LHR-PHL Service ReductionsBack to Forum
Anonymous25 Jan 2011
I have noticed that both BA and US Airways have cut capacity to Philadelphia and was wondering if anyone knows why.
The US A330 has been cut to a 767-200, which is very old and a terrible travel experience. BA has cut their 4 class 777-200 and 767-300 normal double daily schedule, and now has only double daily 767 which of course means no F class.
PHL has been quoted by BA in the past as the route with the highest % of business travellers in its entire longhaul network. Are the capacity reductions a sign of a big drop in business travel?25 Jan 2011
There is not one specific aircraft that operates the route, and BA maintains sufficent fleet to operate all routes plus planes that are in for maintenance etc.25 Jan 2011
actually BA dont have any spare aircraft at the moment….4 are at cardiff having the first refit. And some aircraft do in fact just shuttle between LHR and its destination….i know this as i work for BA in cabin services and chat to the engineers.25 Jan 2011
Scott, I’ve not noticed the same plane on the same route every day for any route. Maybe you can point me to some examples?
I never knew BA had 4 aircraft being refitted at the same time, or in fact if they had the capacity of doing that. It seems quite a high number, plus there is the US reduction as well and the fall in GDP, which both point to a slowdown in business travel.25 Jan 2011
Re reductions to PHL. Possibly due to changes in the relationship with GSK (Glaxo Smith Kline). Some years ago they were the primary reason BA flew the route at all, and in one memorable about turn forced BA to take the flight out of T3 and back to T4.
It is not as Bucksnet point out, due to shuttling aircraft as that would result in very poor utilisation.25 Jan 2011
Though there are some aircraft which have a significant frequency on certain routes, in most cases the same aircraft do not shuttle between the two same destinations continually; though this is more likely to appear to be the case on 767 routes as the sub-fleet is smaller and the routes served more limited.
Maintenance, the need to vary cycles and other operational issues get in the way of such an approach.
BA has a significant maintenance facility at Cardiff (for its Boeing aircraft). There is capacity for three aircraft under cover and two “nose in” facilities where interior works can be undertaken; this is where the interior refits are happening for “prime”, the new http://www.ba.com/first
The 767 longhaul fleet is not getting First, but it is getting a new 787 interior fit out [EDIT: no it’s not, as Bucksnet pointed out, I should have written “Boeing Signature interior”] (still with the older “fan divider” version of New Club World).
BA does have some spare aircraft, as it needs to build in its maintenance programme without disrupting passenger services.
In addition to its spare “maintenance capacity”, though these are not currently instantly available; two 747s are parked up at Cardiff and unlikely to fly commercially again, and there are a number (I think 6 remaining parked up…?) of 747s furloughed in the US desert (I recall two have recently undergone expensive D checks and are returning/have returned to the fleet).
In addition, there are more of the new 777-300ER subfleet being delivered in the coming months, which will increase capacity further.25 Jan 2011
VK, you do some excellent posts and I’m grateful for your knowledge, but what is the ‘787’ interior fit out?’
The 767s might be getting the much improved Boeing Signature Interior, but the 787 will have the new Sky Interior which is not available for the 767 and probably never will be!
IMHO, the 767s need the BSI, winglets, 777 flightdeck and Trent core upgrades to their engines if not already done. Boeing can pay for most if not all of this as compensation for the 787 delays and speed up deliverys to other airlines, so reducing the compo payments to them. BA can fly the 767s for another 5 years or more and then take 787 deliveries.25 Jan 2011