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Will BA ever re establish all routes cancelled during lockdown?

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  • Jamie041

    Given BA drastically reduced its route map during lockdowns (both UK and overseas) but I’m not seeing any real action in reinstating them.
    This could be due to many reasons, but I think primarily due to crew shortages and its code share with Qatar.
    I’m talking specifically about the far east, where e.g. Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur have not been re established yet, unless I’m missing something🤷‍♂️
    This does limit my ability to use 2-4-1 voucher to Thailand that is my goal.
    Prices for Business Class are exceptionally high (I’ve used Qatar from Oslo and Copenhagen pre covid, but prices are approx 250% higher now.) and I’d be hoping BA May have re established route and I may have had a chance to get a deal.
    Anyone know if these routes may get re established?

    Richie

    Bangkok and KL are long sectors if you don’t have enough premium cabin paying passengers to make enough money for poorer aircraft utilisation.
    BA have LH planes on order, but they probably won’t be delivered on time.
    I’m hoping for a trip on Finnair to the far east in late 23/24.

    Michael C

    Yeah, but…no, but….yeah, but…no, but…

    Harry T

    I think it’s unlikely.

    dougzz99

    Shortage of resources, crew, aircraft and airport capacity. Russian airspace. I suspect when/if these issues resolve many routes will reappear. But ultimately it’ll be about whether a route is profitable or not. Ultimately I think many Asian routes will return, but likely not all.

    JDB

    Shortage of resources, crew, aircraft and airport capacity. Russian airspace. I suspect when/if these issues resolve many routes will reappear. But ultimately it’ll be about whether a route is profitable or not. Ultimately I think many Asian routes will return, but likely not all.

    There’s also the cargo potential of the route and apparently BKK is quite poor on this front. MEX is a route we have used a lot for many years and it is cargo that kept it going throughout covid more than passengers; suits us as an easy redemption route, including F.

    Vit

    @JDB , I have been looking into the central and south America. I am keen on SCL and EZE but I really want to maximise the values of the amex voucher and avios. I may sway toward MEX actually as this would be my 2nd choice after visiting Patagonia.

    mef13

    Doesn’t help with the voucher but I’ve just done LHR-BKK via AMM on RJ for under £2700 return in Business.

    Londonsteve

    A lot of carriers have returned to the likes of BKK and KL despite the economics being similar, we can only assume they’re turning a profit otherwise they wouldn’t be there. BA’s lack of crew and aircraft is certainly a factor, as is the Russian airspace closure, but the principal motivation IMO is the strong USD and the UK’s geographical position that is encouraging BA to become a bridge between the US and western Europe. If and when Dollar drops off its perch and Europe again reverts to being an expensive destination for US travellers, BA will pay greater attention to the routes it closed heading eastbound. BA at the moment is effectively a US airline feeding US customers to its European short haul operation via London.

    JDB

    BA is, of necessity, much more ruthlessly commercial and profitable than some other European carriers. AF-KL is still 40% state controlled and suffers significant interference – I wouldn’t presume anything about the profitability of certain routes. From BA’s perspective a route like BKK will always be quite marginal as while it is popular, there is huge competition so it is too price competitive, not enough high revenue traffic or cargo. The US has always been BA’s profit engine that funds the rest and the US-UK oligopoly helped by US airline consolidation serves them very well.

    Colin MacKinnon

    Has anyone any idea of the number of seats BA has today compared to pre-Covid?

    Pre-Covid BA seemed to me to be boosting flights to the Far East, in particular China. Will routes eastward come back while China still aims for zero-Covid?

    And if the current Chinese protests come to anything, does BA even have the aircraft?

    JDB

    Has anyone any idea of the number of seats BA has today compared to pre-Covid?

    Pre-Covid BA seemed to me to be boosting flights to the Far East, in particular China. Will routes eastward come back while China still aims for zero-Covid?

    And if the current Chinese protests come to anything, does BA even have the aircraft?

    BA didn’t increase China. Chengdu was dropped, frequency to Shanghai was reduced and Beijing went from 747 to 777.

    marks7389

    BA didn’t increase China. Chengdu was dropped, frequency to Shanghai was reduced and Beijing went from 747 to 777.

    I remember when Chengdu started, with the first service operated by a 777 painted up with a Panda face. Not that many years pre-pandemic (2013?) but never did well for passenger traffic. Cargo kept it going for a while, but in the end even that and a switch to 787 service wasn’t enough to save it.

    There was an increase in China services during the early 2010s. I think Beijing switched to a seasonal 747 service around that time, but it had been operated by 777s for some time prior to that, G-YMMM having been written off following its crash landing on arrival from Beijing due to the fuel icing issue.

    I also remember, again around a similar time, Shanghai being a 6x weekly 777 service before it later went twice daily on some days.

    These things ebb and flow depending on fleet availability and utilisation economics of course. There’s clearly little prospect for any meaningful return to mainland China until the COVID situation is addressed.

    As to the return of other destinations, I guess we will see what happens. KUL returned previously after a long absence but QR codeshares may be more attractive than running marginal services. There will be those who prefer to fly direct of course, but even there OneWorld partners JL/MH/CX/QF offer direct services to many of BA’s former and current Asian destinations outside of mainland China.

    Redemption wise QR is probably also more attractive than BA on many routes once you take the taxes and fees into consideration, and even against a BA 2for1 where that requires an onward connection to a destination that QR flies direct from Doha.

    BJ

    IMO it takes some stretch of the imagination to consider a connecting reward flight on QR superior to a direct reward flight on BA with a 2-4-1. Personally, you couldn’t even sell me that if you were pitching Qsuites or an a380 against old CW on a done 777-200.

    davet

    I’m in the same boat, had my Asia trip cancelled in April 2020 ended up with one of the seats in limbo as I refused to take the refund less the upgrade voucher, having to phone the avios line after 9am means the seats have always gone before the lines open for singapore. I also have a shed load of points and newly earned vouchers but no routes back that way to rebook our holiday for

    Now we have a 6 month old baby as well it rules out QR, she flew perfectly fine to Egypt so we would still like to get to Thailand some how, thinking of doing business redemption to Chennai then a short hop onward but its an awful lot of agg and cost

    vetjames

    I’m in the same boat, had my Asia trip cancelled in April 2020 ended up with one of the seats in limbo as I refused to take the refund less the upgrade voucher, having to phone the avios line after 9am means the seats have always gone before the lines open for singapore. I also have a shed load of points and newly earned vouchers but no routes back that way to rebook our holiday for

    Now we have a 6 month old baby as well it rules out QR, she flew perfectly fine to Egypt so we would still like to get to Thailand some how, thinking of doing business redemption to Chennai then a short hop onward but its an awful lot of agg and cost

    We went QR to BKK earlier this month with an 18-month-old. It was great tbh. The A380 bar area made a huge difference.

    davet

    I’m in the same boat, had my Asia trip cancelled in April 2020 ended up with one of the seats in limbo as I refused to take the refund less the upgrade voucher, having to phone the avios line after 9am means the seats have always gone before the lines open for singapore. I also have a shed load of points and newly earned vouchers but no routes back that way to rebook our holiday for

    Now we have a 6 month old baby as well it rules out QR, she flew perfectly fine to Egypt so we would still like to get to Thailand some how, thinking of doing business redemption to Chennai then a short hop onward but its an awful lot of agg and cost

    We went QR to BKK earlier this month with an 18-month-old. It was great tbh. The A380 bar area made a huge difference.

    I’d love to go QR but it says no avios redemption for under 2’s, one of us would have to be on a cash seat

    aq.1988

    Does anyone think that BA will ever offer Club World to Cairo? For a 5 hour flight, I would much rather be in CW than CE.

    AJA

    Does anyone think that BA will ever offer Club World to Cairo? For a 5 hour flight, I would much rather be in CW than CE.

    I doubt it. It used to be CW (at one point on a 747 but latterly on a 777) but they downgraded it to CE on an A321 several years ago. If you want a widebody fly EqyptAir – they use either a 777 or 787 on the route.

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