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Route Development & Rumours

Discussion in 'Birmingham' started by hoody, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. hoody

    hoody New Member

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    Hello,

    I am just wondering if there are any developments in relation to new routes to Birmingham?

    Birmingham as awful lot of untapped potential and can sustain a fair few routes to cities, particularly a few in Eastern Europe (Budapest, for instance).

    I know the world is a tad anxious at the moment, but now is the time to start making plans for growth, I was wondering if anything was in the pipeline.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. Aviador

    Aviador Administrator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    Re: New Route Developments

    Thanks for joining hoody! :smile:

    Does Ryanair operate into Budapest? They're probably the best option for a Budapest offering.

    It's hard to imagine how the aviation industry will pan out over the next few years after the effects of the global recession. Right now the times when airlines appeared to be almost queuing up to start new routes seems a distant memory.

    All that said, there are still many opportunities and gaps in the market. Over time new routes such as Budapest will come to fruition. Mr O'Leary usually describes it as the pecking order or in other words which airport offers the best deal, but I'm sure many other airlines follow suit.

    For the moment at least Birmingham has recently welcomed US Airways and the new Indian airline Akal Air and hopefully Air India will return over the coming months. At least Birmingham is better placed than many other UK airports to weather the recession storm.
     
  3. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: New Route Developments

    There is no Ryanair BUD route from BHX though there is one from EMA. In fact, at the moment FR only flies to BUD from EMA, BRS, PIK and DUB. One would have thought there were enough punters in the West Midlands to make BUD a goer even with EMA not that far away.

    FR already operates to such former Communist Bloc airports as Prague and Bratislava from both BHX and EMA, so BUD would not be a great surprise, although FR has had its problems with BUD over charges and pulled all its flights for six weeks in November and early December last year.

    There is a rumour on another message board that the Greek charter airline Hellenic Imperial is in negotiations with BHX management to start a 4 x weekly service to Athens. It would be the airline's first scheduled route.

    The plan is for the service to be extended from Athens to Jeddah (for Mecca) on 2 of the 4 days each week.
    It is thought the large Muslim population of the West Midlands would provide a large reservoir of customers.

    On the Jeddah days passengers from BHX for that destination would remain on the aircraft (HI currently operates a small fleet of B 747s) at Athens, and be joined by other passengers flying from Athens to Jeddah.

    Let's hope the operation receives the green light.

    As Aviador points out, BHX is faring much better than the majority of UK airports in retaining passenger levels.
     
  4. CL44

    CL44 Well-Known Member

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    Re: Potential Routes

    I have heard the roumor about Hellenic Imperial for this route and have to be honest I will believe it when it happens. I do not think there is enough demand for such a service especially with Classic 747 equipment.
    If it does start I think it will go the way of Akal Air / Air Sylhet. If a service to India (even going via VIE) cannot survive for about a month, then a service to JED via ATH would probably only last for a couple of weeks (unless they have a shed load of capital behind them). I completly understand about the idea behind a large Muslim population providing a reservoir of customers but please bear in mind that until the Hadj season starts the chances for traffic are extremely limited. There is virtually no tourist traffic to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (each visitor would need an official sponsor) and the market is well enough served by Direct flights from LHR (BD & SV) or via DXB. The Hadj market is also strictly controlled by the KSA Authorities. You only need to see the provisions rgearding the tenders that any Airline have to submit in order to obtain permission to place services on the schedule for the pilgramage.

    I am not on a downer for new services from BHX. Please bear in mind that each new service that starts from here makes my job a whole lot easier. I just feel that we have to have the right services starting (e.g. US Airways) in order to make sure that the Airlines continue to serve and not cancel flights after a small period of time has elapsed.
     
  5. Hassaan13

    Hassaan13 Active Member

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    BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    As many of you know, American Airlines dropped their highly profitable route out of BHX to Chicago in October 2002. The particular route had large support from the West Midlands community and with very high load factors.

    We are now urging companies to re-establish this link through this petition: http://petitiononline.com/aabhx/petition.html
     
  6. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    Welcome to forums4airports, Hassaan.

    BHX serves a huge population with a very large and bouyant economy.

    Compared to MAN it is underserved and it's difficult to know why the gap is so large.

    BHX may be disadvantaged in being relatively close to LHR but, if the government puts its money where its mouth is, BHX should see a significant upsurge in the coming years.

    For starters, let's hope the petition bears fruit.

    We haven't got too many posters with close links to BHX yet so you are especially welcome to keep us all informed of the happenings there.

    I posted elsewhere on this forum that I recently used BHX for the first time (it's not my local airport) and was very impressed with it.
     
  7. Hassaan13

    Hassaan13 Active Member

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    Thanks.

    Of course there are a lot of people from Birmingham who have to go to Heathrow to catch a transatlantic flight with American Airlines. AA is seemingly more popular than Continental and we would need more than one transatlantic flight to the USA. I suggested American Airlines relaunch their daily service to Chicago using 777-200's (BHX's runway isn't an issue for 777's, PIA, Air India and Emirates have handled fine) starting March and i'm pretty sure there is demand.

    We need more than the 4 signatures we currently have. I'm currently touring aviation forums related to BHX and trying to promote the petition, but with no luck. The petition has in fact been criticised because of the fact there won't be demand, AA aren't interested, it's not profitable etc.

    I've tried to get the backing of Birmingham Airport and the Council, and i'm awaiting replies from the both of them.

    BHX has plenty of european carriers, but we need more international flights. We need larger aircraft such as more 777's, A340 and hopefully after the runway extention, the 747 and A380. There have been many complaints about the lack of direct flights out of BHX, Air India is the most common.
     
  8. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    I hope you get a supportive reply from the BHX management.

    If someone is prepared to put themselves out for something they believe in that, if it came to fruition, would benefit both the airport and local economy they should be encouraged.

    I will be interested to learn the airport's response when you receive it.

    Good luck in the meantime.
     
  9. Hassaan13

    Hassaan13 Active Member

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    Suggested New BHX Routes for 2011

    Here are some routes I suggest we should get.

    - Emirates should add a third daily service to Dubai or an A380 on the midday route.
    - PIA should make their Birmingham-Islamabad route daily
    - Saudi Arabian Airlines should launch a service from BHX to Jeddah
    - Continental Airlines to upgrade to a B767-400 or 777-200
    - Mahan Air give us some news on their A340
    - Qatar to start a service to BHX from Doha with A330's
    - More international British Airways routes with larger aircraft like 777 and 747
    - Air China to launch a Beijing-Birmingham route with A330's

    No runway limitations for A330's or 777's, 767's, A340's etc. 747's have operated into BHX for years with no issues, though the plane would need to use the whole runway. If there is anyone working at BHX on here, please suggest these routes to the CEO's at the airport.
     
  10. Hassaan13

    Hassaan13 Active Member

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    I have wrote an article to the Express and Star & Birmingham Post, hopefully they will publish it. Back in 2005 AA were looking at relaunching their flights into BHX but it never happened.
     
  11. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Suggested New BHX Routes for 2011

    British Airways seem to have retreated to London for their long-haul routes so it would be a massive policy turnaround to use regional airports again BUT if the government is true to its word about restricting LHR's growth and seeing flights moved to the regions (especially BHX) who knows what might happen in the future?

    I read yesterday that Ryanair is to launch a 3 x weekly (I think that's the schedule) Bergerac route for the coming summer.
     
  12. Aviador

    Aviador Administrator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    Welcome to Forums4airports Hassaan!

    A similar kind of service from BRS to EWR has been discussed on the Bristol forum here at length. In many ways the story remains the same. Many airlines don't seem to see the advantage of operating regional departures.

    For many people in the UK - Manchester Airport is seen as the UK's main airport outside of the capital city. This is probably because it's in the centre of the UK. American Airlines even snubbed MAN in recent years scrapping it's daily New York service. (Now reinstated)

    It is clear that airlines want to protect their main core operations into LHR. Regional departures only dilute the 'high paying' business class passengers. The annoying thing for people outside of London is the lengthy car drive, or rail journey to get to LHR and yet airlines seem more than happy to add extra rotations into LHR when slots become available.

    Locally to me, Leeds Bradford Airport has being trying to attract an American service for many years. Statistics back the airports claim that sufficient people from the LBA region would use such service but airlines are still reluctant to operate these routes where there's a possibility of diluting like for like services at either MAN or LHR.

    The best thing the regions can hope for is if the Government's plans to increase passenger duty for flights into the London airports will help improve the offering for more local departures.
     
  13. Aviador

    Aviador Administrator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    Re: Suggested New BHX Routes for 2011

    It would be some achievement if BHX can achieve all of that. Here's what I think...

    • PIA: I'm not sure PIA will go daily after only recently announcing a restructuring package in a joint venture with Turkish Airlines. At present the airline has indicated that UK destinations remain unaffected but this maybe during the short term only.
    • Emirates: What are the loads like on the route at the moment? Do the loads warrant an upgrade or increased frequency?
    • Continental Airlines: Only recently withdrew their service from BRS primarily to concentrate on it's LHR services. (As discussed on another thread here) It may however wish to increase the option from BHX if the demand is there, assuming some people from the West Country would potentially use the service from BHX instead of LHR.
    • Qatar: The airline is renowned for excellent service and it would open up many more destinations if the airline were to start operating to Doha. Fingers Crossed!
    • Air China: There is a strong possibility that this could come to fruition over the next few years as links between the two countries become stronger.

    I genuinely hope the BHX can achieve some serious growth in the coming years. It is close enough to London to provide additional capacity for there, yet near enough to other cities such as Leeds & Sheffield to provide a second choice so we don't always have to use Manchester or connecting to flights via AMS all the time.
     
  14. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: Suggested New BHX Routes for 2011

    When we travelled with Emirates from BHX to DXB then MEL in October we were told by the travel agency (a national chain that specialises in long-haul) that Emirates were putting great efforts into attracting premium fare passengers from the West Country (specifically BS* post codes) onto their BHX service, and were offering incentives such as increased distance on the complimentary chauffeur service to/from BHX from/to BS districts.

    Although LHR is equally close to the BS region as BHX it seems that for commercial reasons Emirates favoured BHX over LHR and didn't seem concerned that LHR loads might be very slightly diluted as a result.

    * BS being Bristol region post codes
     
  15. Hassaan13

    Hassaan13 Active Member

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    I need some help in promoting the petition. I to get more signatures, at least 20,000.
     
  16. pug

    pug Member

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    Hassaan13, welcome to the forum, its good to see someone (at 13?) showing support for their local airport and being proactive in trying to get an expanded service.

    One thing i would like to point out, however, is that the route was actually not particularly profitable, and sending the airline information they already know will not do your petition any favours.

    As Aviador has said, airlines like to operate into London over most of the regions in the UK. Despite Birminghams' large population, it is within two hours of both Manchester and Heathrow airports and still manages to retain a significant long-haul offering for an airport of its size.

    I would like to point out that the size of Birmingham, when compared to cities in the States (that do not have such long-haul services) is actualy relatively insignificant, and perhaps should be considered when forming petitions.

    Good luck all the same.
     
  17. Aviador

    Aviador Administrator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    It's interesting when you compare EDI with GLA on long haul services. Both airports offer flights to the states and beyond which I think is quite unusual really given how close Edinburgh and Glasgow are.
     
  18. Aviador

    Aviador Administrator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    According to Anna-aero the UK – US transatlantic air traffic was down by 3.3% during 2010 so any launch of new flights to the US with American Airlines will almost certainly be on hold. That assuming they're actually even considering the idea.
     
  19. CL44

    CL44 Well-Known Member

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    Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

    Please also bear in mind how long US Airways had their service into BHX (1 x summer season). Now personally I think they did not advertise the route that well, and they were not taking any cargo into or out of BHX which is going to crimp any Airline that is not filling the passenger cabin. Whilst AA have a lot of history at BHX, and offered a very good service (I remember taking my belated honeymoon with them in 1997 and had a fantastic flight), it is always going to be a case of use it or loose it. BHX did not use the service and so lost it.

    Also bear in mind that with ATI now in place with BA, they have no real reason to come into BHX apart from the fact that LHR is full (or darn near to it) and so without codeshares departing from BHX why put one of their flights into here without a very good reason.
     
  20. Hassaan13

    Hassaan13 Active Member

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    Re: Suggested New BHX Routes for 2011

    Well, i've emailed Birmingham Airport in regards to a third daily Emirates service, an expansion on the PIA route, AA and Continental. I did write a proper convincing email earlier on, and am awaiting a response. I wrote a previous email and got this:

    I don't know whether that shows any possibility of any new routes.
     

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