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AviationJohn
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Busiest airports without flights to London

Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:34 pm

It seems like you can fly to London from every corner of the world. What are the busiest airports in the world (and in Europe) without a flight to any of the London airports? If so, what is the reason for that?
 
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paullam
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:51 pm

LHR comes to mind. There’s sharp competition by other means of transport it seems :D
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:53 pm

In Europe, Minsk is the obvious one, due to sanctions

There are a lot of airports in Russia without flights to London - possibly due to poor UK/Russia relations

Turkey also has some busy airports in the Asian part - eg Adana, Trabzon, Gaziantep or Kayseri

Otherwise, in Europe maybe some of the larger regional airports in the Nordics - eg Malmo, Bodo, Alesund, Kristiansand, Oulu, Umea and Narvik-Harstad

The regional airports in Russia, Turkey and the Nordics are busy largely because connections by land to their national capitals are slow and time consuming, not necessarily because they need lots of flights to other countries
Last edited by davidjohnson6 on Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Mon Oct 25, 2021 12:53 pm

There are quite a number of Chinese airports without flights to London. While they process a lot of passengers, by far most of them travel domestic or to other nearby Asian countries. London is only served from the busiest airports in China, they funnel traffic from all over China.
 
Jutlander
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Mon Oct 25, 2021 1:03 pm

With VY discontinuing it's ORY-LGW service in March, ORY will lose it's sole connection to LON. All PAR-LON traffic will go from CDG, ORY is left with none. Last flight will be flown March 26th 2022.

I'm surprised ORY is so badly connected internationally, a lot of major destinations are only connected to CDG and not to ORY. There is no CPH-ORY either for example.
 
SFOThinker
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Mon Oct 25, 2021 2:32 pm

LaGuardia, Reagan National
 
hoons90
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:09 pm

In the top 50 busiest airports list for 2019, only Jakarta (previously served), Kunming and Shanghai-Hongqiao. Sydney isn't served non-stop, but BA and QF offer same-plane, same-flight number service.

Jakarta-London (previously served): Dropped by Garuda in February 2020. The long stage length of this flight probably makes the economics of this route challenging and thus necessitates higher yields to make it sustainable. BA has previously served Jakarta until the 90s (I believe it was last served as a tag-on from KUL).

Kunming-London: I understand that Chinese carriers are given incentives to operate long haul flights from secondary airports in China, and China Eastern flew Kunming-Paris for several years at low frequencies (2x per week) before it was dropped last year. Whether these links can become viable on their own is questionable, so perhaps Kunming-London would be more likely if subsidies were provided for such a route.

Shanghai Hongqiao-London (previously served): Hongqiao Airport is mostly for domestic use with a few exceptions for flights to nearby major East Asian capitals. Of course, Shanghai Pudong-London exists.

Other than that, major urban agglomerations (>10 million, as per https://www.citypopulation.de/en/world/agglomerations/) without direct air links to London:

Osaka-London (previously served): BA has attempted this route multiple times, with the latest bout cut short due to the pandemic, with no sight of any return (perhaps due to the shortfall in widebody capacity after some mass retirements). JAL flew this route but dropped it in 2006 along with most other non-Tokyo long haul links when they were going through some major financial struggles. I surmise that UK-Japan routes ought to rely more heavily on O&D/local traffic, as both ends of the route are positioned rather awkwardly to serve logical onward connections (with the exception of connections to South America), meaning that routes serving smaller markets will buckle under pressure more easily from changing economic conditions. Plus, there's no network carrier with a large hub in Osaka that can provide sufficient feed. Osaka's flights to continental European hubs such as AMS or HEL stand to benefit from larger economies of scale provided by the larger number of logical onward connections by virtue of geography.

Kinshasa-London: Colonial and linguistic ties appear to play a particularly important role in the establishment of air links between Africa and Europe, especially if they have an influence on the distribution of diasporas. That probably explains why Kinshasa's direct air links to Europe are to Brussels and Paris. Other factors such as economic development and tourism can forge new air links that don't mainly rely on demographic factors, and there are also airlines with hubs (such as TK at IST) that are better positioned to tap into smaller markets through economies of scale. Kinshasa may not be at the stage yet where it has enough of such factors to warrant more direct air links.

Nagoya (previously served): See Osaka
 
nicode
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:21 pm

I'm thinking of some Pacific airports, such as Honolulu or Auckland. But it may not be enough to be high in the list.
 
jetwet1
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:35 am

LAS and MCO, at least until next week.
 
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eurotrader85
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:29 am

LIM, given BA have dropped it from its roster. Surprised its pax numbers couldn't support a direct scheduling. Also STL, given BA links with a lot of smaller tier 2 cities. If memory serves STL also used to be an AA focus city so you would have thought there would be a decent OneWorld base to tap into there. CLE would also be a bigger candidate as the city goes through a new revival. I assume there must be security reasons why KHI does not have a direct service to London.
 
leftcoast8
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:29 pm

SFOThinker wrote:
LaGuardia, Reagan National


Because they don't have U.S. immigration facilities. Surprisingly, LHR doesn't even have U.S. border preclearance, but SNN does. This is why the all-J A318 from London City Airport was able to arrive at JFK T7 as a domestic flight, since it used Shannon as a fuel stop (pax would go through U.S. immigration in SNN).
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:47 pm

leftcoast8 wrote:
Surprisingly, LHR doesn't even have U.S. border preclearance, but SNN does. This is why the all-J A318 from London City Airport was able to arrive at JFK T7 as a domestic flight, since it used Shannon as a fuel stop (pax would go through U.S. immigration in SNN).


It's not entirely surprising because it would be logistically extremely difficult to do with the current LHR setup. The probable easiest way to achieve it would be to have a US flights only terminal but then that creates logistical difficulties of their own (for connecting passengers for example), reduced economies of scale for some airlines etc.

It's easier to do preclearance at smaller, secondary airports where you can have a dedicated concourse with a handful of gates.
 
myki
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Tue Oct 26, 2021 5:51 pm

eurotrader85 wrote:
I assume there must be security reasons why KHI does not have a direct service to London.

I believe this is correct.
The Middle Eastern airlines have this covered, as they can do a turnaround flight and head back with the same crew. Due to the time from taken from London, the crew would max out their time and need to stay over (having crew deadhead one way and working the other could possibly be unviable as they would be taking up passenger seats which then cannot be sold).
 
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seb146
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:23 pm

leftcoast8 wrote:
SFOThinker wrote:
LaGuardia, Reagan National


Because they don't have U.S. immigration facilities. Surprisingly, LHR doesn't even have U.S. border preclearance, but SNN does. This is why the all-J A318 from London City Airport was able to arrive at JFK T7 as a domestic flight, since it used Shannon as a fuel stop (pax would go through U.S. immigration in SNN).


Both LGA and DCA have flights to YYZ and YUL so don't they also have to have immigration facilities?
 
seansasLCY
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:38 pm

seb146 wrote:
leftcoast8 wrote:
SFOThinker wrote:
LaGuardia, Reagan National


Because they don't have U.S. immigration facilities. Surprisingly, LHR doesn't even have U.S. border preclearance, but SNN does. This is why the all-J A318 from London City Airport was able to arrive at JFK T7 as a domestic flight, since it used Shannon as a fuel stop (pax would go through U.S. immigration in SNN).


Both LGA and DCA have flights to YYZ and YUL so don't they also have to have immigration facilities?


Both YYZ and YUL have US pre-clearance facilities. So flights can be treated effectively as domestic for immigration purposes.
 
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seb146
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:32 am

seansasLCY wrote:
seb146 wrote:
leftcoast8 wrote:

Because they don't have U.S. immigration facilities. Surprisingly, LHR doesn't even have U.S. border preclearance, but SNN does. This is why the all-J A318 from London City Airport was able to arrive at JFK T7 as a domestic flight, since it used Shannon as a fuel stop (pax would go through U.S. immigration in SNN).


Both LGA and DCA have flights to YYZ and YUL so don't they also have to have immigration facilities?


Both YYZ and YUL have US pre-clearance facilities. So flights can be treated effectively as domestic for immigration purposes.


I am just going by what I learned when I would hang out at BFI. It is an "international" airport as is MFR. I thought being designated "international" means having immigration control on staff 24/7, regardless of the destination of carriers? Is LGA not an "international" airport?
 
DTWLAX
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Wed Oct 27, 2021 2:04 am

nicode wrote:
I'm thinking of some Pacific airports, such as Honolulu or Auckland. But it may not be enough to be high in the list.

Auckland had a flight to London until it was stopped just recently when NZ dropped the LAX-LHR segment.
NZ used to fly to LHR via LAX.
 
Wednesdayite
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:28 am

Rangoon has seasonal service to Milan (on Neos), but nothing to London.
 
DaCubbyBearBar
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:06 am

MDW…. Not sure why?!?! LOL
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:38 am

hoons90 wrote:
In the top 50 busiest airports list for 2019, only Jakarta (previously served), Kunming and Shanghai-Hongqiao. Sydney isn't served non-stop, but BA and QF offer same-plane, same-flight number service.


I think this post answers the OP’s question. Kunming and Jakarta.

It’s pretty clear why Hongqiao and Sydney don’t have flights to London, although the latter might in the future if the Qantas A350s ever become more than a computer-generated illustration.
 
leftcoast8
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Thu Oct 28, 2021 10:33 pm

seb146 wrote:
I am just going by what I learned when I would hang out at BFI. It is an "international" airport as is MFR. I thought being designated "international" means having immigration control on staff 24/7, regardless of the destination of carriers? Is LGA not an "international" airport?


The FAA actually doesn't regulate the term "international airport", it's up to the airport's owner(s). In this case, BFI is owned by King County, Washington, and the county decided to give it the "international" moniker. Another example is SDF; despite being called an "international" airport, Louisville has no international passenger service. (It has plenty of international cargo service, though, being home to UPS Worldport.)

Interestingly, BFI did have international flights once upon a time. in the postwar period, Northwest and Hughes Airwest (which would end up absorbed by Northwest later) had extensive domestic and transborder service out of Boeing Field. Pan Am had weekly BFI-HNL-MNL flights using the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. Northwest would end up moving to Sea-Tac in the 50s, while Hughes left BFI after Sea-Tac's first expansion completed in 1973.
 
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seb146
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Re: Busiest airports without flights to London

Fri Oct 29, 2021 4:30 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
seb146 wrote:
I am just going by what I learned when I would hang out at BFI. It is an "international" airport as is MFR. I thought being designated "international" means having immigration control on staff 24/7, regardless of the destination of carriers? Is LGA not an "international" airport?


The FAA actually doesn't regulate the term "international airport", it's up to the airport's owner(s). In this case, BFI is owned by King County, Washington, and the county decided to give it the "international" moniker. Another example is SDF; despite being called an "international" airport, Louisville has no international passenger service. (It has plenty of international cargo service, though, being home to UPS Worldport.)

Interestingly, BFI did have international flights once upon a time. in the postwar period, Northwest and Hughes Airwest (which would end up absorbed by Northwest later) had extensive domestic and transborder service out of Boeing Field. Pan Am had weekly BFI-HNL-MNL flights using the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser. Northwest would end up moving to Sea-Tac in the 50s, while Hughes left BFI after Sea-Tac's first expansion completed in 1973.


I don't really want to get into splitting hairs here but

https://www.quora.com/Why-are-certain-a ... al-flights

Anyone can actually name an airport "international", but the biggest criteria (in the USA, anyway) is actually having customs facilities (either a Customs official or some infrastructure to support having flights from other nations arrive) at the airport.

When I lived in South King County at the turn of the century, they had customs agents available 24/7. They also had Helijet flights to both Vancouver Downtown and Victoria Inner Harbour. Many border airports are "international" despite having smaller runways. Places like Minot ND and Bellingham WA and Eagle Pass/Maverick County TX.

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