GSP psgr
Topic Author
Posts: 467
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:09 am

Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:38 pm

I've noticed that compared to Air France, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Turkish, and maybe even Lufthansa, BA operates a relatively small network of destinations, especially given the United Kingdom's extensive colonial legacy. I'm wondering why they're such a comparatively smaller player, especially outside of perhaps Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Over the years they have dropped service to Entebbe, Dar Es Salaam, Freetown, Lusaka and Monrovia, among others. I also find it strange that Algiers and Marrakesh are flown from Gatwick rather than Heathrow.

Some theories:

-Lack of a 767 sized aircraft right sized to the market and general widebody shortage (Lusaka, Dar Es Salaam, and Entebbe?)
-Security issues (Freetown, Monrovia, and other West African destinations)
-ME3+ Cost Advantages (Southern and Eastern African destinations)
-Limited slots at Heathrow (although not seemingly as big an issue post BMI acquisition)
-Risk averse strategy(markets without security issues like Dakar, Durban, Casablanca, Kigali)
 
directorguy
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sat Apr 14, 2018 10:56 pm

Might also add that in the 90s/00s certain routes were flown by BMed-British Mediterranean Airways. I believe they were a sort of BA affiliate as they showed up in BA timetables.
Not sure of the history but seems that certain routes were not premium or prestigious enough (Alexandria, Khartoum, Dakar, Addis) to warrant mainline service. I believe that they overlapped with BMI at some point.
 
Galwayman
Posts: 239
Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:20 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:01 pm

BA really only has advantage in the Lagos to Gran Cayman bank account ‘transfers’ market ... and the retiree memsaab community looking for cheap retirement in Cape Town

It’s too high cost low quality with poor hubbing geography
 
User avatar
Midwestindy
Posts: 2155
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2017 3:56 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:05 pm

steveinbc wrote:
Maybe I'm speaking out of turn here. But when I was planning a trip to Mali with my work I was surprised it was served daily from Paris CDG. I was informed that the French government heavily subsidizes these routes as part of their francophone aid budget. Maybe similar subsidies with Germany? BA wouldn't receive these. Turkish is expanding to any city that has a runway but this strategy is unsustainable in my view.


Not necessarily Turkish, but I know a lot of Nigerian based FFs who go out of their way to fly EK, QR, and/or EY
2018: ATL, BOS, CDG, DCA, DFW, DTW, EWR, HPN, JFK, IAD, IAH, IND, LAX, LGA, LHR, MIA, MSP, ORD, PHL, SAN, SJD, SLC, SFO, TPA, ZRH....Loading....
 
steveinbc
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:30 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:06 pm

Maybe I'm speaking out of turn here. But when I was planning a trip to Mali with my work I was surprised it was served daily from Paris CDG. I was informed that the French government heavily subsidizes these routes as part of their francophone aid budget. Maybe similar subsidies with Germany? BA wouldn't receive these. Turkish is expanding to any city that has a runway but this strategy is unsustainable in my view.
A319 320 321 330 340 380 B707 727 737 747 757 767 777 787 BAe1-11 Trident 1, 2, 3B Viscount Lancaster VC10 HS748, ATP DHC-1, 3 Dash-8 Dash-400 Shorts 330 360 Embraer Banderiante Brasileria 175 190 BAe146 Saab 200 DC-3 -8 -9 -10 MD-11 ATR42-72
 
User avatar
eta unknown
Posts: 1966
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2001 5:03 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sat Apr 14, 2018 11:10 pm

Many of the former UK colonial routes the OP mentions are simply low yielding and BA is quite happy for KLM, EK, etc. to carry these pax at fares that are of no interest to BA. Some operational costs are also high so without the premium cabins filled, it's a no brainer to not operate. TK serves quite a few cities with 739's which is a different strategy, but IST is at a geographical advantage for 739 Africa-Europe route performance. Even when BA inherited the BCal African routes, many were quickly dropped and these operated from LGW. Re ALG & Marrakesh- these are point to point routes mainly so relegated to LGW.
 
GSP psgr
Topic Author
Posts: 467
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:09 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:22 am

steveinbc wrote:
Maybe I'm speaking out of turn here. But when I was planning a trip to Mali with my work I was surprised it was served daily from Paris CDG. I was informed that the French government heavily subsidizes these routes as part of their francophone aid budget. Maybe similar subsidies with Germany? BA wouldn't receive these. Turkish is expanding to any city that has a runway but this strategy is unsustainable in my view.


Well that would explain Air France's cost advantages vis a vis British Airways to a lot of West African destinations at least. Not that anyone thinks of AF as a LCC these days.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 12855
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:34 am

GSP psgr wrote:
steveinbc wrote:
Maybe I'm speaking out of turn here. But when I was planning a trip to Mali with my work I was surprised it was served daily from Paris CDG. I was informed that the French government heavily subsidizes these routes as part of their francophone aid budget. Maybe similar subsidies with Germany? BA wouldn't receive these. Turkish is expanding to any city that has a runway but this strategy is unsustainable in my view.


Well that would explain Air France's cost advantages vis a vis British Airways to a lot of West African destinations at least. Not that anyone thinks of AF as a LCC these days.


Not only a cost advantage but likely a pretty significant O&D advantage to the Francophone countries.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
User avatar
EightyFour
Posts: 26
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:35 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:53 am

Opportunity cost of LHR slots could also play a role. Some of the Africa routes could be profitable, but slots are better utilized for routes which are even more profitable.
 
Ionosphere
Posts: 22
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2016 6:46 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:12 am

directorguy wrote:
Might also add that in the 90s/00s certain routes were flown by BMed-British Mediterranean Airways. I believe they were a sort of BA affiliate as they showed up in BA timetables.
Not sure of the history but seems that certain routes were not premium or prestigious enough (Alexandria, Khartoum, Dakar, Addis) to warrant mainline service. I believe that they overlapped with BMI at some point.


BMI bought British Mediterranean from BA in February 2007.
 
User avatar
DWC
Posts: 424
Joined: Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:49 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:17 am

GSP psgr wrote:
steveinbc wrote:
Maybe I'm speaking out of turn here. But when I was planning a trip to Mali with my work I was surprised it was served daily from Paris CDG. I was informed that the French government heavily subsidizes these routes as part of their francophone aid budget. Maybe similar subsidies with Germany? BA wouldn't receive these. Turkish is expanding to any city that has a runway but this strategy is unsustainable in my view.


Well that would explain Air France's cost advantages vis a vis British Airways to a lot of West African destinations at least. Not that anyone thinks of AF as a LCC these days.

That is something of the past, AF are now a private company & drop every city not high yielding enough.
France had many bigger african colonies than the UK, so historical & economical reasons sustain the service. You also see that with TAP & TAAG flying to Lisbon ( and Brazil ), not sure how the successive Belgian airlines are doing with Congo.

But the main reasons are geographic & economic, in fact manifold :
1. France's former colonies are all in West Africa, so Paris & connections from there need little to no back-tracking
2. Since the collapse of Air Afrique, there are no large West-African airline other than up north ( RAM & Air Algérie, both arabs )
3. Whereas the UK's colonies were in East Africa & thus requiring much backtracking for connections to Continental Europe
4. East Africa has furthermore two local champions : KQ & Specially ET (+SAA gets some of the traffic from Botswana, Zimbabwe...)
5. Above all, East Africa is extremely well served by EK, EY, QR, TK and a few others to connect to either Europe or Asia, so exit BA.
Shortly put, AF has a "natural monopoly", no need of spurious subsidy theories that belong to the past century ;)
Last edited by DWC on Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
Newbiepilot
Posts: 2651
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:18 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:20 am

BA is pretty strong to dominant in the United States/Canada, South Africa as well as India market. They are strongest in their former colonies.
 
shankly
Posts: 1319
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 10:42 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:17 pm

Don't forget some of BA's African network gets a seasonal boost. In late Feb, on certain days, one can see four BA tails parked up at FACT....three LHR 744's and one LGW 772. Out of season its a single daily LHR 744.

In SA, BA's franchise Comair/Kulula also do rather well internally and sub-regionally

I always wondered with the advent of 787 type a/c whether BA might venture back to DUR. But with the afformantioned Comair serving via CPT and JNB, maybe not. BA have started direct 787 flights to the Seychelles this year, which is geographically part of the continent.

I am sure HRE (Bob International) will return once the country demonstrates stability

In saying all that, DWC's summary is rather spot on
L1011 - P F M
 
iadadd
Posts: 111
Joined: Sat Jul 30, 2016 10:16 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:24 pm

Certain African routes may be profitable, but BA would rather use precious slots on North America expansion where it would even more profitable. Hence why BA dropped some of those Africa/ME routes the minute it acquired BMI
 
Themotionman
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:31 pm

BA have bigger fish to fry. BA prefer to use a LHR slot and an aircraft for a route to the USA which seems to be BA's focus at the moment rather than a low-yielding African destination. BA are at the point where they have to give up one route to launch another... so what route would BA sacrifice for any new African route?
 
theginge
Posts: 521
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:53 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:47 pm

Ionosphere wrote:
directorguy wrote:
Might also add that in the 90s/00s certain routes were flown by BMed-British Mediterranean Airways. I believe they were a sort of BA affiliate as they showed up in BA timetables.
Not sure of the history but seems that certain routes were not premium or prestigious enough (Alexandria, Khartoum, Dakar, Addis) to warrant mainline service. I believe that they overlapped with BMI at some point.


BMI bought British Mediterranean from BA in February 2007.


British Mediterranean were never owned by BA, they were a franchise carrier.
 
chiki
Posts: 296
Joined: Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:32 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:54 pm

shankly wrote:
Don't forget some of BA's African network gets a seasonal boost. In late Feb, on certain days, one can see four BA tails parked up at FACT....three LHR 744's and one LGW 772. Out of season its a single daily LHR 744.

In SA, BA's franchise Comair/Kulula also do rather well internally and sub-regionally

I always wondered with the advent of 787 type a/c whether BA might venture back to DUR. But with the afformantioned Comair serving via CPT and JNB, maybe not. BA have started direct 787 flights to the Seychelles this year, which is geographically part of the continent.

I am sure HRE (Bob International) will return once the country demonstrates stability

In saying all that, DWC's summary is rather spot on

HRE should be quite a profitable route, though Air Zim/Zim Airways willbe putting in a 777-200ER in the coming months
 
metroline2006
Posts: 20
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 12:19 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 1:59 pm

Com-Air covers a bit
 
Andy33
Posts: 2025
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:00 pm

chiki wrote:
HRE should be quite a profitable route, though Air Zim/Zim Airways willbe putting in a 777-200ER in the coming months

Of course it has been and still is possible to fly BA from LHR to HRE, using connecting BA/Comair flights via JNB. Comair operates in BA livery with (only) BA flight numbers, uses the BA reservation system etc. Admittedly this is a backtrack, but it does exist.
 
ZuluTime
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:23 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:22 pm

Several reasons why (and these are reasons rather than theories).

Low frequency at which routes can be served (2/3 pw) viably means crew efficiency on long-hauls is relatively poor.
Major problems repatriating local currency earnings back to the UK which is a risk - and one which nearly did for BCal.
Security and safety issues, which are made worse by low frequency ops as you can't justify the fixed station costs.
Yields on East Africa heavily impacted by indirect routings over Middle East/IST.
Better things to do which earn more money with far less hassle.
 
MIflyer12
Posts: 3289
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:58 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 2:59 pm

GSP psgr wrote:
I've noticed that compared to Air France, Brussels Airlines, KLM, Turkish, and maybe even Lufthansa, BA operates a relatively small network of destinations, especially given the United Kingdom's extensive colonial legacy. I'm wondering why they're such a comparatively smaller player, especially outside of perhaps Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Over the years they have dropped service to Entebbe, Dar Es Salaam, Freetown, Lusaka and Monrovia, among others. I also find it strange that Algiers and Marrakesh are flown from Gatwick rather than Heathrow.


What's the end destination of the passengers AF/KL, Brussels, etc. are picking up in Africa? Are they going to the UK/USA, strengths of BA? Or are they going to Paris and Brussels?
 
lhrsfosyd
Posts: 47
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 4:57 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:36 pm

BA should exploit fast growing and stable economy of Ivory Coast and start flying to Abidjan with similar schedules to ACC.
 
User avatar
TedToToe
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Dec 08, 2014 11:43 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:38 pm

^^^Strictly speaking, Tehran was suspended and later reintroduced.
 
Themotionman
Posts: 127
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:18 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:38 pm

iadadd wrote:
Certain African routes may be profitable, but BA would rather use precious slots on North America expansion where it would even more profitable. Hence why BA dropped some of those Africa/ME routes the minute it acquired BMI


The BMI purchase was almost entirely for the slots.

As you can see by the routes BA inherited

BMI LHR routes at the beginning of 2012
Aberdeen - Already operated by BA
Addis Ababa - Ended 11 July 2012 during integration
Agadir - Ended 26 October 2014 after integration
Almaty - Ended 11 October 2015 after integration
Amman - Inherited and still going
Amritsar - Ended 28 October 2012 during integration
Baku - Ended 29 April 2016 after integration
Basel/Mulhouse - Already operated by BA
Beirut - Inherited and still going
Belfast - Inherited and still going
Berlin - Already operated by BA
Bishkek - Ended 1 October 2012 during integration
Cairo - Already operated by BA
Casablanca - Ended 20 July 2012 during integration
Damascus - Ended 1 June 2012 during integration
Damman - Ended 11 July 2012 during integration
Dublin - Inherited and still going
Edinburgh - Already operated by BA
Freetown - Ended 6 Aug 2014 after integration (Ebola)
Jeddah - Inherited and still going
Khartoum - Ended 1 October 2012 during integration
Manchester - Already operated by BA
Marrakech - Ended 28 October 2012 during integration
Moscow - Already operated by BA
Nice - Already operated by BA
Riyadh - Already operated by BA
Tbilisi - Ended 31 March 2013 after integration
Tehran - Inherited and still going
Tripoli - Ended 5 August 2014 after integration
Vienna - Already operated by BA
Yerevan - Ended 13 October 2012

Also, before the BMI merger, did BA not fly to Dublin???
 
Arion640
Posts: 1043
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 3:40 pm

Themotionman wrote:
iadadd wrote:
Certain African routes may be profitable, but BA would rather use precious slots on North America expansion where it would even more profitable. Hence why BA dropped some of those Africa/ME routes the minute it acquired BMI


The BMI purchase was almost entirely for the slots.

As you can see by the routes BA inherited

BMI LHR routes at the beginning of 2012
Aberdeen - Already operated by BA
Addis Ababa - Ended 11 July 2012 during integration
Agadir - Ended 26 October 2014 after integration
Almaty - Ended 11 October 2015 after integration
Amman - Inherited and still going
Amritsar - Ended 28 October 2012 during integration
Baku - Ended 29 April 2016 after integration
Basel/Mulhouse - Already operated by BA
Beirut - Inherited and still going
Belfast - Inherited and still going
Berlin - Already operated by BA
Bishkek - Ended 1 October 2012 during integration
Cairo - Already operated by BA
Casablanca - Ended 20 July 2012 during integration
Damascus - Ended 1 June 2012 during integration
Damman - Ended 11 July 2012 during integration
Dublin - Inherited and still going
Edinburgh - Already operated by BA
Freetown - Ended 6 Aug 2014 after integration (Ebola)
Jeddah - Inherited and still going
Khartoum - Ended 1 October 2012 during integration
Manchester - Already operated by BA
Marrakech - Ended 28 October 2012 during integration
Moscow - Already operated by BA
Nice - Already operated by BA
Riyadh - Already operated by BA
Tbilisi - Ended 31 March 2013 after integration
Tehran - Inherited and still going
Tripoli - Ended 5 August 2014 after integration
Vienna - Already operated by BA
Yerevan - Ended 13 October 2012

Also, before the BMI merger, did BA not fly to Dublin???


To be fair, Tehran was cancelled and then restarted about a year ago. Marakesh operates from LGW also I believe.

Such an odd route network bmi had, I can see they went for niche destinations, but only a select few were worth keeping it seems. I also think they did Gothenburg or Tallinn, which BA have recently dropped.
319 320 321 346 388 733 738 744 752 753 763 772 77E 773 77W 788 789 E145 E175 E195 RJ85 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75
 
User avatar
FlyCaledonian
Posts: 1870
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:03 pm

Lack of suitable aircraft I think played a part. As BA started eliminating tags a number of the routes became harder to justify as non-stop flights: -
  • Gaborone - was a tag via Johannesburg on the 744 but dropped.
  • Durban - was a tag via Johannesburg on the 744 but dropped. However, service maintained via Comair franchise flights.
  • Harare - got up to five weekly on the 744 at one point but dropped due to the economic and political situation in Zimbabwe. Has to be a medium term contender to be reinstated.
  • Lilongwe - was a tag via Harare or Lusaka on the 744.
  • Lusaka - worked as a non-stop after the 744 moved off the route (had been served via Harare or with a tag to Lilongwe) but subsequently dropped.
  • Dar es Salaam - originally a tag via NBO, became linked with Entebbe/Kampala (one-stop via there) then went non-stop when at LHR.
  • Entebbe/Kampala - originally a tag via NBO, became linked with Dar es Salaam (flight went on to there) then lost the Dar es Salaam tag when at LHR.
  • Kano - seemed to operate as a tag or triangle route via Accra and Lagos over the years and an attempt at non-stop but subsequently dropped. Was always from LGW.
  • Abidjan - attempted a couple of times from LGW, either non-stop or via Accra.
  • Banjul - an ex-BCal route at LGW but that came back under BMed at LHR. Now dropped.
  • Freetown - another ex-BCal route at LGW that came back under BMed at LHR. Now dropped.

BA seem happy with the core routes to Accra, Lagos, Abuja, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Cape Town plus the niche oil flight to Luanda. You also have Seychelles (recently reinstated) and Mauritius that fall into the category of having heavy support from BA Holidays and Cairo (although the latter is more linked with BA's Middle Eastern network).

BMed as a BA franchise was certainly giving BA more presebce in the North East - Alexandria, Luxor, Khartoum, whilst GB Airways also gave the Egyptian Red Sea resorts a go (that BA also dabbled with).

The retirement of the 767-336ER on longhaul routes helped kill a number of these routes (Dar es Salaam, Entebbe/Kampala, Lusaka). BA went from fourteen aircraft to none, with only eight 787-8s coming - and they weren't direct replacements given some of the longhaul routes they are used on. BA have since added a ninth 787-8 and have a further three on order so be interesting to see where they get used.

KQ/ET have probably taken some of the transfer traffic BA used to be able to rely plus the ME3. So between lack of suitable longhaul aircraft, operating from a slot constrained airport and increased competition unfortunately BA have what it would consider better opportunities to exploit. It should also be remembered that outside of Egypt and South Africa all BA's African routes went to LGW in the mid-1990s when it pursued the dual-hub strategy. That would indicate that the routes weren't the highest performing and were probably more O&D based.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
GSP psgr
Topic Author
Posts: 467
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:09 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:37 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
Lack of suitable aircraft I think played a part. As BA started eliminating tags a number of the routes became harder to justify as non-stop flights:

The retirement of the 767-336ER on longhaul routes helped kill a number of these routes (Dar es Salaam, Entebbe/Kampala, Lusaka). BA went from fourteen aircraft to none, with only eight 787-8s coming - and they weren't direct replacements given some of the longhaul routes they are used on. BA have since added a ninth 787-8 and have a further three on order so be interesting to see where they get used.


It'll also be interesting to see what BA will do with the 321NEOs. If configured as longhaul aircraft, that could bring some of the longer and thinner African routes back.
 
Arion640
Posts: 1043
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:37 pm

GSP psgr wrote:
FlyCaledonian wrote:
Lack of suitable aircraft I think played a part. As BA started eliminating tags a number of the routes became harder to justify as non-stop flights:

The retirement of the 767-336ER on longhaul routes helped kill a number of these routes (Dar es Salaam, Entebbe/Kampala, Lusaka). BA went from fourteen aircraft to none, with only eight 787-8s coming - and they weren't direct replacements given some of the longhaul routes they are used on. BA have since added a ninth 787-8 and have a further three on order so be interesting to see where they get used.


It'll also be interesting to see what BA will do with the 321NEOs. If configured as longhaul aircraft, that could bring some of the longer and thinner African routes back.


The 321NEOs at this stage will all be short haul configured.

Like mentioned previous in this thread, BA are looking to American secondary cities these days, to replicate the successes of Austin and New Orleans. Next up is Nashville.
319 320 321 346 388 733 738 744 752 753 763 772 77E 773 77W 788 789 E145 E175 E195 RJ85 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75
 
directorguy
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2008 10:58 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:51 pm

Just out of interest, were some African cities served from LGW to enable seamless connections to cities like IAH and DFW, in order to cater to oil corporate traffic?
DHA/DMM (the capital of the region in Saudi Arabia where much of the oil is concentrated) was also served from LGW whereas most Gulf/Middle East was from Heathrow.
 
User avatar
Aesma
Posts: 9908
Joined: Sat Nov 14, 2009 6:14 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:57 pm

About AF, "Françafrique" plays a role. Many French people have interests/live there, and will commute regularly with France. When trouble arises, the French military comes and cleans things up, when it isn't permanently there already. Does the UK do similar things in its former colonies ?
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Samrnpage
Posts: 243
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2016 12:02 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:21 am

It must be that there are other routes that are more profitable for them. I thought BA would expand into Africa more than they have when their 787s started getting delivered but alas maybe not. Maybe BAs a350s might be another story.
 
PEK777
Posts: 392
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:56 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:20 am

Why focus on a market that does not have any potential, much less a lack of runways? Does BA have any bush planes to fly into this wasteland?
 
stl07
Posts: 411
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 8:57 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:05 am

PEK777 wrote:
Why focus on a market that does not have any potential, much less a lack of runways? Does BA have any bush planes to fly into this wasteland?

Yea, why focus on one of the rapidly growing regions that other airlines are gladly expanding in. Why would they ever want to fly to destinations with increasing GDP's, valuable raw materials, and an increasing tourism market? Beats me :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:
 
souterra
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:12 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:00 pm

I can't speak for all of Africa but with regard to Nigeria, my perception is that BA's strategy has been a weak one. I don't like the airline much and have avoided them for over 10 years, even when flying to London.

Admittedly, it has a decent base of loyal high yielding frequent flyers; and Nigeria is perceived to be a profitable route for them but...

Here are some reasons why I think it could have done better:

1. Demographics - More younger (upwardly mobile) travellers are not so loyal. In a number of years, that loyal base may fade.
2. Poor Service - Despite the reputation, its service levels and baggage restrictions are far worse than many competitors. It is perceived as arrogant, because of its loyal base (of people who love non-stop London services). There was a service improvement following its return after being banned in the mid-to-late 90s but that soon dropped off again to their "default setting". I will add that multiple unrecoverable lost baggage cases was one of my peeves with them.
3. Nigerians going to more UK destinations than London - As the Nigerian diaspora in the UK has spread to other cities, people have found it more convenient to use the likes of Air France, KLM, Lufthansa etc, to connect to airports closer to them than what BA offers; often at a better price.
4. Transit connections/experience - Before the resumption of direct flights to the US, BA had a captive market for the N.American diaspora. It still offers connections but they are not the most efficient. For those who like to break their journey in London too, it does not offer a decent pricing alternative the way, Emirates (for example), would for stopovers in Dubai. I think BA and the UK government could do better in offering efficient London stopovers. Using myself as an example, I get a lot more value out of taking Lufthansa, connecting to LCY (a far better arrival experience, even though I like LHR T2 a lot), spending a few days then proceeding to the US on a United codeshare (not having to connect via FRA). and all this seems virtually free.
5. Competitors - Needless to say, Emirates entered Lagos (and now Abuja) and grown it into a twice daily service (with great premium yields). BA has stayed with its single daily flight since the days of BCAL. I am astounded at the increasing numbers of people that have favoured connecting through Dubai for London, rather than fly directly, because of the value offered by EK. Others like LH and AF have widened their footprint to destinations like PHC, which BA could easily have swept them out of if it had employed a first mover advantage. ET too has snatched up a good market of people connecting to N. America, besides the Asia traffic. I have not had to speak of the fact that Virgin Atlantic directly competes on Lagos either. All in all, I think again BA and the UK government have not been in sync on BASA arrangements that may have suited any market share conditions that they would have needed.
6. The IAG thing – For a while Iberia flew in with A319s, which had a terrible product that couldn’t help it gain any advantages around BASA restrictions.

Bottom line, BA had a lead and didn’t adequately consolidate it; and while things may change in future, I don’t think BA has the flexibility to really change.
 
shankly
Posts: 1319
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 10:42 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:34 pm

PEK777 wrote:
Why focus on a market that does not have any potential, much less a lack of runways? Does BA have any bush planes to fly into this wasteland?

PEK may I suggest if the debate is too complex for you, keep your childish and offensive views in your box
L1011 - P F M
 
User avatar
ClassicLover
Posts: 4263
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:01 pm

Themotionman wrote:
Also, before the BMI merger, did BA not fly to Dublin???


No, they did not.

At one stage they flew LGW-DUB and they then dropped Dublin entirely for the several years beforehand and codeshared with EI.

The flights to LHR were BMI and Aer Lingus only for ages.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
MalevTU134
Posts: 1217
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2016 8:04 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:26 pm

stl07 wrote:
PEK777 wrote:
Why focus on a market that does not have any potential, much less a lack of runways? Does BA have any bush planes to fly into this wasteland?

Yea, why focus on one of the rapidly growing regions that other airlines are gladly expanding in. Why would they ever want to fly to destinations with increasing GDP's, valuable raw materials, and an increasing tourism market? Beats me :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Have a look at his posting history. You will see that you are wasting your time even reading his posts. In the best of cases, he's a troll. But I suspect he's just an ignorant racist redneck.
 
ZuluTime
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon May 29, 2006 6:23 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 7:55 pm

BA did indeed serve Dammam when Houston was at Gatwick and the two were inter-connected. Same for Lagos, where Lagos>Houston connections were key.

BA has been limited to 1pd on Heathrow-Lagos by the Air Services Agreement between the UK and Nigeria. It did a second daily probably 20 years ago under a commercial agreement with Nigeria Airways for which it had to pay huge royalties but that stopped after around three years. I don't know if BA today would still be keen to increase Lagos frequency given the issues pretty much all airlines were having with currency repatriation from Nigeria.
 
btbx11
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:02 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:27 pm

Algiers is the only part of the original question that I can speak on expertly. And the simple answer is that Air France owns the XXX-Europe-ALG connection market for historical, cultural, and language reasons. LON-ALG is almost exclusively local vfr, so is flown from LGW rather than LHR. Traffic is also uniquely one-directional, but that's a different topic.

I actually make the SFO-LHR-LGW-ALG overnight connection regularly but that's because I stop for work and vfr in London on the way over. I can assure you I'm about the only one who does this.
 
souterra
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:12 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:33 pm

ZuluTime wrote:
BA did indeed serve Dammam when Houston was at Gatwick and the two were inter-connected. Same for Lagos, where Lagos>Houston connections were key.

BA has been limited to 1pd on Heathrow-Lagos by the Air Services Agreement between the UK and Nigeria. It did a second daily probably 20 years ago under a commercial agreement with Nigeria Airways for which it had to pay huge royalties but that stopped after around three years. I don't know if BA today would still be keen to increase Lagos frequency given the issues pretty much all airlines were having with currency repatriation from Nigeria.


I would mildly disagree with some of this. The LGW history was born out of the B-CAL legacy but arguably more of the business was O&D than Houston. The currency issue did happen but it was short lived and didn't deter others quite so much. BA just can't excite new Nigerian customers quite so much.
 
GSP psgr
Topic Author
Posts: 467
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:09 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:18 am

Arion640 wrote:
GSP psgr wrote:
FlyCaledonian wrote:
Lack of suitable aircraft I think played a part. As BA started eliminating tags a number of the routes became harder to justify as non-stop flights:

The retirement of the 767-336ER on longhaul routes helped kill a number of these routes (Dar es Salaam, Entebbe/Kampala, Lusaka). BA went from fourteen aircraft to none, with only eight 787-8s coming - and they weren't direct replacements given some of the longhaul routes they are used on. BA have since added a ninth 787-8 and have a further three on order so be interesting to see where they get used.


It'll also be interesting to see what BA will do with the 321NEOs. If configured as longhaul aircraft, that could bring some of the longer and thinner African routes back.


The 321NEOs at this stage will all be short haul configured.

Like mentioned previous in this thread, BA are looking to American secondary cities these days, to replicate the successes of Austin and New Orleans. Next up is Nashville.


That's a shame that they're not putting on a longhaul product; it might have made some interesting things possible for BA; the 788 is probably too much plane for the likes of Addis Ababa, Abidjan, Kigali, etc. BA does really need a mid-haul plane for the 2000-3500 mile segment that the old 767s used to be great at, but I'm not sure what that ends up being. I think that you're right. BA will likely stick to sending the new 787s to the Americas (I think they might actually try something like Bogota next, rather than another US city, but that's just a wild guess), where they don't have to compete as much with the likes of the ME3+.

That said, I think if they were going to do another African longhaul destination, they'd opt for Durban, where international traffic is up 25% year over year, the infrastructure is all in place, and BA still enjoy a strong following in the South African market.
 
Andy33
Posts: 2025
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:33 am

They're expecting just 10 A321neos this year and next, and they were ordered specifically to replace shorthaul planes, mostly the last of the 767s, so it isn't surprising that they will have a shorthaul seating configuration.
 
r2rho
Posts: 3059
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:13 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:16 pm

IMO IAG needs to utilized MAD and IB as their Africa gateway. LHR is for whatever relies on London traffic. The Western part of Africa can easily be covered with A32xCEOs today, and IB has a handful of routes. With NEOs, let alone A321NEOLR's, they could cover most of the continent. This would enable daily service even to thinner destinations. Where others have to fill an A330, IAG would only have to fill an A321. The product would have to be configured for mid-haul routes, with a "real" business class etc.
 
oldannyboy
Posts: 1695
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:28 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:36 pm

PEK777 wrote:
Why focus on a market that does not have any potential, much less a lack of runways? Does BA have any bush planes to fly into this wasteland?


Shut yourself in the box again, do us a favour.

And don't forget the safety pin please.
 
GSP psgr
Topic Author
Posts: 467
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 7:09 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:05 pm

r2rho wrote:
IMO IAG needs to utilized MAD and IB as their Africa gateway. LHR is for whatever relies on London traffic. The Western part of Africa can easily be covered with A32xCEOs today, and IB has a handful of routes. With NEOs, let alone A321NEOLR's, they could cover most of the continent. This would enable daily service even to thinner destinations. Where others have to fill an A330, IAG would only have to fill an A321. The product would have to be configured for mid-haul routes, with a "real" business class etc.


I can see the sense in that; IAG already serve Dakar via MAD (which kind of sticks out as a sore thumb in their route map). One also has to consider that MAD has a much well less developed North American network than BA to flow connections off of (only JFK, ORD, MIA, PHL, DFW, CLT, and LAX, BOS, and SFO on a seasonal basis). It's somewhat balanced out by the South and Central American destinations, but if they're targeting NA-Europe-West/North African connections, LHR is the hub to do that from.
 
r2rho
Posts: 3059
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:13 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:43 am

One also has to consider that MAD has a much well less developed North American network than BA to flow connections off of

That is true and some NorthAm growth at MAD may be necessary... but then again, you only have to fill an A321. Current feed might be enough.
I'm not saying take everything away from LHR, but I think MAD has more Africa-hub potential than it currently handles. Let's see when IAG has more NEO's in service...
 
tonystan
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2006 7:39 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:47 pm

The problem with BA (and IAG in general) is that it will only send it’s assets where it perceives the profit and sustainability/growth to be.

Freetown/Monrovia was axed due to the Ebola crises which deemed that route to be volatile. Dar, Lusaka and Entebbe all dried up after the ME3 started expanding into the region killing any hope of growth and well we don’t need an academic to explain what happened to Harare. When BA have a franchise outfit happy to pick up what was left of that market and transit it through JNB it doesn’t take much for the airline to reassign the metal to more lucrative markets elsewhere.
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
User avatar
FlyCaledonian
Posts: 1870
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:47 pm

Looking forward I think medium term longhaul opportunities could be Durban and Harare for non-stop service. I also wonder if Banjul and Cape Verde could be an option for a couple of shorthaul flights per week for holiday traffic. BA have made the return to the Canary Islands so could be an option.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
BritTraveller
Posts: 35
Joined: Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:52 am

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:52 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
Looking forward I think medium term longhaul opportunities could be Durban and Harare for non-stop service. I also wonder if Banjul and Cape Verde could be an option for a couple of shorthaul flights per week for holiday traffic. BA have made the return to the Canary Islands so could be an option.


I doubt Banjul but maybe a Cape Verde service from Gatwick?

What about a Casablanca service?
 
Arion640
Posts: 1043
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: Why Is BA's Africa Network So Relatively Limited?

Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:24 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
Looking forward I think medium term longhaul opportunities could be Durban and Harare for non-stop service. I also wonder if Banjul and Cape Verde could be an option for a couple of shorthaul flights per week for holiday traffic. BA have made the return to the Canary Islands so could be an option.


Cape Verde is in that horrible 5 hour flying time bracket from the UK.

Flying from Gatwick, they would probably be uncomfortably pushing the A320's but it's a route too big for the 777.
319 320 321 346 388 733 738 744 752 753 763 772 77E 773 77W 788 789 E145 E175 E195 RJ85 F70 DH8C DH8D AT75

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos