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Should BA launch scheduled flights to Lapland?

Should BA launch scheduled flights to Lapland?

Old Dec 13, 20, 1:05 pm
  #1  
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Should BA launch scheduled flights to Lapland?

Given Christmas is fast approaching, I was thinking should BA launch their own Lapland flights in Winter 21 in addition to the usual charters.

Now this isnít a flippant remark, I really believe BA and BA Holidays could make a healthy profit on flights marketed by themselves. The brand value and security of BA would be invaluable for these magical once in a lifetime trips. Also, prices are always extremely high for these trips so BA should get a healthy return, especially if business travel remains suppressed and BA have spare frames.

eastJet started scheduled services from Gatwick to Rovaniemi in 2018 and then launched Manchester to Rovaniemi a year later, so they recognise the opportunities.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 1:15 pm
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I thought the entire reason why LCCs are profitable in the first place is because they concentrate on routes that full service airlines have found to not be worth it?

Personally though, I'd first like to see BA reinstate their LHR-HEL route, given AY's dry Nordic humour approach to J pricing on that route.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 1:16 pm
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Originally Posted by BAeuro View Post
Given Christmas is fast approaching, I was thinking should BA launch their own Lapland flights in Winter 21 in addition to the usual charters.

Now this isnít a flippant remark, I really believe BA and BA Holidays could make a healthy profit on flights marketed by themselves. The brand value and security of BA would be invaluable for these magical once in a lifetime trips. Also, prices are always extremely high for these trips so BA should get a healthy return, especially if business travel remains suppressed and BA have spare frames.

eastJet started scheduled services from Gatwick to Rovaniemi in 2018 and then launched Manchester to Rovaniemi a year later, so they recognise the opportunities.
High prices doesn't necessarily correlate to healthy return. Assuming rights were granted, air passenger traffic would be pretty much fed ex UK only with nothing coming from the other direction, hotels and accommodation aren't particularly cheap. Ground experiences would need to be contracted with a local DMC. A successful Lapland experience would be dependent on whether a suitable one could be sourced who was able to offer what BA customers wanted. It's not exactly the sort of place people go to relax at the hotel for X days. For the relatively short window of operation, I'm sure it'll have been something BAH will have evaluated previously and discounted for multiple reasons.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
High prices doesn't necessarily correlate to healthy return. Assuming rights were granted, air passenger traffic would be pretty much fed ex UK only with nothing coming from the other direction, hotels and accommodation aren't particularly cheap. Ground experiences would need to be contracted with a local DMC. A successful Lapland experience would be dependent on whether a suitable one could be sourced who was able to offer what BA customers wanted. It's not exactly the sort of place people go to relax at the hotel for X days. For the relatively short window of operation, I'm sure it'll have been something BAH will have evaluated previously and discounted for multiple reasons.
No I appreciate itís not a strict correlation, however, there is such high demand in December that fares are always very high. As the route is only served for a short period there are no lulls in demand which will see fares fall.

As for there being no traffic from Lapland to London, that could be said for a lot of BAís successful leisure flights. I highly doubt Skiathos/Kos/Zakynthos have many locals travelling to London. Additionally, many of BAís summer routes are only operated for a short period of time (Perugia/Podgorica/San Sebastian only run for about 8 weeks of the year) but still have hotels and BAH links established. Their winter service to Nuremberg only ran in December and that still managed to get sold as Christmas Market Holidays with hotels etc.

The excursions and experiences yes may be harder to find, but BA have been running charters for so long (including with Concorde) Iím sure they have connections.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 1:37 pm
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We went to Rovaniemi a couple of years ago. If thereís one place to Airbnb, itís there... eating out is comically expensive, whereas supermarkets are very reasonable. Excursions very easily organised. I think we paid under £150 each return on AY.

Would highly recommend it - we absolutely loved the outdoors. Going from -17 at Rovaniemi airport to +3 at LHR felt positively tropical.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 1:41 pm
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Originally Posted by groenroos View Post
I thought the entire reason why LCCs are profitable in the first place is because they concentrate on routes that full service airlines have found to not be worth it?

Personally though, I'd first like to see BA reinstate their LHR-HEL route, given AY's dry Nordic humour approach to J pricing on that route.
In some cases that is true but not always. Arguably, LCCs will jump into any market whereas Legacy carriers are more selective and look for places with a high yield. But over time, destinations change/become more popular/situations develop and then airlines like BA do enter. After COVID-19 BA wonít need as many aircraft on Ďbusinessí routes so maybe Lapland will become a viable alternative.

A bit like how BA have slowly converted their sunshine charter routes to scheduled services in response to the growing demand for premium holidays when business flights are quiet.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by BAeuro View Post
No I appreciate itís not a strict correlation, however, there is such high demand in December that fares are always very high. As the route is only served for a short period there are no lulls in demand which will see fares fall.

As for there being no traffic from Lapland to London, that could be said for a lot of BAís successful leisure flights. I highly doubt Skiathos/Kos/Zakynthos have many locals travelling to London. Additionally, many of BAís summer routes are only operated for a short period of time (Perugia/Podgorica/San Sebastian only run for about 8 weeks of the year) but still have hotels and BAH links established. Their winter service to Nuremberg only ran in December and that still managed to get sold as Christmas Market Holidays with hotels etc.

The excursions and experiences yes may be harder to find, but BA have been running charters for so long (including with Concorde) Iím sure they have connections.
BA didn't run the Concorde charters themselves - they were run predominantly by other tour operators such as Goodwood Travel. Generally other travel companies have chartered BA aircraft for their needs to destinations under served by scheduled operations - including flights to Lapland in past years for Canterbury Travel. Several original charter destinations have also seen scheduled service in later years (Zante, Corfu, Preveza spring to mind). I'm sure they do have connections, the fact BAH haven't exercised those connections in the past is telling there were significant reasons for them not to do so.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 2:42 pm
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Sure, why on earth not?
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Old Dec 13, 20, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by 1Aturnleft View Post
BA didn't run the Concorde charters themselves - they were run predominantly by other tour operators such as Goodwood Travel. Generally other travel companies have chartered BA aircraft for their needs to destinations under served by scheduled operations - including flights to Lapland in past years for Canterbury Travel. Several original charter destinations have also seen scheduled service in later years (Zante, Corfu, Preveza spring to mind). I'm sure they do have connections, the fact BAH haven't exercised those connections in the past is telling there were significant reasons for them not to do so.

Although yes the Concorde flights were charters, BA had an active role in them (more so than a usual charter). Here is an extract from the Concorde Magazine about it:

I was either on board or meeting every flight from 1984 to 1999, including the ten BA ĎConcorde For Christmasí flights that were op- erated in 1990 as a post-recession promotion. To say that they were wonderful days would be an understatement.
We were perhaps lucky to handle these ten BA flights, when they decided to adopt the concept as a major promotion

As for BAH not starting this up before, yes itís probably because they donít think itís worth it. However, in the post COVID era airlines need to be nimble and find other ways to replace all that business demand, and maybe winter Lapland flights could work.

So many routes which BA operated as charters have now become scheduled services and performed really well, so why not Rovaniemi.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 9:14 pm
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I am guessing people are looking at this at BA and post covid this might be an attractive route (provided BA can get landing rights as this will also be post Brexit).

Essentially this is a long weekend destination Thursday out Sunday return, so previously they might have deemed the frequency they could reasonably fill with good yields as too low.

They might also have some sort of agreement with Finnair that maybe stopped them from jumping into this market (just speculation).

Another of those destinations is Tromso, but seeing that wizz is currently selling tickets for 8.99 oneway I doubt BA could turn a profit on this route.
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Old Dec 13, 20, 9:34 pm
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With covid and all the restrictions this year, pleasure charters have a snowball's chance in hell of happening.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 1:38 am
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If they were going to do this they would have started in November.
But now with such a large part of the county in Tier 3 - which doesnt allow non-essential travel, there would be limited market for these (just like most of their other services right now). If there was any demand this year Tui would have clung to them
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Old Dec 14, 20, 1:44 am
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Originally Posted by A P Yu View Post
If they were going to do this they would have started in November.
But now with such a large part of the county in Tier 3 - which doesnt allow non-essential travel, there would be limited market for these (just like most of their other services right now). If there was any demand this year Tui would have clung to them
there is no restriction on travel in any tier in England, that includes travel within an area or in/out of an area.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 1:54 am
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ďthe foreign office advise avoidance of non essential travelĒ so advisory rather than compulsory, but a suggested degree of restriction none the less on those routes outside travel corridors and with travel insurance and isolation implications elsewhere.
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Old Dec 14, 20, 2:03 am
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Originally Posted by gw76 View Post
“the foreign office advise avoidance of non essential travel” so advisory rather than compulsory, but a suggested degree of restriction none the less on those routes outside travel corridors and with travel insurance and isolation implications elsewhere.
I was responding to the point "But now with such a large part of the county in Tier 3 - which doesnt allow non-essential travel,". Whilst I apologies for going a little off topic in the thread, this statement is simply not true. No tier level in England includes any travel restriction.

FCO advice has been brought in to line with the travel corridors list over the last few months, it isn't a restriction as such. No one is taking any notice of it. In fact the government is about to facilitate travel to countries not on the exemption list by launching a test to release scheme to allow for shortened self isolation on return.
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