Route Development & Rumours


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Aviador

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Nearly 500 000 People Could Possibly Benefit Through Akal Air Flights From Birmingham To Amritsar

Approximately 500 000 people in the Midlands area are to benefit from a brand new airline Akal Air whose first flight took off from Birmingham to Amritsar very punctually on Saturday 4th April 2009 from Birmingham International Airport.

The Chief-editor of www.emgonline.co.uk (the first Punjabi English website in this country) Dr. Gurjeet Kaur Bains was one of the passengers travelling on the Akal Air’s flight number who said “ according to the 2001 Census there are 400 000 Indians in the Midlands who could all benefit from the Akal Air flights as the previous provider of the Birmingham to Amritsar route Air India closed down due to financial and other reasons. They did say they were going to restart this route but have not done so. People living in the East Midlands where there is also sizeable Asian community will also benefit particularly those who prefer to travel to Amritsar from Birmingham than from London to Delhi.”

The Marketing Director of Akal Air, Dharminder Dhaliwal, could not hide his happiness at the smooth process of the first flight and commented “ We at Akal Air are extremely pleased to see the first of many flights take off from Birmingham airport so smoothly. The Akal Air team have worked many late nights and our hard work has paid off, I am delighted to report that the Terminal Duty Manager commented that they expected the first flight to be at least half an hour late as the flight went on schedule everyone was impressed with the punctuality of the inaugural flight. Akal Air has set high standards from the onset and will continue to do so.”

It was very pleasing to see the most senior member of the Dhaliwal family Mata Parkash Kaur Ji travel on this flight and said “I am grateful to Waheguru Ji {God} granting us the strength to start this airline and I would like to wish all those who travel on Akal Air a very safe and enjoyable flight.”

The elderly and those unable to walk due to injury/ disability were escorted to the plane, which has a very big silver Khanda on the tail, via wheelchairs.

One of the passengers who travelled from Birmingham on the Akal Air flight was Mrs. Kaur from Leicester who said that she was able to go to work on Saturday till 3 pm, got ready and her daughter dropped her at the airport. In Amritsar her husband is collecting her who is already gone there on holiday. Mr. J. Singh pointed out that he lives locally and by going on this flight apart from saving a lot of money he says nearly two days holiday time is lost by going on the London to Delhi flight, then getting a taxi or bus for nearly 10 hours or so to reach home.

The official launch of Akal Air is taking place on Wednesday 22nd April 2009 at Birmingham International Airport where there is likely to be a large media presence, entertainment and refreshments.

The www.emgonline.co.uk would like to congratulate and wish everyone at Akal Air the very best wishes for the future.

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Aviador

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The route will be opperated by Boeing 757 equipment.

Does anyone know where the airline intends to route via because it's highly unlikely that the flight will be able to operate direct?
 

hoody

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Hello,

I am just wondering if there are any developments in relation to new routes to Birmingham?

Birmingham as awful lot of untapped potential and can sustain a fair few routes to cities, particularly a few in Eastern Europe (Budapest, for instance).

I know the world is a tad anxious at the moment, but now is the time to start making plans for growth, I was wondering if anything was in the pipeline.

Any ideas?
 

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Re: New Route Developments

Thanks for joining hoody! :smile:

Does Ryanair operate into Budapest? They're probably the best option for a Budapest offering.

It's hard to imagine how the aviation industry will pan out over the next few years after the effects of the global recession. Right now the times when airlines appeared to be almost queuing up to start new routes seems a distant memory.

All that said, there are still many opportunities and gaps in the market. Over time new routes such as Budapest will come to fruition. Mr O'Leary usually describes it as the pecking order or in other words which airport offers the best deal, but I'm sure many other airlines follow suit.

For the moment at least Birmingham has recently welcomed US Airways and the new Indian airline Akal Air and hopefully Air India will return over the coming months. At least Birmingham is better placed than many other UK airports to weather the recession storm.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Re: New Route Developments

There is no Ryanair BUD route from BHX though there is one from EMA. In fact, at the moment FR only flies to BUD from EMA, BRS, PIK and DUB. One would have thought there were enough punters in the West Midlands to make BUD a goer even with EMA not that far away.

FR already operates to such former Communist Bloc airports as Prague and Bratislava from both BHX and EMA, so BUD would not be a great surprise, although FR has had its problems with BUD over charges and pulled all its flights for six weeks in November and early December last year.

There is a rumour on another message board that the Greek charter airline Hellenic Imperial is in negotiations with BHX management to start a 4 x weekly service to Athens. It would be the airline's first scheduled route.

The plan is for the service to be extended from Athens to Jeddah (for Mecca) on 2 of the 4 days each week.
It is thought the large Muslim population of the West Midlands would provide a large reservoir of customers.

On the Jeddah days passengers from BHX for that destination would remain on the aircraft (HI currently operates a small fleet of B 747s) at Athens, and be joined by other passengers flying from Athens to Jeddah.

Let's hope the operation receives the green light.

As Aviador points out, BHX is faring much better than the majority of UK airports in retaining passenger levels.
 

CL44

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Re: Potential Routes

I have heard the roumor about Hellenic Imperial for this route and have to be honest I will believe it when it happens. I do not think there is enough demand for such a service especially with Classic 747 equipment.
If it does start I think it will go the way of Akal Air / Air Sylhet. If a service to India (even going via VIE) cannot survive for about a month, then a service to JED via ATH would probably only last for a couple of weeks (unless they have a shed load of capital behind them). I completly understand about the idea behind a large Muslim population providing a reservoir of customers but please bear in mind that until the Hadj season starts the chances for traffic are extremely limited. There is virtually no tourist traffic to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (each visitor would need an official sponsor) and the market is well enough served by Direct flights from LHR (BD & SV) or via DXB. The Hadj market is also strictly controlled by the KSA Authorities. You only need to see the provisions rgearding the tenders that any Airline have to submit in order to obtain permission to place services on the schedule for the pilgramage.

I am not on a downer for new services from BHX. Please bear in mind that each new service that starts from here makes my job a whole lot easier. I just feel that we have to have the right services starting (e.g. US Airways) in order to make sure that the Airlines continue to serve and not cancel flights after a small period of time has elapsed.
 

CL44

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I have heard a rumour that Mahan Airways are looking to come back to BHX with A310's (probably two a week).

Have Mahan been granted permission to come back into EU Airspace? I must admit that I have not had the chance to check the latest listing about banned carriers.

Has anyone else heard such a rumour?
 

Aviador

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What is it about the A310? PIA had most of their fleet banned from Europe last year for some time.
 

CL44

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Looks like this is coming true. Apparently A310-300's in use for at least two flights per week (with the hope to raise this to four flights per week). I thought thay had abandoned BHX to go to MAN (prior to them being banned from the EU). I wonder if they are leasing from SAGA again or if they are using their own frames.

Has anyone warned the farmers (and their cattle) that they are coming back. Mooooove out of the way!!!
 

Aviador

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Iceland Express plans Birmingham-Reykjavik flights

Quirky Icelandic low-cost airline Iceland Express (website: http://www.icelandexpress.com is planning a link between Birmingham and Reykjavik next year.

The seasonal service is expected to run on Sundays, for just 13 weeks. Flights will touch down at Keflavik International Airport, located 50km (30 miles) southwest of Reykjavik.

Matthias Imsland, CEO of Iceland Express, told alternativeairlines.com: "We are proud to be able to serve another UK destination and look forward to working with Birmingham International Airport.

"Our new route will make flying to Iceland more convenient for people living north of London and we cannot wait to begin the service.

Paul Kehoe, Chief Executive Officer of Birmingham Airport, also welcomed the news, commenting: "This weekly service will give passengers the chance to visit the world’s most northerly capital and sample the delights of whale watching, horseback riding or relaxing in spectacular geysers.

"Initially this service will be seasonal from July to September, however we are confident this service will prove to be popular so we can work with Iceland Express to make this a year round service flying on more days per week in the near future."

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It will be interesting to see how popular this flight is. The thought of swimming in one of those icelandic mud baths hmm!
 

TheLocalYokel

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Keflavik was one of the airports rumoured to be a FlyForBeans destination from CWL. A year or so ago the route appeared on the Keflavik Airport website drop-down route section.

It might work once weekly in a limited summer season from BHX but I seriously doubt that it would from CWL.
 

Aviador

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Transun Holidays runs a small number of day trips to Keflavik from some airports. Again, like you say, they're a niche market and the route is unlikely to gain any real momentum from most UK airports. All being well BHX might just manage it with it's huge catchment area.
 

CL44

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Well this is a turn up for the books. It looks like Mahan have (or are about to have) an A340-300 which they intend to use into BHX. Has anyone got any idea where they will be getting this frame from?

How are they getting around the sanctions on Aircraft being supplied to Iran? I am assuming this might be a leased frame which will not be on the Iranian register.
 

backtrack

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Wednesdays Mahan Airlines flight will be ceasing operations as of 1st April 2010. It is due to the billateral agreements between the UK and Iran, whereby they only allow seven flights per week. Iran Air are upping their number of services during the summer which leaves Mahan having to drop a rotation to give up to bide by the agreement.

It is of this reason, why Mahan are in talks to operate this Airbus A340 variant in the coming months. ie: to keep pax numbers by less rotations.
 

CL44

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Thanks for that "Type Rated". That makes more sense now knowing that one of the flights will be dropped.

It will be interesting to see if their attitude changes towards cargo now with an increased capacity coming in.

I must say that they are the only Airline that I have had dealings with in the last 26 Years that told me to go away and they will handle the bookings / paperwork etc.
 

backtrack

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I cant really comment to much on the pax loads as i simply dont know. But as for cargo, if they utilised an A340, there would no doubt be room to carry cargo into BHX aswell as passengers.
 

Hassaan13

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Jan 10, 2011
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BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

As many of you know, American Airlines dropped their highly profitable route out of BHX to Chicago in October 2002. The particular route had large support from the West Midlands community and with very high load factors.

We are now urging companies to re-establish this link through this petition: http://petitiononline.com/aabhx/petition.html
 

TheLocalYokel

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Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

Welcome to forums4airports, Hassaan.

BHX serves a huge population with a very large and bouyant economy.

Compared to MAN it is underserved and it's difficult to know why the gap is so large.

BHX may be disadvantaged in being relatively close to LHR but, if the government puts its money where its mouth is, BHX should see a significant upsurge in the coming years.

For starters, let's hope the petition bears fruit.

We haven't got too many posters with close links to BHX yet so you are especially welcome to keep us all informed of the happenings there.

I posted elsewhere on this forum that I recently used BHX for the first time (it's not my local airport) and was very impressed with it.
 

Hassaan13

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Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

Thanks.

Of course there are a lot of people from Birmingham who have to go to Heathrow to catch a transatlantic flight with American Airlines. AA is seemingly more popular than Continental and we would need more than one transatlantic flight to the USA. I suggested American Airlines relaunch their daily service to Chicago using 777-200's (BHX's runway isn't an issue for 777's, PIA, Air India and Emirates have handled fine) starting March and i'm pretty sure there is demand.

We need more than the 4 signatures we currently have. I'm currently touring aviation forums related to BHX and trying to promote the petition, but with no luck. The petition has in fact been criticised because of the fact there won't be demand, AA aren't interested, it's not profitable etc.

I've tried to get the backing of Birmingham Airport and the Council, and i'm awaiting replies from the both of them.

BHX has plenty of european carriers, but we need more international flights. We need larger aircraft such as more 777's, A340 and hopefully after the runway extention, the 747 and A380. There have been many complaints about the lack of direct flights out of BHX, Air India is the most common.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Re: BHX's Petition to Re-Establish AA Route

I hope you get a supportive reply from the BHX management.

If someone is prepared to put themselves out for something they believe in that, if it came to fruition, would benefit both the airport and local economy they should be encouraged.

I will be interested to learn the airport's response when you receive it.

Good luck in the meantime.
 
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