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Southampton-3

Old 30th Nov 2023, 16:21
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Originally Posted by SouthernAlliance
Summer season from MAN must be tempting for any prospective airline what with the numerous daily cruise departures. I cruised recently and the amount of passengers that had flown in from BHD to embark the ship so you would imagine some demand also coming from the north west.
When I flew in from Dublin, around 75% of the passengers on my flight were destined for the Queen Mary 2.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 16:24
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If the cruise market is the main rationale for a SOU-MAN route... then would it be better served with specific charter flights instead of a 2x daily scheduled route ? Or maybe something like what TUI are doing between Gatwick/Manchester and Frankfurt - namely scheduled flights at high fares on a small number of dates which coincide with river cruise start/end dates and which are offered at discount prices to cruise customers ?
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 17:14
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
If the cruise market is the main rationale for a SOU-MAN route... then would it be better served with specific charter flights instead of a 2x daily scheduled route ? Or maybe something like what TUI are doing between Gatwick/Manchester and Frankfurt - namely scheduled flights at high fares on a small number of dates which coincide with river cruise start/end dates and which are offered at discount prices to cruise customers ?
I have seen various cruise charters at Southampton over the years, including KLM EMB190s, TUI and Jet2 Boeing 757s, Martinair Boeing 737s amongst others, so special flights for cruise passengers have been used in the past. At the height of the summer on some Fridays or Saturdays, the number of people transferring to and from ships when five or six are in Southampton at the same time is enormous, with around 15,000 embarking and another 15,000 disembarking and many of the domestic flights to and from Southampton on those occasions are sold-out and potentially could be several times over.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 17:39
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Originally Posted by SotonFlightpath
I have seen various cruise charters at Southampton over the years, including KLM EMB190s, TUI and Jet2 Boeing 757s, Martinair Boeing 737s amongst others, so special flights for cruise passengers have been used in the past. At the height of the summer on some Fridays or Saturdays, the number of people transferring to and from ships when five or six are in Southampton at the same time is enormous, with around 15,000 embarking and another 15,000 disembarking and many of the domestic flights to and from Southampton on those occasions are sold-out and potentially could be several times over.
So with a little thought and planning there could have been and should be more flights tied in with cruise charters dates.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 18:18
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Originally Posted by RW20
So with a little thought and planning there could have been and should be more flights tied in with cruise charters dates.
yes but not at LM fares unfortunately. BE captured this market with cheap(ish) ticket prices combined with frequency. In saying that I do think someone like easyjet could be the answer on a daily service down to the south coast with again reasonable fares and added seat capacity
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 19:40
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[QUOTE]yes but not at LM fares unfortunately. BE captured this market with cheap(ish) ticket prices combined with frequency.[/QUOTE]

Think you might have gotten it the wrong way around. There are a lot of cruise pax on GLA/EDI/NCL to SOU at weekends to the point where the ATR is used on EDI-SOU at weekends simply for baggage volume. BE carried very little of this in the end as the cruise lines used to buy blocks of seats for their customers on them but lost that business through poor reliability - cancellations and losing too many bags, apparently.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 19:47
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The S24 slot report still shows that Loganair are planning a MAN-SOU 2x daily. Hopefully this will be announced soon.
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 20:21
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Originally Posted by planedrive
The S24 slot report still shows that Loganair are planning a MAN-SOU 2x daily. Hopefully this will be announced soon.
If so it needs to be a ATR !
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Old 30th Nov 2023, 20:41
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The 145 doesn't do too badly for baggage. Max I can recall is 768kgs for 47 pax which is a pretty high average. The ATR is more flexible for loading volume but probably not wildly different in capacity. As for MAN-SOU, who knows. I'm sure someone does!
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 00:06
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Regarding the significance of the Port of Southampton and its relevance to a direct air link from Manchester.

The Port of Southampton is northern Europe's busiest cruise port, and it's also the second busiest cruise turnaround port in Europe after Barcelona. The Port of Southampton is the world's seventh busiest cruise turnaround port.

A cruise turnaround is when a cruise starts and finishes at the port with passengers disembarking and embarking.

The Port of Southampton will have received up to 526 cruise ship calls by the years end 31 December 2023.

The Port of Southampton is expected to have received 2.2 million cruise passengers by years end 31 December 2023.

The Port of Southampton received 1.8 million cruise passengers in 2022.

The Port of Southampton previous record was set in 2018 with 2 million cruise passengers.

The Port of Southampton is expected to receive up to 538 cruise ship calls in 2024 with an estimated 2.3 million cruise passengers.

The Port of Southampton is a major cruise turnaround port serving both domestic and international markets.

The cruise industry at the Port of Southampton is year round. In February 2023, for the first time in the port's history, it received 18 cruise calls with two occasions when up to three vessels were in port together.

The Port of Southampton receives calls from all of the world's major cruise operators. Some of the world's largest cruise ships use the the Port of Southampton.

The Port of Southampton has upto 18 cruise ships based there during the peak summer season along with several others using the port either as a turnaround or a cruise call.

The Port of Southampton has five modern cruise terminals. The cruise terminals handle up to five cruise ships, and combined passenger movements can be up to 36,000 during busy turnaround days with those disembarking and embarking, including thousands of pieces of baggage This doesn't unclude the many thousands of crew also using the Port.

The Port of Southampton busiest days during peak season are Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The port's five cruise terminals often handle up to 15 cruise ships during the busy weekend period.

The Port of Southampton also receives up to 75 cruise ship calls per year from overseas operators, with mostly Dutch and German passengers, as a port of call, with many of those taking onshore excursions.

The Port of Southampton is ideally situated with excellent transport links by road. rail, air, and sea.

Now, something different.

An example.

Prior to the collapse of Flybe, 15% of the passengers arriving from Manchester took the direct flight to Southampton. Many of those passengers also stayed overnight in Southampton prior to joining their cruise.

An example

Prior to the collapse of Flybe, there was, on average, one coach per ship to and from Manchester to the Port of Southampton. Summer 2023 saw up to FIVE coaches or more per ship on some occasions operating to and from Manchester to the Port of Southampton.

Some cruise companies offer a shuttle bus service between the cruise terminals and Southampton Airport. Since the collapse of Flybe, this service is only offered on busy cruise days and not by every cruise company.

Flybe previously offered an excellent schedule between Manchester and Southampton, and it was perfectly timed for passengers connecting to the Port of Southampton to join their cruise. The lack of a direct air link between Manchester and Southampton has had an impact on those passengers who prefer the option of air rather than a very long coach transfer.

Although the majority of UK passengers drive with their own vehicle to the Port of Southampton coach, rail and air play a major role. BHD, EDI, GLA, and NCL also witness a large number of passengers using the flights to connect to their cruise from the Port of Southampton.

The Port of Southampton has coach transfers direct to the port's cruise terminals from all over the UK, including Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Norwich, several other pick up points including both East and West Midlands. The coach transfers are operating on behalf of the cruise companies.

The amount of coach transfers direct from the Port of Southampton to LHR often far exceeds the amount of domestic connections as listed above as many of those are multi drop. The LHR coach transfers often have passengers connecting with the British Airways flights to Manchester.

Don't underestimate the importance of the cruise business at the Port of Southampton and also the relevance of a direct air link from Manchester to Southampton Airport.

I can assure everyone reading this post that there is definitely a demand for a resumption of a direct air link between Manchester and Southampton. (I hear it a lot).

I know that Eastern Airways previously reconnected a link between Southampton and Manchester, but the route was not reliable, and the prices were extortionate. Cruise passengers were not going to put their trust and money with Eastern Airways in getting them to Southampton join their cruise.

The route is not a failure, and it absolutely astonishes me that it remains unserved. Although it used to be a popular route with Flybe, not everyone using it was on business. A Southampton to Manchester route caters to different and large markets, for business, leisure, and also for visiting friends and family. I used to use the route fairly often and found it far more convenient than driving and, without a doubt, far more convenient and relaxing than the rail connection.

Some have suggested dedicated air charters to Southampton. This is not an option. Operating weekly air charters to the likes of Barbados, Malta, Palma, etc, for passengers joining their cruise is a lot different than operating similar air charters to Southampton. A perfectly timed schedule is what is needed with preferably up to two or three or even four daily flights.

So, Loganair, please can you announce a resumption of a link between Manchester and Southampton in 2024. I personally don't believe in Christmas, but if I can just ask for one thing, I'd really appreciate it 👍

If by any chance that know one from Loganair reads the above well, the request then goes to easyJet.




Last edited by Sotonsean; 1st Dec 2023 at 01:10.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 06:57
  #2491 (permalink)  
 
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Hear Hear Sotondean. I have a friend who is a coach driver in North West. Pre-COVID he said his company laid on 6 cruise passenger coach trips each week - currently its 17!
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 09:05
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The thing is, Loganair doesn’t have a base at SOU and I don’t think it has a base at MAN so how would it best operate a SOUMAN route? Would you want to set up a new base at either SOU or MAN only to have EZY jump on you? I remember sitting next to COW at a lunch when she was running Flybe and remarking that she had a very complex and disjointed operation with a route network that looked like a (drunken) spider’s web and bases all over the place. I’ve always been a proponent of the KISS approach to airline management. We will see if LM decide the SOUMAN route is worth the effort and risk. If I was them I’d only do it if it could tie in with other things at one, or both, ends of the route.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 09:10
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Originally Posted by willy wombat
The thing is, Loganair doesnít have a base at SOU and I donít think it has a base at MAN so how would it best operate a SOUMAN route? Would you want to set up a new base at either SOU or MAN only to have EZY jump on you? I remember sitting next to COW at a lunch when she was running Flybe and remarking that she had a very complex and disjointed operation with a route network that looked like a (drunken) spiderís web and bases all over the place. Iíve always been a proponent of the KISS approach to airline management. We will see if LM decide the SOUMAN route is worth the effort and risk. If I was them Iíd only do it if it could tie in with other things at one, or both, ends of the route.
Loganair already serve MAN-NQY of which neither are bases so it's not inconceivable. Also, to have a based aircraft doesn't necessarily require based crew. Crew could night stop to operate on a trip pattern from one of their other bases. The positives I see that are both SOU and MAN have significant LM operations already, so it shouldn't be too tricky to add in the flight as a night stop or a triangle route (Ie: ABZ-SOU-MAN-ABZ). The difficulty with that would be getting the correct timings to make the flight viable.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 09:30
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People always say Eastern were extortionate between Manchester and Southampton. But so are the trains and they take considerably longer. The prices on any flight between Manchester and Southampton aren't going to be £80 anymore for something with multiple daily frequencies. There's a reason Flybe hardly ever made any money.

People need to expect to pay a price that reflects the considerable time saving on the train and makes it viable to operate.

Operating the route via a W pattern or nightstopping for LM makes it more expensive and potentially operationally tricky if something goes wrong. And if LM are miffed with the airport at the moment I can see why they might be holding back.

Last edited by cavokblues; 1st Dec 2023 at 10:10.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 09:45
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I'd guess that many of the pax travelling before or after a cruise have plenty of time - the important thing is being (almost) 100% certain of travel and not being cancelled for any reason. After a werk's cruise, people are not in any great hurry. Furthermore, on days when there are no cruises arriving or leaving Southampton, I'm guessing demand will be low or uni-directional. Some days feast, other days famine.

I'm not convinced that a 2x daily high-cost-per-passenger E145 is really what a SOU-MAN route needs. On some days that will be nowhere near enough capacity, while on other days it will be far too much. I'm thinking something closer to a 10+ year old A320 which can be flown just on the specific days to tie in with cruises.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 09:56
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Originally Posted by davidjohnson6
I'd guess that many of the pax travelling before or after a cruise have plenty of time - the important thing is being (almost) 100% certain of travel and not being cancelled for any reason. After a werk's cruise, people are not in any great hurry. Furthermore, on days when there are no cruises arriving or leaving Southampton, I'm guessing demand will be low or uni-directional. Some days feast, other days famine.

I'm not convinced that a 2x daily high-cost-per-passenger E145 is really what a SOU-MAN route needs. On some days that will be nowhere near enough capacity, while on other days it will be far too much. I'm thinking something closer to a 10+ year old A320 which can be flown just on the specific days to tie in with cruises.
A daily 156/186 Airbus would probably do the job, however if what we are hearing is correct and the ezy BFS/GLA routes are doing very well, itís not inconceivable that domestics may increase to double daily for summer and to capture the significant cruise market.

Last edited by SKOJB; 1st Dec 2023 at 10:39.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 10:27
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Originally Posted by Sotonsean
The amount of coach transfers direct from the Port of Southampton to LHR often far exceeds the amount of domestic connections as listed above as many of those are multi drop. The LHR coach transfers often have passengers connecting with the British Airways flights to Manchester.

Don't underestimate the importance of the cruise business at the Port of Southampton and also the relevance of a direct air link from Manchester to Southampton Airport.

I can assure everyone reading this post that there is definitely a demand for a resumption of a direct air link between Manchester and Southampton. (I hear it a lot).

I know that Eastern Airways previously reconnected a link between Southampton and Manchester, but the route was not reliable, and the prices were extortionate. Cruise passengers were not going to put their trust and money with Eastern Airways in getting them to Southampton join their cruise.

The route is not a failure, and it absolutely astonishes me that it remains unserved. Although it used to be a popular route with Flybe, not everyone using it was on business. A Southampton to Manchester route caters to different and large markets, for business, leisure, and also for visiting friends and family. I used to use the route fairly often and found it far more convenient than driving and, without a doubt, far more convenient and relaxing than the rail connection.

Some have suggested dedicated air charters to Southampton. This is not an option. Operating weekly air charters to the likes of Barbados, Malta, Palma, etc, for passengers joining their cruise is a lot different than operating similar air charters to Southampton. A perfectly timed schedule is what is needed with preferably up to two or three or even four daily flights.

So, Loganair, please can you announce a resumption of a link between Manchester and Southampton in 2024. I personally don't believe in Christmas, but if I can just ask for one thing, I'd really appreciate it 👍

If by any chance that know one from Loganair reads the above well, the request then goes to easyJet.
Really interesting and insightful post. I was a regular user of the MAN-SOU service (usually two return trips per month) before Eastern axed the route in May. As we were getting nearer to the peak cruise season in the summer, the service was getting busier and busier. Sadly Eastern decided to axe it and instead set up the Paris Orly route, so we'll never know how well it would have performed over the summer, in arguably in the first year since Covid that the cruising sector has near fully recovered. Despite Eastern's poor track record (I experienced some crazy delays - including one slightly surreal one where we were the delayed by 5 hours, to the point where we the very last departure of the day out of Manchester!) it was still a very useful service, even at once per day - still much easier than getting the train. And cheaper. The fares that Eastern charged (usually ranging from £50-£90) for a one way trip were still much cheaper than the train.

I absolutely despair at getting the train now. It takes half the day, and is absolutely extortionate. This morning I've booked a work trip to the south coast for 3 days in a couple of weeks - the train has cost £240 return and takes over 5 hours. I very nearly travelled by air via Belfast! It was pretty much as quick and half the price. Only issue was a tight layover in Belfast. I am going to need to be down on the south coast more next year, so I'm praying that Loganair pulls a rabbit out of the hat.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 10:44
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That's quite a jump from two flights a week at the moment up to two flights a day! From what I can see, the easyJet loads aren't bad but they're not exactly beating passengers away with a sharp stick - I'd say running at about 60-65% load factor on average on both routes. The other thing to consider is that fares aren't really increasing much towards the day of departure so average yields won't be great. It's not a disaster zone but I can't see that it's really as marvellous as some are making out.

LM were nightstopping a 145 in Southampton over the summer for an early morning northbound to Edinburgh so I guess there's no reason they couldn't do the same but fly to Manchester in the morning instead - if they chose to. The real question is, will they? To be remotely competitive with the train service, the route needs a decent frequency of service. There are some very busy days in the Port of Southampton - predominantly Saturdays and Sundays - but also some very dead days. Take Wednesdays next year. Two Fred Olsen cruise ships in on Wednesday 17 April but nothing on any other Wednesday in April. How do you plan an airline schedule to service that? [Hint: you don't. You fly frequently and then coincide with any sailings no matter what length.]
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 16:19
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The LCC business model is predicated on reaching very high load factors across the network soon after starting a route. Fluctuating demand on an already thin route is unlikely to merit them allocating an aircraft when better opportunities are available.
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Old 1st Dec 2023, 17:18
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Sotonsean states that the coaches are operated on behalf of the cruise companies. Any flights would presumably be the same - it may be that EZY flights from BFS and GLA are largely prebooked in the same way.

For MAN the advantages of the coaches - the ability of the coach to pick up at various places en route, and avoid a separate coach from SOU to the cruise terminal - may outweigh the faster flight.

What would be interesting would be flights bringing cruise passengers from the continent but Brexit may have ruined that.
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