Future of Club Suite

Old Mar 18, 20, 6:18 am
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Future of Club Suite

First off, it's important to say the below is conjecture and in no way would I want to detract importance from much bigger issues resulting from coronavirus, not least the huge numbers of lives impacted, jobs lost and well beyond that.

Although BA aircraft are being grounded, likely for lengthy periods, I think it's reasonable to assume there won't be any refurbishments taking place as BA/IAG needs to protect its balance sheet.

Who knows what re-ordered world we'll be living in. Assuming BA is part of that then significant product investment may not be on the cards for some time. Given the nature of the Club Suite, when comparing to First, I wonder whether BA will adopt the design as the next generation for F, maintaining CW in its current form.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:22 am
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I would assume that BA are in "tunnel vision" mode at the moment. If there is a forward thinker in there, (how did they survive?) - I imagine they would be keeping their heads down right now.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:24 am
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Whilst it would be nice to think that BA could use this down time to install the new suite in lots of planes that's not practical. I can see them doing it to planes already planned to have the refurb though/

The manufacturers can only make 3 suites a day - and that assumes they have no supply chain issues themselves (parts from China) or having no staff illness issues.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by London_traveller View Post
I wonder whether BA will adopt the design as the next generation for F, maintaining CW in its current form.
Unless BA's assumption is that DL, UA, EK, KL, AF, et al. are all going out of business whilst BA survives, I can't see that being the approach they adopt when we get out of the other side of this.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:47 am
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Is it bad that I have been thinking more than a few times recently whether I am going to still be on my club suite lhr-jfk flight in September or whether it will now likely be swapped?
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:48 am
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Contracts will have been signed so they will proceed I'd think.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 6:51 am
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Originally Posted by APUBleed View Post
Is it bad that I have been thinking more than a few times recently whether I am going to still be on my club suite lhr-jfk flight in September or whether it will now likely be swapped?
No, that's a perfectly reasonable thing to do. I have been wondering if I will get my first experience of First on my flights to Israel in July. Right now I am expecting that flight won't happen. I think you've got more chance than I have at this point.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 7:09 am
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Originally Posted by APUBleed View Post
Is it bad that I have been thinking more than a few times recently whether I am going to still be on my club suite lhr-jfk flight in September or whether it will now likely be swapped?
Not a bad thing at all, although the bigger question is surely whether your flight will still be operating!
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Old Mar 18, 20, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by London_traveller View Post
Although BA aircraft are being grounded, likely for lengthy periods, I think it's reasonable to assume there won't be any refurbishments taking place as BA/IAG needs to protect its balance sheet.
Thats not really how aircraft maintenance inputs work. The are planned months and months out, with consumables and necessary new or reconditioned replacement parts ordered in, maintenance bays and maintenance staff allocated to the job. The aircraft involved will also have accumulated the hours & cycles to require the maintenance input.

There's definitely a cost associated with standing down the maintenance input, plus the ongoing cost of resources standing idle, so may as well proceed with the planned inputs, either until the supply chain fails sufficiently enough to prevent the work going ahead, or other factors come into play (e.g. decision made to retire or long-term store the aircraft rather than proceed with the input).

If the groundings last long enough it will eventually push flying hours and cycles down sufficiently to start deferring the maintenance inputs further and further into the future.

It seems likely for the grounding, a portion of aircraft will be long-term stored (windows, wheels and engines "bagged") and require a "reactivation" when the operation spins up again, while the remainder will be cycled through what's left of the operation in a "warm/hot" storage.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 7:30 am
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As mjh0 says, I would guess that BA have signed contracts for a significant portion of the refurb [seats and labour] already. With the supposed manufacture limit they can't really speed up while they have idle frames either - though if they're happy with their long term outlook they might try to do so as it would mean not having the aircraft out of service during a future period when it could be productive. That would be down to the seat manufacturer though - I don't recall seeing whether the "3 a day" was just the initial maximum production rate or a long-term maximum. Of course, global supply chain is also seriously compromised so who knows what each of these companies is capable of right now.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by mjh0 View Post
Thats not really how aircraft maintenance inputs work. The are planned months and months out, with consumables and necessary new or reconditioned replacement parts ordered in, maintenance bays and maintenance staff allocated to the job. The aircraft involved will also have accumulated the hours & cycles to require the maintenance input.
However, aircraft maintenance cannot possibly be working to any pre-agreed schedules right now. Forgetting supply chain logistics for the hardware required, all those maintenance people, engineers, fitters, etc, aren't going to be going into work and won't be for a sustained period. Therefore I don't think it's fair to assume any of that is taking place right now.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by Speedbird Julie View Post
Contracts will have been signed so they will proceed I'd think.
They will no doubt have a "Material Adverse Change" clause or a "Force Majeure" clause for BA to invoke.

The reality is: BA will hoard every dollar they have which probably means stopping the manufacture of the ClubSuite for the next 6-12 months (and thus delaying the rollout by at least that long as things return to normal)
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Old Mar 18, 20, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by alexwuk View Post
They will no doubt have a "Material Adverse Change" clause or a "Force Majeure" clause for BA to invoke.

The reality is: BA will hoard every dollar they have which probably means stopping the manufacture of the ClubSuite for the next 6-12 months (and thus delaying the rollout by at least that long as things return to normal)
Not an inevitability there'll be a MAC provision or a force majeure provision that is applicable to the COVID outbreak, and indeed, in lots of contracts / financings, there won't be.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 4:48 pm
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Originally Posted by alexwuk View Post
The reality is: BA will hoard every dollar they have which probably means stopping the manufacture of the ClubSuite for the next 6-12 months (and thus delaying the rollout by at least that long as things return to normal)
If a downturn causes BA to retire old aircraft early, it could actually have the effect of proportionally increasing the prevalence of CS within the remaining fleet.
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Old Mar 18, 20, 4:55 pm
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Originally Posted by London_traveller View Post
I wonder whether BA will adopt the design as the next generation for F
Why would they replace the current F seat with an inferior one?
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