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  • TheLion

    Well well…

    Today could well be a good day for the Zimbabwe and her people, with some dramatic news from Harare. That cruel dictator Robert Mugabe is under house arrest, with the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) taking control, meaning it is likely the evil old man will be forced out at long last.

    Leaving aside the political ramifications, which is not this thread’s remit, it would be good to – in the light of this potentially optimistic development for this beautiful country and her people who I hold dear to my heart – gauge your views on what will be the impact on a change of leadership on new services; could we see BA among others finally return, among others?

    Best wishes
    The Lion


    I do have 1 question though – yes, I get that BA would likes to use its lucrative LHR slots, etc. etc. but what does BA lose by offering a premium product (like 789 service) from Manchester to say…. JFK or an ORD or LAX, etc. Are they scared it will cannabalise their LHR offerings to their US oneworld hubs? I can imagine they can use a MAN as a hub for connecting EU passengers too. For example, someone from Helsinki could fly to MAN and onwards to this destination versus flying to LHR and back up to the US.

    I do have 1 question though – yes, I get that BA would likes to use its lucrative LHR slots, etc. etc. but what does BA lose by offering a premium product (like 789 service) from Manchester to say…. JFK or an ORD or LAX, etc. Are they scared it will cannabalise their LHR offerings to their US oneworld hubs? I can imagine they can use a MAN as a hub for connecting EU passengers too. For example, someone from Helsinki could fly to MAN and onwards to this destination versus flying to LHR and back up to the US.

    The only thing I can think of is that BA feel that a particular aircraft would get a better return operating a route from LHR than from MAN – not necessarily the same route though.

    As for BA providing routes to new markets to help the UK post Brexit, may I remind you all that Brexit hasn’t actually happened yet. We are still none the wiser as to what the UK will look like post Brexit than we were before the referendum. Certain people in positions of power across Europe have even predicted that Brexit won’t actually happen.

    If the current Conservative government lasts till the end of negotiations then you can likely expect a ‘hard Brexit’. However, it is highly likely that a controversial vote (LHR expansion among others) may split the Tories enough for the other parties to make a power grab. The current government is a fragile one and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was replaced with a Labour government (either alone or as a coalition with other parties) sometime before the Brexit negotiations conclude – in which case you can expect a ‘soft Brexit’.

    It seems likely that we will have a certain ‘transition’ period between March 2019 and actually leaving the EU. By then, BA should have a clearer picture of what Brexit will mean for them and the UK, and should then be able to plan and open new routes accordingly.

    Yes they are, its not in the BA business plan and with limited aircraft to expand at LHR need to use resources in the most efficient way ex LON.
    A321LR may change that in the long run’though only EI have them on order.

    I do think it’s time to look at operations from the regions. Indeed the A321LR may be the right aircraft for this. If they can’t find a way to make this aircraft work from the likes of MAN, and perhaps EDI or GLA (EDI especially if Scotland secede after Brexit), with perhaps a few A332s or B788s too, then I’ll be very surprised. But again, they may need a change of management for this little dream of ours to come alive. And I’m sorry to say a dream is what it is at present.

    I’ll say this. It’s bullish btw…

    If I was BA CEO routes from the regions would already be a reality and they would serve key business and O&D routes, major leisure routes, plus feed partner hubs. But I’m not, so this sorry state of affairs continues until they finally have a decent set of leaders who balance risk with reward and put customers and staff before shareholders.


    “BA Longhaul new routes 2017/18+ ex LHR & LGW + Brexit planning..2

    It seems to me that sparkflyer should have added in the following words between routes and 2017/18……. “That have a Zip Code”

    Brexit, like it or not is a reality, and our national carrier doesn’t seem to have embraced the challenge/grasp the opportunities that is coming post-split.

    As our legacy national carrier I’d like to think they would support our exporters/importers by having more faith in inaugurating/re-starting direct flights to countries other than the US. In particular, investing in African economies that seem to be on the rise.
    As an aside, I went to the BA website, and was at first taken aback at how many destinations BA actually claim to fly to.

    Alas, on closer inspection, the words operated by QR dominate !! …. Poor Show

    Delta (in conjunction with JV partners AF/KL) has just announced a new route from Paris CDG to Indianapolis. Flights with B767-300 launch in May 2018.

    I believe it’s the first time that Indianapolis has gained scheduled transatlantic service.

    It’s being said that BA has been caught napping. The Rust Belt is a huge area with a number of cities but BA doesn’t serve any of them.

    It’s easy to knock Canucklad, but I think he has a point.

    Airlines are regulated businesses and as such BA has the privilege of being *allowed* to be the main player out of Heathrow.

    There should be a strategic alignment with the UK’s policy, which at the moment is Brexit. Having a million flights a day to the US is not going to help nurture trade with the countries around the world that offer an offset against the potential lost opportunities in Europe.

    If IAG/BA won’t support this, then let the government do some regulating and put arrangements into place that deliver what UK industry needs to move forward – moving BA’s operating base to Stansted would be a good start.

    Totally agree with all these views.

    BA are weak and deeply conservative when it comes to long haul route planning, USA notwithstanding, yet they are also letting our country, their customers and staff down by not providing the best route network for business, travel and leisure that they possibly can to meet need and demand. Further, with Brexit looming, this is a huge concern…

    Contrast BA with other European airlines; Forget the likes of KL, LH, AF & SN who serve emerging markets in depth, especially their diaspora; and even Swiss, TAP & Iberia offer services to African countries where they have few if any historical, cultural or ethnic ties.

    Now after some decent expansion, Iberia seem to be the latest IAG airline with emerging market route cuts: Cali, Guayaquil I’m looking at you. Meanwhile IB’s competitors are launching exciting new routes on their own turf; KLM to Cartagena, Air Europa to Córdoba, Asunción, San Pedro Sula, and now Recife. Many of these are ex-IB routes. IB even have a better route network with which to feed their long haul Lat Am ops than Air Europa.

    So maybe it’s an IAG thing. In my view, it really is time for a change of leadership and a new direction. Both Walsh and Cruz have to go before they rip the soul out of their airlines, especially BA.


    We know prostitution exists everywhere, and where it’s partaken of by both parties voluntarily I see nothing wrong with it. It’s the disgusting double standards and abuse in DXB that I object to

    Absolutely. Even strait-laced Singapore has the infamous building with “four floors of whores”! And in a country where buggery is illegal and even oral sex is against the law unless a prelude to heterosexual intercourse, there are a surprising number of gay bars.

    Hong Kong is not a lot better, and much of the liberalisation in our own laws is as a result of the courts taking a firm stand against the government.

    But I digress (again). Sorry!!

    Agree wholeheartedly with you both. Government and societal hypocrisy is evident all over the globe. Yet we still haven’t progressed far enough so that a consenting adult is free to love another adult of their choice. It would resolve many issues is our world if governments and religions evolved to let go of their medieval ways.

    Sorry to digress myself 🙂

    On Emirates…I think their service and soft product (food, drink & approach) allied to convenience of multiple connections and secondary city to secondary city was what originally wooed people. Their hard product, A380 excepted, has been mediocre and often behind the times; 7 abreast business class recliners, 10 abreast in 777s before most etc.

    Now it seems pax are more experienced, are able to compare carriers, research their trips more and thus able to vote with their feet, whereas before perhaps they were none the wiser.


    Interesting that Boeing devised the B787 Dreamliner for less busy or non hub routes. But the airlines have tended to roster the costly aircraft for prime hub to hub routes instead. Take the example of JAL which, from this winter, will be using its B787s (which still retain the comfortable 2-4-2 Y layout) for HND-LHR.

    Great point Alex. I wonder if the dreamliner is as much a status symbol these days as it is an efficient alternative to the 777. I see from today’s BT news, ElAl is launching Dreamliner services which will eventually include prime destinations in their network as a replacement for the 747 and 767 and maybe even the 777.

    Sure airlines will use the latest technology to fly their premium routes. Old frames need replacing, both for efficiency and product purposes, and full service airlines want to gain and maintain market share by putting their best aircraft on their most profitable flagship routes. Thus seeing 787s and A350s on key city pairs is no surprise. It is clear however that both these aircraft families are slowly but surely changing the game, creating new opportunities and opening up new city pairs, especially to secondary cities.

    I predict that the second stage of this new expansion in the next decade will see more point-to-point secondary city routes opened up, with focus city type operations. In Europe the likes of Manchester and Barcelona are prime examples. This will involve some element of hub bypass and some of creative routemaking. We will also see a continuation of hub to secondary or even tertiary city routes starting, including many never flown before. The impending arrival of the A321neoLR and a potential MOM will only make this phenomenon more, not less, likely.


    Maybe time for BA Cityflyer to step in…


    Well hello everyone!

    Hope everything is good with you.

    I missed the start of this thread a few months back, noticing it only in July, but finally only getting round to posting now. I do have many points to add, many in agreement, with your earlier route suggestions, however to avoid derailing the current direction of discussion, I’ll hop right into the middle of the latest posts and post my thoughts on earlier points later.

    With respect, and while there are many posts with merit,when I started this discussion, I asked that if you had strong feelings about flights from the regions,for example Manchester, to do this is a separate discussion.

    This discussion, as titled, is about longhaul flights from Heathrow and Gatwick. Please feel welcome to start a separate thread on that subject.

    Not quite, Sparky.

    Your thread title was LHR & LGW + Brexit planning, which is ambiguous enought to scope in other airports, especially as you specified BA.

    But I’ll not post on here, if you don’t want anything else – maybe you could re-title your thread ‘London Airways’ and then it would be clear this thread is only for people in the SE?

    Guys may I add a few thoughts on the above London vs Manchester thread debate. Personally I think one thread on BA routes both long and short haul is sufficient. It means we can keep the discussion in one place, don’t have notifications pinging about left right and centre and also means that more members are likely to join in, with more ideas being discussed. The result being the thread continues for longer without petering out as they so often do; the wider the scope, the more likely it keeps going and the more interesting the discussion. And ultimately, it is the same subject; BA routes and strategy.

    Further, with Brexit on the horizon, you have multiple possible aviation scenarios which may play out; including the need to diversify and capture different traffic flows, potential new hub or bases according to demand and geopolitics, plus the great unknown of the aviation common area, which as yet no replacement agreement has been devised by the UK. We also have to examine the impact if Scotland secedes post-Brexit; in such case a northern BA hub or hubs in Edinburgh would seem logical and would affect Manchester too.

    You are missing my point. If you fly from Manchester-New York, you are attracting people in Manchester’s catchment who want to fly to New York, and people in NY’s catchment who want to fly to Manchester.

    Do you really have so little idea about the range of connections at MAN?

    It is BA who choose to operate as London Airways and I don’t believe thay have ability to compete at a hub like MAN, where it is a level playing field.

    Both, if it’s acceptable to continue, I’d add that MAN should be a northern hub for BA. It has significant traffic flows to all major European cities, multiple global cities and a wide and varied network which is only increasing. Its catchment area is potentially larger than London, with several growing large city economies around it. BA are leaving a key market on the table here in my view.

    There are a plethora of potential new routes BA could open up but it depends on how they are willing to use their slots effectively at Heathrow; currently running at 99% capacity.

    Love your list. A big thumbs up for smart thinking and outside the box ideas alike! I will do a detailed reply later, once the current discussion has moved on.

    Anyhow, it’s great to be back!

    The Lion


    + 1 The Lion and very well expressed. BA holding UK back.

    Hey sparkyflyer, perhaps it’s time for a new thread, d’you think? Post-Brexit, post-small-t, small hands trump, 10 abreast, BA back at MAN, BRS, STN etc…

    This “2017” I write in was created almost a year ago and covered new routes for 2017 launch but now seems to have fizzled out.

    We may not get any more new routes this year, except for one in the autumn when the sole new longhaul frame of this year arrives, a B788. So maybe time for a new thread?

    The Lion


    Rant alert!!


    I really want this venture to fail. The name is meaningless to everyone, Spanish and English speakers alike, plus everyone else who is in existence. It’s also confusing for ATC when pilots detail their flying height.

    The livery is one of the worst I’ve ever seen. I kind of like the square but the rest is beyond hideous. It makes the newish Iberia livery actually look classy!

    On the flipside, the website design placeholder is decent and actually artistic. I agree with others on here that it does have elements of 20th century art. I don’t know why the livery and design don’t reflect that instead of this monstrosity.

    What were they thinking?!? I want to cry. It’s that bad.

    They had a chance to either create a new pan-European low cost long haul brand or smartly utilise an existing brand like Vueling. They also could’ve thought ahead to the potential for Catalan independence and set up a base for Iberia (Express?) to operate a low(er?) cost service which would be ideally positioned to serve the significant market that would be created after independence.

    What is clear is that IAG’s management have been in power far too long. The company needs a change of direction from their to-bone cost cutting, bland corporatism, poor treatment of staff, uncaring attitude to customers, disdain towards frequent flyers and so on.

    In my view this is the epitome of neoliberal corporatism, its bloated corpse refusing to die, despite being already dead.

    And…I did a search myself for October to LAX and some fares were more expensive than Iberia. All that and you have to add on bags, meals etc to compare like for like. If they’re going to charge similar for less why even bother with a new LCC brand?


    Trainline is a waste of time and question why it even exists. There is only one operator on the route I normally travel which is Virgin. Fares are exactly the same as the Virgin website, so how can they advertise cheaper tickets?

    Trainline is a booking site which you can also use to compare all services on a given route. Most operators will only show only their own services, so Trainline is useful for showing alternate routes, which will often be cheaper.


    I can’t see this working. This is a very small market.

    Yes agree. Low frequency might work and hopefully reduce the average fares, which are high, even though it is a long route.


    Paying Y it was probably £38 return STN to AHO (Alghero) with FR back in May 2011. Long haul maybe £420 return to Delhi on KU in 2005. In Club I paid USD$136 return on Uzbekistan Airways’ ancient Tu-154 from Tashkent to Urgench back in 2008. That was a real av geek experience, a thriller!

    However I had numerous of free firm and standby staff flights through my BA staff mum as a kid, mostly taken at such time so we’d get Club World seats! Seychelles (when it was affordable), Mauritius, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand and several European destinations all featured.

    Do my paid sectors sound like quite high fares for the cheapest do you all think? 😉


    So TheLion’s original post looks a remarkably prescient prediction!
    Maybe a long haul announcement is next?

    Thanks man but tbh it wasn’t a prediction, more thoughts of hope based on some rumours from a-net, which have proven to be correct! 🙂

    I’d add that £240 for Club Europe to NCE is far from good value tbh. I’d only ever travel Club Europe as an upgrade, cheap Avios redemption or if there was a very rare occasion when the price was not much different to economy. There’s really little point in wasting money for minimal extra benefit.


    Great stuff Transtaxman. Maybe you could put it in a separate thread as it’s pretty notable news and kinda exciting.

    The Lion


    Yup it does. I wondered if anyone would correct that. It was more rhetorical tbh, however there is a grain of truth in it as the proposed routes woudl likely lead to based aircraft if successful.

    Maybe BA will position their upcoming 4 B788s to MAN, with A321LRs for thinner routes, and maybe a few A320s for key business and bucket and spade markets in and around Europe. That sort of fleet would make a lot of sense and should be viable. It has also been my personal “fantasy” network plan for BA at MAN for a long time.

    I even drew up schedules! #AvGeek 🙂

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 97 total)
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