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Gatwick-2

Old 6th May 2020, 08:07
  #841 (permalink)  
 
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That would seem to be an abuse of the slot system - there will have to be some sort of "use it or lose it" process.
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Old 6th May 2020, 08:34
  #842 (permalink)  
 
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I cant imagine BA or VS will leave Gatwick for long, I see it as more temporary. Despite what they may say, I think Gatters is an important hub for them.
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Old 6th May 2020, 09:29
  #843 (permalink)  
 
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The IATA slot rules regarding 'use it or lose it' have been suspended for the full Summer 2020 season so there is no requirement for airlines to use the slots they hold until the Winter season commences.
In the UK, it is not a requirement that the airline that holds the slot operates it. Slot leases could be signed by any LGW operator to provide slots to another carrier thus ensuring they keep hold of the asset in the long term, but comply with any utilisation rules in the short-term.

The question is.....will there be more LGW slots available to would be operators than there are operators that want to use them?
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Old 6th May 2020, 09:34
  #844 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot View Post
I think you're re-writing history. BA changed their strategy at LGW by de-hubbing in the early 2000s.
They had never turned a profit and lost millions in the years since taking over Dan Air in their attempt to build a second complimentary London hub. Sadly it wasn't possible to maintain yields on the routes moved to LHR as they found the front cabins stayed too empty as that market remained at LHR, and worse, flew with their competitors. So all the European business connectivity was removed and BA downsized, allowing easyJet to gain a foothold. Without the high cost base of 2000AD BA, easyJet could turn a decent yield on European leisure routes, whereas BA couldn't even get close. It took another decade of slashing costs at BA to get their costs down to anything that could compete with EZY. Only then did BA LGW grow again, into sun markets mainly using ex BMI A319s and a ragtag fleet of second hand A320s.
The idea that BA should have stuck in there losing millions year in year out doesn't wash. The original rationale for BA LGW was replaced by a new business model which seems to have made them money, but crucially, BA have no need to dominate LGW. There was no ambition to be the dominant network carrier at the airport, much of BA's LGW operation is predicated on flying leisure routes where Exec Club frequent fliers can burn their AVIOS and make sure they fill the front cabins out of LHR in the next FY. They're not looking to catch up with easyJet, it's not that sort of competiton. If the LHR market collapses to some extent, and it will, BA may end up picking up even more slots and be able to maintain more of the LGW network out of LHR. All this talk of Vueling coming in sounds a lot like the hype of Norwegian coming building up a few years back. It wasn't a sustainable model.
Whilst I appreciate the history lesson, you've missed the point. By retrenching at Gatwick in the past, they allowed easyJet to build a huge operation at Gatwick that competes with BA across the entire London market. BA essentially cannot compete with them on cost without decimating their entire product - which is basically what they've done. The recent resurgence of BA's Gatwick operation isn't because they've suddenly realised that having five flights a day to Malaga is a money-spinner, it's attempting to halt the growth of easyJet at Gatwick whilst diluting their market share. Why do you think they were so desperate to get the Monarch slots? Because being about to operate two flights to Thessaloniki within 5 minutes of each other is profitable?

Gatwick is by far easyJet's largest and most important base and has been limited by nothing more than a lack of slots. BA know if they give up their 30+ pre-10am slots at Gatwick, they'll be eaten up by easyJet in no time and they'll never get them back. Even in times when easyJet aren't in expansion mode, they would use the more attractively timed BA slots in place of their earliest flights of the day (last summer up to 15 flights per day departed before 6am).

In my opinion, they will not let that happen. Any talk of a 'new normal' or 'things will never be the same' is a matter of personal opinion, because you know as much as I do how the market will look like in 2-5 years - and that's diddly squat.
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Old 6th May 2020, 09:48
  #845 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Vokes55 View Post
Gatwick is by far easyJet's largest and most important base and has been limited by nothing more than a lack of slots. BA know if they give up their 30+ pre-10am slots at Gatwick, they'll be eaten up by easyJet in no time and they'll never get them back. Even in times when easyJet aren't in expansion mode, they would use the more attractively timed BA slots in place of their earliest flights of the day (last summer up to 15 flights per day departed before 6am).

In my opinion, they will not let that happen. Any talk of a 'new normal' or 'things will never be the same' is a matter of personal opinion, because you know as much as I do how the market will look like in 2-5 years - and that's diddly squat.
Even if BA were to use just the morning slots they would probably be able to “protect” quite a number of slots from being poached by a based carrier like easyJet. Because unless easyJet can keep the aircraft working all day they would be inclined to base it elsewhere.

That said the London market is very attractive and likely to be one of the first to show signs of recovery when “new normal” is established. I don’t think airlines need to worry about their Summer 20 and even winter 20/21 slots, until the medium-term government restrictions are designed, communicated and seen to be effective in terms of numbers of infected and/or deaths. BA have had their lunch eaten at Gatwick by EasyJet, who have been eaten at Luton by Wizz. Nothing is static and easyJet aren’t necessarily the largest risk. Aer Lingus and Norwegian have tried LGW in the recent past, neither was successful. With TCX and VS long haul gone from Gatwick, Norwegian not returning until Summer 21 at the earliest, BA do have a window of opportunity on long-haul at least.

In short speculating is purely that. We just don’t have enough information about the government restrictions and the effect of subsequent waves. It’s going to be fascinating to watch and there are bound to be relative winners and losers.
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Old 6th May 2020, 10:10
  #846 (permalink)  
 
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this is very different to before and with some experts expecting 50% in airlines failing around the world I don’t think BA or VS will be really concerned about slots at Gatwick!

I think this will change the way they look at things going forward as it just shows you never know what’s around the corner.

they will be wanting to make more money not slot sit going forward
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Old 6th May 2020, 10:17
  #847 (permalink)  
 
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In the meantime, they're pushing ahead with the plan to use the second runway https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/g...nway-jkv0d67nq


[QUOTE]

Gatwick gets watchdog approval to add 50,000 flights on new runway

May 01 2020, 12.01amIn a written judgment, the watchdog said that there would be no change to the design of flight paths in or out of the West Sussex airport as a direct result of the new runway, adding: “The environmental impact relating to this proposal is assessed as nil.”

The move effectively allows Gatwick to push ahead with a development consent order — a planning application for a major infrastructure project.

Gatwick — the busiest single-runway airport in the world — had been expected to proceed with the application in the first half of this year but has put it on hold because of the pandemic.

The airport has been hit hard by the outbreak, with the number of flights down by more than 98 per cent last week compared with a year earlier. Last week, British Airways said that it could pull out of Gatwick altogether while Virgin Atlantic announced a similar plan yesterday as it revealed proposals to make a third of staff redundant.

However, Gatwick said that the second runway still formed part of its long-term recovery from the crisis, with an application for a development consent order expected to be made in the second half of this year or in 2021.

Gatwick’s existing second runway is only used in emergencies. Under rules set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, the centreline of parallel runways must be at least 210 metres apart. The gap between Gatwick’s main and standby runway is 198 metres.

Under its plan, it would shift the runway 12m to the north. New taxiways to and from the runways and additional stands would also be created. The new runway would be used only for take-off by short-haul planes, with all landings still taking place on the main tarmac.

Any demand to redraw airspace around Gatwick would have required an extensive review process. However, the CAA was satisfied that planes departing from the new runway will join existing flight paths soon after take-off, making little change to the airport’s noise footprint.

The CAA is clear that its decision does not constitute the green light to the second runway, which still has to undergo a major planning process.

The report added: “This proposal is one element which facilitates a potential move towards dual runway operations being a possibility in the future; it does not authorise them.”

In a statement, Gatwick said: “Gatwick welcomes the CAA’s decision relating to the level of airspace change required in relation to our proposed plans to bring our existing northern runway into routine use. We will continue to work on preparing a planning application, known as a development consent order, which will be the subject of full public consultation at a later date.”

Gatwick lost out on the chance to build a new runway four years ago when the government opted to approve the expansion of Heathrow.

However, in February the Court of Appeal overruled the government’s decision following claims that it failed to take account of Britain’s climate change commitments.

Gatwick insisted that the ruling had no bearing on its own plans to bring the emergency runway into operational use.
/QUOTE]
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Old 6th May 2020, 14:48
  #848 (permalink)  
 
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Wizz Air Holdings Plc is plotting a major expansion at London Gatwick airport as rival carriers pull back, paving the way for the Hungarian low-cost carrier to emerge from the travel downturn with a bigger presence in the world’s busiest city for passenger traffic.

Wizz, Europe’s third-biggest discounter, is keen to expand its U.K. business beyond a base at Luton, north of London, if it can get hold of the operating slots, Chief Executive Officer Jozsef Varadi said Wednesday in a phone interview. He said he’d like to turn Gatwick, located south of the capital city, into its second British hub.

The coronavirus crisis, while devastating to travel worldwide, is still providing opportunities for the handful of airlines that have the means and boldness to take risks. Wizz, which has signaled it will press its growth plans during the slump, has risen quickly in Eastern Europe but lags far behind Ryanair Holdings Plc and EasyJet Plc in the U.K. and much of western Europe.

An opening has emerged at Gatwick, where Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd. said this week it will pull out and focus on London Heathrow to help ride out the Covid-19 pandemic. British Airways is reportedly looking to do the same, and with Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, Gatwick’s No. 3 tenant, retrenching to survive the winter, the once full airport could soon have space for new entrants.

“We’ve been looking at Gatwick for a long time and we absolutely have an ambition to build a base there,” Varadi said.

Varadi said any expansion at Gatwick is contingent on being able to secure ownership of operating slots, as he wants to avoid taking over capacity temporarily only to hand it back later.

“We wouldn’t want to lease slots,” Varadi said. “You don’t make an investment in building up a business and the other guy then changes his mind.”

Budapest-based Wizz currently has only a handful of flights into Gatwick, whereas it bases 10 planes at Luton with a further 25 flying in from locations in mainland Europe. Since Gatwick is a bigger airport with a more developed infrastructure, an operation there could be at least that size, the CEO said.

Gatwick’s higher charges might be an obstacle to expansion for a carrier that boasts Europe’s lowest cost base, though those might come down as other airlines depart.

Varadi said he’s also unsure that British Airways and Virgin Atlantic will actually surrender takeoff and landing positions. Virgin CEO Shai Weiss said Tuesday the intention is to lease out the slots until the market revives and a return to Gatwick becomes viable.

Wizz sought to establish itself as a force at Gatwick last year, when it was a contender for slots from failed Thomas Cook Group Plc. Those were bought by EasyJet, Gatwick’s biggest operator, while positions vacated by Monarch Airlines in 2017 went to British Airways owner IAG SA after Wizz had bid.

Business at Gatwick was booming before the coronavirus crisis crushed demand and prompted groundings of entire airline fleets. The airport, traditionally a leisure hub, had aspired to snag some of Heathrow’s full-service passengers, with French owner Vinci SA seeking to convert an emergency runway for regular use.

Credit Bloomberg
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Old 6th May 2020, 15:17
  #849 (permalink)  
 
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Wizz

As predicted. No real surprise.
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Old 6th May 2020, 21:55
  #850 (permalink)  
 
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Bet the idea that Wizz could make a major move gives BA and Virgin cause to think.
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Old 6th May 2020, 21:58
  #851 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by True Blue View Post
Bet the idea that Wizz could make a major move gives BA and Virgin cause to think.
Why? The flow of people and capital to the likes of Poland, Hungary and all has peaked. BA are barely in many of the markets Wizz fly, similarly easyJet. What’s the business reason for BA to be worried?
How far the mighty Gatwick has fallen to be throwing Wizz Air a deal.....
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Old 6th May 2020, 22:02
  #852 (permalink)  
 
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I wouldn’t read too much into it. Wizz will still take delivery of another dozen aircraft or so, but internally Varadi has started pouring cold water on the “Wizz 300” target. It’ll all depend on demand.
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Old 6th May 2020, 22:05
  #853 (permalink)  
 
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Wizz will not always only fly to Eastern Europe and that is already starting to change. I would have thought the last thing, especially BA needs over the next 2/3 years is an expanding/aggressive competitor.
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Old 6th May 2020, 22:47
  #854 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure that Wizz, at least from Luton are just flying the stereotypical routes to places with migrant labour any more... quite a few (but by no means all) of the pax who want to go to Tenerife will probably look at BA as well as Wizz when comparing prices
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Old 7th May 2020, 00:03
  #855 (permalink)  
 
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Wizz have announced a series of flights this summer to the biggest Greek islands ex LTN. Also Faro, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Cyprus and Bulgaria’s Black Sea resorts are all featured too, some through winter. These are certain to be replicated here at Gatwick. Some companies take opportunities during a crisis and it pays off. It looks to me like Wizz will be one of them.
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Old 7th May 2020, 10:25
  #856 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot View Post
How far the mighty Gatwick has fallen to be throwing Wizz Air a deal.....
Where is there anything written about Gatwick “throwing Wizz Air a deal”?

Looks like Wizz acknowledge that BA and Virgin won’t sell their slots, I’m inclined to believe the judgement of an airline CEO over a spotter who’s been posting negativity about any airport except Heathrow across a number of forum platforms for as long as I can remember.
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Old 7th May 2020, 10:42
  #857 (permalink)  
 
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BA + Virgin + Norwegian - We may significantly cut flying at Gatwick but will retain our slots
ACL - If you don't use or lease out slots, then you lose them
Wizz - we want slots but want to own them, not lease for 3 years and then lose them

Something has to give somewhere...
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Old 7th May 2020, 10:43
  #858 (permalink)  
 
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BA and a Virgin will only be able to hang on to their slots for so long. If they don’t use them they will lose them maybe for next year.

Reminds me of when Tesco bought land for stores, didn’t build them and then hung onto the land to stop rivals building new stores that would create competition.
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Old 7th May 2020, 11:41
  #859 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe Wizz will be the new NOR ? (without long haul)

But lets not forget LHR is the main prize, there is bound to be free slats there as well.
This could form a possible base for RYR, EZY, WIZZ to eat into BAs lunch !
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Old 7th May 2020, 13:56
  #860 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LTNman View Post
Reminds me of when Tesco bought land for stores, didn’t build them and then hung onto the land to stop rivals building new stores that would create competition.
And then Aldi/Lidl etc marched unexpectedly up the wing using much smaller plots than Tesco expected, even in some cases directly opposite other big supermarkets. Even as late as 2008 such brazen actions were unthinkable, the big supermarkets were seen as invincible. Meanwhile shopping habits were changing and Tesco were lumbered with huge stores with the associated costs people didn’t want or need anymore.

Where this has relevance in this situation is the danger for BA and VS is they can shut off competition all they like by retreating to Heathrow or hogging unused slots, the danger for them is a gamechanger coming along - JetBlue? Wizz? Eos-style first class only to limit numbers - which alters the market in a way they didn’t envisage. Similar I guess to the huge shift to LCC pre and post 9/11.
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