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Southend-3

Old 30th Oct 2021, 20:25
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Well, the time we find hard to take is nearly upon us. FR2191 AGP-SEN is over the Bay of Biscay. The last of three (sold out) flights returning to Southend this evening.

From tomorrow there will simply be no scheduled pax flights from this airport for the foreseeable. Please donít tell me we have gone from 0 to 2 million pax p. a. in less than 10 years only to return to the tumbleweed years.....

Any informed individuals out there that can offer any hope?

Would the last passenger on this Ryanair flight please remember to turn off the lights as they leave the terminal.
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 11:26
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Southend management used to boast that the airport was the U.K’s fastest growing airport, as they only looked at the percentage growth. Now whatever way you measure the airport it is now the UK’s worst performing airport while the rest of the industry is recovering. The business model for the airport no longer exists and at the moment London doesn’t need Southend. If the airport has deep pockets it will recover but it will take a based operator to get the terminal open again as there will be opening costs involved. I can’t see a couple of weekly flights from a non based operator tipping the balance.
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 15:49
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Yes, I have to agree. Fingers crossed time that the airport can stagger through the winter season with GA, Executive and freight flights. There may be better news next spring, but I wouldn't bet on it.....
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 16:08
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There's nothing that I know of in the pipeline but then I don't have all the contacts I used to have. There are local reports that EZY are being strongly courted to return but you would expect that to be the case. One wonders just how much passenger business would have to be booked for S2022 to make it cost effective to re-open the terminal - I doubt if, say, a few times weekly JER would tip the balance.

As has been said above LON just doesn't need SEN immediately post-Covid so a lot will depend on how the various markets recover to make it attractive again to their previous airline customers. There could always be a few surprises of course that bring SEN out of mothballs but that feels like hope triumphing over expectation at the moment.
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 17:02
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I find it hard to believe that after all the money Stobart has spent that Southend doesn't have a bright future although there is a hint of commonality between Southend and Madrid's Ciudad Real International Airport.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ciudad...tional_Airport
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 18:33
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I think all you hope for at this time is that the airport apparently has enough funding to run through 2022 and that work then starts to return after that, i don't personally think we're done with covid just yet so i remain unconvinced that next year is going to be great for air travel, although i hope i'm proved wrong.

Also heard that amazon are opening a facility at stansted which surely does not bode well for the existing freight operation, although my guess is they would have to pay a penalty to get out of the contract, but then again they seem to be money no object at this time and that would leave the airport completely on it's knees.

I'd love to be more positive but with how things stand it's difficult to be anything other than pessimistic
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Old 1st Nov 2021, 11:07
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I suppose we are considering the Business Continuity Plan? However, in the mean time loans will have to be paid or extended if possible? Resizing to nothing cannot help much as what is present will not fund large loans. At the moment SEN has no airline passenger operation and should those outfits that were there wish to return it will require a new start up operation which is expensive, staff recruitment, training, uniforms etc. As Hawklord69 already stated we may not be rid of Covid for some considerable time. I to would like to be optimistic but I fear it will be a number of years to get back to where we once were? During this time I expect issues with the green lobby adding to recovery of the aviation industry.
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Old 2nd Nov 2021, 22:36
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https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/196...-flights-hold/

The airport plans to reopen the terminal on January 1 of next year at the earliest, when bosses say they are expecting a “stronger demand” for passenger flights to return.
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 09:08
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I guess itís hard for the airport to say anything worthwhile right now but staying positive about the future.

What Iíve noticed in recent weeks is anything the airport has to say is being attributed to a spokesperson. Usually Glyn Jones is one to air the company line on such matters.

Could be no end of reasons for this but I hope we will hear from him again soon.
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 09:33
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On LinkedIn the SEN team have been at Routes conference so it does seem like they are trying. They recently posted that Carlyle Aviation had been joining them so perhaps that will open some more doors.
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 10:48
  #351 (permalink)  
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A potential January 1st reopening date is pie in the sky, as new routes and airlines would need to have already been announced by now if it was to be a successful launch.

It would just take one airline to open a base and the airport would have a transformed outlook rather than the understandable gloom and doom that dominates this thread in recent months.

I can't see it being Easyjet, as they are in retreat mode after spending many years at Southend and I can't see it being Ryanair, as they didn't hang around despite the original big promises.

That leaves Wizz as the only big boy so maybe that is the airports best hope. The next question is can SEN afford to have a Wizz base as they won't be too keen to pay for the privilege of operating on the east coast for London. Maybe 4 rotations a day to maximise revenue? Sorry Guv, we close the terminal at night. Ouch!
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 10:51
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The half year results contain this gem;

"Esken, Carlyle and LSA are particularly aligned on the type of airline agreement that it is targeting. Commercial passenger flying has to be profitable for all parties to ensure it is sustainable."

You can be assured EZY and FR were making money last time out so the implication is that the airport wasn't. A fact borne out in the numerous annual accounts that trumpeted passenger numbers but failed to address continual losses.


EZY did not invest in new aircraft for the SEN base, they reallocated 3 STN airframes. A no cost experiment is how they saw operating from SEN.

FR had no need to be at SEN on any terms other than their own given their huge base at STN.

It's all a little too late now. The airport terminal is geared towards the loco pax (stack it high and sell it cheap). No lounges, no decent retail, no decent restaurants. Whilst the local population rightly love the airport I cannot see this catchment alone delivering the 2m+ pax per annum required to turn a profit.

The results look no further forward than mid 2023 when large debt repayments are due. This gives the owner less than 2 years to prove the business case for the airport.
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 10:56
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Yes, SEN's terminal is geared towards LCCs, but I very much doubt there was an alternative. LCY will always take the high end business pax, and SEN has zero chance of becoming a hub for a network carrier. Many UK regional airports have realised that LCC airlines is what pax want
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 11:02
  #354 (permalink)  
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Then the airlines and airports like Southend need high volumes of passengers. I can remember how Blackpool Airport's new terminal ended up after jet2 arrived. Full aircraft for jet2 but big loses for the airport as there were not enough movements. Now they are in a better place after focusing on traditional general aviation.


Last edited by LTNman; 3rd Nov 2021 at 16:26.
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 14:37
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A low cost airline is needed even if with zero charges, that's the only saviour the airport has. easyJet returning is the only really workable option. An exclusive low cost deal to make it attractive and viable for the airline. I.E. not getting easyJet in and then attracting Ryanair in to replicate their network.

Revenue streams from parking, retail outlets/concessions and any other justifiable levy that the customer is willing to pay for is where the revenue will come from. Clearly from comments above in this thread, it seems that the airlines want deals far in excess of 'no operating charges'.

Very challenging time for the airport and it's management. Hopefully they can pull a rabbit out of a hat. Amazing to think how big in the inclusive tour market that this airport used to be one upon a time.
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 16:21
  #356 (permalink)  
 
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I wouldn't rule out EZY returning to SEN. Decisions made in the Summer of 2020 at a point in the pandemic when uncertainty was at its greatest may not look so good at the end of 2021 if signs of normality are on the horizon. For one thing RYR has left the scene and their arrival in Spring 2019 must have annoyed EZY greatly and was definitely a mistake on SEN's part with the benefit of hindsight. EZY could also drive an excellent bargain one would think and SEN might be a little more careful to avoid a repeat of the RYR situation.

EZY did invest in new aircraft at SEN and replaced the originally based A319s with A320s and based at least one A320neo there from Winter 2018 onwards and had four based aircraft for 2020 so I don't think their commitment up to then could be doubted.

I'm not saying I think this is a very likely scenario but it's certainly a possibility. I don't have great hopes of Wizz being a candidate as their LGW ambitions may annul any need for a SEN presence now.

I think Stobart would have been mistaken if they had built a terminal catering for anything other than a largely low cost customer base and compared to some European terminals built for their RYR traffic it is far from spartan. Shopping and catering tends to develop in line with passenger numbers and the 2 million passengers achieved in 2019 was insufficient to merit a greater selection and the quality of the catering was on a par with the offerings of STN and LTN in my experience.

There is at least one operator who I think may be interested in SEN's sun-hungry local catchment, which is not inconsiderable and is quite loyal to its airport, but it won't be helpful if I name names at this point.
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 18:38
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I couldn’t agree more with your views on easyjet. There are so many who will keep posting that they couldn’t wait to end their presence at the airport ignoring the fact they could have shaken hands and walked away after 5 years and missing the 4th aircraft that arrived late on.

If you choose to believe Andrew Tinkler, the sole reason easyjet left was because of his successor, Warwick Brady. It’s not so difficult to imagine that Brady, emboldened by bringing Ryanair in, was playing hardball with easyjet about remaining at the airport after the 10 year deal expired. Maybe a combination of this and the real and perceived threat from Ryanair (no doubt with their shiny new deal giving them the upper hand) meant that regardless of Covid they had no intention of being around for much longer.

But now it’s a level playing field again. Whoever gets in first will get a fresh deal on highly attractive terms or they simply won’t come.

But I can’t see either of the big 3 in any hurry whatsoever to create a base at SEN.

Having said that I definitely agree that easyjet would be the most likely to return eventually, but we are still talking long odds.

Last edited by DC3 Dave; 3rd Nov 2021 at 19:13.
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Old 3rd Nov 2021, 22:51
  #358 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.businesslive.co.za/bloom...r-new-tenants/
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Old 4th Nov 2021, 17:50
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As a distraction from the doom and gloom, is Eurowings' D-ABGK at SEN for a fresh coat of paint? Arrived Monday after an aborted attempt to get in during the atrocious weather on Sunday followed by a return to DUS.
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Old 7th Nov 2021, 04:51
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https://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/196...resume-summer/

PASSENGER flights from Southend Airport will not resume until the summer, it has been revealed.
A spokesman said: “Atmosphere Airlines confirms its intentions to set up and launch a European base from ⁦London Southend Airport.
The start up has been mentioned here before with a great deal of skepticism. The difference this time is that an airport spokesman has referred to the airline.
https://atmosphereairlinesuk.com

Last edited by LTNman; 7th Nov 2021 at 05:06.
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