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Southend-3

Old 6th Aug 2021, 21:57
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I agree W flights won't pay the bills. However is anyone ablevto clarify if Ryanair are just closing most routes (ie involving aircraft based at SEN) with maybe 1 or 2 routes remaining beyond 31 October.... or are Ryanair closing ALL routes at SEN ?
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 21:59
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Bet the anti airport brigade are rubbing their hands together with glee with this news
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 22:02
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Simple fact is it will be a bleak winter anyway. Even if things donít turn out anywhere near as bad as suggested in terms of the virus there will be killer lack of confidence in bookings generally and business travel will be dead until 2022 or later. Someone said perhaps flippantly SEN will have the smallest loss of any London airport, thereís probably a lot of truth in that. Impact on staff aside, this could be a blessing. No flights and a mothballed terminal is surely better than few flights with hardly anyone on them.

As for the future, who knows. Perhaps FR will come back next year perhaps in similar manner to Bournemouth with a seasonal base. Perhaps yesterdayís confidence was because something else is in the pipeline, a Wizz base for instance. Perhaps this really is a sad end for pax operations for some time.
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Old 6th Aug 2021, 22:22
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Dublin still on sale 4x weekly during the winter. Whether it will still be on sale for the winter in 2 weeks time is a separate question
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 05:37
  #245 (permalink)  
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The truth is that Southend’s business model is in tatters, as it was based on all other London airports being full so airlines like easyjet, Wizz, Ryanair and others had to come to Southend. The great reset is taking place where London no longer needs 6 airports and the airlines have made that clear.

There has to be doubts about Wizz and its existing routes and whether Southend wants to keep the terminal open for a couple of flights a week including providing fire cover. Closing the terminal would be easy to save money but the difficult bit would be to reopen it again in the future without a commitment for a substantial presence from an airline but commitments and contracts mean little as Ryanair's 5 year commitment to base 3 aircraft at Southend ended with a press statement..

Last edited by LTNman; 7th Aug 2021 at 08:51. Reason: Tatters
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 07:38
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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I think that's a pretty accurate summary of the situation.

Interesting that you've heard their business model is in 'taters' - I suppose you could grow a fair acreage on the airport site. I bet they won't be marketed as Murphys though. Excuse my black humour.

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Old 7th Aug 2021, 09:19
  #247 (permalink)  
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Just shows how perilous aviation has always been. Next February the new terminal will have been open 10 years when Aer Annan operated its Waterford service through the new terminal after Stobart bought the airline and moved the service from Luton.

https://www.airportwatch.org.uk/2012...ittee-members/

On that day the airport handled 10 passengers off that first flight. 10 years later, despite an investment of more than £100m, the airport faces the distinct prospect of handling no passengers on that anniversary. I don’t think Stobart could have done anymore. They had the vision to not only build a new terminal, aprons, control tower and runway extension but also a new railway station to whisk passengers to and from London. It just didn’t work out and all due to a virus no one had heard of just 2 years ago that started on the other side of the world.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 10:12
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Apologies for the slight thread drift from planes to trains... but will the rail station continue to remain open with trains stopping, after 31 October 2021 ?
Without scheduled flight, the number of train passengers will presumably decline significantly... but the laws around train service are different to air service. Perhaps a 1x weekly Parliamentary train at 5am on a Tuesday ?
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 10:20
  #249 (permalink)  
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Seem to remember the extra 4:30 departure from Liverpool St for those early morning departures. Must be a ghost train even now.

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Old 7th Aug 2021, 10:27
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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It could stay open. Use one of the car parks for station users at whatever a competitive daily / weekly rate is. Remember that Esken retain around 90% of the ticket sales.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 10:37
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LTNman

I well remember that day having been a passenger on the inaugural flight to Waterford.

I agree that Stobart had the vision to redevelop SEN to an extent that few could have imagined 10 years ago but I think they became fixated on attracting major airlines to the exclusion of encouraging alongside that other aviation activities that would have made them more resilient to any major downturn in their prime market. SEN used to be a major MRO airport and still possesses one of the largest hangars suited to that activity, yet that facility has been virtually unused for over 5 years. Ten years ago there was talk of building more hangar but that idea was dropped and approaches from potential interested parties met with a less than enthusiastic response. Even the Jet Centre had to be Stobart branded rather than being a franchise of a multi-national FBO and lacked the international profile to attract much business. This year Esken were happy to see Jota depart to Biggin Hill, as if a five-strong Bae RJ fleet and maintenance base was not worth having. GA was also actively discouraged although ironically, with Covid causing a drop-off in overall movements, the last year saw them keen to increase the number of GA movements as much as possible.

Having easyJet and Ryanair plus a few other airlines generating over 2mppa seemed to have justified their concentration on that sector but Covid decimated revenue from those golden eggs and there were no other eggs in the basket to soften the blow. It was an error to accept the Section 106 condition that cargo flights could comprise only 10% of movements as that leaves SEN hogtied to expand that sector as could otherwise have been possible.

So Stobart/Esken could have done more to give SEN resilience but I agree that they cannot really be blamed for not doing so as the scale of the Covid pandemic effect could not have ever been imagined as a real risk to SEN's viability. As to what will happen now is anyone's guess but I'm sure there will be frantic efforts to seek revenue producing activity of some kind, perhaps some of it less focussed on passenger terminal throughput.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 10:40
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Could this be a chance for Amazon to move in? They have a large facility not too far away in Tilbury and already have a couple of flights.

It feels to me that the dysfunctional Stobart relationship was more the problem than the actual airport. They hired Bernard Lavelle who worked wonders at LCY but he quickly left so obviously something went wrong there. Then you had the court cases etc. It felt like more attention was paid to their internal politics than the operation and it all fell apart.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 11:06
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Only 10% of movements can be cargo aircraft so that wouldn't be possible. They could try to get the Section 106 agreement changed but that wouldn't be easy.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 11:53
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Section 106 - 3.44 "the total Cargo ATMs at the airport shall not exceed the lesser of 5330 in a quota year or 10% of total ATMs" well that will put the ASL operation in trouble?

Last edited by pabely; 7th Aug 2021 at 12:14.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 12:18
  #255 (permalink)  
 
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BA318

Iím not so sure those who worked with him will agree
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 12:20
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10% of s.f.a. is s.f.a
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 12:21
  #257 (permalink)  
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Expressfight. At Luton it would have been dead easy. In fact as the airport operator could not meet nighttime noise limits and broke them 2 years in a row there now a planning application to exceed them.

I forgot about Stobart looking to run down other aspects of the airport in the pursuit of expanding terminal traffic at all costs. Business Aviation should have done far better particularly with the nighttime closures of other London Airports. Southend’s bread and butter used to be aircraft maintenance and heavy engineering but it sound like that has gone. Does the actual airport have a secure future as the land must be worth far more if the airport was not there. Would the council be prepared to sell it?
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 12:42
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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AirLCY

maybe not easy to get along with or difficult but in terms of getting routes and airlines he succeeded.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 14:44
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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Personally I cannot see Wizz opening a base at Southend anytime soon because they have not enough crews to operate all the present services and have been using a number of airlines to operate some flights.
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Old 7th Aug 2021, 19:01
  #260 (permalink)  
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https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/194...--happens-now/

Esken Is still very positive, sighting future slot constraints at other airports.
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