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Old 27th Oct 2022, 10:08
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot
What would an easyJet and a Ryanair departure do to the terminal? At 186 + 189 that's 375 seats, or 5 x Q400s in olde world flybe terms. Now if you did have 5 Q400s and/or ATRs boarding at peak morning rush and and only the two jets above in addition, that's equivalent to TEN Q400s at once. So your BAU props and the beginnings of wished for loco business, what does that do to your CX? (customer experience)

Basically what they're chasing needs a new terminal for jets and not just a longer runway. IF that's what they need.
From what I recollect in Flybe times did we not have 8 (sometimes more) morning departures (GLA/EDI/MAN/AMS/CDG/DUB/LBA/NCL) in the first hour?
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 10:38
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Originally Posted by TCAS FAN
From what I recollect in Flybe times did we not have 8 (sometimes more) morning departures (GLA/EDI/MAN/AMS/CDG/DUB/LBA/NCL) in the first hour?
Quick scan suggests most mornings have 6 departures before 1055, hardly stretched. This will of course rise on weekends in summer with BACF but the days of multiple BE launches before 0800 are long gone!
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 11:11
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Extracts from part 2 of the CAPA Report

No surprises here.
FF

In part one of this report CAPA highlighted that Southampton Airport’s Operations Director Steve Szalay had said recently that the airport was likely to record a GBP4.5 million loss in 2022 (slightly down from an earlier estimate), when most other British airports are indicating that they anticipate an operating profit, if only a small one.


A loss during which air transport has come close to the same seat capacity levels and passenger business as 2019 in the UK is worrying.

And unfortunately, Southampton has not come close to those capacity levels, lagging the UK average.

2019 levels 'unachievable' without a runway extension

Mr Szalay is convinced that it would be impossible to reach 2019 passenger numbers again without the runway extension, because once Flybe was lost, “there was no other airline with a big enough fleet that can operate off our runway.”

In other words, there are now insufficient airlines in the UK with small enough aircraft to keep regional airports like Southampton going. They are increasingly dependent on foreign airlines, and it was that dependence which did for Doncaster-Sheffield, then the effective pull-out by Wizz Air being the fatal blow.

Indeed, many airports will also be concerned by the news that Loganair, now the UK’s largest regional airline, is up for sale.

Presently Loganair is the largest operator at Southampton, both by seat capacity (29.4%) and movements (36.7%).


Regional/commuter airlines dominate capacity

The emphasis on small aircraft can be gauged from the fact that more than 75% of seat capacity at Southampton is on regional/commuter airlines, with full service carriers accounting for 19.6% and low cost airlines – which are still the driving force in the UK as a whole – having a minuscule 5.2%.

It is nearby Bournemouth Airport (which has reached 2019 capacity levels since Jun-2022) that has cornered the low cost market in the area, with 74% of its capacity in that domain. Bournemouth’s runway is 2270m long and can handle Ryanair’s Boeing 737-800s and MAX-8s.

Mr Szalay said, "Once we've got the runway extension, then we can be open to a whole host of airlines who, for example, operate with Airbus A320s and then we're viable again. We can connect to anywhere in Europe."

A depleted route network; (new) Flybe’s return is gradual; British Airways has significant seasonal presence

But supply does not necessarily mean demand, which often has to be created, or resurrected.

The airport’s current route map is a depleted version of what it was before Flybe’s downfall: much of the capacity to the Channel Islands (Jersey and Guernsey); a gaggle of routes to northern Britain where rail travel is impractical; three routes to hub airports (Manchester, Dublin and Amsterdam); and four holiday routes to the southern Iberian peninsula.

Flybe was supposed to resume services to French regional cities this summer. Currently it serves Avignon on a seasonal basis, and British Airways has a raft of seasonal services to cities in the UK and Europe, some of which are not currently operating.

There is at least potential for further development there, although Flybe will take time to build up its previous strength.

And that compares unfavourably with the pre-pandemic network, when there were services to Paris and numerous other French cities as well.


Convenience hasn’t been enough

Southampton's convenience compared to London Heathrow was a selling point, but never enough to attract a range of services to key European commercial centres.

Now that Heathrow has its third runway (although that is still many years away), Southampton may never be able to challenge the UK’s primary gateway for the full range of traffic it covets, but it is capable of attracting some of them.

Benefits from having a rail station and from being within the ‘Solent Freeport

Southampton is one of the UK regional airports that have their own rail station (Southampton Airport Parkway), and it is situated on the main London Waterloo line, which is adjacent to the airport and continues to the west. There are also services connecting at Basingstoke into the English Midlands and beyond. It doubles as a ‘park and ride’ station for city commuters.

Another benefit for the airport is that the Solent (the strait between the Isle of Wight and Great Britain) was designated a ‘Freeport’ (special economic zone) in the 2021 UK Budget, one of eight new ones across the UK.

Opportunity to build a low level ‘airport city’ to the north and east

Mr Szalay has indicated that once the runway extension is built more attention will be given to the ‘Navigator Quarter’ – land to the east and north of the airport where businesses will benefit from low taxes as part of the Solent Freeport project.

He says that he would prefer the usage to be based on green technology. As the region is the home of the Spitfire (a World War 2 fighter aircraft), “we could say we’re the home of electronic aircraft”.

The likelihood is that Southampton will remain a ‘niche’ full service/commuter airport, with greater capacity on viable routes

It is difficult to gauge Southampton’s prospects for future success until the runway extension is completed and available for use by larger aircraft.

There are several different factors in play.

With Heathrow so close (60 miles, mainly by motorway), there may never be adequate demand for more than daily services to main business cities, and lack of frequency in that domain is not helpful.

The runway should be able to help attract low cost carriers but the price has to be right, and it will mean having to go head-to-head with Bournemouth (30 miles) and London Gatwick (85 miles by motorway).

Ultimately, Southampton's future may continue to be as a niche airport, but with greater capacity on routes that can bear it.



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Old 27th Oct 2022, 11:41
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Originally Posted by SKOJB
Quick scan suggests most mornings have 6 departures before 1055, hardly stretched. This will of course rise on weekends in summer with BACF but the days of multiple BE launches before 0800 are long gone!
I believe that you’ve missed the point, I was indicating what SOU achieved with Flybe. Having used some of these flights I recollect the Terminal being busy but certainly appeared to not have reached its capacity.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 11:51
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Originally Posted by TCAS FAN
I believe that you’ve missed the point, I was indicating what SOU achieved with Flybe. Having used some of these flights I recollect the Terminal being busy but certainly appeared to not have reached its capacity.
I agree with you and was trying to back up your point that we are now in different times with a large gap in capacity to be filled. The suggestion from some posters above that the terminal is incapable of handling an additional 2-3 early morning 320 departures I believe is incorrect
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 12:43
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Originally Posted by SKOJB
I agree with you and was trying to back up your point that we are now in different times with a large gap in capacity to be filled. The suggestion from some posters above that the terminal is incapable of handling an additional 2-3 early morning 320 departures I believe is incorrect
Point taken, agree that the Terminal is capable of handling considerably more than some of the thread doom-mongers are speculating. As some of the first wave of Flybe departures were E195s, do not see that there will be an immediate capacity problem if a couple of A320s are added, assuming of course that SOU and their Handling Agents can recruit/ train up sufficient staff!
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 17:33
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The negativity on this thread is pathetic. What exactly do presumably grown men have against an inanimate object that many rely on to put food on their tables?

It was only a few years ago that annual passengers was at 2 million. Yes the world has changed slightly which is why they are changing their business model to serving low cost carriers. Guess what low cost carriers care about more than anything? YEILD. As proven on numerous routes more than enough people are willing to pay a whole lot more to fly from SOU than deal with the numerous issues at say LGW or BOH. If EZY or whoever can add an extra flight to Spain, Italy etc and charge double the price at SOU they are going to do it. I very much suspect that BOH is making a loss on FR’s ops as do most airports. They have a diverse portfolio of business that they derive money from and are therefore not a really a competitor to SOU.

I am not sure what this lagging behind other airports comment in that article is based on. I think compared to other regional airports SOU is doing amazingly. It’s got 9 airlines and a tour operator all using it. Yes 9! Tell me another regional airport that has that.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 18:33
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There may be more carriers, but they are carrying fewer passengers and the numbers aren't increasing

Nevertheless, a loss during which air transport has come close to the same seat capacity levels and passenger business as 2019 in the UK is worrying.
And unfortunately, Southampton has not come close to those capacity levels, lagging the UK average.
In the week commencing 10-Oct-2022 capacity at Southampton stands at just less than 51% of what it was in the same week of 2019, and is barely above 2020 and 2021 levels.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 20:58
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There's just a little matter of losing 4 million + a year with the current limited routes and plane sizes.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 22:35
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
There may be more carriers, but they are carrying fewer passengers and the numbers aren't increasing
Why are Logan increasing the number of daily rotations on their routes in the summer?

why were there 3 carriers fighting over the Belfast route and still 2 now?

Why are there soon to be 2 carriers fighting over the Dublin route?

why are there soon to be 2 carriers fighting over the Manchester route?

why are there soon to be 2 carriers fighting over Glasgow and Edinburgh routes?

why are KLM going double daily soon despite the government putting caps on amount of flights?

why are BA citiflyer continuing to choose Southampton as the base for its summer flying at the weekends?

why is the airport investing many many millions in the runway extension if there is no gain?
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 23:08
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why don't you read what has been written?

All of that may be true but you said

I am not sure what this lagging behind other airports comment in that article is based on.
It's based on the current figures that show that SOU is at 51% pre Covid where as the average figure across the UK is 89%. Hence SOU is currently lagging behind its peers - that may change but it isn't the position now.

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Old 27th Oct 2022, 23:22
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Guess what low cost carriers care about more than anything? YEILD.
And volume, masses and masses of high volume throughput. High yield is possible in small turboprops at 50% load factor, with the locos, they'll be expecting to fill every possible seat on every flight on every day, which coupled with ancillary revenue streams drives yield and profitability. It's a time of change for sure at SOU.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 23:24
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Let’s take a step back, the simple fact is that at present although the airlines and routes are being served, the frequency and pax numbers are not where they need to be and has much to do with an historical over reliance on BE/it’s subsequent demise, Covid change of landscape and current airfield restrictions. It is what it is and the airport are working extremely hard to resolve this issue. The runway extension is moving ahead and will be in place as soon as possible, that may be for summer next year or by autumn, but it’s happening. In the meantime, the odd destination is being added and frequencies increased that will help the financial bottom line, however small. It will require a certain change in business model with money also being spend on other infrastructure including aircraft stand redesign. There will almost certainly be new carriers to the airport in the near future as SOU is a very attractive option, so let’s wait and see and be grateful that the airport is still here and has a bright future to look forward to.

Last edited by stewyb; 28th Oct 2022 at 00:16.
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Old 27th Oct 2022, 23:51
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Flybe went bust because its business model didn't work. By extension, if SOU's business model was dependent on Flybe and the airport is in continued trouble as a result of Flybe's failure, its own business model doesn't work. Neither are anything to do with the pandemic - Flybe was in dire straits long before anyone heard the word "Coronavirus". As if to illustrate the point, the reincarnation seems to be doing its level best to scatter itself thinly across the Great British countryside and repeat many of the mistakes!

The airport needs to find a new path which I think can only be based on a reduced passenger throughput, reduced operating costs and higher average income per passenger. Chasing volume at low fares has been the undoing of many a smaller airport (Coventry, Blackpool and now Doncaster to name examples) and there are few where it's truly sustainable.

It can be done and I do not subscribe to the view that the airport will close/disappear/go bust/be sold for building land. It has a market but that market is not the same size or shape as it was before, so it must adapt to that new landscape.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 00:25
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Originally Posted by SWBKCB
There may be more carriers, but they are carrying fewer passengers and the numbers aren't increasing
which is a skewed way of looking at things. 2019 was pre Covid and when Flybe was around and had monopolised the airport. It’s demise and the fact there are no other airlines like it to provide a sizeable base with the current limited runway is why growth looks slow. plus Doncaster is shutting down and the likes of Exeter, Southend etc have hardly recovered as well as Southampton. All the physical signs are there with airlines fighting over routes and the airport investing. I booked a flight the other day and there were hardly any seats left. So I wouldn’t read into that part of the article as it’s misleading.

Also for the poster who is pointing out the demise of Flybe reflects badly on the airport most of its routes at Southampton were profitable. Flybe’s demise was a result of many other issues that have long been discussed on this forum.


This thread should be a predominantly positive one.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 00:30
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot
And volume, masses and masses of high volume throughput. High yield is possible in small turboprops at 50% load factor, with the locos, they'll be expecting to fill every possible seat on every flight on every day, which coupled with ancillary revenue streams drives yield and profitability. It's a time of change for sure at SOU.
Volume is preferable but not as important as yield. If you have a plane carrying 180 people who paid £5 for a ticket and one carrying 50 people who paid £150 I know which I would prefer.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 01:48
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Locos need both, if they don't FILL their aircraft, they move the asset to another base or route. Ryanair and easyJet have a long track record of closing profitable routes because they under-perform. They're laser focussed on high volume, low cost, high ancillary and high load factors. So when people talk about a route working with seats blocked off it's not music to the ears of locos unless they have an amazing airport deal on fees. As soon as that runs out, the dynamics change and the routes get cut, sadly Ryanair do this at a few of their bases.

Look at easyJet at EMA and SEN or Ryanair at BHD vs. BFS and SEN, also Ryanair PIK vs. GLA.
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 07:52
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Originally Posted by Rivet Joint
which is a skewed way of looking at things. 2019 was pre Covid and when Flybe was around and had monopolised the airport. It’s demise and the fact there are no other airlines like it to provide a sizeable base with the current limited runway is why growth looks slow. plus Doncaster is shutting down and the likes of Exeter, Southend etc have hardly recovered as well as Southampton. All the physical signs are there with airlines fighting over routes and the airport investing. I booked a flight the other day and there were hardly any seats left. So I wouldn’t read into that part of the article as it’s misleading.

Also for the poster who is pointing out the demise of Flybe reflects badly on the airport most of its routes at Southampton were profitable. Flybe’s demise was a result of many other issues that have long been discussed on this forum.


This thread should be a predominantly positive one.
I do find it slightly perplexing the 'new' Flybe haven't focused more on Southampton in their reincarnation. We've been told they had all the data from the old airline so why haven't they made a larger effort to take back their old stomping ground?
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 08:22
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Originally Posted by cavokblues
I do find it slightly perplexing the 'new' Flybe haven't focused more on Southampton in their reincarnation. We've been told they had all the data from the old airline so why haven't they made a larger effort to take back their old stomping ground?
Could be any number of reasons - starter for ten

- BE don't have the access to all the data like we all think;
- BE do have the data, but the routes weren't as profitable as we've been led to believe;
- BE aren't operating in a logical, profit oreintated manner;
- with other carriers on the major routes, SOU have told them to do one...
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Old 28th Oct 2022, 09:30
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Originally Posted by SKOJB
If TUI and RYR can base a single aircraft each at BOH and perform successfully with very limited public transport infrastructure, then I see no reason why they can’t also replicate the same at SOU (post extension) with a few select routes utilising the excellent road and rail links
The point that everyone seems to miss with this runway extension is that it's only 164m. It doesn't change the landing distance available at one end, only the other. It doesn't widen the runway. The obstacles are still there i.e the hill and the train sheds. Yes the trees are being lowered but this is simply not enough to allow unrestricted operations for LCC's with A320's operating to the med. They will still experience payload penalties, wet runway issues, and operating hour restrictions. That last one is a killer for any airline wishing to operate with a high utilisation.

If they do manage to attract an LCC or two, it won't last long. I'm not trying to be negative. I'm just stating the facts.

The only way this airport survives is regional flying, unrestricted regional flying, connecting to hubs, get Paris back! They need to build the business park in order to allow them to generate an income which isn't only aviation - this plugs the £4.5m gap. In theory. But attracting an LCC that doesn't want to pay aviation fee's will worsen the financial situation of SOU not improve it.
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