First of all show some respect to an aviation proffesional who has vasts amounts of experience in this field. To have a difference in opinions and beliefs is natural on a forum but to try and make him out to know nothing about his proffesion and job he does day in day out is damn right rude.
Second of all I think you need to take a real look at the facts and the stats. When you look at these you should learn to understand what they are telling you and not what you want to hear. Many of us deal using sats and facts as they are the only thing that's set in black and white which you can't argue with.
You can however dress them up in many different guises. The person attracting the airlines will look at them more optimitically compared to the airline (The one that needs to spend the cash and take the risk) will look them in a different light.
I am sure you know exactly who I am (one of the admins of WAF)
When Cardiff Airport approached Vueling they without a shadow of a doubt begged them to operate all the core sun routes that were left behind by bmibaby. Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Faro, Malaga & Murcia.
However Vueling decided to operate only the Alicante & Palma de Mallorca flight plus adding the suprise of Barcelona. The decision would have been made taking a look at the hard evidence which are likely to include looking at so much data. which may possibly include yield, catchment, population, competition, passengers forecasts, GDP, fees and porbably so much more that Twin Aisle know the ins and outs of.
Why did Vueling decide not to operate the others? It's quite simple that the figures didn't look attractive enough for them.
Is Barcelona such a shock? Well not really as the airlines main base is Barcelona and as they offer connections at Barcelona to many of their other destinations then it is an added way to feed their network. Also the addition of Iberia codesharing on the route allowing connections to their flights from Barcelona is another major plus.
With all these selling points and more then it maybe considered that the route is underperforming and therefore likely to chopped if things don't continue to improve. The from pricese on BCN are still around the 30 euros mark which are great for the passengers but not so good for the airline and it's bean counters.
PMI & ALC are looking as if they are selling quite well however maybe not in line with the rest of the Vueling.
I and many others believe and have stated quite clearly in the past that if the Barcelona does not work then it may mean the withdrawal of Vueling flights alltogether from Cardiff.
Cosmos / Avro / Monarch Airlines
As we have established previously Monarch Airlines is chartered by Cosmos to operate it's route therefore it is a chartered flight. As Cosmos, Monarch Airlines & also Avro are all subsidiaries of Monarch Holdings plc then it only makes sense to improve the chance that somone with book flights by selling via it's various subsidiaries.
The fact here is that Cosmos has decided re-schedule it's weekly flight's in to fortnightly for Summer 2012 due to lower than expected sales.
On the positive side of things they have allready placed Summer 2013 on sale back to weekly.
Very poor loads and as long as this continues which there is no reason why it shouldn't then we are likely to see it ending and possibly operating from BRS only. As we have seen in the past passengers find no issues in traveling to BRS to catch their flights.
I have said many times before that South Wales is one of the poorest regions within the UK with the highest level of unemployment for decades if not ever before.
People in general are not spending as they were back in 2006-2007 as there is no confidence and ver little disposable income. Back then there wasn't a care in the world and it was as if money grew on trees. Some would max out credit cards as a sign that they couldn't really afford to go on holidays just to provide a good lifestyle for themselves and their families. Some would even go on two or three holidays per year including city breaks.
Times have since changed a high number of the South Wales population are on benefits of some kind. The UK Government are due to cut if not allready the level of benefits people have which no doubt will make them poorer further. No doubt if I went around various workplaces in South Wales many employees if not majority will have some sense of insecurity on the future of their jobs. People are not confident anymore and live in fear therefore it is a case of looking after every penny. These two or three trips abroad a year may only be one and that's if theyir lucky.
Airlines simply do not and cannot afford to take the risks they once did. Everything is gone through with a fine toothcombe twice or three times before making the commitment. There is always and element of risk how ever they look to minimise the risk and losses by looking at more certain routes.
At first we need to hope that once the figures of the withdrawal of bmibaby stops having an impact on our monthly stas (October 12) we need hope that we get no further bad announcements from the airlines serving CWL. This will mean that the passenger figures will start leveling off and hopefully build some confidence in the airport and stop attracting all the negative publicity from the press.
We also need to hope that the Enterprise Zones at St Athan & Cardiff City Centre are a success and that several businesses will start operating there. In turn this will increase the demand to certain destinations which may in turn make them more viable than they are presently.
I know that CWL management are actively seeking to concentrate on attracting routes that are not just likely to be used for outbound travellers (UK going away fro holidays) but routes that are likely to bring inbound tourism also. Having a mixture a mixture of this kind will increase the potential number of passengers. This is done by Easyjet & Ryanair but not done so much by Jet2.com, Monarch Airlines or bmibaby who concentrate more on UK passengers travelling abroad.
It is true that success breeds success however over the last 5 years or so any good news announced by Cardiff Airport has been unfortunatly followed by worse news which ends up having a negative impact on the stats.
As for the Cardiff Airport Task Force? Here is what my views are which i posted on Wales Air Forum
The Welsh Government has sat back for several years and have been reluctant in getting involved in a team approach when it comes to working with the airport to attract new routes and airlines. It will be harder to attract these now especially as the Welsh Government continue to slate the airport and undermine them.
The Welsh Government should be working with aviation experts, travel trade, the airport, hotels, inbound & outbound tourism and businesses etc to provide a team Wales approach to entice the airlines. The airport cannot support the routes directly however they can help in so many different ways including advertising, marketing etc
I believe that this task force has been set up for the wrong reasons and that is to continue to attack the airport. Work with Prof Stuart Cole, Martin Evans amongst many other aviation experts and use them to come up with a policy for aviation. There are many statements from the Welsh Government that contradict to what the views of these proffesionals are.
This task force is doombed for failure before it even takes off unless Carwyn can keep his mouth shut and actually take on board the true issues. It's a case of learning from mistakes made in the past to make us be in a better position in the future.
One thing I wish to say is that Spencer Birns is doing a fantastic job at Cardiff Airport. He never stops trying to bring in the airlines. I totally support Cardiff Airport and want it to grow as much as possible and boomb as much as anybody. Afterall that is what my website is all about and the airport is where I earn a living.