Saturday, March 15, 2008

LCA - From Unique to Cattle Class expansion?

The very features that business and leisure users like about using LCA are already being affected due to expansion. It's all about quality, not quantity, as we have said before. LCA should take note especially when you have an analyst of 20 years aviation experience telling you the same. We have always questioned LCAs capability to cope with the requested level of expansion of flights - it seems to us that the following adds some muscle to that.

In Bloomberg, Thomas Penny writes: growth is already affecting City Airport's reputation for efficiency:

1. In 2004, when there were 52,762 flights, 82 percent were on time.

2. In the 12-month period through November 2007 there were 76,079 flights, with 65 percent on time, according to data published by the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority.

3. In four months last year, Heathrow had a better on-time record.

Mr Wheeldon's comments are well founded - the very reasons that LCA has been successful and has appealed to business and some leisure users is it's difference to the other BAA giants - it is small, quick to check in and to exit. Clearly all those qualities will be compromised IF the business expands and it will just become a clone of other airports cattle class status - they may try and delude themselves that it won't - but we all know that it will.

We'd hazard an experienced opinion that the business and leisure users who currently love the service would soon find themselves being somewhat a little more critical and dissapointed by their 'experience'.

But then LCA's main aim in wanting
to expand is about greed not need......and nothing else at all.