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Old 3rd Aug 2021, 20:05
  #241 (permalink)  
 
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There's many views in the thread. Some like IOMX like travelling out and back on an early/late rotation. At £150 a ticket. Others reckon easyJet's offer (which in my experience ends up costing more with bags and seats and so on) on one flight a day somewhere in the day is better. There is reference to business people wanting to do day trips. There are many yearnings for how it used to be.

1) the world has changed. For the next year at least travel demand will be reduced by those who would normally travel frequently because of Covid. These are the frequent travellers who elect to stay safe.

2) the inclination go for of a day trip ticket for business has passed. I used to be at Ronaldsway by 6am twice a week. Then I got older and reckoned a later departure plus a hotel for an early fresh start was more efficient work wise. And I could do a client/customer dinner too. I doubt there are many who do day trips these days (other than those trying to minimise the number of nights spent in the UK for tax purposes and they tend to use their personal helicopters anyway). Curiously the Manx Airlines pricing model quoted by earlier posters charged less for the day trip; maybe they were trying to discourage people like me.

3) On Monday I flew to LHR with Loganair. No complaints about the flight, but after tramping through underground passages for about 20 minutes to reach the train station I realised why I was happy to pay a premium to go to LCY.

4) and that brings me to the point that we all have a preference for a particular London airport, driven by our personal circumstances. If I fly easyJet to LGW I have perhaps (but not always) the joy of a bus, followed by the monorail and then a 40 minute train journey to where I want to be in town, around an hour and 15 minutes typically in total. LHR T2 domestic as I discovered yesterday is similar. By contrast LHR T5 takes less than an hour. LCY is less than 40 minutes by DLR/tube; less than 30 is I splash out for a cab. LGW gives me only one (affordable) train option which is scuppered if the Gatwick to East Croyden part of the line is closed for some reason. And that happens. LHR gives me three surface options - HEX. Tube or hugely expensive cab (which costs more than the flight...). LCY also gives me three travel options - DLR/Tube, Bus/Tube and cab.

5) easyJet are hoovering up people who want to travel for nothing, and they charge late bookers like me a hefty premium for exactly the same service. My preference is to avoid that "rip off" and give a similar amount or more to the carrier that meets my needs. Having said that easyJet will let me take my usual long haul hand baggage on board (for a fee) and that is attractive. But against that with one flight a day and no interlining I could be left massively out of pocket. I would always go for the carrier with 3 flights a day for that reason.

6) I remember seeing a load of business colleagues whenever I waited for G-MIMA to take me home. Those days are also gone. Nowadays the IOM tends to be a back office for Jersey or other internationally based businesses. The bosses visit a couple of times a year if that. There are some that travel frequently still, but that handful alas doesn't keep a premium based service viable.

7) a fare of £150 isn't £150 to the airline. Deduct £26 for APD. Deduct at least £40 for airport charges. And deduct £? for CAA Nav charges, in short I doubt £40 per sector gives the airline enough to cover its own costs let alone contribute to the bottom line. Unless the aircraft is a 156 seater A319 or similar. Ir never will work for anything that seats 50-78 people.

So..IMHO what we have at the moment is all we can expect. When things improve Covidwise more will travel and more options will appear. But to complain about what we have now is to miss the point. The IOM flight market is not what it was, and until it recovers the choices will remain limited, and to some, undesirable.
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Old 3rd Aug 2021, 20:35
  #242 (permalink)  
 
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Some great points not all I personally agree with but well made nevertheless. Thanks to some of the recent posters for bringing the debate to life a little more rather than just promoting the virtues of Easyjet at every turn!
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Old 4th Aug 2021, 05:50
  #243 (permalink)  
 
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"Open Skies" isn't the only option. IOMG could introduce licencing controls that might get it closer to what it wants (if anybody can agree what that is!)
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Old 4th Aug 2021, 07:42
  #244 (permalink)  
 
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Maybe the simple answer is that there is no large enough market for a LCY service? Guernsey with 63.000 inhabitants has no LCY service (they have tried twice, IIRC) despite the fact that due to runway restrictions there is no LCC competition and the local airline is state-owned.The combination of a high-cost airport such as LCY - particularly for smaller aircraft - and the economics of regional aircraft obviously mean that in small markets tickets cannot be priced competitively without incurring significant losses as the target group willing to pay realistically priced tickets is simply too small. More people will use such a service if tickets are cheap, but if fares go up in order to levae loss-making territory, these folks will use the more "inconvenient" alternative instead of paying significantly more. As a result, anything that goes into LCY nowadays below 70 seats is either a PSO (Loganair) or extremely high cost (Sun Air) - it is also for a reason that BACF no longer operates the Saab 2000 or Embraer 170.
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Old 4th Aug 2021, 09:59
  #245 (permalink)  
 
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All very true. What is forgotten too often is that it is not just an IOM decision. Destination airports don't want regional aircraft any more, because everyone knows bigger is better! So the IOM is already at a disadvantage. Add to that a lackluster economy with few IOM travellers willing to pay for business travel, and the writing is on the wall for IOM business connectivity. As I said before, I believe the IOM can expect an exodus of businesses of any significant size. In fact I've already personally witnessed it.
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Old 5th Aug 2021, 18:57
  #246 (permalink)  
 
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Loganair have cancelled a flight every Sunday: LM0686

Depart: Liverpool, 13:40
Arrive: Isle Of Man, 14:20

Probably others gone from the schedule as well.

They've offered the 1915 as a replacement which has a different flight number.

The email with subject "Booking change" explicitly states:

You will only be entitled to a refund if this change moves your flight to a different day, or if you can no longer complete a day-return trip

That's completely wrong.

Looks like they're being naughty and I will have to phone them and explain how refund and cancellations work. Nevermind EU261

Last edited by lfc84; 5th Aug 2021 at 19:19.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 08:28
  #247 (permalink)  
 
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I see the 'low cost carrier' Easyjet are living up to their name again. A return flight to London on some selected dates as high as £473.00 before bags and seating. And no Tuesday or Wednesday service at all in November so much for London connectivity! And also no Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday flight in January. Tremendous service and good value pricing for the island....... not!
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 09:04
  #248 (permalink)  
 
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I think people are forgetting how pricing works. Cheaper tickets are sold if the flight tends to be emptier as is fills up the price increases. A lot of airlines do it. Because it’s the only airline operating to London of course flights are going to get busy and prices increase.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 09:40
  #249 (permalink)  
 
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I can assure you that I am more than conversant with the algorithms that airlines use and increase their prices as planes fill up. However I do not believe that a company that brands itself as a low cost carrier should be charging up to £483.00 before seating and bags and to allow it to happen for such a poor service. Easyjet have ended up putting 156 seats onto the London market at erratic times and now we have no other options. If there really is no further demand than 156 a day ( which I do not believe based on the pricing we are seeing) far better would be a twice a day 76 seater which would offer the frequency and connectivity that is required by an island to its neighbouring capital. Lets hope somebody somewhere wakes up to what is going on and sorts out the London market so we can all have a decent service.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 10:25
  #250 (permalink)  
 
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Far better for the pax perspective possibly in terms of timings and connectivity but from an operator's perspective it will make it very hard to compete. If easyJet want to capacity dump and bleed out any new potential operator then they probably will just because they can if they think it will protect their yields in the long term. In their defence they've never offered a cap on prices so if they think people will be willing to pay £400+ that then they will charge it.

Maybe the new Flybe might offer something in the next few years? I've no idea who else would considering the recent attempts.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 10:47
  #251 (permalink)  
 
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I agree with your points and this is exactly why the Easyjet model alone is not really right for the Isle of Man in my view. Islands need regular and frequent connections for strategic reasons. It is fine if there is sufficient demand in the market for one flight a day plus a more frequent carrier but it is not the solution for an island that needs strong and regular connections into the neighbouring capital. The problem as you have rightly highlighted is Easyjet bleeding out any new potential operator that's why there needs to be some form of light touch regulation to ensure that does not happen. The Isle of Man Government need to carefully consider all of this and ensure they have the right outcome for the island.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 11:06
  #252 (permalink)  
 
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IOMX fella - everything you've written over the past few weeks is spot-on.

'The Isle of Man Government need to carefully consider all of this and ensure they have the right outcome for the island.' They don't have the ability and as none have any skin in the island's business game, but will just keep milking the tax-payer funded gravy train for as long as they can, they'll do nothing. Are any of them NOT 'as green as the hills' with any real needs outside shangri la rock?
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 11:29
  #253 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks. I do worry that the IOMG do not understand the strategic importance of well timed regular services between the Isle of Man and London. I recognise that everyone will have different opinions but I have tried to lay out the argument why the Isle of Man needs a morning and evening service into the London market. Sadly a lot of posters on here seem to think that the solution is Easyjet but that will never provide the outcome needed of an early morning off island flight and evening return. I suspect their circumstances and needs mean they can manage with a once a day erratically timed service but that is certainly not what a lot others need. I think a good outcome would be two a day to a London premium airport ( LCY OR LHR) on a 50 or 76 seater and a once a day Easyjet ( LGW ) I am sure the market could sustain that.

I do hope the IOMG start to get to grips with this issue urgently for the sake of the island.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 11:41
  #254 (permalink)  
 
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Sadly a lot of posters on here seem to think that the solution is Easyjet but that will never provide the outcome needed of an early morning off island flight and evening return.
I think that the view is not that Easyjet are the solution, but that easyjet can't be blamed for putting on the flights that suit them rather than 'providing a service'
I think a good outcome would be two a day to a London premium airport ( LCY OR LHR) on a 50 or 76 seater and a once a day Easyjet ( LGW ) I am sure the market could sustain that.
Can the market sustain it without government intervention?
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 11:51
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I think you will find some posters do think Easyjet are the solution some of them almost operate as though they are in the Easyjet marketing department! I think the IOMG do need to take ownership for this problem it is a strategic issue for the island. Lets hope someone recognises that quickly.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 11:59
  #256 (permalink)  
 
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I think you misunderstand most people's comments. I think we can all see why a twice daily service would be great but the reality is every time someone offered it, it has failed. Easyjet seems to be offering what it can make money on (or at least I assume lose the least amount on). I also don't think its remotely realistic to expect a 150GBP return flight on a 50 seater to a premium airport. As has been pointed out before it seems the options are:
1. Lobby IOM Gov to subsidise an operator to fly Morning/Evening flight to LHR or LCY (LHR likely too hard once things return to some normality).
2. A more boutique airline comes in and operates the service with a price to reflect it like Sun Air with 600GBP return flights to Billund.
3. Easyjet slowly increase services and eventually you end up with a more flexible offering.

I do find it hard to believe there are as many people as you mention who need these twice daily flights. History has shown that no carrier has managed to survive very long operating them so evidently they were either too cheap/with too high costs or the demand just wasn't there. It was well said when the BA LCY service was launched that it was use it or lose it time and evidently it wasn't used enough.

I'm not up to speed with how the IOM operates. Is there a business organisation who can lobby for support or try to attract a carrier?
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 12:44
  #257 (permalink)  
 
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I think you are broadly right with your options but in not understanding how the IOM operates maybe you are missing some of the nuances of it. As much as some on here seem to imply I don't understand aviation I believe I probably have a better grasp than many of them having spent a lot of time looking into it. And I am also very familiar with Sunair I have flown LCY to Billund on several occasions on the Dorner jet its a fantastic plane but as you say more boutique.

On your point regarding people needing to fly twice a day I do think there are a lot. Airport data will show you that circa 4500 people a month used the LCY to IOM service. The problem was that the aircraft was operated by Eastern airways more latterly Loganair on behalf of British Airways so there were several parties trying to make a return. In addition the plane could only ever operate IOM/LCY, I assume due to this commercial arrangement, so it ended up with three rotations to try and make it viable not two. In effect the midday flight is not really needed and puts a strain on the whole route. Couple that with two rotations of Easyjet placing over 300 seats into the market and its challenging, If there is a model which means an operator can fly the two London sectors morning and evening and put a Manchester, Birmingham or Liverpool leg during the day I suspect it might work better. And only one Easyjet rotation rather than two so the market does not become over suppled.

Yes there are various lobby groups I am sure they are looking into this too but my aim to to try and raise awareness of the problem so that someone somewhere wakes up to the issue and fixes it for the good of the island. All it needs is some sensible long term strategic thinking and we could have an outcome that meets the needs of the casual flyer with very cheap rices and a more regular morning and evening service priced at a higher level. You may be right it needs to be more than £150 but my research shows a price zone of £150-£200 is currently applicable from Belfast City to LHR and LCY and even less for Jersey at around £120 so it is clearly feasible. A fare structure of £150-£200 return is fair in my view to pay for a well timed service and compares favourably with peak time train fare equivalents.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 13:18
  #258 (permalink)  
 
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LCY has been operated by Aer Arran, VLM, Flybe and Loganair in their own ops. There is also Eastern who operated it for BA. There will be others as well.
Some of the above were prior to easyJet.
What does that tell you ?
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 13:48
  #259 (permalink)  
 
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IOMX

Are you suggesting that easyJet should intervene (manually manipulate) their revenue management system to ensure that fares don’t go too high?

Nothing wrong with that per sŤ but remember it’s the same algorithm that spits out many cheaper fares as well as those very cheap loss leading fares.

Ultimately though, the market dictates.
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Old 10th Aug 2021, 15:46
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It tells me you have no idea of your facts! Lets look at it in a little more detail maybe I an help you out

1) When Aer Arran operated it Flybe were also flying into LGW on four rations a day so there were too many seats.
2) When VLM operated it they did do alongside Euromanx and Flybe were still flying into LGW. Incidentally VLM only ever used it to park the plane during the day as it was more cost effective than holding it at LCY.
3) Flybe did it years ago it was a Belfast service that stopped at IOM. Again it was up against 4 rotations of LGW so too many seats.
4) Eastern operated on behalf of BACF again there were two Easyjet rotatios at 156 seats a go for it to go against.
5) Loganair operated it on behalf of BACF again there were two Easyjet rotations.

Also as I pointed out in an earlier post if you had bothered to read it LCY was running three rotations whereas I suggest only two are needed ( I think this was to utilise the plane throughout the day as the BA agreement meant they could not serve other markets). So in every scenario you have provided there were about 350-450 seats going into the London market causing an oversupply. On the model I have suggested there would be about 250-300 seats which I would suggest is about right for the market.
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