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Southend-2

Old 5th Jun 2019, 09:25
  #3121 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Essex
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I know the link to this thread is tenuous, but I wonder when the last time so many aircraft passed through Southend's airspace.

https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/176...ass-over-pier/

I suspect those who love aviation will have their eyes to the sky this afternoon, wishing they could be up there.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 10:38
  #3122 (permalink)  
 
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According to the SEN website there's crew training this afternoon too. Going to be pretty busy with all this in addition to the scheduled flights.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 11:47
  #3123 (permalink)  
 
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I hate reading personal nightmare stories like this which does Southend no favours. The day in question was in March but the review appeared on-line in May. I think March 6th pre-dates Ryanair which makes it even worse.

https://www.airlinequality.com/airpo...thend-airport/

"horrific place and service"

S Carten (United Kingdom) 20th May 2019

Trip Verified Avoid like plague. Their lack of management caused lots of people to miss their flights on the 6th March 2019. Luggage checked in and accepted about 1h before departure (after a long queue). Joined another terrible queue for passport control, where no staff or managers were present to check or help those with immediate flights. Fast lane was opened next to this queue, empty, with member of staff onlooking and not having the initiative to ask for help. We approached a member of staff to ask if we should be moved through fast lane, as flight was soon departing: reply was all will be OK, no worries, they will wait for you! Zero announcements in the airport, no warnings whatsoever.

At passport control, an alert for imminent flight departure flashed on screen. To no avail, same result, another member of staff just asked us to wait in queue at security. After security check (the third queue) was eventually passed, we arrived at the gate, only to be told by a junior manager that we are now denied boarding and that the pilot decided to unload luggages for all those caught in their queue. 20-30 people affected. We were all made to wait 45 min to get luggages back (plane was late to do this, instead accepting people arriving there because of the ground staff inability to do their jobs properly). A couple of hours extra followed, to get explanations and pathetic excuses. No alternative flights offered, the only junior manager present totally overwhelmed by the situation (video available).

I will never set foot in this place again and ask you to consider very careful when choosing this airport. Their complaints service even asked people to use their insurance to get money back (have it in writing), no apology or accepting any fault on their part even if they caused a few holidays cancelled etc. (heard a couple next to us who missed their connection to Dubai and the entire holiday). Absolutely horrific place and service, stay away, just choose a proper airport.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 12:06
  #3124 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: southend on sea
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Every single review site I have been on will
have reviews written like this about products I have not had any issues with. Perhaps for fairness you would like to also quote the Miriad of good reviews against the bad ones to present a balanced view ?

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Old 5th Jun 2019, 13:12
  #3125 (permalink)  
 
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Skytrax certainly seems to attract a very large number of poor reviews for some reason. I see that LTN averages 2/10 from all reviews, STN 2/10, LCY 4/10, LGW 4/10, LHR 4/10 and surprise, surprise SEN 6/10. I suggest PiiR's keeps well away from those other airports' reviews as he hates reading them so much.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 14:11
  #3126 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Expressflight View Post
Skytrax certainly seems to attract a very large number of poor reviews for some reason. I see that LTN averages 2/10 from all reviews, STN 2/10, LCY 4/10, LGW 4/10, LHR 4/10 and surprise, surprise SEN 6/10. I suggest PiiR's keeps well away from those other airports' reviews as he hates reading them so much.
Good idea, best not to mention Southend's downward trend and to ignore passengers complaints as irrelevant. Sounds like management speak to me. People here were quick to raise their glasses to reports about how good the customer experience was at Southend but don't like the cold facts that it is all starting to go wrong.

Last edited by Pain in the R's; 5th Jun 2019 at 14:26.
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 14:35
  #3127 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Pain in the R's View Post
I hate reading personal nightmare stories like this which does Southend no favours.B]
Really, Mr R's #Pinocchio
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 17:08
  #3128 (permalink)  
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It's certainly depressing to read some of the reviews recently. The advent of Ryanair seemed to catch the airport by surprise! Since then any delays seem to be due to ATC strikes or aircraft tech issues causing congestion. It appears to be improving now, but should not have occurred in the first place. It does undermine one of SEN's claimed USPs, but I guess rapid growth was never going to be straightforward for a small operation like SEN. Maybe the complainant quoted by PitRs should have said that SEN now has all the issues of a proper airport....?
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Old 5th Jun 2019, 21:40
  #3129 (permalink)  
 
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People rarely write good reviews. Any review site will be massively skewed towards whining. Don’t get me wrong it seems these people have valid complaints. But it’s hard to get a true reflection of what percentage these make up at any airport
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 06:57
  #3130 (permalink)  
 
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The guy complained about the long check-in queue, which can happen at any airport but he claims to have joined another long queue to check his boarding pass 1 hour before departure. He then hit another queue to pass through security. Every time he mentioned his concerns to staff he is told him to carry on waiting in the queues as they offer no help. Now we are not talking about a Heathrow sized terminal at SEN so once passed security he would have been seconds from the gate yet up to 30 passengers also missed the same flight. All this in March before even Ryanair had launched. We will never know how many flight were departing around his flight time but it won’t be more than 3 I would have thought.

Stobart controlled the entire process from providing the check-in staff, to checking the boarding cards, then providing the security staff and even the gate personal so they cannot blame anyone else. It sounds like the airport is run on a shoe string with next to no staff yet Stobart spends millions on infrastructure projects. This is an easy fix to let’s hope the airport gets its act together real soon and gets ahead of the curve as the airport should have no issues handling its present passenger levels.

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Old 6th Jun 2019, 07:23
  #3131 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LTNman View Post
letís hope the airport gets its act together real soon and gets ahead of the curve as the airport should have no issues handling its present passenger levels.
It would be interesting to know if perhaps they already have. I haven't heard/seen any complaints recently, although that doesn't necessarily mean everything is OK now of course.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 11:30
  #3132 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
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The management at SEN have come up with a solution to alleviate the tension caused by the queues. Ruuby Beauty, a pop-up parlour, has opened just after security. Relaxing massage is available, along with a range of beauty treatments.

Any passengers wishing to indulge and shake off their stress before boarding are advised to arrive at the airport at least 3.5 hours before departure.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 11:47
  #3133 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Tagron View Post
The NOTAM certainly does not say that the FBO will be shut or in any other way restricted, only that prior notification is requested.
They wouldn't bother to put the NOTAM out there unless they have decided not to be open 24/7. Put it this way - will someone be in the FBO at 2200hrs if there are no pre-booked movements and a business jet diverts to SEN unannounced? The answer is no because they will likely be closed. And the NOTAM does suggest other restrictions - i.e. no oxygen service available at the FBO and this has to be arranged with a local operator.

I see it's not just Tagron that is miffed with my post - the Southend spotters facebook page suggests I posted out of a love for STN and LTN and a dislike for SEN!!!

Back to my original question - is the FBO closing overnight (when there are no pre-booked movements) because of a lack of business? Or is there another reason? Lack of qualified staff perhaps? I'm just curious and if nobody here knows the answer, then fine.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 12:23
  #3134 (permalink)  
 
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asdf1234

I'll try to satisfy your curiosity.

For the past few days the FBO has received at least three bizjets outside of 18:30 to 06:30 each day and probably others I'm unaware of, plus numerous departures. I think it's safe to say that things will go much the same way as they did in the period June to September last year, with the LTN and STN situations seemingly being very similar this year. So, no the FBO is not closing overnight and the NOTAM didn't say that it was - hence the comments elsewhere that you've noticed. I read the NOTAM as being issued so that Stobart can determine the level of demand each day in order to staff the facility accordingly.
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 13:29
  #3135 (permalink)  
 
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As usual, a sensible reply from Expressflight!
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 13:29
  #3136 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by asdf1234 View Post
Pretty awful results again and more assets sold to support the investment in the airport(s). Now that the Eddie Stobart shares have been mortgaged there is little left to support any further investment after the payment of dividends is catered for. Dividend payments are down 50%. Share price has been on the slide since the pre-close statement in March where the future dividend was cut again to 6p per annum (it was 18p in 2018, cut to 9p in 2019 all of which was funded by asset sales).

Share price movement today is the accumulation of trades coming through in the closed period - essentially bets. For a better picture look at the share price on Friday, one week after last Friday when shares closed at 107p, down from 225p one year ago.

How can the existing infrastructure support 5m pax let alone the target of 10m pax? Security and terminal is struggling with the new pax for the Ryanair flights. The airport will need remote stands on the North side and possible a remote terminal on the North side too. A parallel taxiway would also be required to support peak time aircraft movements. These can all be achieved at a price but what about car parking? The estate is not large enough to create additional parking unless a multi-storey facility can be included without impinging on the runway clearances and the radar coverage.

Exciting times ahead if Stobart can finish the infrastructure improvements before the cash runs out. Given the burn rate to date I can see the cash running out first.
Shares closed at 102p yesterday, he lowest price since May 2016, and 1 week after the results were announced I think this is a good reflection of how poor those results were. Let's hope the FBO and its "24 hour operations" can help drag those results up!
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 16:18
  #3137 (permalink)  
 
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I am beginning to wonder if the new infrastructure at Southend in the last 10 years will end up a bit like the Channel Tunnel - namely the investors who put up all the money for the building works (eg new terminal) end up getting financially wiped out due to revenues in the early years not being enough in relation to the cost of all the building works. If Stobart were to declare bankruptcy, the airport would presumably go up for auction sale - with the purchase price likely being well below the cost of all the building works. Eventually of course demand will be strong and the airport profitable - but someone other than Stobart might end up as overall benefactor
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 17:25
  #3138 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Highly likely. Well 1 pound a share likely. Though to be fair they did pay a fat dividend for the last couple of years. Take that in cash rather than reinvest in shares then it’s not as bad ..
i concur that a firm buys the airport. Wether the shareholders get the juice remains to be seen
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Old 6th Jun 2019, 23:55
  #3139 (permalink)  
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What is the situation re. the Warners Bridge retail park? Is it owned by Stobart, or the Council, or somebody else.......? It could be useful additional car parking space....
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Old 7th Jun 2019, 08:09
  #3140 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Barling Magna View Post
What is the situation re. the Warners Bridge retail park? Is it owned by Stobart, or the Council, or somebody else.......? It could be useful additional car parking space....
As far as I can remember SBC sold the retail park (well before Stobart came onto the scene) in order to provide a fund that was ring-fenced for airport capital expenditure. At that time SBC owned and ran the airport and later British Airports International(?) took on the running of the airport. I don't know if that was just a management contract or some form of Lease was negotiated. No doubt someone with more comprehensive information - or just a better memory - will contribute.
For some time there has been talk of the retail park relocating to the new commercial/industrial park being built on the Northern boundary of SEN.
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