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Ideas about how British Airways will use the extra Gatwick slots.

Ideas about how British Airways will use the extra Gatwick slots.

Old Dec 1, 17, 2:56 pm
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Ideas about how British Airways will use the extra Gatwick slots.

Hopefully it is ok to start a thread such as this? Thought it might be interesting to share ideas/ hopes about how BA will use its extra Gatwick slots.
I expect lots of behind the scenes planning is going on at present and realistically don't expect many announcements before the new year. IAG have already said they will use
the slots to increase BA frequencies on current routes as well as add new destinations both long haul and short haul. I expect the latter will be easier to expand first. Anyway it will be interesting to see what develops.
Some of my thoughts for short haul are Gran Canaria, Milan, Frankfurt, Geneva (all year round rather than seasonal), and Mahon. I also envisage increases on routes that Monarch used to operate that are also served by BA.
Hopefully Paphos will at last go daily once again after a few years at 5 a week in the summer. The flights are always busy. Was good to see Paphos revert to year round this winter too. I wonder if they do add more long haul destinations they may look at more domestic routes to bring in more holiday makers from the regions. I'm not sure this is likely, but maybe not impossible to see Newcastle, Manchester or Belfast (Ryanair I believe have left the Belfast route).
As far as long haul is concerned I am less certain about what to expect.
Looking forward to hearing the views and opinions of others.
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Old Dec 1, 17, 3:01 pm
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Does anyone think they may re-introduce any West African services from Gatwick? I remember during the BCAL days Monrovia, Freetown and Banjul being served. BA continued to operate them for a while from LGW then moved them to LHR.
I don't believe they have operated since the ebola outbreak. A 777 may be too big for such a route though.
I also read today that Thomas Cook Airlines are taking 4 ex-Monarch A321s. I wonder if any of the others will end up with BA.
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Old Dec 1, 17, 3:42 pm
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I think it is actually IAG that has the LGW slots, so my guess is that a combination of Vueling, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Level and BA will utilise these slots to places like ORY, BCN, MAD, FCO, DUB etc in order to keep them "active" until the time comes when they can properly reallocate their fleet and come up with a route strategy.

Or, whereever Norwegian currently fly to from LGW!
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Old Dec 1, 17, 3:49 pm
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Plenty of chat in here:

IAG snaps up Monarch LGW landing slots
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Old Dec 1, 17, 3:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Firipu View Post
I think it is actually IAG that has the LGW slots, so my guess is that a combination of Vueling, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Level and BA will utilise these slots to places like ORY, BCN, MAD, FCO, DUB etc in order to keep them "active" until the time comes when they can properly reallocate their fleet and come up with a route strategy.

Or, whereever Norwegian currently fly to from LGW!
IAG isn’t an airline so don’t think they can hold slots. BA can and BA can transfer them to other airlines for a fee or for free.

Suspect short term while plans are finalized we will see the belfast/manchester routes return along with extra capacity to existing short haul routes.

Ovet the next few years I suspect BA will take the 2nd hand A388s and then trickle 772s to crawley international for new long haul routes.


cs
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Old Dec 1, 17, 3:53 pm
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Firipu. IAG have stated that the majority of the slots will be used by BA.
I appreciate the existence of the other thread but that was primarily concerned with the acquisition of the slots. This thread is intended to discuss what comes next.
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Old Dec 1, 17, 4:14 pm
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I snatched a copy of Monarch's routes before it vanished:



And the only European mainland routes that Monarch had that BA didn't serve were: Preveza, Ovda, Almería and arguably Lapland. Almería will become a LHR route from the end of March. Preveza is a BA charter route from LHR which I suspect will go on the main schedule, though it may yet again go to LHR. NCL/MAN/ABZ would be nice, there is occasional gossip that GAL would subsidise this (which was their plan if they had got their second-third runway instead of LHR). So apart from Ovda-Eilat I'd guess a bit more Canaries + PMI + MAH, and perhaps Tunisia if things continue to improve there.

There's a case for saying that BA's gradual march on to Monarch's locations must have been a contributory factor to its demise.
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Old Dec 1, 17, 4:22 pm
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BA have quite a few charters to Kittila and Rovaniemi planned this winter. There may be additional Geneva, Turin, and other ski route services to part replace other lost Monarch winter capacity. I think mismanagement at Monarch had more to do with its demise rather than BA adding the more popular leisure routes.
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Old Dec 1, 17, 4:54 pm
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3-4 times a day to LHR?
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Old Dec 1, 17, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Worcester View Post
3-4 times a day to LHR?
Not sure that would be good use of LHR slots!
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Old Dec 1, 17, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by Worcester View Post
3-4 times a day to LHR?
With an occasional hop to Cardiff?

*cough* slot sitting *cough*
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Old Dec 1, 17, 5:05 pm
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UK summer travel habits have gone cyclically in the last decade or two: from mostly Greece, Italy, Southern France and Iberian Peninsula to a search for more exotic locations and cheaper sun in North Africa (Tunisia and Egypt especially), Turkey, Jordan, the coastal Baltic states, and so on. Now that Turkey and North Africa are considered unsafe or unstable, the pendulum is swinging back towards the safer, more developed southern EU and the EU is bigger than it used to be (20 years ago).

I think there's plenty of opportunity for BA to operate more routes from LGW to the holiday sun areas of southern, especially south-eastern, Europe. They can at least keep the slots warm at an operating profit, even if they may want to operate different more profitable routes in the longer term.

How's the BA long haul fleet doing? Right now a bit sickly with the number of 787s parked up with duff engines, but assuming RR sort the engines out, can BA have some more long haul aircraft at LGW? Not least that could put more commercial pressure on Norwegian, and that's always a popular thing to do at Waterside.

So, could some operations to the summer sun keep slots warm while BA cooks up a Norwegian-crushing set of long haul from LGW?
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Old Dec 1, 17, 9:35 pm
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Originally Posted by flatlander View Post
So, could some operations to the summer sun keep slots warm while BA cooks up a Norwegian-crushing set of long haul from LGW?
I could definitely see some seasonal North American routes to compete with Norwegian, WOW and even Westjet and Air Canada Rouge. Maybe Edmonton (The seasonal WestJet route always seems to be sold out), Ottawa (Probably a long shot) and several US routes. (Where capacity could be added).
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Old Dec 2, 17, 1:41 am
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Perhaps BA will also look at transferring some of their more leisure-focused destinations, that may not have a significant number of connecting passengers, from LHR to LGW - opening up some Heathrow capacity (routes like Grand Cayman, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife). They would have good data on connecting passengers for these flights, of course.

While I can see some North American expansion from Gatwick, I can also see BA preferring a number of new routes to be launched from LHR (places like MSP, STL and others that have come up here in the past).

The big question, I think, is what happens with Level out of the UK. This would almost certainly be based at LGW, and likely involve the conversion of a number of mainline BA routes.
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Old Dec 2, 17, 1:55 am
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Level will concentrate on opening European bases. In the UK we may see it at regional cities. IAG see London for BA, likewise Iberia for Madrid. Vueling and Level may co-operate at European bases. With densified and refurbished 777s that are paid for BA can effectively compete with Norwegian. Leasing costs for Norwegian are high.
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