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Old 11th Feb 2021, 20:52
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All too often views are being posted that suggest that Covid19 should have been spotted in advance and decisions made accordingly.

Fact is that at the 2019 peak, easyJet, Ryanair and Flybe (franchise) had bases at SEN. Air Malta and Loganair had at least been willing for a period and others like Flyone and Wideroe were happy to join Londonís fastest growing (%) airport.

Now I get an uneasy feeling about EZY. I get the impression that Brady wanted them to sign up to paying their way after their 10 year honeymoon. If they didnít (in my view) it was suggested that Ryanair would move in and grab most of the best part of the best part of a million pax that the orange airline served.

To Brady and the board SEN had become a numbers game. They all believed they had it in the bag. 2.5 million pax rapidly growing to 4 million + triggering off a feeding frenzy that would end up with a buyer who would see the opportunity for profit rather than questioning why profit had proved so illusive so far.

But they were so close.

Now, well they should have thought of themselves as the owners of a handily located small regional airport. Is that the collective wisdom?
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Old 11th Feb 2021, 21:16
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DC3 - you make a good point, and I will stick my hand up as someone who was too optimistic about SEN's prospects in 2019 and who, quite frankly, got it wrong

However, Warwick Brady as CEO was not simply an administrator following the instructions of the board without his having capacity to influence his masters. He was the CEO and as such cannot take the "Plan gone wrong ? Nothing to do with me" approach. Had it all gone well, I'm pretty sure the CEO would have claimed a lot of public credit. If the board wants rid of him, then so be it - but otherwise he should be sticking around trying to come up with a new plan and stabilise SEN/Stobart's finances again. My impression is perhaps of a CEO who maybe washes his hands of issues when problems appear, walks away from disaster, and leaves it to others to solve - a clear example of what good leaders do not do

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Old 12th Feb 2021, 07:37
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DC3 Dave

I haven't seen any posts here suggesting that "Covid19 should have been spotted in advance". I did say that "a more balanced portfolio of operations would have proven more shock resistant" and I stand by that.

The facts of the Stobart annual reports over recent years show that increasing passengers numbers were being generated at the expense of profitability and, as your reasonable hypothesis regarding easyJet suggests, that would prove a difficult spiral from which to escape. The idea of establishing routes under Stobart Air/Flybe branding to the point where other operators might take them on as stand alone, profitable routes had merit and worked to some degree and certainly raised SEN's profile within the industry. It was probably a mistake to have the Stobart Jet Centre operating as an independent FBO rather than under an internationally known brand but Stobart did like to keep everything in-house. The loss of ATC Lasham and Inflite robbed them of MRO activity and they rebranded the former's hangar as Stobart Jet Centre accommodation.

The SEN management cannot be blamed for not anticipating the sudden, dramatically freeing up of capacity at the other LON airports due to Covid - of course not - but that reality does expose SEN to an uncomfortable few years ahead.

As you say, the sale of SEN with the shine still on very nearly came about but as Harold MacMillan said when asked about the most difficult problems he had faced as Prime Minister: "Events, dear boy, events".
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Old 12th Feb 2021, 09:41
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Expressflight

No criticism of your views intended, or anyone elseís.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the past Esken are going to think long and hard about the way forward when people start to fly again.
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Old 12th Feb 2021, 10:01
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So what is SEN roll in the big picture for London's airports, as it doesn't seem to have one now? It was doing great as the overflow airport for London as it was slot free with no constants as long as the runway could handle the aircraft. Now it seems to be aimless with no direction or vision but then if there is no demand their options are limited. Flyone seems to be off despite facing direct competition from Wizz so the question needs to be asked why has Southend lost its appeal? Is it just to do with other airports having capacity or is their now an underlying problem?
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Old 12th Feb 2021, 10:28
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LTNman

think you have very quickly answered your own question!
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 07:27
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Perhaps not a huge surprise, but Wideroe have delayed resumption of service - Bergen now restarts on 3 May, while Kristiansand restarts on 2 July
Wizzair to Bucharest restart is now delayed to 26 April

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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 07:49
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Why did JOTA move out after so many years.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 09:21
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davidjohnson6

As the ‘roadmap’ tentatively restarts foreign travel in August and not even UK holidays until June sadly all these dates look unlikely, as does any schedule from anywhere. On the vaccine front both Norway and Romania are ahead of the EU average however so one would hope they could benefit from being in an earlier round of permission.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 09:24
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Where are you getting your information? None of the big news agencies are reporting June and August yet.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 09:52
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Its from the Times on Twitter via Sacha Lord who is Andy Burnham’s hospitality adviser. I have no doubt as to its credibility because almost all previous announcements have been leaked in similar ways
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 10:00
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Could I very respectfully suggest diverting discussion of unlocking of the UK to somewhere other than just the Southend thread ? This is a topic of major importance to the UK and aviation - it deserves a much wider audience than just those interested in Southend
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 10:15
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Well here's a snippet of purely parochial news.......yesterday saw the first landing of an A320 at SEN for a while as a Eurowings example lands to become the first repaint job for the new Satys Air Livery hangar on the North Side.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 11:49
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N707ZS

Neither JOTA nor SEN have commented on that subject as far as I know.

There have been rumours of JOTA being less than happy with aspects such as reluctance to grant them night slots and the requirement to despatch all their departures from terminal stands, be they revenue or simply positioning flights. I doubt that the reasons for the move will ever appear in the public domain but it looks to me that SEN didn't try very hard to retain their business.
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Old 22nd Feb 2021, 12:03
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AirportPlanner1

Neither country has much to shout about. Load factors for Romania are at 92% at Luton with less flights so there is still demand. Luton seems to taking taking SEN passengers which is unfortunate.


Last edited by LTNman; 22nd Feb 2021 at 12:27.
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Old 23rd Feb 2021, 15:03
  #136 (permalink)  
 
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https://www.independent.ie/business/...-40121228.html
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Old 26th Feb 2021, 10:33
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It would appear that Ryanair are set to resume their Vilnius route from 2 November 2021 at 3x weekly (Tues, Thur, Sat). Flights currently loaded for November on their website, nothing on their app yet.
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 08:22
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Losing a route to Heathrow is a rite of passage if you want to be a proper London airport
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 08:23
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Can Southend hang onto Kristiansand if the big money for Wideroe has gone west ?
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Old 10th Mar 2021, 08:53
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Doubt it, SEN once major selling point of feeding London’s over capacity is now biting hard and recovery may take longer than many of the regionals
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