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Anonymous27 Aug 2013
BMI’s demise was heralded as allowing BA to open up essential new routes to lucrative new destinations but so far there seem to have been more routes dropped than added – dropping loss making routes is reasonable, but to when will new routes be added (and to where)?27 Aug 2013
There has been lots of discussion on this subject here:-
But the lack of new routes is worth highlighting again. The purchase of BMI and getting this buyout accepted was “justified” as the slots would be used to start routes to the “fast growing” economies of Asia, Africa and South America.
Since this, time, only Chengdu from Heathrow has been announced, with 3 weekly departures. Seoul was already announced, and Monrovia is a tag to Freetown, a former BMI destination, however this has been doing very well.
So very disappointing indeed. I do not accept there are not enough aircraft. New 77Ws have come on board, which can release 772s for new routes, for example LHR-GIG is going daily 77W – the previous 772 could easily be used for 2 new desinations, or even 4.
I am sure more money can be made on a Bogota, Brasilia, Santiago, Panama City, Abidjan, Port Harcourt, Ho Chi Minh or even Yangon than another flight to Barcelona for example.
In a Bloomberg interview, Williams (BA CEO) said I think 12 slots pairs will be used for such routes. But no news as yet. Jakarta will be a new route, but is still unnannounced, and even this is a tag to an exisiting desination, Singapore.
I am sure the 787s troubled entry into service with a number of airlines, has bought in some caution into the planning, but the A380s will enable some slots to be saved for other destinations, lets hope we do not have to wait so long to hear if BA will actually do anything with them.27 Aug 2013
A380s to LAX and HKG are going to free up 2-3 747s. I haven’t heard of any being retired in the near future which suggests they will continue to fly for the foreseeable future.
How is BA going to utilise them?27 Aug 2013
And an A380 will go on the Joburg route. Releasing by next UK summer 2 747s and 3 slots pairs as they will no longer use these for a 3 times weekly 777 flight there.27 Aug 2013
They have also done some tweaks, if I recall rightly.
I think they have added:
3-5 extra weekly Seattle flights
1 extra weekly Mexico City
1 extra weekly Beijing
1 extra weekly Shanghai
and a few extra flights to some Indian cities I can’t remember!
Not major things, but certainly improvements.27 Aug 2013
You are right about an extra flight here and there, but Hyderabad is to be increased from 6 to 7, whereas an upgrade from 767 to 777 could have done the trick, enabling the slot to be used elsewhere. They had also added lots of capacity to Miami to get Delta off the route.
I think the next A380 route will be Sao Paulo, at least for the World Cup, but adding A380 to JFK (merging two flights) and MIA could release some slots for other juicy routes.27 Aug 2013
I would have thought it is ineviatble that JFK will get at least one A380.
BA’s strength has always been their frequency of services but some of the flights depart just a matter of minutes apart and could easily be amalgamated and upgauged to free up valuable slots at LHR.27 Aug 2013
In the cabin crew trip descriptions for Winter 2013 bids there is a daily 7 day trip to Singapore and Jakarta – a tag on to the BA011 which is currently a 5 day trip. Showing daily except will not operate for the week over xmas.
I guess maybe they are awaiting regulatory approval or similar before ‘officially’ announcing it.
Also showing JNB having it’s first A380 flight first week of FEB.27 Aug 2013
I wonder if BA ought to think about reinstating its Taipei service which it used to operate via HKG under the guise of British Asia Airways ?
There must be demand for the route otherwise Emirates wouldn’t be starting flights there.27 Aug 2013
I agree Alex. I mentioned Taipei in one of my previous “route” threads. I really think there would be good demand for at least a 3 x weekly service. They may have a 787 in mind for this, but I wonder if they could have a LHR-TPE-Manila route on 772 – filling up both J and Y cabins.27 Aug 2013
Yes, sparkyflyer, I remember the previous thread.
I don’t believe there’s enough premium traffic demand for a non-stop flight from London (as CAL discovered a while back) so it would be better to have an en route stop. This is what KLM does now, ie it serves Manila via Taipei.27 Aug 2013
I did one of the ‘VIP’ flights on the 787 and this particular flight also carried quite a few senior management who we were able to chat candidly with.
The first batch of 787-800’s will be taking over the existing 767 routes.
Once the 787-900 comes (starting end of next year) this aircraft will be heading for new Long Range routes. So it may just be we will have to wait a bit longer for the announcement of anything new and exciting.
The destination rumors remain quite consistent though – Santiago, St Louis, Saigon and Tapei.
The 787 really will be an answer to many of BA’s prayers. It is the Firs Kaa in terms of fuel efficiency. It can fly forever. And it is the perfect size for new marginal routes.27 Aug 2013
I know that is the KLM routing, but I wonder if CAL did not attract the business pax, at least from UK passengers end, as they are not in Oneworld. I wonder if the Manila aspect would bolster overall demand and keep costs and risks down, as opposed to having separate flights.
I used to be sceptical about there being enough demand for Manila, but the economy there is pretty good, and I know PAL are thinking/hoping of/to coming to UK, so they must be pretty confident.
Yangon would also be an exciting place for BA to pioneer- lots of business interest and investment there there these days. .27 Aug 2013