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ANGLESEY

Old 9th Oct 2012, 23:59
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ANGLESEY

Flew out of Angelesey / Valley to Cardiff on a 19-seater. The route is served 2x daily in each direction, Monday - Friday - so 10 arriving and 10 departing flights each week. As far as I'm aware, no other commercial passenger flights.

9 passengers in total on my flight including me. At security, seemed like more people doing the screening than passengers scrutinising everything extra carefully, with virtually every passenger being selected for an extra random check - far more thorough than I see normally at places like Gatwick which is presumably higher risk.

Is this reason for the high level of screening just because the people who work there are bored during the day and in want of something to do, or is there some other reason ? As far as I can tell passengers arriving from Anglesey who wish to fly onto somewhere else have to go through security again at Cardiff, so the chances of inserting something malicious into the aviation system seems pretty low.

Also somewhat puzzled as to why the Welsh Assembly continues to pay such a large subsidy for a route to a very rural area whose only main town owes its commercial existence to ferries to the Dublin area. Further, Dublin has flights direct to Cardiff anyway. I thought the subsidy at Dundee airport for wealthy golfers flying to/from St Andrews was bonkers, but based on CAA stats, the subsidy at Anglesey works out at something like 150 (yes, pounds) or a lot more in quiet months, to fly one passenger in one direction, while the maximum fare charged (excluding baggage) by Manx2 to the passenger is 60 - and nobody on the flight seemed to be collecting large bags on arrival in Cardiff.

Even from Bangor right next to Anglesey, to get to RAF Valley by public transport seems to mean a train that runs hourly, taking 45 min to Holyhead followed by a 35 min bus, or a 35 min train ride that runs every 2 hours followed by a 45 minute walk. Oh, and Manx2 insist that all passengers must be at the airport 30 mins in advance even if they have already checked in online and printed off a boarding pass or they face being bumped. Travel from somewhere like Llandudno, Conwy or Caernarfon which get a sizeable number of tourists and it takes longer to reach Angelsey airport.

Having said all that, the actual operation of the flight by the 2 German pilots in the German registered aircraft was excellent and I cannot criticise it at all.

Seems nothing more than a vote winning scheme to bring Govt pork to a small bit of Wales and make work for people who have nothing better to do with their time.

Comments anyone ?

Last edited by davidjohnson6; 10th Oct 2012 at 00:32.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 00:33
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6 View Post
F
Even from somewhere like Bangor, to get to RAF Valley by public transport seems to mean a 45 min train to Holyhead followed by a 35 min bus, or a 35 min train followed by a 45 minute walk. Oh, and Manx2 insist that all passengers must be at the airport 30 mins in advance even if they have already checked in online and printed off a boarding pass.

Comments anyone ?
Once you're on the mainland, Bangor, or any of the other 'major' coastal towns, then you might as well head east on the A55/M56 to Manchester Airport, barely 90 minutes away by car.

As far as security goes then it often seems the case that the smaller locations appear to have security staff numbers that exceed passengers, try the Scottish highland and island airports.

Can sort of understand subsidy money in the Scottish islands but can't on this route in Wales. Certainly Cardiff to Valley by road is a hike, no motorways to help, but what draws anyone to the route, as OP says Valley is hardly at the centre of anything. There has been the odd very rare occasion for the flight to divert from Valley to Caernarfon, I can see slightly more value to that, Caernarfon is right on the doorstep of Snowdonia.

Don't want to overlap with other threads but certainly CWL needs every pax it can get (thinking about yesterdays story about loss of over 300,000 in past year). But surely the subsidy money which is applied to the Valley route could be used to better effect attracting more business into CWL from more significant destinations. As for Valley I really can't see the value in having that facility, sorry no disrespect to anyone local to their.

I spend a great deal of leisure time in North Wales, staying in Caernarfon most weekends through the summer, and intending to move to the area in the next 3-4 years. In fact having been a regular visitor to that part of the world for over 35 years I feel I know it well. I work in regional airport operations around the UK, however I find it difficult to see a great deal of value in a commercial (?) service into Valley.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 12:32
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I think you'll find the reason for the apparently heavier security scrutiny is because they have targets to meet for e.g. numbers of shoes taken off, numbers of mobile phones "sniffed" etc. When there are only very few flights, more of the pax are subject to these 'random' extra checks.

Caernarfon would require significant upgrade to support commercial air transport. It has no instrument approaches and RFF only Cat 1.

NS
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 12:58
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(Caernarfon would require significant upgrade to support commercial air transport. It has no instrument approaches and RFF only Cat 1)

So, just as an example, Barra in Scotland has instrument approaches etc. etc. etc. to support commercial air transport?

The reason Valley has been designated as a, allbeit 'shack', commercial airport with millions being wasted supporting a joke of an air link is solely because a particular politician, who needs to attend office in Cardiff, resides in Holyhead.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 13:04
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Well it doesn't seem as if this route is going to stop as First Minister Carwyn Jones wishes to see growth at Anglesey Airport.

Apart from the Manx2.com 2 x daily (Monday-Friday) service the only other service is the Manx2.com Isle of Man service operating Summer only if it's to return for Summer 2013.

Click to view article
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 13:53
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Expanding Anglesey

There is no reason not to expand the airports capabilites for more commercial flights. A double daily connection to London and Dublin would be of great benefit to the region. LCY would be the obvious choice for the London connection. Business and tourism would benefit greatly. With train and road links to London and the South East being very poor, air would be the only way. If it works for the likes of Inverness and Derry then why not the north west of Wales. It is in the WAG's interest to develop the norht too.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 15:30
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Apologies - forgot about the summer seasonal route to the Isle of Man

For the Angelesy - IoM route, CAA passenger statistics in 2012 are:
May - 20 passengers (seasonal route probably starts in May)
Jun - 121 passengers
Jul - 85 passengers
Aug - 67 passengers

As usual, a single person making a round trip counts as 2 passengers. The stats imply on average 21 passengers per week flew this route.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 16:53
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I believe in 2012 it was reduced to 2 x weekly therefore a maximum capacity of 38 seats per week.

With very little marketing passenger numbers exceeded 50% of the capacity according to the stats provided by 'davidjohnson6'

The question is however could this route be viable all year round especially if it was linked with Belfast City offering a transit facility as when the route was first launched for Summer 2011?

The main issues that impact Anglesey Airport is the opening times of the airfield which doesn't assist with business friendly schedules especially on a friday when the airfield closes an hour earlier and on weekends when it's closed alltogether.

The landing fees at airport with runway capacity restraints are charged at a rate that attempts to put off the smaller aircraft to try and encourage larger aircraft to be used.

Who would base an aircraft at Anglesey as it is a proper niche market that have the correct aircraft size? Off the top of my head I can only really think of Eastern Airways or British Midland (Take 2) as Manx2 tend to only use 19 seater aircraft to avoid paying Air Passeneger Duty. They could however operate a route or two out of Anglesey.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 17:03
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mathers - if the route was flown 2x per week on the same 19-seater, that means 38 seats in each direction, or a total capacity for 76 passengers.
Sorry to disappoint, but 21 divided by 76 implies a load factor of 27.6 %
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 20:08
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Phileas:
So, just as an example, Barra in Scotland has instrument approaches etc. etc. etc. to support commercial air transport?
Yes it does, just as Tiree, Islay and Campbeltown do - but you won't find them in the AIP because they're approved for Loganair use only. And all of those have RFF Cat 3 or 4.

You couldn't operate a service from Cardiff to Caernarfon or Valley VFR because much of the time you'd have to route round the coast via Fishguard and dodging the missiles in Cardigan Bay and the Hawks out of Valley. The only commercial routes that do operate VFR are short routes across the sea like Orkney and Shetland inter-island.

NS
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 22:26
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The other difference between Holyhead and Scottish islands is that there is a frequent, if slow, train service between there and Cardiff, maybe requiring a change at Chester and/or Crewe. Though there are, I've heard, twice daily (relatively) express trains paid for by the Welsh government, though I may be wrong.
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Old 10th Oct 2012, 22:57
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ANGLESEY

Didn't it have flights to the Isle of Man ?
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 01:07
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Sorry David I totally misread the stats you provided.

27.6% isn't the best figure however with no advertising is it really a suprise. Of course a more frequent all year round service should be popular enough especially if it operated to Belfast City via Isle of Man as in 2011.

The figures in 2011 were better as the Welsh Operations Director at the time encouraged tour operators to offer packages ot the Isle of Man. I'm not sure if this was the case for 2012.
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 01:12
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No operator, in their right mind, would base an aircraft at Valley with it's social hours only opening times and other restrictions.

It would be, quite literally, Monday to Friday dayliight only operations, incur a delay and end up diverting to somewhere like LPL, aircraft and crew out of position for the next morning thus another day of delayed operations.

Then, to make such an operation viable, strip the seats out and operate night freight ... except that one can't because the airfield is closed.

Only way any operator could make it pay would be to charge premium fares or, via WAG, be heavily subsidised by the British taxpayers.
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 09:59
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You would indeed have to be slightly mad to try to fly a selection of routes out of Anglesey using aircraft with more than 19 seats (especially the BMIR suggestion). I'm afraid I can't specify what quantities of night freight might get flown out of Valley but I fear they wouldn't be very large.
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Old 11th Oct 2012, 10:52
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Aero Mad,

One wouldn't get any night freight in/out of Valley because the bl00dy place is closed.

Courier traffic could be a possibility, produce and other stuff to/from IOM and/or NI,wouldn't necessarily have to be in/out of Valley, could position the aircraft to/from somewhere like LPL to fly freight or whatever from/to there ... except that the aircraft is locked-in at a closed Valley airfield and won't be moving anywhere until sometime around breakfast time the next morning or the next Monday morning (public holidays permitting)!
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 08:24
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Just seen this advert on the front of Citywing's site:

Cardiff to Anglesey
Flights available, operated by North Flying.
Available until 13th February.

What happens after 13th February?
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Old 3rd Feb 2016, 11:23
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Could it be that it has gone out to tender and that a decision is due imminently. It seems like the only logical reason at present.
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Old 26th Jun 2016, 22:10
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Seen reports that Anglesey airport / RAF Valley is to be closed for August 2016 for runway resurfacing with commercial flights diverting to RAF Mona instead.
Anyone know specific dates on this ?
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Old 7th Jul 2016, 14:00
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I will be flying from CWL into RAF Mona in August as RAF Valley is closed. Citywings will provide a transfer coach from RAF Mona to RAF Valley. However, both Citywings and Anglesey Airport are unable to let me know what onward transportation from anglesey Airport will be available. The X4 bus is timed to connect with the flights at Anglesey Airport, but because of the additional time required for the transfer from Mona, it will most likely depart before passengers from the incoming flight have actually arrived.

Looking at the bus timetable, there appears to be a bus stop somewhere near RAF Valley ("Maes Awyr y Fali/RAF") that is served more frequently than the airport bus stop - is that within easy walking distance?
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