Looking at the years 2004-2008. Fleet numbers have dropped 46; 291 to 245 The number of flights has dropped 110,000: 391,000 down to 281,000 The unduplicated route system has dropped 30,000km; 657,000 down to 629,000. Passengers dropped 3 million; 36 million down to 33 million
And they are saddled with 50 odd fuel hogging quads.
How can BA replace "50 odd fuel hogging quads" in one go? Besides, it might be interesting to compare the fuel burn for each type in BA's fleet; Lufthansa sprung a surprise with their alleged "gas guzzler".
reductions: LHR: BRU (7 to 6 Daily), EDI (11 to 10 Daily), CDG (10 to 9 Daily), Tokyo (2 to 1 Daily) LGW: EDI (6 to 4 Daily), MAN (6 to 5 Daily) London - Toulouse (3 to 2 Daily; switch from Gatwick to Heathrow)
increases: LHR: DXB 21x weekly, LGW: AYT (3 to 5 weekly; 09JUN09 - 27SEP09), BCN (2 to 3 Daily; 13JUN09 - 27SEP09), DBV (7* to 11 weekly), FAO (2 to 3 Daily; 13JUN09 - 27SEP09), Izmir (3 to 5 weekly; 13JUN09 - 26SEP09), Pristina (3 to 4 weekly), Rome (2 to 3 Daily), Tirana (5 to 7 weekly), Tunis (5 to 7 weekly), (2 to 4 weekly)
AMS-JFK (5 to 7 weekly)
changes: LGW-PMI to depart at 1735hrs in S09 iso 2225hrs in S08
For comparison, RPKs ten years ago (1998, full year):
1. United 201,715 2. American 180,144 3. Delta 168,596 4. Northwest 119,337 5. British Airways 112,029 6. Continental 96,580 7. Lufthansa 81,401 8. US Airways 66,738 9. Singapore 64,528 10. Southwest 58,695
(RPKs in millions)
It is sad to see the relative decline of BA. Notice that neither KLM nor Air France was in the top ten! In my opinion, years of poor managerial decisions, allied to a lack of long-term vision in relation to infrastructure investment, have contributed to this state of affairs. If this trend continues - and the evidence is that is will - BA will a much less significant player in another ten years' time. That would be a pity.
Yes, as others have said, BA has exhibited a "fortress Heathrow" mentality (selling Go, for example, destroyed an excellent opportunity for BA to have a significant presence in the growing low-cost sector and one at Stansted; the airline which eventually acquired Go, easyJet, now has a very large Gatwick operation) and in future Lufthansa will have access to bmi's LHR slots. There's nowhere else for BA to retreat to.... As for the merger with Iberia. I've only ever experienced poor customer service standards from this airline. Iberia is more of an "employees' holiday club" than BA or its predecessor airlines ever were. I get the impression that talks on this might not be going well; it might be good for BA if the merger does not go ahead.