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Old 4th Feb 2013, 16:50
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Shuttle A320's

Am I reading too much into this, but does the increased use of A320 lately point to more sales, or is it a case of just use the next A319/320 cab off the rank?
Remaining optimistic - and hoping the price slips to somewhere nearer competitive with NE Rail...
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Old 4th Feb 2013, 17:46
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PIA 777

From the 13 March it shows a 777-2 on the PIA booking page to Leeds
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Old 4th Feb 2013, 19:15
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Will be lots of leg room on a half empty 777 !
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Old 5th Feb 2013, 23:15
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Yep indeed, PK management from Bradford sent email around today confirming fleet change.

Its apparently been introduced along with the recent fare changes on the MAN/LBA-ISB route to counter PA competition.

How much it actually succeeds is anybody's guess.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 16:19
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Yet more good news as it looks like Austrian Airlines are returning to Leeds/Bradford next winter operating a once weekly Saturday service to Innsbruck as from Dec 21st 2013 until April 5th 2014 for Inghams Holidays.

Inghams launch new ski holiday options, direct from Leeds Bradford Airport
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 17:55
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Well it has just been officially announced and confirmed on the routes news website that PIA are upgrading the 2x weekly Islamabad - Leeds/Bradford flights from the current Airbus A310 operation to Boeing 777-200's as from Wednesday, March 13th 2013.

Routes News - Pakistan International Airlines to introduce B777 on Leeds
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 18:16
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Perhaps it will go via MAN or BHX to pick up passengers or even tech stop for fuel.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 18:24
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Smile

Tonights flight on the A310 has no economy seats and only 4 business seats available outbound according to the booking engine so maybe the bigger aircraft is justified.
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 21:48
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PIA777-200 is a direct flight from Leeds to Islamabad!!
no tech stops or going to man or birm first!!!
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Old 6th Feb 2013, 23:35
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I'm told the upguage has 6 months to prove its worth and whether it can justify the draw down from MAN.

I guess we'll reconvene in September to see whether it's worked out or not. If it hasn't, it'll be a case of shut up shop and consolidate back to MAN.

Rgds

Last edited by StoneyBridge Radar; 6th Feb 2013 at 23:36.
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Old 7th Feb 2013, 12:31
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Well that's about 5 months longer than Monarch gave the Grenoble flights this year! Hope it sticks around for everybody's sake.
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Old 7th Feb 2013, 14:28
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Well if it doesn't work out and they do pull back to MAN the Bradford travel agent will not be a happy bunny. I suppose he could always give Shaheen a call as they now have some A330s or even see if Jet2 could pick up the route , there has been rumors of them getting some 767s. They could always test the route with a 757 with a tech stop if required.
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Old 10th Feb 2013, 11:27
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The runway is pretty short - will be interesting to see if the 777 can manage it.

I don't see why it's still 2x weekly - surely the flights are filling up on the A310?
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Old 10th Feb 2013, 11:35
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without looking at the timetable but going off the CAA's stats, at 2 weekly they appear to be carrying around 150 or so passengers per flight. Suitable for airblue's A319s/A321s but doing a tech-stop in Istanbul like they used to with their MAN flights.
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Old 10th Feb 2013, 15:24
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The 777 can easily manage it, especially as from a pax view, will be half empty !
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Old 10th Feb 2013, 17:44
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Whilst I wish LBA the best of luck with the 777 operation, I can't help thinking will PIA make any money out of this operation. We know that the airline is govt funded, but surely there are bean counters who will one day say 'enough is enough' if this aircraft is allowed to run half empty.

Having flown PIA many times I found that very few Europeans travel to Pakistan purely because of the problems there. Hardly a tourist hot spot unlike India. Even if PIA were to organise an aggressive marketing campaign for the route all it will do is water down the MAN-ISB route.
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Old 10th Feb 2013, 17:56
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I think PIA's concern is that they are suffering significant leakage to airblue and their revamped product. This is why they are upgrading the equipment. There is no doubt that there are more than enough potential passengers on this side of the Pennines to make the service work, if they can keep hold of them.

It is a bit of a problem for them, bacause if they do "retrench to Manchester", they will lose their USP, and airblue will quite likely pick up even more.

@ planeaddict

I like your idea that they would send an aircraft over unsure as to whether it could land or not!!

Last edited by BKS Air Transport; 10th Feb 2013 at 18:02.
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Old 10th Feb 2013, 18:27
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"This is why they are upgrading the equipment"
PK don't really think like that. Within the airline there are all sorts of aircraft shortages and A310's to be upgraded or withdrawn. This is a damage limitation measure and will last less than 6 months at most, I feel.
Haven't heard anymore about a rumoured resumption of GLA which is where I thought an extra A310 might have gone.
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Old 10th Feb 2013, 20:01
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An AirBlue A321 would be the perfect aircraft for LBA, even if it did entail a fuelling stop in SAW.

Rgds
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Old 11th Feb 2013, 21:49
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MAN will be rolling out an ad campaign in the LBA catchment this week. The theme will be "your global airport - 56 miles away" and will market; long haul flights such as New York. It will be a counter to the big sales push LBA / BA are making within the trade to get people on LBA -LHR - US. Passengers from the LBA catchment make up between 30 - 40% on MAN - US so it will be an interesting battle for Summer.
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