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Cardiff-2

Old 14th May 2019, 13:13
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DOH up a little bit. Better than nothing! Still seems sluggish compared to other DOH routes. Maybe they need a change of tact- a bigger aircraft (therefore more discounts seats) and/or a change of frequency.
Maybe cargo doing well and not all about pax loads.
Took ages for EDI to show anything half decent.
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Old 14th May 2019, 14:33
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Originally Posted by GLOworm
Genuine question: why are the scales tipped in the larger airports' favour? You've mentioned this a few times. This implies there's some legal/regulatory/subsidy-drive action which is creating an uneven playing field and that Cardiff is somehow being treated unfairly. Aside from the choice of the market supported by circumstances such as population, economic activity or geographic location, I don't see that Cardiff is at a disadvantage ..... but maybe I've misunderstood your point.

I'm not against devolved powers btw, or indeed Wales setting its APD. But if this was the case, and given the WAG's taxpayer-funded subsidies, surely the scales are being tipped in Cardiff's favour?
The bigger airport has much lower costs, it has the economy of scale and if you look at Bristol in particular it sits in one of the wealthiest areas in the country and with the large Easyjet base is able to attract passengers from much more than it's local area which then drains passengers from other areas away from other airports and that is magnified with their monopoly on Easyjet for the area. An airport like Cardiff can't compete with that hence why the playing field in my opinion isn't level. It's tilted very much in the favour of the larger airport and always will be. Though up until the Flybe announcement i do think the airport has been doing a good job of recovering.

As for Welsh government ownership there isn't a large amount of subsidy from what i've been able to find out. Yes they struck a marketing deal with Qatar Airways but the West of England combined authority can do the same, obviously budgets are different but they can still do it and of course the UK government could've done it as well. The money for the e-gates was a grant because CWL was too small to get them free off UK border like bigger airports can. The other money comes in the form of a loan facility which is paid back at commercial rates and has to come from the WG as if they went to a bank the amount would be deducted from the block grant every year.
As for APD tipping the scales in CWLs favour it won't it'll just level things up a little bit but the scales will always be in the favour of larger airports like Bristol.
Just my opinion and i'm sure many on here will disagree.
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Old 14th May 2019, 16:38
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Originally Posted by PDXCWL45
The bigger airport has much lower costs, it has the economy of scale and if you look at Bristol in particular it sits in one of the wealthiest areas in the country and with the large Easyjet base is able to attract passengers from much more than it's local area which then drains passengers from other areas away from other airports and that is magnified with their monopoly on Easyjet for the area. An airport like Cardiff can't compete with that hence why the playing field in my opinion isn't level. It's tilted very much in the favour of the larger airport and always will be. Though up until the Flybe announcement i do think the airport has been doing a good job of recovering.

As for Welsh government ownership there isn't a large amount of subsidy from what i've been able to find out. Yes they struck a marketing deal with Qatar Airways but the West of England combined authority can do the same, obviously budgets are different but they can still do it and of course the UK government could've done it as well. The money for the e-gates was a grant because CWL was too small to get them free off UK border like bigger airports can. The other money comes in the form of a loan facility which is paid back at commercial rates and has to come from the WG as if they went to a bank the amount would be deducted from the block grant every year.
As for APD tipping the scales in CWLs favour it won't it'll just level things up a little bit but the scales will always be in the favour of larger airports like Bristol.
Just my opinion and i'm sure many on here will disagree.
Thanks for sharing.... I understand where you're coming from better now.

Personally, I don't think the scales are tipped in the larger airports' favour.... It's just that the market - for the reasons you've identified - has chosen the larger airports. I'm sure others will disagree with me too(!), but the only scale-tipping has been the intervention of the Welsh Government in the market.... be it APD, the Qatar marketing deal, grants for e-gates or the purchase of the airport itself for more than it's value. All of this because the airport is unable to compete (or offer the services the WG think it should) without State aid. So I kinda understand why Bristol might be grumbling.

Given the flyBE withdrawal, I'd argue that even WITH State aid it's sadly struggling. I'm also not sure the Welsh tax-payer is getting value for money. Particularly when the levels of support are so opaque!

Back in 1990 Cardiff was the 15th busiest airport in the UK and Bristol was.......14th. A difference of about 180K passengers per annum. How did Bristol go about transforming its fortunes relative to Cardiff? What were the opportunities it took and the challenges it addressed? How did it lure passengers over the Severn? How can Cardiff grab back market share? I don't think State Aid and an unequal regulatory/tax environment were a factor in Bristol's success and they aren't the answer for Cardiff now.

BTW I used to be one of the (few!) frequent flyers on the Air Wales LCY and more recently on flyBE. I'd love the airport to be doing better and for there to more services (esp LCY - I live in SE18)!
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Old 14th May 2019, 16:53
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Bristol built a shiney new terminal, and Easyjet (well actually GO Airlines first) came to play, with their promises of 'lo co' and paying the Severn Bridge toll for customers from Wales side. Oh and everything that was said up there is fair point.
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Old 14th May 2019, 18:47
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Originally Posted by GLOworm
Thanks for sharing.... I understand where you're coming from better now.

Personally, I don't think the scales are tipped in the larger airports' favour.... It's just that the market - for the reasons you've identified - has chosen the larger airports. I'm sure others will disagree with me too(!), but the only scale-tipping has been the intervention of the Welsh Government in the market.... be it APD, the Qatar marketing deal, grants for e-gates or the purchase of the airport itself for more than it's value. All of this because the airport is unable to compete (or offer the services the WG think it should) without State aid. So I kinda understand why Bristol might be grumbling.

Given the flyBE withdrawal, I'd argue that even WITH State aid it's sadly struggling. I'm also not sure the Welsh tax-payer is getting value for money. Particularly when the levels of support are so opaque!

Back in 1990 Cardiff was the 15th busiest airport in the UK and Bristol was.......14th. A difference of about 180K passengers per annum. How did Bristol go about transforming its fortunes relative to Cardiff? What were the opportunities it took and the challenges it addressed? How did it lure passengers over the Severn? How can Cardiff grab back market share? I don't think State Aid and an unequal regulatory/tax environment were a factor in Bristol's success and they aren't the answer for Cardiff now.

BTW I used to be one of the (few!) frequent flyers on the Air Wales LCY and more recently on flyBE. I'd love the airport to be doing better and for there to more services (esp LCY - I live in SE18)!
With the WG people say that they shouldn't have bought and that they are intervening and that they shouldn't but governments do that all over the world, Ireland is an example with its low APD, other countries have done deals with Ryanair to expand Ukraine i believe has done such a deal as has Jordan and Israel offers airlines money for inbound passengers, US airports often offer money for international routes through state subsidies.
The Welsh government is only doing it's job by trying to give Wales an effective national airport that acts as the countries entry point for the world (a mini version of EDI in essence imo) and to give it's citizens and non citizens the opportunity to connect to as much as the world as possible from their country and for tourists and business to find travelling to Wales as easy as possible and that brings me onto Flybe. The airport needs an airline that will provide the connections on a daily basis, a partner as such and that is what Bristol has with Easyjet, an airline dedicated and happy to expand at Bristol and that has been the basis of the airports success.
Unfortunately for CWL their best option was and may still be Flybe and we all know what has happended there.Flybe at the moment don't see CWL in their plans to continue to base it seems and they've had the opportunity to change to Q400s to make that base more profitable (which makes me question why they didn't), Easyjet though do see BRS as important in their plans and no doubt will continue to expand at BRS. If the airlines don't want to operate to Cardiff it can't force them unless like SEN it's owner owns an airline! Maybe the WG should do that next!
As for value for money that i think has to be judged over a longer period in what the airport will be like in 10, 15 to 20 years and will always vary person to person, for me it's value is providing me the ability to connect to the world to another person it's value is whether there is a cheap flight to Mallorca on Saturdays!
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Old 14th May 2019, 18:59
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If Flybe don’t sort out their CWL winter schedule soon would Loganair be a good fit for GLA & EDI ? Back to the BA Express EM4 days
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Old 14th May 2019, 19:30
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Originally Posted by Letsflycwl
If Flybe don’t sort out their CWL winter schedule soon would Loganair be a good fit for GLA & EDI ? Back to the BA Express EM4 days
I'd have thought if flybe doesn't return Edinburgh at least would be a route that they might consider.
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Old 14th May 2019, 20:06
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Especially as Loganair now have a significant fleet of EM3 and EM4 aircraft plus the S20 too.
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Old 15th May 2019, 12:50
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Originally Posted by PDXCWL45
With the WG people say that they shouldn't have bought and that they are intervening and that they shouldn't but governments do that all over the world, Ireland is an example with its low APD, other countries have done deals with Ryanair to expand Ukraine i believe has done such a deal as has Jordan and Israel offers airlines money for inbound passengers, US airports often offer money for international routes through state subsidies.
The Welsh government is only doing it's job by trying to give Wales an effective national airport that acts as the countries entry point for the world (a mini version of EDI in essence imo) and to give it's citizens and non citizens the opportunity to connect to as much as the world as possible from their country and for tourists and business to find travelling to Wales as easy as possible and that brings me onto Flybe. The airport needs an airline that will provide the connections on a daily basis, a partner as such and that is what Bristol has with Easyjet, an airline dedicated and happy to expand at Bristol and that has been the basis of the airports success.
Unfortunately for CWL their best option was and may still be Flybe and we all know what has happended there.Flybe at the moment don't see CWL in their plans to continue to base it seems and they've had the opportunity to change to Q400s to make that base more profitable (which makes me question why they didn't), Easyjet though do see BRS as important in their plans and no doubt will continue to expand at BRS. If the airlines don't want to operate to Cardiff it can't force them unless like SEN it's owner owns an airline! Maybe the WG should do that next!
As for value for money that i think has to be judged over a longer period in what the airport will be like in 10, 15 to 20 years and will always vary person to person, for me it's value is providing me the ability to connect to the world to another person it's value is whether there is a cheap flight to Mallorca on Saturdays!
Thanks for your considered response.

I agree that State intervention in the market is legitimate, especially when the market is unable to provide. However, the tone of some of the comments seems to be 'it's unfair that the ENGLISH airports even complain' whereas I think it's reasonable that they have concerns about State support putting them at a disadvantage. Objectively, the abolition of APD can only help the airport complete for routes against (mainly) Bristol. (Although I think the debate too often centres around there being a fixed pie which is divvied up between CWL and BRS, rather than looking at how demand in Wales might be stimulated - see all LoCo carriers for a lesson in creating demand where there was none!)

It is legitimate for the Welsh government to ensure that the airport supports its objectives around connectivity (with the investment and other financial and cultural benefits this brings). You rightly say value for money will always vary from person-to-person. But how can we establish value for money if we don't know (a) how much money is being put it and (b) what the objectives of the WG are?

The masterplan sets out how the airport will be developed (hotel, terminal, roads) but not the ultimate objectives of this development. What is the route network and connectivity the WG seeks, what are the actual, measurable benefits and how much is being put in to deliver this? When we get this info the Welsh tax-payer can decide. It just seems like its a black-hole at the moment.

What happens if in 20 years the Welsh Government has sunk in half a billion and the airport is still struggling to maintain multi-daily connections to key UK and European cities and a long-haul route to a major hub?

Maybe this information has been published.... please point me in the right direction if it has.
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Old 15th May 2019, 14:36
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Interesting article from Carwyn Jones the former First minister about the importance of Cardiff Airport to Wales.
https://businessnewswales.com/the-importance-of-cardiff-airport-to-the-welsh-economy/
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Old 16th May 2019, 08:02
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Also an interesting article in “Wales on line “ saying the airport has had its best year in 8 and claims to have made a profit. So far the airport has only spent £30m of the available £38m loan available. Airport now planning to spend £100m on new terminal which it needs if there are to be more than 2 m passengers ( previous best year was 2.3m passengers)
future plan suggests 3 m passengers by year “ X” . What happens if Flybe dump Cardiff and only a few of the routes were profitable enough for another airline to pick up?
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Old 16th May 2019, 08:17
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Originally Posted by bad bear
Also an interesting article in “Wales on line “ saying the airport has had its best year in 8 and claims to have made a profit. So far the airport has only spent £30m of the available £38m loan available. Airport now planning to spend £100m on new terminal which it needs if there are to be more than 2 m passengers ( previous best year was 2.3m passengers)
future plan suggests 3 m passengers by year “ X” . What happens if Flybe dump Cardiff and only a few of the routes were profitable enough for another airline to pick up?
The money for the new terminal was always supposed to come from a private investor whether that is still the plan idk. Flybes withdrawal will throw a spanner into their projections. As for routes I imagine that the airport will try and get Ryanair to replace some and then try to attract other airlines like Eurowings and and Volotea and Loganair on others. Bumpy road ahead for Cardiff!
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Old 20th May 2019, 15:56
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Has anyone heard anything about whether Flybe will continue at Cardiff after October or if Cardiff has been dropped. Seems to taking a while to finalise things.
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Old 21st May 2019, 06:44
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Originally Posted by PDXCWL45
Has anyone heard anything about whether Flybe will continue at Cardiff after October or if Cardiff has been dropped. Seems to taking a while to finalise things.
I would have thought if flybe staying then routes would have been released by now. Getting a bit late to release a programme of flights now. About the only thing being released now is odd routes to fill in gaps of a fullish programme from airports.
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Old 21st May 2019, 07:30
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Originally Posted by yeo valley
I would have thought if flybe staying then routes would have been released by now. Getting a bit late to release a programme of flights now. About the only thing being released now is odd routes to fill in gaps of a fullish programme from airports.
If all they are looking to operate is domestic / business services, then announcing schedules 3 months before they start is not unreasonable. It's only where bucket and spade / leisure orientated services are involved that longer is required.
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Old 21st May 2019, 08:43
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Originally Posted by yeo valley
I would have thought if flybe staying then routes would have been released by now. Getting a bit late to release a programme of flights now. About the only thing being released now is odd routes to fill in gaps of a fullish programme from airports.
I think there still plenty of time to release it but they may lose many of the early bird customers. I think for me though the longer they wait creates more uncertainty about whether they will be operating from CWL at all.
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Old 21st May 2019, 11:26
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Originally Posted by PDXCWL45
I think there still plenty of time to release it but they may lose many of the early bird customers. I think for me though the longer they wait creates more uncertainty about whether they will be operating from CWL at all.
On one side you have Flybe who know that if they take their toys away they leave CWL with a very big hole to fill. On the other side is CWL who signed a ten year deal to subsidise the E jets in exchange for profits at the back end of the deal. I suspect that Flybe will want to rip up that deal, bank the subsidy they have already received and get another cheap/subsidised deal. Imagine what difficulties that would pose for CWL/Welsh Government and then imagine what a difficult conversation it must be.
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Old 21st May 2019, 12:49
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Originally Posted by runway30


On one side you have Flybe who know that if they take their toys away they leave CWL with a very big hole to fill. On the other side is CWL who signed a ten year deal to subsidise the E jets in exchange for profits at the back end of the deal. I suspect that Flybe will want to rip up that deal, bank the subsidy they have already received and get another cheap/subsidised deal. Imagine what difficulties that would pose for CWL/Welsh Government and then imagine what a difficult conversation it must be.
Yes I understand how difficult it will be especially as I'd imagine if Flybe are after subsidies the airport will want based aircraft that Flybe might not either have or want to base but unfortunately the longer it goes on it will create uncertainty hanging over the airport and people will look elsewhere for flights.
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Old 28th May 2019, 13:40
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Flybe online timetable appears to now be showing some flights from 27th Oct.....

EDI looks like 3 flights daily (weekdays) - first outbound at 0920
DUB looks like 3 daily (weekdays) - first outbound at 0700 (indicates a night-stopping aircraft?)
CDG daily departing at 0840 on weekdays
NCL daily departing at 1025 on weekdays (op by Eastern)
VLY looks to operate as today (op by Eastern)
BHD daily departing 1330 weekdays
ORK Tues and Thurs departing 1035
JER Mon, Weds, Fri departing at 1035
GLA nothing direct showing, neither for FCO, MUC, VCE, VRN or MXP

There might be more I didn't find, but I guess this was what was to be expected?
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Old 28th May 2019, 15:11
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Also FAO is ending at the end of S19.

GVA will continue weekly during peak Winter on a Dash8.

Originally Posted by Wycombe
Flybe online timetable appears to now be showing some flights from 27th Oct.....

EDI looks like 3 flights daily (weekdays) - first outbound at 0920
DUB looks like 3 daily (weekdays) - first outbound at 0700 (indicates a night-stopping aircraft?)
CDG daily departing at 0840 on weekdays
NCL daily departing at 1025 on weekdays (op by Eastern)
VLY looks to operate as today (op by Eastern)
BHD daily departing 1330 weekdays
ORK Tues and Thurs departing 1035
JER Mon, Weds, Fri departing at 1035
GLA nothing direct showing, neither for FCO, MUC, VCE, VRN or MXP

There might be more I didn't find, but I guess this was what was to be expected?
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