UA444
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Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:56 am

British Airways stopped flying to Detroit back in 2008, a market they had served for over 40 years. Would the economics of the 787 make this flight valuable again? Delta surely could use some competition on this route.
 
vv701
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:46 am

DTW was a gateway city allowed under the Bermuda 2 Agreement. IAD was not.

If I recall correctly the BA DTW flight operated LHR-DTW-IAH. If this is correct I am guessing that most of its passengers were travelling between IAH and LHR to make connections at LHR to other important oil industry destinations. So I am not sure that the LHR-DTW leg was ever viable on its own. Indeed I believe this flight was replaced by an LHR-ORD-IAH flight before Bermuda 2 was replaced by Open Skies and LHR-IAH direct flights started.

Nevertheless we'll have to wait and see.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:58 am

Detroit operated for many many years right back to BOAC however almost always as a tag and for much of the time from Montreal if memory serves.

As VV701 said above latterly BA re-cast it as a an intermediate stop to Houston whilst simultaneously operating a direct Houston -Gatwick service inherited from the BCAL acquisition.

With the EU/US openskys treaty allowing access beyond the Bermuda 2 restrictions BA moved the direct Houston service to LHR rapidly dropping Detroit.

It certainly seems BA have struggled to make Detroit a standalone profit centre over the years.
 
dtw2hyd
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:20 am

I really hope so. DL is printing money on this route.
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:18 pm

DL does well on this route but primarily because they have the local O&D and the connecting power of the hub. In Summer 2014, DL will be operating 2x daily DTW-LHR (14x weekly). They have operated 10x per week in Summer 2012.

Could BA restart? Maybe, but that depends where it fits in the grand scheme of their priorities. DTW is well-connected to Europe with DL/KLM/AF service to AMS & CDG, plus nonstops to LHR, FRA, and FCO (seasonal). LH service to FRA too.
RJ service to AMM. Plus rumors of the ME3 carriers and TK.
 
WA707atMSP
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:55 pm

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 2):
Detroit operated for many many years right back to BOAC however almost always as a tag and for much of the time from Montreal if memory serves.

Here is my informal history of BOAC / BA at DTW, copied from a thread in 2007, just before BA suspended DTW:

Once I got home last night, I went through my old BOAC and British Airways annual reports, and my back issues of Propliner. Here's what I was able to find out:

BOAC added Detroit in 1956, as a stop on their London-Prestwick-Montreal-Chicago route, with Boeing 377 Stratocruisers. The BOAC annual report doesn't say whether the 377s stopped enroute Prestwick-Montreal to refuel, but I'm sure at least the westbound flights would have needed to stop at Gander.

In April, 1957, the equipment used was upgraded to DC-7C.

On April 17, 1958, the equipment was further upgraded to Bristol Britannia 312s, routed London-Montreal-Detroit-Chicago.

On September 20, 1960, the Britannias were replaced with 707-436s. In 1960, BOAC received authority to add Toronto, so the previous London-Montreal-Detroit-Chicago route was replaced with two separate flights, London-Detroit-Chicago and London-Montreal-Toronto.

Once Toronto developed enough to support nonstops to London in the mid-1960s, the routes were realigned again. The new routes from the Great Lakes to London were Detroit-Boston-London, Chicago-Montreal-London, and Toronto-London nonstop.

In October, 1965, the 707-436s were replaced with Super VC-10s, routed Detroit-Boston-London.

In the early 1970s, the route was switched to Detroit-Philadelphia-London.

In 1974, it was switched to Detroit-Washington Dulles-London

In 1985, it was switched to Detroit-Montreal Mirabel-London, the routing that was used until British Airways added Detroit-London nonstops.

I wasn't able to find the exact date the 747 replaced the VC-10 at Detroit. I've seen pictures of 707s in Detroit in the late 1960s and early 1970s; I don't know whether the 707s were on charter flights, or whether BOAC mixed VC-10s and 707s on the route during this time frame.
 
dtw9
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:16 pm

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 5):
I wasn't able to find the exact date the 747 replaced the VC-10 at Detroit

BOAC started 747 service to BOS and DTW on April 30th 1972
 
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tjwgrr
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:47 pm

I certainly think BA could make LHR-DTW work with the 787. BA is giving AUS a chance, maybe they'll try DTW again......
Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
 
uberflieger
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:50 pm

Quoting tjwgrr (Reply 7):
BA is giving AUS a chance

Lots of good reasons for BA to give Austin a chance. AUS has a large AA FF base and no competitor with a hub or competing LHR service. BA offers attractive connections & stop-overs to India for Austin's IT industry.

Lots of good reasons for BA NOT to start DTW. Delta's dominance in the market with a large hub & competing service.
Times have changed. During the years of the BA nonstop the Ford Motor Company not only had its own UK presence, but also owned Jaguar & Land Rover. Back then Transatlantic JBA's and alliances weren't as dominant. AA/BA combined now offer multiple convenient 1 stops a day via ORD, including a morning departure that gets you to LHR the same day.
 
crosswinds21
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:54 pm

Quoting tjwgrr (Reply 7):
I certainly think BA could make LHR-DTW work with the 787. BA is giving AUS a chance, maybe they'll try DTW again......

If this is just a matter of not enough demand for a larger aircraft, why would a 787 even be necessary? Could they not make this work instead by using AA's 757? It's certainly within the range of the aircraft, as there are other longer routes to Europe that are operated by 757s.
 
IADLHR
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:29 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 1):
DTW was a gateway city allowed under the Bermuda 2 Agreement. IAD was not.

IAD was allowed under Bermuda 2 and BA operated into IAD. Back in the late 70s, maybe the late 80s the routing was LHR-IAD-DTW-IAD-LHR. At some point in time DTW did get a nonstop LHR-DTW. I think there will be other US cities that will see BA service ex-LHR before they try DTW again.
 
a321luke
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:03 pm

I'm of firm belief that if BA relaunched DTW, a 787-8 would be the perfect aircraft for the route. BA flew the route with a 763 towards the end, so it wasn't exactly fuel efficient. Not only that, but they discontinued DTW in 2008, when the city was really hit hard by the economic downturn. The city is now on an upswing. Also, there are 5,000,000+ people living in the Metro Detroit area, so I'm sure there is enough traffic between the two to support another carrier on the route. As BA gets more 787's, I can see this route making a comeback. But then again, I always look at Detroit and DTW with very rosy colored glasses haha.

The only issue I can see is where in the North Terminal they'd open a Club.

We also discussed BA and others adding (or continuing) DTW in this thread:

Will DTW Ever Add Any New International Service? (by a321luke Sep 4 2013 in Civil Aviation)
Planes, Trains, and Cars... Heaven :)
 
PITrules
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:14 pm

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 2):
With the EU/US openskys treaty allowing access beyond the Bermuda 2 restrictions BA moved the direct Houston service to LHR rapidly dropping Detroit.

I thought BA started IAH-LHR nonstop a couple years before the end of Bermuda 2?

Something about a loophole that allowed them to start nonstop service to LHR? Same for BWI-LHR, and perhaps a couple others such as DEN, PHX and/or SAN.
FLYi
 
UA444
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 9:21 pm

Quoting PITrules (Reply 12):

I thought they started IAH-LHR nonstop right after they discontinued DTW.
 
IADLHR
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:17 pm

Quoting PITrules (Reply 12):
Something about a loophole that allowed them to start nonstop service to LHR? Same for BWI-LHR, and perhaps a couple others such as DEN, PHX and/or SAN.

When BA first started service to BWI I am almost positive it was from LGW. How I remember is that the routing was LGW-BDA-BWI-BDA-LGW as Baltimore was not a city covered by Bermuda 2. BA also had the rights to sell tickets BWI-BDA-BWI. My wife and I took that flight a coup;le of times. The flight could have gone on to LHR but I dont think so though I stand corrected.

At some point in time the routing was changed to LHR-YMX-BWI-LHR before it became a nonstop LHR-BWI-LHR

I cant remember all the details but the British authorities made a point that BWI was part of the Washington, DC area which was a city allowed under Bermuda 2 and so the nonstop LHR-BWI-LHR started.
 
a321luke
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 10:19 pm

Isn't BWI-LHR heavily subsidized? I could have sworn I read that somewhere.
Planes, Trains, and Cars... Heaven :)
 
PITrules
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:03 pm

OK looks like it was DEN/PHX/SAN which were transferred from LGW to LHR via a Bermuda II loophole long before Open Skies. I mistakenly thought IAH was in that grouping, but the "loophole" would not have applied to IAH as it had service to London by a US carrier.

BA LHR-SAN/PHX/DEN Status?


As mentioned by 'IADLHR', BWI-LGW was transferred to LHR when it was determined BWI was a Washington co-terminal.
FLYi
 
IADLHR
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:15 am

Quoting a321luke (Reply 15):
Isn't BWI-LHR heavily subsidized? I could have sworn I read that somewhere.

I dont know about heavily subsidized but yes it is subsidized.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:16 am

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 10):
Quoting VV701 (Reply 1):
DTW was a gateway city allowed under the Bermuda 2 Agreement. IAD was not.

IAD was allowed under Bermuda 2 and BA operated into IAD.

I'm guessing the reference to IAD in VV701's reply may have been a typo and should read IAH, based on the rest of his reply.
 
IAHWorldflyer
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:10 am

When did the BA service to PIT end? I recall them flying there in the 1970's and '80's. Was that a 1 stop route as well, or was it nonstop?
As far as srrvice to IAH goes, it was always to LGW until open skies, when both BA and CO switched to LHR almost immediately. Beford this, there was a 744 with a stop in ORD to LHR operated as a evening departure Eastbound.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 2:36 am

Quoting iahworldflyer (Reply 19):
When did the BA service to PIT end? I recall them flying there in the 1970's and '80's. Was that a 1 stop route as well, or was it nonstop?

Not sure about the 1970s/80s, but at the end PIT-LGW was a daily 763 nonstop. Ended October 31, 1999.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 3:36 am

Quoting UA444 (Reply 13):
I thought they started IAH-LHR nonstop right after they discontinued DTW.

I'd have to find old timetables, but I'm not certain that DTW was the stop right at the end of IAH-XXX-LHR. I think it actually may have been ORD (on 294/295). There's an implication here that DTW existed solely as the IAH stop, and that's inaccurate. ORD was the stop for several of the one stop's last few years.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
PITrules
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 4:57 am

Quoting iahworldflyer (Reply 19):
When did the BA service to PIT end? I recall them flying there in the 1970's and '80's. Was that a 1 stop route as well, or was it nonstop?
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 20):
Not sure about the 1970s/80s, but at the end PIT-LGW was a daily 763 nonstop. Ended October 31, 1999.

Ended when Viscount724 said, and started May 1985. Over the service's history it was a combination of nonstop/one stop/747/L-1011/767/LHR/LGW - depending on several factors some of which were alliances/bi-laterals/time of year.

What is a bit of a head scratcher for me is when it ended it went from daily (even in winter) nonstop year round without any alliance and from LGW - to being totally discontinued. No attempt at seasonal or 5x weekly. The final year they carried 10% more traffic than the previous year.
FLYi
 
mutu
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 12:21 pm

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 20):
Not sure about the 1970s/80s, but at the end PIT-LGW was a daily 763 nonstop. Ended October 31, 1999.

I believe the last PIT service was actually a US 767 painted in BA Landor colours, with US crew wearing BA uniforms, operating the flight as a BA flight number. (back when BA owned 25% of US)

When that shareholding unravelled and the BA/AA alliance strated this arrangement stopped.

Not sure whether BA or its predecessors flew the route before this though
 
IADLHR
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:12 pm

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 21):
I'd have to find old timetables, but I'm not certain that DTW was the stop right at the end of IAH-XXX-LHR. I think it actually may have been ORD (on 294/295). There's an implication here that DTW existed solely as the IAH stop, and that's inaccurate. ORD was the stop for several of the one stop's last few years.

At the end, before it became IAH-LHR it was IAH-ORD-LHR. I had a project in Chicago and was going there a great deal. It so happened that the hotel where I stayed there was the same hotel whee the flight crew stayed that flew ORD-IAH-ORD. Often times I woulds get talking to some of the crew. For some reason the flight crew that did LHR-ORD ORD-IAH-ORD and ORD-LHR stayed at a different hotel than the ones that just flew LHR-ORD-LHR. I dont know why but I always found the different hotel thing quite interesting
 
skipness1E
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:15 pm

Quoting mutu (Reply 23):
I believe the last PIT service was actually a US 767 painted in BA Landor colours, with US crew wearing BA uniforms, operating the flight as a BA flight number. (back when BA owned 25% of US)

That was 1993-94 only
 
Viscount724
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Fri Mar 14, 2014 12:58 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 25):
Quoting mutu (Reply 23):
I believe the last PIT service was actually a US 767 painted in BA Landor colours, with US crew wearing BA uniforms, operating the flight as a BA flight number. (back when BA owned 25% of US)

That was 1993-94 only

Later BA 767 photos at PIT show BA's own 763s.


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vv701
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RE: Could BA Restart DTW?

Fri Mar 14, 2014 5:24 pm

Quoting IADLHR (Reply 10):
IAD was allowed under Bermuda 2 and BA operated into IAD.
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
I'm guessing the reference to IAD in VV701's reply may have been a typo and should read IAH, based on the rest of his reply.

Thanks. Yes. I should have said IAH.

Quoting PITrules (Reply 12):
Something about a loophole that allowed them to start nonstop service to LHR?

The "loophole" went something like this:

If one of the four airlines permitted by Bermuda 2 to operate LHR-USA, that is to say AA, BA, UA or VS, operated a flight from LGW to a USA city that was not a designated gateway city from LHR in Bermuda 2 and could demonstrate that it was consistently carrying more than a proscribed minimum number of passengers each year, then it could transfer that flight from LGW to LHR.

My recollection is that the specified minimum number of passengers was 600,000 in both directions or 300,000 in one direction. However here I may be mistaken.

It was this very specific "loophole" clause in Bermuda 2 that resulted in BA transferring its LGW-DEN service to LHR. BA announced the LHR-DEN route was in July 2002. I am guessing that the inaugural flight was at the beginning of the Winter 2002-03 Season (27 October). But this is a pure guess. based on the date of the date of the announcement (that was all part of the BA "Future Size and Shape" programme).

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