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Old 5th Aug 2021, 06:39
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And yet pre COVID Gatwick handled MORE UK passengers going and returning than Heathrow - your reference to use North terminal included . The fact much most were point to point should not be under estimated.

And its become quite evident the US route domination at Heathrow has become a serous risk to that airports portfolio in these times !

Compared to the other European Hubs including Amsterdam/Frankfurt and Roissy, that reliance and rapid loss of the North Atlantic has been devastating has it not ?
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 10:28
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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Actually we agree. LGW has always been more about Brits going on holiday than international connections, was ever thus. But as for "devestating", I am unclear of your point as LGW took a much bigger hit than LHR with COVID.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 08:05
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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There are actually 2 other reasons at play as to why airlines move to Lhr from Lgw:
1. Higher yield. That much vaunted reason pushed as a success story actually means higher fares for us, especially at the front end of the plane. Because of this, it actually suits airport/airlines for Lgw to never become successful in long-haul. So Lhr, airlines, frequent flyer programmes, big corporations, they all act together to ensure it is always more attractive to fly from there, for a number of reasons. If you have status with an airline, are you going to miss those perks to go fly from Lgw with another airline, even though the fare might be less?
2. Airlines themselves have an obsession with Lhr, like a snobbish obsession. Think of some of the airlines that have recently moved to Lhr, like Jazeera, Rwandair, some also from Ltn and Stn and ask yourself, what benefit will it be to them? They are not part of an alliance so connecting traffic is not a part of the story. I bet the passenger who would use these airlines would use them whether at Lgw or Lhr. Think of some of the airlines who did move to Lhr and they were no bigger success there, Garuda comes to mind. Remember we all make silly decisions, so do the chief execs at the top of airlines.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 08:17
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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I wouldn't say it's a snobbish obsession. Jazeera and Rwandair among others are not competing on their own. They are up against Kuwait Airways, BA, Emirates, Qatar etc. So when people search for flights they will be at a disadvantage offering LGW while the rest all go to LHR. For many abroad, they know LHR has the tube so assume it is easier. Garuda wouldn't make those London flights work regardless of where they flew - its a corrupt, basket case of an airline and is massively reducing in size now reality has caught up with it. And plenty of people will still connect even if the airlines are not in an alliance together. When looking for flights from my home in Sweden, I'm usually always offered routings via LHR with non-partner airlines like SAS connecting to VS or SAS connecting onto Rwandair for example.

As to the point about higher yield, part of that is the perceived better location of LHR. Lots of companies along the M4 for example. I worked in Mayfair and commuted and I tried all airports offering the route I took at the time. LGW, LHR and STN and for me LHR was without a doubt the easiest, cheapest and quickest. After that I didn't even bother looking at LGW because it was too much hassle and the schedules were much more holiday focused leaving earlier or arriving too late, where as at LHR I had a choice of carriers with multiple flights a day so I had flexibility to take an earlier or later flight depending how things went and in the one instance I had problems, it was easy for them to move me to another carrier.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 08:22
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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Yes all nicely established, very hard for Lgw to break that down now.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 10:37
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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On the other hand there are lots of communities south of the river, and indeed north of London for whom it us much easier to get to LGW by direct train than to get to LHR. Crossrail next year will make quite a difference to reaching LHR from East London.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 12:00
  #247 (permalink)  
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Maybe I'm being naive, but it would be great to read about actual Gatwick news, airlines and routes rather than the often revisited Gatwick v Heathrow debates.

As I said at the beginning of this thread Gatwick will flourish again but it may take a while. We have to accept LHR and LGW are different. Airlines prefer one to the other.
Both airports have their different strengths and weaknesses.

I find both airports interesting places and enjoy travelling from both. However, I do have a soft spot for London Gatwick as, when I was younger, it was the starting place for many great holidays.
As a family we loved looking in the shops and enjoying the all day breakfast before boarding our flights! Even now, many years later, I still feel excited when using the place!

It was at Gatwick that I first went, as a teenager with friends, to see aircraft close up many years ago. (Anyone else remember how you could actually walk along the roof of one of the piers and watch airline operations really close up!)
I spent many happy summer days watching the airport at work from the great viewing area that used to be on top of the South Terminal. I was never a plane spotter, I just enjoyed watching the goings on and the whole atmosphere.
In some ways it was more interesting then (1970s 1980s early 1990s) with so many more UK airlines and aircraft types! However it is still great in my view.

Just be good to read some more real Gatwick news on here.

I have always been intrigued how many posts the smaller UK airports get on here compared to Heathrow and Gatwick. Although I admire the passion some have for the local airports.

As always just my opinion for what its worth!

Last edited by vectisman; 6th Aug 2021 at 12:13.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 13:37
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, some in particular!
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Old 8th Aug 2021, 02:42
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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The actual answer is it costs very little to have a split operation. Handling is outsourced and will be done on a per flight basis (or in the case of Ryanair, on a per passenger basis) so this is negligible. As for facilities - this is the UK, not the USA, no overseas airline owns or leases any facilities here, bar a few lounges at LHR. The only real additional expense would be engineering provision in two locations. Currently Boeing handle engineering for WS at LGW. One would assume they’d need to source a different company at LHR, but this is another very small expense in the grand scheme.

Very few airlines split their operations because very few airlines need to. Once they get enough slots at LHR, there’s no point staying. But the majority of airlines with a sizeable LON operation that migrated from LGW to LHR started with a split operation until they had enough suitable slots. There’s a difference between a split operation to capture different parts of a large market, and a split operation until suitable LHR slots can be obtained for all flights.
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Old 11th Aug 2021, 16:45
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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LGW recovery

vectisman

Here here! I completely agree- and I do hope LGW will be on the road to recovery soon. Would be nice to see some more long haul return to Gatwick in addition to its short haul network. As we all know, JetBlue will be commencing services from LGW to JFK next month, so it'll be welcome seeing New York back on the departure boards again following the cessation of BA and DI on the same route. Also, the upcoming Norse Atlantic venture is one to watch- they had the livery and brand reveal yesterday, so it'll be interesting to see confirmation of the airports they will be using in the near future. London has already been flagged as a key base for the airline for sometime, so no doubt LGW will be up there. Hopefully others will follow- I hope that LGW can retain a good mix of short and long haul just as it did pre-pandemic, as it had been doing well. Slot availability at LHR will continue to grow scarcer going forward as air travel picks up, restrictions further lift and more people get vaccinated, so hopefully LGW stands a good chance at getting some of its lost long haul network back, such as Air China, China Eastern, Cathay Pacific.
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Old 13th Aug 2021, 11:27
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https://www.aol.co.uk/money/gatwick-...n8DKjMtcbDJ4vR
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Old 13th Aug 2021, 11:50
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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If there is a serious risk of defaulting on loans (as opposed to loan covenants) then it sounds like Gatwick as a company was significantly over-leveraged
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Old 13th Aug 2021, 12:34
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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I think the China/HK routes will be hard to re-instate and unfortunately were only overflow routes for LHR when the times were good.

Relations between China and the UK/USA has deteriorated over the last 12-18 months, and I do not see the high number of Chinese visitors returning for some time to the UK. Foreign relations between China and other countries usually heavily dictates visitor numbers to a country from China, via the propaganda they provide to their citizens.

Chinese students coming to UK universities for studies has been a cash cow for the higher education sector, and the number of students now applying has heavily dropped off, and this will have an impact on the numbers using flights too.

Also with the stricter more authoritarian rule coming into place in Hong Kong, it is likely to have an impact on Brits visiting the city, as it was previously considered ex-British colony with democratic rule, which seems to be disappearing

China Airlines will be an interesting one, if that returns? Despite the name, it actually flies to Taipei in Taiwan which is a fully democratic and highly developed country. (But with a long complicated past that is closely linked to China.) I've used the route several times, on their A350's to Australia and got nothing but praise for the service and experience with them.

The flights have always been 80+% full (but that doesn't mean profitable), and is the only direct link between the UK and Taiwan. However the route was never increased in frequency from when launched, remaining at five return flights a week, which poses a question how successful it was? Unlike where they offered direct daily services to cities like Vienna, Frankfurt and Rome and just before the pandemic the daily route to Amsterdam was upgraded to the 777-300.
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Old 13th Aug 2021, 17:55
  #254 (permalink)  
 
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Flights from the UK to Taiwan were operated by both China Airlines A350 and EVA with a B77W. As far as I know London is the only city in Europe served by both carriers. Whether China Airlines returns to LGW depends if it manages to get slots at LHR.
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Old 13th Aug 2021, 18:02
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EVA operates via BKK. Both carriers serve AMS and VIE.
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Old 13th Aug 2021, 21:28
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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With the Delta variant now causing chaos in parts of China, regional lockdowns over the next few months should be expected. This is bound to have a knock on effect via incoming tourism from China.
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Old 14th Aug 2021, 05:54
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In talks with the banks

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Old 14th Aug 2021, 13:48
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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I can't quite see it because the loans will have undoubtedly been subject to Parent Company Guarantees, and Vinci and GIP have not issued any warnings that they are in any jeopardy of defaulting. If they predate 2019 when Vinci bought a half-share then they will again undoubtedly have been revised to the new ownership at that time.

It's not quite apparent how they could manage to get to this position without, as described above, being substantially over-leveraged (alias borrowing too much), and/or having paid out too much from reserves as dividends. That doesn't sound quite like Vinci corporate, who commonly have a long term view of things. GIP can be different. I wonder if a difference of opinion has emerged between the two.

I wonder what the loans were for. It's not exactly like they have built a new runway or a new terminal, is it ? Lesser works should normally be paid for mainly out of retained earnings.
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Old 15th Aug 2021, 17:19
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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There was the Pier 1 rebuild, all 5 gates of it and before that Pier 5 was redeveloped to properly seperate inbound and outbound passengers without sliding doors. They've also just rebuilt the A380 gate on 555.
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Old 16th Aug 2021, 06:58
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And Pier 6 is being extended - or at least it was until Covid came and the works have since stopped, leaving a large, now weed-ridden mess in the middle of the airfield.

Airports are expensive. When youíre down to 23 passengers a day in the height of lockdown, Iím not sure why anybody is surprised.
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