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Old 25th Mar 2015, 08:58
  #18 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London UK
Posts: 6,301
Originally Posted by 01475 View Post
While I have sympathy with the 4,500 residents, if they're running the flight to wherever they think the most tourists will want to come from, then they're running it to the least commercially unviable place...
I don't think that analysis has been made at all. Cape Town already has equivalent links to the main hubs in Europe and the ME3 hubs, which is where I imagine most of the tourist trade will come from, and with only one flight a week there's not going to be a huge tourist trade anyway. Cape Town is also the centre of current inward tourism to South Africa; Jo'burg is the commercial centre.

My suspicion is that, as a UK government contract, it has just been given to the operator from anywhere who came up with the lowest quote, regardless. I don't know if it's a Gross Revenue or a Net Revenue contract; that is, whether it's just a charter, with the UK government receiving any fares income and taking the revenue risk over and above the subsidy, or whether this fares risk and potential revenue is the airline's with the subsidy just being a fixed amount.

Will the airport be capable of accommodating some kind of UK - Ascension - St Helena - Falklands service? I presume someone somewhere will want to try this if it can be done, at the very least for a few package tours each summer??
Apparently not. The UK-Ascension-Falklands service is operated, one or two times a week, by large widebody aircraft, which the new minimalist-runway St Helena airport will be too small for. In any event, Ascension has always been closed to casual tourists.
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