New LCY Routes: AMS x 4, BCN, NCE + WAW

Old Nov 26, 07, 3:03 pm
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Very welcome development, indeed!!! I live only 20 minutes from AMS... door to door, without check-in luggage, could literally be two hours.
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Old Nov 26, 07, 3:17 pm
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The AMS one is very interesting indeed. Jumping into it with 4 dailies. Are they aiming to run VLM off the route?
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Old Nov 26, 07, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
The AMS one is very interesting indeed. Jumping into it with 4 dailies. Are they aiming to run VLM off the route?
Indeed an interesting tactic... LCY is full now anyway so if they run VLM off maybe they could obtain their slots....

"London City Airport says that it is now officially full following last week's announcement that Air France subsidiary CityJet will switch its flights to Strasbourg from Gatwick to the Docklands hub.

An airport spokeswoman told news website abtn.co.uk: 'We are at capacity with the recent introduction of Strasbourg, Vienna and Berlin. We have applied for an increase in movements from the current level of 80,000 to 120,000 by 2010 - hopefully that will be approved by the London Borough of Newham.'

Any increase of that magnitude would allow passenger numbers to rise to 3.9m, although the airport says that opening hours would not change and that there would be no need for night flights."
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Old Nov 26, 07, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
The AMS one is very interesting indeed. Jumping into it with 4 dailies. Are they aiming to run VLM off the route?
I think if BA were to enter this market they would have to act boldly. LON-AMS is a prime, prime air route and LCY-AMS on BA is something I've been hoping for for ages. BA, correctly to my mind, is playing its cards in an intelligent manner here by seeking to properly serve the business market. I can only hope they will follow up by allowing their planes to properly dock at the D-pier at AMS instead of the unceremonious bus ride into the terminal from the Fokker farm. Well for that matter, I can only hope the UK will join Schengen as well. But I'd bet more on the former than the latter.
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Old Nov 27, 07, 1:48 am
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Originally Posted by koksy View Post
Indeed an interesting tactic... LCY is full now anyway so if they run VLM off maybe they could obtain their slots....
I think it'll be a tough battle between the KL, VG and BA on this route. KL has the advantage of its large scale. When VG started the route they really beat the socks off of KLM in terms of service, not in the least by offering boarding from a proper gate without the painful bus ride. VG's service is still clearly better, but at least they've forced KLM to use real gates too in the D pier for the LCY flights.

VG is also the largest operator at LCY, so running them off will be no mean feat. Both KL and VG flights to LCY seem to pretty busy, so even with BA joining there may not be a direct casualty. The winter schedule has 16 daily return flights to LCY from AMS, 7 on KLM and 9 on VLM. That's in the order of 800 seats to fill, and four daily BA flights on larger aircraft will mean a signficant capacity increase. When VG started these flights they were running on light loads, but recently their flights been getting filled up too.

Originally Posted by vla View Post
I can only hope they will follow up by allowing their planes to properly dock at the D-pier at AMS instead of the unceremonious bus ride into the terminal from the Fokker farm.
Thanks to VLM most of KLM's flights to LCY now get gates at the D-pier too, but not always. I had to take KLM on this route recently, and the last flight back to AMS ended up at the dreader Fokker Farm, something that hasn't happened to me on VLM this year. I've done a total of 38 flights this year to or from LCY, 28 of them on VLM, 10 on KLM.

VLM has my preference over KLM, but I'll take a BA jet any day over the F-50's. VLM is experimenting with 146's on the RTM route and may add more of that type to their fleet, so that might remove that BA advantage. Given a choice of similar schedules though, I'd choose BA for the tier points and miles over VLM.
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Old Nov 27, 07, 2:14 am
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and I hate to say it but VG has the edge in terms of comfort and service...it's a great little airline. I heard/read rumours that WW is interested in snapping it up though...thereby cornering LCY as a third shorthaul hub in time for 2012...?

The BCN route seems a really intelligent move to me. Delighted about it. Will make my life (being east London based part of the time) considerably easier...

Does anyone know how the LCY - GLA flights are faring, in general? Have travelled that route a few times over the last few months (but never at the morning or evening peak, usually middle of day/late afternoon) and passenger loads have usually seemed pretty light to me (just as well because a full RJ is pretty uncomfortable - that's one of the downsides of BA from LCY).
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Old Nov 27, 07, 5:56 am
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
The AMS one is very interesting indeed. Jumping into it with 4 dailies. Are they aiming to run VLM off the route?
Alas I think BA's strategy at LCY is defensive (i.e. discourage AF/KL, VLM et al from expanding further) rather than genuinely being converted to the idea of LCY as a furthe BA centre of operations in the long term.
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Old Nov 27, 07, 6:04 am
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As I understand it, though, aren't VG's operations largely funded by some rather significant route deals from the City and Docklands-based banks?

I wonder if BA are hoping to encourage such banks to consolidate where they have BA for the ex-LHR routes, or if they're just going for the one-off bookings.
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Old Nov 27, 07, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by WearyBizTrvlr View Post
You bet. I'm delighted to hear this news as it'll free me from the thrall of the F50. Since VLM started their service I've mainly been using them (as they're better than KLM), but the lack of a FF program has always rankled. BA's flights can't start soon enough as far as I am concerned.
They do have a FF program and have just introduced cards for it...
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Old Nov 27, 07, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by koksy View Post
Indeed an interesting tactic... LCY is full now anyway so if they run VLM off maybe they could obtain their slots....

"London City Airport says that it is now officially full following last week's announcement that Air France subsidiary CityJet will switch its flights to Strasbourg from Gatwick to the Docklands hub.

An airport spokeswoman told news website abtn.co.uk: 'We are at capacity with the recent introduction of Strasbourg, Vienna and Berlin. We have applied for an increase in movements from the current level of 80,000 to 120,000 by 2010 - hopefully that will be approved by the London Borough of Newham.'

Any increase of that magnitude would allow passenger numbers to rise to 3.9m, although the airport says that opening hours would not change and that there would be no need for night flights."
How on earth are they going to increase movements by 30% when already most flights depart late from 8am. I sometimes feel that the operations manager at LCY wants shooting, although in fairness they did make a massive improvement by putting 3 security scanners in (albeit with the shortest outfeed ever and still causing bottlenecks...). Ive never ever been on a flight from LCY that has boarded on time, the Citijet flight to Orly is a prime example.
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Old Nov 27, 07, 6:33 am
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I do wish BA operate more flight via LCY. It will be breat if we can fly to JFK one day directly from LCY.
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Old Nov 27, 07, 6:40 am
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Originally Posted by rtwdone4 View Post
I do wish BA operate more flight via LCY. It will be breat if we can fly to JFK one day directly from LCY.
The runway might be a tad short for such a commercial flight!
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Old Nov 27, 07, 6:50 am
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Originally Posted by AJLondon View Post
The runway might be a tad short for such a commercial flight!
Although probably not a good commercial plan, the A318 in all-business class with central range tank would have no problem.
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Old Nov 27, 07, 7:05 am
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Originally Posted by globalste View Post
Although probably not a good commercial plan, the A318 in all-business class with central range tank would have no problem.
Reclaim more land and build a longer runway!
If Kai Tak can make it work I don't see how LCY can'T
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Old Nov 27, 07, 7:35 am
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I think the most urgent need at LCY at the moment rather than a longer runway is increased apron space and a parallel taxi way for the full runway length to avoid having aircraft have to "backtrack" down the runway ... sometimes the ground delays can be as bad as LHR these days because of the very tight area for aircraft movements.
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