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Gatwick-3

Old 30th Jul 2021, 12:04
  #221 (permalink)  
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I have just listened to the IAG results podcast question and answer session. A question was asked about Gatwick. Sean Doyle said they were reviewing Summer 2022 at Gatwick. They are in talks with stakeholders.
He also said they had to remain competitive in certain market segments, that he hinted would be even more price sensitive than pre-covid. I take this to mean the leisure and VFR marketS.
This could be hopeful news for Gatwick as it is a lower cost airport to operate from as well as being a more leisure orientated operation.
As I have said above, the Gatwick management is commercially pragmatic(perhaps more so than the management at LHR) and hopefully both airport and airline can see the advantages of a mutually beneficial deal.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 12:18
  #222 (permalink)  
 
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curiously despite covid, I heard the travelling domestic connections to euro ‘beach’ routes eg Mykonos etc are going great guns from LHR, levels far higher than short haul LGW. Just shows what more extensive domestic connections can do and the appeal of transfer through T5 LHR for the (slightly more) premium leisure traveller. BA are taking note..
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 12:28
  #223 (permalink)  
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Interesting comment Cabin Crew. Maybe more domestics at Gatwick then. Joking! However it isn't all about the front cabin although that is important.
Also as demand returns and slots become scarcer, (as they will overtime), does a A320 to Mykonos compare to 777 to New York. Some leisure destinations are more premium than others too.
I don't doubt your point but it may depend on destination. BA have also never flown to Mykonos from Gatwick.
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 15:10
  #224 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps the clever money is on Wizz to do the Atlantic with 321NEOs? Why break the bank on wide-bodies?
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Old 30th Jul 2021, 15:25
  #225 (permalink)  
 
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Much as I would like to see Gatwick in S22 running at full capacity and BA returning with their S19 schedule.... I think this is unlikely. Despite the progress with vaccines, much of the world outside N.America/western Europe remains unvaccinated and it will take a long time to achieve vaccination levels compared to the UK. Furthermore, there is the possibility of a new variant emerging, and I imagine after the volatility over S20 and S21 as to which countries are or are not permitted from the UK, passengers are going to be a little bit cautious about spending money only to find they have to cancel to avoid quarantine
S22 is going to be a rebuild-confidence season.... we are unlikely to see a robust and thiriving Gatwick before S23
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 07:26
  #226 (permalink)  
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there are beach routes and there are beach routes, routes such as Mykonos, santorini etc the more niche destinations and ones harder to reach from the regions were always LHR routes even pre covid. The AGP, ALC, FAO etc types are easier from the regions so connections through London is much less attractive, sure BA offer a club product unlike the regions but for. 2 1/2 / 3 hour to somewhere like AGP, connecting rather than direct is not very attractive,also pre covid BA didn’t need feed onto the LGW beach routes as they were filled with Gatwick joiners
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Old 31st Jul 2021, 08:54
  #227 (permalink)  
 
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also don’t forget that choice of destinations is very limited at the moment so those who are desperate to get away will compromise and go to any destination that they can resulting in higher levels on routes that may not have been as popular before Covid.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 01:55
  #228 (permalink)  
 
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Vokes55

Plainly evidenced by the fact they keep applying for LHR slots but didn't get enough to move the whole operation and so stayed for another year at LGW. To compete against Air Canada, their primary competition, they want to move. They're not a loco anymore. easyJet are as big as they're likely to get. That base is mature with a tremendously strong network and frequency. There just isn't the same growth anymore, so frankly, I disagree. But maybe WestJet love Gatwick, are really loyal and won't move like everyone else did, I could be wrong. Perhaps Wizz won't get into LGW after all in numbers, but that just makes it even more orange....
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 09:36
  #229 (permalink)  
 
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Vokes55

I very much agree with you. It is true that WS has gradually been moving away from its initial LC-orientated strategy since the arrival of their 789 and their new business class product. However, I still reckon they are predominately leisure-focused, in which case, Gatwick works well for them. Plus, let's not forget the value of LGW's catchment area - at least prior to Covid, it was very strong, and I reckon WS sense the value in that. It is the scarcity of suitable long term slots at LHR that is informing the decision to remain at LGW- WS knows that it simply does not have the frequency and scale in order to effectively compete against Air Canada's LHR operation (and thats not mentioning BA's Canadian services, which again are vastly larger in scope compared to what WS can currently offer even if at LHR). My hunch is that WS will remain at LGW, after all, a move to LHR does not by any means guarantee success for every airline.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 13:20
  #230 (permalink)  
 
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Westjet were operating two cargo flights a week throughout most of the winter, and are up to the dizzying heights of four passenger flights a week right now. If Ukraine, Pegasus, Jazeera, Rwandair, Blue Air, Vistara, Loganair and just about every Chinese airline could get temporary slots into LHR, I’m sure Westjet could have, especially if they “don’t actually want to be at LGW”.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 13:45
  #231 (permalink)  
 
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Pegasus have only been operating into LHR because of Turkey's red-light status, and even then they're still operating freight only into and passenger out of STN. Their focus is still very much on STN and I'm sure that will be the case for some incumbent carriers at LGW too.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 17:46
  #232 (permalink)  
 
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Vokes55

The reason they didn't was they expected they'd end up having to run a split LHR/LGW operation as they have four daily flights on a BAU basis and couldn't make the move all at once, or worse move back to LGW entirely when things pick up. But you knew that. 😏 The examples you gave are mostly new entrants at once daily or less. Loganair got special treatment for domestic connectivity. Westjet as a new entrant didn't get enough to move everything in one go.

The fact they consistently keep applying for enough LHR slots to close their LGW operation shows how commited they are to LGW.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 17:57
  #233 (permalink)  
 
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JW95

BA's Canadian services are poor. YYC gone, YUL a mere B788, YYZ twice daily and YVR daily. WS want to better compete against Air Canada and to fill the front cabin easier, they want to move to LHR. They can't match Air Canada but they can compete better with BA to Western Canada and YYZ. Your point would be a good one if we were talking about Air Transat, who did try LHR for a few years and are genuinely better fitted and do well at LGW.
Talk of a "Gatwick catchment area" is not helpful IMHO. It's a Canada-London market predominantly here, and for the segment WS seek to grow, LHR makes more sense. That's why they keep trying to leave LGW!
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 07:37
  #234 (permalink)  
 
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So you’re saying that they didn’t move their less than daily London service to LHR over the past 16 months just in case they couldn’t get slots for the seasonal 737 service to YYT next year and had to keep it at LGW?

If they were as desperate to leave LGW as you suggest, they would’ve moved to LHR over the past year. And if they were as desperate to leave LGW as you suggest, they’d accept a split operation.
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Old 2nd Aug 2021, 10:49
  #235 (permalink)  
 
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Yes that's my understanding, they're understandably reluctant to run a split operation. If they were so keen on Gatwick, please remind me why they keep applying for enough LHR slots to close LGW completely. That's the bit of your argument that baffles me, For example, Norwegian were committed to making LGW a long haul powerhouse, they invested heavily. That's not the case here I think. We'll see what happens
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Old 4th Aug 2021, 16:40
  #236 (permalink)  
 
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I never said the won’t leave LGW, I replied to your typically anti-LGW remark that they “don’t actually want to be there”. They’ve had plenty of opportunities to move to LHR over the past 16 months but haven’t bothered. And if they “don’t actually want to be there”, they’d move their most important/competitive routes to LHR and run a split operation until they can obtain all the slots they want. They wouldn’t be the first airline to run a split operation between LHR/LGW. They haven’t done either.

Anyone can apply for slots at LHR, it doesn’t cost them anything. Norwegian even obtained slots at LHR.
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Old 4th Aug 2021, 16:56
  #237 (permalink)  
 
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It has a cost if you want any kind of reasonable number or useable slots. The slots Norwegian got were unusable for any decent route hence they didn’t use them.

There is a significant cost involved in split ops so Westjet could very much want to leave LGW but not be willing to pay double and so just wait until it is able to move completely.
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Old 4th Aug 2021, 23:42
  #238 (permalink)  
 
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What happened to most long haul airlines who ran split LHR/LGW ops?
NWA, US Airways, Delta? Continental? All ran PR saying they'd still serve LGW, all had comparative nos between the two, all closed LGW. The exception being Cathay which opened LGW again at the peak of LON-HKG traffic which given the current situation in Hong Kong seems to suggest that peak won't be seen again for many a year, so will they need a 6th daily London rotation? I suspect not. Not sure Qatar will be back at LGW or CWL but Emirates will go from strength to strength, but even that is a different sub fleet of low capacity premium cabins and high volume economy on some flights. Suspect Icelandair will be back too but a split operation is not something Westjet want to do from what I understand.

As for my "typically anti Gatwick remark", I'd say I have flown almost as much from LGW as from LHR. Pre T5 I preferred LGW North over LHR T1 every time when flying BA. I have fond memories of what LGW used to have, but the commercial reality is what it is unless government re-regulates. I am genuinely hugely fond of the place but it has, more than most UK airports, changed beyond all recognition for me.

And the worst of it is, jetBlue will move lock, stock and barrell to LHR just as soon as they can. It is what it is, it's ***p for LGW sadly.
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 02:59
  #239 (permalink)  
 
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Not really sure what your point is. I’m not denying that a split operation would probably result in the whole op moving to LHR, but the fact is that they haven’t even done that yet. Even with the door wide open to them.

BA318

Genuinely intrigued to know what you believe the “significant cost involved” of a split operation is? And what exactly you believe would cost double?
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 05:54
  #240 (permalink)  
 
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Well you’d need facilities and contracts at both airports. Two sets I assume would mean two costs. You need staff at both destinations. You can no doubt get a better deal at one place being served by four flights a day than one flight at one and two or three at another.

Very few long haul carriers split their London ops. Most that do, did it fairly big with multiple daily flights- Emirates, Qatar, BA and Virgin. I think CX was one of the few that split ops with just a daily flight at the second airport.
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