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Old 21st Dec 2021, 18:16
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Originally Posted by Navpi View Post
I would take a contrary view and say MAN should grasp every opportunity and every lifeline it can possibly get given the absolute dire financial circumstances we find ourselves in.
Another question, would our incumbent CEO Ms Smart even be aware of this development or is this strictly a negotiation between handler and airline. Are we suggesting that MAG MAN has effectively been bypassed and is totally unaware of this approach with no right of redress?
On that basis the fortunes of the airport are effectively governed by the effectivness of the handler. Is that not the case of the tale wagging a very big dog ?
That's an interesting question regarding the relationships between Airlines, Handling Agents and the Airport.
The Airport's Business Development people will be trying to attract new business from airlines, perhaps with incentives where permitted, as well as maintaining relationships with existing airlines. But on a day to day basis when flights are operating, it's the Handling Agent providing the service to the Airlines. As an outsider, I assume from the Airport's standpoint that the Handling Agent is a tenant under which certain standard of performance are required but I'm sure others will be more knowledgeable on this. It's been said in the past that airlines are the customers of the handling agents and the airport's customers are the passengers. Is that a bit too simplistic perhaps?

For ad hoc flights like the freighters mentioned, wouldn't the airline's initial contact be with the Airport and also with ACL? The choice of Handling Agent I imagine may be dependent on whether there is a contract with a particular Agent at other Airports.

Questions have arisen in the past on the old chestnut of when MAN has turned diversions away. Sometimes it has apparently been the Airport itself because of a lack of parking space for example. At other times, it appears to have been the Handling Agents who've refused extra traffic allegedly because of a lack of staff or work load with regular flights. One would like to think that whether it's diversions or requests for ad hoc flights, there is proper coordination and communication between Airport and Agent. In certain circumstances, it may be possible for an alternative Handling Agent to take the work depending on existing contract constraints. Whether the Airport would apply pressure on Agents to accept additional business is another question.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 18:20
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It may well be down to the nature of the cargo given the limited capacity of the ground handlers at the moment. For instance, the various PPE flights operating into Liverpool during December arenít palletised so can contain thousands of packages that have to be offloaded by hand.
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 18:43
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Given where MAN's resourcing is for security and passenger handling (and cargo needs security and ground handling too) then I'd suggest that the last thing it needs to be doing right now is welcoming a labour-intensive set of cargo flights. By all means, sort out the resourcing and then go after the business - but not right here and now!
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Old 21st Dec 2021, 19:23
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Interesting few comments and observations.

As an outsider I'm always interested in a good debate from what appears to be informed members.

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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 03:46
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Originally Posted by MANFOD View Post
That's an interesting question regarding the relationships between Airlines, Handling Agents and the Airport.
The Airport's Business Development people will be trying to attract new business from airlines, perhaps with incentives where permitted, as well as maintaining relationships with existing airlines. But on a day to day basis when flights are operating, it's the Handling Agent providing the service to the Airlines. As an outsider, I assume from the Airport's standpoint that the Handling Agent is a tenant under which certain standard of performance are required but I'm sure others will be more knowledgeable on this. It's been said in the past that airlines are the customers of the handling agents and the airport's customers are the passengers. Is that a bit too simplistic perhaps?

For ad hoc flights like the freighters mentioned, wouldn't the airline's initial contact be with the Airport and also with ACL? The choice of Handling Agent I imagine may be dependent on whether there is a contract with a particular Agent at other Airports.

Questions have arisen in the past on the old chestnut of when MAN has turned diversions away. Sometimes it has apparently been the Airport itself because of a lack of parking space for example. At other times, it appears to have been the Handling Agents who've refused extra traffic allegedly because of a lack of staff or work load with regular flights. One would like to think that whether it's diversions or requests for ad hoc flights, there is proper coordination and communication between Airport and Agent. In certain circumstances, it may be possible for an alternative Handling Agent to take the work depending on existing contract constraints. Whether the Airport would apply pressure on Agents to accept additional business is another question.
Good point Manfod, but no idea how the contracts work between handling agent and MAG.

Yes the loss of an airline that clearly wanted to operate to Manchester is irritating. In order to choose Manchester as a destination they must have had a rationale for wanting to do this in the first place ?

Was the freight for a customer here in the N West ?

The 1st obligation of MAG is obviously to its shareholders but it is also a vital part of the suppy chain working in partnership with handling agents for import customers and the wider business community across the North of England.

That said it was only 5 flights, (although there is of course the possible loss of any future pipeline business that they might have directed towards MAN had this been successful). I've no idea what the freight was nor for whom it was destined so that is not quantifiable.

If the handler is so stretched that it is unable to handle 5 ad hoc albeit "messy" 747s as these take up a disproportionate amount of manpower for very little reward, where does that leaves us re expansion of other routes.

Does the handler dictate who serves Manchester or MAG ?

On a wider point is anyone aware of staffing problems at other airports ?

Is it a localised problem specific to Manchester and if so why The freight village off airport for trucked freight is significant, are there better opportunities "off airport" for former employees in positions that are now seen to be more stable and financially more lucrative ?

Birmingham is currently taking numerous cargo charters and has a similar economic demographic to Manchester albeit within a smaller footprint does anyone know if they too are suffering structual issues ?









Last edited by Navpi; 22nd Dec 2021 at 04:03.
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 05:56
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Yes the loss of an airline that clearly wanted to operate to Manchester is irritating. In order to choose Manchester as a destination they must have had a rationale for wanting to do this in the first place ?
I can think of two very good reasons why they wanted to be in Manchester just before Christmas, and they aren't cargo related.

I think the fact that the cargo has ended up in BOH rather than any of the usual suspects in between - especially when 'every other airport seems to be milking' this sector - suggests that the cargo isn't destination sensitive. I think it comes down to who has the resource to bulk load/unload a widebody (don't think BOH has the kit for main deck pallets, so I'm assuming bulk loads). As has been mentioned previously BOH are doing it on a regular (daily?) basis.

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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 07:07
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Navpi you only have to look at other Forums and social media to know that there plenty of staffing problems around the country. BA and Heathrow were getting grief yesterday because of delays caused by staffing. Birmingham is NOTAMíd closed on Boxing Day because of staffing shortages.

Thereís still a global epidemic going on and as has been stated by others MANís bread and butter is itís pax traffic so will always prioritise it over some random freight traffic that would divert scare resources, wonít make them money and in all likelihood wonít lead to long term business.

For heavens sake, take your bonnet off and let that particular bee out!
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 07:58
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Birmingham is NOTAMíd closed on Boxing Day because of staffing shortages.

Really ?
Can you post the NOTAM ?
BHX think they are open !


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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 08:17
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BHX Closure

BHX is only closed 0130-0400 on Boxing Day and it is only ATC and planned as no movements over these 2.5 hours.

All other time BHX is open for both pax and freight !
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 08:37
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Seen elsewhere that these flights are indeed bulk loaded, and can take 12 hours to offload. Don’t know the size of the crew, but you’re talking a significant chunk of a handling agent’s manpower dedicated to work the flight at a time when they are desperately short of staff. Frustrating, but it would be madness for them to take it on at a time when shortages are only likely to get worse in the short term. Getting in a load of zero hours people at short notice is all well and good in theory, but remember they will need ramp access, hence security clearance, which isn’t a 5 minute job these days either, and presumably adds to the cost.

Show me a business that says yes to every demand, and I’ll show you one that will have folded before long!
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 08:38
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Rumours are that LPL have recently benefitted from PPE charters arriving there because handlers at BHX are currently refusing to accept bulk-loaded cargo charters.

Reasons that destination airports for cargo charters are chosen (no particular order):

Customer preference - often proximity to end user, ground transport considerations
Price - fuel burn to airport, airport charges, handling & freight charges
Aircraft specific - aircraft category for runway, taxiway and stand compatability
Availability of handling - agents and equipment, time to get cargo available
Timings - Airports, handling and even customs/transit shed availability
Airline preference - regular destination for them, contracts in place already, line maintenance hotac/crew swap considerations, ability to pick up return flight

The customer will not always have the final say on the destination - they maybe persuaded that another airport is preferable... particularly if an extra few hours won't impact the goods and it may be cheaper to land further away from the end user

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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 09:10
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The race to the bottom is finally starting to bite. Airlines have demanded cheaper and cheaper ground handling for years, the result is fewer staff on lower pay. The pandemic caused huge numbers of staff to leave and find better paid jobs, with better hours and working conditions. All the airport operations are struggling to recruit, from security to engineers. This week is going to test it to breaking point. It won't surprise me if there's a passenger revolt all over the news tonight!
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 09:13
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Originally Posted by AndrewH52 View Post
Navpi you only have to look at other Forums and social media to know that there plenty of staffing problems around the country. BA and Heathrow were getting grief yesterday because of delays caused by staffing. Birmingham is NOTAMíd closed on Boxing Day because of staffing shortages.

Thereís still a global epidemic going on and as has been stated by others MANís bread and butter is itís pax traffic so will always prioritise it over some random freight traffic that would divert scare resources, wonít make them money and in all likelihood wonít lead to long term business.

For heavens sake, take your bonnet off and let that particular bee out!
So you get your info from other forums then dress this up as fact. Deary me.

If you are going to quote data make sure you get your facts correct as it diminishes the rest of your comments.

Ps Birmingham is most defintly not NOTAMED CLOSED all day Boxing Day. I have friends in the midlands flying out of there.

Sit Down.


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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 09:30
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Originally Posted by UnderASouthernSky View Post
Rumours are that LPL have recently benefitted from PPE charters arriving there because handlers at BHX are currently refusing to accept bulk-loaded cargo charters.

Reasons that destination airports for cargo charters are chosen (no particular order):

Customer preference - often proximity to end user, ground transport considerations
Price - fuel burn to airport, airport charges, handling & freight charges
Aircraft specific - aircraft category for runway, taxiway and stand compatability
Availability of handling - agents and equipment, time to get cargo available
Timings - Airports, handling and even customs/transit shed availability
Airline preference - regular destination for them, contracts in place already, line maintenance hotac/crew swap considerations, ability to pick up return flight

The customer will not always have the final say on the destination - they maybe persuaded that another airport is preferable... particularly if an extra few hours won't impact the goods and it may be cheaper to land further away from the end user
Many thanks for your sensible input.

i believe that Swissport do handle at BOU so yes it crossed my mind that if the consideration to the end user destination was not that critical the handler could say to their customer we have a better, cheaper and possibly quicker option even if that means additional trucking to the final destination.

My point stands however regarding the influence if any of MAG in the decision making.

I was just curious as to whether they would even be aware, that a request that came in to the handling agent potentially to use Manchester, subsequently ended up with the flight at Bournemouth based on a decion made by the handling agent and not the airport.

I can see the absolute sense in the handling agent making a decision that supports their own business, and their own interests but it seems odd to me from the outside that MAG might potentially be unaware of this and care even less despite being the epi centre on the Northern supply chain.

In addtion this only seems to work one way. It always seems to be traffic bound for Manchester which falls victim to the economies of scale of the handling agent. Are there ever occasions where enquiries made to other airports end up coming our way ?











Last edited by Navpi; 22nd Dec 2021 at 09:48.
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 09:48
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Good question Navpi, and I'm sure those who have contributed informed posts may know the answer. Would the first port of call be to the airport or to a handling agent? And would it be dependent on whether the carrier had an existing contract with a specific handler at other airports?
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 11:06
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Originally Posted by Navpi View Post
So you get your info from other forums then dress this up as fact. Deary me.

If you are going to quote data make sure you get your facts correct as it diminishes the rest of your comments.

Ps Birmingham is most defintly not NOTAMED CLOSED all day Boxing Day. I have friends in the midlands flying out of there.

Sit Down.
From someone whose posts contain no data and a whole lot of supposition, thatís rich.

Anyway, I will at least admit to reading the NOTAM incorrectly. Closures are for two days but for short periods in the early hours.

P2765/21 NOTAMN
Q) EGTT/QAECD/IV/NBO/AE/000/145/5225N00152W020
A) EGBB B) 2112260130 C) 2112270400
D) 0130-0400
E) BIRMINGHAM CTA AND CTR DEACTIVATED AND REVERT TO CLASS G AIRSPACE.
ATC CLOSED. AERODROME CLOSED. PILOTS ARE TO MAKE BLIND TRANSMISSIONS
WHEN LEAVING THE LATERAL CONFINES OF THE CTR/CTA. CLOSURE DUE TO
STAFF SHORTAGES.

Last edited by AndrewH52; 22nd Dec 2021 at 11:29.
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 11:18
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In addtion this only seems to work one way. It always seems to be traffic bound for Manchester which falls victim to the economies of scale of the handling agent. Are there ever occasions where enquiries made to other airports end up coming our way ?
MAN benefits hugely from economies of scale. If there is a flight from anywhere else in the north of England (Britain?), and a similar one from MAN, you know which one is most likely to get cancelled. MAN also benefits from its big cusomer base of airlines, where ad hoc flights tend to go where there are pre-existing relationships - the various delivery flights over the years being the most eye-catching examples.


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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 11:23
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That notam I find confusing. (A) seems to indicate 01.30 on the 26th to 04.00 on the 27th if I'm reading it correctly.
But does (D) then qualify that and mean it's only closed during those hours on each of the 2 nights?
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 11:32
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB View Post
MAN benefits hugely from economies of scale. If there is a flight from anywhere else in the north of England (Britain?), and a similar one from MAN, you know which one is most likely to get cancelled. MAN also benefits from its big cusomer base of airlines, where ad hoc flights tend to go where there are pre-existing relationships - the various delivery flights over the years being the most eye-catching examples.
Manchester benefits for huge economies of scale?
In that case they should use their commercial powers to attract more security staff to fix the shortages
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Old 22nd Dec 2021, 11:40
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If the freight has gone all the way to BOH, it does suggest that the usual suspects for freight are unable to accommodate either. If the flight had gone to EMA or STN the usual conspiracy could have been rolled out.

The debate about T&Cs and outsourcing in the industry are interesting. Ryanair and easyJet are beginning to see the benefits of taking their largest stations in-house, or at least operated by an group division, or joint venture. Reading between the lines it looks like Swissport just cannot deliver the flexibility and performance that Ryanair and easyJet need at their biggest stations, so the pendulum on outsourcing may be beginning to swing in the other direction. But if Swissport and the few other remaining companies cannot serve their regular customers there is little hope of them serving some ad-hoc charters.
https://airlinergs.com/issue-article...-and-stansted/
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