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Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:05 pm
by leftcoast8
Sorry if this question has been beaten to death.

Both Leeds and Luton have large South Asian communities who would benefit from the ME3 network to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Both LBA and LTN have runways 2,200 metres in length, too short for ME3 widebodies. Emirates cancelled its 359 order in favour of the 789, which is too big for either airport. However, Qatar is ordering the A321LR and A330-900neo; once this damn pandemic is over, could those work?

Furthermore, which airports did Asians in Bradford/Luton prefer to travel back home, and how did they get there? By car, by train, by bus? Trying to get from Luton to anywhere must have been a nightmare; no train service at all plus M25 traffic.

PIA had twice-weekly A310 service from ISB to LBA (PK775/776) from July 2, 2008 to May 15, 2014.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:17 pm
by rutankrd
Manchester -the only European airport PIA have retained (albeit with leased in capacity)and more recently with Virgin Atlantic, Emirates still two daily , Qatar more than daily and Etihad daily -plenty capacity up north.
Heathrow is just a hour from Luton and the M25 isn’t as bad as its painted
Freight and baggage demands really write off effective narrow body ops imho.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:28 pm
by bennett123
Not sure that the ME3 would want to set up shop at LBA or LTN just for a few flights a week.

Is there the demand to operate more than that.

Also England is not that big, so I expect that most customers would travel to LHR/MAN.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:09 pm
by PatrickZ80
bennett123 wrote:
Not sure that the ME3 would want to set up shop at LBA or LTN just for a few flights a week.

Is there the demand to operate more than that.

Also England is not that big, so I expect that most customers would travel to LHR/MAN.


It was said that Wizzair would launch Luton - Abu Dhabi as soon as they received their A321LRs. The route would make sense for them, Luton is the main base for their UK operations and they're heavily expanding in Abu Dhabi. Even in the high density configuration that Wizz would put into it, the A321LR can easily make that trip.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 8:25 am
by leftcoast8
Also, I meant to say Emirates cancelled their 339 order for 789s, not their 359 order. Though it wouldn't matter if there's a large amount of baggage. Could the 339 handle the baggage demands of UK-India VFR, or would you need at the bare minimum a 77W?

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:22 am
by VSMUT
No need for fancy long range A321s. Norwegian has done Oslo - Dubai with ordinary 737-800s in the past, that's only 30-40 minutes less. Any ordinary 737MAX or A32Xneo (non LR and XLR) should be able to do it, in particular with the typical configuration the ME carriers use. I would suggest that the only reason it happened yet, is because FlyDubai's 737MAX fleet has been grounded.

leftcoast8 wrote:
Also, I meant to say Emirates cancelled their 339 order for 789s, not their 359 order. Though it wouldn't matter if there's a large amount of baggage. Could the 339 handle the baggage demands of UK-India VFR, or would you need at the bare minimum a 77W?


They didn't cancel the A330-900 order, since they never placed it in the first place. The A330 can easily handle all the baggage you'd need on that route. UK to UAE is not far, only some 6 hours.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 10:38 am
by Qatara340
Considering the pandemic, and that Qatar seemed to cancel Cardiff at least temporarily I doubt any new UK destinations will be served until the market somewhat recovers. But if they do, the A321 will be the perfect aircraft for it.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:13 pm
by chonetsao
I think Qatar may make it work with A321XLR in LBA. Provided LBA has incentive for the initial opening. But I doubt Luton would be any good as it is too close to LHR and Birmingham. Plus Luton has very good access to railway link that takes you to Gatwick. Not to mention Stanstead is not too far away with Emirates.

If anyone can make LBA work to ME, it would be Qatar. Qatar seems to be very specialised in smaller European cities. Maybe one year or two after the pandemic we could see Qatar in LBA?

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 1:06 am
by leftcoast8
VSMUT wrote:
They didn't cancel the A330-900 order, since they never placed it in the first place.


Didn't they place an order for 40 339s in February of 2019? There was even a press release.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 11:35 am
by VSMUT
leftcoast8 wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
They didn't cancel the A330-900 order, since they never placed it in the first place.


Didn't they place an order for 40 339s in February of 2019? There was even a press release.


Announced, but never firmed. It was just a memorandum of understanding. Ditto for the 40x 787-10. They eventually firmed 50x A350-900 and 30x 787-9.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Sun Jan 24, 2021 8:35 pm
by PlymSpotter
Runway length is actually fairly meaningless as a metric, what counts is the declared distances.

The big issue here for LBA is the landing distance available - on runway 14 it's just 1,802m and only 1,916m for runway 32. That is quite limiting when the airport is in an exposed location and often encounters poor weather.

LTN is less limited on the landing distance and benefits from lower ground in both directions, meaning the overall take off distance is more than 3,000m. It has frequently seen large widebodies, including on flights to TLV.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Wed Jan 27, 2021 10:10 pm
by gkirk
The big problem LBA has, is its proximity to MAN.

Re: Persian Gulf to Leeds Bradford or Luton: Viable with the A321LR or 339?

Posted: Sat Jan 30, 2021 10:50 am
by opticalilyushin
Qatara340 wrote:
Considering the pandemic, and that Qatar seemed to cancel Cardiff at least temporarily I doubt any new UK destinations will be served until the market somewhat recovers. But if they do, the A321 will be the perfect aircraft for it.


Pre-Covid Akbar said the next UK route would be Belfast..but it'll be interesting to see what happens now. The A321LR will open up many new markets.