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Formerly DOS – Don’t disagree with you re the economics of the London – Malta route, but if BAs previous operation here was anything to go by, there was/is quite a lot they could do to improve, such as:-
Previous flights were operated by B737-400 aircraft versus the competitions Airbus and B737-800 jets.
Flight times were bad for passengers and crew with a two/three hour layover in Malta
A separate catering contract was maintained in Malta, when all food for both legs could have been loaded in London
BA maintained its own ground and check in staff, as opposed to contracting them out
BA flew into LGW with fewer onward connections than LHR.
I am not saying that with all of these sorted, a miracle cure would be forthcoming, but BAs big advantage over he other carriers is its connections out of LHR and if it could increase its share of this market, it would be selling tickets for simply more than the London Malta route.
A One World Carrier going East from Malta is also needed and the only potential opportunity I can see, would be for Qatar Airways to put something like an A320 on the route to Doha., though I question whether they would be able to fill this.The Current Emirates B777 is rarely fully from Malta to Larnaca, and only really fills up there, though because of this stop it is often faster to fly from London to Dubai than it is from Malta to Dubai.
I too like Air Malta Business Class, (especially the Etihad lounge at LHR) but in the main, do not find a huge difference between Club Europe and Air Malta, which have both been very acceptable on this route.
I would love to see BA give this one more chance.