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Old 8th Nov 2008, 13:03
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Manchester
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LHR Flights

Well I know I was tired, but I didn't think I'd slept through to April 1st until I read this thread.

Banning LHR flights is entirely impractical, so if there is any truth at all in this proposal I hope it is no more than a PR stunt. With flights to LHR unavailable, the majority of passengers using those services would be lost to MAN completely. Some would reroute via other hubs, yes, but many others would use surface transport to London instead (and I would expect an upsurge in alternative rail/coach/limo services if this market was abandoned by MAplc). Many passengers using LHR flights are actually traveling into (and not beyond) London anyway. They would in most cases be lost completely; customers choose their London gateway based upon which part of the city they wish to visit (LCY and STN are not great for West London etc.). And Gatwick is great for Brighton and the South Coast! Or perhaps they suggest banning LGW flights too - they are currently operated by British Airways?

As another poster has said, this idea smacks of cutting off the nose to spite the face. If MAplc are genuinely considering this, then step back quickly - these are tough times as it is. Such a plan has the makings of the biggest howler since MA refused to negotiate with no-frills carriers some ten years ago. "It takes two to tango," said one no-frills boss back then. MAN has never recovered from the hubris-laden idiocy of the era when MAplc's marketing department shunned the no-frills carriers; its been a sad effort at catch-up ever since. So no more picking and choosing which carriers you would like to exclude right now, please. MAN needs all the traffic it can get, and the region will suffer economically if we don't back our existing business partners 100%.

As an aside, if MAplc were to seek some sort of "retaliation" against BMI, would there not be the small matter of counter-retaliation regarding upto five based BMI Baby B733's and the BMI Regional operation? Or is there bad news coming from them too under the new ownership? Just a thought ...

Let's all be careful what we wish for. My own earlier posting regarding BA Shuttles was a plea to BA to return to the values of good service and reliability which they once offered. I want an enhanced service which I can trust, not a withdrawn one. Perhaps MAplc and BA could put that on their agendas in place of "retaliation." An empty airport won't help any of us.

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Old 8th Nov 2008, 13:29
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2008
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What's your point?

Shed on a Pole expressed my point perfectly. If there are no direct Long Haul services from MAN, people will have to find their way to airports from where they CAN get these Long Haul flights. Whether they chose to drive/train to Heathrow or fly to AMS/CDG, they will do so.

By cutting the BA shuttle flights, MAG will be driving BA customers out of their beloved shops in the terminals and into trains and car to LHR or LGW.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 13:42
  #23 (permalink)  
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...or get them flying on anyone else but BA/BMI, and there are lots of other options ex MAN - AF/KL/LH/QR/EK/SQ/AA/DL/TK to name a few who can provide as many connections as LHR.

Not may northern folk are that loyal to BA, and wont mind connecting elsewhere should it be more convienient than the train / car to London to get on the UK maybe not so many air passengers would be actually be lost, and the carriers that remain at MAN would gain reward in extra revenue by filling all their seats, at BA/BMI's expense. As someone said in a previous post that would be a serious body blow to BMI, but more so BA.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 14:19
  #24 (permalink)  
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You would be surprised eggc, a lot of Northern folk are very loyal to BA!

3 Million passengers on the Shuttles from Manchester? Half it and take some off again. In 2007 a total of 1,383,380 (1,558,884 in 2006) scheduled passengers travelled between Manchester and London (Gatwick and Heathrow). The figure for 2008 is expected to decrease further finishing at about 1,250,000 at the year end for both routes. So the two routes will have lost 300,00 passengers since January 2006

Last edited by Ametyst1; 8th Nov 2008 at 14:37.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 15:35
  #25 (permalink)  
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Dear Turkeys - Don't Vote for an Early Christmas!


Let's all stick with the real world here. I'm sure some folks would dearly love the joy of shouting "Shove your flights!" to BA and BMI ... for about a day. Oh, the relief of all that anger and frustration. But then there would just be the small matters of reality and consequences to deal with.

If MAplc were to "retaliate" against BMI, what that actually means today is hacking off their new owners Lufthansa (a key Manchester partner) and by extension souring relations with Star Alliance. BMI Group itself remains a large operator at MAN (for now) even stripped of the long-hauls. The Star Alliance group of companies is one of MAN's best remaining avenues for successful growth going forward; how great an idea would it be declare hostilities against them now? Even BA/Oneworld still have some presence at MAN which the airport would be well advised to nurture. Short-term revenge measures will scupper any prospects for long-term business development with these partners in the future.

MAN needs to woo the remaining big players in our great industry. Groups such as Star Alliance must have the assurance that MAplc is a competent and professional partner upon which they can rely for support of their business. Then we may see growth initiatives in the future when economic conditions improve. If MAplc were now to make the mistake of throwing tantrums with their customers, years of goodwill and respect for the airport amongst airline professionals would be forfeited. I assure you that if MAplc chose to take on the Alliances in an adversarial stance, the airport would not emerge a long-term winner. MAN needs their business.

MAN has never fully recovered from the calamity ten years ago when they considered themselves too grand to work with no-frills carriers. If these rumours about London flight bans have any truth to them, then a mistake of similar magnitude is brewing now.

To the industry professionals: stop and THINK. To those who seek "retaliation": be careful what you wish for - you might get it. To the "chuck 'em out" cheerleaders: grow up - alot of good folks livelihoods are sacrificed based on crusades like this.

How about some constructive thinking instead? Lufthansa-backed BMI has decided that the A332's are needed at LHR. Sad, but tough. It's happened. But Lufthansa also own Swiss and a large slice of Brussels Airlines. Perhaps MAplc should make a case for a BRU-MAN-ORD service, or a ZRH-MAN-LAS service in the future? If Lufthansa buy into SAS, further opportunities could be proposed. Impress Lufthansa and Star Alliance with positive ideas for mutual benefit, not a knife in the back.

Cheers, SHED.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 16:01
  #26 (permalink)  
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...or get them flying on anyone else but BA/BMI, and there are lots of other options ex MAN - AF/KL/LH
What possible grounds could there be to refuse to let BA/BMI route pax via their hubs, but permit AF/KL/LH to do the same? Absolutely none. The proposal is completely illegal and will never happen.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 16:55
  #27 (permalink)  
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OK this has to stop. It's time to be grown up and get some perspective. I don't think for a moment there is substantial truth in the original post of throwing the toys from the pram. However all this talk of BMI Shuttles and BA and BMI being "national carriers" simply shows how little posters know of the airline business.
I genuinely think this thread has gone a little bit mental, in that some people show signs of having a greviance driven agenda.
It's just comedy now to suggest that we're going to have a Northern uprising. Really silly post.

Perhaps MAplc should make a case for a BRU-MAN-ORD service, or a ZRH-MAN-LAS
Incidentally is there a single legacy carrier in Europe who does long haul routing like this? Do the Belgians and the Swiss somehow not mind having to stop on the way but God forbid Mancunians change at Heathrow?
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 17:10
  #28 (permalink)  
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I can fly MAN-AMS-JKF or MAN-CDG-JFK cheaper than MAN-JFK with BA.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 17:20
  #29 (permalink)  
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Skipness -

Your question is a reasonable one. The regulatory environment which would permit this kind of operation is relatively new. I suggested a route such as ZRH-MAN-LAS to illustrate a service which may not be considered attractive or viable from either city in isolation. I am sure that the Swiss would not appreciate calling in at MAN on the way to JFK, for example, but en route to Las Vegas the alternative is likely to be no service at all. Note that I did not suggest making a case for FRA-MAN-JFK ! With respect to the BRU example, I accept that the airport would likely support more than one daily frequency; the example shows how an additional service can be accommodated to the benefit of both cities and the airline operator alike.

My point is that applying the grey matter to potentially positive solutions is better than calls for retaliation and bans on certain carriers. I don't want to see a "grievance driven agenda" any more than you.

Cheers, SHED.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 17:24
  #30 (permalink)  
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Yes lateral thinking is a good plan in these tough days. Even LHR is not immune as NWA are suspending SEA-LHR, the third open skies route to fall after DEN-LHR on United and LHR-LAX on Air France.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 20:15
  #31 (permalink)  
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Ls S09

LS will base 4x752s and 2x733s at MAN this summer - confirmed.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 21:59
  #32 (permalink)  
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Skipness can I ask you a question?

On the Manchester 6 thread more than once you said if the BA route to JFK was viable why hadn't BMI or Virgin stepped in to operate.

Then when it was suggested on the BMI thread that VS may take over the LAS service when BD leave, you say they dont have the aircraft available.

Isnt that contradictory? Or have I missed something?
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 22:11
  #33 (permalink)  
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JFK needs a daily service with a good business offering.
LAS is a leisure route, and is operated from LGW by the same "beach fleet" of B747-400s that operate the current MAN-MCO and BGI. So MAN-LAS would be a good fit for the current model, not sure if the B744 is too big though. I don't see it as daily though. The LAS market is there and has no competition.

JFK is a different animal, up against CO and DL they'd have to run daily. The 744 is I think too big, as is the A346 which leave the A343.

Virgin actually said they'd fly GLA-JFK if BA ever left. ( Virgin say a lot ). Until the 787s arrive, they are focused on LHR. Hope that makes sense.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 22:15
  #34 (permalink)  
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Does LH operate to ORD ex-DUS? If they don't I wonder how feasible it would be for a DUS-MAN-ORD run with 1 less local DUS-MAN service. Two secondary markets linked to a hub, with the prospect of delinking them in the future.

Back in the 1980s, BR and SN though it worthwhile to combine service into a BRU-LGW-ATL service, and in the 1990s when BA talked to KL and SN, part of the plan was for MAN to be used for transatlantic.
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Old 8th Nov 2008, 22:31
  #35 (permalink)  
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LH do fly DUS to ORD, MIA & EWR all on 343's.
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Old 9th Nov 2008, 07:37
  #36 (permalink)  
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Just looking at the loads on the BMI longhauls for the last 7 days, i know theres a lot about yields but look at the loads.

There is not one flight that has departed with a figure less than 196 and the top fig is 206, which doesn't seem bad to me on a 218 seater.

Thats an awful lot of people to be travelling on the "shuttles" everyday.

I suspect that AA will benefit greatly on the Ord service and with these figures it will be sold out everyday there appears to be double the pax wishing to travel over the current AA 767 on this route.
Virgin will be looking at the Las/Bgi flights as about 80% of the bags are labelled Virgin holidays.

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Old 9th Nov 2008, 08:31
  #37 (permalink)  
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Thank you Skipness makes perfect sense.
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Old 9th Nov 2008, 08:38
  #38 (permalink)  
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Virgin Holidays

The withdrawl of the BMI long-haul flights (except ORD) has left Virgin Holidays with a problem, as they were a major factor on the services operating in the first place - 80% as quoted by zfw.

It wouldn't surpise me to see a leased aircraft arrive next year to fill the gap. As Skipness said the B744 is too big, and they probably don't have the spare capacity. A few years ago didn't VS operate a MPH B763 on the MCO run for a few months? A leased B763 would do nicely for LAS and the Carribean routes. I remember how hard Virgin Holidays fought the Airline to introduce the MCO flight, so I don't think all is lost yet.

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Old 9th Nov 2008, 09:01
  #39 (permalink)  
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We have got ever so slightly off track here and once again degenerated into a debate about BA !

Surely BA (..and to a lesser extent BMI), cannot be blamed for centralising on Heathrow , it is a cash cow, a simple case of economics and there are now at least a sprinkling of other options to avoid BA if you so wish.

Criticism is however totally justified when one considers the numerous number of licence objections that BA objected to in the 70s,80s, 90s. Whilst it “might” seem ridiculous to be looking that far back, it could be argued that that preventing the free market from operating at that time has led to the dominance of Heathrow now ! We will never know.

If this rumour is true and I suspect as I indicated that it is just spin, it does raise a number of other questions. Is the airport now desparate and belatedly embarking on a new strategy which is more about raising the profile of the debate on a 3rd runway at Heathrow, this would play well into that argument that Manchester maybe more than other airports has much more to lose.

A few years back Manchester saw itself as best placed to exploit the demand for any “additional” expansion of service out the South East, by exploiting both its own demand AND also some of that which that originated in the regions,with changes in aircraft technology and airline strategy we now have seen a remarkable shift, as well as the increase in European feed we now even have regional long haul hubbing from airports such as Bristol to Newark and even Newcastle to Dubai. Who could have predicted that a few years back ?

In effect CO and EK have changed the rules of the game. The re-distribution of market share and the dynamics of the market have changed.

That leaves Manchester with a problem, they invested very heavily in a second runway before these dynamics came into play, at a time when they saw themselves rightly or wrongly as the only major player outside of the South East. When capacity was at some stage almost certainly going to reach saturation Manchester felt that it would finally reach full potential.
There is little doubt therefore that the airport management are very worried indeed, Manchester appears to have suffered more proportionally in the current downturn than other UK airports, but not only have they seen a decline of numbers they are witnessing a major shift of strategy, whereas pax at say Birmingham might ebb and flo based on the economy, the decline of traffic at Manchester is more fundamental. With the introduction of the BMI network they at last saw a major challenge to BAs dominance and an opportunity to partner with an airline that would eventually expand and create a major worldwide network from the North of England, that has now evaporated !

If this rumour is true a ”possible threat” to potentially cut off the 3m pax from Manchester who are currently contributing to demands for additional capacity at Heathrow , “might “in the eyes of the airport management ( and I only say “might”), play well with regional MPS and the media in the same way that forces were mobilised in the 80s, when the airport was fighting for access by SIA and AA and latterly the expansion of Stansted.
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Old 9th Nov 2008, 09:51
  #40 (permalink)  
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Although Virgin's existing aircraft fleet is heavily committed, there would be every possibility of it cutting back MAN/MCO slightly (from 9 per week to 7) and freeing up a couple of days per week to take over MAN/LAS. Although the aircraft may be much larger than bmi's A330, it has to be remembered that Virgin Holidays makes a substantial profit out of the sale of the holiday package as a whole, rather than just the flight out of which bmi had to make a living.
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