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

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  • AdamMarley

    The issue with tag-on flights is that if the airline can fill the plane on the first sector (LHR-HKG) with people going to that destination for (E.g.) £500 then why would it put on another sector for people paying pretty much the same price but then with the added costs of operating the additional sector?


    Depends on the fare(s), sector length and fifth-freedom availabilty.

    Two long-standing tag routes are:




    The Gatwick short haul offering is currently very disappointing; unimaginative holiday destinations at unattractive times of the day and limited mainstream domestic and European cities. Per the above, it would be great to see the reinstatement of a proper Glasgow route (3x daily) and the return of Edinburgh.

    Out of Gatwick for long haul, reinstating Toronto would be good (especially as WestJet has left to focus on Calgary).

    I concur that BA is now very weak in Africa. Key holes in the network following the demise of Comair are Zambia and Zimbabwe (Harare and Victoria Falls); tickets are a fortune on BA interlined tickets with Air Link. Middle Eastern airlines are making good money out of Brits wanting to go to cities such as Dar and Entebbe, as well as Zanzibar (potentially a tag to Dar) and Mombasa. Some of these could even work out of Gatwick given the size of the point-to-point market with these destinations.

    3 users thanked author for this post.


    [quote quote=1245949]I concur that BA is now very weak in Africa.[/quote]

    When you compare the worldwide networks of BA versus say LH or AF/KL, BA is weaker in most markets. Africa, South America, Asia/Far East.

    The other big euro companies seem to have far more destinations in these markets.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about the money. And BA sees the money as being across the pond.


    My experiences of LCY have not been good. Overcrowding and no lounge. The Journey from City Thameslink to Gatwick is 37 mins and Bank to City Airport is 23 mins so not a great deal of difference.


    How many of the contributors to the Forum and specifically BA shareholders, attend the annual BA briefing because I recall Tom or a colleagye provided an update each year when it ran. Has BA dropped this as I am sure if it is still an event surely that is when BA would outline its strategy. Plus Mr Doyle might make an appearance in a re run of the Invisibe Man!!


    My suggestion is to make MEX daily. I can’t believe BA can’t make money on a 787-8 on the days it doesn’t currently fly.

    Also, just a thought- would IAG consider buying Loganair?


    Such a purchase of Loganair should be considered “pie in the sky”, or would that be considered “haggis in the sky”.
    How many routes does Loganair (and other feeder airlines) operate that supply BA and other airlines such as Virgin Atl.? Would these be still be operated if there were only one final customer? I doubt it.Looking after one´s own backyard is logical but is it always the best option?…I think not.

    BA, and by extension IAG, needs to look at the bigger picture and so realise that it is a lob sided company (towards the Atlantic). There are areas in northern, eastern and southern Europe where the company is underrepresented(if at all) and needs to establish a meaningful presence.
    One has to get out of one´s mind that IAG is an Anglo-Irish-Spanish company which can quite certainly defend itself in its own home markets so must spread its wings.

    The need for airline consolidation in Europe is admitted, recognised and urgently needed. The full service airlines will ALL eventually fold into the groups of Air Franc/KLM, Lufthansa, and IAG, together with the most probable others of Aeroflot and Turkish Airlines.The low-cost airlines companies of Ryanair, Wizzair and Easyjet might well be enough to cover this low-cost sector.

    The markets are always moving and nothing is etched in stone so this present situation could easily change. That means each should keep open its options and act agressively where it interests the whole company. Forget about the bits and think about the whole.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Tom Otley

    Doubling of capacity at LGW, according to the Telegraph

    “British Airways is planning to double its operations at Gatwick as a long-running row with Heathrow sours relations with bosses at Britain’s busiest airport.

    The UK flag carrier is to increase flights from the Sussex airport instead of expanding operations at Heathrow.

    BA is understood to be planning to increase the number of aircraft based at Gatwick from 14 to between 24 and 28 in the coming years.”

    1 user thanked author for this post.


    If that is the case then is it not time to expand Gatwick to two runways? The present situation whereby Gatwick uses a taxiway as a second runway cannot be acceptable and offers no flexibility for the future. The airport already has the land required on hold. It just needs permission to build the runway. Then Gatwick will have two parallel runways available for independent operation.
    However, be clear about this that such a move might not necessarily mean that another terminal must be built. An additional terminal should only be built if/when the capacity expansion demands it.
    One thing that will be insisted upon and needs to be applied is the elimination of carbon burning machinery. All the vehicles airside should be electric, buses, cars movable stairs, trailers and luggage loading equipment – everything. Landside a serious start must be made at doing the same where it is possible. That will be the only way to satisfy the local objectors who do not wish for an increase in traffic on local roads, and so for any increase in passenger loads to pass on to public transport.
    If that is not done then no increase in traffic at Gatwick will be permitted.

    2 users thanked author for this post.


    Along with Auckland I was looking at Fiji as destinations possibly via Shanghai and also LHR Shanghai Auckland V V
    Auckland for BA is in my view a no brainer as ANZ abandonment of the route was in many peoples view more of mismanagement at ANZ than that the route was fundamentally unprofitable.
    Given that BA has by neglect and inertia let Cathay steal the once cornerstone LHR HKG route ( in normal schedule Cathay runs up 11 flights a day from the UK whereas BA back in 2019 could only muster 2 flights a day.) There is absolutely no point in BA going to Auckland via HKG or S’pore as they gave away those gems long ago.
    To me Shanghai looks as though it could work well daily to Auckland for BA using a 777ER or an A350 also possibly to Fiji twice weekly.

    Also re another thread Virgin should perhaps look at Fiji as a destination as tourism numbers are nearing the million mark with 5.6% being from the UK mostly routing through HKG (Fiji airlines fly’s normal daily direct) or via the US.


    Cwoodward: I don’t recall CX running 11 daily flights out of the uk pre pandemic, I thought it was 5x LHR, 1x LGW and I think 1x MAN (or Ami confusing MAN w the SQ flight).


    Demand on LHR-MAN seems to be off the charts.

    I land at LHR on the morning of the 17th of Dec and have to fly up to MAN. I just did a search on Six flights on that date. Not ONE seat available. In ANY class. I actually tweeted BA to ask if it was a system glitch!


    MJ – Cathay flights ex UK 2019 December 2019 = 7 or 8 ex LHR (depending on the day) 2 ex MAN (depending on the day)/ 1 ex Gatwick
    Cathay leased the extra LHR slots from Air NZ who gave up some flights inc LHR- HKG. There was also a flight ex Dublin.

    I know the LHR flight first hand as I was unexpected stranded by BA in the UK-LHR at 7 am and needed to get back to HK urgently. I had no booking with Cathay and all flights were totally full but being Life Diamond and an old friend of the airline they promised me that they would get me on a flight. They did the 8th flight of the day at about 23 55 hrs.
    I spent a not unpleasant day in the first lounge and Christmas shopping (something that I never normally have time to do) nad arrived back to HKG at about 6am.


    CX never had more than 6 departures LHR-HKG pre-pandemic (think they maxed at 5), 1 from LGW and 1 from MAN – they were never double daily on either of these routes. They certainly never got to 7 or 8 LHR-HKG’s per day.

    There would have been 8 in total off LHR with 5 x CX, 2 x BA and 1 x VS.

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