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Old 28th Apr 2021, 05:41
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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Yep. It’s a long time since those countries joined the EU now. Many of the first wave of migrants are now very integrated, with good jobs, homes and families. BA has done well with its Krakůw service so I guess they are hoping for similar.
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Old 28th Apr 2021, 08:18
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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The big advantage BA have is onward connections and through tickets via LHR for inbound passengers but yes agree on point to point traffic good luck up against Wizz etc
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Old 28th Apr 2021, 08:39
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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Something people often overlook is Poland and Romania are both fast growing economies, far outstripping the UK. All of these are good tourist destinations, Gdańsk and Riga are already established but Cluj in particular has a lot to offer both in the city and as gateway to Transylvania
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Old 28th Apr 2021, 12:11
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure itís anything more than finding places to fly their aircraft whilst business travel remains lower than pre-pandemic. VFR will rebound fairly quickly.

There are plenty of successful Eastern European people in this country, but my experience (Iím married to one) is that no matter how much theyíre earning, theyíll always take the cheapest flight home, never pay to take a bag and will make their own sandwiches to take onboard. I donít think many will be paying a surplus to avoid Wizz or Ryanair.

That said, theyíre all fantastic cities to visit and itís nice to see BA thinking outside the box.
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 05:34
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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Iím also surprised BAW havenít picked up something like VNO in addition to RIX. A handful of flights a week isnít going to make much of a dent in terms of connectivity, but as you say these Eastern and Baltic states have had a real growth spurt in recent years. WZZ constantly packs out a twice daily A321 ex LTN but only THY and DLH are the network carriers with feed there.
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Old 29th Apr 2021, 06:32
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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LOT continued flying LCY-VNO for a lot of the pandemic. E190 subsidised route. Maybe not worth going up against them and the low costs.
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Old 4th May 2021, 22:05
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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hayessteph

ba.com has been taken down overnight again for maintenance, which didn't happen before COVID-19.
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Old 4th May 2021, 22:29
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Let's hope it was just maintenance ...
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Old 5th May 2021, 02:14
  #169 (permalink)  
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Unfortunately, BA has spent some years not learning from their IT mistakes. Like many legacy companies, the cost and risk of migrating from old systems to new is, now, so great and the risk so high - that most continue to patch up and hope it all keeps working.

I don't know who to credit with this sketch - but it sure is true.


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Old 5th May 2021, 08:01
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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Always happy to give credit to Randall Munroe https://xkcd.com/2347/

Last edited by kar42; 6th May 2021 at 10:49.
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Old 5th May 2021, 15:09
  #171 (permalink)  
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Thanks for that kar42. Credit noted in my copy of it. I worked in telecommunications and IT for 27 years and have friends still in that game. This cartoon applies to many, many place and installations. A project I did in 2002 for an oil trading company: They were very anxious about maintaining their online access through most of the installation process. So we identified the key components and found that the single device on which it all relied was supplied by a plug-top power supply. This little transformer was placed UNDER the raised floor in the equipment room so that no one knew where it was. It was not labelled. The DC power lead from it to the device was the usual thin cable and, where it entered into the device - it was not tied down. Thus any casual work taking place in the same cabinet could have accidentally ripped the little plug out of the back and they would have been stranded.
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Old 5th May 2021, 20:41
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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I read somewhere that most legacy airlines IT systems are as good as can support the most basic installation - which for the likes of BA can be in places with really poor telecoms so the IT is similarly basic.
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Old 6th May 2021, 07:09
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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Going back to the new routes I've always understood that BA has multiple market segmentations. The obvious one is business versus tourists/VFR. But much of their network these days is based on connecting traffic through LHR. Therefore my question is how much will these new flights simply be passengers travelling to London and back (or London to ... and back) but how much of the traffic will be using LHR for transit. I'd also be interested to know where that transit traffic originates - Europe outbound or rest of the world? There's a Polish dispora in North America and, a bit like people in Manchester not wanting to travel via LHR how muny Poles would want to avoid WAW?
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Old 6th May 2021, 14:38
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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There are a lot of quite big cities in Europe that have no or very few N American connections. Same goes with most of Africa. Used to be the Mid East as well but they're now taken care of. Many national airlines will fly you to New York but as we all know that 's just the start of your problems.
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Old 6th May 2021, 15:59
  #175 (permalink)  
 
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Hartington

Our major nearby major French city typifies the case Asturias is making - one of the biggest cities in the country, a major aviation/tech hub, but nil flights direct toNorth America.

BA picked up a lot of States bound business from that city from people who chose not to transfer in Paris.
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Old 6th May 2021, 16:28
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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Which is pecisely why I'm questioning the discussion. BA won't be in competition with Wizz and their ilk for local traffic (They'll sell a few local seats when it suits them though!).
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Old 6th May 2021, 22:58
  #177 (permalink)  
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SealinkBF

It has varied over the years. True the end user device needs to be as simple as possible. Nowadays, PCs are so cheap it easier to use them - but they are not processing much data, being a terminal.

The key is that 'every system has complexity' it depends where that complexity lies. A good example is that of the desktop computer. The PC route places a lot of the complexity with the end user, or the person who is maintaining it - thus they are cheaper. Apple decided that they would handle the complexity - so their devices are easier for end users as they are all designed to fit together (intially in hardware now in software) and so they are more expensive. {They are more expensive for other reasons too!} Up until some 30 years ago, the domestic motor car placed the complexity on the end user. A 'manual choke' and other such have all been swept away and the complexity now lies in it's computer and the end user just presses the Start button - irrespective of the outside temperature, etc.

Airlines have a serious problem of complexity and their back office 'main frames' as they were called, have to deal with incredible demands and many systems are linked so that long term planning, short term scheduling, right down to bar snacks can happen. There are all the separate systems for collecting route data for each and every flight and maintenance that feeds back into the schedule and availability of each air frame.

In many companies (I am suggesting many large companies) that central complexity has not kept up to date with new software platforms. The costs and risks of moving to a new platform are HUGE - but so is just patching up the old, as BA has learnt. I am well aware of the enormity of the problem that BA faces, as well as the rest of the IAG group. But, if they create a good system, they can duplicate it for all the companies. It is IAG who have to fix this, not BA alone.

Many companies around the world think of themselves as, say, making and selling a range of canned goods but, actually they are not. They are an IT company that makes and sells a range of canned goods. BA is an IT company that provides aircraft seats.

It is this reversal of technology across the last 30/40 years that has allowed a well known online shopping company to become top of the tree. They are an IT company that started off selling books and then sold almost everything else. Observing BA and their IT failures of the last decades, I conclude that they have not yet learnt this.

I will now sit down to be corrected!
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Old 8th May 2021, 09:13
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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Airlines like BA have several significant problems when it comes to IT. First is that the underlying reservations systems were built when the only way to get the throughtput required was a mainframe. Even then, they used 7-bit ASCII which limited them to upper case and a small number of "special characters" (asterisks, dashes etc). They have managed to create XML based interfaces which is how web presentation occurs. What you don't see is quite how those XML interfaces work. You fill in a form and the result is an XML message. The recieving system(s) then have to complete several separate transactions to be able to send back the necessary response.

Reservations then require fares. Here the news is better in that the fare systems have largely migrated away from mainframes. However, distribution of fares between systems (so that airlines can sell interline tickets even within alliancs) remains batch based via people like SITA and ATPCO.

Ticketing has obviously evolved. In my lifetime we've gone from handwritten via printed to ATB to electronic but it's not all good news. Back in the days of handwritten you could string as many tickets together (ticekts had/have a maximum of 4 coupons/flight) to create a multi stop journey as you wanted. The trade press occasionally had pictures of travel agents with "daisy chains" of tickets strung across their office. These days the maximum number of coupons on an electronic ticket? 16 - Sixteen.

If we go back to the ATB we see another poroblem the airlines face - other airlines. As I said, tickets had/have 4 coupons per ticket number. But the ATB theoretically could handle 99 coupons and one major European airline built their system to take advantage of that. Every other airline had a problem. Why? Because the accounting systems assumed that no ticket number could be associated with more than 4 coupons.

Sticking with the "other airlines" theme they need to communicate with one another. Message formats need to be agreed across the industry (yes, you can have some bilateral agreements). One of my first ever IATA meetings was an annual affair. Because of some particular issues they decided to hold two meetings a year instead! Getting all the delegates together in one place at the same time isn't easy, yes the delegates probably travel on free staff tickets but IATA rules say the meetings have to rotate around the world so an airline that can easily send delegates to Geneva may have a problem getting to SIngapore simply because the planes are sull and staff travel is embargoed.

Departure Control Systems (DCS) (check in) are another area where issues arise. When electronic tickets appeared the DCS needed to be able to access the ticket database to check the passenger had paid and to mark the ticket coupon as used. But what happens if the flight then "goes tech" and the ticket needs to be reissued because the passenger has to get a connection to get to destination? You need to mark the coupon unused then go to reservations, make the new booking, then create a new ticket "in exchange" for the original, write a new ticket record, mark the original coupon used (again) and potentially another airline has to be able to access that ticket for the new connection.

Bottom line. There are multiple, interconnected systems, Changing one probably requires co-ordinated changes to at least one, and often several, other system.
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Old 8th May 2021, 09:54
  #179 (permalink)  
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Thanks Hartingon for a superb setting out of the problem. The new problem is that, post Covid losses, no airline has the money to start the process, leave alone for concerted effort across the globe to make new standards. The first step would be for IATA to start the process of agreeing standards (which takes years) so as to be ready when the money is.

Last edited by PAXboy; 8th May 2021 at 17:39.
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Old 8th May 2021, 13:12
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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excellent post Hartington

I'd also suspect that a legacy airline like BA has bits of software still operating that date back to the 1960's

I know of a large financial services outfit that found all sort of little programs beavering away that were at least 50 years old - all beautifully short, doing the small jobs perfectly 24/7 - but undocumented and unknown - until they decided to upgrade
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