BA: Where should they start to in Americas, Africa and Asia with their new slots?

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  • Anonymous


    BA have these new slots, they paid a lot less for BMI it seems than they planned (albeit with bmibaby and bmi regional hindrance) and have had to pay MUCH less than originally charged for from the competition authorities.

    So where do you think they should be going? Where would you like them to start to which you also think would be lucrative and worthwhile?

    There are other threads about BMA/BMI, but this one is route specific.

    They hugely disappointed in recent years (IMHO) with regards to when they bought bmi slots last year/year before, and boosted flights to exisiting destinations, like BCN (although still not from LGW), but let us, the business travelling commmunity, try and help them by giving them a few ideas to complement their own “research”.

    I will start the ball rolling.Some of these were circulated last year in other threads, but times and opportunities have changed, and APD has gone up, impacting on some markets.

    Some could be from LGW.


    Detroit (using AA 757s to start with)
    Fort Lauderdale with 767s
    Bogota Columbia -booming economy and small LAN hub
    Lima, Peru – good economy and LAN hub
    Santiago, maybe as extension of Brasilia.
    Brasilia – capital and 4th biggest city on Brasil. All those beaurocrats might want to try some thing other than TAP, who have recently upped schedules to 10 a week
    Belo Horizonte, 3rd biggest city and industrial centre. TAP have increased from 5 to 7 330s a week.No other competition!


    Keep Freetown from BMI, maybe with tags and operated by 767s, extensions to Monrovia and Abidjan?
    Keep Addis Ababa, but non stop from LHR.
    Khartoum, but maybe with a stop en route so crew do not have to stay there (security concerns?)
    Kilimanjaro (KLM do very well there with no competition)
    Douala/Yaounde/Libreville -oil markets and jungle tourism
    Port Harcourt, via as part of above routing/s, or ext of Lagos or Abuja.


    Chengdu (klm does well with 747 combi, passengers and cargo!
    Not sure about Guangzhou, Skyteam fortress and Lufthansa pulled out.
    Taipei, maybe as a tag after Chengdu. Only have EVA going to LHR, via BKK. 3 times a week 772 could be a good starting point.
    Also Manila no chance, even KLM have pulled out of the nonstops.
    Phuket ( 4 times weekly 772), with tags to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, for both tourism and to capture booming Vietnam economy.
    KL daily 772, with tags to Jakarta 4 days a bali 3 days. Huge business opportunities as well as premium lesure markets, and Malaysia Airlines Oneworld feed.

    Some Africa routes could be triangle routes, but not sure if union agreements allow for this? Honestcrew etc maybe you may know. By the way, where have you been?
    Australia/New Zealand = no chance of new routes.

    I look forward to your ideas, thoughts, analysis and creative “blue sky” thinking!


    In China, the following cities are all attractive:


    Taipei would not work. The Chinese routes would ideally be supported by a partner, an ideal example being HNA Group with its various airlines.


    Lahore in Pakistan, the Gateway to the Punjab and whose 100000s of expats live in the UK/US/Canada/Europe and Africa !

    Also, maybe the UK regions could all get some JFK/DXB flights ?
    Or maybe Manchester to BOM/DEL/HKG/MRU/IKA (Tehran) ?


    Some good routes up there. But for my clients I actually think Double Daily (by that not flying an hour later – but night flight where day flights are operated for example):

    Sao Paolo

    These 3 routes are always very busy and don’t have the times my clients normally want.

    For new routes maybe:

    Chinese cities listed by Le Tigre
    Caracas with Bogota/Lima/Brasilia in some combination

    They won’t be flying from Regions to DXB/JFK unless they purposely want to throw money down the drain – they couldn’t ever make them profitable


    I really don’t see the need for ALL these direct China flights; one or two maybe, but BA isn’t the only airline flying to the UK and it would be strange if they were the only airline to offer direct service.

    BA would be well advised to focus on building out its existing US network with increased frequency where justified, one or two new routes possibly using codeshares with AA, growing its South American network using Iberia and refocussing its premium leisure offering at Gatwick away from the Caribbean, which is becoming punitive due to quirks in the way APD is calculated.

    Let Cathay, Air China (I assume I got that right, as I think the “other” one is Taiwan in ciunning disguide), EVA and Virgin get going on these direct services if they see value in them, as Emirates and those airlines which are not slot restricted surely have.

    A single aircraft change to reach these secondary cities is not too disruptive, but I just don’t see these routes being able to deliver the quantity of mixed customers (from F head honchos on business to Y leisure travellers) at the margins demanded. Cargo might change that, and I don’t know how much cargo comes from these places to London…?

    The whole China routes thing is just a stick used by the airlines to beat the government with to deliver more capacity in the South East; let’s hope the new Thames Hub can remove such restrictions in relatively short order.


    Seoul and Jakarta.

    Both were mentioned by Willie Walsh himself at a staff forum late last year. Strangely, KUL wasn’t mentioned (which I was suprised about).

    LATAM is pretty much covered by IB.

    In almost every press release BA have issued lately it’s been ‘asia asia asia’ mentioned.

    Though to be honest I would have never thought in a hundred years that BA would have launched a daily Heathrow – Las Vegas flight, which they did and which is performing very well. So I won’t be suprised if we are thrown another curve ball and have an announcement of a destination many never would have thought of.


    Where was it BA aircraft stopped off during the Japanese Tsunami? I think that would be a good indication of which regional centre is in favour…


    As Le Tigre notes, I would think there are all sorts of political problems if BA were to fly between mainland China and Taipei.

    When BA last served Taipei in the 90s it had to operate under the name of British Asia Airways and a special livery was devised. I realise that relations between the two Chinas have improved, but nevertheless …


    VK: It was initially HKG then moved to ICN.


    BA stopped flying abroad from other UK airports years ago since they weren’t profitable, they are now solely London based.

    I think one interesting challenge BA will face is how to restructure BMIs domestic flights. For example, at present both BA and BMI fly LHR – EDI many times a day. Upgrading these flights to say A321 aircraft means they could reduce frequency on this route but maintain seat numbers, thus freeing up more LHR landing slots.

    It also remains to be seen if BA will keep BMI flights to Eurasia and the middle east (e.g. Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan). Probably unlikely.
    I think BA’s main concerns will be a few extra flights in to South America, India, and China. Where exactly I’m not sure, many possible destinations have already been listed.


    Can we make an effort to use the real names rather than airport codes for the more obscure Far Eastern capitals; not all of us (contrary to the usual allegations!) are planespotters!

    ICN = ?


    ZKSmith, I dont know abot some of the places you mention but Baku has loaded very well for bmi and previously Bmed because of oil. Flights are frequently full in both biz and economy in the daily 321’s and never sold at a sale price, ever. In fact they are premium prices and for a flight length longer than Moscow which has now gone long haul. Clearly a case for 767 or better still a 787 next year.BTW Azerbaijan Air fly a couple of times a week direct to Aberdeen, just to demonstrate the oil influence.


    Poster who cannot be Named ICN is Incheon International in Seoul which is in South Korea near Japan. I guess obscurity is a matter of your travel pattern. I find myself looking up the codes for many European airports. I do think though that using IATA codes is acceptable, ICAO perhaps not.

    On reflection, maybe an IATA look up page might be a useful resource for this site?

    On topic, i would like BA to introduce some daytime services to Mexico and South America. Many other European carriers have daytime westbound flights and I find them to be preferred.


    Theres always Google VK. Three little letters ICN will tell you all you need to know. But yes, I will endeavour to use city codes in the future. 😉

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