BA long-haul – where to next & with what? Winter 2015/16+

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  • Anonymous


    Some regular posters will be aware that in the past couple of years I have initiated a thread discussing where British Airways should look to starting routes to, in light of new slots, changing global economics and geopolitics, new aircraft etc

    BA disappointed many of us with their caution, however new long haul routes to Seoul, Austin, Chengdu and Kuala Lumpur have now taken place or have been announced.

    Of course the world is always changing, and that can bring new opportunities. And the BA fleet is fast changing, with A380s now settled in and proving popular, and 777-300ERs and 787-8s have arrived, the latter replacing the 767 on many routes.

    However the 787-9s are to start arriving very soon, and BA have not yet announced where they will be deployed…

    I believe more A380s are on their way, as well as 777-300ERs albeit in small numbers, and 747s have started leaving the fleet.

    Geographic changes have included the US economy being very robust indeed, some South American economies are still booming ( Panama, Columbia, Chile for example, In Africa Liberia is now Ebola free and the Middle East/Gulf is still performing well (although they will not like the low oil price!).

    In Asia Chendu has disappointed (maybe too late to that party), KL has been announced, but of course there is much competition from the MEB3 and very high-quality Asian carriers. And then there is the situation with Oneworld partner, Malaysian..

    So where do you think BA should start services to and with what aircraft, that you think will be commercially rewarding? Where will the new 789s go?

    You never know, BA (or should I say IAG Mngt) might actually pay some attention…

    As per previous discussions, I will start with a few ideas. I look forward to your thoughts and other suggestions!

    North America

    Portland, Hartford, New Orleans, San Jose, St Louis, all with 788?
    I think Indianapolis, but with their recent controversial legislation, and companies withdrawing, I think is out the running

    Central/ South America

    Panama City 788 – 4 weekly
    Bogota 772 – 3 weekly
    Santiago, Chile, either 787 or 772 via Brasilia, Brazil (both Oneworld cities)


    Monrovia to come back (now Ebola-free), maybe with Abidjan.Also Freetown, perhaps with Dakar, using 767.
    Port Harcourt & Douala, using 767 – as a triangle route.
    Kigali, Dar Es Salaam, Kilimanjaro, Lusaka and Harare I think are all viable with the right scheduling, routing, perhaps using triangle routing.

    In the Middle East/Gulf, Doha with the stop is nonsense, however they do get local traffic to and from Bahrain.But maybe Doha nonstop, as well as Muscat.


    Osaka (maybe operated by JAL – please)
    LHR – Jakarta-Perth, using 789. I cannot see such a route not doing very well..

    I wonder if Bangkok needs a tag (could make it more desirable as the current schedule is not attractive) due to competition and political instability, so think Ho-Chi-Minh or Jakarta could be that tag.

    Other further East European/Central Asian/Middle East routes could include Tehran, Astana or maybe Almaty with a tag to Ulan Bator.

    I know some of you, as well as BA, generally do not like tags, but in my opinion they are a good way to start a route, and for a passenger less hassle than changing plane. Also such routes, as well as triangle routes, enable crew to rest in only safe and convenient cities, and also enable BA to serve two markets, using one aircraft and one slot pair. G
    These can also help keep costs down.

    So here are some ideas. I look forward to yours, as well as any rumours or insight into BA/IAG thinking…


    BA returning to Melbourne via SIN, HK, KL or another south East Asian city would be good but unlikely to happen. Not as time or slot constrained as SYD so competition is hotter with a lot of Asian airlines having 2 daily frequencies with connections through to Europe.

    PER would be interesting but would adding a tag via Asia be better than codesharing with QR via Doha? With the mining boom on the wane; traffic, especially premium, will be dropping off.

    Chengdu seems not to have been a the success that was hoped. Wide open in all cabins with avios. I’m flying it later this year as part of a slightly adventurous way home, involving tackling A 24 train journey from Shenzhen.

    I’ve seen Xian mentioned as another important destination but maybe Wuhan or Guagzhou. Wuhan just got a Jetstar flight to the Gold coast to bring in leisure traffic so there may be opportunities to fill the back of the bus in the crossroads of central China.


    I thought the whole idea of the B787 was that it would allow airlines to operate new “long and thin” routes. However to date few airlines have used it to open entirely new routes which is disappointing.

    As a new leisure route from LGW I’d suggest Seychelles which is currently poorly served directly from Europe.

    I like all of sparkyflyer’s suggestions. Additional suggestions:
    A return to Dhaka and Manila


    I think BA should look again at some regional departures Manchester to New York & Hong Kong, Edinburgh to New York. Birmingham too. Since they pulled out of those the economy of the regions has improved dramatically. Others are finding it profitable so why is BA still insisting people must go via LHR.


    I agree with MrMichael. Regional long haul would make sense. Especially since the closure of the MAN-LGW service means that using the BA holiday options from LGW doesn’t make sense from the North anymore.
    As a regular user of that service for business, it was a real blow to have it pulled. It always seemed busy too which seems odd.

    As for possible long hall options, how about LHR-PUS as much of the UK traffic to Korea is heading for the shipyards in the south anyway. (As far as I can see anyway)


    MrMichael/Nogbad +1


    I’d love to see BA be a bit more adventurous when the 789s start to arrive.

    SGN and CGK would be a good start.

    I think they might pull the plug on Chengdu and open an alternative Chinese route, but to make these work they really need to be a Oneworld hub or to have codeshares for onward traffic as O&D demand is just too thin to make some of the Chinese markets work.

    BA will never go back to Australia or NZ as it ties up 3 planes on each route and they have plenty of options on codeshares through HKG.

    I’d also like to see BA codeshare more on MH network. That would allow BA to send something bigger than the 772 to KUL.

    South America will be left to IB. No point BA treading on their sister airline’s toes.

    Edit: There are no more 777-300s on order.


    Interesting posts thus far.

    Senator Gold I agree with Durban, but maybe along with Maputo? If the Gas field there gets financing that could also be lucrative. Do you think Manila could be standalone, or maybe tagged with, for example Taiwan, using a 772 similar to what KLM do?

    Nogbag01 interesting about Pusan, but I suspect BA is having a hard time in Seoul. It was a 772 but is now on a smaller 788. Both Asiana and Korean both have formidable inflight services, which I think BA cannot compete with..

    BA744fan we agree with SGN & CGK. I thought of Perth as a tag there could be good local traffic, as well as Perth/UK premium traffic and if anything boost BA’s service to SYD, providing more options in and out. of SYD. Also the 787 economics are very favourable..

    But about South America being IB territory I do not agree. Both Spain and UK need access to the key markets directly, so while BA should go to BOG, PTY, SCL, BSB and SCL, IB should be able to have direct access to Tokyo, Beijing & HK for example. Non core markets I do not advocate, for example Montevideo for LHR/BA.

    I understand there is much more demand for cargo, business and tourist traffic between Brazil and UK than Brazil and Spain.


    BKK is an interesting BA destination. Since the 747 was replaced with the 777, my routing has been via HKG, instead of direct. Much more cost effective.

    Is this in part due to BA 9 and 10 being full all the time?? If so perhaps it needs a bigger aircraft… or are BA encouraging passengers to fly via HKG to cut 9 and 10..???


    Sparkflyer, I don’t know if BA are having a hard time with Seoul, I have flown them 3 times on that route and they have always been pretty full. Korean are very good, but was not too keen on Asiana. I have not flown this route since BA changed to the 787, but it can only be an improvement on the VERY tatty 777 that was previously used.
    If BA were to do a Seoul flight that then continued to Pusan (much like Lufthansa do), that might be a good option.


    I keep saying Cincinnati. Lots of big companies there, especially P&G and Delta can clean up on traffic to Europe through Paris with AF. Huge opportunity for BA for point to point and connecting traffic.


    sparkyfler, I’m not sure about Maputo as a viable option for BA. They would have to attract a substantial amount of transfer traffic through LHR (with fares being set competitively) and/or offer competitive fares for traffic originating from LHR. I see that TK will start a service to Maputo via JNB while interesting Qatar is suspending its Maputo service (also via JNB) for a short while. Maputo is also well served by South African via JNB. BA’s franchise partner Comair served Maputo from JNB for a while but that’s stopped so they mustn’t have been able to make a go of it. If Maputo wasn’t viable for BA through JNB I wonder if it would be viable direct from London. In addition Maputo has long been served by TAP for obvious reasons.


    I just came back from Maputo last week. I can’t see this would work for BA – the gas fields are in the far north of the country and better accessed via Johannesburg.

    I can’t see what other traffic BA would be aiming for really.


    Jus to add

    Mexico City should probably go Daily
    Seychelles a good leisure route out of LGW – poorly served at moment
    Santiago / Lima
    2 x Daily Beijing (replace 777 with 787-9’s) – overnight return from BJS
    2 x Daily Shanghai (replace 777 with 787-9’s) – overnight return from PVG
    Mogadishu (then again maybe not though looks like only reasonable routing is TK! – that’s my silly suggestion – bit bold I think for WW)

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