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Old 19th Feb 2009, 15:22
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Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBIA) has today confirmed that bmi mainline is to cease operating the London Heathrow service from 28 March 2009. bmi carried 62,000 departing passengers on their 4 times daily service in 2008 and had in recent months reduced capacity on the route in response to current market conditions.

John Parkin, Chief Executive of Leeds Bradford International Airport commented, “This announcement by bmi mainline is of course disappointing news. We are well aware of the importance to our region of regular air links to London and we expect to be in a position to announce new services to the capital shortly.”

John Parkin continues “Today’s announcement by bmi mainline does not affect the bmi regional base at Leeds Bradford which currently offers 46 flights a week to Brussels, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Plans to expand bmi regional with new routes from LBIA are well advanced and continuing.”
I wonder who they have lurking in the wings to take over!
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 16:26
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Whoever it is, I doubt it will be to LHR...more likely GTW (Jet2) (Flybe)
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 17:33
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I think the rationale for a LGW service is that if your destination is South London, once you have got to King's Cross, your adventure has just begun...
Us who lives in Sarf Lahnden is not all a bunch of hoodies and peeple wiv shotguns who robs post offices !

Some of us are quite posh, living in Peckham with our three-wheeler Reliant Robins
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 17:41
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At least LBA have already lined up replacements, reading between the lines from the MME press release, the powers that be are hoping bmi will one day come back and don't appear to have a plan b at all!

My bet is that LBA will get a flyBE service to LGW to complement their routes to SOU, EXT and BHD whereas we at MME will get zilch!
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 18:31
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I think the rationale for a LGW service is that if your destination is South London, once you have got to King's Cross, your adventure has just begun...
Is true. I live in South London and often make the journey to Leeds often by air, rail and driving. I used to fly from Gatwick when the service existed and ditto Docklands but I tried to avoid Heathrow which is a ghastly place to get to.

South London and the Gatwick hinterland must have a catchment way in excess of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Bristol and they seem to be successful enough.

Now Heathrow is pulled Gatwick and Docklands may well be viable now.
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 21:24
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My bet is that LBA will get a flyBE service to LGW to complement their routes to SOU, EXT and BHD whereas we at MME will get zilch!
Or simply change the current Flybe service from Newcastle to the Capital to NCL-LBA-LGW
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Old 19th Feb 2009, 22:08
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My money

is on them announcing a FRA service to compete with KLM !!
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 01:12
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It's maybe sad but I'm not at all surprised that the LHR will finish.

The fares have never been able to compete with GNER or National Express.

I often wanted to fly down to 'The Row' but I was not prepared to pay the fares British Midland were charging, Even to fly one-way was around
72.00 +

Many 'Moons Ago' I was involved with an Aviation Society at LBA, Our chairman approached British Midland and asked if we could organise a saturday day trip to LHR a 'Spotters special' and get an 'Affordable' price for a group booking.

BD did not show any interest, Nor offer any kind of group booking discount for upto 80 of our members.

What made us 'Laugh' was that the 7.00 am LBA - LHR (DC9) service was not even half-full on an average saturday morning.

BD could have easily 'Accomodated' us in those empty seats!!

But that's the attitude (Or was) the attitude at BD!!

Will I miss the service = NO.

The chances of LHR returning = Not a chance.

LGW could be an option for Jet 2 or Flybe?
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 16:37
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No No not Jet 2 on the LHR route this is getting rather boring, get VLM or somebody else, need some competition from LBA!!!

L
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 20:07
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Was it Norwegian franchise Sun-express??
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 20:16
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Btw I've posted a few nostalgic pics from lba here.....

Flickr: mds810's Photostream

Many thanks in advance if you have time to view them
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Old 20th Feb 2009, 20:39
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Originally Posted by runway west
Was it Norwegian franchise Sun-express??
You mean Danish franchisee Sun-Air? On a UK domestic? No, assuredly not.
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Old 21st Feb 2009, 09:54
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CityFlyer did lease a Sun-Air of Scandinavia J41 to operate Leeds-Gatwick for about two months before they pulled off the route (1998, I think). When BRAL restarted the route some time later (around 2002-3) then they operated it with a J41 as well. So yes, you could have seen two different J41 operators on the route at different times.
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Old 21st Feb 2009, 16:21
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I hope Flybe send an ERJ195 down to LBA to do the LGW route!, Also I hope they still maintain Services 4 times a day still.
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Old 21st Feb 2009, 21:37
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Hope, thats the best people can expect nowadays
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Old 24th Feb 2009, 11:20
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LBA-LGW service

Anybody remember Genair flying Shorts 330,s ? I flew with them on a day trip in the 70,s.I also remember BEA/BA flying Viscounts on the LBA-LHR service in the 60,s
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Old 25th Feb 2009, 12:25
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interliners?

the sixties were BKS days, it may be hard to believe but the Heathrow service was almost hourly, with 12 or more on weekdays!
We had Metropolitan, Genair and Capital operating sheds on the Gatwick. In fact Genair routed MME-LBA-LGW for some of the time. My recollection was that the services were well supported, so well so that weight and hold restrictions often became a problem.
As with Heathrow, most pax were interliners, my guess would be 90% minimum. So competition, wasnt with the railways as previous posters have suggested, as pax were using the service for onward travel around the globe. The main problem for the operators was not the lack of pax, but low revenues, because they only got a small share of the through fare to Timbuktu etc.
It seems strange that as BMI has greatly expanded their Heathrow services in recent years, (ie they can now feed more pax from LBA onto their onward flights), they decide to stop the service. However two things have operated to the detriment of the service. Firstly, the astounding growth at that airstrip on the wrong side of the Pennines whose name escapes me, (although you do seem to pay a premium to fly from there--as opposed to LHR/LGW). And secondly, there has even been some growth at LBA, making it easier to get around Europe and interline at more places.
But the demise of the CPH service is doubly bad news, (it had few pax in the Air UK days). I remember using the Brown Air Gulfstream 1 to FRA via HUYie, (also not well supported then), but hopefully, as suggested earlier, this may be a new destination for BM. It may seem to be logical, to their main hub, but why start another feeder service, having just dropped one to a major hub, in this economic climate and with slots hard to come by.... I wouldnt bank on it at all!
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Old 25th Feb 2009, 13:33
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I remember the BKS days and HS748´s departing for Heathrow, Amsterdam and Belfast but never hourly to Heathrow, though I recall a press release stating how successful the route was and the hope then was for an hourly service! On one occasion and only my second flight ever at that point I booked a return to Heathrow for 6 GBP´s as I was under 21. To my delight it turned out to be a Viscount on lease from Channel Airways.
On another trip back from London the flight almost landed at Yeadon, but due to severe crosswinds we aborted landing and headed for Manchester!
My earliest recollections were Dakotas heading out over Guiseley for London so the Leeds London route has some history so sad to see it apparently ending. Hopefully a Flybe service to Gatwick might start.
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Old 25th Feb 2009, 14:13
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The BKS days at LBA were good, but never 12 a day to LHR, unless you are doing the Ryanair trick of counting the inbound and outbound - there might have been 6 return flights at some stage but most of the time it was 4 or 5.
The memory of BEA Viscounts was that BKS used them for a couple of rotations a day for perhaps a year before they got their own Viscounts. The Heathrow based BEA pilots were very wary of flying into Leeds and diverted if there was anything approaching low cloud or a cross wind
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Old 25th Feb 2009, 15:09
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Remember BKS and their Viscounts very well....first flew on one from LHR to Leeds in late 1967 whilst the present terminal was under construction...(only a nipper then) They were replace on the run by Northeast who I used in 1972 when, again due to weather fog i think, we divereted to Teeside (as it was then called) and bussed down to LBA......Ah happy days eh
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