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ISLE OF MAN

Old 14th Mar 2017, 23:19
  #3021 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Harry Wayfarers View Post
Going back some 6 years a (rich) friend of mine was thinking of starting a 'puddle jumper' airline with a fleet of perhaps Do228's & Do328's, at that time there were petition(s) to keep Plymouth Airport open so that's how he became involved and interested.
I think the reason I'm glad for him that he didn't is that if he had, then even if he had found successful routes, it wouldn't have had the resources to defend (and in some cases operate!) any successful routes that he found.

If we create an imaginary Air PuddleJump at it's finest, greatest and most competitive, it might be have been something like an amalgamation of Manx2, Air Wales, Air Southwest & Scot Airways at their peaks. For the sake of argument we might say that in addition it gained economies of scale in terms of operation and marketing by also finding surprising success in operating flights from Cambridge, Gloucester, Oxford & Shoreham to Edinburgh, Dublin and Amsterdam, and some routes from the Irish regions to the English regions and Scotland.

It would have been in a constant battle to find from these routes that were only exactly the right amount of successful; otherwise other airlines would have been tempted to volunteer to operate them with bigger aircraft instead, in a way that I think has perhaps been the problem best demonstrated by Eastern Airways. I wouldn't really want to be Eastern Airways. It must be stressful at the moment.

In terms of the other suggested exceptions to the rule that small airlines can't survive... Aurigny (govt backed), Loganair (public sector reliant, and whose success Highland Airways wasn't able to recreate perhaps as a result of economies of scale) & Scilly Skybus (no competition; not even all year round by the ferry from the same operator!) are all "different". Lyddair is very unique and not really an example of an airline (and seriously; that plane pictured on their homepage...!).
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 00:29
  #3022 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NewquayJacob View Post
The only EU funding involved partly paid for some of the runway hardening in 2014 and according to the annual report, air sales was the highest revenue by some margin over the maritime activities.
You are right, I stand corrected. However, it is impossible to say if and to what extent the aviation sector and within that the scheduled air services contribute to the profits as IoSS also generates revenue from the sale of fuel, airport fees etc. which "normal" airlines don't.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 01:27
  #3023 (permalink)  
 
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If we create an imaginary Air PuddleJump at it's finest, greatest and most competitive, it might be have been something like an amalgamation of Manx2, Air Wales, Air Southwest & Scot Airways at their peaks
Air Southwest didn't operate Puddle Jumpers, they operated 50 seaters!

The history behind their operation was Brymon operated a HPR7 NQY/LHR/NQY and a DHC6 PLH/LGW/PLH.

Brymon ordered 4 x DHC7's and to part finance needed to sell the HPR7, two DHC7's operated out of ABZ whilst the one south-west based DHC7 started a PLH/LHR/PLH route.

Then, when the HPR7 went to Janus Airways, for ONE SEASON they combined the NQY & PLH LHR routes with the one DHC7 until the 4th DHC7 arrived the next season ... it never arrived.

The NQY punters were in uproar, they'd lost their direct LHR/NQY service because it was routing via PLH, similarly the PLH punters were in uproar because to fly PLH/LHR they had to route backwards via NQY.

Alas, what was to be for just one season, Brymon was taken over so the memory of what was supposed to have been was lost, the DHC8 was launched as a 36 seater where separate routes could have been re-introduced but Brymon went for 50 seater DHC8's keeping the routes combined and Air Southwest never saw the light, all their maintenance approvals were DHC so I presume would have been costly for them to go for another aircraft manufacturer's type.

Air Wales were a puddle jumper when they operated Do228's, not when they operated ATR42's, and it is said that they might still be going had they stuck with Do228's ... They'd certainly be operating the Angelsey route.

Airports and routes are not being served, are being lost, because manufacturers have, in most cases, stopped manufacturing 'Puddle Jumpers', sure as a rule of thumb the larger the aircraft the cheaper per seat it is to operate but there remains a requirement for lesser sized aircraft.

DHC stretched the 8 some two or three times to then cease production of the smaller variants, good on ATR, they stretched the 42 but they've kept their smaller variant in production, BH stretched the Islander but kept it in production, if it's all about size then from the 737-300 why did Boeing develop the lesser sized -500 and ditto to Airbus who stretched the 320 but also went smaller with the 319 & 318 and so on.

When I used to travel on business, regularly from BHX, it was great, for my trips to MXP or FCO Swiss operated 3 times daily, for CDG I recall AF/Cityjet some 3 times daily, for my trips via AMS KLM operated some 5 times daily with different types (F70, F100 and different sizes of B737) depending upon the time of day, I could travel at times of day when I wanted to travel and not when a larger aircraft operator might have dictated that I needed to travel at the time they decided.

I used to regularly travel with Austrian from LHR, invariably they operated A321's but their mid afternoon service was operated by a F70 and to regional airports in Russia and Ukraine they would operate CRJ's, when I flew with MALEV from STN going out it was a B737 but coming back a F70, MALEV operated CRJ's also, the times I flew BHX/DUS/KBP with Lufty, it was 50 seater CRJ's all the way there and back, the route was only viable because of the small equipment they were utilising.

So even the big boys develop routes with smaller aircraft such as CRJ's and F70's and there are regional airports in and around the British Isles missing out and/or not being served because of a lack of appropriately sized aircraft.

I read that Do328, both Prop and Jet, manufacturing is to recommence so that might make for an interesting order book!
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 02:40
  #3024 (permalink)  
 
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In terms of the other suggested exceptions to the rule that small airlines can't survive... Aurigny (govt backed), Loganair (public sector reliant, and whose success Highland Airways wasn't able to recreate perhaps as a result of economies of scale) & Scilly Skybus (no competition; not even all year round by the ferry from the same operator!) are all "different". Lyddair is very unique and not really an example of an airline
How about Scot Airways? ... I recall Scot Airways (Suckling) starting out some 30 years ago with their solitary Do228 operating in/out of Ipswich Airport's grass runway (more famous for testing Qualcast lawnmowers on) whilst Mrs Suckling prepared the in-flight catering from her kitchen.

How about BMI Regional? ... I recall them starting off as the Scottish arm of Euroair, something like 'Euroair Business Centre', operating a Bandit or few before going on to become Business Air etc.

How about Flybe? ... I recall Flybe (JEA & Spacegrand) when they operated DHC6's, then Sheds, to/from such grand airports as Blackpool and Shoreham, when they went F27-500's that was like entering the premier league for them.

How about Jet2? ... I recall Jet2 (Express Air Services) when they operated a DHC6 and a HPR7 and a right cowboy outfit they were in those days, look what they have become.

How about Ryanair? ... Ryanair started off as a Puddle Jumper, in those days there were only three recognised airports in Eire, Ryanair came in with some turboprops operating to/from Irish regional airports, look at Ryanair today.

How about Easyjet? ... When Easyjet commenced operations they didn't even have an AOC, they commenced flying operations on Air Foyle's AOC.


Starting out as a Puddle Jumper operation is not necessarily a 'Road to Nowhere'!


Last edited by Harry Wayfarers; 15th Mar 2017 at 04:14.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 03:34
  #3025 (permalink)  
 
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Cambridge, Gloucester, Oxford & Shoreham to Edinburgh, Dublin and Amsterdam, and some routes from the Irish regions to the English regions and Scotland.
Cambridge - No commercial passenger flight operations permitted.

Oxford - Perhaps Channel Islands (over water) summer only operations, if the same as 30 years ago not much money to be made from CI operations but at least they pay the bills. Other than that Kidlington airfield is too close to LHR for it to be taken seriously. ... I still laugh at when Oxford Airport's travel agency were advertising flights to New York

Shoreham - Length and width of runway, lack of navigational aids and proximity of LGW & SOU pretty much put paid to any viable commercial operations.

Gloucester - Going back to the 70's when I worked in the tower at Lyneham we would control DC3's flogging the Staverton/Channel Islands route(s), as already mentioned CI routes tend to only serve to pay the bills but by all accounts Citywing found success with a Staverton/IOM route whilst either side of Staverton are BHX and BRS who both do well so perhaps more successes to be had.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 08:38
  #3026 (permalink)  
 
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The problem is - you are writing in past tense for some reason and indulge in sweet memories of a time long gone - a time when punters were not used to pay 9.99 GBP to fly across Europe and thus were willing to pay realistic fares for regional flying. Just pull out an airline directory of the 1990s and compare what regional airlines were around in the UK, France, Germany, Italy back then and what is now on the market.

What were
- the 10seaters in the 1960s (Pipers, Beech)
- the 19seaters in the 1970s (Metros, C99s, Jetstream 31, Twin Otters, Bandeirantes),
- became 30-45 seaters in the early/mid 1980s (Brasilias, DHC8-100, Saab 340, ATR42), - 50-70 seaters in the mid/late 1980s (Saab 2000, DHC8-300, ATR72, ATP),
- became jet 50 seaters in the early 1990s (CRJ200, E145),
- became 70-80 seaters at the turn of the century (CRJ700, E170, E175s, Q400) and
- then 90-100 seaters (CRJ900, CRJ1000, Embraer 190).

Every time a new generation of regional aircraft came on the market, the previous generation was more or less dead. Now we are moving from the 100 seat segment to 120 seats (CS100, E195-E2). The only change in the development of the last 40 years is that the 80 seat turboprops have stayed in the game because of their lower fuel consumption and that some small aircraft have survived or were revived because they are needed for niche applications that have little to do with traditional regional air services.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 10:12
  #3027 (permalink)  
 
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Metro OY-NPE positioned back from Cardiff to Aalborg yesterday without flying a revenue sector. I wonder who paid for fuel and the crew's board.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 10:46
  #3028 (permalink)  
 
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Welsh Government so all of us in Wales paid our share.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 12:13
  #3029 (permalink)  
 
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virginblue, I agree with your suggestion that the advent of very cheap air fares in Europe has affected willingness to pay higher fares for regional flying, where cost per seat mile is far higher. But your prognosis for regional aircraft market seems a little too dire. The <20 seat category is still well-served by manufacturers (RUAG's Dornier 228NG, Viking Air's DHC 6-400, new-build BN2s and BN2Ts, the Evektor EV-55, the Tecnam P2012, and supposedly GippsAero's GA18 - a re-engineered, NG GAF Nomad - as well as second-hand LET 410s, Metros, Trislanders, Jetstreams, etc.) The bigger challenge seems to be finding customers willing to pay for the higher CASMs, and who can't be lured to a Cold War air base fifty miles away by Ryanair.

A bigger threat from the proliferation in larger aircraft to regional aviation seems to be the way they've driven up fees at hubs. In the early 1990s you could still make (some) money flying a D228 from Ipswich to Amsterdam, or a Shed from the regions into Gatwick. No longer. In this respect the S330 has been usurped by the A380.

Whether IoM can support such an operation, with open skies, no state support, and a runway long enough for Flybe and Easyjet, seems more ambiguous. The preference towards lower frequencies for lower fares is clear, and there aren't sufficient barriers to entry. But the low operating costs of (for instance) the Tecnam might present new opportunities. It's certainly true that any regional airline in this day and age will have to be very innovative indeed if it hopes to pay its way.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 12:37
  #3030 (permalink)  
 
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Harry, didn't Ryanair nearly go out of business before Michael O'Leary arrived to change the business model?
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 15:02
  #3031 (permalink)  
 
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runway30 .....




Last edited by Harry Wayfarers; 15th Mar 2017 at 22:45.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 17:45
  #3032 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Aero Mad View Post
virginblueBut your prognosis for regional aircraft market seems a little too dire. The <20 seat category is still well-served by manufacturers (RUAG's Dornier 228NG, Viking Air's DHC 6-400, new-build BN2s and BN2Ts, the Evektor EV-55, the Tecnam P2012, and supposedly GippsAero's GA18 - a re-engineered, NG GAF Nomad - as well as second-hand LET 410s, Metros, Trislanders, Jetstreams, etc.)
Well, the Dornier 228NG is more or less built to order - they have sold roughly a dozen over almost a decade. This will not rescue regional flying.

There was an interesting analysis by TEAL about the future of programmes targeting the 19seater market - TEAL said at best these manufacturers can expect to sell 12-18 aircraft per year and it will always be a business on the fringes of the aircraft manufacturing market. For comparison, Airbus delivered more than 100 aircraft in December 2016 alone.
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 23:24
  #3033 (permalink)  
 
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Rumours of a Do328 operator on the Blackpool and Gloucester route, with onward links to Dublin?
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 23:24
  #3034 (permalink)  
 
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Well, the Dornier 228NG is more or less built to order - they have sold roughly a dozen over almost a decade. This will not rescue regional flying.
Aren't all commercial airliners built to order?

The Do228 and the DHC6 are not prime examples, prime examples might be the 30 something seaters such as the Jetstream, SF340, Do328, the early DHC8(s) and any others that I can't think of immediately.

I read recently that someone criticised Loganair for operating a 37 year old Twotter, a local airline in my location has just started a service to my local airport operating two 31 year old BAe146-100's, these are just two examples of older aircraft types that are still in service although nearing the end of their service lives.

Similarly there are plenty of aged 30 something seaters still in service, just look at Eastern and Loganair as two examples, when these types come to the end of their service lives further route networks will be lost, in addition to those already lost, unless someone starts manufacturing such types again and apparently a company in Turkey has decided to do just that.
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 00:07
  #3035 (permalink)  
 
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The problem is - you are writing in past tense for some reason and indulge in sweet memories of a time long gone - a time when punters were not used to pay 9.99 GBP to fly across Europe and thus were willing to pay realistic fares for regional flying.
virginblue,

Please don't preach to me whilst making wrong and ignorant presumptions in the process.

For your information I worked for, and knew personally, the guy who invented low cost air travel and 38 years ago I was working for Europe's first low cost airline.

Believe it or not there are people that don't want to pay, as you quote, GBP9.99 across Europe, I'm one of them, there are plenty more like me and that is why legacy carrier survive and prosper., likewise regional carriers survive and prosper also and shall continue to do so.

A very true saying is "The cheaper the fare then the worse the passenger" and I, and many others, are quite happy to travel with legacy carriers to enjoy a more professional, courteous etc. service whilst avoiding the riff raff!
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 10:43
  #3036 (permalink)  
 
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I appreciate your long career in the industry. Nevertheless, the fact remains that reality in 2017 is that 1980s/1990s style regional flying is literally non-existent. Someone else has listed all what remains of the regional airline industry in the UK and explained why all these operations only work because of some very special circumstances (PSOs, monopoly through qirport ownership etc.). I am not going to rehash all that, but I find your insinuation that apparently all investors and aviation professionals are dimwits as they refuse to engage in regional flying not terribly convincing.

If you insist that regional flying is still an attractive market segment, I would suggest that we list all those European regional airlines operating today on a purely commercial basis? I will start with...

Germany: None.

OLT - gone, EAE - gone, Intersky - gone, Eurowings Mk. I - gone, Contactair - gone, Delta Air - gone, Dauair - gone, Cityair - gone, Cirrus Air - gone. I could go on with that list for hours. In Germany, there is not a single regional airline left operating with less than 50 seats. Not a single one. There are exactly three domestic routes left that could be seen as a 1980s/1990s style regional air service: bmi regional operates MUC-RLG with an ER3 - which is widely seen as a slot warming operation on behalf of Lufthansa. Then there is MHG-TXL on RNA, which is more or less a corporate shuttle operated with a leased Dornier 328 with seats also being sold to the public. And then there is FMO-STR on AIS Airlines with a Jetstream 32 - AIS is a Dutch flying school where newly qualified pilots can built up hours with a load of unsuspecting passengers in the cabin....

If you move to Italy, France or Spain, the picture is pretty much the same.

Aren't all commercial airliners built to order?
No. That is not how Airbus or Boeing or Bombardier operate.
Built to order: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Build_to_order

Similarly there are plenty of aged 30 something seaters still in service, just look at Eastern and Loganair as two examples, when these types come to the end of their service lives further route networks will be lost, in addition to those already lost, unless someone starts manufacturing such types again and apparently a company in Turkey has decided to do just that.
This programme in Turkey was not started because they see a big market for the TRJ328/TRP328. It is to allow the Turkish Aerospace Industry to get some experience in manufacturing an advanced aircraft, based on a proven design. Therefore, the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs & Communications is heavily involved and propping up the company. The main purpose is to give the Turkish aerospace industry the knowledge and experience needed to built a homegrown 70 seater aircraft, the TRJ628 (and in the longer run, apparently military aircraft). The TRJ328 is only the stepping stone for that, and a fair share of the sales is not expected to be for passenger operations, but for military applications and special mission aircraft. Besides that, the Turkish still have to walk all the talk that I have been hearing since 2011. They were promosing the first delivery for 2018 and the plane is still only on the drawing boards...

As for anything else - if there was demand and money to be earned, someone would built Saab 340NGs, DHC8-100NGs, EMB120NGs. Nobody does, and it must be for a reason. There is so little money to be earned in regional flying nowadays that the few airlines that still can be bothered to do it simply cannot afford factory fresh aircraft. And those operators that can - subsidiaries or affiliates of legacy carriers -are no longer interested in that market segment as they have moved to 70-100 seater jets. So there is nobody who would be able and willing to fork out lots of money for newly-built 30 seaters and could pass them on at affordable 2nd hand prices after a couple of years. A good example is Austrian regional Intersky. They operated with some fairly knackered Q300s for many years and were barely able to survive. Then a new investor had the idea to add two factory-fresh ATR72-600 - Intersky was gone within a year as they were simply unable to earn the money to pay for such expensive equipment.

PS: Actually, there is one 40-50 seater still in production, the ATR42-600. Just check out the sales of that ATR-variant. In 2016, they sold 11 examples to 2 airlines - 8 to Japan Airlines and 3 to Bahamasair.

Last edited by virginblue; 16th Mar 2017 at 11:04.
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 11:01
  #3037 (permalink)  
 
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I wouldn't have thought we would see a BLK route again, with Citywing being the only commercial operator there since Jet2 closed the base, but that route has a long history with the island, so never say never.

I know the government are trying the reinstate the GLO too. With it not being a million miles away from BRS, maybe Easyjet could increase the BRS schedule.

Once again, kudos to Eastern for their haste in getting BHD and NCL covered, all in the space of 48hrs, with no advertising. Monday was always going to be a non-starter, as tickets only went on sale at 10am. The BHD have naturally had more pax at the moment.

Hopefully in time and when crews allow, they will rejig the schedule and do twice daily BHD, with NCL during the day. Maybe a GLA or GLO too. Plus, tickets have been reduced to a more respectable 59 starting. The traveller won't realise that APD will now be included, so prices will naturally be higher. Kudos to Eastern where it is due.
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 13:30
  #3038 (permalink)  
 
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Looks like IOM-GLA will be back shortly....Any ideas who the operator will be???

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-euro...f-man-39278572
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 14:54
  #3039 (permalink)  
 
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The article also mentions that Eastern plans to add a second daily BHD and weekend flights on that route - that is good news as the current schedule makes the long term survival of the route not very likely.

As for Glasgow - there are, I think, four possible options: Obviously Loganair, Aer Lingus doing a W-pattern with one of its ATRs on the DUB, ORK, SNN-routes, Easyjet with a low frequency, BRS-style service or Flybe with a Q400. Given the relatively low traffic volume, Loganair probably would be the smartest choice to guarantee some useful frequency.
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Old 16th Mar 2017, 16:21
  #3040 (permalink)  
 
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For the volume of pax, Loganair would be my shout, right size aircraft for the job. Why not go the whole hog and bring back an EDI, just do alternate GLA/EDI through the week. Pax figures were pretty decent before they called it a day.

There is a good chance they may have had something in the pipeline for when they go it alone in September when they part from the Flybe franchise. Just thinking out loud.

Good to see these routes getting covered pretty quick.
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