There's quite a lot of chat elsewhere about the sale of BAConnect to FlyBe but we can think about the situation at LCY, where BA are retaining the operation, apparently with a residual Avro RJ fleet based in Edinburgh.
BA will have to get their fleet numbers just right which will make expansion/contraction difficult because there will be no other work for them.
Will they replace the Avros ? They are some of the newest around so no need to for several years yet.
Others are saying that BA would order A318s but as I understand it although it fits on the runway it's a nuisance on the stands, especially if several were in at once.
BA say they will expand at LCY but how can they ? There's no space left between 0800-0900 and any LCY route that doesn't operate at these times (eg BA to Milan) is always a poor performer.
Starting 15DEC06, there will be two weekly flights to Sion by "AlpWings", a new Swiss airline operating an ERJ135. Never heard of the outfit - they have a .com website (not sure if I am allowed to provide a link here). Flight times are FrSu Sion 1500 - 1615 LCY 1645 - 1800 Sion On Saturday, there will be two flights to/from LGW, btw. Does the ERJ135 need modifiications to be able to operate into LCY ? If so, the only suitable ERJ135s would be the two Luxair examples and the former Jetmagic bird.
what's the source of this info? A friend of mine that works at LCY says he doesnt know anything about these guys starting.
BA say they will expand at LCY but how can they ? There's no space left between 0800-0900 and any LCY route that doesn't operate at these times (eg BA to Milan) is always a poor performer.[/QUOTE]
Interesting times for LCY and BA. I know the airport has plans to build more stands over the dock which has planning permission. I guess this is a decision for the new owners? I would have thought this would take some months to build but it would allow BA and others to continue to expand. The airports master plan on their web site shows how they can expand.
I know the airport has plans to build more stands over the dock which has planning permission. I guess this is a decision for the new owners? I would have thought this would take some months to build but it would allow BA and others to continue to expand.
I am afraid the "some months" to build the extension is more like "some years".
I am also afraid to advise, from a professional point, that you don't get a lot of extra aircraft parking space built out over a dock for each £100 million spent. And that's what this sort of work costs. LCY's problem, unlike say Heathrow, is that there is only the demand for this extra capacity for one hour in the morning and one in the evening, 5 days a week. Otherwise there's enough space for more services already. So these extra costs would have to be covered by the fees from 10 movements a week for each stand, and that just doesn't add up.
I have had a look at the LCY timetable (ok sad thing to do i know!!) They have peaks of 2-3 hours in the morning and more like 3-4 in the evening as well as a lunchtime peak. Plus they seem to have 16 flights/day to EDI and 21 to AMS so those off peak periods are filling up! I have heard quoted somewhere that the stands would take 12-18 months to build so not available now but not that far away. I do agree with the comment about BA and managing their aircraft, their demand for slots and LCY's ability to provide slots. Will be a tricky time but is more a phasing issue than anything else?
I have heard quoted somewhere that the stands would take 12-18 months to build so not available now but not that far away
Afraid the timespan will be pretty long on these new stands/parking areas. It's not a nice greenfield site. Among other issues on this job in particular :
The need to do a detailed survey of the dock bottom and ground beneath so the contractors understand what they are digging down into. This will need a barge on site for a month or so (such will be the first indication of things going ahead). Until you do this nobody can be reasonably sure how much the works will cost and the new investors will be unable to give a go-ahead.
Sweeping the dock bottom where the works will take place for unexploded WW2 bombs. I'm not joking here, just look at how many have been found nearby, just in recent years, there were more dropped on the Royal Docks than anywhere else in Britain. I bet there are still a dozen or more in each dock.
The need to source a low-rise piling rig. Not common but there are a few available. You need one of these so you don't impinge on the glidescope (anyone sufficiently knowledgeable about the requirements to state how high you can go at this location without impacting aircraft movements ?).
Difficulty of access to the site, getting materials etc in. This one will be a pig for the contractor. You could barge materials up the dock but that again adds to time taken and greatly to cost as you have to double-handle everything.
You could ask Mowlem, who built the original airport, but the have disappeared from the construction scene now. When they did the original airport it was of course a vacant site and they could do what they want.
Finally, regarding the "12 to 18 months" quotes, never trust construction estimates that have a 50% margin
I hear that ScotAirways have reduced services from LCY and park a couple of Dornier's there. That must cause LCY problems with parking?
Scotairways have had aircraft based at LCY for at least 3 years. We have recently reduced some middle of the day schedules which apparently were non profit sectors, this has increased the number of A/C parked at city during the day but normally only two parked overnight which is standard for the base. Does anyone know about rumours of the remaining city schedule at BAConnect being backed by RBS? Should this be true one would assume they would only contract one airline only. ie SA would lose their share of the business.
Re stands - i believe from memory (well friends memory!) that the whole dock was surveyed so that should speed up things. So summer 08 could eb a possibility? But yes, builders can take longer than they say! Re scotairways, I use them and BA (I dont work for RBS!) it's the choice of times that help me so i use whoever works best for my own schedule. Looking at the CAA stats, Scot seem to eb doing ok and they always seem to charge me lots of £££'s to travel with them! I read somewhere that the EU approval for the new owners is due 23 November so they will have the keys (so to speak) soon after.
Does anyone know about rumours of the remaining city schedule at BAConnect being backed by RBS? Should this be true one would assume they would only contract one airline only. ie SA would lose their share of the business.
Yes, RBS have a corporate agreement with BA for air travel. Apparently a particular feature is there are a guaranteed number of seats per year on the BA EDI-LCY service for them at a fixed price, and so all their travel on this route goes this way.
BA can of course do a very wideranging agreement with businesses like this, this route being only one small part of the whole, which Scot Airways cannot match. As for me, whenever I go up to Edinburgh it is Scot every time. I like their style. I remember phoning their res centre in Dundee one evening when I noticed my secretary had booked me on the 7.30 am instead of the 7.30 pm the next day. No trouble, glad to help, "oh don't worry sir this one happens all the time". Afraid you do not get that from BA any longer.
It could be possible for Cityjet/Air France to look into a service like this:
Possible rotatios: CDG-EDI-LCY-CDG
CDG-EDI-LCY (o/n) LCY-EDI-CDG
ORY-LCY-EDI (o/n) EDI-LCY-ORY
DUB-LCY-CDG CDG-LCY-EDI (o/n) EDI-CDG
DUB-LCY-DUB DUB-LCY EDI (o/n) EDI-LCY-CDG
We already operate in an out of LCY to and from DUB / ORY / CDG It could be feasible to join a EDI somewhere in our network. LCY could be our next base but i guess it will be in talks for a long time. Plus dont forget that the big bosses at AF would have a lot to say. I'm sure we are not really allowed to have our own routes we have to operate as AF.
How long with BA last on the EDI / LCY route after the merger?