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Old 28th Oct 2016, 14:03
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The fact is that SEN has a population of 5.4 million living within 60 minutes drive of the airport and provided suitable routes are chosen that is quite adequate to make them a success. The fact that SEN can support an AMS route that offers a capacity of up to 540 daily outbound seats proves the point.
So, just out of curiosity, how many millions live within a 60 minute drive of CVT and why are those millions not adequate to make CVT a success?
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 14:48
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The CVT 60 minute drive catchment population is 8 million.

The reason why those 8 million "are not enough to make CVT a success" is because no one has made a 100 million investment in CVT to make it a viable proposition. If I recall correctly when Thomson operated a substantial route network there until 2012 the passenger facilities comprised a marquee.

Last edited by Expressflight; 28th Oct 2016 at 15:05.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 14:53
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Plus the fact that Birmingham is 'round the corner'.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 15:07
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Yes, BHX is just 15 miles away by road from CVT.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 15:10
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Reasons Why Coventry Was Not A Success

Class G Airspace. Very much NOT a benign environment for pax jets to operate within combined with MAJOR problems for ATC to deal with.
Too close to Birmingham. Established & large scale operation with plenty of airlines , routes & frequency. Also, proximity caused ATC problems ( especially Coventry ATC).
Lack of facilities eg. Terminal, taxiways & parking. As said already, lack of investment.
TOM decision to withdraw from scheduled route operations.
Other than that: it had everything going for it !
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 15:20
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Expressflight: 5.4 million divided by at least 4 much bigger and better located/accessable airports. And I seriously doubt your figure. I assume that's 60mins when no-one else is on the road! If there was more settlements to the Eastern side of Southend it would surely be their first choice of airport. But alas no.

SENs location is a disadvantage. It is just a fact. But disadvange doesn't mean its doomed. They try to comprise in order to pull people in by offering cheaper tickets to places like AMS. But it therefore struggles to attract new operators, who worry about yield not passenger numbers. A 22 single to AMS is nothing to celebrate (except for the passengers of course).

Be interesting to see where Cityjet pick to go, because it asks the question why havn't easyjet tried it. If a route is successful, will easyjet try to pinch it? I look forward to seeing what happens.One route I would bet on is SEN-Florence. Very popular from LCY and not many operators are capable of going to FLR and both the RJ and SSJ are approved.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 15:40
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V_2

At least we can agree that SEN-FLR is very likely to be one of the chosen routes.

The catchment population figures are not mine but those that have been published widely in relation to SEN, so I cannot vouch for their accuracy any more than I suspect you can challenge their veracity. I quoted the 60 minute figure as I think that is likely to make SEN as attractive to the potential traveller as other LON airports for any particular route on offer. The 120 minute figure is 19.3 million and that surely is the one you should be dividing by 4 "much bigger and better located/Accessible airports".

You really think EZY is an airline that would not "worry about yield" when talking about AMS? The SU95 may well fit certain routes better than the larger A319/320 which could provide the answer as to "why haven't easyjet tried it".
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 15:59
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The main difference between SEN and CVT is the 'London' - a large proportion of traffic is inbound to London and the South East, fact is, the regional and northern airports just do not have the same overseas appeal.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 16:17
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(On a good day) I live 60 mins to the west of Southend in a place called Chingford. Within 60 mins I also have LHR, LTN, STN, LGW (just) and LCY. If i lived 60 mins to the east of SEN, these airports would be 2-3 hours away but SEN still only 60. That is the point I am trying to make with regards to the sea.

I suspect easy and SEN airport have a good deal in order to make the 22ish work for easyjet, whilst also keeping the pax numbers healthy for the CAA stats. Is the AMS Cityjet base going yet? Maybe they will do this route too but from AMS, keeping the 4 SEN a/c free for other routes. This would also work for a possible DUB/Paris routes to SEN? So maybe the 4 SEN a/c will actually be doing just 15 routes?
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 17:04
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V_2

Just to put this "22 single to AMS" to rest currently the prices for SEN, STN and LTN to AMS for next Sunday, Monday and Tuesday on all flights are extremely similar.

We obviously hold different views on the adequacy of SEN's UK catchment area but don't forget that potentially 50% of SEN's pax numbers will come from European travellers to the UK. On SEN-CFR for example as much as 70% of that traffic is inbound to the UK from French and other non-British residents.

This is also getting off the topic of Cityjet so no more from me after this post.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 18:48
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Expressflight: 5.4 million divided by at least 4 much bigger and better located/accessable airports. And I seriously doubt your figure. I assume that's 60mins when no-one else is on the road!
The population of Essex is 1.7m. I doubt there is much beyond the Essex boundary that is less than 60 minutes drive to Southend at normal times.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 20:33
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Effectively a huge and expensive marketing campaign will have to be unleashed to make folk aware of the 'new' airline and their routes from Southend both within and to an extent, outside that catchment area.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 23:54
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The population of Essex is 1.7m. I doubt there is much beyond the Essex boundary that is less than 60 minutes drive to Southend at normal times.
I regularly drive around the M25 to Southend and can usually cover the distance from South Mimms Services to Southend in under an hour. So that brings a few million people in north, north east, east and south east London within 60 minutes of Southend. Mind you, most of them are closer to other airports.

Marketing will be the key - Southend does have the advantage of swift passage through the terminal and a rail station with a direct line to central London within a few metres of it.
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Old 29th Oct 2016, 01:14
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Sorry but scheduled flying at SEN is not a long term viable business. It is pretty obvious that Stobart have made it part of the deal to sell but it does seem odd that WX would accept. Either way, I would expect it is on a a fixed term basis which means the second the fixed term ends the routes will have to be self sufficient which is not going to be possible (see BE at BOH). The unfortunate thing is that neighbouring airports who have a genuinely viable business are stunted from realising their full potential as a result of the shady deals these surplus airports operate under. The comparison of SEN to CVT is spot on.

The SSJ is conducting its steep approach verification next year. A software update and winglets are required which are in the process of being commissioned. WX just need to keep the SSJ busy until then but the sugestion that operating them from SEN has been made on merit alone is laughable.
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Old 29th Oct 2016, 01:59
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Originally Posted by Rivet Joint View Post
Sorry but scheduled flying at SEN is not a long term viable business. It is pretty obvious that Stobart have made it part of the deal to sell but it does seem odd that WX would accept.
I don't see why CityJet would be so desperate to get their hands on Stobart Air that they'd agree to anything they weren't happy with.

It's in the nature of an airline's business to accept deals and to then try and make them work; just look at some of the sheds Ryanair fly to! Castellon may indeed very well work for them, but I doubt they were beating away other airlines queuing at the door to get in!

There will be rational reasons why people would want to fly to or from SEN, and in any case not everyone is rational (particularly in respect of when they're arriving at a destination they don't know so well). One thing particularly in its favour is that geography makes it much more difficult to charge rip off train fares than it is at Heathrow or Stansted, and the service pattern makes it much harder to do so than it is at Gatwick

I always remember the many years London City Airport tried to find it's niche and appeared to be failing. Maybe SEN could turn into more of a Sheffield City or a Prestwick than a London City or Doncaster Sheffield, but I'd like to think something that close to a city like London and with a direct rail link will never fail completely.

Will CityJet be the airline that finds out how to make it work? Maybe; they might have the right kind of plane and a need to find things to do with it. Or maybe not; they have a risky new plane that could become a reputational disaster zone through nobody's fault and a bad track record with marketing. If they're not the ones that make it work then I think they will perform the role that AB helped perform for the locos; helping other people see how it actually needs to be done.
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Old 29th Oct 2016, 07:01
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One things for sure there won't be any more commercial flights from the airport
easyJet seem to disagree, and they don't have a bad track record.

The comparison of SEN to CVT is spot on.
It's about as spot on as comparing chalk and cheese

The SSJ is conducting its steep approach verification next year. A software update and winglets are required which are in the process of being commissioned. WX just need to keep the SSJ busy until then but the suggestion that operating them from SEN has been made on merit alone is laughable.
Have you seen how many SSJ's CityJet are signed up for - they have plenty of scope to mix and match their operations
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Old 29th Oct 2016, 12:05
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Sorry but scheduled flying at SEN is not a long term viable business.
What a strange thing to say. Scheduled routes to the Med resorts will always be viable from SEN, just as they always have been in the past even when companies such as Air Malta were having to make tech stops on their outbounds. There is a large enough local catchment to support these, regardless of any sweeteners given to EZY or anyone else - I suspect the sweeteners are needed for non-Med routes, with the exception of AMS.

The more important question is whether SEN can attract pax from beyond its immediate catchment and whether overseas pax can see SEN as a London airport. Only that way will the non-Med routes be viable long-term and SEN become profitable.

The comparison with CVT is difficult to understand unless you know nothing of the geography of England.
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Old 29th Oct 2016, 21:19
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finding a viable shoulder and winter operation that does not burn all the cash is going to be the biggest challenge.
Um ... isn't that London City ?
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Old 2nd Nov 2016, 12:44
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New SEN base jobs now being advertised: http://www.cityjet.com/about/careers/cabin-crew/
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Old 2nd Nov 2016, 22:24
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I'd be pleased if they started up Dresden from SEN. They say 18 new destinations, so I'm thinking they are likely to be more unusual destinations
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