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Gatwick-2

Old 4th May 2020, 00:59
  #801 (permalink)  
 
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Frankly all of that announcement was part of project fear against the workforce, the actual memo said the company couldn’t be sure when it would reopen, the BBC twisted it for a headline. There are (as of yet) no internal memos suggesting Gatwick will close. As a worried Gatwick pilot myself I’ve been utilising my Balpa contacts who have their ear to the ground. Flight Ops are still planning for a reopening of Gatwick and the Fleet Trainers Meetings are also taking this into account with organising the rebuild. It is definitely earmarked to be downsized though (various different rumours of how much), naturally, as they will need some of the aircraft up in Heathrow to slot sit.
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Old 4th May 2020, 07:19
  #802 (permalink)  
 
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BA will never close LGW, they have made that mistake before. I don't expect them to give up a single slot at LGW. Aside from anything, the leisure market that is served from Gatwick is expected to rebound far quicker than the business market up at LHR.

Gatwick may suffer losses in the form of long haul airlines such as the Chinese airlines, and possibly some other smaller European carriers like TAP, Ukraine etc, who may end up getting (more) slots into LHR on the back of this pandemic, but the bread and butter of low cost/leisure travel will be back up to peak capacity within 2-3 years. BA are fully aware of that.
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Old 4th May 2020, 08:54
  #803 (permalink)  
 
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I don't expect them (BA) to give up a single slot at LGW.
I'd beg to differ. Whilst I would be surprised to see a complete pull out from LGW, there's no doubting BA will have to resize and restructure their network. Apply that same quote to LHR and would be in full agreement I'm sure with many others.

If that means they move the likes of Bordeaux, Seville, Verona or on long-haul Orlando, Antigua etc. as well as consolidate others (ie FCO, NCE) at LHR to maintain slot position there, I'm sure they'd do so. They have to protect their slot portfolio at LHR, there's virtually no doubt of that.
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Old 4th May 2020, 09:58
  #804 (permalink)  
 
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There seems to be some misunderstanding of the leisure market in that at least one post seems to suggest that there is little leisure traffic at Heathrow. This is not the case and I’m sure someone on here can give us the LHR business/leisure split.
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Old 4th May 2020, 10:06
  #805 (permalink)  
 
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In any case isn’t the sole reason there is ‘little’ leisure traffic (bucket & spade) at LHR because there has been no space for it? If the likes of Orlando were served from LHR or airlines like TUI based there I’m in no doubt they would be packed to the rafters.
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Old 4th May 2020, 10:32
  #806 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by willy wombat View Post
There seems to be some misunderstanding of the leisure market in that at least one post seems to suggest that there is little leisure traffic at Heathrow. This is not the case and I’m sure someone on here can give us the LHR business/leisure split.
I’m not sure anyone is ignorant enough to believe there isn’t a leisure market at LHR. But the market that BA are targeting at LGW is almost entirely leisure based - and this is the sector expected to rebound the quickest. Will BA/IAG need 14 daily flights from LHR-NYC in the next couple of years? Probably not.

Originally Posted by FRatSTN View Post
I'd beg to differ. Whilst I would be surprised to see a complete pull out from LGW, there's no doubting BA will have to resize and restructure their network. Apply that same quote to LHR and would be in full agreement I'm sure with many others.

If that means they move the likes of Bordeaux, Seville, Verona or on long-haul Orlando, Antigua etc. as well as consolidate others (ie FCO, NCE) at LHR to maintain slot position there, I'm sure they'd do so. They have to protect their slot portfolio at LHR, there's virtually no doubt of that.
Assuming the 80% slot rule is reinstated - chances are it won’t be in the near future anyway - if BA plans to have 80% of its pre-covid schedule back by the new year, it wouldn’t have to lose a single slot in either LHR or LGW. Any excesses can be leased to other airlines - Vueling for example.

An airline obsessed with crushing competition, there’s no way that BA will give up any slots at either of these airports.
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Old 4th May 2020, 12:01
  #807 (permalink)  
 
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Will BA/IAG need 14 daily flights from LHR-NYC in the next couple of years? Probably not.
Even if not, they can still use the slot for another destination, different flight number, aircraft type potentially if they wanted to. A slot, put simply, is effectively a landing/take-off 'space' on the runway as part of the airport's declared capacity. They could still in theory cut a NYC flight and use the slot for MCO, for example.

if BA plans to have 80% of its pre-covid schedule back by the new year, it wouldn’t have to lose a single slot in either LHR or LGW.
It doesn't quite work like that, unless I'm misunderstanding your point? The 80/20 rule applies to specific slots, not the entirety of an airline's schedule. For instance lets say BA operates LHR-AMS twice a day on BA123 and BA456. If they failed to operate more than 20% of the BA123 flights across the season, they'd lose historic rights to that slot only. The BA456 would be unaffected.

Also the 80/20 rule is only, at this stage, waived for S20. Currently the W20 slot submissions, which airlines are compiling at the moment, are as usual.

Any excesses can be leased to other airlines - Vueling for example.
Unlikely that would happen. I don't imagine Vueling will be in a state of full growth mode either to open a major LGW base. And the cost involved for transfering BA aircraft to Vueling?- It's virtually a non-starter. On that point, nobody is going to be in agressive growth mode, so holding surplus slots purely to avoid competition getting them or leasing them out in a weak market is an unlikely way forward.
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Old 4th May 2020, 12:45
  #808 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FRatSTN View Post
Even if not, they can still use the slot for another destination, different flight number, aircraft type potentially if they wanted to. A slot, put simply, is effectively a landing/take-off 'space' on the runway as part of the airport's declared capacity. They could still in theory cut a NYC flight and use the slot for MCO, for example.
Im fully aware of what a slot is, thanks.


Originally Posted by FRatSTN View Post
It doesn't quite work like that, unless I'm misunderstanding your point? The 80/20 rule applies to specific slots, not the entirety of an airline's schedule. For instance lets say BA operates LHR-AMS twice a day on BA123 and BA456. If they failed to operate more than 20% of the BA123 flights across the season, they'd lose historic rights to that slot only. The BA456 would be unaffected.
And flights can be moved between slots as required to enable that every slot is covered 80% of the time, thus allowing the company to operate 80% of their schedule whilst keeping 100% of their slots.


Originally Posted by FRatSTN View Post
Unlikely that would happen. I don't imagine Vueling will be in a state of full growth mode either to open a major LGW base. And the cost involved for transfering BA aircraft to Vueling?- It's virtually a non-starter. On that point, nobody is going to be in agressive growth mode, so holding surplus slots purely to avoid competition getting them or leasing them out in a weak market is an unlikely way forward.
Who said anything about growth and transferring aircraft? It wouldn’t take much for Vueling to increase the frequency of existing routes to ensure they keep the slots for future use. This happens all the time. Slot sitting is often far more financially beneficial than losing slots, especially to competitors. Remember the BA/BMED ghost flights to Cardiff?

BA cut the bulk of their LGW hub post 9/11 and let easyJet in to take over. They’ve been playing catch up ever since. They won’t make that mistake again.
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Old 5th May 2020, 12:38
  #809 (permalink)  
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Virgin Atlantic to cease operations out of Gatwick.

Slots to be retained pending future plans. At least some of their 747s to be retired.

https://news.sky.com/story/coronavir...vival-11983452

Last edited by ORAC; 5th May 2020 at 12:57.
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Old 5th May 2020, 12:53
  #810 (permalink)  
 
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Slots for Wizzair!
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Old 5th May 2020, 15:52
  #811 (permalink)  
 
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In any case isn’t the sole reason there is ‘little’ leisure traffic (bucket & spade) at LHR because there has been no space for it? If the likes of Orlando were served from LHR or airlines like TUI based there I’m in no doubt they would be packed to the rafters.
The reason for that goes back to when BAA owned them both and purposely separated it that way. Business at Heathrow, Leisure at Gatwick and also Low cost from Stansted.

Who remembers the arguments for expansion not long ago and whether Gatwick would be a viable alternative to LHR? I think we are currently seeing exactly how much the airlines and passengers value Haethrow over Gatwick. I expect Gatwick will become pretty much short haul loco only for a long time.
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Old 5th May 2020, 15:59
  #812 (permalink)  
 
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LGW is going to be very quiet at this rate. Monarch gone. Thomas Cook gone. Virgin going. Norwegian retrenching. BA off as well.

Slots aren't going to be a problem for anyone that decides to step in to the void.
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Old 5th May 2020, 16:00
  #813 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rt Hon Jim Hacker MP View Post
LGW is going to be very quiet at this rate. Monarch gone. Thomas Cook gone. Virgin going. Norwegian retrenching. BA off as well.

Slots aren't going to be a problem for anyone that decides to step in to the void.
A knock-on effect could be Luton suffering loss of traffic as the likes of Wizz build their presence at LGW.
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Old 5th May 2020, 16:02
  #814 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Rt Hon Jim Hacker MP View Post
LGW is going to be very quiet at this rate. Monarch gone. Thomas Cook gone. Virgin going. Norwegian retrenching. BA off as well.

Slots aren't going to be a problem for anyone that decides to step in to the void.
Slightly irrelevant mentioning Monarch and Thomas Cook given that those slots have long been taken up by other airlines. Heck, Flybe have gone too.

Time will tell whether BA, Virgin and Norwegian give up their slots. I’d guess no, and the rhetoric from Virgin suggests the same.
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Old 5th May 2020, 16:07
  #815 (permalink)  
 
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The slot issue isn't really the point. All the above airlines carried/carry a huge number of LGW pax. If this plays out as suggested, who is going to be left?

Easy and TUI are about the only ones still in the game there.
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Old 5th May 2020, 16:33
  #816 (permalink)  
 
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There won’t be many options to fill the void, unless foreign carriers take advantage of it.

Perhaps a certain Irish low cost airline might move in, or the big northern tour operator, other than that there’s few options, and I wouldn’t have thought either would want to do that given the circumstances.
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Old 5th May 2020, 16:40
  #817 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by nowhereasfiled View Post
There won’t be many options to fill the void, unless foreign carriers take advantage of it.

Perhaps a certain Irish low cost airline might move in, or the big northern tour operator, other than that there’s few options, and I wouldn’t have thought either would want to do that given the circumstances.
The only one that could/would take the plunge IMHO is Ryanair. I don’t see Jet2 expanding into LGW due to the costs involved in setting up a new base. With Stansted up the road they pretty much have the SE covered for bucket and spade.

On reflection Wizz could also take an interest.
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Old 5th May 2020, 17:07
  #818 (permalink)  
 
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On the contrary, Ryanair would probably only take a keen interest if Wizz went for it, for simply a matter of cost. Perhaps a bit like they did with Bucharest and Vilnius at SEN on a potentially much bigger scale. Otherwise, it's all about STN for Ryanair.
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Old 5th May 2020, 17:14
  #819 (permalink)  
 
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I bet Jet2 would drop STN tomorrow if LGW offered a deal. Their business model is classic Gatwick Airport and would be a good fit.
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Old 5th May 2020, 18:19
  #820 (permalink)  
 
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Agreed I could see Jet2 in LGW being a good fit, but I don't think they'd drop STN for it, certainly not entirely. One of the opportunities they saw with STN, apart from a wider deal with MAG, was that the package holiday product was severely underserved in that market.

They've done a great job in building a valued alternative to just Ryanair on a lot of the popular leisure routes. They've invested an awful lot in developing their brand in the STN and BHX bases very aggresively over the last three years, not to mention they also have their own ground handling and passenger services staff in-house so a move would be more complex. In my view they'd be daft to undo that at the drop of a hat to musle in on LGW where TUI and EasyJet already have that market well covered for now.
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