View Full Version : bmi to base A320 @ LBA

682ft AMSL
4th Sep 2001, 20:37
As the title suggests really. Flight schedules issued for the forthcoming winter season suggest a based A320 to operate the LHR run instead of a 737. The move begs a couple of quesitons:

1) Is this a capacity or a performance decision. i.e. is the 'bus more comfortable than the Boeing with CAT II/III approaches onto 32.

2) Which route has the 'bus been released from to allow it to join us up on the hill.

In addition, bmi will have 2 x based Emb-145 (GLA,JER and CDG) and a -135 (EDI).


4th Sep 2001, 21:04

good news! I'm a regular passenger on this route, and the early LBA-LHR and evening flight back are always packed, in both classes.

What do you mean by the Airbus being more comfortable though? for pilots or pax? I've never found it too bad - sure, they thump it down on 32 sometimes, but why would a different plane change that?

[ 04 September 2001: Message edited by: Crowe ]

Max Angle
4th Sep 2001, 21:06
Heard from someone in scheduling that the Airbus is set to operate the LBA-LHR route this winter. It may well be a capacity thing, since the rail network went belly up the loads on LBA, MME and MAN have all increased. CAT 3 is not a problem on the 737 so I don't think it can be that. We have at least 2 new bus's coming over the winter so I guess one will repace a 737 in this route.

Leeds in winter should make BHD seem very pleasant, can't wait!.

[ 04 September 2001: Message edited by: Max Angle ]

682ft AMSL
5th Sep 2001, 01:11
Crowe & Max : I was thinking from a pilot's perspective as opposed the passenger's. bmi's 737's (all series) generally seem to be overweight for CAT3 landings onto 32. Yes, they have the capabability, but very seldom do they shoot approaches. (Ditto: Britannia B757's)

Considering that there is only an extra 6 seats on the 320 (156) vs the 737-400 (150)I guessed that the decision to use the 'bus might have been driven by the fact it may have superior performance criteria for low vis approaches onto 32.

It will also be interesting to see how the Emb's fare. Are they certified for CAT II ops at Leeds yet?


5th Sep 2001, 01:45
In discussions with the 37 guys at LBA this spring,they're penalized if they have too much alt fuel to do the cat3 on32'with a wet' runway. The 320 handled the ops on to 32 okay with 'med' brake selected,with the 'wet'conditions,and local alt fuel.
I believe the 321 again is too heavy?? :eek:

5th Sep 2001, 12:41
The 321 is weight limited on a wet runway to about 73.5 tonnes. With an average ZFM of 70 tonnes that still gives you a shot at CAT 3 and a safe div to MAN. Yes it stops OK, no it is not a problem - done 2 in CAT 3. It's a real shame though that Airbus didn't put the twin bogey that they developed for the 320 onto the 321. Look at Air India 320's and you will see what I mean. Now I wonder if Midland are looking for Direct entry Captains and Multi fleet with the 330?

Lucky Strike
5th Sep 2001, 18:29
Well if they are javelin, get me an application form too..

682ft AMSL
5th Sep 2001, 20:26
Sounds like the decision was based on the landing performance then, more than anything else. Probably something that was agreed as part of the somewhat ambiguous 5 year agreement that was signed between bmi and LBA earlier this year. Lower fees in return for an a/c that is actually able to utilise the upgraded ILS?

That said, the extent to which we do lose the 320 will probably be determined by the size of the tailwind component that the 'bus can accept on 32. If it can shoot a CAT3 with a 10kts or less tailwind component, it shouldn't see much of MAN hopefully. The -145 will probably struggle if it can only shoot CAT2 with a dry runway and a headwind. It ain't gonna happen that often - ask any BY driver.


6th Sep 2001, 01:16

As you spotted but failed to mention, the 737 is operating exclusively Mon-Fri on the LHR-LBA route.

The 737 guys at LBA should be fine. They just have to bid for every weekend off and then get to stay home every night and let the rest get crewing's normal wonderfully efficient rosters which absorb every aicraft change seamlessly.

6th Sep 2001, 12:15

The Star Alliance site says different but has several quirks in it.

ie The 420 on Sat night is a 320 but by Sun morning transforms into a 733!

What's your source?

6th Sep 2001, 16:09
Well we will just have to see if you hit the nail on the head then wont we! ;)

Rdgs K.I.L. :D

682ft AMSL
6th Sep 2001, 20:36
If we're pretty certain that BHD *AND* LBA will flown by a 320, it still begs the quesiton, where is the '320 being released from for LBA and where is the LBA 734 heading?


6th Sep 2001, 22:12
You're forgetting that several Airbusses will be returning from Charter duty.

Capt Chambo
7th Sep 2001, 01:29
Just to point out that neither the A321 or A320 are cleared for CAT3 approaches at LBA.

Should make for an interesting winter.

682ft AMSL
7th Sep 2001, 02:10
Capt C: That's a shame - any chance they will be before winter kicks in? 'busses of AIH and AMM have successfully performed approaches with a full load in Y180 config, so I assume it must be feasible??

7th Sep 2001, 21:10
Chambo - They are, I do !

7th Sep 2001, 21:42
I looked on the reservations computer this morning and weekday LBA flights are all A320
except for BD413. How they work that one out escapes me.

However, http://www.star-alliance.com gives completely different aircraft.

I learned today that it will be at least next week before any decisions on LBA crew conversions to A320 are made. :confused:

11th Sep 2001, 11:55

It seems from this thread that no-one knows (has made a decision) yet. I don't care what aeroplane I fly; just leave me at Leeds, please.

If the 320 comes then I should be converted but won't be bonded because I've been at bmi too long.

Should know a bit more later this week. :confused: