27 December 2007

"Sir Francis Drake - Sire! The French Have Captured The CIty What Are We To Do?"

It bad enough that the major UK airports are now run by a Spanish Construction company, now comes news that the French have captured effectively control of London City Airport by acquiring 50% of all the slots there. Air France/KLM Group have swooped in an acquired VLM Airlines (Belgium operator) who with a fleet of F50s and a single BAe 146 was the largest single carrier at LCY.

Over the past few years as UK road and public transportation has degraded, the Docklands development has improved and of course LHR has become more of an embarrassment than an airport - LCY has slowly grown. It is now handling over 2.5 Million passengers on a single runway with no aircraft larger than an AVRO 100 currently servicing the place.

AF/KL was already almost joint #1 at the airport having acquired Irish player CityJet in 1997 and through its upcoming codeshare relationship with the #3 player at LCY - Scot Airways (the former Suckling Airways).

Shut out!

BA acquired a nice footprint at LCY when it acquired CityFlyer and then subsequently sold off most of the business to Flybe. However its ambitions are now well and truly thwarted after BA was unable to prevent the Franco-Dutch juggernaut from picking up VLM. BA will have to make do with very few slots and pickings at LCY.

So sorry Willie.

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