the LH international hub ar FRA on Lufthansa Cityline or the AF international hub at CDG on Air France by Citijet.
 
mutu
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:19 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 22):
By all accounts BA derives the majority of their profits from routes to the US. They have access to most of the top US gateways airports from the primary UK gateway, while several US airlines that have hubs in those airports don't have access to BA's hub. I would suggest the "something right" BA and its predecessors has done was advocating for the scrapping of the original Bermuda agreement and fighting against changes to Bermuda II.

Yes thats true but its nothing to do with Bermuda II, its because LHr is BA's homebase and primary hub (only real longhaul hub). The same argument/criticism could be levelled at CO and EWR. CO manage to fly from EWR to numerous regional UK destinations providing direct non stop routing to New York by using their hub at EWR. BA could never economically operate such flights and so forfeits that traffic. Thats just the economics of home bases. If BA had enough fleet it could determine to base 15 longhaul frames at JFK or EWR and copy the CO model (subject to slots and gates etc as well) but any carrier could do that if it wanted, its just not the normal modus operandi

Ba flies to more US destinations than any Us carrier. CO AA and DL fly to many more UK destinations than BA or VS. Thats just the way it is but I repet NOTHIN to do with bermuda !!

And just to repeat myself WW is on a campaign to get a 3rd runway at LHR, and good luck to him. Because only with that extra cpacity can open skies work for the benefit of the consumer.

As an aside the political parties in the UK are all talking openly about major increases in taxation on aviation to counter climate change, another reason why travellers would be best advised to avoid flying to/through the UK. Go to AMS or CDG or BRU and get the train back to te UK!!
 
Humberside
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:30 am

Quoting 8herveg (Reply 24):
Quoting Awthompson (Reply 21):
and talk of another airline resurrecting the BHD-LCY route operated in recent years by Flybe.

This is going to be operated by CityJet (Air France)

Operated by Scot Airways on behalf off/in codeshare with? CityJet

(anyone know if Scot Airways will be selling any seats themsleves on these flights?)
Visit the Air Humberside Website and Forum
 
atmx2000
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:50 am

Quoting Mutu (Reply 29):
Yes thats true but its nothing to do with Bermuda II, its because LHr is BA's homebase and primary hub (only real longhaul hub). The same argument/criticism could be levelled at CO and EWR. CO manage to fly from EWR to numerous regional UK destinations providing direct non stop routing to New York by using their hub at EWR. BA could never economically operate such flights and so forfeits that traffic. Thats just the economics of home bases. If BA had enough fleet it could determine to base 15 longhaul frames at JFK or EWR and copy the CO model (subject to slots and gates etc as well) but any carrier could do that if it wanted, its just not the normal modus operandi

Ba flies to more US destinations than any Us carrier. CO AA and DL fly to many more UK destinations than BA or VS. Thats just the way it is but I repet NOTHIN to do with bermuda !!

The argument isn't about the number of routes, it is about whether equivalent access exists. The simple fact of the matter is that many US airlines face a situation where UK airlines are allowed to fly from the US airline's hub airport to the primary LON airport. In other words it is about high traffic routes that US carriers are shut out of. BA derives high profits on these routes. This is due to Bermuda II. I assure you that CO would love to have one let alone multiple EWR-LHR frequencies. It would be able to keep many of those passengers from its NYC/NJ customer base and from its feeder network on its own metal who either take the current code share flight on Virgin or fly on BA.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 28):
BA wants a third runway at LHR almost more than anything else. Then it can feed passengers from the UK provinces into its international LHR hub instead of watching them fly to the KLM international hub at AMS on KLM cityhopper (from as many as 14 UK airports), the LH international hub ar FRA on Lufthansa Cityline or the AF international hub at CDG on Air France by Citijet.

I think they rather like the scarcity at LHR given that it limits competition. One can imagine that an LCC might just grab some of the slots that would be created after the addition of new runway and increase competition for their short haul network. Plus US carriers would grab some of those slots if open skies were instituted.
ConcordeBoy is a twin supremacist!! He supports quadicide!!
 
BA787
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:02 am

Quoting Mutu (Reply 13):

 rotfl 

If its one of the worst airports in the developed world, how did it just come second, only to AMS, in a survey of the world's best airports  Yeah sure
 
worldtraveler
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:05 am

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 15):
It is important to remember this was happening at a time when BA received NO financial support from the British Government or the EU. This is in direct contrast to American carriers that did received support!

The US government provided money to US airlines only in the wake of 9/11, when ALL civilian air travel was grounded for 3 days. Since the UK didn't suffer a terrorist attack in the same manner the US did nor did the gov't halt air travel, there is no basis for comparison.

The reality is that the US air travel market has been deregulated for much longer than any other major market in the world and the US airlines are in a far better position to compete worldwide because they have learned how to compete against LFCs, including using bankruptcy laws.

While there are some structural differences between the way business is done in the US and Europe, there will never be enough airport assets for US carriers to effectively serve most major US airports, including LHR to the level that the market would allow. that is not true about BA in the US... by comparison, they can easily find enough slots (if they even exist) and facilities to handle all the flights, BA or any other European airline wants.

If BA doesn't like US bankruptcy laws or the financial support the US government gave US airlines after 9/11, US airlines don't like Europe's inability to develop airports so that US airlines can effectively serve the market.

Having BA complain about not having enough slots to serve BFS is the penalty BA has to live with for serving a market that will always be highly protected because the market cannot provide the level of service that is needed based on infrastrucure. If BFS is a casualty for BA, there are dozens of cities in the US that are casualties for all of the US airlines.
 
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:03 am

Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 26):
With regards to bmi fares on the LHR/BHD route, it's not their fault that BA pulled off the route, and being a business with a responsibilty to it's shareholders they are going to charge the highest fares they can on the route so blame BA for handing the route to bmi on a plate rather than bmi for making the most of the opportunity.



Quoting Bmiexpat (Reply 26):
Lots of people have slated BA recently for it's concentration on LHR and the sale of the regional network to flybe, but the pull out from Belfast was in my opinion a bigger crime against the regions than the sell off of BAConnect. If BA really wanted to restart flights to Belfast they could do so tomorrow, but it would mean axing more profitable routes to do so, so what is really holding them back is their desire to make more money elsewhere, and screw the population of Northern Ireland.

So, if I'm reading this right, you are praising BD for maximizing revenue and slagging off BA for doing the same?
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
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philb
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:16 am

Quoting Revelation (Reply 34):
So, if I'm reading this right, you are praising BD for maximizing revenue and slagging off BA for doing the same?

The difference being that BD is making a profit from providing a service - at a price, whilst BA is making a profit from not providing a service.

In a perfect business world, companies would make a profit from doing nothing - BA tries to get as close as it can by withdrawing as many services as possible and trying to force the travelling public into believing it provides a service as a national carrier by majoring on an overcrowded, slot congested Heathrow.
 
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can

Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:34 am

Quoting Philb (Reply 35):
The difference being that BD is making a profit from providing a service - at a price, whilst BA is making a profit from not providing a service.

It seems from the context that BA is providing a service, just not to Belfast. They are serving markets where they can squeeze the customer to the fullest possible extent, just like BD is doing at Belfast.

Quoting Philb (Reply 35):
In a perfect business world, companies would make a profit from doing nothing - BA tries to get as close as it can by withdrawing as many services as possible and trying to force the travelling public into believing it provides a service as a national carrier by majoring on an overcrowded, slot congested Heathrow.

I agree. I just think one needs to revisit what being a "national carrier" means these days. In my opinion, it's an obsolete concept. If BA is "the national carrier" then what's up with all the competition from VS, BD, FR, U2, etc? You can't expect the good old days of a national carrier flying unprofitable routes if you also subject them to relentless competition. The good old days are gone, and they aren't coming back IMHO.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
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Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
philb
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 6:38 am

Totally agree, but if you look at how BA projects itself around the world, the bosses at BA HQ haven't got the message that they no longer have the pole position.
 
vv701
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:46 am

Quoting Atmx2000 (Reply 31):
Plus US carriers would grab some of those slots if open skies were instituted.

Of course they would. So is it not amazing that the BA CEO could be so very foolish. He stood up in public and effectively advocated a third runway at LHR which would let in those airlines we are all so reliably informed by our American friends that BA are lobbying so hard to keep out of LHR. Clearly he has made a very bad mistake. It is almost as bad as the mistake he made when he supported both the UK's Open Skies agreement with Canada that both AC and BA are already exploiting to the benefit of Canadian and British consumers and the loosening of the UK-India bilateral that has seen the number of flight between the two countries almost double in under two years.

Quoting WorldTraveler (Reply 33):
The reality is that the US air travel market has been deregulated for much longer than any other major market in the world and the US airlines are in a far better position to compete worldwide because they have learned how to compete against LFCs, including using bankruptcy laws

This is great news. But it does not explain why the majority of US legacy airlines have recently been in or are still in Chapter 11 Protection. At a time of a very weak US $ they should be riding on the crest of a wave exploiting their declining (in international terms) cost base.

Neither does it explain why, while the British Prime Minister chose to fly to South Africa in a Swiss registered aircraft, this deregulated market forbids the US armed forces and government employees from flying in foreign operated aircraft when a US airline offers a competing service.

Of course the fallacy in WorldTraveller's comment is that the problem is that 'the US air travel market has been deregulated for much longer than any other major market', and reflects this by sadly lagging behind the more recent and comprehensive deregulation of many other major markets

It certainly does not explain that while the deregulated US market does not allow foreign ownership of US airlines to exceed 25 per cent, all three British airlines operating out of Heathrow and other major European airlines like LH all have much higher foreign ownership than that. Neither does it explain how an airline in the USA complying with US foreign ownership laws can be kept on the ground in this deregulated market because of a suspicion that it might be being influenced by a foreign manager while British Airways appoint an Irish national to succeed the Australian national who was their former CEO.

He implies that US legacy airlines know how to compete with LCCs while those in other markets do not. Yet, for example, AF, BA and LH while competing against Ryanair, easyJet and Air Berlin amongst many others are all highly profitable while DL, NW, UA and US have recently been or still are supervised by the bankruptcy courts.
 
ussherd
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 1:39 am

Quoting Cjbmibe (Reply 19):
BE are planning to introduce a further 2 Q400's and 2 195's in BHD by November

Any idea what routes the EMB195's will be operating?
Cada loco con su tema...
 
sllevin
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 4:42 am

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 15):
It is important to remember this was happening at a time when BA received NO financial support from the British Government or the EU. This is in direct contrast to American carriers that did received support!

Go back 20 years and BA wasn't even a private company! And it was making quite the loss during the late 1970s and very early 1980s. A privately owned airline would have gone out of business.

Steve
 
vv701
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:19 am

Quoting Sllevin (Reply 40):
Go back 20 years and BA wasn't even a private company!

Well, to be totally accurate, go back 20 years and BA had been privatised. It was privatised in February 1987, twenty years and a couple of weeks ago.  wink 
 
AirNZ
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 7:45 am

Quoting OA260 (Reply 17):
Also it was a political route carrying Paisley and Trimble to Westminster. BA tried to axe it before 9/11 but the unionists kicked up and someone in the government must have had a word with BA. 9/11 was a good excuse for them to give it up. Shame though as it was a good route with a good service onboard.

With all due respect, you're talking absolute nonsense. It was a well travelled Shuttle-route between two Capital cities of the United Kingdom and nothing whatever to do with your 'political' twaddle (it carried a lot of politicians to Westminster, including Hume and Fitt which you conveniently didn't mention!). It was axed first and foremost because of BA withdrawing from the regions, and who have no desire to serve the UK domestic market.
Flown:F27/TU134/Viscount/Trident/BAC111/727/737/747/757/767/777/300/310/320/321/330/340/DC9/DC10/Dash8/Shorts330/BAe146
 
sllevin
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 11:39 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 41):
Well, to be totally accurate, go back 20 years and BA had been privatised. It was privatised in February 1987, twenty years and a couple of weeks ago. wink

I just knew I should have checked the exact date...but "21 years" doesn't have the same ring to it...

Steve
 
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:51 pm

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 42):
With all due respect, you're talking absolute nonsense. It was a well travelled Shuttle-route between two Capital cities of the United Kingdom and nothing whatever to do with your 'political' twaddle (it carried a lot of politicians to Westminster, including Hume and Fitt which you conveniently didn't mention!). It was axed first and foremost because of BA withdrawing from the regions, and who have no desire to serve the UK domestic market.

Err well all I can say is that you wernt as up to date on the situation as I was at the time and my meetings with BA management at that time !!!! Enough said . As for your comment on ''Political twaddle'' I dont get your point and I never get involved in NI politics its too stressful as Im sure you are well aware.

[Edited 2007-03-13 15:56:11]
 
sam1987
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:07 am

To be honest, if BA wanted to connect London and Belfast, they could do.

If slots at LHR are the issue, they why aren't they operating from Belfast to LGW? If there's room at LGW to add a link to NQY, why isn't there room to start a twice daily rotation to BFS or BHD?

I know U2 and BE already operate from LGW to Belfast, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for BA to take some of their passengers.
Next flights: LGW-LBA-LGW, LHR-SIN-SYD, SYD-BKK-LHR, LGW-GRO, GRO-CIA, CIA-MAD, MAD-LGW
 
sllevin
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:02 am

LCY-BHD would seem the obvious route to me...but maybe I'm missing something.

Steve
 
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:33 am

Quoting Sllevin (Reply 46):
LCY-BHD would seem the obvious route to me...but maybe I'm missing something.

Steve

You must be telepathic !!!!!


http://www.airfrance.ie/IE/en/local/...=ccdfaddkgdkmgjmcefecekedgfndggh.0

Air France is proud to announce 5 new European routes to and from London City Airport, including Belfast City to London City.
This makes Air France the biggest operator out of London City.

Belfast City: up to 3 flights a day
Geneva: up to 3 flights a day
Madrid: up to 2 flights a day
Nice: one daily flight except Saturdays
Zurich: up to 3 flights a day
(Flight frequencies correct as of 9 March, subject to change)

Plus don't forget! You can also fly from Dublin to London City and from London City to Paris Orly with CityJet for Air France.
 
David_itl
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:04 am

Quoting Sam1987 (Reply 45):
If slots at LHR are the issue, they why aren't they operating from Belfast to LGW?

There's not quite the same connectivity for BA passengers routing to/from Belfast gonig though LGW. In other words.fIf you were BA, would you want to tempt passenger to route BFS/BHD-LGW-"surface transport"-LHR-JNB or BFS/BHD-LHR-JNB?
 
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OA260
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RE: Walsh: BA Wants To Start LHR-Belfast...but Can't!

Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:21 am

Quoting David_itl (Reply 48):
In other words.fIf you were BA, would you want to tempt passenger to route BFS/BHD-LGW-"surface transport"-LHR-JNB or BFS/BHD-LHR-JNB?

I did that last November from PHL-LGW surface LHR-DUB !!! Never ever again .

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