International Airlines Group’s takeover of Aer Lingus moved another step closer today, 14 July 2015, after the European Commission gave formal approval of the deal.
It is subject to some conditions, known as “commitments” in order to assuage competition concerns of the European Commission.
1. IAG must forfeit up to five slot pairs at London Gatwick airport for use on routes between London and Dublin and London and Belfast. One slot pair must be used for London – Belfast, two slot pairs must be used for London – Dublin and the remaining two can be used for either route.
2. IAG must offer rival airlines special prorate deals for passengers connecting from Aer Lingus short-haul flights to long-haul flights operated by rival airlines at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Amsterdam, Shannon and Dublin airports. This is so rival airlines such as KLM and Virgin Atlantic can still offer passengers connections from Aer Lingus short-haul flights. Continue reading “The European Commission approves IAG’s takeover of Aer Lingus”
Flybe is to suspend its London City – Dublin route from 31 May 2015, a little over six months after Flybe opened a base at the airport.
Passengers have been offered either a refund or an alternative flight on Flybe. The London City – Dublin route is also served by CityJet and British Airways. The amount of capacity on the route is a likely factor behind Flybe’s decision.
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 continues to battle to regain lost market share in the European short-haul market from easyJet.
The airline has today, 5 March 2014, announced a new fare enabling passengers to do “out and back in a day” trips to a number of short-haul destinations in the UK and mainland Europe on Saturdays and Sundays.
The lead-in return fares are £79 to Dublin and Geneva, £89 for Edinburgh and Rome and £99 for Vienna and Munich. These fares are available for booking now and we note that relatively short notice weekend fares for these destinations are significantly cheaper than others.
BA claim that these fares may be extended to other short-haul destinations in due course. We infer these fares are something of an experiment to help fill otherwise relatively quiet early morning and late night flights on weekends.
That said, this is a welcome innovation and certainly something we can see ourselves taking advantage of.
If the experience of “Hand Baggage Only” fares is anything to by, it should be extended across the network very quickly.
British Airways has today confirmed that its flights from London Heathrow to Belfast City and Dublin airports (together making 12 return flights a day) will move from Terminal 1 to Terminal 5 from Sunday 24 October 2014.