BA Unable to Meet Branson's Challenge on Slots at LHR
Well done that man ... No Way BA/AA!
Richard Branson today claimed victory in the long-running debate with British Airways over the availability of slots at Heathrow Airport.
Following repeated claims by BA that slots are available to competitors who wish to operate services to and from the US Richard Branson challenged BA to make good on that claim.
BA was invited to provide ten pairs of slots at Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic offered to pay GBP£2 million (USD$2.9m) to charity for each pair. In the event that BA failed to do so Virgin suggested that BA should pay GBP£2 million per pair, GBP£20 million (USD$29m) in all, to charity.
The deadline passed on Friday 14 December with BA failing to supply even one pair of slots. Branson then wrote to Lord Marshall, Chairman of BA, and said:
"I am saddened but certainly not surprised that, having reached the end of the challenge period, British Airways has not been able to supply Virgin Atlantic with even one pair of slots at Heathrow.
"It does, however, settle our argument once and for all. Both BA and American Airlines have disingenuously claimed that competitors can easily find slots at Heathrow for services to and from the US.
"The truth is that slots are not available at Heathrow for transatlantic services. Having failed to rise to this challenge I do not expect to hear BA or AA repeating this claim ever again.
"By my reckoning having failed the challenge BA should now pay GBP£20m to charity in time for Christmas. I look forward to hearing that you have."
"The outcome of this challenge has serious implications for BA's proposal to form an anti-competitive alliance with American Airlines.
"Both BA and AA have argued that their proposals should be approved unconditionally by the US Department of Transportation, the UK Office of Fair Trading and the European Commission (all of whom are reviewing the application).
"The outcome of this challenge illustrates the difficulty competitors would face in attempting to compete with the combined strength of BA and AA."
Branson repeated his pledge to fight the proposal:
"We will fight it tooth and nail. This is no normal code-share application - BA and AA are applying for anti-trust immunity quite simply because they want to act anti-competitively. Between them they control over 60 percent of the Heathrow-US market, 100 percent on several key routes and around 70 percent of peak-time slots used for North Atlantic services. If they're given anti-trust immunity to operate on some of the busiest sets of routes on the planet they will collude to: use their overwhelming dominance to destroy competition, raise prices, and reduce service."
Odd that a man who claims to thrive on enterprise and competition wants the authorities to force one airline to give his airline extra slots.
Sounds a little like crass hypocrisy to me.
But why has he chosen this time to return to this tedious topic? Perhaps his airline is about to go the same way as the rest of his crumbling empire and he is making a pre-emptive excuse.
Hey Guvnor did you tell him about your money-spinning, can't fail, cunning plan. Get him to park his B747-400s, his A340s and cancel his A380 order and instead pack all his fellow woolly pully wearers into - yes, you've guessed it - TRISTARS!
Guvnor this could be your big chance to finally get within a gnat's wotsit of a real airplane.
'Fly Virgin - In our new Guvnor class. Equipped with beautifully restored Tristars you'll be the laughing stock (sorry, envy) of the travelling world.'
[ 17 December 2001: Message edited by: PowerRanger ]
Anyone who knows anything about aviation never grins at a tristar..
I´m sure all of you, fast as flaming lightning, smacking the Guv around are all in a quite secure spot employmentwise..
However, the day if/when your outfit folds I´m sure it won´t take you long to lift the horn and call, not necessarily the Guv, but someone much like him, asking if there might be room in their outfit for someone like you..
It´s so sad that people all the time have to be reminded that if it weren´t for the pioneers, we´d still be riding bicycles..
It’s amazing to see how the postings of one person so get under the skin of some people. I am relatively new to this forum but it is immediately obvious that all the majority of posters to the threads started by the governor want to do is gang up on him. I recently had to visit my son’s school to speak with his principal about the problems he was experiencing with bullies. It’s a shame we don’t have the same means of redress here.
Back to the thread. It seems to me BA have been caught out telling porkies or if they were able to produce the slots they claim are so readily available they would have at least risen to the challenge in some way, if only pointing out where they were to be had. I think BA’s spin doctors need to be working harder.
Being an ex-pat I don’t get to hear much about what goes on and find your posts informative. Keep up the good work.
I definitely concur with Brenoch, it really pisses me of thinking about the way you guys always bash everything the Guvnor presents.
A part from just finding this article very interesting to read, I think it’s great fun that the outcome of the challenge was in Virgin colours, especially when remembering all the foul play from BA during Virgins upstart. A great opportunity for BA to back up their empty talk, but did they?
It’s very easy sitting at home or up front biding the time, thinking about what other people dare to do and just discard their efforts with scepticism. “Oh what a fool, that ain’t never gonna work!” Even if the pioneers don’t always make it all the way every time they sure path the way for all the others to come. How do you think that your airline got started?
I have nothing but admiration for those who have the energy to keep on trying and on top of that put up with you lot.
Lay of the Guvnor will you! Sure, if he starts a debate then you should all butt in and say you say, but don’t whack him in the head just for posting an interesting story. I think that the personal attacks of the last few days on the Guv are a bit thick.
First of all, BA did not imply or say that slots were easy to come by, they said that it is possiblefor new entrants to obtain slots at the airport, and Virgin Atlantic are a good example of it happening.
Secondly, it is not up to BA to provide slots to other carriers, and it never was. New slots are obtained from the pool, either due to greater efficiency or when a carrier vacates them.
This just reminds of me of those occasions when a six year old makes a silly bet that no-one takes him up on, and then goes around shouting that he's won.
Great idea, O bearded one! I challenge you to produce Father Christmas in time for Christmas and I shall donate one squillion pounds to a charity. If you fail, "by my reckoning, YOU will owe a similar amount to charity" Bottoms to you, O great bearded windbag.
Knold and Brennoch, as you say you have not been on here for very long so let me try and explain a few truths although I am fairly sure that Brennoch is the Guvnor drumming up his own support! It is one thing trying to set up an airline but if you are going to spend all day on here and then add stupid comments about the jobs of pilots whilst lying about your qualifications and credentials then you have to expect some sniping, especially as it is true.
There is no problem with the Guvnor posting news articles and in this case the first person to have a go at him was probably out of order but when he does add his comments he only serves to show how ignorant he is when it comes to the job of a pilot. The Guvnor is a Walter Mitty who has no credentials. He claims to have degrees and an ATPL but has never provided any evidence to ANYONE of those credentials. He is an unmitigated liar and is also in trouble with various authoritites for his deceptive methods of raising money.
By all means defend him but if you really want to find out about him then contact him, as he says, his email address is published for all to see, just don't give him your address or lend him any money. Should you find yourself out of pocket and have the authorities knocking on your door enquiring why several accounts have been set up with your home address and they would like their money back then you will understand why so many of us have no respect for this over-inflated windbag who lives in a fantasy world.
The Guvnor never has and never will have any aircraft to populate his imaginary airline. He is one of those people you usually see being exposed on those investigative tv programs where they reveal his deceptions. Trouble is he is very elusive.
Because of the type of person he is, his coments only serve to inflame opinion. He pretends to speak from a position of knowledge but in reality it is all fantasy and therefore has no credibility whatsoever. He will of course deny all this and state that he will only reveal his credentials to those who need to know, at the same time attacking me for my anonimity. Fair enough. I need to remain anonymous in order to be able to continue my investigations but there are many of you out there who are not and I challenge you all to ask the Guvnor to provide details (if not actual evidence) of his qualifications and claims to be an experienced Boeing 707 pilot.
Until conmen like the Guvnor are fully exposed as the crooks that they are then I will continue to dig into their backgrounds and reveal what I can so that the rest of you are not hoodwinked by their inordinate ability to make you believe that they are something else. Just because he can post lots of culled news articles, nothing else to do except lurk on here all day, does not mean that those that do not know him have to be kept ignorant of his seedy past.
Gunner b 1 2 would be better off worrying about the likes of the Guvnor who claims to have a degree with a specialist subject covering paedophilia but provides no proof of this qualification and then ask why the South African police are interested in hearing from him reagrding certain allegations covering that subject! This is not bullying, this is exposing the real person from behing the Wlter Mitty smokescreen of someone who has a lot to say but no credibility to back it up. I only mention that because you mention your kids!
May so be that he is just a fake, what do I know. You could be right. I have never met him and I don’t operate in that part of the world. But I must say that your vigilant attitude sounds a bit scary, are you one of those who mount a camera in your car and drive around looking for traffic wrong-doers, just to record their demeanours driving with just as insane speed and manor? Or are you part of the neighbourhood watch perhaps? All this
Until conmen like the Guvnor are fully exposed as the crooks that they are then I will continue to dig into their backgrounds and reveal what I can...
seems a bit out there to me. But hey I could be wrong again!
All I am saying is that in the last few days he has taken beatings for almost anything and in my opinion this was the last drop to fill the bucket.
To straighten out two things in your post, it was not I who wrote I was new to the forum but Gunner. Second, I can assure you that Brenoch isn’t an alias for Guv. You can always ask the administrators for the IP number.
Again Sir Richard is trying to hid his dependency on a lack of competition on the North Atlantic behind allegations of a monopoly of BA. That story is as old as incorrect, first of all the price level ex UK is far higher than these out of continental Europe. Virgin is depending on these (backed by the duopoloy with BA) to cover not only Virgin Atlantic as a whole but the complete Virgin group.
I am not a supporter of BA, but it has to be noted that theier overall share of North Atlantic traffic is somewhere in the 30% which can hardly be desribed as a lack of competition. What Virgin is doing bysically is trying to focus the public attentition on the benefits for the passengers and at the same time trying to avoid a change in this situation because it is their lifeline.
A change of this in the current environement could have crucial consequences as they are depending with 70% of their RPK´s on the USA routes. Percentage of contribution might normally even be higher. So it´s understandable, does not make it better though.
Hmmm, OzDude, or rather Bruce Hobbs - I see you haven't responded to my challenge. Like I said, you lack the cojones.
Incidentally, I'm getting some rather fascinating information out of Australia at the moment. For someone who is seemingly the self-appointed guardian of PPRuNe morals (though I'd like to know who died and made you God!) I understand you have rather a 'history' back home. Did you forget to mention this to your current employer?
[ 18 December 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]
Just a passing point, Sir Richard has dismissed pilots onto the jobless queue. BA for all its sins and press reports has not forced a single pilot leave and will be carrying an over establishment during the summer. When all the PR B@%%&$%t is said and done. I know If I were job hunting in the future, I would be with BA in my sights Warm Seasons greetings to all RGDS Wide