BA’s new landing slotsBack to Forum
Anonymous4 Nov 2011
BMI has about 550 slots (a “slot” allowing a take off and landing) per week at Heathrow. Approximately 100 will be sold to Virgin to keep them quiet.
BA will therefore, all being well, end up with about 450 new slots. Assuming half of BA’s new slots are simply left untouched to run existing European services for which their is sufficient demand, BA will have about 225 slots per week to play with.
What are peoples’ thoughts on how these should be used? New A380s will be along within 18 months to relieve pressure on some of the most crowded long haul routes; so what of new destinations?
Where would people like to see BA flying to for the first time, or more regularly, and which old BA flights would people like to see revived?
As an aside, it also means that BA’s capacity at terminals 3 and 5 will be under even more pressure. BA won’t want to have to staff terminal 1 as well, particularly as it only has 2 years left until demolition. What’s the betting that terminal 5D is soon under construction?4 Nov 2011
What intrigues me apart from the anti competitivity of such an arrangement is the nature of the slots. News reports talk about heavy and non heavy slots and it appears the majority of the BMI slots are non widebody or short haul. Will we see BA special pleading to convert them to heavies to service long haul destinations? And were this were to be tried and fail on anticompetitive grounds , where would that leave BA?4 Nov 2011
I was speculating about the size of the sale to Virgin, but on an informed basis.
I gather terminal capacity is the key determinant of light/heavy conversion rights. Accelerating the construction T2C and building T5D solves that problem in a matter of a few years.4 Nov 2011
BMI has around 550 daily slot pairs, but as far as I’m aware there is no restriction on the type of plane or the route. The only restrictions would be the capacity at T1.
BA need to consolidate domestic flights at T5, including moving JER from LGW, to make best use of the domestic only gates. Several airlines need to move out of T3 to make space for all the new BA flights.4 Nov 2011
I think BA should move all their First routes from LGW such as BGI, BDA, POS, UVF and GND over to LHR so passengers can get the real First experience from the Concorde Room etc. Only three-class 777s should be left at LGW in essence.4 Nov 2011
Those flights only represent a few slots a day, even in peak season. Not 70+ (per day)!
Could BA sell a few slots to marginal competitors to recoup funds to spend on new aircraft? It could certainly get millions back.
I have a few questions…with all the new slots will BA and VA simply increase fleet utilisation rates by a huge margin, or will they have to purchase new aircraft? Is Lufthansa likely to keep the fleet? Do you think BA will need more A380s and 777s now?
I know we still lack details, but some members of this forum are pretty well ahead of the curve, and experience gives insight.4 Nov 2011
Terminal changes at LHR seem like something that should be relatively easy to implement. However, when it involves moving an airline’s operations from one terminal to another it can take up to 18/24 months to actually implement. I read somewhere that CO are keen to move to Terminal 1 but that it will not happen until the new Star terminal is in operation. It is crucial that the correct number of parking stands are available at the right time of the day.
Maybe the bmi/BA integration will add an extra impetus to change but it might be well into 2013 before we see it implemented in full.
If BA completes the bmi deal then the marginal value of LHR slots might fall since BA will no longer be in the market to purchase extra slots. It’s difficult e.g. to see US carriers buying new slots. Some of the new airlines at LHR such as US and DL are apparently having difficulty in achieving profitability on their (new) LHR to US routes.4 Nov 2011
Rich just to clarify there is no such thing as a ‘heavy’ slot. A slot is a slot. You can use it to fly London to Manchester or London to Mauritius.
As for new routes. My bet is KUL and ICN.5 Nov 2011