BA uses its new BMI slots at Heathrow, not for emerging economies, but largely leisure destinations. As usual.

BA got 42 daily Heathrow slots from taking over BMI. And it said very publicly, in March, that it would be using these to fly to the emerging economies – in  Asia, Africa and Latin America – which is part of the myth that the aviation industry is peddling at present. So what are the slots actually being used for?  One flight per day to  Seoul. The rest are domestic UK (Aberdeen Edinburgh, Belfast, Manchester, Leeds Bradford), or Zagreb, Las Vegas, Barcelona, Marseilles, Phoenix, Zurich and Bologna – with more flights to some.  So that is where the money is.  So much for the allegedly desperate need for slots to fly to second tier Chinese cities. This really proves what a lot of misleading PR is being put out by BAA and the airlines at Heathrow.



Bmi Purchase Boosts British Airways Domestic Services From Winter 2012

June 27th, 2012  (BA press release)

British Airways’ winter 2012 schedule is unveiled today. Highlights include:

· Great news for the UK regions as British Airways increases number of seats to Scotland by 32% (versus its winter 2011 schedule) and begins flying between London City and Aberdeen, Heathrow and Leeds Bradford, and Heathrow and Belfast

· British Airways returns to the Isle of Man
· New routes from London Heathrow to Seoul and Zagreb
· New routes from London Gatwick to Las Vegas and Barcelona
· Bologna and Marseille flights move from Gatwick to Heathrow
· Increased frequency on numerous routes

The UK regions are set to benefit from British Airways’ new winter schedule, which begins on October 28, 2012 thanks to parent company IAG’s purchase of bmi.

The airline will add extra frequencies and use bigger aircraft on flights to Scotland enabling it to offer nearly 27,000 more seats a week between London and Scotland. This includes two extra flights a day between London Heathrow and Edinburgh and two extra flights per day between Heathrow and Aberdeen.

In addition British Airways is also starting a three-per-day service between London City and Aberdeen on September 24 to connect the two business hubs.

From December 9, British Airways will start four flights per day between Heathrow and Leeds Bradford, connecting Yorkshire with the airline’s extensive global route network at Heathrow and increasing consumer choice in the North of England. The airline has already taken over bmi’s six daily flights to Belfast, and will be launching a new timetable of seven flights a day between London and the Northern Irish capital on October 28.

A new London City to Isle of Man route has also recently launched.

At the time of EU approval for the bmi deal, IAG committed to launching new flights to important trading nations and delivering on that, British Airways is to begin flying six times a week to Seoul in South Korea from December 2.

A brand new, thrice weekly service from London Gatwick to Las Vegas starts on October 29.

In Europe, Zagreb in Croatia will benefit from new daily flights to Heathrow from December 9, six flights a week to Venice will be added to the London City route network on September 17 and a new three-per-day service from London Gatwick to Barcelona will launch on February 23, 2013.

From October 28, former bmi routes from London Heathrow to Agadir, Bergen and Stavanger will become new British Airways routes from Terminal 5, while former bmi routes Belfast and Hanover will become new British Airways Terminal 1 routes.

British Airways aircraft and crew will operate these routes, and customers will receive the full-service airline’s on-board experience.

A number of existing British Airways routes including Basel, Dusseldorf, Luxembourg, Lyon and Toulouse will move from Terminal 5 to Terminal 1 on October 28.

There will be an increase in frequencies in winter 2012 (versus winter 2011) from Heathrow to Aberdeen (from six to eight flights per day), Edinburgh (from 10 to 12 flights a day), Manchester (from 10 to 11 flights a day), Oslo (from four to five flights per day), Zurich (from six to seven per day) and Phoenix (from six to seven flights per week). Flights to Bologna will be consolidated at Heathrow, with an increase in frequency on the existing Heathrow service from seven per week to 21 per week.

At Gatwick, services will increase to Faro (from four to five flights per week), Malaga (from seven to ten flights per week) and Marrakech (three to seven flights per week) from October 28, and extra services will be added to Salzburg and Turin for the winter ski season. Flights to Marseille will move from Gatwick to Heathrow on October 28.

Due to the volume of changes being made to British Airways’ network for winter 2012, the changes will go on sale on in stages over the next few days and further route announcements will be made next month.

Keith Williams, British Airways’ CEO, said: “bmi’s integration into British Airways is really enabling us to grow our network as we promised, giving customers more flights to destinations we know they want to fly to.

“We’re focusing on new routes such as Seoul, Leeds Bradford and Zagreb, more flights to popular destinations and creating more connections for the UK regions to our global network of flying.”


Back in April, BA said it  “will target emerging markets including Asia, Africa and Latin America.”


British Airways plans two phases to bring bmi, and its London Heathrow slots, to profitability





Comment from an AirportWatch member:

Quote: “At the time of EU approval for the bmi deal, IAG committed to
launching new flights to important trading nations and delivering on
that, British Airways is to begin flying six times a week to Seoul in
South Korea from December 2.”

OK I can accept that – but what about the rest of the slots. I hadn’t
appreciated that Zagreb was a major business centre  in the BRIC




See also


Yorkshire-Heathrow flights restored after 18-month interval

British Airways opens Leeds Bradford-Heathrow route after period in which carriers withdrew link twice in as many years
27 Jun 2012  (Guardian)
British Airways will run four services a day between Leeds Bradford and Heathrow from 9 December, ending a period of uncertainty which has seen the link broken twice in as many years.
Ticket sales opened on Wednesday with a single fare costing £42. Andy Lord, BA’s director of operations, who unveiled the link at Leeds Bradford, said the airline was sure that its network would not face the problems which led first BMI and then Flybe to withdraw from Leeds in 2009 and 2011.
But the move was condemned by environmental groups including Greenpeace, whose senior campaigner, Joss Garman, said: “You can hop on a train to do this journey. It’s exactly these kind of short-haul flights, easily reachable by other less polluting ways to travel, which clog up Heathrow. The aviation lobbyists look as disjointed as the government’s transport policy if they’re going to applaud needless flights like this and then complain about Heathrow being full.”
The new service follows BA’s acquisition of BMI and its Heathrow landing and take-off slots in April and will see streamlined connection services aimed at the business and tourism sector. Travellers will be able to check in bags and get boarding cards at Leeds-Bradford for onward flights from London and timings will be linked to BA services to destinations including New York, Singapore, Johannesburg and Hong Kong.
Yorkshire pitched vigorously for the new link, one of three confirmed by BA with others introducing direct services between Heathrow and Rotterdam and Zagreb. Lord said: “This is our first new service to a regional airport for some years and it’s a tribute to the persistence of Leeds Bradford and the case which people in Yorkshire and the Humber have made. It’s also a welcome return to Yorkshire for British Airways and we are very excited about flying from this excellent, commercially important airport once again.
Leeds Bradford has a significant catchment area and we are delighted to offer not only direct flights to London but a well timed schedule that will allow customers from this region to connect with our extensive short haul and long haul flights from Heathrow.
A report for BAA Airports from Oxford Economics last year underlined the importance of better air links to manufacturing and other businesses in Yorkshire and the Humber. It estimated that £3.3bn of exports from the region annually depend on international flights and two-thirds of the foreign investors, who account for 11% of jobs, rely on air transport to reach their main markets.
The study also emphasised the importance of tourism to Yorkshire and the Humber and suggested that 3,800 jobs in the region depend directly on access to Heathrow. Overseas visitors spent £417m in Yorkshire and the Humber in 2010 and 749,000 of the estimated 1,000,000 total arrived in the UK by air.
Mark Goldstone from Leeds Chamber of Commerce said: “This is a real issue for Leeds city region as we have dozens of members that trade with or aspire to do business with the likes of Brazil, India and China. To support trade and the city region’s economy, it is vital for our firms to be able to make connections to these emerging markets.”
Brian Dunsby of Harrogate Chamber of Trade & Commerce said: “We have been lobbying for a restoration of the scheduled service between Leeds Bradford and Heathrow ever since BMI withdrew the service in 2009.
“Whilst the East Coast trains from Leeds and York to Kings Cross are ideal for visits to central London, the onward connection to Heathrow can take more than an hour, which means that the new flights will be much more convenient – given an adequate flight schedule.”