The new London Heathrow Airport (LHR) slot reports show plenty of new entrants into the historically difficult airport to get into. In addition to JetBlue, several other carriers seem to have gotten Heathrow slots for the summer. Assuming the UK opens up in time for the summer, these airlines could benefit significantly from the new slots.
The new report comes from Airport Coordination Limited (ACL). The report details some of the new slots given to carriers.
The new entrant carriers
One of the biggest winners in the new slot requests is JetBlue. The airline now has a path to operate routes from both New York and Boston to London, though it will likely be at more than one airport in London.
One new carrier into the market is Bamboo Airways. The bold Vietnamese startup appears to be targeting flights from London to both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Two of the biggest cities in Vietnam, Bamboo Airways, appears to be planning to send a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on this route, assuming Vietnam opens up for regularly scheduled international travel.
Our 787 #Dreamliner family just got a little bigger as we welcome a special new member, China Aircraft Leasing Company (CALC). We are excited to deliver their first 787-9 that joins the @bamboo_airways fleet via lease to fly passengers direct to their dream destinations. pic.twitter.com/zrzafD6IVt
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) January 8, 2020
Loganair, a regional airline in the UK, appears to have gotten a significant number of Heathrow slots and operations. Loganair is targeting regional routes out of Heathrow to Newquay, Teesside, and the Isle of Man.
Rwandair, a growing African carrier, has also received some slots out of Heathrow to service its hub in Rwanda. Rwandair traditionally has served Gatwick, and it had planned as recently as late last year to fly into Heathrow.
Canadian carrier WestJet has also received slots. According to the report, the carrier is considering both Vancouver and Calgary to run the Heathrow flights. WestJet currently serves Gatwick.
Next up is Wideroe, which has received slots to run operations to Bergen, Norway. The airline will likely use its Embraer E190-E2 aircraft to run these flights to maximize the slots’ capacity and value.
Indian carriers get some slots
SpiceJet and Vistara have also received slots to operate routes to India. SpiceJet has received enough slots to run operations to Delhi. Vistara has also received the slots to conduct operations to Delhi, though Vistara has received more rights. Vistara is likely to use its Boeing 787 Dreamliners on flights to London.
India has traditionally been served by Air India, Virgin Atlantic, and British Airways. However, there is a huge market for flights between India and the United Kingdom. Assuming there is enough demand to run the flights and border restrictions have been lifted on both ends, then this summer, there could be plenty of new air service.
The slot situation in London
London-Heathrow is known for having some of the most expensive slots in the world. Carriers have paid tens of millions of dollars to get the slot pairs they want to run flights to and from one of the most important business centers in the world.
There is still demand for carriers to launch flights to London, even though business travel is down. The outlook for leisure travel, however, is much better, and London has plenty to offer. A mix of pent-up demand and a general desire for tourism has kept many hopes alive of still running London services.
Heathrow has seen a reduction in air services from some of its existing carriers, leading to some new slots for carriers. As those slots become available, carriers can petition and hope to get the slots and keep them long-term to run their flights so long as those flights are still profitable.
Are you glad to see these new carriers get slots at Heathrow? Let us know in the comments!