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-   -   STANSTED - 2 (https://www.pprune.org/airlines-airports-routes/245928-stansted-2-a.html)

FRatSTN 28th Mar 2013 22:06

I still don't buy the fact that the strong FR presence, EZY's strong presence in LGW and LTN and the opening of the SEN base or the fact that EZY are only at Stansted because of taking over Go has resulted in a sudden sharp reduction of traffic in just 2 years, after years of EasyJet increases until 2011, 8 years after Go!

As it stands, I'm still fuming with the management of EasyJet, once a realistic alternative for many many thousands of us to Ryanair, Jet2 or Monarch. They throw all those years of success building such a strong network in a major UK airport with a wide customer base in the bin to maximise success from Southend, a small local airport that will never attract a high volume of passengers from long distances and inbound visitors travelling onwards to London.

Im sure of it, one day EasyJet will regret this if this trend continues when they realise they've lost out to the competition as Stansted WILL return to growth in the future, potentially without them being part of it!

We can only hope that MAG will make a difference in the near future and hope that they can see just how outrageous their operation at Stansted has become! Perhaps BAA deliberately enticed them to leave as the new they had to sell soon and didn't want to help the competition??? We will have to just keep our fingers crossed. EasyJet can at the moment easily put back what they've removed, but to simply say easyJet's heart isn't in Stansted is very wrong!

LTNman 28th Mar 2013 23:46

Easyjet were once a strong player at East Midlands and pulled the plug so the writing could well be on the wall for Stansted.

I have to say I am somewhat surprised with Southend's appeal over Stansted. Easyjet can only operate 18 hours a day with 3 aircraft and 17.5 hours a day with all other aircraft based at Southend due to night restrictions. Southend has no public transport links for the first departures and last arrivals of the day which is affecting passenger numbers and Southendís catchment area is even worse than Stansted. When trains are available the travel time to Liverpool St is even longer so Easyjet must have an exceptional deal at Southend to make it worth while.

Expressflight 29th Mar 2013 08:32


I agree with almost all that you have just said regarding SEN, although I don't think that the slightly longer train travel time to SEN is likely to deter anyone.

What has surprised me is the large number of leisure travellers using SEN from outside of its natural catchment. I personally know of three parties from North Norfolk who have done so, the most recent having mentioned it just this week. They said they found SEN "a wonderful experience compared to Stansted" (her exact words to my wife) and liked the fact that all the facilities there were run by one entity (not completely accurate but that was their perception). From their home to SEN is a 2hr 50min drive, 40min longer than to STN, yet they still prefer it.

Perhaps easyJet are finding this is a common occurence as they have that data available, so perhaps that partly explains their continued love affair with SEN. I don't doubt they got an extremely good deal from Stobarts, but that is only any good to them if they can achieve good yields over time.

FRatSTN 29th Mar 2013 09:08

This is the issue with Southend. It still has that "new" factor to a lot of passengers and when that wares off in a few years, people will naturally go back to the most convenient option, which for many as both Expressflight and LTNman have somewhat agreed to, is Stansted.

It's a bit like our village. For years it had a Co-op only. Think of that as the Stansted, the more expensive but easier, slightly more central location in the village. Eventually an Aldi opens a 1/4 of a mile down the road. Think of that as the Southend, the cheaper and quieter option but slightly more diffucult to get to. When Aldi opens, the Co-op loses a lot of its customers for several weeks/months but customers do and have returned for the convenience, even if they prefer the Aldi. I think it's exactly the same principal here but just on a much larger scale, and that transfer of passengers back to their original (Stansted) will take several years as opposed to months. Of course for some, Southend is more convenient and a number of people will continue to use it into the much longer term future.

That's why I think in time, EasyJet may well regret ever cutting back at Stansted. The only explanation to them axing such popular routes from Stansted like Alicante, Barcelona and Faro is because they want to limit the competition and maximise the potential of those routes that now go from Southend. I don't think they suddenly became unprofitable after around a decade of flying.

Already the Belfast route has been drecreased to a once daily flight from Southend, clearly they aren't getting the response they wanted from business travellers, and if ALC, BCN and FAO were still at Stansted, I think EasyJet will not be performing half as well as they do at Southend. I think the cuts are purely to maximise the potential of Southend by limiting the competition from the bigger and more powerfull Stansted.

Barling Magna 29th Mar 2013 10:51

Southendís catchment area is even worse than Stansted.
I presume you mean because Southend has only a 180 degree catchment due to the Thames Estuary to the south? If that is the case that's too simplistic. Stansted is in the middle of some lovely Essex/Suffolk/Hertfordshire countryside where few people live. Southend's urban area stretches west to Basildon, east to Shoebury and north towards Woodham Ferrers and contains over 600,000 people. So there's a viable local catchment. Add to that Thurrock and Brentwood districts and you get another quarter of a million. Then there's Chelmsford district with its 175,000 people. And there's always eastern London, of course. Stansted's immediate catchment is far smaller. The extensive district councils of Uttlesford and Braintree, which include Stansted, amount to less than 240,000 between them. The even larger district council of East Hertfordshire can muster only 140,000.

I too have been surprised by the distances people travel to get to SEN. It's understandable that East Enders should choose SEN since Southend has always been seen as East End on Sea, but for people from Kent, Suffolk and Norfolk to travel to SEN seems slightly bizarre, yet I've met examples from all three in my infrequent visits to the airport. I still think SEN's biggest appeal will be for inward travellers from Europe once the word gets around.....

FRatSTN 29th Mar 2013 12:38

But a lot of areas in the local area you describe are similar distance from both Southend and Stansted. Lets take a look. This is the journey times by road according to Google Earth:

SEN: 41.7 mi, 1hr 4 mins
STN: 37.5 mi, 51 mins

SEN: 11.9 mi, 23 mins
STN: 38.9 mi, 46 mins

SEN: 34.3 mi, 55 mins
STN: 18.8 mi, 25 mins

SEN: 19.9 mi, 32 mins
STN: 28.2 mi, 33 mins

SEN: 37.8 mi, 54 mins
STN: 35.6 mi, 43 mins

SEN: 19.8 mi, 30 mins
STN: 18.9 mi, 34 mins

SEN: 40.8 mi, 51 mins
STN: 32.6 mi, 45 mins

SEN: 28.7 mi, 44 mins
STN: 39.9 mi, 45 mins

GILLINGHAM (South of Thames Estuary!)
SEN: 45.3 mi, 1 hr 1 min
STN: 56.5 mi, 1 hr 3 mins

SEN: 38.1 mi, 53 mins
STN: 16.6 mi, 24 mins

SEN: 25.8 mi, 39 mins
STN: 30.5 mi, 37 mins

This is just the local area, going further afield...

SEN: 72.3 mi, 1 hr 24 mins
STN: 32.3 mi, 40 mins

SEN: 56.8 mi, 1 hr 8 mins
STN: 48.6 mi, 1 hr 2 mins

SEN: 112 mi, 1 hr 59 mins
STN: 70.9 mi, 1 hr 15 mins

SEN: 108 mi, 1 hr 54 mins
STN: 66.8 mi, 1 hr 9 mins

SEN: 99.2 mi, 2 hrs 9 mins
STN: 84.3 mi, 1 hr 39 mins

Note also that Cambridge and Peterborough serve Stansted with direct rail links and although some places like Stevenage, Luton, Northampton etc. are closer to Luton Airport, they still come into the Stansted catchment area and a lot further to Southend.

All in all, I think it's fair to say that Southend's catchment area is signficantly smaller than Stansted's. Yes some of the locations are a bit of a distance from Stansted, but for somewhere like Peterbrough for instance, Stansted would be the first choice of airport in terms of distance, despite being not far off 70 miles away.

So I keep my view. EasyJet are shrinking the size of their catchment area by moving traffic to Southend from Stansted, as for most major places outside of Essex and East London, it's significantly further in distance and longer in travelling times to get to Southend Airport. Effectively, EasyJet are losing all those customers in these areas as most will switch to Ryanair services from Stansted, not EasyJet from Luton or especially Southend.

Barling Magna 29th Mar 2013 12:56

Yes, I'm just making the point that SEN has a viable catchment of its own within a short distance (600,000 from Basildon eastwards). SEN won't climb above 2 million maximum. Surely other operators would move into STN if EZY were to pull out? Maybe it really is simply a desire to get away from Ryanair on EZY's part....?

GAZMO 29th Mar 2013 13:11

I can see the benefits of both SEN and STN

BFS to SEN has not worked due to the difficulty of getting tomSEN for the 7.15 flight therefore poor LF. The daily flight is geared to suit the BFS pax, morning departure on Mon and Tues with late evening returns on Wed , Thurs and Fri etc

STN is still very popular with the NI pax, and I recently flew BFS to STN and the flight was full both ways.

SEN /BFS can only work double daily if aircraft is BFS based and maybe operated as a through flight to European destination (now that would be something for EZY to consider)

Both airports are good but I feel EZY should be looking at connections as well, recently flew back LYN, STN to BFS. Don't think SEN has that many.

Many pax use FR as they have good connections at STN, EZY should be looking at the same. Not all of us live in London, Birmingham or other large populated areas and have to use London for connections

FRatSTN 29th Mar 2013 13:44

Surely other operators would move into STN if EZY were to pull out?
EasyJet I don't think will ever pull out of Stansted entirely since as said before, Southend doesn't have the room for all its capacity.

The whole thing still doesn't make sense to me. I can't think honestly what is going through easyJet's mind with everything taken into account. Like I say, the only explanation that makes any sense is that easyjet have axed the popular med routes from Stansted in order to maximise their success at Southend. This Leaves the dangerous threat of another carrier like Jet2 or Monarch for instance filling in Easyet's space at Stansted as MAG said they will be talking to them about a possible base at the airport. And like you say, EasyJet cut backs will encourage this.

For consumers, especially in Essex, it would be good to see this since they would be served by a greater variety of airlines, but on EasyJet's part, they will be trampled on all over at Southend by the competition Stansted would build up and easyJet would have given a huge volume of it's customers away to it's rivals. Stansted won't decline forever, perhaps the new ownership should be a wake up call to get into MAG's good books before it's too late!!!

STN Ramp Rat 29th Mar 2013 13:53

Easyjet have their own issues, their argument with Stelios who has restricted their growth as they canít get board approval for new aircraft. Asa result of this they have to get the best yield on their current fleet. If thedeal at SEN gives a better yield than STN they will take aircraft there. They cantreplace the units at Stansted because they donít have any more units. The goodnews is they are still ďUK Eastern regionĒ units and the capacity in the area is not lost.

There have been a number of posts aboutcatchment areas, I have frequently flown back to Stansted and been sat next topeople from as far away as Manchester and Sheffield. Catchment area is onepiece of the puzzle but people will drive a long way for a cheap ticket.........

gilesdavies 29th Mar 2013 14:13

SEN: 112 mi, 1 hr 59 mins
STN: 70.9 mi, 1 hr 15 mins

Note also that Cambridge and Peterborough serve Stansted with direct rail links and although some places like Stevenage, Luton, Northampton etc. are closer to Luton Airport, they still come into the Stansted catchment area and a lot further to Southend.
I was really surprised and interested by your comments about Northamptonshire coming under the Stansted catchment area...

While it might be one of the airports target markets, I'd be extremely surprised how successful it is attracting people to the airport from this far away, unless you are one of the bargain travellers flying on a £10 Ryanair flight.

Getting to Stansted from Northants is fully reliant on the A14/M11 to get the airport. While in theory that means traveling on nice open dual carriage ways and motorways. The A14 is so unpredictable (especially around the Huntingdon and Cambridge area, and seems to be horrendous accidents, delays and tailbacks on this road several times a week and just makes travelling for a flight so unpredictable!

Stansted is practically ruled out for getting to via public transport, unless you are willing to make several connections.

Nearly everyone I know, including myself in the county considers Luton as our nearest and most convenient airport, followed by Birmingham. Simply because of the connections via the M1... I very rarely hear people saying they are flying from STN.

Public transport wise, Northampton has trains departing for Birmingham every 15 mins. Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby have direct half hourly intercity trains to Luton Airport Parkway which only takes 25 mins. BUT like Southend, early morning connections and late night arrivals are an issue, however both airports do have good connections with National Express to the county overnight.

I would even go as far to say Heathrow and Gatwick attract more traffic than Stansted from Northants with the better National Express links. Also just by changing platforms at Luton or Bedford, it is possible to get FCC trains to Gatwick.

As we are sort of up in the Midlands, Manchester Airport is a similar distance as Southend, of about 120 miles away!

FRatSTN 29th Mar 2013 14:47

Well even in Leicester, we have a lot of people who have and do use Stansted. A6, A14 and M11 and you're there.

The A14 has a bad reputation due to a high level of lorries using it going to and from the port at Felixstowe. I've used it many times and only had traffic problems once, and that was back in 2005. Unfortuneately, the same can't be said for the M1, especially round the Luton J9 and 10 area. Although recently improved vastly, congestion still occurs.

If a number of people in Leicester go to Stansted when we have East Midlands (FR's 2nd or 3rd largest UK base), Birmingham and Luton closer, I'm sure those from Northampton will also use or at least consider Stansted.

LTNman 29th Mar 2013 17:17

STN Ramp Rat wrote

Catchment area is onepiece of the puzzle but people will drive a long way for a cheap ticket.........
I think there is alot of truth in that statement. There was a story in the local rag this week of a couple who live in Wales and missed their easyjet flight after getting stuck in a hotel lift at Luton for 90 minutes.

LGS6753 29th Mar 2013 17:46

This debate all comes back to the fact that STN is in the wrong place, as I have said on this forum frequently:)

It serves few nearby towns of note (there is Harlow, but Bishops Stortford & Dunmow are small market towns), whereas SEN serves Southend itself, Leigh/Basildon/Rayleigh, Canvey Island, Billericay, Grays & Brentwood. Luton is in close proximity to Luton/Dunstable, Hitchin/Letchworth/Baldock, Stevenage, Milton Keynes, Harpenden & St Albans.

The debate about rail access is a bit of a side-show too. Most travellers (over 50% in all cases) arrive by car. SEN scores by having parking close to the terminal, whereas at STN, long stay parking is at a significant distance from the terminal, and expensive. That makes a real difference to travellers, and those in the know will choose airports with cheap parking close to the terminal.

EZY are quite correctly acting in the interests of their shareholders, and if they can operate with similar yields from an airport with significantly lower costs, less ground and airspace congestion and good access to 'airways', they are right to do so.

FRatSTN 29th Mar 2013 18:16

This debate all comes back to the fact that STN is in the wrong place, as I have said on this forum frequently
And don't we all know it, and how much pride you take in that obsessed belief of yours, with your little smiley.

Well unless Stansted has suddenly moved it's location in the last 2 years I really don't think it "comes back to the fact that STN is in the wrong place".

You're ignorance of other posts and past presence by the airline at Stansted is yet again quite frankly making you look stupid. I know people like you, they ignore the information they don't want to hear and just pick out the points that are on your side.

If all you can seriously blame this EasyJet situation on Stansted being in the "wrong place" then you need to analyse this situation much more deeply before you post. As is happens it appears EasyJet seem to be dissapointingly low at Luton as well as it stands. Perhaps that's not quite so well located after all???

Dannyboy39 29th Mar 2013 18:46

... capacity is severely constrained at Luton, hence the Council can charge high operating fees (supply and demand). easyJet as been fairly open of late by saying they'd be happy to base more aircraft if there was space available. Luton can only really increase passenger numbers from airlines that base their aircraft abroad.

However, I believe 10-15 new stands will soon be in full time use for passenger services.

LTNman 29th Mar 2013 20:23

Yes but no new terminal capacity for at least 2 or 3 years

Fairdealfrank 30th Mar 2013 15:06

It's not necesarily and only about catchment areas, SEN has a unique selling point as a small airport that's easy to get through with minimal hassle, a bit like LCY. That can be a big attraction for many. As mentioned above, SEN will not go above 2,000,000 pax/year, so will always have this advantage over STN.

Suspect that if NHT was up and running as a small regional airport, there would be those who would prefer it to LHR (even if it was further) for exactly the same reasons.

As for catchment areas, those of STN, LTN, LGW and LHR all overlap. If U2 lose East Anglia based pax by reducing their STN operations, it could be repaced by pax from the south coast (LGW) or from parts of the Midlands (LTN).

Many pax could probably go to all three of U2's large "London" bases, so if one is run down, it is not the end of the world. Doubtless U2 have sound commercial reasons for its decision.

LTNman 30th Mar 2013 15:45

So SEN reaches 2 million passengers. That's less than 2% of London traffic, big deal.

LGS6753 30th Mar 2013 19:24


And don't we all know it, and how much pride you take in that obsessed belief of yours, with your little smiley.

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