The article about Emirates connecting Australia in the UK was shocking.

12 replies


Member since 27 Dec 2012

Total posts 4

The article about Emirates connecting Australia in the UK was shocking. For balance MANCHESTER offers THREE flights a day, highest outside London PLUS THREE CLASS service including A380 (A minor omission for the 'business traveller'). It is Manchester which is central to the UK is it not with comprehensive domestic AND European feed at high frequency, and a rail staion to most UK points and a motorway connecting all of the UK. Birmingham is only two class (sorry no first class, mainly economy only), it has no domestic OR European feed, connections to London (North?) are chronic. Glasgow is NOT a hub it has no feed other than shuttles to London and a mere modest sprinkling of European service. Newcastle sadly does not even get a mention ! A very very poorly researched article, misleading and littered with errors.


Member since 07 Oct 2012

Total posts 771

Headancer - merry xmas. Hope you had an amazing time with lots of joy and that all your travel next year, no matter what UK hub you take, is safe and enjoyable!


Member since 04 Nov 2010

Total posts 155

Headancer, I think you will find the article in question was a summary of how Australian business trvellers will benefit from the QF-EK alliance. It wasn't "which UK airport is best?" and certainly not for people flying out of the UK, it was all about Australian travellers flying into the UK with Qantas or Qantas-Emirates and looking at the new direct airport options which will be available to them under the Qantas-Emirates partnership. I think you'll find that most Aussies won't be flying into Manchester or Birmingham or Glasgow in order to fly back over to Europe, we fly into those cities because that is our final destination. Under the 'old' Qantas route we had to fly to London Heathrow and then catch another flight to any of those airports if they were closer to where we wanted to go. The Emirates options now will let us fly Australia to Dubai and then from Dubai to any of those airports.

I'm not sure why you are getting a bit over-excited about this and the importance of Manchester but I think you're reading the wrong things into this article. It's not a popularity contest for UK airports, it's a rundown of the various non-Heathrow options available to Australian business travelellers on Emirates once the QF-EK partnership starts in April.


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 29 Dec 2012

Total posts 1

Please tell me that Emirates will still be flying into Gatwick?  I have relatives in the south of England about 10 minutes away and Emirates was one of the few airlines from Australia that flew into there.  Do not want to have to fly into Heathrow and bus to Gatwick because relatives find driving to Heathrow a nightmare.


Member since 27 Dec 2012

Total posts 4

Many thanks, as you say, no it isnt a bueaty contest BUT If I was an Aussie businessman I am pretty sure that if my final destination was outside London AND had the option of flying first class  for pure convenience I would make damn sure it was either the A380 into London Or A380 into Manchester as a priority !

I think the article seemed to have been written by somebody who simply looked at a map totally missing the essence of what they were trying to convey and had 'not but a clue' about the best options..... 

Yes totally agree that you are not going to fly into Manchester THEN fly to CDG or AMS BUT then why bother referencing other airports as "hubs" ? 

if indeed they are point to point final destinations describing them as "hubs" when they are clearly not implies exactly that impression !

(...... you are certainly not going to Birmingham or Glasgow in order to fly back to Europe as the number of connections is abysmal, these are minor regional cities)

There are 5 A380 services a day into Heathrow, why on earth would you fly into Birmingham to get to quote "North London" ?  There are actually very few major cities between London and Birmingham anyway !

Why is  there is only 2 -class service ? Ex Birmingham ....because there is no demand, the actual City is a shadow of its former self. The yields Ex Birmingham for 1st class are poor which is why the superior product is offered Ex London and Manchester.

This is why it was so misleading if you are doing business within an hour of London you will fly to London of course.  If you are doing business within an hour of Manchester you will use Manchester, CRITICALLY this actually takes in most of Birminghams catchment area, that is partly the reason the article was so poor!

It's a City and indeed an airport which has been totally squeezed in terms of the business offering.

If you are doing "business" to the South of Birmingham and are a business person you fly London then head North, likewise if you doing "business" to the North of Birmingham you fly into Manchester then head South. 

Birmingham is then described as central to the UK by rail, but the number of direct destinations is actually only 7 ....YES 7 !

To get anywhere else you have to get to Birmingham New Street and then change..... even New Street is modest !

Birmingham is nothing more than a minor City but it appears to have been elevated to the epicentre of the UK with great connections etc THAT is why it is totally misleading!

Manchester DIRECTLY connects the major cities likley to be used by Australian business or inded tourists.  Places like Leeds, Sheffield , Liverpool, Bolton, Preston  ie Some of thee largest cities in the UK can be accessed from the airport station every hour without the need to change.  Tourist destinations like York and Chester again have hourly direct services.  Again poor research....

By car Manchester is within 90 minutes of 22m people , put that in contect its actually half the UK popolution  !

If you are doing business in places not served by Emirates flights then you are likly to use Manchester as it is the best connected airport in the UK, this includes 17 UK destinations Norwich, Southampton IOM Belfast City.

Due to slot restrictions at Heathrow and indeed Gatwick, Manchester now offers double the number of domestic destinations offered by Heathrow, infact domestic feed is now almost as good as Schipol which touts itself as the 4th London airport because of it UK domestic connectivity !    

If indeed it was indeed a rundown of the various non-Heathrow options available to Australian business travelellers on Emirates once the QF-EK partnership starts in April it was shoddy,

A final thought missed off Newcastle altogether, that perhaps sums up how well reseached it actually was !


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

I apologise in advance if I come across as needlessly condescending, but...

...are you seriously attempting to have this discussion?


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Sep 2012

Total posts 47

My head hurts. What happened to Christmas?


Member since 07 Oct 2012

Total posts 771

Headancer you need a holiday! I hear that Birmingham is a lovely airport to fly from... best avoid Manchester though.


Member since 28 Dec 2012

Total posts 4

I have never posted before, but I dislike the hypocritical nature of Headancer’s comments, as there are a number of errors with their own research (I should also state that I thought there was nothing out-of-place about the original article).

Birmingham cannot really be described as a ‘minor city’, as it is still the UK’s 2nd largest city, with a population on 1.1 million, while Manchester’s population is around 530,000.  I know that Headancer will jump on the fact that city boundaries in the UK can misrepresent urban populations.  However, taking into account the urban areas the population of Greater Birmingham is 3.4 million, and Greater Manchester is 2.2 million.

In regards to regional connectivity, there are a number of points that Headancer neglects to mention.  While Leeds, Sheffield and Liverpool are important UK cities (I am not sure of the inclusion of Bolton & Preston!), so are Coventry, Leicester, Derby and Nottingham, which are all more accessible from Birmingham airport, whether driving or using public transport.  BA also has also introduced 4 flights daily (3 scheduled for next year but this is likely to change) to Leeds-Bradford, so connections are available from LHR for Australian travellers who are heading to Yorkshire.    

For accuracies sake, Manchester being within 22 million people (I couldn’t find any concrete evidence to back this up, though I am certainly not contesting it as I cannot be bothered) would not put Manchester airport within 90 minutes of half of the UK population, as the UK population as of 2011 is 62.6 million!

If people want to connect to minor regional cities such as Southampton and Norwich, then the best way to do this would be to fly to Schipol with Emirates, and then take regional flights onwards.  However, Southampton is only an hour’s drive from LHR, so such a connection isn’t exactly necessary!  In regards to Belfast, there are 11 flights daily from LHR, while there are only 6 from Manchester – so it seems Manchester isn’t yet the ‘best connected airport in the UK’ if you want to get to Belfast!

Finally, that old British adage must be recalled, ‘the best thing about Manchester is the road out!’

Three cheers to David and John for their hard work in 2012, a special thanks to all contributors who make AUSBT a great place for travel debate, and may AUSBT have an excellent 2013! 


Member since 04 Nov 2010

Total posts 155

Headancer, I understand some of your response but fail to understand any of the rationale behind it. It seems that you're still 'waving the flag' for Manchester airport and Manchester as a city and not seeing this from the perspective of the Australian business traveller who wants to get from A (Australia) to B, with 'B' being somewhere in the UK other than London or even London Heathrow. That's what the article is about and that's generally what 'Australian Business Traveller' is about. The article wasn't an in-depth report on 'which UK airport is best' or a socrecard on them, and this site isn't about airports and load factors and aviation. It's for business travellers. Headancer, you're really coming across like a cheerleader for Manchester Airport or president of the Manchester Airport Fan Club who has taken an implied 'slight' in this article a bit too personally. Relax!


Cathay Pacific - The Marco Polo Club

Member since 07 Jun 2012

Total posts 19

Sorry, I couldn't resist summing things up with: 'trollolol'


Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Dec 2011

Total posts 30

Let me say that Glasgow has 2 EK flights a day, both are full, EK is looking at a third flight in. 2 other Asian/ ME carriers are looking to fly into Glasgow, but are having a large amount of trouble getting landing rights from London. This is due to the politics of Scottish independence, I have corresponded with all 4 political parties in Scotland. All except the SNP are pushing Heathrow. As to Manchester well the best thing about it is the Motorway out.


Member since 09 Jul 2012

Total posts 19

Big thank you to John and David for the good work you both put in all year for the benefit of us. Your articles are always well-researched and very often stem from first-hand experience. For the record I am not a business traveller, but throughout this year I have found your articles, tips and reviews to be of great help in my travels. I have stayed in hotels you reviewed, used your tips, and followed your advice and because of that I got the most out of a very full year of academic travel. To put this into some perspective for you, I have travelled to more countries in one year, than all my previous thirty-five years combined. Next year will be more of the same. It says something about the good work you both do that when someone chimes in with twaddle or (even worse) prattle, its usually your readers who respond fittingly: this particular thread being a case in point, but there were others! In my 2013 travels, you can be sure ABT is the site I'll return to for good and solid advice.

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