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Old 4th Dec 2015, 08:39
  #3760 (permalink)  
Shed-on-a-Pole
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Manchester
Posts: 1,106
The market IS there.
(For DHL).

Yes, indeed it is.

But unfortunately, we need to think this through from a corporate perspective, not that of a MAN wellwisher. We can be sure that as launch customer of Airport City South (Logistics) DHL will have secured an excellent deal from MAG. They get a state-of-the-art warehouse in the heart of what is planned to evolve as a highly sought-after business hub perfectly positioned for parcel delivery and drop-off throughout the Greater Manchester area. They're close to a motorway junction, 90 mins or so by road from their UK hub at EMA, on the spot at the North's busiest airport complex and adjacent to a proposed HS2 station. All of which will attract still more business.

And from MAG's point of view? This flight withdrawal may be slightly embarrassing but it will not be seen as a major blow by them. DHL is a key business partner at MAG sister-airport EMA. Which has a dedicated DHL superhub and its own apron with lots of aircraft parking space. A B75F which daystops at MAN occupying a scarce stand all year round could be seen as something of a mixed blessing by MAN. We all know that parking space is a bit tight up here.

Is this embarrassing for MAG's Business Development Manager - Cargo? Slightly, maybe. But his remit is to build up business for the whole group. That means MAN and EMA. He is responsible for both. This will worry him about as much as a late stand change. It is a minor inhouse administrative wrinkle with the unanticipated but welcome bonus of freeing up a valuable parking stand at MAN. All the DHL business represented remains within the MAG sphere of operation regardless.

Of course, the Business Development Manager - Cargo isn't even based at MAN. Or at EMA for that matter. He is actually based at STN. Where additional cargo handling facilities and new stands are under construction as MAG positions STN as a specialist in the SE freight sector. If you're 'Conan the Cargoman', your top priority is to drive further general freight business through that new STN infrastructure diversifying that airport's dependence away from Ryanair. And keeping the overnight package business humming at EMA is crucial also. Cargo at MAN and BOH is a bit peripheral from a MAG perspective. The business focus at MAN is all about passenger flights and supporting bellyhold cargo on these. Dedicated cargo flights sometimes appear to be tolerated rather than encouraged at MAN. Meanwhile, the recent loss of the most important freight contract at BOH is a crippling blow for that airport, especially in view of the FlyBe base closure there announced just days later.

The next big milestone to watch for will be the announcement concerning final route plans for CargoLogicAir, the newly-established UK subsidiary of Air Bridge Cargo (Russia). They revealed tentative plans to launch B744F and later B748F schedules from MAN to the USA by the end of 2015. Their first aircraft is ready and crew training is in progress. But this presents a really interesting conundrum. It is an open secret that this is exactly the sort of operation that MAG are desperate to attract to their expanded cargo facility at STN. And the gentleman responsible for making a success of that STN investment and his counterpart responsible for marketing cargo at MAN share a very interesting relationship indeed. Because they are actually one and the same bloke! So what has been the marketing proposal put in front of CargoLogicAir by MAG? Hold on to your hats ... it shouldn't be long till we find out!

Just a thought ... with the whole 'Northern Powerhouse' thing building momentum, maybe having the same guy marketing freight ops at MAN, STN, EMA and BOH isn't the greatest solution for the project. Quite the conflict of interest. But I'm sure we can all understand why it makes sense from an inhouse MAG perspective as opposed to a Northern regional one. Let's watch this space. The next few months could get quite interesting.
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