Its been some two years ( Yes, really!) since Richard Branson pulled the plug on its Little Red feeder airline. According to the weekend press. Flybe under CEO Saad Hamaad is now thinking of picking up some of Little Red’s former routes using smaller turboprop aircraft - far cheaper to operate than the Branson Little Red larger jet offer. That just leaves the problem of available slots at Heathrow, seemingly 'rare as hensteeth'.
BA jumped in when Little Red ceased operations, to fill any voids and expanded domestic routes including Heathrow to Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Aberdeen.
Slots at Heathrow remain rare – and mega expensive. However BA as a condition of the BMI takeover has to make a few available (free) to rivals on some domestic operations, a condition imposed on BA by competition regulators, in return for their agreement for BA’s takeover of BMI in 2012.
JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aviation Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com