London, Oct 28: British Airways has stopped being the UK's national carrier and effectively become 'London Airways'. Though the airline still operates flights from Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen, but passengers choice of destination from these cities is limited: They can fly to any other city they like - so long as it is London, The Independent reported. At the weekend, the airline axed the last international flight that neither departed from nor arrived at one of the London airports, the 44-year-old link from New York to Manchester. The slots at JFK have been redeployed for a new BA route from Gatwick.
"The decision to withdraw the Manchester-New York service was a business decision based on the increasingly poor performance of the route. With increased transatlantic competition, sadly the passenger yield was diluted and the route was no longer viable," said a spokesman for BA.
The service flew in competition with Delta and Continental, both of which have extensive domestic networks offering hundreds of connecting flights. In addition, the airline had to crew the service from London, which added further cost.
The Manchester-New York link was opened in May 1964, the first regular intercontinental route in a network from the North-west's main airport that would later see BA flying to Dubai, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
Even when these services were withdrawn, many European services survived. As recently as 2006, BA flew from Manchester to Nice, Rome and Venice.
Other UK airports tell a similar story, according to figures given by the schedules specialist OAG.
In October 2003, BA operated a total of 583 flights from Bristol and 336 from Inverness. Today, BA has no links with either airport. After BA Connect failed to staunch the losses on regional routes, the operation was sold to its rival, Flybe.