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Gatwick-3

Old 10th May 2024, 22:00
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JetBlue did actually have STN slots I believe prior to Covid. The rest is history.
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Old 10th May 2024, 22:12
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LH leaving LGW 2nd or 4th time?

Originally Posted by JW95
I agree with you my friend- hardly surprising, although at the same time, I'm gutted as well. At least they haven't cut LGW completely though. I too agree that they should have taken a look at STN - which could have made more sense for them (in addition to LHR). STN currently has no scheduled services to the US, the most recent of which ceased in October 2018 when Primera Air went bust. Perhaps they may take a look at STN ops when more A321-NEO deliveries start arriving?

We are now almost halfway through the year, and LGW has had several airline successes so far. I for one am very excited to see the inaugural SQ service to Singapore next month. Although Lufthansa are leaving (2nd time now) and Aer Lingus are no longer serving LGW. I wonder who we can expect next, both on the short and long haul front?
From memory, Lufthansa's presence as a regular scheduled carrier at Gatwick goes back all the way to the early-1980s, when they'd launched a twice-daily LGW-FRA 737-200 Adv service which competed against BCal's thrice-daily LGW-FRA One-Eleven 500 service. This first instance of LH serving LGW-FRA on a regularly scheduled basis lasted for a couple of years, possibly even continuing for a year or two after BA had taken over BCal.

The second instance of LH having a regular scheduled presence at LGW came in the early-1990s, when they launched a twice-daily LGW-TXL service which competed against Dan-Air's up to twice daily LGW-TXL service (initially operated with One-Elevens- both the 200 and 500 series Monday to Saturday and a 146-300 on Sundays, with the One-Eleven 200 / 500 eventually replaced with 146-100s Monday to Friday), Saturday remaining a One-Eleven (500) and Sunday becoming a 737-200 Adv). This route then transferred to LHR before being axed by LH because a majority of the transfer passengers using it changed at LHR onto long-haul BA services, meaning this constituted a revenue loss for LH and the Star Alliance to the rival oneworld alliance. Besides, given the generally low yields and comparatively high costs of operating UK-Germany scheduled air services, it is fair to assume that this route was a net loss-maker in its own right.

The third instance of a regular scheduled LH LGW presence came in 2011, when the airline resumed a short-lived, twice-daily LGW-FRA 737-300 service.

The fourth instance of a regular scheduled LH LGW presence began late last year, with the airline restarting again a twice-daily LGW-FRA service with suboptimal slot times almost identical ro those 12-13 years ago to be concluded at the end of next month.

So, four (unsuccessful) attempts altogether.
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Old 10th May 2024, 23:11
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Flygatwick

Absolutely spot on and it brought back some memories.

I was thinking of responding as I can remember seeing Lufthansa at LGW during the 80s. I wasn't sure if it was 3 or 4 times for Lufthansa at LGW, so I decided not to post.
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Old 12th May 2024, 17:11
  #1744 (permalink)  
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As I recall, Deutsch BA also competed on that route.
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Old 12th May 2024, 17:54
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Originally Posted by PAXboy
As I recall, Deutsch BA also competed on that route.
Deutsch BA as far as I'm aware never served Frankfurt from LGW.

Deutsch BA served Berlin TXL, Bremen, Hamburg and Munich to LGW.

During the same period as Deutsch BA we're operating flights to LGW from four German destinations BA in one way or another we're still serving Frankfurt.
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Old 13th May 2024, 06:39
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Apart from the fact it was Deutsche BA (with an “e” on the end), you’re correct. They never flew FRA-LGW which was a BA/EOG route.
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Old 13th May 2024, 08:56
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Apropos nothing in particular I remember travelling on the LH FRALGW service in the 80s. Also onboard was a group of freight agents who had been on an LH “educational” which had clearly included copious lubrication. When we were taxing in at LGW the CA gave the standard LH farewell PA which ended “thank you for flying Lufthansa and auf wiedersehen” to which the freight agents, with one voice, loudly responded “pet”.
May mean nothing to our younger ppruners.
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Old 13th May 2024, 18:40
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Originally Posted by Flightrider
Apart from the fact it was Deutsche BA (with an “e” on the end), you’re correct. They never flew FRA-LGW which was a BA/EOG route.
Many thanks for mentioning the fact that I had missed the "e" on Deutsche. I rely to much on spell checking and totally overlooked the fact that I had ommited the "e".

Danke schon Flightrider
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Old 13th May 2024, 19:37
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Bitte sehr.

Gatwick-Germany seems to be an airline graveyard. easyJet couldn't make the likes of DUS and CGN work over time, BA and DBA pulled off, and now Lufthansa depart LGW-FRA. I could keep going back in time to RFG, NFD and others. Only Berlin, Munich and a Hamburg service (a skeleton of its former self now easyJet has no HAM base) seem to survive. It's a real anomaly that Gatwick just does not seem able to sustain services to Germany.
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Old 13th May 2024, 19:59
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I agree with you regarding the situation with flights between LGW and Germany and you make some good comments.

We can add at least another two other German airlines that previously operated to LGW.

The former Air Berlin operated between Hannover and Nuremburg to LGW. These two destinations we're transferred from STN to LGW with both routes starting on 07 February 2010. I don't think that neither lasted a year at LGW and we're subsequently transferred back to STN.

The former Aerolloyd commenced a scheduled service between Frankfurt and LGW in 1988. Aerolloyd was taken over in 1992 and all scheduled flights would cease with the airline concentrating on its IT charter flights instead. The airline ceased operations in 2003.

Between us I think we have covered all of the names of all the German airlines that have previously served Germany to LGW on a scheduled basis.

AEROLLOYD
AIR BERLIN
LUFTHANSA
NFD
RFG

Be interesting to know if we have missed any 😉

Last edited by Sotonsean; 14th May 2024 at 21:28.
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Old 13th May 2024, 22:44
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Originally Posted by Flightrider
Bitte sehr.

Gatwick-Germany seems to be an airline graveyard…It's a real anomaly that Gatwick just does not seem able to sustain services to Germany.
Perhaps a combination of both economic and practical reasons? It seems to me there have historically been strong business/industrial links with Germany around east and north outer London, Essex, Suffolk and Cambridge that perhaps isn’t so much the case south of London. And, geographically LGW is furthest meaning longer block times, greater fuel burn etc with no particular benefit to airlines or their passengers over other London airports. Little surprise therefore the routes LGW does have are the ones with greater leisure potential so perhaps more of a local market to complement inbound and general London demand. LTN is similar.

In contrast, the German market from Stansted has always been strong. Earlier and long-standing Air UK routes included Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, it had a significant Air Berlin operation (in fact the two short-lived LGW routes cited above transferred back again), it was one of Germanwing’s original destinations, and Ryanair serves a number of cities. Where airlines or routes have ended it has tended to be due to competition.
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Old 14th May 2024, 12:27
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Danke Flightrider Mein Fehler für Deutsche.
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Old 15th May 2024, 06:50
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DBA LGW-FRA

Originally Posted by Flightrider
Apart from the fact it was Deutsche BA (with an “e” on the end), you’re correct. They never flew FRA-LGW which was a BA/EOG route.
I actually do recall Deutsche BA briefly operating LGW-FRA for BA (EOG) mid-ninety-ish, for one operating season I believe.
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Old 15th May 2024, 07:22
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Most of UK-Germany is an airline graveyard

Originally Posted by AirportPlanner1
Perhaps a combination of both economic and practical reasons? It seems to me there have historically been strong business/industrial links with Germany around east and north outer London, Essex, Suffolk and Cambridge that perhaps isn’t so much the case south of London. And, geographically LGW is furthest meaning longer block times, greater fuel burn etc with no particular benefit to airlines or their passengers over other London airports. Little surprise therefore the routes LGW does have are the ones with greater leisure potential so perhaps more of a local market to complement inbound and general London demand. LTN is similar.

In contrast, the German market from Stansted has always been strong. Earlier and long-standing Air UK routes included Düsseldorf and Frankfurt, it had a significant Air Berlin operation (in fact the two short-lived LGW routes cited above transferred back again), it was one of Germanwing’s original destinations, and Ryanair serves a number of cities. Where airlines or routes have ended it has tended to be due to competition.
I actually disagree with the assertion that regular UK-Germany scheduled air services from Stabsted are more sustaibable than from Gatwick per se because of closer geographic proximity and historical links, shorter block times etc. In fact, most of the UK-Germany scheduled air services market has historically been an airline graveyard.

Some of the airlines mentioned, which supposedly were more successful flying to Germany from Stansted than from Gatwick, such as Aero Lloyd, Air Berlin, Air UK, Deutsche BA, Eurowings and German Wings either struggled to be profitable most of the time of their existence, or were basket cases which were never profitable to begin with and quickly went bust, not helped by their poorly performing Stansted-Germany routes. The only airline which actually managed to make Stansted-Germany profitable is Ryanair. And even Ryanair managed to do so consistently only on routes serving what could best be described as tertiary airports, like Hahn, Memmingen and Weeze for example, at the German end, where Ryanair gets actually paid to fly there. (The other reason for Ryanair being more successful on UK-Germany routes than its competitors - incl. Easyjet- is because of their significantly lower operating costs as a ULCC.)

The reason airlines like BA (and BCal before them) operated regular scheduled Gatwick-Germany services at all was to feed their long-haul flights from the airport. The same of course applies to both BA and Lufthansa doing Heathrow-Germany, with none of these routes - incl. the prime LHR-FRA route - making any money in their own right.

The only exceptions where UK-Germany scheduled air services seem to be profitable in their own right on a P2P basis are:

1. LCY-Germany - especially LCY-FRA, where airlines can still charge a sufficient premium for the convenience of using LCY, in terms of the time it takes to pass through the airport compared with any other London area airport and its unmatched proximity to the City.

2. LGW / LTN / STN - BER due to Berlin being the only place in Germany to regularly feature in the top 5-10 "must-see" top tourist attraction bucket list of international (i.e , non-German) travellers. Unfortunately, its attraction has diminished since the German government decided to introduce new "green" aviation taxes following the end off the pandemic.
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Old 15th May 2024, 07:47
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FlyLGW,

Not sure where the "UK/Germany" reference comes from. You appear to believe the UK is London!

I used to use STN/NUE on Air Berlin regularly and it was very well loaded. It is true that since the capital moved to Berlin UK tourism is very much a "one trick pony", much as London is as far as most Germans get in UK. LGW just doesn't have to pull that LHR has for the paying business traffic and LH can just find more profitable things to do with their resources. Apart from connecting and business traffic, LHR acts as the gateway for the Germany/London leisure market.

That Brits can't see beyond Berlin for their holiday is great; it means I can go almost anywhere and hardly hear an English voice, and don't encounter the dregs of our society bladdered on stag dos!
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Old 15th May 2024, 07:57
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The military also played a huge part in UK-Germany traffic. R&R and friends and family.
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Old 15th May 2024, 09:45
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
The military also played a huge part in UK-Germany traffic. R&R and friends and family.
Some limited military traffic remains - indeed want to go back far enough Britannia acquired two 737- 200s with main deck cargo doors specifically for supporting that traffic

Now as to the graveyard - ATNOTTs quite agree with you - it most certainly isn’t into the regions particularly the Midlands and North West where auto industries and construction associated industries can and do maintain healthy loads to Düsseldorf, Hamburg and Stuttgart with a host of SME contractors in both directions (historically me included)

Düsseldorf isn’t just Germany either , need to the get to Venlo, Röemond indeed anywhere east of Tilburg its better than Amsterdam by a country mile , and that area houses many of the major building external envelope manufacturers (Novoferm and Kone for instance ) additionally to the automotive industries and not a few agricultural businesses as well.

The levels of trade related businesses are phenomenal !

This is a quite different cohort in the real economy not banking and service industries.

Düsseldorf must be among the longest consistently operated routes from both Manchester and Birmingham .

Now where does Gatwick sit in relation to those real economy industries - Not all well to be honest .

No heavy industries in Sussex and few in Kent ( mines long gone ). As for Surrey stock brokers and Heathrow users




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Old 15th May 2024, 10:52
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I saw this in an IAG press release. Have they started and how do they avoid humans and large chuncks of aircraft?
IAG will deploy Aurrigo's technology at Gatwick from May. Picture Credit Aurrigo

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Old 15th May 2024, 15:07
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CityFlyer Express operated LGW - DUS/CGN/BRE IN THE 1990s. They were all profitable, especially DUS. There was not a lot of BA feed on them. It was predominantly point to point pax.
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Old 15th May 2024, 21:58
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Full aircraft loads don't always equate to profitable loads

Originally Posted by ATNotts
FlyLGW,

Not sure where the "UK/Germany" reference comes from. You appear to believe the UK is London!

I used to use STN/NUE on Air Berlin regularly and it was very well loaded. It is true that since the capital moved to Berlin UK tourism is very much a "one trick pony", much as London is as far as most Germans get in UK. LGW just doesn't have to pull that LHR has for the paying business traffic and LH can just find more profitable things to do with their resources. Apart from connecting and business traffic, LHR acts as the gateway for the Germany/London leisure market.

That Brits can't see beyond Berlin for their holiday is great; it means I can go almost anywhere and hardly hear an English voice, and don't encounter the dregs of our society bladdered on stag dos!
Never confuse a full flight with a profitable flight unless you have seen evidence of these flights actually being profitable as well.

I still remember Pan Am's flights from Heathrow to the States in the 1980s being so heavily overbooked that they spent a fortune paying passengers to agree to be bumped off their flights, losing billions in the process.

And as far as Air Berlin is concerned, for most of the airline's post German reunification's existence as a German company, they were losing money big time as the airline struggled to find a profitable USP in the German and global aviation market. In this context, it should be noted that the vast majority of its scheduled routes - incl. UK-Germany services - never turned a profit. The only time Air Berlin was consistently profitable was pre German reunification, when it was legally a US charter airline based in what was then the former political exclave of West Berlin's Tegel Airport (now defunct) as only US, UK and French airlines were permitted to fly from and to Cold War era West Berlin.

I do however agree that CityFlyer Express was a rare exception among Gatwick-based full-service scheduled airlines, which managed to be consistently profitable on nearly all its short-haul scheduled routes from the airport, incl. those serving various destinations in Germany. It's a real shame that BA decided to close down what was effectively its only profitable, non-leisure focused short-haul operation at Gatwick following its takeover of CityFlyer Express. Contrast this with Lufthansa's wholly unprofitable Eurowings short-haul subsidiary, which is being (mis)used by its parent to keep highly sought-after slots warm at Heathrow for strategic purposes (i.e., to prevent rivals like BA, Virgin and the MEB3 - first and foremost, Emirates - the airline Lufthansa loves to hate and blame for its largely self-inflicted woes - from buying the slots utilised for these loss-making Eurowings services, which don't even feed into the Lufthansa hubs in Frankfurt and Munich).
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