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Old 31st Mar 2018, 11:39
  #261 (permalink)  
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As I fly regularly from VLC to the UK to connect onward to Asia, BA's product out of LGW is far superior to their product on the MAD/LHR route.

Their 7 rows of C are usually full, their staff are far more customer centred, and you get a three course meal, with choice of HOT main course, plus cheese and biscuits. Perhaps all these factors show why BA performs well out of LGW. My only grouse is that you have to wait until 7.00am for the first class lounge to open....but again the C class lounge is far superior to the one at LHR.
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Old 1st Apr 2018, 09:02
  #262 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by vectisman View Post
To be fair Stephenjclark50 your examples apply to a very small minority of passengers.
Yes, but high yielding ones!

You don't pay to go in First to get messed about and this sort of thing may encourage high yield passengers to look at alternatives if any are available.
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Old 1st Apr 2018, 15:49
  #263 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FFHKG View Post
My only grouse is that you have to wait until 7.00am for the first class lounge to open....but again the C class lounge is far superior to the one at LHR.
For the last few weeks the first class lounge has been opening earlier, albeit with a reduced service. I had a self service breakfast in there a couple of weeks ago as a guest of a colleague who has executive gold membership.
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 10:58
  #264 (permalink)  
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I don't recall seeing it mentioned here (apologies if I've missed it) but Easyjet to move some Gatwick-Berlin flights from Schoenefeld to Tegel from 02-May
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Old 7th Apr 2018, 19:36
  #265 (permalink)  
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ATC closing down tonight for a few hours due to staff shortages/sickness.

No planes.
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Old 7th Apr 2018, 19:53
  #266 (permalink)  
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Only one controller on duty no one wants the overtime on a saturday night.Unprecendented,and airfield already previously declared unavailable for diversions due to the new strip system.The UK airport system in crisis! Best carry extra fuel overnight Guys!
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Old 8th Apr 2018, 07:56
  #267 (permalink)  
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Would this have happened under NATS?
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Old 8th Apr 2018, 09:10
  #268 (permalink)  
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No it wouldn’t! Only one NATS “loanee” Atco left, not enough valid replacements, influx of DFS non-valid Watch Managers therefore reducing contingency. Rumour is that ANS thankful they can hide behind TC EFPS intro flow constraints. Wonder if GAL ever wonder if their ATC contract award has worked out?
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Old 9th Apr 2018, 15:25
  #269 (permalink)  
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Discussed in more detail on the ATC forum, but if just two staff off sick causes a degraded operation at the UK's second busiest airport, including enforced diversions, it should surely come to the close attention of the CAA and the Department of Transport.

Air traffic controller sickness forces Gatwick Airport runway to close - BBC News

It's notable this sort of thing always happens at weekends when there is no management around and nobody else is allowed to make decisions about aything that costs.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 14:46
  #270 (permalink)  
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The topic already got a mention in the rather opaque CAA Board Minutes in January


...,66. Mr Swan briefed the Board on ongoing discussions with ANSL about Gatwick staffing for summer 2018, including proposals submitted to the CAA for review. The Chair noted that the lessons learnt by the CAA in its engagement with ATM providers at one airport should be used to support future decision-making.
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Old 10th Apr 2018, 15:01
  #271 (permalink)  
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And Air Traffic Management reports

Gatwick controller shortages force runway closure ? despite £60,000 ?golden handcuffs? | Air Traffic Management | Air Traffic Management - ATM and CMS Industry online, the latest air traffic control industry, CAA, ANSP, SESAR and NEXTGEN news, events

"...Ian Thompson, a leading air traffic management industry expert and regular contributor to Air Traffic Management magazine, warns however that the business providing the airport’s air traffic control will need to recruit and retain the necessary number of expert controller staff if airport operations are not to be jeopardised again especially over the busy summer period. Gatwick Airport awarded its air traffic control to Air Navigation Solutions (ANSL) on 1 March 2016, the British subsidiary of Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), the business responsible for German air traffic control. UK provider NATS which had up until that time provided air traffic control lost out on the tender.
Thompson, in a recent academic paper on the commercialisation of air traffic control services, said he suspects that ANS won the contract by fielding the lowest cost offer. Indeed, in a legal challenge NATS claimed that its rival DFS submitted a tender price that was abnormally low and based on employing 33 controllers whereas NATS reckoned 35 would be needed.
After ANSL won the contract, around one third of Gatwick controllers actually opted to remain with NATS, rather than transfer to ANSL so UK air traffic control ended up providing staff on secondment for two years to ease the handover between the two businesses.
Last year, a study commissioned by the UK civil aviation regulator reviewed the transition of air traffic control at both Birmingham and Gatwick airports from the incumbent NATS to alternative providers.
It found that ANSL had made overly optimistic assumptions about both the time needed to replace the NATS controllers following their two-year secondment and the ability to recruit high calibre controllers from similarly complex locations such as Brussels and Dubai.
Thompson said the review also concluded that the ANSL transition plan neither took sufficient account of the complexity of Gatwick operations which limits training capacity, nor did it reflect the length of training needed or the industry standard failure rate of 30 per cent.
“In a further complication, some [NATS] secondees sought to take breaks from delivering on-the-job training or refused to provide it, which is common in other [NATS] locations,” said Thompson.
Since the transfer of services to ANSL up to 12 per cent (seven staff) of the total workforce has resigned to work elsewhere – when one would usually expect the loss of only one employee.
With the secondment agreement concluding in February this year, Thompson judges that Gatwick will be significantly below its operational requirement for air traffic controllers and that any staff shortages could have a significant impact as traffic increases during the summer.
“To address this shortfall, [controller union] Prospect has been in negotiations with ANSL about introducing revised working practices and increased remuneration to enhance recruitment and retention,” reports Thompson.
To tackle the staffing issues, ANSL has offered controllers retention payments or ‘golden handcuffs’ of £60,000, payable over three years, additional basic salary incentives and has matched the attractive work hours, annual leave and pension benefits offered by NATS "
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Old 29th Apr 2018, 10:49
  #272 (permalink)  
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Is Norwegian going 3 daily to JFK from October? If they are, it is little wonder IAG is thinking about buying them, Norwegian must be causing some concerns to the big guys and their very cosy set up. Keep as much long haul through Lhr as possible and keep the fares higher. Let the consumer pay.

One thing this has shown, there is demand for long haul out of Lgw in spite of what we have been told over the years.
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Old 29th Apr 2018, 14:40
  #273 (permalink)  
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I’d be concerned too if my competition was flying empty aircraft at below cost and killing yields for me too. It’s insane to throw even more capacity at a (likely) loss making route as one enters the NORTH ATLANTIC WINTER. In a price sensitive market they can’t even fill what they’re offering now!

Btw no one is claiming there is no demand for long haul at Gatwick. However being so close to Heathrow means Gatwick suffers bleed of market share. LHR and LGW do not operate in isolation. Given the “big boys” already have to offer good value down the back on LHR-JFK given the glut of frequency to support the business traveller, I would suggest trying to beat that on price without a C/J class to cross subsidise, is commercial suicide.

One of the biggest complaints on the MAN thread is BA MAN-LHR-JFK flights are too cheap because they offer “too many flights” and MAN direct to US suffers from capacity dumping by LHR!
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Old 29th Apr 2018, 19:23
  #274 (permalink)  
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Of course by the beginning od the Winter2018/2019 season Norwegian may well have been bought by IAG. They certainly will not be allowing a 3 times daily Gatwick-New York service in winter. Utter madness!!!
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Old 29th Apr 2018, 19:31
  #275 (permalink)  
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Alternatively Norwegian are making their own higher yielding premium offer more attractive by adding frequency potentially poaching more price-sensitive business pax from rivals
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Old 29th Apr 2018, 20:13
  #276 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AirportPlanner1 View Post
Alternatively Norwegian are making their own higher yielding premium offer more attractive by adding frequency potentially poaching more price-sensitive business pax from rivals

That's the problem, DI are not making money.Price sensitive business class tends to stay with their alliance parntners and upgrade to PE or business using points, not something DI can offer. The non frequent very price conscious long haul business traveller is not someone airlines usually chase.
Add all the capacity in the world you like, they are still building market share and losing money. The classic examples of this are People Express who went bust flying 747s at rock bottom fares as American hoovered up the business class travellers, or Pan Am who couldn't keep up with the premium offering from BA and ended up competing for the bucket Y fares BA didn't need. Norwegian have done amazingly well at growing the market by flying people at a loss, so good for Gatwick Airport and the consumer. I myself are flying with them in Sep to experience this for myself, I would love them to succeed, but the current strategy is a balloon ready to go pop IMHO.
3 x daily LGW-JFK is going to be taken up by price sensitve travellers, and the company cannot make money on that, especially not in winter. So another huge loss next year? Their EBITDA is concerning to say the least.

Last edited by Skipness One Echo; 30th Apr 2018 at 10:07.
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 08:09
  #277 (permalink)  
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But what are Norwegian to do - their aircraft are I presume leased with relatively high payments. If they do not operate at all the position is even more dire - they cannot afford to keep them on the ground perhaps.

Last edited by 22/04; 30th Apr 2018 at 08:57. Reason: spelling
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 08:39
  #278 (permalink)  
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22/04 you’ve hit the nail on the head. They have to keep expanding because the entire airline is a Ponzi scheme. They are paying for today’s flying ops with forward bookings and revenue from that. This has to continue until unit revenue exceeds unit cost and we know that isn’t happening any time soon. The issue is that if they stop expanding the wheels come off.

They are trying every creative accounting trick in the book to massage figures and not breach their banking covenants, however it’s surely only a matter of time.
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 09:38
  #279 (permalink)  
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There was a good full page article in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Well worth a read.
Reading between the lines it doesn’t look to rosy for Norwegian in its current state.
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Old 30th Apr 2018, 09:44
  #280 (permalink)  
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I know this is the Gatwick thread and I’m not against Gatwick in any way so please don’t bit me.

I think Norwegian would do well not over filling LGW with more flights but launching a daily STN and LTN to JFK and LAX, this would serve the passengers who have to drive past both STN and LTN to get to LHR and LGW to fly with a multitude of airlines across the pond.
because in truth I would pay BA and VS prices to fly on Norwegian if it saves me going on the M25 having driven past STN and I’m sure 1000’sof passengers a day feel the same way.
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