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FlyBe - 6

Old 25th Oct 2012, 14:01
  #2541 (permalink)  
 
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The fundemental problem is the Q400 is nose heavy and when it's only half full, you all want to sit at the front and carry hand baggage so it can't fly.

Even full, without bags it is too nose heavy to fly so may need ballast.

That's why you are sent to the back unless you pay up. A flight may look full to the agent because the majority of the front or middle front would be blocked off and unavailable for trim.

If you all sit a the back the fuel bill is about 4% less than if you sit spread out fully. The fuel bill is what is killing ALL airlines off slowly but surely....hence the need to try to minimise it.....
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Old 25th Oct 2012, 15:27
  #2542 (permalink)  
 
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Someone asked the question "Why can't FlyBe compete with Easyjet or Ryanair?". Perhaps a case in point would be the flight prices compared with other low cost carriers.

Future wifey and I flew Inverness-Gatwick a couple of months back. We booked a good month in advance. Flybe wanted in the region of 100 per seat each way, and that was the cheapest option. Easyjet on the other hand offered us 120 in total, both of us, return. Guess who we flew with?

The harsh fact is FlyBe markets itself as a low-cost carrier without actually being low-cost. It's low-cost in all but price. Perhaps therein lies the reason why FlyBe is struggling. People won't fly with you if you charge almost 4 times what a competitor airline i charging, for the exact same customer experience. No brainer.

Smithy
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Old 25th Oct 2012, 17:05
  #2543 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
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Captain smithy,

Well the truth is that flybe offer a better service to Inverness community. They offer three flights a day to London gatwick and flybe also serve main hubs from Inverness like Manchester, Birmingham and even Amsterdam hence that is why they have two aircrafts based in Inverness.

The concept of flybe's business model is to have more frequencies using a smaller aircraft. Inverness is a very good example of this. Flybe already pulled out of Aberdeen cause of competition... Will it happen again to inverness if easyjet start putting more pressure on flybe by adding more routes from gatwick with cheaper price? This is my concern!

Well as you mentioned before flybe price is expensive comparing to Easyjet whilst pilots salary is GBP 20,000 yearly lower than easyjet. Not to mention a better type rating and a better progression of getting a command.

As an airline pilot with flybe - I can't see any progression. I am looking at a 20year to get my command on the Emb fleet...

I hope the management cooperate with us rather telling us to join easyjet instead.
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Old 25th Oct 2012, 20:09
  #2544 (permalink)  
 
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Someone asked the question "Why can't FlyBe compete with Easyjet or
Ryanair?". Perhaps a case in point would be the flight prices compared with
other low cost carriers.
This is a very good point. Flybe is a regional carrier and regional flying is what it needs to stick too. easyJet and especially Ryanair struggle to compete with Flybe profitably in markets that are thin and struggle to support multiple rotations on 737/319 daily. Here is where BE can win with business traveller, multiple daily sorties on Q400 can be hard to beat again on thin routes.

BE getting in heavily in large markets where it doesnt have the route to itself is a bad move. easyJet seem to be very interested in BE markets and following in on their heels at airports like IOM JER LGW etc, and domestically shows that Easyjet see good opportunities where BE have developed markets already.

Some routes e.g. IOM LPL are questionable in terms of the prize but given the short sector it is easy to accomodate it, plus easyJet are in for the long run, so will stick at it until they win the business overall.


EI-BUD
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Old 25th Oct 2012, 20:21
  #2545 (permalink)  
 
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From Travel Mole:

Air France and Flybe expand codeshare

Air France has signed a new codeshare partnership with Flybe to launch a service from East Midlands Airport to the rest of the world via Paris.
The twice-daily service will start on October 28, operated with Bombardier Q400, 78 seat aircraft.
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Old 25th Oct 2012, 20:35
  #2546 (permalink)  
 
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Agree completely with Captain Smithy

I would have to say Smithy is spot on there. Used to be able to fly Gla/Edi to Ext for 200 for four, now its cheaper to fly Ezy to BRS and hire a car.

Incidentally I'm 128 to fly from SOU to GLA tomorrow evening, returning on Sunday night, but I didn't expect it to be much less because of the weekend.
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Old 25th Oct 2012, 20:45
  #2547 (permalink)  
 
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Captain Smithy ...

You have hit upon the most widespread public misconception in the airline industry. FlyBe is indeed a 'Low Cost Carrier' [LCC], because this term applies strictly to the 'costs' element of the corporate balance sheet which is kept as low as possible. The term 'low cost' applied in this sense does NOT refer to the fare structure offered by an airline to its customers. Operating with a low cost base offers a company the flexibility to sustain a low fares policy should it wish to do so, but there is no obligation on the airline to make cheap tickets a priority. In most cases, LCC's will use established yield management techniques to sell seats in accordance with profit maximisation objectives.

When traveling with a 'Low Cost Carrier', what the customer actually encounters is a 'No Frills' product priced at a level which maximises the company bottom line. Obviously, LCC's are more than delighted if their customers presume that they will always offer cheaper fares than their competitors. This popular misconception pushes additional business their way. It is amazing how many travellers book flights without checking tariffs offered by all carriers on a route. Legacy carriers in particular are often overlooked.
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 08:29
  #2548 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst I agree with the concept shed, FlyBe does indeed market itself as a low-fares airline. I regularly see adverts for FlyBe proclaiming "cheap flights" but over the period of several years I can honestly say I'm absolutely buggered if I've been able to find any. Meanwhile other low-cost carriers are able to undercut FlyBe with much cheaper fares for the exact same customer experience.

The bottom line is, low operating costs should (note italics) mean lower fares. If I can fly with say BA and have a decent hand/hold luggage allowance, included on-board meal, no rugby scrum to get on the aircraft first etc., or fly with BE where I get the "low-cost" experience, yet both cost the same price, as the customer I'll always go for the better option - value for money. It's like choosing between a Rolls Royce that hapens to cost the same as a Lada, it's a no-brainer which one you'd pick of the two.

BE's advantage is that it does tend to offer more frequency of services than other LCCs (e.g. at Inverness) but in all honesty as the customer you have to weigh up the costs and that is ultimately what wins the deal. At the end of the day neither I nor anyone else is willing to pay top-dollar for the low-cost experience; if on the other hand the low-cost experience results in a low fare, that is acceptable.

I always compare flights with different carriers to compare. The differences can be quite astounding. And low-cost is not always "low-cost"!

It's the harsh law of economics and business. I like FlyBe, they have nice aircraft and professional crews, the service is good, but for what it is it is far too pricey. Sadly I get the same customer experience on EasyJet for a much reduced price, so unfortunately that's who'll get my business at the end of the day.

Smithy
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 10:37
  #2549 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, but again remember that for the passenger it isn't a 'low cost experience' one is paying for ... it is a 'no frills experience'. Big difference. All the rest is marketing. The 'low cost' bit is strictly limited to the balance sheet. The range of tariffs promoted to customers will vary according to profit-driven yield management practices. These fare levels are set with the best interests of shareholders in mind; the business is run to give them a healthy return on investment. This is not a criticism of the business model, it is simply a statement of the reality. A low cost base never obliges a carrier to offer cheaper fares than the market will sustain; it just gives them the option to do so tactically. The ability to offer a cheap fare does not imply an obligation to do so. In many instances shareholders will be better served by higher pricing of the product. In the boardroom, shareholder interests take priority over those of bargain-hunting budget travellers.

In terms of your suggestion to shop around for the best deal from the various carriers, that is exactly the right approach. It is just unfortunate that many people less familiar with the industry than regular readers here make misguided assumptions about the competitiveness of fares offered by no-frills carriers.

Moving specifically to the case of FlyBe, it is interesting to note that this company is now marketing different tiers of product with additional 'frills' included at higher fare levels ["FlyBe Plus"]. This is a model which is likely to be more widely adopted by the airline industry going forward.
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 10:54
  #2550 (permalink)  
 
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Smithy sums up the Flybe experience pretty well - professional crews, good service and appropriate aircraft but at, usually, high fares. And yet they don't make money! Given their fares, load factors and pay rates, I'd have expected them to make a substantial margin but they don't seem to make a bean. I know they always blame one off "special factors" but the bottom line is their bottom line is in mostly red ink!

Maybe one clue: Mrs Torque and I regularly fly to PMI. We're within 30 mins of SOU which is a great little airport. Flybe have just three services a week in summer whereas EZE from LGW have at least 50 plus MON etc etc. Huge local demand for PMI but fares and lack of frequency send us all trekking round the M25. Initial daily flights plus reasonable fares would quickly lead to double dailies and be highly profitable I'd have thought but Fllybe must know better - or do they?
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 11:34
  #2551 (permalink)  
 
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More or less sums it up torquelink. Charge too much, people don't buy your product. Don't charge enough, you don't make money. Get it wrong and you end up stuck in a never-ending spiral of increasing prices and decreasing customers, ending in the inevitable.

EZY and others market very aggressively whereas BE don't seem to have that same killer instinct, which as far as I can see is where their problem lies. The option of different "levels" of service i.e. the Standard, New Economy and Plus is a good idea which I like, and hopefully it will be offered by other airlines, but I don't know anyone who's ever taken the "plus" option, primarily because it's too pricey, and then you're just as well off flying with BA. In some cases the "Plus" is more expensive than the likes of BA, a lot more. Ultimately you need to charge enough in order to make money, but also don't charge so much that customers recoil at the price tag and end up going elsewhere for a better deal, in which case you're back to square one.

It might be all about the profit for the shareholders, but without the customers, there won't be anythng for the shareholders...

Smithy
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 12:02
  #2552 (permalink)  
 
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Hi WW,

Sorry I don't mean to continually mention BA, it's just an example that for similar pricing you can fly with a non-LCC hence better value for money. I tend to compare EZY and BE as both are LCCs operating the same route from my home base with what I can see as the same level of service but with vastly different pricing.

You are correct that there's a price on time. I travel to the islands a lot with work. Either we can go with Loganair and get charged an arm and a leg, or drive for a couple of hours and get a ferry for under half the price and no luggage restrictions for all the tools and equipment I have to carry. That way it can take the best part of a full working day to get anywhere, or under an hour by air.

You pays your money and takes your choice, as they say...
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 13:11
  #2553 (permalink)  
 
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IOM-London ret, 2 adults, 2 kids, 2 bags, out Monday back yesterday booked a fortnight ago. BA to LCY 850, BE to LGW 800 plus, Easyjet including speedy boarding 360. Guess who got the business?

Now I know Easyjet are in the startup phase for this route, and I would prefer to have used one of the others both from a loyalty stand point and the timing of the outbound flight, but that price difference is just too large to ignore.

And judging by the other 100+ people on each sector I wasn't alone in taking that view.
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 21:13
  #2554 (permalink)  
 
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I get the impression the problem with BE is that they have spread themselves too thinly in an attempt to have a finger in every pie. Yes spreading your bets is a safer option in one way, i.e. the franchises etc but why set up a tiny base at EMA at the expense of a long standing and better airport in BHX? Other long established bases where they have monopolies like GTW, SOU etc are also suffering yes partly because of the recession but if it works and there is no competition build on it!
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 21:44
  #2555 (permalink)  
 
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If IOM aren't careful they'll be left with just Easyjet, then their prices will be just like BA and Flybe!
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 22:08
  #2556 (permalink)  
 
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Other long established bases where they have monopolies like GTW
GTW? Holesov, Czech Republic? New one to me!
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Old 26th Oct 2012, 22:54
  #2557 (permalink)  
 
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BHX/EMA

Rivet Joint

I am a BHX local and at times have been frustrated at flybe's cautiousness but I certainly would not condemn them for taking on the ex BMI Baby flights at EMA.

The GLA, EDI, CDG and AMS had between 5000 and 9000 pax per month depending on the time of year and with the operating costs of the Q400 against the 735/3 they should be able to give them all a good go and hopefully without affecting BHX too much.

It seems they have secured an AF code-share on EMA- CDG and if they can do the same with KLM for AMS they will be well away. The only odd thing about that is from Sunday flybe will be in direct competition with KLM at BHX but a partner with AF on CDG.

However there are worrying trends at BHX with Hanover reduced to daily, Hamburg gone and re-timing of Stuttgart elinimating day trips but if they are not making money who can blame them.

Pete
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Old 27th Oct 2012, 00:29
  #2558 (permalink)  
 
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LGW! .

Nope, sorry not buying that arguement when it comes to a secondary airport like EMA. Pax figures are just the razzle dazzle, what are the nuts and bolts i.e. yeild. WW went bust trying to make a success out EMA. Fair enough its worth a punt in a booming economy with a more economical plane but its not a booming economy and the smart money is on retrenching to your long standing and dependable bases. FFS! SOU and BHX have been there since the begining and BA handed BE a complete monopoly on the LGW domestic routes and they are diluting all that for a peripheral airport.
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Old 27th Oct 2012, 07:14
  #2559 (permalink)  
 
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The use of the term secondary and peripheral are subjective. If you live in the East Midlands then EMA is neither. If you live in any part of London other than Croydon then LGW is likely not your primary airport and compared to LHR and LCY, LGW is on the periphery of the Greater London area.

Just saying.
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Old 27th Oct 2012, 07:26
  #2560 (permalink)  
 
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With respect AirLCY. IOM have nothing to be careful about. Flybe's problems on IOM are of their own making. A few years ago when Flybe acquired the BAConnect routes off the island they did to Euromanx what is happening to them now. Flybe sold seats 4 months in advance, at rock bottom prices. This meant that flybe enjoyed the benefit of free cash for 4 months, before putting a posterior on a seat. Euromanx saw its load factors plummet overnight, and eventually went bust in ignominious circumstances. There is more to the Euromanx saga, but that is for another thread.
Flybe did not have to invest anything, in The Isle of Man, other than training on aircraft types. The flightcrew, cabin crew, and engineers were all available locally, and more importantly, they were on similar salaries to those already afforded to Flybe staff. Initially, Flybe also enjoyed the support of The Isle of Man government, and the travelling public.
From the day Flybe gained their monopoly on IOM they proceeded to squander goodwill, and co-operation at an ever-increasing rate. Firstly the air fares became eye-wateringly expensive, which were backed up by excess baggage charges that would have been the pride of a mafia shaking down some unfortunate business. Also, they started to cancel flights at short notice, at a rate that everyone who used the airport on a regular basis couldn't fail to notice. The damage was done.
Flybe squandered a 24 carat opportunity to exploit their monopoly to the benefit of their business, and customers alike. Many regular customers at Ronaldsway understand that there is a premium to be paid for flying on and off the island. But Flybe's corporate attitude was, "if you don't like it, tough, you have nowhere else to go". Having flown with Flybe on many occasions with respect to my business I am in a position to be of the view that flybe's approach to their customers is one of disdain, and contempt. Only a lunatic would predict future developments in the air travel business. If Flybe, eventually succumb to the intense competition they are experienceing from EasyJet on The Isle of Man then they only have themselves to blame.
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