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MANCHESTER - 9

Old 15th Feb 2014, 08:45
  #2221 (permalink)  
 
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Location: Manchester
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Yes I know that and stated in my earlier post, but we agreed to accept it , how if there were no stands ??
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 08:52
  #2222 (permalink)  
 
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Bagso.

If they have a lower gearing % -Mean that MAG carrying a smaller debt to investment ratio.

Means as an investor MAG are a lower risk than HAL at this time.

What doesn't mean through is your return on said investment will be greater.

Pension funds will like this gearing level in their portfolio for mid term money- hence over subscribed.

Money raised may go infrastructure and pay down of those Australians fees .

We are likely to see more of these bonds in years to come.

MAG Group will be run of debt from now on.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 08:56
  #2223 (permalink)  
 
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Well, it does appear to be a bit of a mess. The high winds were well forecast in advance down south for the evening. So, firstly MAN should have made some contingency planning (maybe they did).
However, the theme is a definite lack of continuity. First no stands, then yes/no/yes/no decisions. Then no handling , then no fuel.
The airport used to have a diversion control co-ordinator that brought all the agencies together in such situations.Many aircraft diverted to outside the UK last night (SN, QR, CX, AA & many more) despite asking to come to MAN.
Unfortunately, we only ever hear rumours or snipets from staff & never an official airport statement on their policies. So, although we turned so many aircraft away, there may have been very good valid reasons, but we are never going to hear it.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 09:20
  #2224 (permalink)  
 
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Many thanks Lord Basil, I doubt Manchester will see much of it !

Re Divgate

Manchester is a 20+ million airport with 170,000 transport movements - not a tinpot shed and strip of concrete


Largest airport outside London ?
3rd Largest in UK ?
One of largest in Europe ?

...hmmm you might be forgiven for thinking we live near !

" Warmington - On- Sea International "

(I commend the audience to Dads Army)
.

My God much as I am evangelical about Manchester, beneath the veneer it does a damn good job of giving the impression it's a tuppence ha'penny operation at times !

In days gone by we had "Professional Managers" who like me were passionate about the place with a "can do" attitude, they had a genuine interest, that said they had the tools be that staff Or tarmac to do the job !

I cannot help thinking that now we have some people in the top jobs who do not share that passion and cannot or are not allowed via restrictions to make things happen. Sadly it's just another job.

Maybe hands are tied , if you have no resource and everything is run on a shoestring what can you expect ?

BUT there must be an overriding caveat here. Regardless of anything there should be one all abiding rule governed by safety if you need to land ...."er you need to land" and yet if what is being reported is true the left hand does know appear to what the right hand is doing with nobody in overall charge !

We have aircraft with crew who may have been on duty up to 16 hours, who have already made what might be considered a fairly stressful approach in hazardous conditions BUT we then send then on a further excursion !
You could not make this up ......!

As has been said why on earth is there no plan, bring in standby staff, double parking. There seems to be a total poverty of creativity and effort !

Regardless of operational issues which might follow we seem to be taking belligerence and excuses to a new level and totally missing the bigger picture, safety !

I think they are very fortunate that thus far no aircraft turned away has found itself in further difficulty !

Those of an inquisitive bent can of course contact them by Twitter, as comments are made in the public domain it might sting somebody into embarrassment and a response !

You will find them at hashtag manairport or maybe should that be #DadsArmy

Last edited by Bagso; 15th Feb 2014 at 09:31.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 09:39
  #2225 (permalink)  
 
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The main problem at MAN is the lack of parking especially over winter with so many stored aircraft not being used or those waiting for maintainance/air livery.
PK709 was also delayed till 23:15 so that was 1 widebody space that needed to remain clear till that arrived.

In total, 12 diverts and 2 widebody. I think the problem last night was the lack of any clear information as to whether MAN could or could not accept diverts. It should have been set out before the first series of diversions as to how many MAN could accept to avoid the problems with CX38 and AA142.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 09:58
  #2226 (permalink)  
 
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"I think the problem last night was the lack of any clear information as to whether MAN could or could not accept diverts"Exactly. Clearly the handling agents are never going to get their act together, they are all far too busy cutting each others throats and wringing the last penny of cost savings out of their staff. This is where MAG management needs to "grow a pair", step in, show some leadership and start banging a few heads together to come up with a properly coordinated airport. Just how hard can it really be for the UK's third largest airport and supposed gateway to the North to have a parking bay, handling staff, and a refueller available at roughly the same time !! If the airport's weekly "newsletter" is anything to go by all they are really interested in is car parking. In which case, they may as well just turn over all the airport tarmac to car parking and start bussing the passengers to LPL, LBA and BHX. Just think of all the money they could save by not having to bother with servicing all those pesky airlines and aeroplanes !!
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 10:20
  #2227 (permalink)  
 
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In fairness it's not all about the airport, if an airline such as Cathay Pacific chooses to operate into 1 UK airport there's an onus and responsibility on them to have a resiliance plan should they be unable to land at LHR. From all the stories we hear everytime there's an issue at LHR it appears to me that the pilot ends up flying around the UK asking for somewhere to land, they should have a pre-determined plan and agreement with an airport and a handling agent at said airport for such an occourance. Not picking on Cathay by the way just using them as an example.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 10:57
  #2228 (permalink)  
 
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Rutankard - a couple of points on your post.

As I suspected, the proceeds from the bond issue are being used to replace existing short-term debt.

As regards "those Australians' fees", just to be clear IFM will not be getting paid any fees as such. They are straightforward shareholders in MAG, on a similar basis to each of the local councils, and they will get identical dividends as other shareholders (pro rata to their shareholding of course). No special treatment for the Aussies!

You are right in saying that MAG will be run with debt. But that is normal. All infrastructure businesses seek to maximise debt (within reason), as it reduces the cash demands on shareholders and boosts their return on equity (that's why it's called gearing). Now that MAG has a presence in the bond market it can issue further bonds in the future to meet its capital needs for further investment etc.

There is of course a limit to how much debt any business can sustain without becoming too vulnerable to unexpected events such as a traffic downturn. The press articles note that MAG's gearing is lower than Heathrow's. This is to be expected, as Heathrow's traffic is much more robust in relation to the economic cycle etc. It is also subject to economic regulation, which essentially guarantees investors an adequate return on capital, in the long term at least. So you would always expect Heathrow to have higher borrowings (as a multiple of its profits) than other airports.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:03
  #2229 (permalink)  
 
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Yes I thought airlines had diversion contracts in place just to cover the OMG where are we going to land situation, when the weather is going to be bad it is in general known for a couple of days in advance, should the airlines not be contacting their supplier and saying we may need your help will you be in a position to help?

Ian
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:09
  #2230 (permalink)  
 
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Glad to see the armchair experts are out in force How many of you have operational experience at an airport? (this doesn't apply to those of you in the pointy end who can't understand why there isn't a tug available to sit under the aircraft for a 3 hour slot delay )

MAN accepted a number of diverts last night, and the ones turned away were for legitimate reasons.

Lack of stand space: Stand space is always at a premium for wide bodied aircraft at MAN, regardless of the season or time of day! Off the top of my head, the only stands available for a 77W for example are 12, 31, 204, 206, 80 (taxiway papa) and 85 (ish).

12 - Usually two Easyjets night stopping here
31 - Lufty or TCX nightstopper
204 - MON/TOM nightstopper
206 - MON/TOM nightstopper
80 - Usually available, but not ideal to put an aircraft on for obvious reasons
85 - Possibly available, but this morning I noticed a few BA A319 diverts on there

So, where exactly do you dump the 77W that appears when you physically have no space for it? Dump it on runway two? Excellent idea, until you think of the logistics involved getting pax, bags, crew, catering, cleaning etc over to runway two and back (and you can't fuel over there). Not to mention the fact there's no flood lighting available, it's hard to manoeuvre expensive equipment around a big metal shiny thing in the pitch black.

Staff: The airport is run on skeleton staff at the best of time, and this covers most departments. At 2200 on a Friday night, where do you suddenly find the required staff for such an influx of flights? Again, it's a logistical nightmare when you get a divert and a lot of communication is needed. How is one person in a handling agents ops department supposed to co-ordinate that when they've got no staff themselves?

'Get more staff,' you scream. Great idea Until the cost of them extra staff get bunged onto your ticket and you won't fly any more because it's too expensive

Fuel: I stand to be corrected, but I wasn't aware of any fuel restrictions at MAN last night? The airport is supplied direct from the refinery as far as I know, so not sure how MAN can become short on fuel unless the pipe line is off? I think it's more plausible that there were no fuelling staff available for 'splash n dash' diverts (there's no night fuellers at MAN).

HOTAC: Where do you place all these diverted pax? Hotels were full in Manchester last night after the last divert appeared, which subsequently means you've got an aircraft stuck in an airport it shouldn't be at for a longer period of time because you're messing around ferry pax to/from the airport to hotels further afield.

And as for those of you who think the airport turning away a divert will affect the possibility of them starting up scheduled routes

MAN isn't perfect, far from it, but it isn't the worst out there, not even close. A number of other airports turned away diverts last night, they just don't get reported as other airports don't have the spotter base that MAN does.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:21
  #2231 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks Basil no problem and understood on the IFM stake as a simple shareholding

Personally have no problem with gearing and bond issues - Hey it could be a very strong method of funding - Just hope some comes to Manchester

Hammers

Airlines do have contingencies up to and including formal and signed diversion contracts for these events- Thats the continued issue with Cathay in particular - not only are they an existing customer - Right now the major all freight operator , but the airport development team are working their guts off to secure passenger flights recommence.
Then the handlers renege/decline to take a divert under to existing diversion contracts.
THIS IS NOT GOOD.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:29
  #2232 (permalink)  
 
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Diversion contracts are usually a 'we will handle you as and when we can' type thing, they don't state a specific time frame or man power levels that an ordinary contract would state.

While handling agents have a say in whether they get a divert or not, they can't turn it away by themselves. Usually they persuade the airlines ops, or airport authority to turn the flight away but if they insist on coming there's little you can do to stop them.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:36
  #2233 (permalink)  
 
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750xl Thanks I just posted a very similar post on another forum saying virtually the same as you.
I used to work in the travel industry so am well aware of trying to get hotels and coaches and what a nightmare it can be and very labour intensive which is just what the handing agents have not got and no one will at 23.00 in evening

Ian
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:38
  #2234 (permalink)  
 
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750XL

You bloody cope and are flexible - bit if lateral thinking - there isn't any these days.

Don't dispute the staffing levels that why is pointed said managers are at fault.

As for the J2 formation team perhaps these should be double parked as a matter of cause reducing space during the winter M-F - OR better still use price to encourage them to be taken elsewhere LBA or EMA for parking,

EMA has two rather large aprons where you could park a dozen J2 planes !

As for legitimate reason - Maybe so however these should still be open to criticism not the least by the operators and handlers themselves- Again complacency seems to rule, and declaring a 7700 is no way to be managing these events period !
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:39
  #2235 (permalink)  
 
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Ringwayman,

Re TAP it went to BHX. That airport handled 21 diversions yesterday including an Oman Air 330 from LHR.

However BHX had to close for runway extension/resurfacing at 23.15 that put many more off who feared being trapped so had to go elsewhere. The night closures go into late April.

Im shocked that MAN has slid from an airport able to take many wide bodied diversions (they even used to have a diversion desk) to refusing so many.

More stands to be shut for var parking next year too I believe..crazy.

MAN loss was STN gain who took a shed full.

Nigel
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:47
  #2236 (permalink)  
 
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750XL

'Get more staff,' you scream. Great idea Until the cost of them extra staff get bunged onto your ticket and you won't fly any more because it's too expensive
But that IS the reality ticket prices (excluding taxes) ARE at an unsustainably low level and frankly the industry need to address this - Many are as real prices are rising anyway.

I would sooner see a decline in real numbers travelling and a healthy industry than many million making excessive trips and no one making money !
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:51
  #2237 (permalink)  
 
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handling agents have a say in whether they get a divert or not, they can't turn it away by themselves. Usually they persuade the airlines ops, or airport authority to turn the flight away but if they insist on coming there's little you can do to stop them.
Semantic B*** plop.and leads to the unacceptable 7700 declarations.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:57
  #2238 (permalink)  
 
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As for the J2 formation team perhaps these should be double parked as a matter of cause reducing space during the winter M-F - OR better still use price to encourage them to be taken elsewhere LBA or EMA for parking,
So you throw away revenue from parked aircraft to rival airports/companies just in case you get a dozen diverts one February night I'd be interested to see how much revenue the parked Jet2's bring to the airport, compared to a single night of diverts.

Also, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the Jet2 aircraft are permanently stored at MAN for the winter? They still operate flights, just at far less frequent rate than in the summer.

Should the airport also price Fedex out of the airport with their two based aircraft as these two stands could potentially be used for diverts on a Saturday night?

The airport is a business, not a charity. If they can make more money using apron space for car parking than keeping that space vacant for the off chance we get a few diverts then why not?
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 11:57
  #2239 (permalink)  
 
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750XL
OK I'll bite. (BTW 37 years airport experience)
Firstly, there was at least 12 hours notice that diverts were possible.
Secondly, you mention narrowbodies night stopping on wide bodied stands- so with the known potential, there was 12 hours to plan alternative parking.
Thirdly, it's the inconsistancy. CX - sorry no stands, then when established on a divert elsewhere told they could come---but too late. American told no no stands & ends up at Dublin, but then half hour later American 767 accepted & stand found.
I've no doubt the entire problem is the shoe string staffing situation, with zero contingency. To be fair, why would a hard pressed shoe string run office, running stretched on normal ops put themselves out for diversions?.
30 years ago MAN had a can do attitude run by passionate airport people. Sadly it's now just a business run by accountants.
I have nothing but admiration for the shop floor people who work there these days under such poor conditions.
I'm not sure what the answer is, but MAN certainly at times, portrays itself as less than world class. However, it's not just MAN, even the biggies like Frankfurt have provided me with some memorable dreadful experiences.
Surely we have now reached the bottom of aircraft handling costs?
MAN used to have a diversion cell in the winter, operated by the airport authority- with different levels of alert. Diversions possible, Diversions imminant etc, they co-ordinated Apron control, agents, airlines, refuelers etc & maximised resources.

Last edited by Mr A Tis; 15th Feb 2014 at 12:08.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 12:07
  #2240 (permalink)  
 
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Firstly, there was at least 12 hours notice that diverts were possible
Granted, but a business can't/won't bring in staff just on the off chance there are diverts. Management will look for answers when thousands of pounds is wasted on staff sitting around doing bugger all.

Secondly, you mention narrowbodies night stopping on wide bodied stands- so with the known potential, there was 12 hours to plan alternative parking.
I believe the two aircraft around 85 (ish) were diverts, so not sure where the alternative is for these two aircraft when the rest of the airport is full.

Thirdly, it's the inconsistancy. CX - sorry no stands, then when established on a divert elsewhere told they could come---but too late. American told no no stands & ends up at Dublin, but then half hour later American 767 accepted & stand found.
Can't comment specifically on that, but perhaps there were some departures, or tows onto contact stands which freed up space for the diverts?

I've no doubt the entire problem is the shoe string staffing situation, with zero contingency. To be fair, why would a hard pressed shoe string run office, running stretched on normal ops put themselves out for diversions?.
Hit the nail on the head there. When you're paid peanuts for an extremely difficult and highly responsible job, why would you then choose to give yourself more work? I can't blame the guys/gals who turn away diverts.

30 years ago MAN had a can do attitude run by passionate airport people. Sadly it's now just a business run by accountants.
I have nothing but admiration for the shop floor people who work there these days under such poor conditions.
Unfortunately the whole airport is penny pinching, service partners and other companies included. Contracts for new staff at the airport are almost laughable, it's practically slave labour

I'm not sure what the answer is, but MAN certainly at times, portrays itself as less than world class. However, it's not just MAN, even the biggies like Frankfurt have provided me with some memorable dreadful experiences.
As I said in an earlier post, MAN isn't the best but isn't the worst, there are a lot of airports in a similar state to MAN with airlines driving down handling costs to unacceptable levels.
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