European flights all via LHR (rumour)

Old Aug 18, 20, 2:54 pm
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European flights all via LHR (rumour)

Got it confirmed that all booked flights out of Europe will be sent to LHR for the long haul to HKG. Waitlisting is for almost all reward flights and they will work with BA to try and fill planes. Oee way fare business class LHR HKG about 4000 UK Pounds.
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Old Aug 18, 20, 3:39 pm
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What date is this for? You say got it confirmed, by whom? And for how long will this arraignment continue? From the schedules looks as though only one LHR-HKG flight a day is planned for the foreseeable future, if cx Intend to operate only LHR in Europe in the short term with only one flight then good luck trying to get an award booking and good luck trying to socially distance! Any more Info regarding this?
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Old Aug 19, 20, 12:24 am
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Not very sure what do you mean but to my understanding CX is also flying to AMS and FRA 2 weekly with passengers for Europe.

For cities not served by CX it's quite common for them to route you on a BA flight and connect in LHR even pre-covid I think?
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Old Aug 19, 20, 2:34 pm
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I think that September and October still have scheduled 2 weekly to AMS and FRA. They look mostly empty.. LHR daily flights look a bit better.

Given the few BA flights to Europe in September and their timing, it will be difficult to connect on BA in LHR. CX252 leaves around noon and most BA flights do a same-day return trip that get them back to LHR too late for CX252. For example, BA has only 4 weekly flights to CDG that arrive too late for a same-day connection.
Bad, really bad.

Last edited by brunos; Aug 19, 20 at 2:43 pm
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Old Aug 19, 20, 4:19 pm
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Sorry for the late reply, basically the only planes CX will fly will be in and out of LHR and no reward seats to be allowed. Flights booked from other European airports will have passengers flown to LHR to fly to HKG. There is no way I am revealing the source. I just wanted to let you people know how it will operate so you can plan accordingly.
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Old Aug 23, 20, 3:47 am
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CX now announced that they will fly to 4 European destinations (AMS, FRA, LHR and MAN) in August and September.
https://www.cathaypacific.com/cx/en_...e-fly-now.html
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Old Aug 23, 20, 10:53 am
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Maybe the Op is talking about in the future? Perhaps something to do with the reorganisation that will be announced Q4? I would imagine that CX want to protect their Heathrow slots, and current arraignment only allows cancellations of flights through the winter schedule, from March 31st 2021 all slots must be used or they will be lost. Can the OP share any more info as to when this is going to happen, as it's pointed out other European destinations are currently still on the schedules and available for booking!

Last edited by drivingflyingwalking; Aug 23, 20 at 12:31 pm
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Old Aug 23, 20, 2:32 pm
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Originally Posted by drivingflyingwalking View Post
Maybe the Op is talking about in the future? Perhaps something to do with the reorganisation that will be announced Q4? I would imagine that CX want to protect their Heathrow slots, and current arraignment only allows cancellations of flights through the winter schedule, from March 31st 2021 all slots must be used or they will be lost. Can the OP share any more info as to when this is going to happen, as it's pointed out other European destinations are currently still on the schedules and available for booking!
The poster has been suspended, so we won't get a reply immediately.

What happens about slot use in March 2021 is everyone guess. But I would assume that all airlines will still be unable to use all their slots. That is currently the least of their concern.

And if CX strategy is to cancel all their European destinations in the future save LHR, CX might as well go bankrupt today.
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Old Aug 23, 20, 7:23 pm
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Originally Posted by brunos View Post
The poster has been suspended, so we won't get a reply immediately.
If you look at the poster's posts in this forum, all have been similarly loosely worded, with no substantive source, nor adding much value - obviously the speculation that follows is more informed. I don't think this is exactly trolling, but it isn't entirely in-line with this forum, likely better placed for a discussion on rumours (pprune anyone?).

As others said, if CX reduces their European network to just LHR it would essentially kill off their transit business for masses of their customers: Most Chinese airlines can boast of connections to at least LHR (along with other major centres like FRA, CDG/Paris, BCN/Barcelona) and for those passengers starting in South-East Asia, you may as well just use SQ (Singapore Airlines), or one of the European carriers who would offer better connectivity. The US markets do not seem likely to replace the European ones anytime soon. The closest equivalent would be MH (Malaysian airlines) that has a very small European business (I think just LHR before the pandemic) - they have been losing a lot of money (not just for this reason of course) and their brand is not well recognised in the European market AFAIK..
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Old Aug 27, 20, 12:39 am
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Head for Points in the UK now reporting that there could be no slot waiver at LHR this winter unless EU said otherwise later... if so, guess CX might attempt to keep all their existing slots at LHR at all cost

https://www.headforpoints.com/2020/0...e-may-be-back/
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Old Aug 27, 20, 2:58 am
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Originally Posted by marcolau317 View Post
Head for Points in the UK now reporting that there could be no slot waiver at LHR this winter unless EU said otherwise later... if so, guess CX might attempt to keep all their existing slots at LHR at all cost
Interesting, indeed - I'd very much enjoy Cathay having to run significant discount fares so that I could do London for the weekend on a regular basis and making my "donations" towards their recovery. I will happily do a 5 for 1 deal to help them fill the plane, along with HK weekend shoppers looking for new flats/luxury goods. I suppose that may also increase Cathay's willingness to offer a significant discount to key corporates like HSBC too (goodbye to cheap old BA!). I guess the most cost effective plane in the CX fleet would be the A350 (280 passengers), so running that there 5x (or 4x to keep 80%) a day and waving goodbye to First class. I suspect of many foreign airlines, Cathay has some chance to fill the slots due to connecting flights and historic connections to London - but from HKG they will see competition from Qatar who had a similar number of flights scheduled in the past, but a wider network.

As fun speculation:
1. Wouldn't bode well for LGW or MAN, particularly LGW the route should be culled immediately. In general LGW is going to suffer a lot of losses due to this rule
2. Would fifth freedom flights be an alternative. For example Cathay could do HKG-LHR-MAN as a 5th freedom flight, would give them 2 movements through LHR. Or do other 5th freedom flights like HKG-LHR-NYC (probably not that much longer than the old HKG-YVR-JFK).^^
2. They should offer 23.59 hour "stopover" flights (via flight timing) to avoid the horrendous air passenger duty for the ultra keen shoppers. That would be a fun 48 hours.

^^This, along with using LHR as a base for other flights to places like MAD,BCN wouldn't work that efficiently due to the regular delays at LHR and time spent on runways/queuing in general.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 4:09 am
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Thing is many if not most major European airports are slot controlled, the only difference is that airlines can buy and sell in London so it's just clearer how much does it worth for the public.

When airports such as CDG FRA AMS ZRH FCO MXP MAD BCN BRU all are slot controlled, you can't just give up most others just because London worth more. I believe they will definitely make sure to keep the early morning arrivals which worth the most, but saying they will simply give up all other European slots just to keep London ones is bizarre.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 4:47 am
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Must be political, sure it will be waved. This could really hurt the LHR home airlines and the main airlines of the U.K. BA & Virgin. There is no way Virgin and to a lesser extent BA are ready to run a full schedule, numbers are down still in Europe.

If LHR brings back the lose it or use it rule then I'm sure other airports and governments will impose like for like restrictions that could really hurt British airlines and thus the British economy, I would wait and see what happens! I'm expecting an extension of the current status quo for LHr slots
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Old Aug 27, 20, 5:30 am
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I believe the slot question to be a non-issue.
EU airports and airlines operate at less than 10% capacity. There has been a surge of holiday traffic in July/August, but with covid resurgence in Europe and the end of demand for the holiday season, the outlook for September and the next few months is bleak, to say the least.
There is little doubt that LHR/LGW will operate under full capacity for one, two or three years to come.
There is no way that an airline, even BA, will fly empty planes 80% of days, just to keep a slot.

A new system might be needed to replace the 80/20 rule.
But even with that system, it will not be terribly damaging to lose a slot, as there will be a huge number of free slots available in case resumption of a service is desired.

BTW: the Wizz Air case is of little significance. WIzz is a Hungarian LCC. It has a base in the UK, but that is small.
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Old Aug 27, 20, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by drivingflyingwalking View Post
This could really hurt the LHR home airlines and the main airlines of the U.K. BA & Virgin.
By "LHR home airlines" did you mean someone other than BA and Virgin?

I'm not sure there are any other airlines that call LHR "home", but the way you use the term seems to suggest you don't consider BA and Virgin to fall under this term.
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