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Gatwick, Stansted likely for London launch

Gatwick, Stansted likely for London launch

Old Nov 16, 20, 3:52 pm
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Gatwick, Stansted likely for London launch

The London airport slots authority published a couple reports today noting that JetBlue has been allocated slots at Gatwick and Stansted and intends to use them for JFK and Boston service, respectively.

Heathrow will have to wait.

Link goes to a story I wrote at an external site; per FT rules you've been warned.
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Old Nov 16, 20, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Well, if true that's very unfortunate. One would think it shouldn't be that difficult to get into LHR these days.
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Old Nov 16, 20, 5:18 pm
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Well, if true that's very unfortunate. One would think it shouldn't be that difficult to get into LHR these days.
No, it won't be LHR. Because it was too difficult to go into LHR. Instead, they will fly to STN or LGW.

The first route is BOS-STN and JFK-LGW. They got secured LGW and STN slots.
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Old Nov 16, 20, 5:20 pm
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I also don’t really get why they’re flying to two different London airports.
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Old Nov 16, 20, 5:28 pm
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I think STN is just the backup option. LHR slot allocations have not been published. My guess is JFK-LGW will probably happen and they are still working on BOS-LHR.

Keep in mind that LGW in reality should be widely open, but DY still is claiming they will operate more flights. They are not going to last past this winter. Once DY goes under, those slots will become widely available. VS is not going to use any of their slots at LGW, but refuses to give that up. VS is another airline that might not make it to next summer. If they don't get LHR, I think they will move to LGW. It makes no sense to split operation at STN and LGW.

The likelihood of them operating out of STN is pretty low imo.
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Old Nov 17, 20, 12:26 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
LGW isn't terrible. Can't wait to fly B6 Mint BOS LGW.
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Old Nov 17, 20, 8:50 am
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Originally Posted by fly747first View Post
LGW isn't terrible. Can't wait to fly B6 Mint BOS LGW.
Unfortunately you'll have to wait since Boston is only getting Stansted for now. Which isn't in London technically

-J.
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Old Nov 17, 20, 9:00 am
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Originally Posted by fly747first View Post
LGW isn't terrible. Can't wait to fly B6 Mint BOS LGW.
Agree, I could stomach LGW, but STN is pretty disappointing. Hopefully these are just placeholder/backup plans in case LHR doesn't work out.

The use it or lose it rule for LHR slots needs to return. It's ridiculous that there are airlines sitting on these slots and not using them when a competitor would be willing to actually fly the flights.
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Old Nov 17, 20, 9:07 am
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I wonder if part of this is B6 wanting to go to LHR but concerned that the slotpair pricing is going to fall dramatically in the next year or 2? The main issue is they need 3 flights per day at an absolute minimum to be competitive on JFK-LHR (and more like 4-5 including a morning JFK departure). That would likely be $100m of slots which 1) Is tough to recoup the investment flying 321s and 2) Is tough to justify if there's a good chance the price will collapse in the next couple of years.

LGW they could probably operate competitively with 2-3 daily flights at a much lower cost, and there's a good chance neither Norwegian nor BA will be flying the route next summer (in the case of Norwegian, B6 can maintain a better hard and soft product). If they are trying to fill 138 seat aircraft, that's likely doable and there may be some companies interested if they are based closer to LGW than LHR.

Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
Agree, I could stomach LGW, but STN is pretty disappointing. Hopefully these are just placeholder/backup plans in case LHR doesn't work out.

The use it or lose it rule for LHR slots needs to return. It's ridiculous that there are airlines sitting on these slots and not using them when a competitor would be willing to actually fly the flights.
If the pandemic happened 20 years ago, I would think the airport authority would allow that. However, given the emphasis on not wasting emissions nowadays, I'm guessing they are allowing the exemptions to prevent BA et al from just adding short-range flights like MAN, DUB, etc. for a year that would fly nearly empty but worth the cost to maintain slots that they know they'll be reusing within 12-18 months from now.

Last edited by lowfareair; Nov 17, 20 at 9:25 am
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Old Nov 17, 20, 9:15 am
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Originally Posted by cmd320 View Post
The use it or lose it rule for LHR slots needs to return. It's ridiculous that there are airlines sitting on these slots and not using them when a competitor would be willing to actually fly the flights.
Two points: (a) I agree, although this is what screwed them out of Long Beach -- though Southwest (et al.) were willing to use them, and as far as I know still do. (b) This could come back to bite them in the UK since JetBlue has recently become notorious for scheduling many flights and then significantly cutting back a month out. There was another thread where someone had booked one of the twice-daily SFO-CUN flights which got reduced to twice weekly. JetBlue's eyes seem to be bigger than its stomach.

-J.
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Old Nov 17, 20, 9:21 am
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I don't understand Stansted at all. It is far away and pretty grim.
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Old Nov 17, 20, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by tphuang View Post
I think STN is just the backup option. LHR slot allocations have not been published. My guess is JFK-LGW will probably happen and they are still working on BOS-LHR.
I hope you're right. It really doesn't make sense for B6 to enter two different airports with each only having 2 or 3 flights a day. I honestly prefer LGW over LHR, as the airport isn't as much of a cluster & the train takes you into a more central part of London.
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Old Nov 17, 20, 12:35 pm
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Originally Posted by moulder3 View Post
I honestly prefer LGW over LHR, as the airport isn't as much of a cluster & the train takes you into a more central part of London.
+1 for when I'm headed to London. And if I'm going to BTN, LGW is only a 30 minute train ride away. LHR-BTN is around 2:30+ (tube/tube/train or train/tube/train). I even tried National Express once...ugh!
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Old Nov 17, 20, 12:51 pm
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At the end of the day, if their option is just to fly into BOS-STN, they might as well not start at all. It's pointless to open a station like that when TATL demand is likely down for a long time. LGW is fine. The question is whether they secured slots for STN because they couldn't get enough slots at LGW or because they actually prefer STN over LGW for BOS. If it's latter, it's a really dumb move imo to split things up in 2 airports and fly to an airport most people in America don't know about. If it's the former, then they have plenty of time still. Again, DY will go belly up soon enough. There is no reason their slots will not become available for re-allocation.

Aside from that, they are still waiting on those remedial slot on BOS-LHR, but who knows when that will be available.

I think the move to start off just 1x on JFK-LGW is not a bad idea. They won't have any competition for a while, since DY is going belly up and BA is going to concentrate on LHR. It might work our better for them to just go 1x there until TATL demand comes back a little bi and they get more LRt.

I'm also really hating this half ... approach by JetBlue for a very important milestone. If you can't get LGW slots yet, just wait for it or trade for some. You got a bunch of JFK slots that are not gettin used. A lot of airlines like DY/U2/VS are just holding on to their LGW slot hoping that the slot waivers will keep going. You can use those aircraft on LAX-HNL or NYC-LAX while just launching JFK-LGW. There is no reason to fire up schedule for 2x on BOS-STN and then find out you can get any bookings, because nobody in Boston wants to fly there!

I'm really thinking JetBlue cannot be this stupid. So, I'm inclined to think 2x BOS-STN is just contingency until they can get slots at LHR/LGW.
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Old Nov 17, 20, 1:53 pm
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I can’t imagine there is much interest in flying to STN from BOS, so I suspect this will flop. There are no partners to take anybody anywhere from there either (pretty much same as LGW). Have there not been enough examples of these one-off route failures?
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