Reduction in Competition on the London-Edinburgh Routes?

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by route:oxford, 4 Nov 2011.

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  1. route:oxford

    route:oxford Established Member

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    BMI had already withdrawn from the London-Glasgow route, so now there is potential for IAG to cut back on the number of flights between Edinburgh & Heathrow. That's over 1000 seats a day.

    Is Rail ready to take up the slack? In particular any opportunity of a later departure "Pullman" service all year round?
     
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  3. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    i am amazed that the Competition people seem so willing to nod all these mergers and acquisitions through, seeing as they're so hot on stamping on Bus companies co-operating.

    i rather fear, though, that the response from the Rail companies would be that "we do not have the spare capacity"/"we only do what we're told to by the Government".
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2011
  4. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Yes, because private companies really enjoy passing up great commercial opportunities on a whim.

    This obviously opens up the Anglo Scot market somewhat - don't you think if TOCs were able to exploit this they would? We will see what happens.
     
  5. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    indeed, but that's the trouble, isn't it. They don't have the freedom to exploit commercial opportunities, or they say they don't, either because they have to/they say that they have to do only what the DfT tells them, or because (they say that) they don't have the spare capacity. I'm afraid that hands-on Government management really doesn't encourage commercial flair.
     
  6. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Ah, I get your point. I agree entirely!
     
  7. kylemore

    kylemore Member

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    It does'nt have to be extra trains from Edinburgh, a couple of HSTs scrounged from somewhere shuttling between York and King's X would release large amounts of seats on existing services from Edinburgh right thro to London.
    However I realise the constraint is line capacity at the southern end of ECML.
     
  8. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Somewhere being? There aren't any sat around in sidings with nothing to do.

    I suppose if the ICEC franchise were held by Arriva(DB) then I might be cynical and suggest that the buyout of GC was a plan to get hold of their 125mph stock for use on ICEC services.
     
  9. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

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    Heathrow to Edinburgh and Glasgow isnt quite the money spinner you might assume it to be. BMI pulled out of LHR-GLA precisely because they couldn't make it pay, with fares as low as £39 one way.

    Willie Walsh has already conceded that this deal is about freeing up LHR slots for more profitable long haul routes, so I'd guess there will indeed be a reduced domestic service compared with the two carriers timetables today. However, BA have already started flying frequently to GLA and EDI from London City with brand new planes which is convenient for many Londoners, plus they have a basic Gatwick service too. Others such as EasyJet fly from Gatwick, Luton and Stansted, and Flybe are trying (an admittedly poor frequency) from Manston.

    So will this mean an opportunity for rail? Maybe! But it probably goes back to the age-old train v plane argument covered many times before rather than beacuse of this latest move.
     
  10. tbtc

    tbtc Veteran Member

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    If you look at the changes since privatisation, there's not been a *huge* increase in London - Scotland services (a handful of gaps in the bi-hourly London - Preston - Glasgow service filled), despite the big increases on other long distance routes.

    This is partly because of the huge share that Air has taken of the London - Scotland market.

    We have, however, seen big increases in the following kind of routes

    London - Leeds (doubled from one/hour to two/hour)
    London - Manchester (trebled from one/hour to three/hour)
    London - Birmingham fast services (increased from two/hour to three/hour)
    Birmingham - ECML - Scotland (increased from three/day to hourly)
    Birmingham - WCML - Scotland (increased from random assortment of trains, many of which ran via Manchester to a faster hourly service through Warrington)
    Manchester - WCML - Scotland (increased from a handful a day to bi-hourly, with some additional services)

    Maybe, if the London - Scotland market is "ripe" for rail expansion (and given the lack of spare stock/paths for any serious increase) the way forward would be to run more "through" services (e.g. London - Leeds - Edinburgh, more "through" Virgin services running London - Birmingham - Glasgow)?

    (or we could just wait for HS2?)
     
  11. stut

    stut Established Member

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    Which is exactly what they've done in the last timetable recast - they've got an HST on loan from East Midlands Trains - and there is now an hourly all-stations service alternating between York and Newark (with some going on to Lincoln).

    The cull of the Glasgow services also released more trains.

    (Also I have to say, easyJet have a really decent operation between Luton and Glasgow these days.)

    It does seem rather ridiculous that there are 4- and 5-carriage trains taking up high speed paths on the ECML (through the open-access operators), though. At the very least, they should have them splitting at Doncaster.
     
  12. kylemore

    kylemore Member

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    BA have started using 767s between LHR and Glasgow so they may extend this to Edinburgh maybe less flights but the same number of seats? So maybe no opportunity for the ECML after all?
     
  13. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    The same should surely apply many times over on the WC, surely.
     
  14. kylemore

    kylemore Member

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    Bow to your superior knowledge!
    Was just a thought.
     
  15. stut

    stut Established Member

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    Probably. I live a few yards from the ECML, though, so from a selfish point of view, that's all I care about :)
     
  16. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

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    Good point. They used to use 767s years ago when the demand was there so this would look like a sensible way to soak up the BMI passengers but still freeing up their slots.

    Mind you, the fares increased to GLA when BMI pulled out.
     
  17. stut

    stut Established Member

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    The BA s/h 767s are near life expired, though, so I don't know how long that will continue. Mind you they IIRC have some 330s and/or 787s on the way...

    It would be interesting to know how much of BA's domestic Heathrow traffic is O&D and how much connecting. I've a feeling that much of the (lucrative) banking traffic goes via AF to City, as its predecessors ScotAirways and VLM were very good at getting route deals together.
     
  18. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

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    City is certainly frequented by business traffic for obvious reasons, plus it's 10 minutes from check-in to boarding which you dont get at Heathrow even in T5.

    But the AF services at City use mainly turboprop Fokker 70s (ex VLM) and RJ100/BAe 146s (CityJet). The BA Embraers are only a year or so old, seat up to 100, and are a pleasure to be in.

    Not sure re costs, but my company has route deals with BA only which are apparently very attractive and include a year-end rebate payment dependant on usage. Plus I get BA Miles or whatever they are called now which I can use on their long haul flights from LHR!
     
  19. Schnellzug

    Schnellzug Established Member

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    They have 24 787s & 12 A380s on order; apparently the 787s will replace 14 of the 767s.
     
  20. cle

    cle Established Member

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    No 330s, except for the 2 they'll get from BMI which I imagine they'll ditch, being sore thumbs in the fleet. Or pass to Iberia.
     
  21. stut

    stut Established Member

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    IIRC, the bmi 330s are leased from ILFC anyway (and one of them's on sublease to UL).
     
  22. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

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    Without appearing too much of a nerd, some of the BMI 320s and 321s have appeared in BA colours before when they flew for British Mediterranean (a former BA franchise, which was bought by BMI). IIRC they formed part of the original BA order on the understanding that they would immeadiately pass to BMED, in the same way as for GB Airways, another former franchise partner.

    BMI are woeful at repainting their fleet, and a few kept the basic BA colour scheme for ages albeit the tail fin changed colours.

    And all the 319s, 320s and 321s share the same engine choice as BA's so are highly compatible to be absorbed into the fleet.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Yes, the 330s were part of BMI's ill fated attempt to open up routes from Manchester to Chicago and other US destinations. They've been passed to SAS, South African, Turkish and Virgin Nigeria in a slightly desperate way of getting them to earn their keep.
     
    Last edited: 4 Nov 2011
  23. stut

    stut Established Member

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    And then on the ill-fated Mumbai route, the Saudi and Tel Aviv routes and the ill-fated North Africa routes! It's a shame, really, as the soft product was excellent, and the economy plus seat one of the best out there!

    I loved bmi when I used to fly with them regularly (80+ flights a year) but, after the LCCs muscled in on their core routes, they seemed to suffer from a combination of bizarre decision making and extreme misfortune (not least being stabbed in the back by United for a number of connections at Heathrow).
     
  24. lookingforit35

    lookingforit35 Member

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    Maybe this is BA's chance to retire their somewhat elderly Gatwick 737 fleet, replacing them with BMI's Airbuses once the shorthaul routes are thinned out.

    Loads of great memories of frequent flights from Gatwick, but having returned there a few weeks ago nothing whatsoever has changed with the 737s, except they look even more tired.

    And why do BA paint a black circle around the nose cone, similar to their former 757 fleet?? :roll:
     
  25. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    BA will benefit from the demise of bmi on the domestic routes to Scotland, but I doubt rail will get much benefit. All connection traffic onto STAR ALLIANCE airlines (United, Singapore Airlines, Swiss e.t.c) that was routed via LHR flew on bmi. Now, BA will have to carry all these passengers. These passengers aren't going to use rail if they are connecting at LHR.
     
  26. Bridge189

    Bridge189 Member

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    To the above, yes that is correct something to do with a microwave approach system trail at LHR in the 90s. The black rings have now gone from the fleet.

    BA will not operate BMIs small A330 fleet bearing in mind they have nearly 60 777s and a similar number of 744s. BA and BMI do overlap in a few places/routes normally BA is the more dominant player in places such as Saudi and indeed GLA whereby BA essentially pushed BMI off the route. integration will not be easy without speculating too much I would think a LOT of BMI jobs will be on the line.
     
  27. WestCoast

    WestCoast Established Member

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    As I've stated on the other thread, bmi just cannot continue in its current form. It's bleeding cash and no one can save them IMHO. All jobs would be on the line if it was shut down completely (which is what they were heading for).

    BA faces enormous competition to places like Saudi from the 'Gulf airlines' (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar). However, that has nothing to do with London - Edinburgh.
     
  28. Bridge189

    Bridge189 Member

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    The short haul BA 767s are either the oldest or the youngest with the long hauls in the middle.
     
  29. starrymarkb

    starrymarkb Established Member

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    They might go to Iberia temporarily but they'd be an oddball there to as BMI have RR Trents and Iberia's A330s are getting GE engines.
     
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