tcasalert
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VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:55 am

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-17073575

"BA is already operating on 60% of BMI's routes so this move is clearly about knocking out the competition."

Didn't think it would take long, but very valid points though.

[Edited 2012-02-17 03:56:46]
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MAN2SIN2BKK
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:58 am

surprise surprise, thought VS were being quiet!
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:04 pm

And Mr Bransons point is ?

Can he suggest a viable alternative though, BD is losing money at a rapid rate, their present route network has to change whether they remain in LH ownership, are bought by IAG or bought by a competitor. If VS bought them, woudl they retain the Scottish services, or use the slots for new long haul routes, I suggest the latter.

Surely any complaint needs to be backed by a viable alternative ?
 
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Btblue
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:09 pm

Publicity.

I do wish they would just give BMI to Virgin to shut them up... and then a year later watch them go down the swanney. Their Chief Exec was on the TV on Wednesday I think bleating on about the ceation of 500 jobs. Any chance to get the virgin name in the headlines.

He went on to say routes would be cut and heatrow can't expand... it's bad for business. But tell me, if there are 10 flights a day to Edinburgh, 5 with BA and 5 with BMI and BA buy BMI, make the feequency say 6 times a day and the remaining four slots develop into new markets, such as point to point city pairs in china, is that not an effective use of slots?

[Edited 2012-02-17 04:10:41]
 
747438
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:41 pm

More pointless publicity. Another example of Branson running to mummy. " Mummy I can't get my own way again"
 
gilesdavies
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 12:48 pm

Maybe VS are actually making a valid point...

The article seems to be referring to the LHR to Scotland traffic where BA will have a monopoly, and not necessarily about the takeover in general on BMI to BA.

Also they make a fair point, if fares between LHR-GLA have genuinely increased since BMI pulled out?

"Sir Richard Branson's airline pointed to BMI's withdrawal of its flights from Heathrow to Glasgow in early 2011, which left BA as the sole operator.

It claimed industry data showed this resulted in average fares paid by passengers increasing by 34%, while the number of flights on the route decreased by nearly half.

Virgin also claimed at least 1.8 million Scottish passengers faced price increases.

Sir Richard said the takeover would "take British flying back to the dark ages".

He said: "When British Airways was left the only operator on the Glasgow to Heathrow route in 2011, fares paid by Scottish travellers rocketed by 34% in six months. That is not beneficial, that is backbreaking and plainly unfair."


Anyway, that all I have to say in the matter... As in these forums if anyone dares say anything against a BMI/BA takeover you get shot down!
 
tcasalert
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:03 pm

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 5):
Maybe VS are actually making a valid point...

The article seems to be referring to the LHR to Scotland traffic where BA will have a monopoly, and not necessarily about the takeover in general on BMI to BA.

I agree. Not saying there is necessarily a viable alternative but IMO anything that creates a route monopoly should be a big no no.

And to be honest given the choice between losing jobs and creating route monopolies I would rather they just cut the jobs and let somebody else come in on the LHR-Scotland/north of England routes that knows what they are doing and can offer decent, healthy competition to BA.

I'd rather the LHR slots go to one of the locos or regional airlines than BA, who let's face it will either create a monopoly with more routes, or pull the extra rotations out in favour of that 87th daily rotation to JFK giving less choice of timings on the UK routes.

CityJet for example could link in with KL/AF services to Europe through LHR, BMI Regional's replacement another alternative.

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 5):
Anyway, that all I have to say in the matter... As in these forums if anyone dares say anything against a BMI/BA takeover you get shot down!

  

Let them get on with their praise of the saviour and lord almighty Willie Walsh. The regulators will decide in the long run.
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mal787
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:04 pm

Quoting 747438 (Reply 4):
More pointless publicity. Another example of Branson running to mummy. " Mummy I can't get my own way again"

SRB will never be happy, the fact he has never tried to join an alliance, whinges about every other alliance / JV other airlines form, just to protect his littlle airline . Well mummy will not save him , all he needs is SQ to drop 49% on the market and he is done for. A major will buy Virgin Atlantic and use the slots they have for the good of them and will not care about SRB or his little airline.

mal787
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richardw
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:12 pm

One way to perhaps silence SRB and VS, is if LH and IAG offered aircraft, staff and slots (with covenants on the slots that they are only to be used for flights to domestic/irish destinations), that are currently part of BD, for an airline that could be called Virgin UK at a reasonable price, for domestic/irish services to LHR.

If they refused the offer, that could be seen as the end of their argument.

[Edited 2012-02-17 05:18:09]

[Edited 2012-02-17 05:30:58]
 
UAL777UK
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:22 pm

Quoting richardw (Reply 8):
One way to silence SRB and VS, is if LH and IAG offered aircraft, staff and slots, that are currently part of BD, for an airline that could be called Virgin UK at a reasonable price, for domestic/irish services to LHR.

If they refused the offer, that could be seen as the end of their argument.

Good point. Offer them the feed they want to their long haul domestically, offer an alternative to flying BA. Will never happen but it might just close the arguement.
 
LX138
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:34 pm

Just read the statement from them and I do think VS has a point, particularly on the Scottish-LON routes. It's probably true that prices have gone up and will go up on the other routes when BD goes.

But as others have stated, what action do VS actually want done about it? BA can simply say nobody else wants to operate Scotland-LHR - because nobody does! I'm sure BA would be happy to even invite another airline to compete with them on these routes by nobody, VS included is interested. If the market can support the fares that are being charged, including what BA charges between LHR and GLA, then we just have to deal with it. It's similar to the Nigeria claim on fares between the UK and LON. At the end of the day that is what it comes down to.
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tcasalert
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:41 pm

Quoting LX138 (Reply 10):
Just read the statement from them and I do think VS has a point, particularly on the Scottish-LON routes. It's probably true that prices have gone up and will go up on the other routes when BD goes.

Don't forget the MAN-LHR route as well.
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richardw
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:42 pm

Quoting LX138 (Reply 10):
It's probably true that prices have gone up

Is any of that price rise due to increases in UK departure taxes?
 
anstar
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:09 pm

Quoting mal787 (Reply 7):
all he needs is SQ to drop 49% on the market and he is done for. A major will buy Virgin Atlantic and use the slots they have for the good of them and will not care about SRB or his little airline.

How can SQ drop 49% "on the market". Virgin Atlantic is a privately listed company of which the Virgin Group retain majority comtrol at 51% so could no be taken over unless Branson agress to it.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:12 pm

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 11):
Don't forget the MAN-LHR route as well.

Theres no way VS will complain about that route, not with Virgin Trains offering a huge amount of seats and frequency between London and Manchester. I suspect most people who fly that route are connecting onwards anyway.
 
anstar
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:14 pm

Quoting mal787 (Reply 7):
or his little airline.

Well if you compare widebody to widebody fleets VS are as big as Thai, Malaysian, Iberia.

The only difference is VS is longhaul only. Whilst they are not a huge airline I wouldnt call them that small.
 
LHR27C
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:16 pm

Quoting TCASAlert (Thread starter):
"BA is already operating on 60% of BMI's routes so this move is clearly about knocking out the competition."

This statement is plain wrong for a start. BA operate on 12 of BD's 30 routes - i.e. less than half.

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 5):
The article seems to be referring to the LHR to Scotland traffic where BA will have a monopoly
Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 5):
Also they make a fair point, if fares between LHR-GLA have genuinely increased since BMI pulled out?

So what?
* Virgin Trains has a monopoly on trains from London to Glasgow (except sleeper services)
* easyJet has a monopoly on flights from STN/LTN to GLA/EDI
* easyJet carries more passengers between London and Scotland than BA does
* there are countless airline monopolies on other high volume routes around the world

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 6):
given the choice between losing jobs and creating route monopolies I would rather they just cut the jobs

I'm sure the thousands of BD workers would completely agree with you.

Do you honestly think letting an airline collapse is better than allowing a monopoly on certain routes from ONE airport, when the city it serves has many more options from other airports that actually carry more people?

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 6):
somebody else come in on the LHR-Scotland/north of England routes that knows what they are doing

Like who? Who would want to? The only airline I can vaguely imagine having a go is EI.

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 6):
I'd rather the LHR slots go to one of the locos or regional airlines

It will never happen - locos won't fly into LHR because fixed costs are far too high. Same issue for regional airlines - operating a regional aircraft into LHR is not cost efficient and a waste of a slot, which is why very few are left.

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 6):
CityJet for example could link in with KL/AF services to Europe through LHR

Given AF only flies to CDG, and KL to AMS from LHR, why wouldn't Scottish passengers just fly direct?
Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
 
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Btblue
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:50 pm

Quoting LHR27C (Reply 16):
* Virgin Trains has a monopoly on trains from London to Glasgow (except sleeper services)

...and have you seen how much they charge? I couldn't believe it when I was quoted over £200 quid for a ticket to MAN next week. Funny how nobody knocks them about that. I used to love Virgin, but rather than set the standard, they've stagnated, developed a blame mentality, and appear to be going nowhere.

They may have once had a fantastic product but I think the fact Sir Richard went on to bigger things, (the gift of Northern Rock) trains and media, Virgin Atlantic appears to be treading water, with a slowly deflating life jacket wrapped around its neck, megaphone in hand bellowing, 'that's not fair, that's not fair' while failing to come up with a suitable solution... and the air slowly seeping out.

How times have changed...
 
SuperCaravelle
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:53 pm

Quoting btblue (Reply 3):
He went on to say routes would be cut and heatrow can't expand... it's bad for business. But tell me, if there are 10 flights a day to Edinburgh, 5 with BA and 5 with BMI and BA buy BMI, make the feequency say 6 times a day and the remaining four slots develop into new markets, such as point to point city pairs in china, is that not an effective use of slots?

I don't think so. That's saying we should give green light to everything carriers do. Let them raise prices and exert monopoly power so they can open new routes is not the way to go in my opinion. The benefit of the few direct travellers between points A and B will outweigh the costs of higher prices to an extent, but not when you compare northern Britain - LHR and LHR - Some Chinese/random city far away. It's finding the balance that's important, I don't think this is finding the balance.

You should also consider that the longer the distance, the less of an impact a one-stop service will have. For short routes, direct service is much more important efficiency wise, for the traveler.

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 6):
I'd rather the LHR slots go to one of the locos or regional airlines than BA, who let's face it will either create a monopoly with more routes, or pull the extra rotations out in favour of that 87th daily rotation to JFK giving less choice of timings on the UK routes.

CityJet for example could link in with KL/AF services to Europe through LHR, BMI Regional's replacement another alternative.

Exactly. I would be surprised if BA would be allowed to take up all slots, it would be very unhealthy in my opinion. Also, BA wittily diverts attention from Scotland to LHR, saying that there are five airports in London. It's not about London, but about feed from Scotland.

In fact, KL might also benefit from this indeed, expanding their British operations a bit again, after the closure of the Liverpool route.
 
BA777
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:57 pm

"Virgin Atlantic has never flown to Scotland and, as far as we know, has no plans to do so."


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SuperCaravelle
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:01 pm

Quoting BA777 (Reply 19):
"Virgin Atlantic has never flown to Scotland and, as far as we know, has no plans to do so."

I have neither. Doesn't mean their voice is irrelevant, as it impacts operations at LHR directly and indirectly. If they can extract economic rents from Scottish travelers, they can artificially lower prices on the long-haul sections also operated by Virgin.
 
bastew
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:48 pm

I just don't see what Virgin really wants to achieve by this?

Well I guess the modus operandi is to make this as difficult as possible for the IAG/BMI deal to go through. Although deep down I think the know it will.

I think the regulator will do something similar to what happened when BA/AA gained anti-trust immunity for their schedules and prices across the Atlantic (another thing that SRB bleated on about). They had to release slots on certain routes where it was shown they had a monopoly. However the slots were only valid for other carriers to operate those routes in competition with BA/AA not carte blanche to just gain some extra slots.

So if the same thing happened, what would virgin do with LHR-GLA/EDI/ABZ slots?
 
aerecosse
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:51 pm

Quoting SuperCaravelle (Reply 20):
Quoting BA777 (Reply 19):
"Virgin Atlantic has never flown to Scotland and, as far as we know, has no plans to do so."

I have neither. Doesn't mean their voice is irrelevant, as it impacts operations at LHR directly and indirectly. If they can extract economic rents from Scottish travelers, they can artificially lower prices on the long-haul sections also operated by Virgin.

I think BA777 was being a little sarcastic SuperCaravelle..... the image shows a Virgin 747 at GLA..... one of many that fly in and out each year along with their A330's
Flown: BA,BD,BY,AMM,DA,MON,LC,BE,EI,FR,EZY,NW,CO,US,HP,F9,AC,QF,AN,NZ,TN,GZ,MH,EK,EY,PG,IB,JK,FH,BV,LH,SA
 
SuperCaravelle
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:07 pm

Quoting aerecosse (Reply 22):

I think BA777 was being a little sarcastic SuperCaravelle..... the image shows a Virgin 747 at GLA..... one of many that fly in and out each year along with their A330's

Ah, that makes sense  
 
tcasalert
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:11 pm

Quoting LHR27C (Reply 16):
Do you honestly think letting an airline collapse is better than allowing a monopoly on certain routes from ONE airport, when the city it serves has many more options from other airports that actually carry more people?

When you're talking about crucial routes such as Scotland-London then yes. It would be akin to giving DL a monopoly on JFK-LHR.

Quoting LHR27C (Reply 16):
Like who? Who would want to? The only airline I can vaguely imagine having a go is EI.

If the slots were open and for sale on the basis that they be used for these routes then at least anyone interested would have a chance. However BA don't want competition, and while there are no more slots available why should they worry about these routes as long as they have snapped them all up?

Quoting LHR27C (Reply 16):
* Virgin Trains has a monopoly on trains from London to Glasgow (except sleeper services)

Rail in the UK is terribly expensive as a result. A return trip from the Midlands to London is currently £170 for a rail journey of only a couple of hours. If there was competition then prices would come down.

Quoting LHR27C (Reply 16):
It will never happen - locos won't fly into LHR because fixed costs are far too high. Same issue for regional airlines - operating a regional aircraft into LHR is not cost efficient and a waste of a slot, which is why very few are left.

There is obviously a reason BD can operate several A320s a day into LHR from MAN, GLA and EDI. Even if a few of those were relatively under-utilised, they are obviously making some money on the routes otherwise they would have pulled out of them long before now.

With fares currently sitting at around £30-£40 each way, I'd call that pretty low cost anyway. What motivation will BA have to keep fares that low when they are the sole operator?
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bastew
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:31 pm

Then that is the solution!

BA should be forced to give slots to VS to use on LHR-GLA/EDI/ABZ routes.

Reckon VS would be happy with that??
 
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eurowings
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:19 pm

Quoting btblue (Reply 17):
...and have you seen how much they charge? I couldn't believe it when I was quoted over £200 quid for a ticket to MAN next week.
Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 24):
Rail in the UK is terribly expensive as a result. A return trip from the Midlands to London is currently £170 for a rail journey of only a couple of hours. If there was competition then prices would come down.

The UK rail industry is a regulated industry unlike the airlines, the Department for Transport approves and has a say in the pricing of almost all "turn-up-and-pay" fares. Virgin set much lower advance fares from £11.50 each way (less if you have a railcard e.t.c) on the Manchester-London route, but you have to book some time in advance and travel on a booked train. It's more down to government policy than anything else, although Virgin do have a say. The domestic rail industry is very different to air travel, and even though it is privatized there is little scope for competition in the traditional sense. Behind the scenes it's still controlled by the government, with the private companies merely running the service as part of an agreed "franchise".

[Edited 2012-02-17 10:30:25]
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David_itl
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:36 pm

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 24):
There is obviously a reason BD can operate several A320s a day into LHR from MAN, GLA and EDI. Even if a few of those were relatively under-utilised, they are obviously making some money on the routes otherwise they would have pulled out of them long before now.

No GLA service, MAN is 4 daily using a mix ERJ145s and A320s down from around 7 or so daily 2 or 3 years ago.
 
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eurowings
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:48 pm

Quoting david_itl (Reply 27):
No GLA service, MAN is 4 daily using a mix ERJ145s and A320s down from around 7 or so daily 2 or 3 years ago.
MAN is more variable than that, it's between 4 and 7 daily flights depending on the day. For example, based on next week, Mondays, Sundays and Thursdays see 4 flights, Saturdays see 5, Tuesdays see 6 and Fridays and Wednesdays see 7. Mixture of RJ145s, A319s, A320s and A321s (so basically most of BD's fleet!).

[Edited 2012-02-17 10:55:13]
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:55 pm

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 24):
There is obviously a reason BD can operate several A320s a day into LHR from MAN, GLA and EDI. Even if a few of those were relatively under-utilised, they are obviously making some money on the routes otherwise they would have pulled out of them long before now.

With the size of losses reported at BD I doubt they have any profitable routes.
 
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eurowings
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 6:58 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 29):
With the size of losses reported at BD I doubt they have any profitable routes.

I am sure I heard that BD Regional's niche routes apparently perform quite well, although that is being treated as a separate unit to be sold (which it quite rightfully is for all intents and purposes).
"Freddie Laker may be at peace with his Maker, but he is persona non grata with IATA."- HRH Duke of Edinburgh
 
virgincrew
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:20 pm

I think if VS were given some of the slots, aircraft etc.. of BD, by way of a mutual purchase between IAG, LH & VS and there was some contractual agreement that they were used for domestic 'Virgin UK Express' (name is just an idea) routes, to be used for competition and as a feeder for the Long Haul business.

I am not sure how this would affect BMI Baby though ? My understanding is that the BMI Baby Business has been purchased.
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting gilesdavies (Reply 5):
Also they make a fair point, if fares between LHR-GLA have genuinely increased since BMI pulled out?

And the point here is that BD pulled out. Before the proposed IAG takeover of BD was announced. Just like BD had previously pulled out of MME and LBA.

So let us assume the takeover doesn't go ahead, and BD announces the end of LHR-EDI. That still leaves BA the sole carrier on the route. Is that BA's fault?

What continues to strike me about all this is that VS say the takeover is bad, but not that they want to step in and launch their own services!

It's all about VS getting publicity, putting BA down and making out that VS is the consumer's friend and champion. I recall that they bleated on about the lack of competition on LHR-DFW if the BA/AA ATI deal went ahead. Well the EU said the deal could, but if an airline wanted to come in to compete then BA/AA had to provide slots for a ten-year period. I notice VS wasn't keen to come in and provide the much "needed" competition! The same would likely happen if a condition for IAG to takeover BD is that a competitor be provided slots to operate X number of flights to ABZ and EDI - I bet we won't see VS launching domestic flights to fill the supposed void!
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skipness1E
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:24 pm

Quoting BA777 (Reply 19):
"Virgin Atlantic has never flown to Scotland and, as far as we know, has no plans to do so."

Shoot the messenger for once. Altogether now "D'oooh"

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 24):
When you're talking about crucial routes such as Scotland-London then yes. It would be akin to giving DL a monopoly on JFK-LHR.

True in the nineties, not so much today, LCY is the more exepnsive option for the savvy traveller if you are going to London. If you are connecting on BA then clearly you will fly BA to LHR, a lot more London traffic uses easyJet than before. LHR is mainly relevant for connecting.
The figure in The Times quoting % connections on BMI was given as 50% which seems way too high. If this is accurate only very poor revenue split with the STAR long haul partners explains the losses.

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 24):
There is obviously a reason BD can operate several A320s a day into LHR from MAN, GLA and EDI. Even if a few of those were relatively under-utilised, they are obviously making some money on the routes otherwise they would have pulled out of them long before now.

I understand MAN loses money, EDI makes money and GLA was dumped as it lost millions. I was on the last flight.....

Give Sir Beardie slots on condition he serves the destinations he's moaning about, then watch him backtrack at speed.
Incidentally, does anyone know if the white A340 at LGW today on the 170s is G-VFAR wfu?
 
richardw
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:24 pm

Do LH and IAG have a contingency plan to sa

Quoting richardw (Reply 8):
One way to perhaps silence SRB and VS, is if LH and IAG offered aircraft, staff and slots (with covenants on the slots that they are only to be used for flights to domestic/irish destinations), that are currently part of BD, for an airline that could be called Virgin UK at a reasonable price, for domestic/irish services to LHR.

If they refused the offer, that could be seen as the end of their argument.
Quoting virgincrew (Reply 31):
I think if VS were given some of the slots, aircraft etc.. of BD, by way of a mutual purchase between IAG, LH & VS and there was some contractual agreement that they were used for domestic 'Virgin UK Express' (name is just an idea) routes, to be used for competition and as a feeder for the Long Haul business.

Already mentioned. Seems to be a bit of a consensus on this.
 
anstar
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 7:33 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 33):

Give Sir Beardie slots on condition he serves the destinations he's moaning about, then watch him backtrack at speed.
Incidentally, does anyone know if the white A340 at LGW today on the 170s is G-VFAR wfu?

I think it has been there for quite a few weeks so I don't think so.
 
sam1987
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:04 pm

Very good letter in the Scottish Herald the other week:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/commen...s-for-the-british-economy.16662630

Quite frankly, if anyone else wants to operate from LHR to Scotland (be it VS or whoever) they can do so.

The reason why they won't is because they won't make any money, in the same way that BD isn't making any money now.

Why else would BD pull of LHR to GLA? If another carrier thought they could make money on the route they would have already started it by now.

The Scottish market is immensely competitive even without BD:
- If you are looking for global connections, you can fly with any number of carriers direct from Scotland to hubs in Europe, the Middle East and the US.
- If you want to just go as far as London, you can get the train, fly with easyJet, Flybe, CityJet or Ryanair, or drive.

Richard Branson and Alex Salmond haven't got a clue!
Next flights: LGW-LBA-LGW, LHR-SIN-SYD, SYD-BKK-LHR, LGW-GRO, GRO-CIA, CIA-MAD, MAD-LGW
 
YVRLTN
Posts: 2344
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:42 am

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 24):
What motivation will BA have to keep fares that low when they are the sole operator?

To stop LH & KL taking pax through FRA & AMS maybe? Plus EK ex GLA via DXB and U2 for the O&D.

The alternate is, when LH inevitably pull the life support machine plug and close down BD, we would be have the exact same situation, just a lot more unemployment... may as well do it in an organized fashion. Scottish travellers still have a host of options outside of LHR.
Follow me on twitter for YVR movements @vernonYVR
 
Chinook747
Posts: 45
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:52 am

Quoting BA777 (Reply 19):

"Virgin Atlantic has never flown to Scotland and, as far as we know, has no plans to do so."

Thank you, this was my same thought when I was reading the article.
 
koruman
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 6:54 am

The UK's competition regulator simply needs to make the acquisition conditional upon a number of fare and frequency and capacity assurances, based upon fare levels in 2010 and 2011, such as:

1) On route LHR-MAN, BA is required to ensure that without exception on every flight, 30% of fares are below 29 pounds one way, a further 30% are below 49 pounds one way and only 10% may exceed 129 pounds.

2) This may increase at no more than the average of CPI and the cost of fuel for a period of 15 years.

3) The airline is not permitted for 15 years to reduce the total number of daily services below the combined average of BMI and BA in the period 2010-2011.

4) The airline can only reduce overall daily capacity during that 15 year period with the prior approval of the regulator, and capacity reductions may not exceed the average number of unoccupied seats in the two years prior to application.

If BA is willing to comply with those reasonable demands, then the purchase should be approved.

If it declines, then the purchase should be deemed anti-competitive and unlawful.
 
trintocan
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:32 am

Once again, the underlying question one is left with after hearing what the VS boss is saying is, "Well, if you have such concerns about the BA / BD merger, can you offer anything better?" If VS made an offer for BD to compete with BA and fought it that way one could give them a bit more credibility but really, VS simply do not have that kind of money.

An interesting focus on LHR - Scotland traffic is being made here. The trouble is one cannot consider LHR - Scotland traffic in isolation from the many other links between Scotland and SE England - after all there are U2 flights to LGW, STN and LTN, FlyBe to LGW, CityJet and BA CityFlyer to LCY, BA themselves to LGW. We then have Virgin Trains from Euston to Glasgow, East Coast services to King's Cross and even Cross Country services from Reading in the mix. Add National Express and Megabus coaches and one sees the plethora orf choices available. BD LHR - EDI and ABZ flights are only relevant to VS as they potentially offer connecting passengers to VS - the question is how many pax they get connecting on these services and do the numbers justify the considerable costs in operating them.

Invariably the regulators would impose some conditions on the merger - those we will wait and see.

Trintocan.
Hop to it, fly for life!
 
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ssteve
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 7:52 am

This is all Obama's fault.

Meddlesome guy that he is.
 
boysteve
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:04 am

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 30):
I am sure I heard that BD Regional's niche routes apparently perform quite well

I have heard this too, particulary LBA-EDI.

Quoting Chinook747 (Reply 38):
Virgin Atlantic has never flown to Scotland

Err it has summer flights from GLA - MCO
 
mikey72
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:25 am

"Virgin Atlantic has never flown to Scotland and, as far as we know, has no plans to do so."


Quoting boysteve (Reply 42):
Err it has summer flights from GLA - MCO

You're missing the point totally. I 'think' they were referring to services from LHR.

Although now you mention it VS do have a monopoly on GLA-MCO .

Maybe an investigation should be launched ?


 
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
mikey72
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:33 am

VS's objections to this are flawed on so many levels that one almost doesn't know where to begin.

BUT.

As I said in another thread the influence of Richard Branson and his abilty to warp perceptions in the UK should never be under estimated.

He is a business man so good luck to him.

This is in the Telegraph newspaper (UK) ''today''.....

''''if a conversation between Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, and Steve Hilton, the PM’s policy adviser, is anything to go by, it has finally crashed.

Gove tells next month’s Standpoint that Hilton asked him what airline he planned to fly to the States. “Don’t fly British Airways,” Hilton advised him. “They are the fat cats. Fly Branson, he’s the upstart. We are on the side of the upstarts.”''''

I'm almost speechless at this.

Even in UK government circles VS is STILL considered an upstart. So god only knows what the public perception is.
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
tcasalert
Topic Author
Posts: 448
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:48 am

At the end of the day, we all know VS have no plans to introduce LHR-Scotland and never will.

However IMO this is not about SRB moaning about not giving him the Scottish flights, this is about someone standing up and saying that what BA are proposing is unreasonable.

Regardless of whether he plans to start flying to Scotland or not, somebody needs to step in and say something about this. Without objections we are giving airlines free reign to do whatever they want, and that is unacceptable.

For the record I am all for the BD merger, but only on the condition that any duplicated routes are either excluded and given to someone else or are highly regulated in terms of frequency and cost.
Next flight: Feb 2012 - BHX-CPH-BHX - SK MD87 / CRJ900
 
vv701
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:51 am

I've checked BA's air fares and compared their LHR-GLA fare on their monopoly LHR-GLA route with their LHR-EDI fares where they compete against BD. Booking a month in advance out on 16 March with a return flight on 23 March the average fare across all flights on the 23 March on the GLA route was lower than on all the EDI flights. However for a flight on Monday (20 February) with a return on 22 February the average LHR-GLA price was more expensive than that for the LHR-EDI flights, However the difference in average prices for next Monday that favour the EDI route was lower than those for next month that favour the GLA route.

The increase in fares on the GLA route closer to departure date probably reflects the loss of the BD LHR-GLA service and the resulting loss of capacity that has only been partly compensated for by BA using larger aircraft on some flights, As a result BA's flights are operating up to or close to capacity escalating the average fare price and the actual prices paid for tickets bought close to the departure date.

So the base problem seems to be the lost slots that BD used to use on their GLA-LHR service. These are presumably slots redistributed by the Lufthansa Group to other group operators (as otherwise they would have been confiscated under the EU "use it or loose it" rule). It does not seem to be that BA has increased LHR-GLA fares.

A possible solution to the higheraverage prices now being paid on the LHR-GLA route appears to me to be simple. It is to quickly approve the IAG purchase of BD and require that BA use some of BD's remaining slots and some of their existing aircraft to increase the number of flights between LHR and GLA and thus force the average seat price down.

Redistributing some slots to another airline, such as VS, so they can operate a competitive flights from LHR to GLA does not seem viable. What could this airline do that BD did not to make the service anyway near profitable? For example, BD had many more flights out of expensive-to-operate LHR to feed passengers from GLA onto than any other airline except BA has, yet they failed on this route.

So the practical solution is to allow IAG buy BD and insist that BA offer a significant increase in the number of seats offered on their flights to EDI, GLA and, if the current bmi Regional operations between ABZ and LHR are to be bundled with the sale of bmi and not bmi Regional, ABZ as well.
 
bastar1
Posts: 17
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RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:16 am

The reason BD is making an enormous loss is that the fares they were charging on many of their high-capacity routes were so low. Unless the cost of operating into LHR drops significantly, average fares have to rise if those routes are to be profitable and neither BD nor BA (nor VS) should be required to offer services that don't make money. Plus, as others have pointed out, GLA/EDI are hardly monopolies for BA from London; there are plenty of air and surface alternative.

My money is on the IAG deal being approved with some quite limited restrictions around constrained international routes (e.g. LHR-DME and LHR-CAI). The competition authorities won't get into the business of setting prices for flights. In addition anyone wanting to use the released slots will probably have to buy or lease them from BA.
 
mikey72
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:31 pm

RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:36 am

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 45):
However IMO this is not about SRB moaning about not giving him the Scottish flights, this is about someone standing up and saying that what BA are proposing is unreasonable.

Not forgetting to include the vital 'IMO' prefix I say to that...

Why is it unreasonable ?

Unless of course you totally ignore the realities of today....

What is the alternative when it is clearly evident due to BD's spectacular losses that a two carrier scenario is no longer viable on these routes because of the massive competition provided by LCC's.

The days when people travelling to London from Scotland by air had to fly to LHR regardless of their onward plans are LONG gone.

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 45):
Without objections we are giving airlines free reign to do whatever they want, and that is unacceptable.

'IMO' VS are objecting because this deal is bad news for them and them alone,

The days when what is best for British aviation invariably had Virgin Atlantic painted on the side are also LONG gone. (due to events in the industry outside of the UK)

Quoting TCASAlert (Reply 45):
For the record I am all for the BD merger, but only on the condition that any duplicated routes are either excluded and given to someone else or are highly regulated in terms of frequency and cost.

Given to who ? Some biliionaire who is prepared to lose £200M a year annually on his investment ?

There are just too many alternatives to warrant terms like 'highly regulated'

The onus cannot alway be on a PRIVATE company to be all things to all people.. If you want to start placing 'state owned' restrictions on BA PLC then I'm afraid you will also have to start providing some 'state owned' funding to operate the loss-making frequencies that we see at the moment.

It is not a hostile take over. The airline has already drained the coffers of LH, can we please not waste anymore time and money on this one ?

'IMO' I ask if there is no end to this absurdity ?
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
planejamie
Posts: 564
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2011 8:41 pm

RE: VS Lodges Complaint Over BA/BD Merger

Sat Feb 18, 2012 12:01 pm

Would now be a good time to point out that VS have a fair share of leisure traffic from the regions (MAN, GLA) running 747s in their crappy old config to Orlando and the Caribbean in the summer...

Personally I think this is just Branson throwing his toys out the pram again, if he was part of Star Alliance and he was losing a massive partner or if he actually made the effort to put out a joint venture with other airlines then I could understand. However, there's very few passengers feeding VS at LHR from BD and I hardly think BA's prices have gone up. Since BD dropped GLA the fuel prices have risen slightly and BA have always been more expensive than BD in the first place purely because they offer more (3Kg more luggage, full bar service and snacks which BD does not).

In my opinion (and this has been discussed to death on here) when you look at the BA and BD routes and which ones actually overlap, there's very little. Add this to comparing BA to LH who flood most German airports and who own LX, OS and SN (and I'm sure there's one more there besides BD) and you soon see BA don't really have the "monopoly" that Branson refers to.

Besides which (and this has been mentioned above) he's made no effort in reality to purchase BD, what happened to this whole "getting funding from Etihad", the reality is, he can't afford BD as it is and even if he did, it would be the weak helping the weaker (or not helping).

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