UK's BAA reported traffic between London Heathrow Airport and countries worst hit by the economic situation in Europe was substantially lower than the same period in 2011 (Reuters, 12-Jun-2012). BAA chief executive Colin Matthews said, "The impact of the euro zone crisis is still being felt with sharp falls in passenger numbers to the worst affected countries and reduced cargo traffic."
BAA: Traffic down to worst affected countries in Europe
You may also be interested in the following articles...
Emirates-Qantas JV expands as partnerships become more intricate, while some airlines go it alone
Qantas and Emirates are again evolving global airline alliances and partnerships. Four years after announcing their landmark joint venture, Qantas in late 2016 is expected to disclose additions to the way it serves Europe in partnership with Emirates. The possible changes – a new nonstop London flight, reintroducing an Asian stopover – may seem incremental. There is a significant impact to the many airlines competing in the Europe-Australia market, but the underlying relevance is global.
The expansion of the JV would not be possible without the increased comfort that Emirates and Qantas feel toward each other, and their ability to have intricate models for handling the increasingly complicated partnership and number of hubs involved. JVs are no longer in a binary classification of existence or absence; there is a scale from rudimentary to near-consolidation.
As JVs like Qantas-Emirates become more sophisticated, the basic JVs – or even airlines without – are dearly lacking. There has been a profusion of JVs in recent years, with more on the way, but they have tended to be confined. Partners need to be more comfortable with each other in order to add additional airlines and markets, later consolidating as they stitch together individual partnerships.
China-UK air service agreement permits growth as Chinese airlines constrained in most other markets
An agreement between China and the UK to more than double their air service agreement is good timing for both sides. Chinese airlines are finding an imbalance: they are taking delivery of widebody aircraft and more Chinese airlines are flying long haul but traffic rights to major markets – the US, Canada, Germany and France – are becoming depleted. Negotiations to add traffic rights have not succeeded, typically due to the foreign side being concerned about accessing Chinese slots or Russian overflight rights.
The agreement with the UK to expand the number of weekly passenger flights from each side from 40 to 100 reflects considerable pragmatism on the part of the UK: British Airways and Virgin Atlantic are not growing in China, and China is a large growth opportunity. The UK has lagged on Chinese tourism. It was only in 2015 that China became the UK's largest inbound market.