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Old 20th Feb 2019, 10:24
  #1661 (permalink)  
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Mesa's business model is to fly regional services on behalf of US mainline carriers. They may see some mileage in the model in Europe. Flybe has too many aircraft in the UK it would appear. Perhaps a fleet redistribution would be on the cards in the event of a successful bid.

What they have always struggled with to make money on unlike their LCC competitors, is their reluctance to push and increase ancillary revenue spends.
It is harder to sell onboard to business people on 40 minute flight to another UK city than when you have people sitting down the back for 2+ hours. Additionally their baggage requirements are less. Priority boarding is not such an issue when a lot of the passengers are business pax with maybe only a laptop case - embarkation and disembarkation on the Dash eight never take particularly long. If BE is to make money it needs to be on the fare. It is hard to do this when your fleet size is so large that basically you are diluting your own yield through having an excessive number of rotations between airports. The company needs to shrink the fleet or diversify the business model. The company does not have enough cash to renew the fleet which means that they are basically stuck with the current fleet of Dash + ERJ. The Dash is (in my opinion) not fit for anything much further than 1hr 15mins due to comfort issues so there is not much scope to change length of sector so as I see it, BE's path back to profitability is through capacity management and/or flying for someone else. The Embraers offer a bit more flexibilty in terms of sector length but the problem is that they are not cost competitive on longer routes vs a full 737 or 320. I think the Virgin feeder thing will be of limited scope - I cant see LHR allowing any serious number of Dash 8 or 175 rotations into the airport due to wasted capacity. Regrettably there is no easy option for BE.

Last edited by speedrestriction; 20th Feb 2019 at 10:43.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 10:41
  #1662 (permalink)  
 
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What is their plan anyway, all seems too vague and late to change anything
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 11:25
  #1663 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by speedrestriction View Post
Mesa's business model is to fly regional services on behalf of US mainline carriers. They may see some mileage in the model in Europe. Flybe has too many aircraft in the UK it would appear. Perhaps a fleet redistribution would be on the cards in the event of a successful bid.



It is harder to sell onboard to business people on 40 minute flight to another UK city than when you have people sitting down the back for 2+ hours. Additionally their baggage requirements are less. Priority boarding is not such an issue when a lot of the passengers are business pax with maybe only a laptop case - embarkation and disembarkation on the Dash eight never take particularly long. If BE is to make money it needs to be on the fare. It is hard to do this when your fleet size is so large that basically you are diluting your own yield through having an excessive number of rotations between airports. The company needs to shrink the fleet or diversify the business model. The company does not have enough cash to renew the fleet which means that they are basically stuck with the current fleet of Dash + ERJ. The Dash is (in my opinion) not fit for anything much further than 1hr 15mins due to comfort issues so there is not much scope to change length of sector so as I see it, BE's path back to profitability is through capacity management and/or flying for someone else. The Embraers offer a bit more flexibilty in terms of sector length but the problem is that they are not cost competitive on longer routes vs a full 737 or 320. I think the Virgin feeder thing will be of limited scope - I cant see LHR allowing any serious number of Dash 8 or 175 rotations into the airport due to wasted capacity. Regrettably there is no easy option for BE.
The point about the EMB not being cost competitive against 737/320 is critical. These days, if you price a flight at £20-£30 it seems you can fill a 737/320 on a lot of routes. You fly it with 95% load factor and then try and build demand which you manage with incrementally higher fares and getting some premium passengers on flexible tickets. If the EMBs can't cover costs with much lower seat numbers at £20-£30 per seat sector and 95% load factor then they are the wrong aircraft. Short-haul airline economics are now based on lowest seat/mile costs. If the route can fill a 737/320 then it flies, if not it's dropped. I don't know how the dash-8 compares but Flybe ticket prices weren't at Easyjet levels last time I looked at booking BRS/BFS (Easy) or BHX/BFS (BE). So either BE couldn't run at Easy 320 prices or they were taking the michael with a different model of high fares and half empty. The lo-co model also drives addtional revenue from everything from seat selection and bags to car hire and parking and the whole website back-end and commercial team need to be on the ball to achieve that. In the far right corner of the product life cycle graph everything needs to be optimised and only the best producers survive.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 11:27
  #1664 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by AirportPlanner1 View Post
Forgive my cynicism but what do Mesa bring to the table? If it were Air Nostrum riding in I might understand the logic more but other than slightly better buying power for new aircraft I canít see the benefit for an airline flying under the banner of AA & UA working with different model and fleet thousands of miles away.
Completely agree. Mesa exists to serve the gigantic and hungry US network carriers. Which UK airlines are crying out for Mesa-style contract carriers at the moment? (I'd love to see IAG seize the current opportunity to create a local Mesa that could serve EI Regional and restart BA-branded flying from non-London airports but 1. it didn't work for them 10 years ago and 2. the current BA CEO's attention span is limited to petty cost-cutting so I don't hold out much hope).
Originally Posted by Cazza_fly
What they have always struggled with to make money on unlike their LCC competitors, is their reluctance to push and increase ancillary revenue spends.
I wish that were true! Flybe more or less invented most of the ancillary revenue scams streams that are now common in the industry, from baggage+seat bundles to dynamic pricing and hidden revenue. It ruthlessly adopted the Ryanair approach of automatically adding extras such as assigned seating during the purchase process, forcing customers to opt out of the extra cost rather than inviting them to opt in. (It's still at it ... the app suggests you need to buy up to a bundle fare to take a cabin bag, but you don't...) And before the Office of Fair Trading intervened, Flybe was happily charging an £11 flat fee for all credit card transactions! I'd suggest management, creeping costs, strategy and customer perception are bigger culprits.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 11:51
  #1665 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by speedrestriction View Post
Mesa's business model is to fly regional services on behalf of US mainline carriers. They may see some mileage in the model in Europe. Flybe has too many aircraft in the UK it would appear. Perhaps a fleet redistribution would be on the cards in the event of a successful bid.



It is harder to sell onboard to business people on 40 minute flight to another UK city than when you have people sitting down the back for 2+ hours. Additionally their baggage requirements are less. Priority boarding is not such an issue when a lot of the passengers are business pax with maybe only a laptop case - embarkation and disembarkation on the Dash eight never take particularly long. If BE is to make money it needs to be on the fare.
The thing is, its not only "business people" that use them. Theres a huge amount of VFR and leisure passengers. Aside from the on-board F&B product -in which there isn't much else to diversify in this market - the baggage issue can be. A Ryanair style cabin bag policy would make a lot of sense to Flybe. Their restricted cabin space takes a hit daily because huge amounts of passengers choose to take large carry on bags onboard. As you rightly say, business pax / day trip will generally only carry a small rucksack / laptop case. Anything larger and additional should be charged for. It makes things clearer with the allowed size policy, encourages more people to travel lighter, speeds up boarding, and gives further options to those that want to carry something larger. Perhaps even them considering instead to place luggage into the hold if it was slightly cheaper up to a certain weight limit. With the majority of passengers currently electing to take a larger bag onboard (non-sunshine routes in-particular), this would instantly create more revenue. Alongside all the usual basics such as seat selection, the various Flybe website incarnations have never been savvy enough to encourage the purchase of accomodation, car hire, transfers, lounge access or travel insurance etc either during the booking process, immediately after or before check-in. These are all ancillary revenue streams for their competitors.

Last edited by Cazza_fly; 20th Feb 2019 at 12:06.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 15:13
  #1666 (permalink)  
 
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Just an observation but it'd be great if we could swap "VFR passengers" around to "VRF passengers" to prevent namespace-collision.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 15:30
  #1667 (permalink)  
 
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VFR = Visiting Friends and Relatives has always been the Jargon used by the Travel Shipping and Airline industry since mass travel began...

Just saying like lol
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 15:44
  #1668 (permalink)  
 
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'Ryanair Style' cabin bag policy is already in place. With most UK airports now enforcing size checks for cabin bags. Any bag found not to fit occurs a £50 checked bag charge at the gate.
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 18:21
  #1669 (permalink)  
 
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Apologies if this has already been covered, but any news on the woman at the helm? Not seen a peep out of her in the press, which seems a bit odd given developments.........
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Old 20th Feb 2019, 18:53
  #1670 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by NorthEasterner View Post
'Ryanair Style' cabin bag policy is already in place. With most UK airports now enforcing size checks for cabin bags. Any bag found not to fit occurs a £50 checked bag charge at the gate.
Not quite the same as the small and large policy, but Flybe should have been enforcing this oversized baggage fine from the beginning of their policy change in 2016. Alas they didn't and now receiving a negative backlash for those still breaking their agreed terms.
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 06:38
  #1671 (permalink)  
 
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New Direct Flybe Guernsey - London Heathrow Link

This new route will operate the following daily service between 31 March - 26 October

Depart Guernsey 1440 - Arrive Heathrow 1545
Depart Heathrow 1720 - Arrive Guernsey 1825

Operated by 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft, seats are available for booking now on the Flybe website.

https://www.visitguernsey.com/magazine/flybe-announces-daily-heathrow-guernsey-airlink/
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 06:59
  #1672 (permalink)  
 
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Looks like a good way for Virgin to hold the Heathrow slots which were previously leased to Cobalt. The timings are remarkably similar!
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 07:28
  #1673 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Flightrider View Post
Looks like a good way for Virgin to hold the Heathrow slots which were previously leased to Cobalt. The timings are remarkably similar!
Another indicator that "Connect Airways" is already a done deal regardless. On a positive note (or not, depending on how you look at it), it seems with all the plans already made in the background, a turnaround plan will swing in to action pretty quick.

Last edited by Cazza_fly; 21st Feb 2019 at 08:54.
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 10:35
  #1674 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Cazza_fly View Post
Another indicator that "Connect Airways" is already a done deal regardless. On a positive note (or not, depending on how you look at it), it seems with all the plans already made in the background, a turnaround plan will swing in to action pretty quick.
I am waiting to read what Stobart will do to increase pax ops from SEN after this all is finalised.
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 11:12
  #1675 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tophat27dt View Post
I am waiting to read what Stobart will do to increase pax ops from SEN after this all is finalised.
Is there any indication that they are planning to do so?
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 11:27
  #1676 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by tophat27dt View Post
I am waiting to read what Stobart will do to increase pax ops from SEN after this all is finalised.
Why would they? With FR and Ezy at SEN it would seem job done.
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 11:54
  #1677 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PDXCWL45 View Post
Why would they? With FR and Ezy at SEN it would seem job done.
Because one of the stated aims of the acquisition is to increase passenger numbers at SEN.
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 12:29
  #1678 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DC3 Dave View Post
Because one of the stated aims of the acquisition is to increase passenger numbers at SEN.
Exactly my point
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 13:18
  #1679 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DC3 Dave View Post
Because one of the stated aims of the acquisition is to increase passenger numbers at SEN.
and they have achieved that through fr and Ezy.
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Old 21st Feb 2019, 13:22
  #1680 (permalink)  
 
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The GCI flights are interesting. Thats another 'new domestic' route for LHR, on one hand it suggests that there is demand to/from LHR to places like Leeds, Inverness, Newquay and Guernsey. I imagine Heathrow will be pleased with these destinations as it adds to their argument that only Heathrow should be the UK hub.

Given the timings, utilisation is pretty poor, though and I don't think connections are great either? 15:45 is a bit late for the majority of US departures and 17:20 means spending most of the day at LHR if you are coming from the east coast. I image these timings might be adjusted over time, as part of the larger VS/DL/AF/KL pool, to give a quicker turnaround, if nothing else.
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