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BA launch Gatwick no-frills price war

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BA launch Gatwick no-frills price war

Old 11th Feb 2002, 03:13
  #81 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Camp X-Ray
Posts: 2,135

Captain Corelli - I would wait until BA publishes some transparent accounts before making wild claims that BACE are so much cheaper than BA. The devil is in the detail, and BRAL/Brymon have certainly benefitted from access to expensive BA terminals, ticketing and reservations systems, customer service staff and a full range of operational backup at many BA outstations and hubs. I very much doubt that those companies pay a proportional share of the costs for these. I know for a fact that you don't contribute towards the cost of running that temple of profligacy we call Waterside. You see, you can't have your cake and eat it. If you want access to the BA brand then eventually you have to pay for it or you just shift the costs on to another division in BA. Now that the profitable BAR is under your accounting auspices, there's nowhere to hide those overheads. Furthermore, the suggestion by some that all BAR routes should be handed to BACE is not necessarily based in sound economic sense. After all, much of the transfer of BAR work to BACE has taken place without any business case whatsoever being made for it, there's evidence it may even have cost the company significant sums of money (and I'm talking 8 figure sums here).

Toontartcart - I suspect if we left you all our UK regional services the following would happen. First, much of the airline would grind to a halt as most of the employee commuters would be stranded all over the country. Secondly, the likes of BMI would move into direct competition with us on many routes, sensing an impending victory. Thirdly the vast majority of our passengers would leave for our competitors because they simply don't like flying round on Embraers and Jetstreams. I won't repeat again why they don't like them, but if you ever have the opportunity to ask the check-in staff what the punters think of them you'd understand. It's no good being low cost if you're not selling a product that people want.

Psr777. I don't have the figures to hand but I bet the cost of flight crew at LGW is comparable to Easyjet if not lower in many cases. Furthermore I suspect the same could be said of the junior cabin crew who are paid peanuts. Yes, BA short haul flights are unprofitable partly becuase all the revenue from long haul transfers goes to long haul, but also because of the whopping, non-FlightOps overheads levied on them. Long haul crew may be left alone, but if you think crew costs are whats crippling this company then you have totally missed the point. As for the AML operation, part of the reason for this going was that it was diluting the brand. People paid to travel on BA and were rightly quite angry at being crammed like sardines into a 777 like they were flying charter and experiencing service levels which were not a patch on regular BA services (I think you work for them but I'm afraid that the feedback I've got from everyone I know whos travelled AML is overwhelmingly negative).

[ 10 February 2002: Message edited by: Hand Solo ]</p>
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 21:15
  #82 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Blackburn
Posts: 210

Hand Solo : You are quite right in saying pax were angry at being crammed into the 777's we operate. However, bear in mind they were configured by BA, they belong to BA and they are not going to be reconfigured once they go back to mainline, they are remaining in the same config. As for service, what can I say, we do offer a slightly different meal service, but that is it. The GPM's actually show that we consistently match and sometimes exceed mainline scores.(and sometimes fall below, especially on seat comfort)

That is not the point though. I fail to see how mainline crew can operate the routes we do for less money. The sums just do not add up and in times when everyone is saving money etc,how can BA justify it to its shareholders?
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 21:37
  #83 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Nova
Posts: 1,241

Hand Solo

If Psr777 does work for AML, you can be sure he/she is doing a damn good job. In my personal experience they are at least the equal of their mainline colleagues, at a fraction of the cost! (No CSD for starters!)

True, the econ seat pitch is definitely a problem, but don't forget we are competing on many of these routes with the charter guys, and I doubt their seat pitch is much (if at all) better.

Incidentally, I believe the attitude of the CAA to AML (effectively a virtual airline) holding an AOC may well have contributed to the downfall of these routes. I can't think of any financial reason for chopping them.
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 22:06
  #84 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 195

The AML 777s will be reconfigured this spring in to 9 abreast 2 class layout - about 355 seats from memory (down from 380+). This gives the same pitch as BA Economy and same number abreast but without First and WT Plus. Sounds like a sensible move. The tendency in BA is to configure longhaul aircraft with too few seats imho. 178 seats on a BA 767 and 326 on a charter is a huge gap. There must be a sensible compromise.
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 22:59
  #85 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 15
Red face


Consider both exactly what Hand Solo says which makes perfect sense and accept the fact that whilst many regional/franchise operators do a very good job of providing services on behalf of a major carrier, some sadly do not.

From this and other posts I suspect that you work for Brymon/CitiExpress and will therefore be aware of the unreliability, poor punctuality and in many cases shoddy state of many of the aircraft used. As a regular (but reluctant) user. .of the BRS and SOU schedules to Aberdeen and Bristol to Edinburgh/Glasgow I have been let down on many occasions having paid for a. ."British Airways" premium product. I appreciate that in aviation there is, as in everything else, an element of "things going wrong", however Brymon seem to 'demonstrate' this better than any other operator with whom I have flown!. .Why should BA give lucrative routes to this company possibly using larger aircraft too, when the infrastructure cannot cope with a small fleet of fifty seaters? Colleagues of yours(?) with whom I have spoken confirm my earlier remarks, blaming skimping and cost-cutting in essential areas. Add to that public perception, regular. .experience of disruption and delay, and the brand suffers enormously.The last thing BA or any other 'major' either needs or wants.

Having said that the Southampton/British Regional element functions very well, seemingly without any. .of the usual 'excuses' being needed.The Cabin and Flight Crew of both companies are trying. .to do a difficult job with minimal resources, (except seemingly in the 'manager department'!!)

With this track record, how and why on earth, . .would BA let you take over more of their short-haul work therefore inviting the degrading and decline of well established and supported services? Cost-reduction is a valid objective but not to the extent that it becomes a false economy and unappealing to customers, especially when they have a choice! They certainly do at Bristol and I for one am only too grateful that this is the case.

Please don't misunderstand me.I am not critcising you personally but simply stating the facts as observed.

Good luck for your efforts at the Newcastle base where employment seems to be 'uncertain'
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 23:24
  #86 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Blackburn
Posts: 210

Porky Speedpig:. .Don't mean to be rude at all, but where did you hear this?

The config we operate is 28J/355Y and have been told that they are definitely NOT being reconfigured, due to costs. However, mainline crew operate to CUN on this aircraft now and I have to say that 9 abreast would be a huge improvement. The big question is though, once again if they are removing seats,using more expensive cabin crew and an increased number of cabin crew ( due to the crew not able to to do double sectors through ANU and so involves crews to operate shuttles) How is this "cost effective"?

Although we don't work for BA, we have a great respect for them and the service we deliver. We do all our training at BA and are trained to operate BA mainline aircraft. For five years we have done pretty well, made a good profit for both JMC and BA with no major problems. The hardest thing to swallow has been that no-one has given us any explanation as to why the contract was terminated. In the present climate, it would seem to make sense to stick with a formula that saves and makes money, good business sense and all that which is why I posed the question in the first place.

If BA are so intent on saving money -irrespective of who I work for- why are they stopping an operation/franchise that makes them money?

This is not a personal gripe or whinge, I have a job to go to, but I am genuinely interested as no-onw seems to have an answer for anybody, shareholder or not.
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Old 11th Feb 2002, 23:53
  #87 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 108
Thumbs down

Griffbms-Please,please,please write to our managers(well thats what they call themselves anyway!) as we in Brymon agree with many of your comments but are we listened to; are we f*&k!
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 02:16
  #88 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: LGW
Posts: 21

In light of recent events BA must be sore at selling GO. There is also a case for being sore with the ending of AML. Every crew I saw were full of fun, gave great service and were actualy pleased to be where they were.

The e/y seats were agreed with BA and actually paid for by BA at the onset. There is not a great amount between a AML 777 and a Classic 747. HAve flown AML several times and ALWAYS treated with respect.

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Old 12th Feb 2002, 04:31
  #89 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Camp X-Ray
Posts: 2,135

Well I'm really going to stick my neck out here and say that the opinions of my friends and colleagues who have flown with AML have been scathing at best. I don't believe that all AML flights are bad, and a number of posters here do state that they have enjoyed great service, but it seems that the standard is far too variable, especially when it drives some of my more passive mates to complain to BA vociferously. I've heard horror stories of lousy service, one drinks round on an 8 hour flight (independently verifed by another mate on the same flight) and a general disinterest in the customer. I'm sure there are a lot of hard working, dedicated cabin crew in the JMC/AML operation, but from what my friends tell me they are being badly let down by many of their colleagues, and that may go some way to explaining why the operation is to be ended, rightly or wrongly.
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 06:16
  #90 (permalink)  
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13


The answer to your question as to why BA terminated the Contract with AML can partly be answered by reference to comments made by Rod Eddington last year when asked a similar general franchisee question.

Essentially he said that while he personally really appreciated the contributions made by the non core areas within the Group, they simply were not sufficent to outweigh the many problems that their very existence gave him within the mainline.

Moreover, he was not the architect of the AML Company structure which, if you are familiar, contains from memory around 28 different Companies simply to enable you to take passengers from London to a few destinations !!

Given that structure, have you ever asked yourself who the ultimate beneficiaries of all your own and your colleagues hard work might be or who else might have had reservations about the set up ?

Finally, I have flown trans-atlantic on your Company's service and it was excellent, especially given the 383 seats, which would have proved an interesting challenge to a less motivated crew !. .I hope this helps a little.

[ 12 February 2002: Message edited by: Flywheel ]</p>
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 15:12
  #91 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: UK
Posts: 195

Psr 777,. .My sources are shall we say "close to the issue itself" (aka me!). The a/c were to be completely reconfigured with flat beds etc but due to cost just the 9 abreast will be done. Flywheel is right re the reasons - you would not believe the bureaucracy that springs up in BA whenever something non standard is contemplated. Rod obviously spotted this. The only exception was "Go" which was kept totally separate to avoid a huge row with The Orangemen.
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Old 12th Feb 2002, 18:28
  #92 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Blackburn
Posts: 210

Thanks for the insight guys ! <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0"> <img src="eek.gif" border="0">
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