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British Airways to halve flights to Leeds Bradford Airport

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British Airways is halving the number of flights to Leeds Bradford Airport from 20 per week to just 10 from the end of February.

The airline has said that this is down to “matching flights to demand”.  It does make a bit of a mockery of Heathrow’s promises to increase the number of domestic flights to the airport, although this is more of a political game as the third runway will never get built if it cannot be sold as a project to benefit the whole of the UK.

BA cuts Leeds Bradford service

The route attracted 165,000 passengers in 2016 and was up 1.6% for the first 11 months of 2017.  This implies around 80 passengers per flight although, of course, yield is more important than volume.

Leeds Bradford to Heathrow had historically been a successful bmi British Midland route until rail improvements led to the service being axed in 2009.  British Airways revived it in 2012.  With only flight per day for four days of the week, it is difficult to see it surviving much longer.

You can find out more in this Yorkshire Post article.

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Comments (71)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Hingeless says:

    If the BA route closes to LBA it is good bed and bad news for me.

    The good news being that I will never see the horrible car hire return chap again.

  • Gail says:

    BA flights have been so unreliable from LBA. Not because of the weather as they have often claimed. They have been the first to cancel flights. If I want to take a transatlantic flight and use LBA, I use KLM and change in Amsterdam. KLM manage to offer a consistent and excellent service from LBA to Amsterdam. There has not been enough commitment from BA to LBA.

    • Hingeless says:

      True, the last flight I booked was cancelled, and the flight before delayed so much I just about caught my onward flight to Hong Kong. But that has always been the case with ba domestic flights.

    • RussellH says:

      I would expect the LBA-AMS market to be much bigger than LBA-LHR. I cannot imagine that many people are going to fly from LBA when they need to get to central London, even less so if they are heading for the city or Docklands, so the BA service must rely on connecting traffic.

      KLM, though will be serving those who want to get to Amsterdam, elsewhere in the Netherlands, or Bruxelles (direct rail service from Schipol) as well as connecting traffic. They have a much bigger market to draw on.

  • Tom Cook says:

    LBA is my local, and this week talked of expanding routes to the middle east, etc, yet here we are with BA dropping routes to London.

    The airport is at best a shoddy regional airport, lacking investment. Yes there’s a new business lounge due to open soon but essentially since the Local Authorities sold their shares in 2006 there’s been a decade of dullness.

  • Gwyn says:

    Yes it is the law of diminishing returns. The more unreliable BA flights became, the less people wanted to rely on them. The more they see people not wanting to use them, the more they can justify cuts to the device.

  • David says:

    Surely dropping LBA would help HAL’s argument for expansion: “With the limited capacity of two runways, BA cannot afford to serve regional domestic airports, but with a third runway then there’ll be space for the likes of LBA.”

  • Darren says:

    When is British Airways going to change its name to London Airways? I am BA Exec Gold and these points have been earned with flights that started at Leeds Bradford. Every flight that I have taken between LBA and LHR recently was been full and I had been hoping that extra flights would be added not less! The reduced frequency now means that I will have to start using Manchester and if I am flying out of Manchester I may as well fly to where I want to go direct with another airline rather than fly to Heathrow and connect. So I will use up the stash of Avios and the companion voucher that I am sitting on and switch my loyalty to Star Alliance airlines.

    • Darren says:

      … And it will become a self fulfilling prophecy as if people can’t get good connections via LBA, BA are naive if they think people will go on an earlier or later flight instead to fill up that one. Traffic between LBA and LHR will drop and BA will use that as an argument to drop the service completely!

      • Alan says:

        I’m with Darren on that one. This is the the final nail for me and BA. BA drop in quality, stupid surcharges, the dropping of BA/AA flights from MAN to JFK and now the reduction in LBA flights.
        As most of my flights head west, it is now a choice of Dublin, Amsterdam or Virgin from Manchester
        Time to start looking at the credit card again!

    • Nick says:

      Remind me which exact Star Alliance airlines serve LBA?

  • Briandt says:

    The more people that give up on BA and Avios is fine by me…maybe a few more redemption seats will open up.
    ( I just wonder, if these people do actually put their money where their mouth is ?)

    • Mr(s) Entitled says:

      I did. Havent taken a BA flight in years. Always fly direct from MAN when short haul. If heading East I might use Avios on Qatar from MAN changing in Doha depending on cash rates. West is usually cash.

      I’m not anti BA. Their products not the best but its not the worse either. Fly with anyone enough and you will probably tire of their offering. BA have though simply made it to difficult for me to use their service compared to alternatives.

      600,000 Avios just sitting there and 2 of my last 3 241 expired unused. I dont go out of my way to collect Avios and am much happier chasing hotel points.

      • Jon says:

        Agree. Strange as it may sound to London-based readers, for many of us oop north, we wouldn’t really notice if BA ceased to exist. They really are just Heathrow airlines. We are far better served by Virgin, KLM, other direct international carriers and even Jet2!

      • Anna says:

        This makes me want to weep! Can I join your HHA? ????

    • Darren says:

      Your redemention seats are subsidised by those who pay for seats at the front of the plane. If these people start buying flights on other airlines your options will get even more limited.

    • Nick says:

      LBA was only ever a slot-filler. They had to do something with the bmi holding so took a load of cash from Yorkshire and ran a gamble. If it works, great, keep it long term. If it doesn’t, well no harm done, they kept the slots warm until they found a better use.

      If people had made more use of (and paid more for) the three flights a day, this wouldn’t be happening.

      • Briandt says:


        • Southern monkey says:

          Totally agree.
          It was never sustainable route.
          As Rob says in the article the rail killed it.

          the northerners should stop complaining and move to london.

  • Jovanna says:

    The flight times under the new schedule are a bit rubbish too.

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