The timings below are not particularly useful for anyone in the UK flying from Stansted looking to spend a weekend in Berlin. We can only surmise that the main benefit is positioning an aircraft at Stansted to operate BA’s other weekend flights from the airport.
The London City – Dublin route is going to become significantly more competitive from 26 October 2014 when British Airways launches a five daily service between the two airports.
This route has traditionally been a mainstay of CityJet which operates the route up to 7 times a day. BA will also be completing against Flybe, a new entrant to the airport, which also launches this route at the time as BA.
There are two points of note from this announcement:
1. It shows a significant commitment by BA to Dublin.
Until two years ago, BA did not serve the city at all as it relied on codeshares with Aer Lingus. BA returned to Dublin after it inherited the London Heathrow – Dublin route from BA. From 26 October 2014, BA will operate up to 13 flights a day combined from London Heathrow and London City. BA is also moving London Heathrow – Dublin flights from Terminal 1 to 5 on the same day.
2. This puts more competitive pressure on CityJet.
This is the second occasion in recent times BA has launched a route at London City that has been well served CityJet, which was recently sold by Air France-KLM. The other route being Rotterdam. CityJet has withdrawn routes such as London City – Edinburgh and diversified away from London City, launching routes from UK regional airports, such as Cardiff.
BA is cancelling the London City – Aberdeen and London City – Stockholm routes to make way for this service and flights are now on sale on ba.com
British Airways has often been criticised in the past for failing to prove it can compete with rival airlines outside its base at London Heathrow, where it now commands nearly 50% of take off and landing slots. Witness how the airline withdrew entirely from regional point to point operations five years ago and, as reported yesterday, has ceded a significant share of traffic at London Gatwick to easyJet.
The one exception to this is at London City. Some five years ago CityJet, an airline with a complex history and structure, but now under the ownership of Air France KLM, dominated short-haul operations at the airport, with more than twice the share of take off and landing slots as British Airways.