TRIVIA: British Airways Domestic Transfer Traffic

Here is the first of our regular series of industry trivia questions where we ask readers to vote on a particular subject during the month before revealing the actual results at the end of the month.


The Airports Commission this week published for consultation its assessment of proposals for additional runway capacity at London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports. The consultation presents the commission’s analysis of the proposals shortlisted by the commission last year: two for expansion at Heathrow Airport and one proposal at Gatwick Airport.

A big discussion point in the debate has been the importance of a single hub airport, so at Routesonline we thought we would look at passenger flows on British Airways’ (BA) seven domestic air routes into London Heathrow and what percentage of passengers are connecting at the world’s largest international airport to other flights.

So, which of BA’s current domestic destinations – Aberdeen, Belfast City, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle – had the highest percentage of transfer passengers on the flights to and from London Heathrow during the first nine months of 2014?

Let us know your thoughts! VOTE below and SHARE YOUR VIEWS in the comment section!

We closed the poll for the question... Which of British Airways’ domestic UK links to/from London Heathrow had the largest share of connecting passengers during the first nine months of 2014?... on November 30, 2014 and the chart below highlights how Routesonline readers voted.

We received 178 votes in the poll, with Scotland's Capital City, Edinburgh, perceived as the market with the largest transfer flows via London Heathrow.  Edinburgh Airport received a 30.9 per cent share of the vote, but after initially taking a significant lead, it was being caught by Manchester Airport during the last week of the poll; the latter receiving a 28.1 per cent share of the vote.  Scotland's Glasgow Airport and Aberdeeen Airport followed with an equal 11.8 per cent share, then came the newest of BA's domestic routes to Leeds Bradford Airport with 7.3 per cent, Newcastle Airport with 6.7 per cent and finally the overseas domestic link to Belfast City with just 3.4 per cent of the vote. 

According to data from Sabre ADI, the actual split of transfer traffic on these routes varies between 25.8 per cent and 60.8 per cent.  As the graph, below, illustrates it is the Manchester route that has the largest share of transfer traffic in BA's domestic network with 60.8 per cent of passengers connecting at London Heathrow to or from other flights during the analysis period.  In second place is Leeds Bradford with a 56.0 per cent share, while Newcastle was third with a 51.2 per cent share of transfer traffic.  

The Scottish airports that dominated our reader poll are actually ranked 4th, 5th and 6th with Aberdeen having a 38.6 per cent share of transfer traffic, Glasgow a 36.2 per cent share and Edinburgh a 33.2 per cent share.  As guessed by our readers, Belfast brings up the rear with just 25.8 per cent of BA's passengers connecting at London Heathrow  to or from another flight during the first nine months of 2014.

Data provided by Sabre

ROUTES TRIVIA: Look out for our December 2014 VOTE and POLL of the fastest growing European low-cost carriers - ONLINE NEXT WEEK!