northernhenry wrote: and BA strolling in and grabbing slots left-right-centre
As I said before I really can't see the competition authorities allowing BA to have any more slots at LHR due to their pre-existing dominance at LHR.
The notion behind forcing BAA to sell LGW and STN was to promote 'competition' between airports. The next step is to improve competition between airlines.
I don't think this holds true at all, BA only has to point at CDG and FRA where the dominant airlines hold 50+ and 60+ per cent of slots compared to BA's 42% at LHR. So the precedence is there in the EU (which is superior to our competition authorities and they know it). Secondly, the competition commission has not even passed a memo about BA acquiring slots from anyone, which it does on a very regular basis, nor did it act when BA bought GB Airways for example. Nor did it act, unlike the FAA, when BA / AA ATI was granted.
There is plenty of competition in our airline industry really, just because BA has a leading position at LHR ignores the fact that FR probably flies more Brits short haul, and on a good proportion if not a majority one, most BA routes have some competition.
Comparing BAA to BA is also pointless in this context - the investigation into airport competition has nothing to do with airlines themselves.
So I don't see any action unless BA gets to at least 50% of the slots at LHR, even then, and there again, BA does not have the facilities to operate that many flights from LHR.