A few days ago, an interesting data came from aviation industry analysts OAG – the 10 most lucrative aviation routes. You can read a Forbes article on this topic here.
A couple of routes caught my eye
- Dubai – London Heathrow (at #3 spot)
- Doha – London Heathrow (at #7 spot)
Why Is Dubai to London Heathrow so Busy?
If you follow my blog, you might have read an earlier post – No Emirates Economy Ticket Available for 13 Days (DXB-LHR). It was truly incredible that not a single economy ticket was available on this route for 13 days!
There is substantial capacity on this route. From Dubai to LHR
- Emirates operates up to 6x flights daily
- British Airways operates up to 3x flights daily
But wait, there is more
- Emirates also operates up to 3x daily flights to Gatwick and 2x daily flights to Stansted
- Etihad and British Airways have 5x daily flights from Abu Dhabi to London
Therefore, it makes a total of up to 19 flights everyday. You may be thinking there is massive over capacity on this route. Let me assure you it is not the case.
Take the example of India. Emirates, along with its code-share partnership with flydubai and Spicejet, connects Dubai to 15 cities in India. Of these 15 cities, only 5 offer direct flights to London
- Delhi has 6x daily flights to London
- Mumbai has 4x daily flights to London
- 1x from Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad
Clearly, this capacity is not enough for these 5 cities. And for the remaining 10 cities, a one-stop flight from Delhi or Mumbai is no different from a one-stop flight to Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Doha.
There are other countries in Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia who are in the same situation.
So What Are the Airlines Doing?
Etihad recently deployed additional capacity on AUH-LHR route with its fourth daily flight starting in early 2019. Not just that, during the summer months (June-September) it introduced a fifth daily flight.
British Airways will introduce its maiden A350 flight on LHR-DXB route.
The most surprising aspect was Virgin Atlantic. As per the airline, the route was not economically viable and was discontinued in March 2019.
As far as Emirates is concerned, I would not be surprised to see its premium economy being introduced on this route first.