View Full Version : BA and Virgin Atlantic Likely to lose their lucrative stranglehold

7th Feb 2002, 21:02
This could cause a shake up:

"British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are likely to lose their lucrative stranglehold over transatlantic flights at Heathrow airport after a European court said that the arrangement is discriminatory and cannot be justified.

In an interim ruling, the European court of justice took the European commission's side against eight countries including Britain and declared that bilateral air transport agreements negotiated with the United States should not discriminate on the basis of nationality.

Under the Bermuda 2 agreement only four airlines - BA, Virgin, American Airlines and United Airlines - are allowed to run flights between London's main airport and the US.

The government has stipulated that, aside from the two American carriers, only those companies majority-owned or controlled by UK nationals should be allowed to offer transatlantic flights. Recent attempts to negotiate a new, more open deal with the US have come to nothing.

The European Commission believes that other European airlines should be able to compete on the same route as BA and Virgin and yesterday's interim ruling opens the way for them to do so.

If that happens BMI British Midland, Britain's second largest airline, believes that the government will have no choice but to throw open Heathrow to other domestic airlines.

BMI announced on Wednesday that it would lodge an official complaint with the competition authorities in Brussels on the grounds that the "carve-up" at Heathrow contravenes the Treaty of Rome.

Sir Michael Bishop, the chairman of BMI, vowed to use the follow-up to yesterday's judgment, expected within the next six months, to seek damages from the gov ernment for being prevented from offering transatlantic flights for so long.

The commission appeared to take BMI's side yesterday and said that the Bermuda deal, agreed between the UK and the US in 1977, is illegal and will have to be scrapped if the court ruling is confirmed. In 80% of cases the final judgment does confirm the initial ruling.

A government spokesman conceded yesterday that there would be implications for Heathrow if the ruling is confirmed but declined to speculate on what they might be. "

. .Sir Micheal has also threatend to sue Stephen Byers and seek compensation for lost opportunities over the Bermuda II.

. .Go Mickey B

7th Feb 2002, 21:35
This could be good news for those made redundant last month.

I hear that bmi have sent some first officers to Toulouse for A330 conversion training. I don't know how many but they must have some work for them to do, if not transatlantic.

Go BISH ! <img src="eek.gif" border="0">

7th Feb 2002, 21:51
If other European airlines are going to be allowed access to LHR at the expense of BA and Virgin, maybe those two companies should be allowed rights to compete from other european countries hubs in the same way. If it's good enough for the goose.

7th Feb 2002, 22:41
Very Interesting.

The new Eruopean court just decides to junk the whole concept of Bi-lateral treaties. What a can of worms this is going to open up.

Several posters above I believe are correct. If this bilaterial is restrictive so are all the others. Is this some kind of open skies by default? Does this court reserve the right to negotiate on behalf of all member countries?

On the US side, the president or in fact the exeutive branch, negotiates treaties and it is ratified by the senate. It's in the constitution and not likley to be changed any time soon.

How will future agreements be negotiated?

"I was married by a judge." "I should have asked for a jury" Groucho Marx

7th Feb 2002, 22:49
Mainfrog, "at the expense of BA and Virgin" Bermuda II has allowed these two airlines huge North atlantic Profits "at the expense of" passengers and other U.K carriers that should be allowed a slice of the cake. The days of monopolies are over, Lets open the skies and let the industry settle into those companies who can and those who cannot.

bmi has proved itself successful in many ways despite always having doors slammed in their face.

BA is naturally worried at the moment and let's hope that the future size and shape plan is as ruthless as it needs to be. If it is I believe they will grow back steadily and efficiently.

Virgin in my opinion is in trouble. They have always cherry picked the best routes and all this under the shield of Bermuda II. Their yields will reduce, their passenger numbers will decline as bmi and others take passengers, and all this without the comfort of an alliance. Notice he is selling kensington roof gardens.

So I beleive BA and virgin are simply being put where they should be - in the middle of fair and healthy competition.

7th Feb 2002, 23:36
IMHO I don't think bmi have really been in much of a position to compete until recently, as they have had few (if any) long haul assets. I don't think anyone could now reasonably argue against it however, good luck to them.

However, the idea of free competition, supposes a level playing field, and that is most definitely not the case when comparing the likes of BA, and AF, or LH. I very much doubt the US carriers, would like to compete without their snouts in the trough of massive Government subsidies either.

So, fair competion, bring it on, as long as we have a level playing field!

7th Feb 2002, 23:44
I used to be on BMI's side with this one as two years ago when they were campaigning for transatlantic routes they were claiming that UK -US fares were abnormally high. This was their main argument in justifying why they should have a bigger slice of the cake.

When they started flying to Washington and Chicago however their flights were no cheaper than any of the 4 LHR carriers! Haven't checked there prices recently however so it may have all changed by now.

8th Feb 2002, 00:35
Where's the quote from notanigel?

8th Feb 2002, 01:08
Quote is from the Guardian, although it has done the tour of a few european broadsheets this week.. .exile: depart 08feb RTN 15feb busines class uk-chicago: bmi 995.20 BA 4979.90 Virgin (boston) 3821

So to be competitive with bmi, BA and Virgin will have to drastically reduce prices (alongside losing customers). ouch

quotes were from respective websites.

8th Feb 2002, 01:44
So BA and Virgin will now be permitted to operate transatlantic out of FRA and CDG ??

Perhaps that deserves closer thought ?

8th Feb 2002, 01:56

Of course the European Authorities wouldn't go that far....that would risk upsetting the French & Germans whom still own large percentages of AF & DL, whilst having far dominant positions at CDG & FRA than BA have at LHR

Couldn't possible make it a level playing field.

<img src="mad.gif" border="0">

8th Feb 2002, 02:25
The issue is that Heathrow is the prefered jumping off point for transatlanitc flights. The high prices maintained by the quadropoly is sustained through that and the fact that london business (mainly financial) can bare the prices. BA and VS dont care much for the slf in the back, its the J class they want. Both will still offer distinct benifits to their pax. As to VS having part of the stranglehold, VS have expanded but not at the rate they wanted, they have been helt up by BA at every turn, Newark, Tokyo - BA did everything to crush or even stop those routes being opened. And then there was Lagos. BA had a pure monoploy on that route, but VS is making it very profitable. We live in intersting times

8th Feb 2002, 03:24
From the South China Morning Post: Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Tin-pot flights of fancy under threat for flag carriers


If Antonio Tizzano has his way, bilateral air services agreements between European Union countries and the rest of the world will be regarded as illegal and will have to be renegotiated.

What is more, the days when every tin-pot European nation can proudly boast its own national airline will soon be past. There will be only one European market in air travel and only one European airspace.

The United States response to the new situation may be bellicose ... Another transatlantic trade war may be hard to avoid.

[Tizzano, Advocate General of the ECJ] has just delivered himself of an "Opinion" in a group of cases brought by the European Commission against the governments of Britain, Germany, Belgium, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg and Austria.


The Opinion stops short of recommending the EC be given exclusive negotiating rights over all EU air traffic agreements [but] the effect of ruling exclusive bilateral deals illegal would be similar.

.... And the precedent will affect bilateral agreements with every non-EU nation from China to Chile ... there is not much point in a flag-carrier with no exclusive routes from national airports.

So far the US has said only that it was studying Mr Tizzano's Opinion. But Washington may be reluctant to tear up all its bilateral agreements, especially since it does rather nicely from the separate deals.

Under open skies arrangements, Washington has negotiated bilateral deals with 56 nations. In many cases, these allow US airlines to pick up passengers inside the partner country and fly them to another airport. A US airline could, for instance, carry German passengers between Frankfurt and Berlin. Yet if EU airlines land in New York, they cannot pick up passengers and fly them to Dallas.


What the EU wants is for Ms de Palacio's team to negotiate for the EU as a whole, giving it far more leverage and the chance to negotiate a real open skies agreement with equal rights on both sides to negotiate slots at any airport they choose.

It is an arrangement which would force Britain, for instance, to allow foreign airlines access to profitable transatlantic routes out of Heathrow.


But an end to 50 years of nation-to-nation deals would also give a big airline such as BA the chance to buy up a smaller European carrier and fly from its home airports.

If the US is true to its free-trade principles it will recognise that negotiating a Europe-wide open skies deal would be of benefit to both sides. Its own airlines would be able to fly passengers between EU countries in return for similar rights for European carriers flying between points in the US.

If Washington chose to protect its own airlines from European competition on domestic flights, it would have no scruples in launching another trade war.

But at least it would be picking on someone its own size. With the EU, Washington would be dealing with a single negotiating partner of equal weight and economic importance, instead of dividing and ruling a group of 15 minnows.

8th Feb 2002, 03:30
link for the whole column is:

<a href="http://columns.scmp.com/colart/ebrief/ZZZF351H5XC.html" target="_blank">http://columns.scmp.com/colart/ebrief/ZZZF351H5XC.html</a>

mainfrog & magplug: note that this wasn't the Commission v HMG, this was Commission v 8 seperate member states, including Germany, so yes, BA, Virgin, BMI et al would get rights to FRA, and by extension (although France wasn't present) out of CDG

Donkey Duke
8th Feb 2002, 06:37
OOOOOOHHHHH SNAP! SNAP! Sounds like maybe there is a future at LHR for Delta, NW, CO, and USAir.. .Oh, that's right---there isn't any room. Yeah right. Maybe Delta could use Air France's gates,. .and NW use KLM's gates etc.....Hmmmmmm.

Thanks. Donkey Duke <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

8th Feb 2002, 10:36
BA, VS and the British Gov't should have seen the writing on the wall regarding Bermuda II a few years ago. Had they done so, they could have negotiated a reasonable position whereby they allowed other airlines access to LHR-US without sacrificing their natural dominance on the routes.

Now they have allowed the EU and rival airlines to get to a position whereby they control the agenda and the cost to the inbumbents will be potentially far greater.

8th Feb 2002, 10:59
Two points:. .(1) The almost total lack of success of third-country airlines in operating intra-European routes shows what will happen. No matter what the rules out of any major hub to the US, only airlines (and their alliance partners) that can supply the feeder traffic will be successful.. .(2) The companies, such as mine, that fill up business and first class seats, do not pay anything like the full fares in most countries. The UK seems to be an exception. Recently I flew Geneva-Houston with LH (no restrictions) in Business for 930 pounds. My colleague based near Glasgow flew to and from Houston on the same days, and the cheapest BA fare he could get was over 3,000. This is what the treaty of Rome is getting at when speaking of "Abuse of a dominant position".

8th Feb 2002, 11:39
For what it's worth, here's the Virgin line from the press release section of virginatlantic.com


Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, today welcomed the European Court’s opinion that member states’ so-called “open skies” agreements with the United States are illegal.

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, said:

“This decision vindicates Virgin Atlantic’s consistent position over the last few years. We have always lobbied for true “open skies” but only if that means full liberalisation of all regulations governing air services within and between Europe and the US.

“Today’s decision presents an historic opportunity for Britain and the European Commission in partnership to negotiate a deal with the United States which would usher in a new era in aviation. Our vision of the future is a complete deregulation of everything from routes and airline access rights, all the way through to mergers and acquisitions. Such a vision would put the industry on an equal footing with other mature industries and bring in cheaper fares, a higher quality of service and a much more efficient industry.

“Among many benefits to consumers it would give the US carriers the right to fly within Europe and British carriers the right to fly within the US.

“I have written to Stephen Byers to encourage him to throw the UK Government’s weight behind the decision and to be a leading influence on the European Commission’s negotiations. The UK’s uniquely dynamic aviation sector stands to gain more than most in Europe from this historic decision.”

Also Flight International's take on it is that it will take years for anything to be agreed.

'........European airline industry's largest shake-up ever'

[ 08 February 2002: Message edited by: crewrest ]</p>

Sonic Cruiser
8th Feb 2002, 13:44
Some competition to VS AA UA BA (Apart From Air India & Kuwait) would be good for the market and pax. Although where are the slots going to come from if others want to start operating. ]

BD obviously have their own to use. SQ also want to fly UK-US, if they started then the four majors would probably feel it, VS espcially as SQ own 49% they would not really be in a position to object.

Dan Winterland
8th Feb 2002, 14:14
Sir Dicky is just asking for a level playing field and not the US idea of open skies which would benefit no European airline. The VS Singapore tie up could open a lot more routes for VS in return for Singapore's acccess to the US.

Mr Bean
8th Feb 2002, 22:27
Bmi has been around now for several years and like other airlines has suffered hardships during the downturn in business, not only since 11 Sept but previously during the Gulf war. It is quite clear that they and indeed any other UK airlines should be given the oppurtunity to be able to fly to the US from LHR if they so wish, they call it competition. Maybe SMB is not one to sucker up to the right people. Simplistic view I know but why can't a British Airline, from where it has its base, fly to anywhere it so wishes. Time for a change...watch out BA and Virgin.

8th Feb 2002, 23:23
Erm...Donkey Duke, with regards to Delta using Air France's gates - when was the last time you tried to park a 777 in a space designed for a 320/321/737? Or even an A300?

KLM/NW might be more feasible......

Donkey Duke
9th Feb 2002, 00:56

Hey, Delta or NW could probably pay for a new ramp or stand area.(or jetway) I have seen in ATL. .the same jetways used for Delta 737-800's, . .MD-11's, 777's, and old SwissAir 747-300's. So,. .I don't think it would be a problem. As far as space between planes, I'm sure they can work that out. Not all planes leave at the same time. NW in Minneapolis uses different airplanes in each gate--from 747-200's to 727's. Somehow, I don't think it would be a problem. Maybe Gulf Air would. .give them some space, or maybe not.

. .Thanks. Donkey Duke <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

9th Feb 2002, 04:52
Donkey Duke, I don't doubt that you have seen 738s and 743s at the same gate in ATL - the gates are probably designed for 747 size aircraft!!

The 'cul-de-sac' from where AF operate at T2 LHR is somewhat different - I doubt you could get anything larger than an A321 in there.

<a href="http://www.airliners.net/open.file?id=043695" target="_blank">AF A320 at T2 - notice the size of the gates in the background</a>

That's why KLM/NW would have more of a chance - T4 gates as far as I am aware are all (apart from the west end) 767 upwards.

I've told you before - any new US operator will have to buy someone elses (Terminal 3) operation - just as AA and UA did in the early 90s.

And, hate to disappoint you, but GF's space is not for sale - it's not theirs to sell - rights/slots controlled by the member states, BAH, AUH, DOH & MCT

PS - Have you ever been to Heathrow!?. .[ 09 February 2002: Message edited by: BahrainLad ]

[ 09 February 2002: Message edited by: BahrainLad ]</p>

Donkey Duke
9th Feb 2002, 08:49

Yes, I have been to Heathrow, but not flying there personally. Why? Because my airline, like many large airlines from the United States, can't fly in there. Why? Because Airlines like BA and AA and UA are scared of the competition. So, most of my flying has been into Gatwick. But, IF the EU rules the way they should, soon you will be seeing NW 747's, DL 777's, CO 777's, and USAir. .A330's next to your Gulf Air birds. And I believe NW, Delta, CO and maybe USAir(maybe..?). .can afford to buy some gate space or stand space or whatever.

Hey Baharainlad, have you ever been to ATL? It's. .a lot busier and is run a lot smoother than LHR.. .(Even in the FOG)

Thanks. Donkey Duke <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

Donkey Duke
9th Feb 2002, 08:53
Sorry, I mispelled your name --it's Bahrainlad.

Sorry! Donkey Duke <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

9th Feb 2002, 12:30
If LHR does open up then Aer Lingus could find themselves owning very valuable slots indeed at LHR. Could be interesting bidding for them from the likes of Delta.

9th Feb 2002, 15:07
Donkey Duke, you're not missing anything at LHR, I'd stick with Gatwick and it's funky train to central London if I were you.

Christopher James
9th Feb 2002, 17:04
Is it not true that a huge part of the problem here is the lack of available capacity at LHR? Paris Amsterdam and Frankfurt have all added the necessary airport infrastructure which provides the room that free competition needs. How can we have a truely level playing field, permitting free competition, when there isn't sufficient room on the ground for the would be players.

9th Feb 2002, 17:54
I hear BMI are in a spot of trouble at the moment due to the low cost operators. therefore they need something to help them out and rites to LHR could help. It could aloso backfire as I think any backdoor open skies policy would mean them having to give up some of their slots to other EU or US operators.

10th Feb 2002, 21:25
Couple of points. No one owns the slots, other than I think BAA. Gate rental is something different. The irish lads gates would be of no use to any carrier from overseas. They are in T1 which os for domestic. And while BMI will be feeling the pinch there is no way they would give up an LHR slot - thats the cashflow

11th Feb 2002, 21:16
Donkey D

You tell us you have never operated into LHR, then assert that ATL "is a lot busier, and run a lot smoother than LHR (even in the FOG)

If you haven't operated into LHR, how would you know?

Are all your opinions so well informed?

Cheers mate

13th Feb 2002, 02:27
It's not such a difficult thing to use differing size aircraft on the same stands. LGW does it very nicely on the north Terminal, with a left right and center line config. Easy peasy, and with jetties for all. So now you can fit one long haul or two shorthaul a/c on any given stand.

What's the mystery?

Donkey Duke
13th Feb 2002, 02:52

Well, you have a point. But from all of the responses about LHR and the total mess people complain about regularly on this forum---I guess I just inferred. No one has said anything terribly bad about ATL, and since I have been flying in and out of ATL frequently in the past, in bad weather and good, I guess I just assumed.. .I would really like to personally fly in there in the future---and I am hoping the EU rules in my airline's favor. You have to admit that the business traveller and the dollars/pounds flow. .more into LHR than LGW. (A recent USAToday article also stated that) But flying into Gatwick itself isn't that bad---the guys/gals at Gatwick director always do a good job, and there probably is less holding time on arrival at LGW---no long Bovington(?) holds for LHR. (That may be wrong---I thought I heard that on the LHR director freq.) Anyways, I look forward to flying near Big Ben and Harrods on arrival to LHR someday---hopefully soon.

Thanks. Donkey Duke <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

13th Feb 2002, 02:57
Olmy, you're referring to the North stands which serve Gates 57 etc (UK Domestic).

You're right, more than one aircraft (if both are small) can be parked on one gate - that's because they are designed for large aircraft and have been adapted, rather than the reverse.

There would be some areas in LHR (T2 cul-de-sac, T1 Domestic) where even parking (never mind connecting to facilities) anything larger than an A320 would cause serious disruption.

Longhaul 777/747 aircraft are confined to T4, T3 and certain T1 stands only - and they're all full.

Christopher James
13th Feb 2002, 12:59
Donkey Duke

The problem with Heathrow is the lack runway and stand capacity, which is cronic to say the least but I think "mess" might be putting it a little strongly, if I may say. At Heathrow we have to extract every ounce of capacity there is and that means being as efficient as possible.

About 7 years ago I went on a visit to Chicago. The boss there told me they did about 35 per hour off 4 of the available 7 runways, totalling 140 per hour. At Heathrow we only have 2 runways available to us and we get up to 90 per hour off them, about 45 off each. The nature of Heathrow is significantly longhaul and so a high percentage of traffic is Heavy which does impact the rates.

I think what I am trying to say is that if Heathrow were a mess we wouldn't be able to shift the traffic we do. (Actually I think we do okay, generally.) Our country is tiny compared to yours and our politicians won't give us what we have to have until they absolutely have to which means we are always behind the game. It then falls to we ATCOs to squeeze everything we can out of this inadequacy so that the passengers aren't too inconvenienced.

One little thing that drives us CRAZY. It is called BovingDon not Bovington!!!

<img src="smile.gif" border="0">

Looking forward to welcoming you sometime soon.

Nine Left

Donkey Duke
13th Feb 2002, 22:35
Nine left,

Thanks for the kind words. I, too, look forward to the day to fly into the top international airport in the world. No one can deny that LHR is the tops. That is why everyone wants to fly into LHR. I know there isn't a lot of space at LHR. There has got to be a way that airlines can get "creative" when it comes to stand usage and usage of "space." I am sure that someone will come up with something---like scheduling certain aircraft to arrive and leave within a certian amount of time etc. Who knows? That is what engineers are paid for. But, I don't think an extra 12-17 flights a day period (given to all new entrants total) would cause a huge problem. The arrivals would probably be spread out---not all arriving at 5am. And departures would also be spread out between 11am and 4pm. I have confidence in the LHR and BAA people in charge.

Sorry about the BovingTON mess-----you are correct---it is Bovingdon. Take it easy.

. .Thanks. Donkey Duke <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

Hand Solo
14th Feb 2002, 00:15
Well now you're making sense, and I doubt anyone in BA would oppose 12-17 slots per day shared between all new entrants. What we do object to is 33 slots per day handed over exclusively to American carriers. So do you agree, or disagree, that the price demanded by the US government was unrealistically high?

Donkey Duke
14th Feb 2002, 02:55
Hand Solo,

Well I was also surprised when the US Govt requested 33 or 36 roundtrip slots. That may be a little bit too many. But, you have to give the other US entrants a chance to compete. Look how many slots at JFK BA and VS have--(Ofcourse JFK. .slots are primarily used between 4pm and 11pm for the business traveler) BA has flights in the summer time from JFK to Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, and London (LHR and LGW). All of them. .leave during that 4pm to 11pm window.

Anyways... This is what I think is fair for the US. .Airlines (And I believe SQ also wanted to fly from LHR to ORD or JFK...I don't know)

Northwest: 2 flts a day to Detroit. . 1 flt a day to MSP (These are there. . 2 largest bases and they may also want a MEM. . flt---and they do not have a presence in JFK. . or EWR----they also may want a BOS flt)

Delta: 3 flts to JFK. . 1 flt to BOS. . 2 flts to ATL. . 2 flts to CVG. . They have a large base in JFK and to . . compete with BA/VS/AA/UA/CO they need atleast . . 3 flts a day for the businessman. They also. . have a large presence in BOS, and large bases . . in CVG and ATL. BA does compete on the ATL . . route, but not CVG.

Continental: 3 flts to EWR. . 2 flts to IAH. . 1 flt to CLE. . They also need 3 flts to compete to. . New York for the business traveler. IAH and. . CLE also need service.

USAir: 2 flts to PHL. . 1 flt to CLT. . 1 Flt to PIT. . 1 flt to BOS. . They need atleast 2 flts to PHL for . . That same NYC-PHL area, and they also need. . flts to their other hubs, including BOS . . which they have a large presence. BA flies. . 2 daily flts from LHR to PHL. BWI seems to . . be losing presence for USAir.

Well, I have changed the number to 22 flights for the US entrants, and one more for Singapore. .to fly to ORD to compete with AA and BA. I think that would be fair, and remember---not all of the cities would be in direct competition to BA---like. .Pittsburg, Cleveland, and Cincinnati. BA flies to Den and PHX---and no one competes. (Yes, they are currently from LGW----but the way BA keeps moving flts from LGW to LHR when shrinking it's inter-Europe flts---it's only a matter of time)

As far as the "space" issue----I am sure engineers. .can figure out something.

Oh yeah, I am sure VS would like some more slots--. .but that is between BA and VS---we're talking about a US/UK bilateral. Let us in please.

. .Thanks. Donkey Duke <img src="cool.gif" border="0"> <img src="cool.gif" border="0">

14th Feb 2002, 17:22
So what do Uk airlines get from this agreement?

With 6 US airlines compared to 2 UK airlines this hardly seems fair?

How many UK Airlines will be allowed to operate to the US?

Oliver James
14th Feb 2002, 17:43
The traffic scheduled into Heathrow now exactly matches the declared capacity, so it is difficult to see how we can accept more traffic without a change in the noise policy to permit mixed mode ops. during the day.

At 06:00 Heathrow is flat out for arrivals, using both runways. Very often we get to 25 minutes holding and we run this at least one ATCO short of the 'daytime' numbers. Even now we need to look at ways of reducing this bulge through en-route traffic management so adding more traffic to it will not be acceptable.

With demand so closely matching capacity throughout the day, any drop off in landing rates, through strong wind or runway blockage (even short term), puts us under a great deal of pressure.

How was it ever accepted that we could provide another 8% of movements to satisfy T5 as the enquirey was told by th BAA boss? How can we ever have freely competitive, open skies until we address the choke points?

Heathrow needs redundant runway capacity if it is to satisfy our industry's needs and our government has been negligent in this regard, effectively preventing truely free competition.

I suggest that is where we need to look, and the sooner the better.. . <img src="rolleyes.gif" border="0">

Point 4

14th Feb 2002, 20:23
Well said 120.4, couldn't agree more.

Porky Speedpig
14th Feb 2002, 23:56
Duke - just for the record there are no BA JFK ops to/fm LGW, BHX or GLA any more and LHR services were cut back after 9/11.. .Word here is that UAL are going to sue BA/AA for their legal costs preventing us doing what every other ****** seems to be allowed to do - seems a bit rich. May be they are ven more desperate for cash than they are letting on. British TV was quoting some outrageously low Business Class fares LON-USA on UAL this weekend.