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LAXintl
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Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:51 pm

As part of interview remarks made at the A380 launch event at IAD, Willie Walsh called Heathrow expansion a “lost cause”, stating that neither political party in the UK had the "character" to push through such a decision following 2015 elections. He says the UK would require big shift in the politics for parties to have such strength.

He also warned against putting an additional runway at LGW as the airport simply does not have the international attraction and the economics and business case for such was much weaker. Though he admitted politics of expanding LHR are significantly more difficult than the politics of expanding LGW.

He made some other comments also including the potential harm that could come to BA with uncertainty caused by the conservative party over EU membership and if a referendum is launched.

In other areas he mentioned carrier will seek to grow further in Asia as 787s arrive, but that growth in China had been slower and latest route to Chengdu had been disappointing and slower than hoped in terms of passenger demand.

He also called on scrapping of EU ownership rules and termed Delta taking 49% of VS was "rational", though he added “Virgin has almost disappeared... Delta control Virgin, without any doubt, without any question. We just call it Delta now. “ .


British Airways: Heathrow expansion is a ‘lost cause’
http://www.theguardian.com/environme...ird-runway-lost-cause-willie-walsh

=

Does Mr. Walsh sense that LGW has quietly been given the political green light behind the scenes for his stern comments?
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jetblue1965
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:53 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):

He also called on scrapping of EU ownership rules and termed Delta taking 49% of VS was "rational", though he added “Virgin has almost disappeared... Delta control Virgin, without any doubt, without any question. We just call it Delta now. “ .

This is most true. There is no more "Virgin Atlantic". It is absolutely "Delta London" now.
 
col
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:10 pm

When a so called intelligent Government needs a commission to tell it that LHR needs additional runways, then that was when it was a lost cause. APD also does not help flights to China and Asia, better to go to other European countries and save the cost of flying out of UK.

Some good points all the same.
 
frostyj
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:11 pm

The British government bases everything on London they will NEVER remove APD.
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:16 pm

Just because Delta play more of an active role as a 49% investor does not mean that the 51% controlling share holder, "VIRGIN" do not exist anymore.
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:42 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
Does Mr. Walsh sense that LGW has quietly been given the political green light behind the scenes for his stern comments?

I think so,some time down the line it is the least "poisoned chalice" to swallow.
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 5:30 pm

This discussion is never ending and a big subject to be played between politicians from different parties.

Political parties always want to fix UK and make it a strong hub for business and commerce, but when it comes to implementation that turn them into silent mode.
How I can do business in such fast moving world while I have to be kept on hold before landing in LHR for no less than half an hour, how come they never thought about the direct income from passengers & airlines to the local authorities in London and UK.
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:11 pm

Quoting starguy (Reply 4):
Just because Delta play more of an active role as a 49% investor does not mean that the 51% controlling share holder, "VIRGIN" do not exist anymore.

For 'VIRGIN' read 'Virgin Group', read 'Sir Richard Branson'.

SRB will be 65 next year. He is in poor health or at least that is why he says he lives on his privately owned tax haven, Necker Island in the Caribbean. He denies that this is to avoid UK tax:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/...3/richard-branson-tax-exile-virgin

So there can be little doubt that he is now remote from day-to-day VS operational decisions. However I am sure that VS CEO, Craig Kreeger, consults him on major strategic decisions. He, of course, like DL is American. However he went to VS from AA and not from DL

It is right that VS can be considered to b e US DL. After all the UK government is demanding that FR reduces its holding in EI from 29 to 5 per cent for competitive reasons. However such a demand is not necessary for DL / VS as they face a high level of competition from other North Atlantic operating partnerships (even if those partnerships do not involve significant share holdings).

I am not so sure about the EU attitude to the likes of DL and EY and their investments in European airlines. The EU seem to me to be almost as interested in effective operational control as in actual ownership irrespective of the presence or otherwise of competition issues. But there we will have to wait and see.
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 6:58 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 7):
So there can be little doubt that he is now remote from day-to-day VS operational decisions. However I am sure that VS CEO, Craig Kreeger, consults him on major strategic decisions. He, of course, like DL is American. However he went to VS from AA and not from DL

It's best that he's out of the picture. What does he have to show for his "leadership"/counsel? An airline that lost most of its value between SQ's purchase and DL's? One missed opportunity after another? Little Red? A go-it-alone attitude that has benefited everyone but VS? Major spokes like NRT being dropped like a bad habit? What has SRB brought to VS in the last decade of any worth?

[Edited 2014-10-03 11:59:15]
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boysteve
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:04 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 7):
t is right that VS can be considered to b e US DL. After all the UK government is demanding that FR reduces its holding in EI from 29 to 5 per cent for competitive reasons.

This is simply not true. Maybe the EU are but NOT the UK government.
 
frostyj
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:08 pm

Is a merger possible?
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:37 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 8):

It's best that he's out of the picture. What does he have to show for his "leadership"/counsel? An airline that lost most of its value between SQ's purchase and DL's? One missed opportunity after another? Little Red? A go-it-alone attitude that has benefited everyone but VS? Major spokes like NRT being dropped like a bad habit? What has SRB brought to VS in the last decade of any worth?

I'm not sure he had anything to do with that either. Has SRB ever been either the CEO or Chairman of VS in the last 10 years? I don't think he has. Was he ever? I'm not sure he was ever in charge of VS. People often confuse Virgin Atlantic with Virgin Group.
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:48 pm

I've always believed that BA is perfectly happy with LHR as it stands. Otherwise and unless I misread his mild sniping at politicians, Mr. Walsh's acquiescent pessimism would seem to dictate an early retirement.
 
TC957
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:52 pm

Is there any other country that dilly dallies like the UK does over these transport matters ?
 
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LAXintl
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 7:54 pm

Here is a question - what is the future of BA - 5, 10 , 25 years from now if its home base at LHR offers no real growth opportunity except maybe picking up random slot or two from others?

Is BA happy to stay approximately the same size while other European hubs and home carriers grow, or does BA go back into redeveloping a network from other UK airports - LGW, MAN, BHX etc?
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MaverickM11
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:09 pm

Quoting airbazar (Reply 11):
I'm not sure he had anything to do with that either. Has SRB ever been either the CEO or Chairman of VS in the last 10 years? I don't think he has. Was he ever?

He hasn't, which is why I used quotes, but he *has* always been the most visible part of the airline. I don't think many major decisions are made without at least some knowledge if not outright guidance from SRB. He's always the first to be the public face of those decisions, expounding on the secret to Virgin's "success" as the airline literally collapses into a US carrier's feeder.

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 12):
I've always believed that BA is perfectly happy with LHR as it stands

There is no question it has benefited enormously from the tight control on LHR capacity
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:37 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
He also called on scrapping of EU ownership rules and termed Delta taking 49% of VS was "rational", though he added “Virgin has almost disappeared... Delta control Virgin, without any doubt, without any question. We just call it Delta now. “ .

Does Walsh also complain about 'not so much B' BP?

He is in a curious position to be complaining about the globalization of investment and trade!
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:44 pm

Regardless of all of the above, he is correct in saying that LHR expansion is a "Lost Cause" and It's refreshing to hear such honesty. Regardless of any Commission etc there is no way the political class is going to knock down ancient villages and have airplanes doing low approaches/departures over rich people's homes. It's just not going to happen!

Given that incredibly obvious yet unspeakable truth, it is pretty cunning of him to use the attention he grabs from speaking the unspeakable to try to take down the hopes of LGW a notch or two, but I think his opinion alone won't sink the LGW effort.
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Fri Oct 03, 2014 11:47 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 16):
Does Walsh also complain about 'not so much B' BP?
He is in a curious position to be complaining about the globalization of investment and trade!

Walsh isn't complaining, he is on record as being in favour of relaxing the ownership laws on airlines.
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col
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:26 am

Quoting TC957 (Reply 13):
Is there any other country that dilly dallies like the UK does over these transport matters ?

I would say no, but we could set up a commission  
 
vv701
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:35 am

Quoting Boysteve (Reply 9):
This is simply not true. Maybe the EU are but NOT the UK government.

It is very true. Currently the UK government is considering an appeal by FR against the Competition Commission findings. Here is the original UK Government Competition Commission document detailing their findings:


http://webarchive.nationalarchives.g...uires-ryanair-to-sell-shareholding
 
flyingcello
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 2:24 am

I've said before and I still believe it...the whole point of the Airports Commission was to allow the government of the day (whether Conservative or Labour) to feign a reluctant acceptance of the only plausible conclusion...the need for R3 at LHR. The politicians will then be able to say that, while not what they want, an independent commission has determined the best way forward, so that is what we will approve. All a game. Sadly, while the outcome will be the right one, it will be 10 - 20 years too late. The courageous decision now would be to approve R4 as well...although that possibility isn't even on the table. Another political cop out...
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:01 am

Quoting jetblue1965 (Reply 1):
This is most true. There is no more "Virgin Atlantic". It is absolutely "Delta London" now.

Everywhere I've looked the planes still say Virgin Atlantic and the culture of the company is still very much Virgin.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 7):
SRB will be 65 next year. He is in poor health or at least that is why he says he lives on his privately owned tax haven, Necker Island in the Caribbean. He denies that this is to avoid UK tax:

Poor health? he has been living on Necker for a god number of years now - so you are saying he has had bad health for the past 20 odd years?

Regardless, VS must be doing something right to get Walsh all riled up with his comments. Perhaps he doesn't like the more rational business decisions being made with a new CEO (who he used to work closely with at AA) and see's VS/DL as a bigger threat to his North American yields as the JV gains traction.
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:52 am

Quoting TC957 (Reply 13):

Is there any other country that dilly dallies like the UK does over these transport matters ?


The only one I can think of is NYC but that's not a country.

My hat goes off to Willie for being straight with people--I wish more would do that and that perhaps hearing the truth will bring about change. LHR will have to expand or it will cost the UK seriously in the long term.

How long has this been argued over? In my 15 years in aviation, it's always been a hot topic. Surely it goes back farther than that.
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TC957
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:09 am

Even doing simple road projects like bypass's for towns in my area get thought about, discussed, projected, then instead of getting on with it, plans get dropped, then 10 years later that cycle starts again but of course the cost has then doubled. This has happened for the last 40-odd years.
And this is how I regret the extra runway saga at LHR or LGW is going to be.
 
factsonly
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 7:29 am

Quoting TC957 (Reply 13):
Is there any other country that dilly dallies like the UK does over these transport matters ?
Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 24):
LHR will have to expand or it will cost the UK seriously in the long term.

And while the Commission and the politicians are talking, the competition is moving forward.

- LHR is falling behind CDG, FRA and AMS in number of destinations served non-stop.
- Since 1990's - CDG & FRA have been ahead of LHR in annual cargo volume.
- In 2003 - AMS passed LHR for the first time in annual cargo tonnage
- In 2004 - FRA passed LHR for the first time in annual traffic movements
- In 2013 - AMS passed LHR for the first time in monthly traffic movements (July 2013) and again in July & August 2014.

Only the A380 ensures LHR maintains its top passenger ranking in Europe for the time being.
 
richcandy
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:01 am

Quoting frostyj (Reply 3):
The British government bases everything on London they will NEVER remove APD.

Agreed.

Governments are never keen to reduce revenue so they are unlikely to remove APD. Frankly its not as if the UK has no national debt. Someone has to pay to rescue the banks, to fight wars in Afghanistan, Iraq & other places, try and fund the health service etc. Collecting APD is a simple form or revenue, its like tax on alcohol or petrol. and 20% vat. Its here to stay!

If they for example they built a 8 runway airport at say Manchester or Glasgow. Do you think BA , star alliance etc would rush to set up a hub there for connecting traffic? I am not sure that they would. Like it or lump it London and the south east has a large population and more than its fair share of wealth. The airlines are not going to leave LHR in order to set up a hub at another UK city were the majority of passengers are just in transit.

Alex
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 9:30 am

Quoting richcandy (Reply 27):
Only the A380 ensures LHR maintains its top passenger ranking in Europe for the time being.

Also the other quoted airports have a significant number of cargo flights that push up the movements whereas Heathrow has very few.
 
tupolev141
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:00 am

Quoting TC957 (Reply 13):
Is there any other country that dilly dallies like the UK does over these transport matters ?

Every democracy. Which is a good thing, and a bad thing.
 
parapente
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:05 am

BA is actually in a win win position.If Gatwick alone gets an extra runway then it will free up slots at Heathrow.But frankly yje extra runway will (after the elevtion) go to Heathrow anyway.I I bet along with a recommendation that Gatwick follows shortly (it is legally prevented from doing so now anyway). The discussion in fact will be more about whether the rail hub is at Heathrow or Old Oak common ).


As for Virgin.Branston has been divesting himself of 'real' companies and taking income via the licensing of the virgin brand name.SRB has historically been brilliant at divesting of assets at the right time. Perhaps abit late on this 51%? Perhaps pride? (dangerous in business).But its as inevitable as night follows day."Virgin Delta" anyone? (then Delta later of course).

There will be 2 ' East West' hub areas in future.N Europe lead by Heathrow and ME3 led by Dubai. The latter we know! And hundreds - yes hundreds of giant aircraft on order.The question will be more about who will be the 'northern ME3's'.BA (and partners) for one that's for sure. The LH group I imagine.But what about Delta? In fact why not Delta?
 
sandyb123
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:14 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 7):
SRB will be 65 next year. He is in poor health or at least that is why he says he lives on his privately owned tax haven, Necker Island in the Caribbean. He denies that this is to avoid UK tax:

This is misleading. He is not in poor health. He said in the Metro in October 2013 that he lived on Necker to maintain his health. Either way it's a fairly poor cover for what is basically avoiding uk tax. This practice is of course completely legal.

SRB is basically a brand ambassador and licenses the Virgin brand to a Miriad of businesses in travel, communications, health, venture capital etc etc etc.

Quoting VV701 (Reply 7):
For 'VIRGIN' read 'Virgin Group', read 'Sir Richard Branson'.
Quoting airbazar (Reply 11):
People often confuse Virgin Atlantic with Virgin Group.

Correct. Virgin Altantic enjoys a high profile in the Virgin Group and your average Joe would probably expect SRB to 'own' it in the traditional sense of the word but in business, especially aviation business, that doesn't always happen!

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evomutant
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:53 am

Quoting northwestEWR (Reply 24):
The only one I can think of is NYC but that's not a country.

And what do they have in common? Both continue to rely on old airports that are no longer really fit for purpose located slap bang in surburbia, and then try and "fix" their own critical lack of foresight by pouring good money after bad. And then acted suprised when not everyone goes along with the plan.
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:09 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 22):
Poor health? he has been living on Necker for a god number of years now - so you are saying he has had bad health for the past 20 odd years?

I am not saying anything. I am reporting what Branson has told the British media.

Why do you comment on what I reported without reading the link I provided ? If you had you would know that SRB himself says he moved his domicile from the UK to the British Virgin Islands where there is no income tax not "20 odd years ago" as you claim but 7 years ago.

The link I provided goes on to say that "Defending his decision [to move to Necker Island] . . . Branson said he planned to spend his remaining years on Necker for the sake of his health rather than to protect his bank balance."
 
parapente
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:14 pm

BTW if one wants to know whats really been happening to Virgin 'Atlantic' just read the last posts on the BA380 flight into Washington thread.Tells you everything you need to know really
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 12:19 pm

So Willie wears a bigger hat at IAG or at BA, I thought one of the reasons for the merger was to ensure the continued growth of the group via the airports on the continent.
Did Willie just wake up and realize that LHR was constrained and that prospects for increased traffic was greater on the continent than at LHR?
 
global2
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 5:19 pm

Quoting TC957 (Reply 13):
Is there any other country that dilly dallies like the UK does over these transport matters ?

Ever hear of the U.S.A.? At least as far as public transport goes. Roads however get all the green lights.

But I'm curious about the ambivalence towards expanding LGW. I wonder why it could not one day become a second hub airport for London similar to EWR and JFK in New York? 35 or 40 years ago, I doubt anyone would have imagined EWR growing in importance the way it has, and geographically there are several million people west of the Hudson that would avoid the trek to JFK like the plague. (I, on the other hand, would never consider flying into EWR because it's a royal PITA to get to the UES from there). Why could this not be the case in London?
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:04 pm

Quoting Global2 (Reply 37):

If you look at where LHR is on a map compared to LGW, you will see that for the majority of the population LHR is a bit easier to get to in terms of geography. To get to LGW from the West, North or East of London involves the M25 or going through London itself. If you live South/SW/SE of London then LGW is geographically more convenient.

Apart from that, I agree that there isn't much to prevent LGW becoming a bigger player and a hub in its own right. The main problem though is finding an airline who's willing to set up a hub at LGW who aren't swayed by the 'prestige' of LHR. Look at how transatlantic flights were consolidated at LHR by some of the major carriers after the scrapping of Bermuda II. In fact, it could be argued that one reason why LGW enjoys some of the long-haul routes it has is because there's limited slots at LHR.
 
masseybrown
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:42 pm

Quoting Boeing74741R (Reply 38):
Look at how transatlantic flights were consolidated at LHR by some of the major carriers after the scrapping of Bermuda II.

How much of that consolidation was driven by airline alliance concerns? LGW isn't THAT inconvenient for US-originating O&D pax; that is to say, I would rather fly non-stop to LGW than endure transiting one of the US mega-hubs to get to LHR.
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:18 pm

Quoting MasseyBrown (Reply 39):

Valid points, but regardless it is notable how a significant number transferred as soon as slots and the scrapping of Bermuda II allowed.

LGW has potential and I agree that for quite a significant number it is a preference. The problem is making the case to the airlines that LGW is viable either alongside or instead of LHR. There aren't that many routes at LHR that are duplicated at LGW - BA to LAS is one such example.
 
KD5MDK
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Sun Oct 05, 2014 9:48 pm

Quoting Boeing74741R (Reply 38):
If you look at where LHR is on a map compared to LGW, you will see that for the majority of the population LHR is a bit easier to get to in terms of geography. To get to LGW from the West, North or East of London involves the M25 or going through London itself. If you live South/SW/SE of London then LGW is geographically more convenient.

Is this significantly different than JFK vs EWR for New York? Both airports are much more convenient for ~one half of the geography and much more inconvenient for the others.

If there were a competitive market for UK originating westbound flights, the other carrier/alliance would probably do fine at LGW, but Virgin isn't big enough and right now the main competition for BA is connections in AMS, CDG, FRA and DXB.
 
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:06 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 14):
what is the future of BA - 5, 10 , 25 years from now if its home base at LHR offers no real growth opportunity except maybe picking up random slot or two from others?

Is BA happy to stay approximately the same size while other European hubs and home carriers grow, or does BA go back into redeveloping a network from other UK airports - LGW, MAN, BHX etc?

From a purely BA perspective, near-zero route growth - apart from capacity increases via aircraft size - is not am impossibility. But from an IAG point of view: MAD for LatAm and Africa. Vueling for the EU continent and the Mediterranean. JV/codeshares for non-London flights. Or maybe BA does indeed one day return to MAN.

Quoting LAXintl (Thread starter):
He also warned against putting an additional runway at LGW as the airport simply does not have the international attraction and the economics and business case for such was much weaker.

Of course he says that. Because the additional capacity of the new LGW runway would be used by competitors, as BA would not want to run a split hub. And that second runway would significantly improve the business case and international attraction of LGW.

Quoting Boeing74741R (Reply 36):
The main problem though is finding an airline who's willing to set up a hub at LGW who aren't swayed by the 'prestige' of LHR.

That kind of LHR-centered mindset, among both airlines and high yielding pax, is without doubt the biggest obstacle LGW has to face, after politics. The potential is more than there, if some airline is willing to commit.
 
StickShaker
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:20 pm

Quoting TC957 (Reply 13):
Is there any other country that dilly dallies like the UK does over these transport matters ?

Australian governments have put in a "good" effort over the last 40 years by dragging their feet over a second airport for the SYD area for much the same reasons. The economic consequences are similar to those surrounding the expansion of LHR.
The "Nimby's" can have a powerful voice in modern democracies.


Cheers,
StickShaker
 
Curiousflyer
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:44 pm

LGW's location is great for millions of people. Even though LHR attracts three times more people LGW definitely already has the critical mass. In my view the question is not whether routes can be developed there, the question is which ones and how to improve the infrastructure to make it world-class. While LHR is very difficult to change and everyone deals with it because they have no choice (I think this is as true for airlines as it is for passengers), LGW can develop a valuable alternative with the offering of airlines, destinations and facilities that LHR will never get.

LHR should improve its bread and butter: maximize traffic on a limited number of high-yield routes since it is not possible to add take-off and landing slots. Perfect airport for widebodies and they should limit smaller airplanes. BA could use the 380 to connect its Madrid hub, feeder routes with less premium O&D traffic and large populations like Paris, Berlin or Istanbul could see less frequencies with 777s ferrying connecting passengers.
 
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jfklganyc
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Mon Oct 06, 2014 1:55 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 14):

Is BA happy to stay approximately the same size while other European hubs and home carriers grow, or does BA go back into redeveloping a network from other UK airports - LGW, MAN, BHX etc?

Other European carriers and hubs are not going to continue to grow en masse.

We are already seeing that with ME3.

The population growth of Europe is stagnant to little. The population of Asia is growing at a much faster pace.
As European hubs are very dependent on traffic flows beyond Europe to the east, much of this growth will be absorbed by new and larger hubs in the Middle East and Asia.

Not a theory...it's already happening. Don't think CDG, FRA, or AMS will be in the same league going forward. The population growth has moved east.

This doesn't argue against the need for a new runway in London. But I agree with adding it in LGW and doing a JFK/EWR thing there.
 
bobdino
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:06 pm

Quoting Boeing74741R (Reply 38):
LGW has potential and I agree that for quite a significant number it is a preference.

While that is true, to point out a different use-case: for business travellers, the Gatwick Express is significantly less convenient than the Heathrow Express.

I fly into LON pretty regularly, and have a choice of two BA flights that leave within 30mins of each other - one to LGW and one to LHR. The flight to LGW is always cheaper, but these days I always pay for LHR. Why? The Heathrow Express takes a predictable amount of time; the Gatwick Express has taken me from the scheduled time, up to close to two hours. This means I can't book a morning meeting if I fly into LGW, but I can if I fly into LHR.
 
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mercure1
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Mon Oct 06, 2014 10:23 pm

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 43):
Other European carriers and hubs are not going to continue to grow en masse.

Airports like FRA, CDG, MUC, and AMS are growing both in pax counts and facilities and still have headroom for more growth in the decades to come.

LHR without new runway is at gridlock due essentially zero available slots.

This leave BA in basic frozen state at LHR compared to its European peers which have home base airports with room for growth.

This cant be good in the long terms as competitors have flexibility to expand their home hubs, while BA is holding pattern essentially and at best managed to purchase random slots from other carriers in best case.
mercure f-wtcc
 
vv701
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:30 am

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 45):

This cant be good in the long terms as competitors have flexibility to expand their home hubs, while BA is holding pattern essentially and at best managed to purchase random slots from other carriers in best case.

Number of weekly slots operated by BA at the start of each Summer Season:


2003: 3,602 (39.0 per cent of total)

2004: 3,744 (40.0 per cent)

2005: 3,780 (40.3 per cent)

2006: 3,787 (40.4 per cent)

2007: 3,829 (40.6 per cent)

2008: 3,950 (41.5 per cent)

2009: 3,980 (41.8 per cent)

2010: 4,028 (42.4 per cent)

2011: 4,040 (42.4 per cent)

2012: 4,198 (44.1 per cent)

2013: 4.825 (50.6 per cent)

2014: 4,893 (51.2 per cent)


So BA's LHR slot holding, obviously boosted by the purchase of BD whose slots were added after the start of the Summer 2012 season, has grown by 1,290 weekly slots or 36 per cent over the last 11 Summer Seasons. This is a compound growth rate of 3.0 per cent per annum. However note in particular that in the last year a BA have obtained a further 63 slots. And with the imminent demise of Little Red it is possible that more than 100 LHR weekly slots will become available. If this happens it is possible that a substantial number will go BA's way.

Looking forward the boost of over 600 weekly slots obtained with the purchase of BD will not be repeated. But there are other factors. For example BA are currently in the process of reconfiguring all their short haul Airbus fleet, bringing the seating capacity of these aircraft into line with that of the aircraft from the BD fleet they bought. This reconfiguration started in July. So far 33 A 320s have been reconfigured. BA have said that it will add 6 per cent to their short-haul passenger capacity when completed by next summer.

For the future on long haul BA have already announced that their 787-9s will have a smaller F Class cabin (8 seats) than any other of their four-class long-haul aircraft (that have between 12 and 17 F Class seats). So the next time aircraft in the existing BA long-haul fleet are reconfigured I think it likely we will a reduction in the size of the F Class cabins and a growth in the total passenger capacity.

This certainly does not give BA the flexibility that competitors operating out of hubs with free slots have. However even if LHR does not get its third runway - and of the three options still being looked at by the Airports Commission, two are of an LHR expansion - I expect to see an increase in future LHR capacity. The most likely way of delivering such an increase would be by operating the existing runways in mixed mode for at least part of the day.

[All the above slot data are sourced from the Airport Coordination Ltd web site.]
 
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Revelation
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:19 pm

Today's fun fact, courtesy of Wikipedia: Gatwick's name derives from the Old English gāt (goat) and wīc (dairy farm); i.e. "goat farm". So much for prestige!  
Quoting kd5mdk (Reply 39):
Is this significantly different than JFK vs EWR for New York? Both airports are much more convenient for ~one half of the geography and much more inconvenient for the others.

If there were a competitive market for UK originating westbound flights, the other carrier/alliance would probably do fine at LGW, but Virgin isn't big enough and right now the main competition for BA is connections in AMS, CDG, FRA and DXB.

EWR had CO to drive its growth, either via choice or via desperation. LGW needs someone to come along to drive its growth in terms of long haul flight. Wiki also says:

Quote:

During the summer of 2014, EasyJet will fly 108 routes from Gatwick with a fleet of 57 aircraft.[151] The airport is the carrier's largest base, and its 16 million passengers per year accounted for 45 percent of Gatwick's 2013 total[152] (ahead of Gatwick's second-largest passenger airline: British Airways (BA), whose 4.5 million passengers comprised 14 percent of total passenger traffic in 2011–12).

So we can see who has the inside track.

Quoting r2rho (Reply 40):
The potential is more than there, if some airline is willing to commit.

Agree to this, and to the rest of your post.
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
Viscount724
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Tue Oct 07, 2014 8:31 pm

Quoting mercure1 (Reply 45):
Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 43):
Other European carriers and hubs are not going to continue to grow en masse.

Airports like FRA, CDG, MUC, and AMS are growing both in pax counts and facilities and still have headroom for more growth in the decades to come.

LHR without new runway is at gridlock due essentially zero available slots.

All the other airports mentioned, and several others also have more nonstop destinations than LHR (FRA about 50% more).

While LGW has service to quite a few largely leisure-oriented points that aren't served from LHR, that doesn't help passengers who want to connect between those points from the dozens of longhaul points only served from LHR. Connect at the other European hubs and you have a much wider choice of destinations and frequencies.
 
factsonly
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RE: Willie Walsh: LHR Expansion "Lost Cause"

Wed Oct 08, 2014 7:33 am

Quoting jfklganyc (Reply 43):
Not a theory...it's already happening. Don't think CDG, FRA, or AMS will be in the same league going forward. The population growth has moved east.

Your statement overlooks the fact that today's growth at most European hubs is driven by O&D and not by transfer.

As the ME3 compete for longhaul transfer traffic, we see that growth at the major European hubs is driven by a healthy local demand based on LCC driven O&D passengers, as well as intra-European transfer on legacy carriers.

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