BA 2023+ ex LHR/LGW – Where should they “expand”?/Can they really expand?

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  • sparkyflier
    Participant

    It is now January 2024 and I guess if BA were to launch any new long haul routes starting around the Autumn then these would be announced in the next few weeks.

    Any rumours/predictions out there.

    I believe new aircraft are coming in (787-10 and A350-1000) which will give the widebody fleet some slack and perhaps enable new routes (although some 788 will be refurbed).

    No idea how BA is doing with pilot and cabin crew recruitment which was one factor really holding them back operationally and in order to expand.

    But re suggestions if there is enough new aircraft and recruitment has gone well, how about:-

    LHR – Doha -Melbourne? Qatar would love to expand at MEL but cannot but a code-shared flight with BA could be a vehicle to get another slot there.

    LHR-BKK-Auckland? I know the BKK argument will get re-heated but I reckon cargo is in its favour, that enough people will want a direct flight and I believe currently neither TG or NZ operate BKK to Auckland, so there will be through traffic between UK and NZ as well as demand into Thailand.

    A factor for consideration is I think many UK travellers and families are really feeling the pinch right now with high interest rates etc so suspect those wanting to travel will go where the Pound goes further. US is very expensive now so maybe some will look at other regions/continents…

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    BackOfThePlane
    Participant

    @sparkyflyer – “A factor for consideration is I think many UK travellers and families are really feeling the pinch right now with high interest rates etc so suspect those wanting to travel will go where the Pound goes further. US is very expensive now so maybe some will look at other regions/continents…”

    I guess the flip side of the above is that it potentially makes the UK & Europe more attractive to the US market?

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Olneyflyer
    Participant

    Hi Sparkyflier. I suppose first off we need to update the title of the conversation thread to read 2024. I like your suggestions although I am not sure any will be taken up. These are long sectors and BA would get better utilization out of aircraft and flight crews by flying them to their tradition heartland of the US particularly to the likes of Charlotte which is a AA hub not served by BA. There are also other low hanging fruit in Minneapolis, Cleveland, Detriot and Indianapolis which are all underserved by non Skyteam airlines. Thats my thoughts.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    sparkyflier
    Participant

    BackOfThePlane – absolutely right about demand ex US/Canada. I have been maintaining for a while that demand over the Pond is greatly driven people on the left of it!
    Loads of Americans in UK/EU last year, for many their first time in Europe.

    Olneyflyer right about the title but many of the arguments and suggestions remain. I started this thread in Autumn 2022!

    Re US AA does Charlotte for them and BA but not sure demand is enough for 2 carriers on Detroit and MSP. Re Indianapolis I reckon they are competing with Kansas City for the next US flight..
    Re Cleveland I think Aer Lingus go there now?


    cwoodward
    Participant

    Will BA relaunch flights to New Zealand – they should but I suspect that they will not –

    Some 600,000 passengers mostly tourists p.a. Fly to New Zealand from Western Europe (and of course return).Close to 400,000 of these emanate from UK or Ireland.
    Many more tourists are prepared to travel in business or premium classes than was the case 10 years ago. The availability of freight is also potentially high. There are no direct flights and have not been for some years now.
    New Zealand ofcourse is an end of line destination and over 40% of the available traffic has been handed to the ME airlines without them even needing to try very hard. many would prefer not to spend a night on a forced 6 hour stop over in the ME and would prefer the return of the direct one stop via Asia

    Of course back in the the nineteen eighties and early nineties the route used to support up to 4 direct daily flights Even in 2018 Air NZ was flying 5 days a week to LHR via Hong Kong. (with onward ANZ connections ex UK to US and had of course routings back to NZ making the Airline able to to “fly around the world”.
    The than poorly run airline closed what should have been a prime money making route to UK,sold its LHR slots and closed its UK base.

    ANZ is of course these days a 52% government owned airline that has reduced in size. It was doing reasonably well but its outlook is now not so positive.
    With a lot of eggs in its US basket it is being outgunned by the US majors and losing market share across the Tasman to AU by Qantas and Virgin AU.
    Its asian routes are doing OK for now but its joint route arrangement with Cathay to Hong Kong that carries a lot of the traffic is up for renewal later in 2024 and may well not be extended again.
    There is every chance that ANZ will cease to be profitable which if so the new right of center government will look to off-load its shareholding (that it only acquired some years back to prevent ANZ going bankrupt). Who would purchase the likely available 52% -IAG (BA) unlikely !. An Asian airline -possibly.

    Possibly Air China could fly the route via Shanghai – but would the European tourists want to fly via mainland China ? Doubtful.

    Entrepreneurial Fiji Airways could do a one stop from Auckland via Nadi to LHR using long range A350 -they already have A350s in there fleet. Fiji would be a very attractive destination or holiday stop over. Or a 2 stop via Hong Kong where they already fly 5 times a week. Perhaps a JV with also One World BA would work well
    Certainly Air NZ is not in a position to relaunch the potential profitable UK route which leaves BA in potentially the box seat to relaunch one stop routes to the UK via Asia (or possibly via Fiji would make a lot of sense).

    Will they? If not who?
    Its is potentially a significant prize but a difficult one to get right.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Rferguson2
    Participant

    If Air NZ cannot support a european flight with all its connectivity at both ends (their own flights NZ end and Star Alliance carriers at the europe end) I can’t ever imagine BA subjecting themselves to what will almost certainly be a marginally profitable if not loss making route.

    The return on investment for europe – Oceania flights just are not there. They take up a huge amount of resources (aircraft and crews) that could much more viably be used on shorter routes where euro carriers don’t have to subject themselves to competition from the ME3 and Cathay, Singapore etc.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    GivingupBA
    Participant

    Cwoodward, thanks but my calculator has Heathrow to Nadi at 10103 miles, almost the same as Heathrow to Sydney at about 10500 miles! Seems quite a stretch. Good luck to them if they try it though.


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    Reg the Skyteam hubs of DET and MSP: LH has had successful loads to Detroit and just intro’ed new flights to MSP in 2024. Even Royal Jordanian flies to DET (given demographic needs). And I think Icelandair runs fairly successfully from either/both.

    So I’ve always wondered what’s held BA back from laughing flights to these 2 Skyteam hubs. Esp when they’ve proved they can fill a daily 77W out of ATL.


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    That should be *launching, not laughing. Edit option didn’t work

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SenatorGold
    Participant

    Years ago BA did fly to Detroit, I think until the mid-1980s


    cwoodward
    Participant

    I don’t use miles these days GUBA but 16250km =10100 miles more or less. The range of the long range variant of the A350 is about 18000 km thus I believe that the route is possible. Profitable ? – that’s another question.
    Fiji have done a fantastic job getting American tourists in their masses to holiday in the country – why not Brits and Germans. Perhaps worth noting is that the airline is about 48% owned by Qantas.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    LHR to HNL point-to-point demand I guess isn’t enough to make it work, but the headlines BA would garner for launching the only direct flight to Europe, plus another option for the Kangaroo route. Alaska has a large presence in Hawaii, and with them taking over Hawaiian, would then give you OneWorld onward connections to Sydney/Brisbane/Auckland and of course, Qantas also serves HNL.


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    I’m also thinking BA will do more with Seattle given both Alaska purchasing Hawaiian but also if the rumoured QF flights take shape next year. Seattle could become a pacific hub (mini LAX) for oneworld airlines.


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    The biggest challenge from what a member of cabin crew on my flight to MIA in September was the lack of engineers (her partner was an engineer). Simply put it sounded like BA are underpaying engineers who are being enticed by significant pay increases to go and work for other competitors. So as much as new routes need new planes (or an increase in number of planes if not dropping other routes) – they’ll need more engineers to look after them and they sound very stretched.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    As for Europe-New Zealand I agree that indirect carriers based in the Far East and the Gulf now take much of the market.

    But here in the UK, and surely it must be the same in mainland Europe, creative agents stitch together unlikely routings which suit those who want a stopover.

    Two Mancunians visiting their son in NZ has bought a discounted premium economy ticket with Star carriers.

    Their routing:

    MAN-FRA-YVR with Lufthansa (stopover) then YVR-AKL with Air NZ (break of journey). Return trip with SIA AKL-SIN (stopover) then SIN-MAN with SIA.

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