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Southampton-3

Old 9th Nov 2023, 16:17
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easyJet has 45 weekly slot pairs to return to BA at Gatwick for Summer 2024, so a reduction in the based aircraft count of three.

They have also lost their grandfather rights to 15 weekly slots (9 departures, 6 arrivals) at LGW for S24 under whatever criteria (use-it-or-lose-it or punctuality/regularity of slots) may have been applied to reach that decision.

My understanding was that the three based aircraft coming out of Gatwick were the three based aircraft to go into Birmingham and so already accounted for, but happy to stand corrected on that if anyone knows more. Either way, I'd still not expect to see a SOU base.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 16:36
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The problem is not lack of staff, its operating hours.

The agreement with local council (Eastleigh) states operating 06h30 to 23h30.
That means aircraft needs to be on the ground and engines shut by 23h30

So that was probably why your flight was diverted

Originally Posted by SotonFlightpath
Definitely the main issue with late arrivals is having sufficient staff available. In 2018 I was on a very late running flight from Skiathios to SOU. With such a late departure, it was obvious that there could potentially be problems, although nothing was mentioned form the flight deck or from cabin crew before departure. About half an hour into the flight the captain broke the news that Southampton would be closed and we would be diverted to Exeter, not the easiest place to travel back from in the middle of the night. The cabin crew were marvellous, spending much of the flight going up and down the cabin trying to find out where people were trying to get home to so taxis could be arranged and where possible, doubling-up small groups going to locations that were close together. Just after passing Paris, the flight deck informed us that Southampton had agreed to stay open - so all was well and we landed at about 23.45.

What many people probably forget is the shear number of people needed to keep the airport open. Fire crew, control tower, apron staff, ground handling/baggage, border control, baggage reclaim, long-stay car park bus driver etc.

It relies on goodwill and the overtime bill must have been a considerable cost, but there again, so would the coaches and taxis!
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 16:39
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Originally Posted by Flightrider
easyJet has 45 weekly slot pairs to return to BA at Gatwick for Summer 2024, so a reduction in the based aircraft count of three.

They have also lost their grandfather rights to 15 weekly slots (9 departures, 6 arrivals) at LGW for S24 under whatever criteria (use-it-or-lose-it or punctuality/regularity of slots) may have been applied to reach that decision.

My understanding was that the three based aircraft coming out of Gatwick were the three based aircraft to go into Birmingham and so already accounted for, but happy to stand corrected on that if anyone knows more. Either way, I'd still not expect to see a SOU base.
Thank you for a clear and realistic summary,Easy need 24 hr or close to operations for based aircraft,so SOU simply doesn't feature!
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 16:49
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Originally Posted by Flightrider
My understanding was that the three based aircraft coming out of Gatwick were the three based aircraft to go into Birmingham and so already accounted for, but happy to stand corrected on that if anyone knows more. Either way, I'd still not expect to see a SOU base.
Remember due x12 new frames from Airbus between January & April 2024 but also a few 319 retirements - so possible +/- to the fleet so not as easy just saying 3 LGW to BHX.
Either way, I agree SOU is not a likely base. An expanded away program maybe.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 17:10
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It may not be quite so simple, but I thought the coincidence in numbers is telling. After the experience easyJet has had this summer with ATC delays, airports with rigid closures (ask anyone in IOM and they'll tell you) and operational disruption, I'd be surprised if the prospect of setting up shop at another airport such as SOU with all of those risks and constraints even figures on the list.

The wider fleet position is anybody's guess unless you work at easyJet! They have had one 320N delivery and one 320 transferred from EJU in the last couple of months and in that timeframe, three 319s have gone to St Athan, five to Teesside and two to Lasham. Seems likely that the first eight are part-outs, unsure if the Lasham pair are part-outs or simply for maintenance or winter storage. Long-winded way of saying that within a fleet of 300-330 aircraft, there are a lot of tunes you can play.

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Old 9th Nov 2023, 20:24
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Lets hope Loganair continue for Glasgow,as they have been loyal servants to SOU,also what has happened to SOU- MAN ,surely a money spinner?
Can't find it on LinkedIn now, but there was a post a few days ago by Loganair CEO Jonathan Hinkles bemoaning the competition that they will now face on the SOU-GLA route, and almost having a pop at SOU management for "allowing" the competitive situation that will now arise.

The Airport will have a different view, of course, and it might just be that Easyjet's lower fares might stimulate demand from different market segments such that they can co-exist with a higher number of people overall flying on the route.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 20:40
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We shall see but adding a daily A320 almost doubles the capacity on the route (1 x 180/186 seats vs 4 x 50 seats). Do you think that EZY will increase the market by almost 100%? If not, how much traffic do you think LM can afford to lose before their operation of the route becomes unsustainable? Answers on a postcard please.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 20:46
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Originally Posted by Wycombe
Can't find it on LinkedIn now, but there was a post a few days ago by Loganair CEO Jonathan Hinkles bemoaning the competition that they will now face on the SOU-GLA route, and almost having a pop at SOU management for "allowing" the competitive situation that will now arise.

The Airport will have a different view, of course, and it might just be that Easyjet's lower fares might stimulate demand from different market segments such that they can co-exist with a higher number of people overall flying on the route.
I totally agree with your last paragraph and the comments you've stated 👍

I fully understand Mr Hinkles' frustration, and he's obviously going to make his opinion known. LinkedIn is the ideal platform for him to post about it, and I, too, had read his comments. He has made similar comments on the Southampton Airport FB page as well as on X. Not that I'm a member of either of those two, but I have read them after a quick search online.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:03
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Originally Posted by willy wombat
We shall see but adding a daily A320 almost doubles the capacity on the route (1 x 180/186 seats vs 4 x 50 seats). Do you think that EZY will increase the market by almost 100%? If not, how much traffic do you think LM can afford to lose before their operation of the route becomes unsustainable? Answers on a postcard please.
After reading your excellent analysis, and looking towards the long term, you could well be correct. The seat comparisons definitely say a lot about the sustainability for two airlines to coexist. With easyjet operating year round on BFS/GLA to Southampton, I'm sure that the airline will look at a possible EDI to SOU route.

I think that we would all like to see the route coexist with easyjet and Loganair but it's going to be difficult for one of them.

Hopefully Loganair are still interested in resuming a Southampton to Manchester link. Loganair just before the pandemic had announced an Isle of Man to Southampton link but it was cancelled three months after it was first announced and it never operated. Before that Loganair had stated that they might be interested in a Carlisle-Liverpool-Southampton route. Obviously that latter route won't happen in the foreseeable future. I personally would appreciate a direct air link to Liverpool from Southampton.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:03
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Originally Posted by Wycombe
Can't find it on LinkedIn now, but there was a post a few days ago by Loganair CEO Jonathan Hinkles bemoaning the competition that they will now face on the SOU-GLA route, and almost having a pop at SOU management for "allowing" the competitive situation that will now arise.

The Airport will have a different view, of course, and it might just be that Easyjet's lower fares might stimulate demand from different market segments such that they can co-exist with a higher number of people overall flying on the route.
Whining Jonny complains about any competion. Always has. The 2/3 flights a week operation from Easy is hardly a threat to his high yield ripoff multi-frequency ops but it will keep him honest on the days when Easy do operate.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:11
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean

Hopefully Loganair are still interested in resuming a Southampton to Manchester link.
I think Loganair will wait and see what the impact of easy is on BFS and GLA before launching anything else from SOU, in case EZY jump on that as well.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:16
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Originally Posted by TartinTon
Whining Jonny complains about any competition. Always has. The 2/3 flights a week operation from Easy is hardly a threat to his high yield ripoff multi-frequency ops, but it will keep him honest on the days when Easy do operate.
I think that you're overlooking the fact that easyjet has recently confirmed that GLA-SOU is going to be year-round with increased frequencies.

easyjet GLA-SOU is now a year-round route, as recently confirmed by the airline. GLA-SOU will be daily from the beginning of the IATA summer 2024 season, which starts on 31 March 2024.

For the remainder of the IATA winter season 2023/24, easyjet BFS-SOU is two weekly, with GLA-SOU being three weekly. BFS-SOU is also going to be year-round from the IATA summer 2024 season with five weekly flights.

Mr Hinkles has every right to be concerned about the incoming competition despite your personal views of him along with Loganair itself. Wouldn't you be the same if you were in his position 😏
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:23
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If 'Whining Jonny' pulls Loganair's business friendly operation in the face of Easyjet competion the loser is Southampton Airport and the wider Hampshire business community.

Its always wise to be careful what one wishes for.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:24
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Originally Posted by ATNotts
If 'Whining Johnny' pulls Loganair's business friendly operation in the face of Easyjet competion the loser is Southampton Airport and the wider Hampshire business community.

Its always wise to be careful what one wishes for.
I totally agree with you on all counts 👍
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 21:40
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The whole thing looks to be a total mess. SOU needed an airline to backfill the lost volume on Med routes but instead has got an airline which has given a token nod to that need and seems more focused on targeting the incumbent airlines who have - more than any others - brought the airport back from a near-death experience. You'd have to be surprised if Loganair would press ahead with any growth at SOU if that's how the airport has treated them, and the same for Emerald given the increasing easyJet presence on SOU-BFS. These look like spoling operations by easyJet to cap growth by others at SOU to a level which can never become a threat to Gatwick. Worse still, the airport management seems to be aiding and abetting their strategy.
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Old 9th Nov 2023, 22:58
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Hard to understand.

Back in Flybe times, SOU was criticised for placing all eggs in one basket.

Now everyone seems afraid to piss off Loganair and is CEO.

Did i go into deep sleep to wake up to a world where monopolies are now healthy?

Maybe if Loganair didn’t rip off their customers on such high fares they wouldn’t fear a little competition as much.

Are Loganair and Emerald a business run for profit or a charity? Why would they look at the emotional side and give up on routes were they are profitable just because they have competition in one route?

And finally. 3 years since losing flybe and covid, yes they brought some business, but nowhere near break even, they airport NEEDS a new airline, no matter what this airline will bring.
Loganair and Emerald by themselves will never be able to bring SOU to positive results.

Sometimes you need to break some eggs.
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Old 10th Nov 2023, 05:55
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If I believed that EZY was committed to domestic routes from SOU and planned to operate a “proper” business friendly schedule ie at least twice daily on the likes of EDI, BFS etc, I would be less critical of them. However based on their operations on other UK domestic routes, I don’t. IMHO EZY will do what they’ve done on other UK domestics. Slot flights in where they have a gap in the line of flying, often at commercially unattractive times meaning they have to charge sub optimal fares and hope that those plus the incremental revenue from onboard sales etc etc give them some contribution to overheads. Then, when a better opportunity presents itself they will abandon said domestic route without a second thought.
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Old 10th Nov 2023, 08:29
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SOU will go the way of DSA if it chases low fare airlines. SOU has no other auxiliary income other than commercial aviation bar a little car-park income. The CAPEX they'd need to fork out on improvements will not help them in being able to offer low enough passenger charges to the low fare airlines. I can bet you that the likes of Emerald and Loganair are paying SOU much more than a low fare airline ever would.

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Old 10th Nov 2023, 09:19
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Originally Posted by shamrock7seal
SOU has no other auxiliary income other than commercial aviation bar a little car-park income.
What's the position with the business park development?

https://www.navigatorquarter.co.uk/
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Old 10th Nov 2023, 09:21
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Originally Posted by MadB
The problem is not lack of staff, its operating hours.

The agreement with local council (Eastleigh) states operating 06h30 to 23h30.
That means aircraft needs to be on the ground and engines shut by 23h30

So that was probably why your flight was diverted
You do not appear to have read a correct copy of the Section 106 Agreement, a link to it from the SOU website is below.

https://www.southamptonairport.com/planning/section106/

You will note that the permitted operating hours are, with some exceptions, 0630-2300HR except SAT/SUN when they are 2300/0730HR. Outside these are referred to as "night time hours".

As indicated in a much earlier post of mine staffing was the problem for late arrivals. The previous version of the Section 106 permitted 10 movements per month during night time hours, but an ability to accept these arrivals/departures was down to staff availability.

I know as a fact that late attendance by NATS staff was voluntary. This required attendance of two controllers to provide TWR & APS. This has now been reduced due to approval to operate with one controller to provide TWR/APS from the control tower. This alone should improve the likelihood of ATC being available, albeit I do not know whether late attendance by NATS staff is still voluntary.

Returning to the current Section 106 Agreement, the term "expert" appears and is defined. It would appear that during the drafting of the new version there were few experts involved as there is still mention of Viper engined HS 125s, and among the aircraft banned (on noise grounds) from using the airport are DH Comet, Super VC10, Tupolev 104 and HS Trident!

Last edited by TCAS FAN; 10th Nov 2023 at 10:09. Reason: technical correction
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