We have to admit to have always been sceptical about the concept of low cost long-haul travel. Whilst the concept has been much talked about and there have been a number of low cost long-haul carriers in Asia Pacific (such as Qantas offshoot JetStar), it has not gained traction in Europe.
That is until now. Norwegian has established a small base at London Gatwick, albeit this has not translated into financial success. And now Lufthansa has launched a low cost long-haul carrier under the name Eurowings.
It will be based in Cologne and initially offer flights to Bangkok, Phuket, Dubai, Varadero and Punta Cana. Flights will launch from late October 2015 and connections are available from London Heathrow and other UK cities.
British Airways has today confirmed that it is, with immediate effect, to offer codeshares with Bangkok Airways on flights from Bangkok to Phuket, Koh Samui, Chiang Mai, and from Singapore to Koh Samui. These are three of the eight destinations in Thailand served by Bangkok Airways.
The move is not surprising. Both Bangkok and Singapore have previously acted as a “scissor hub” for British Airways and Qantas to provide onward connections to numerous cities in Australia. Although these codeshares between British Airways and Qantas are still in place, these are less competitive for passengers arriving from London. This is because Qantas has retimed its Australia bound flights from Bangkok and Singapore after ceasing to fly from London to Bangkok and Singapore.
BA has also downgraded the Bangkok route from a four class Boeing 747 to a three class Boeing 777 from 27 October 2013, indicating under performance on this route.