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Old 25th Jan 2024, 09:06
  #741 (permalink)  
 
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Enough is enough now.

When KLM, Arguably CWLs most loyal airline, starts cutting back you know sh*t is getting bad.
that nightstopper is surely the most vital, 0600 Dep and 22:20 Arr is the most convenient for day/business trips.

Spencer Birns needs to go NOW. As do most management and social media staff.

I can't defend CWL any more, the airport is failing before our eyes.

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Old 25th Jan 2024, 09:07
  #742 (permalink)  
 
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CWL

The whole management team at the airport needs changing - there is no vision, no publicity, no ambition and hence no results. If this facility is to survive they need to act and quickly with some bold moves. You never hear or see their Chairman, Wayne Harvey - what is he doing ? At least you used to hear from and see action from Roger Lewis, the previous chairman. Spencer needs to go - if this was being run like a proper commercial organisation, there would have been changes a long time ago. I don’t buy the argument about bad luck, wrong airlines going bust etc - these factors have impacted numerous UK airports - nearly all of which (even in smaller catchments) have fared better. Nor do I accept Bristol is too near (look at LPL/MAN, EMA/BHX, EDI/GLA) - the difference is the management.

iI use the airport around 10-12 times per year, the majority of the time on the 06:00 KL departure to connect to the US - I will now have to use BRS or LHR.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 10:13
  #743 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TOM100
The whole management team at the airport needs changing - there is no vision, no publicity, no ambition and hence no results. If this facility is to survive they need to act and quickly with some bold moves. You never hear or see their Chairman, Wayne Harvey - what is he doing ? At least you used to hear from and see action from Roger Lewis, the previous chairman. Spencer needs to go - if this was being run like a proper commercial organisation, there would have been changes a long time ago. I don’t buy the argument about bad luck, wrong airlines going bust etc - these factors have impacted numerous UK airports - nearly all of which (even in smaller catchments) have fared better. Nor do I accept Bristol is too near (look at LPL/MAN, EMA/BHX, EDI/GLA) - the difference is the management.

iI use the airport around 10-12 times per year, the majority of the time on the 06:00 KL departure to connect to the US - I will now have to use BRS or LHR.
Well said…..totally agree no vision or ambition whatsoever….cannot blame Covid anymore now too. People want to travel these days again.

Management is shocking and the blame seems to lie there.

I used to travel to CDG several times a year supporting my local airport now no choice but to use BRS or LHR.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 10:50
  #744 (permalink)  
 
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the difference is the management.
People want to travel these days again.
So what have the management done that have made KLM reduce flights? What has happened to the pax, if the night-stopper flight is the best for business users, maybe that demand has dropped? Is it an airport thing or a Welsh economy thing?
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 11:18
  #745 (permalink)  
 
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The management may not directly impact the KL decision per set but it is more evidence of the malaise that is impacting the airport. They have not on a macro level attracted the critical mass attracting airlines, making CWL top of mind for local travellers (some just automatically look to BRS) . No social media presence, no figureheads talking the airport up etc. The point I am making is that whatever their strategy ( if they have one) , whatever their negotiation strategies when talking to airlines (Spencer always trots out the line “we are talking to airlines all the time”) - it is simply not working. Of course the Welsh public have to support it - pax numbers have been over 2m in the past. If the airport is to have a last throw of the dice, do they carry on as is expecting a different result or do they shake the whole place up (starting with a proven, ambitious management team) or just continue to watch the decline.

The factors (loss of airlines, post pandemic business travel, competition etc) affects all regional airports - CWL as the airport of Wales, capital city - 3 nearby large cities (Cardiff, Swansea and Newport) should arguably be doing better than a lot of regional airports, but sadly it is languishing near the bottom. I want the airport to be successful - I like using it and support it. Hence my frustration and sadness at seeing it decline - hence wanting a shake up, refresh and re-focus - if that doesn’t yield anything then maybe the game is up.

I just don’t see the current management team the people to lead this.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 11:21
  #746 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TOM100
The management may not directly impact the KL decision per set but it is more evidence of the malaise that is impacting the airport. They have not on a macro level attracted the critical mass attracting airlines, making CWL top of mind for local travellers (some just automatically look to BRS) . No social media presence, no figureheads talking the airport up etc. The point I am making is that whatever their strategy ( if they have one) , whatever their negotiation strategies when talking to airlines (Spencer always trots out the line “we are talking to airlines all the time”) - it is simply not working. Of course the Welsh public have to support it - pax numbers have been over 2m in the past. If the airport is to have a last throw of the dice, do they carry on as is expecting a different result or do they shake the whole place up (starting with a proven, ambitious management team) or just continue to watch the decline.

The factors (loss of airlines, post pandemic business travel, competition etc) affects all regional airports - CWL as the airport of Wales, capital city - 3 nearby large cities (Cardiff, Swansea and Newport) should arguably be doing better than a lot of regional airports, but sadly it is languishing near the bottom. I want the airport to be successful - I like using it and support it. Hence my frustration and sadness at seeing it decline - hence wanting a shake up, refresh and re-focus - if that doesn’t yield anything then maybe the game is up.

I just don’t see the current management team the people to lead this.

Could not have said this any better - well said !! Totally agree with your comments and opinion.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 11:37
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It’s the airport team who need to change perceptions about price, destinations etc amongst the traveling Welsh public. There is a Facebook page group group called Cardiff Airport deals or something like that who do much more to market the airport than the airport !
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 11:43
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Originally Posted by TOM100
It’s the airport team who need to change perceptions about price, destinations etc amongst the traveling Welsh public. There is a Facebook page group group called Cardiff Airport deals or something like that who do much more to market the airport than the airport !
Marketing is totally naff and more or less non existent at CWL, always has been even when the place was busier back in the early 2000’s.

Fresh faces needed throughout and people with the ambition, determination and ability to promote CWL to the airlines and most importantly the public
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 17:18
  #749 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Letsflycwl
Marketing is totally naff and more or less non existent at CWL, always has been even when the place was busier back in the early 2000’s.

Fresh faces needed throughout and people with the ambition, determination and ability to promote CWL to the airlines and most importantly the public
Promotion by airports isn't done as much as it used to be, and of course local media isn't the force it was. There appears to be much greater reliance on airlines and tour operator and their websites and social media.

Cardiff really does look very much as though it is in potentially terminal decline. Given their superior runway and facilities a few decades ago you might have bet on Cardiff becoming a much larger airport than Bristol but it hasn't worked out thus. Probably not bagging 'Go' that was subsequently flogged to Easyjet during the rapid growth of LoCo airlines a couple of decades ago was the turning point.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 17:30
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I think the relative strength of the local economies is probably a bigger factor. No matter what the airports and airlines do, ultimately it comes down to peoples opportunity/propensity to fly.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 19:00
  #751 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts
Promotion by airports isn't done as much as it used to be, and of course local media isn't the force it was. There appears to be much greater reliance on airlines and tour operator and their websites and social media.

Cardiff really does look very much as though it is in potentially terminal decline. Given their superior runway and facilities a few decades ago you might have bet on Cardiff becoming a much larger airport than Bristol but it hasn't worked out thus. Probably not bagging 'Go' that was subsequently flogged to Easyjet during the rapid growth of LoCo airlines a couple of decades ago was the turning point.
I hate to spoil a good story but if you read Babara Cassani's book you will see that Cardiff was never in the running for a base.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 19:02
  #752 (permalink)  
 
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Some spot on comments from previous posts. There's a mix of things going wrong at CWL. The main one I would say is people automatically looking at Bristol or other Airports as their first choice, then the propensity to fly and constant change of available routes. Then throw in what appears to be an unambitious management team that seems too complacent and have little appetite to really showcase CWL.
KLM are a longstanding airline at CWL, so something is seriously wrong for them to drop the overnight aircraft. This reduction will severely hamper connection options available from CWL and will in turn affect the demand of the remaining 2 flights. Hopefully this is only a temporary reduction, but who knows.
If it is a commercial decision then serious questions need to be asked. If KL aren't able to maintain what is a historic route frequency, then definitely kiss goodbye to QR returning. KL's bread and butter is connections, and if Welsh people aren't using KL's connections, then they sure as hell won't fill QR's aircraft.

On the flip side, lets not forget CWL is seeing more growth from FR. FR is CWL's last hope of survival. If FR can't make it work then no Airline can. CWL should be screaming from the rooftops about FR's routes, because FR very rarely do any of their own advertising. An Airline like FR will get people through the door, which in turn will get people thinking CWL again. It happened around 10 years ago when Flybe returned and numbers started increasing before covid.

Time for a change of Management to a team with ambition and clout.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 19:23
  #753 (permalink)  
 
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FR growth is small, yes a couple of new destinations but they have lost 3 flights a week to DUB.

The catchment leakage to BRS runs into 000”s - the airport should be massively incentivising FR and LS to base and grow ( maybe they are or are trying ?), even if some initial commercial pain to get confidence growing, but where is the so called board of directors (who I assume are paid to do a job) in holding this dreadful performance and lack of results to account via the management team ? There just seems no urgency to (on the surface) do or try anything - they must see this platform is burning intensely. The whole set up and leadership just appears so passive (and comfortable) to an onlooker.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 19:28
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Some might say there are a lot of pigeons coming home to Rhoose right now.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 20:03
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What you are all forgetting is that there is another Board above the Board. That Board calls the shots because they own the business and receive political direction. You have a Minister for Transport who would rather go to Amsterdam on a bicycle than promote going there by air. You have politicians who will scream in the Senedd any time any money is spent.
I supported the airport being rescued by the taxpayer because at the time it was necessary but now it has been in public ownership too long. The government overpaid and made poor strategic decisions. Whether the private sector has an appetite to invest and whether the government could sustain the political outcry at losing the money they have invested is another matter.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 20:40
  #756 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by runway30
What you are all forgetting is that there is another Board above the Board. That Board calls the shots because they own the business and receive political direction. You have a Minister for Transport who would rather go to Amsterdam on a bicycle than promote going there by air. You have politicians who will scream in the Senedd any time any money is spent.
I supported the airport being rescued by the taxpayer because at the time it was necessary but now it has been in public ownership too long. The government overpaid and made poor strategic decisions. Whether the private sector has an appetite to invest and whether the government could sustain the political outcry at losing the money they have invested is another matter.
This is the key. Public ownership simply doesn't work.
The management work for the politicians (Labour) who aren't interested which means the owners can't attract the best management.
Resources are competed-for by schools'n'hospitals. No sensible MS would opt for airport investment against those.
Politicians are generally very low-calibre individuals, particularly when it comes to running a business.
The current obsession with all things green in Cardiff Bay means aviation will never get a fair crack of the whip.
Labour aren't very enamoured with privatisation, so I don't see a very positive future for CWL.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 20:54
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Originally Posted by TOM100
FR growth is small, yes a couple of new destinations but they have lost 3 flights a week to DUB.

The catchment leakage to BRS runs into 000”s - the airport should be massively incentivising FR and LS to base and grow ( maybe they are or are trying ?), even if some initial commercial pain to get confidence growing, but where is the so called board of directors (who I assume are paid to do a job) in holding this dreadful performance and lack of results to account via the management team ? There just seems no urgency to (on the surface) do or try anything - they must see this platform is burning intensely. The whole set up and leadership just appears so passive (and comfortable) to an onlooker.
You’ve deffo hit the nail on the head with the hammer…..would anyone know who the actual CWL management is if they bumped into them ?? You see nothing of them, hear nothing from them so love to know what their day entails as at present it is simply just haemorrhaging routes, airlines and destinations.

Get some new blood in, people with the drive and ambition who have the actual gut determination to sell CWL and to be seen.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 20:59
  #758 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
KLM will be reducing flights at CWL more than at other airports because they are making less money there. Maybe if more Welsh people supported the flights from the airport, it might encourage more flights?
KLM announced last week an increase to 3 daily (6 days a week, 2 on Sat) from SOU, from 31st March.
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Old 25th Jan 2024, 21:27
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I know it'll come down to operational reasons, but the nightstopper seems an odd one to cut, that means they will have an additional aircraft to park overnight in an already very congested AMS (Unless another airport is gaining a Nightstop?) and it removes the daytrip and a good chunk of business pax.

Surely the mid morning would be the better one to cut?

I'm sure they've done their homework but it seems odd.

As for the future of CWL, Ive always said they shouldn't put all their eggs in one basket as they did with WW,BE etc, but they do need to do their damn best to get FR expanding now! LS was the biggest missed opportunity of recent times for CWL imo, A finacially stable, and well loved carrier with a fantastic mix of city and sunshine destinations.

As I say, the airport needs a full management and media overhaul and ideally needs private owners again now.

LM isn't working because its not even daily, and when it is, its only 1x and silly prices. A reasonably priced 2x (ideally 3x) service is needed. The same would be needed with a EDI route.

Belfast seems OK, but again more frequency is needed, same with DUB.

I miss the 90s/00s where the airport had strong links to most EU bases and numerous based 757,767 & A321s.

what a shame.


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Old 25th Jan 2024, 21:44
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Originally Posted by CWL757
I know it'll come down to operational reasons, but the nightstopper seems an odd one to cut, that means they will have an additional aircraft to park overnight in an already very congested AMS (Unless another airport is gaining a Nightstop?) and it removes the daytrip and a good chunk of business pax.

Surely the mid morning would be the better one to cut?

I'm sure they've done their homework but it seems odd.

As for the future of CWL, Ive always said they shouldn't put all their eggs in one basket as they did with WW,BE etc, but they do need to do their damn best to get FR expanding now! LS was the biggest missed opportunity of recent times for CWL imo, A finacially stable, and well loved carrier with a fantastic mix of city and sunshine destinations.

As I say, the airport needs a full management and media overhaul and ideally needs private owners again now.

LM isn't working because its not even daily, and when it is, its only 1x and silly prices. A reasonably priced 2x (ideally 3x) service is needed. The same would be needed with a EDI route.

Belfast seems OK, but again more frequency is needed, same with DUB.

I miss the 90s/00s where the airport had strong links to most EU bases and numerous based 757,767 & A321s.

what a shame.
So many missed opportunities over the years which is horrible to witness. CWL was/is a great place but wow the finger of blame has to go to the management. Totally shocking.

Agree an increase of x2 daily M-F for EDI and Loganair…what about GLA ? NCL ? JER ?

In my opinion a small airline such as Eastern (yeah I know some people hate them) with say AT7 or E70 should be targeted. Eastern seem to have out lived most U.K. airlines. They could easily operate the domestic and euro regional routes with CWL help and incentives.
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