BA 2023+ ex LHR/LGW – Where should they “expand”?/Can they really expand?Back to Forum
Aruba certainly appears to make the most sense out of the ABC islands given the combination of existing tourist infrastructure, great beaches, casinos etc.
Re: San Juan, I thought BA did use to fly there not that long ago. Having long ago stopped their regular service.
Going back a good number of years they use to fly 747-200 out of LGW, non stop to SJU.
I flew on this service as part of a Cunard cruise that use to depart from Puerto Rico weekly during the season.
My suspicion is SJU is only likely to work for this type of activity (from the UK) as you don’t tend to find too many Europeans on holiday there. Though as an airport it does offer a lot of onward connections to Caribbean and Virgin Islands.18 Sep 2023
BackOfThePlane you make good points. The ABC islands are not that well known in UK but as mentioned I thought Curacao would have been the most high profile/desired of the 3. But somethings depend on “incentives”.
Re Port of Spain – interesting that BA made it nonstop. There would be a fair amount of business traffic on that route too (oil and gas etc), but what may have “encouraged” BA to go nonstop was that KLM launched a route there as a triangle routing – AMS- SXM-POS-AMS, which enough Trinidadians were happy to try out..
Re Phuket I inclined to agree with you. However although it is slightly closer than Lima which BA’s 772s reached with no issue, the challenge may be the runway length making the return nonstop difficult. I stand to be corrected on that but seem to remember that being an issue from a discussion years ago.
Of course LGW does have the Accra route coming up, operating in addition to LHR which seems a smart idea (although I think they could have tried out Abidjan as a tag to this).
Another option could be DXB – plenty of demand there for holidays over Winter months.18 Sep 2023
AlanOrton1 we composed our replies at the same time.
Re SJU yes back in the day BA went there, then stopped but then resumed via Antigua using 772. But may have lasted only 1 season as their timing was very unlucky with a time of civil unrest etc.
As it is not just a beach destination with other attractions I wonder if it is worth looking at again. I certainly would be pleased to go and would prefer a direct flight than going via MAD or USA.
1 user thanked author for this post.18 Sep 2023
That’s not necessarily true, as any airline can expand / add new routes by discontinuing or reducing frequency to current destinations, without needing new aircraft.
(Not that I’m suggesting BA don’t want or need new aircraft!)18 Sep 2023
I think by “expand”, as per the subject heading, we are referring to net expansion. And, let’s face it, although the subject heading makes no reference to it, almost all the replies, comments, ideas here etc have related to long-haul flights. For that, yes, BA does need new aircraft.18 Sep 2023
BA aren’t alone in waiting on new aircraft – the 777X being a prime culprit.
That said they have taken deliveries of 787-10 and A350’s over the last year, so at least some new wide body planes to assist with any expansion efforts.
Though they are still ‘only’ flying at 94% capacity of pre-Covid.19 Sep 2023
I have absolutely no figures to back this up but while, yes, other airlines are also awaiting new aircraft deliveries, in retiring its entire 747 fleet during Covid, a big chunk of its long haul fleet, I’m guessing that BA may have lost proportionately more of its long haul capacity than the majority of its competitors.19 Sep 2023
Indeed onajetplane – San Diego switching from daily A350 to daily 772 + daily 788!
I suspect part of BA’s thinking was to keep Virgin/Delta out and maybe Norse if they were thinking of trying it out..
And I am guessing that the 788 being used for the second flight must be coming from somewhere else. Has San Jose California already been cancelled?
Olneyflyer you gave me a good mid-morning chuckle with your post.19 Sep 2023
SAN is a complete dream to fly in and out of compared to LAX.
Given the time it can take from LAX to reach Orange County etc, possibly some may choose to fly to SAN and head north, than do battle with LAX and the LA freeway system.
Re: 747s / Queen of the Skies – a beautiful aircraft, esp on the upper deck in J, but BA’s were getting v. long in the tooth. I agree BA are stretched thin but flying at 94% of pre-Covid capacity suggests they are not hideously short.19 Sep 2023
AlanOrton1 – re the 747s, some were truly knackered and in a terrible state (recalling an ORD-LHR flight, but crew were great), however the refurbished ones were just lovely, and some had only just been refurbished in the 2-3 years before Covid. Do you think keeping the refurbished ones – which I think were mainly super high J (?), might have been a wiser and more pragmatic decision?19 Sep 2023
I would gladly still fly on them. I have zero knowledge of why BA retired them all. Possibly because keeping some would have been (in their view) prohibitively expensive from a maintenance perspective (parts, engineers, crew training etc)? Perhaps not knowing how long and the overall impact of Covid would have on aviation, business travel, tourism etc.
Given how global travel is more or less is back to where it was, in many parts of the world, they may well wish, with the benefit of hindsight, they’d kept at least the super high Js.
1 user thanked author for this post.19 Sep 2023