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

FRatSTN 5th Oct 2012 16:02


I don't agree one bit, I think your conclusion is very wrong! Stansted is in no way held back by its location. It has a huge catchment area which covers all of London and East Anglia as awell as counties like Herforshire, Cambridshire, Northamptonshire, the list goes on. Even in Leicestershire and the Midlands, Stansted is a more than viable option if it offers the best flights/prices or whatever! And I would know, living in Leicester! Lots of us have used Stansted and Luton instead of East Midlands and Birmingham many times, so we are definitely included in their catchment areas. In Leicester, we tend to use Heathrow only for long-haul flights and very occassionally Gatwick for the same reason or for some holiday charter. I would be surprised if anywhere near many people from outside London and East Anglia even knew that there was a Southend airport!! So to say it's catchment area is small, or even smaller than other London airports is absoloutely not the case!

Also, Stansted's load factors are very impressive, easily as good as Gatwick's if not better. On average, aircraft were over 80% full in 2011, see parapraph 5 here:
BAA launches new Stansted appeal

Instead, the reason for Stansted's passenger declines is down to BAA's outrageously bad management of the airport. Remember that Gatwick was also underperforming for a time when BAA owened but once sold off to GIP, look at the transformation it's had! Gatwick is growing quite strongly now and passenger experience is also better. The same could easily be achieved at Stansted when that is also sold off within the coming months. Stansted is currently not competetive with the other London airports and it would seem BAA's only interest in owning Stansted is to reduce rivalry to Heathrow and is there only to further subsidise Heathrow growth and improvements. BAA clearly have very little commitment to growing Stansted and making it the best airport they possibly can. A new owner, in complete rivalry with other London airports would be totally committed to making it the most successfull airport they can make it. Stansted could very quickly turn around and return to growth with the right ownership, just like Gatwick has done!

All-The-Nines 5th Oct 2012 16:27

FRatSTN, I'm not suggesting that the catchment area for Stansted is any smaller than some of its competitors - I live in this area and understand the local geography/train lines/motorways which could potentially bring custom to Stansted.

I guess what I'm trying to question is out of those people, how many actually want to use what's on offer at Stansted any more? Most of my family and friends have come to the same conclusion that Easyjet is an all round better experience than Ryanair. Therefore the more Easyjet cut back at Stansted, the more we'll be looking to Gatwick instead. I don't have anything personal against Ryanair (I've flown them over 200 times in the last 7 or 8 years), all I'm saying quite simply is that they seem to become more unbearable as the years go on whilst Easyjet are on a continuous drive to make life easier for their passengers (i.e. allocated seating, the mobile phone app, an easy-to-use website which remembers your data, etc).

Of course it is the fault of the airport in the first place, driving away the likes of Air Berlin, Germanwings, Norwegian etc, and not doing more to hold on to the routes that Easyjet had at their peak. But now that those airlines have had the taste of life at Gatwick, do you see a new management being able to win them back at Stansted any time soon? Airlines don't want to chop and change airports too often, it annoys passengers and gives them a bad reputation. I just feel that the more Stansted becomes Ryanair-centric, the more that they'll struggle to claw back the passenger numbers they had a few years back.

FRatSTN 5th Oct 2012 16:57


That's very true but it can be done. For me it's a case if "Love Stansted but hate BAA". My personal experience is that Stansted's a much nicer airport than Gatwick in terms of the infrastructure. It has a modern, airy and spacious terminal building whilst Gatwick's old, busy and is too artificially lit and heated (especially the South terminal). There isn't really anything that's a massive wow factor at Gatwick when compared to Stansted.

Alot of the old carriers of Stansted like Norwegian or Blue Air who moved to Luton have all moved for financial reasons. Norwegian did however say they moved due to better connection to central London from Gatwick, but I fail to beleive that was really the reason since the extra 15 minutes saved using the Gatwick express would have been used up flying further down the UK from Scandinavia to Gatwick (and indeed more added by laning at a bigger airport, increasinf taxiing times and turnarounds).

I think in time, after the new owners have settled in and recovered the mess that BAA have made at Stansted, you will start to see some of Stansted's old airlines such as Transavia who now dont fly to the UK at all anymore and indeed some brand new ones at Stansted. Ryanair will always dominate, but some airlines have a very different way of operating/have destinations that Ryanair can't/won't use so are not really much competition to them. A bit like the situation with Atlasjet or Pegasus in Stansted, Ryanair causes very little harm to them.

Remember Gatwick actually now has more EasyJet flights than Ryanair has from Stansted, it's just that Gatwick is much less dependent on EasyJet because it's much bigger and has more airlines than Stansted. Therefore, the amount of Ryanair's at Stansted shouldn't be too much of a problem to airlines who are now at Gatwick since they are used to the same type of thing with EasyJet at Gatwick!

pamann 5th Oct 2012 17:39

Driving away Germanwings? Since when?

FRatSTN 5th Oct 2012 19:14

Infact Germanwings does seem to be cutting back as well. Cologne will lose its Saturday service and Stuttgart will drop from 12 departures a week to just 6 for next summer. Hannover seems to have not lost anything though. They offer more flights from Heathrow to Cologne and Stuttgart than they do from Stansted now!

LTNman 5th Oct 2012 20:56


Stansted does not come out well in this report.

Location and connections, existing and possible, mean that there is no sensible economic case for making Stansted into Britain’s hub airport.
The future of Stansted largely depends on the other options chosen. If one
airport expands, we will have spare capacity somewhere in the system, and that will allow airlines currently operating at Stansted to consider moving to another airport.

It is very plausible that easyJet would decide to concentrate more
flights from Gatwick were more slots to become available, or that it would decide to move Stansted flights to Luton were that airport to be transformed

it has by far the weakest natural hinterland of any of
London’s principal airports, and the slowest connections to London. Furthermore those connections are hard to improve, given the nature of the rail line to London.

FRatSTN 5th Oct 2012 22:32

This report, as well as being incredibly biased, is basing the long-term future on present situations. At the moment, Stansted may be the weakest of London's pricipal airports and we all know why that is. In a matter of months, BAA will no longer own it and more importnatly, it will be seperately owned from any other London airport and will be more committed to by it's new owners as a result. Stansted will no longer be viewed as second best by its owner.

This report says, what if Ryanair move to Gatwick or airlines moves away due to their being more capacity for them to have a choice between Stansted and somewhere else blah blah blah. Well by the time in god knows how many years, more airport capacity is added, Stansted may have transformed into a very attractive option and may well be chosen by more airlines. It's impossible to tell what the future holds in terms of demand, economic situations and competitive advantage in the long term.

In terms of transport, nearly half of all the people who use Stansted travel to/from it by public transport, the highest of any major UK airport, so it can't be all that disasterous! It already has great road access with the A120 further into Essex and Sufolk and the M11 which terminates a fair way into London (unlike the M23 from Gatwick which terminates just after the M25 junction) allowing for quick and smooth road access to the capital. As for rail services, yes they could be better but people do use them and plans ARE being considered to improve them. There are well established plans to improve the rail network in East Anglia, in which improved connections to Stansted are being considered in those plans. Furthermore, there is a campaign called "Stansted in 30", which, quite self explanatory, is a call for the airport to have rail times cut to 30 minutes. Clearly this can be done and is feasible to do or it would not be suggested otherwise!
The Rail Engineer | Stansted in 30

STN Ramp Rat 6th Oct 2012 06:56

Stansted in 30

I have not read the report yet but I can pass comment on Stansted in 30, just because someone campaign for something does not make it possible, there is very little chance of Stansted in 30 ever becoming reality. The line between Stansted and Cambridge is already at maximum capacity between Broxbourne and Liverpool Street. The only way to increase speeds is to make it a 4 track line and this would require a significant amount of houses to be demolished along the line side. Those that have taken the painfully slow journey between Tottenham Hale and Liverpool Street and heard the screeching of the train wheels will know about the curves that will have to be straightened if the speed is to be increased.
It never going to happen !!!!

ELondonPax 6th Oct 2012 13:08

Actually, NetworkRail do have fairly detailed plans prepared to turn more of the route into four track, which would enable more chances for airport services to overtake stopping services. This work is not currently signed off, but I think it has a realistic chance of happening if STN expansion is sanctioned.
But the more pressing problem is the dreadful passenger experience of the current operation, which has stopped me using this airport.

insuindi 6th Oct 2012 13:34

RE Germanings:

The Germanwings reductions CGN/STR -STN stem from the decision by LH to use 4U to serve LHR three times daily from those airports, which resulted in a capacity increase on those routes. May have to do with preserving slots at LHR.

In terms of HAJ, it will be interesting to see what happens on that route over the next year, as BA will more than triple capacity on the LHR-HAJ route as of end of this month.

FRatSTN 6th Oct 2012 13:38

It's actually pleasing to see it's "passenger experience" that seems to be the problem at Stansted. Personally I've found it to be ok, with very good staff control of early morning check-in (moving passengers forward on flights that are close to closing etc.) and very sympathetic security staff who was very calm and helped out as much as possible when there was an issue with the clear bags we had toiletries in. If Stansted's problem was more to do with the size, layout, amount of facillities or something else infrastuctual, this would be more difficult and costly to solve and change of ownership would ultimately make little difference, especially in the short-term.

Hopefully, new ownership will improve passenger experience and do expect that to be the case. MAG for instance, who probably has the greatest chance of buying Stansted, is a great airport owner who run very successful and smoothly run airports. I trust an airport owner like MAG to push ahead for better rail connections also.

LTNman 10th Oct 2012 04:34

From the BBC.

Ryanair has said it will not form part of any consortium to buy Stansted after saying the airport's owner BAA had excluded the budget airline from the sale process.

The carrier had said it was in talks with a number of potential bidders.

After the decision by Ferrovial, BAA's controlling shareholder, Ryanair said it did not want to "prejudice" any bid.

BAA finally decided to sell Stansted in August after losing its legal battle with the Competition Commission.

It had been fighting a 2009 ruling by the commission that it must sell Stansted because of the lack of competition between London airports.

"We regret Ferrovial's decision to exclude Ryanair from the Stansted sale process and the failure of the Competition Commission to restrain this anti-competitive and anti-customer behaviour by Ferrovial," the airline said.

"Since Ryanair does not wish to prejudice other potential investors in Stansted, it has written to all investors/consortia it has held discussions with to advise them that Ryanair will not participate in the sale process or seek a minority stake."

LGS6753 10th Oct 2012 08:30

In his characteristically subtle manner, Mr O'Leary is reported to have mentioned that his plans for Stansted included:

- building a second runway as soon as possible

- ripping out most of the check-in desks

- dismantling the "noddy train" that connects terminal and piers.

Sounds like he wanted to encourage long-haul and legacy carriers (not).

Source - D. Telegraph

Dannyboy39 10th Oct 2012 10:14

What were STNs pax numbers then? According to the Beeb they were due to be announced yesterday.

LGS6753 10th Oct 2012 16:40

CAA are due to announce provisional September figures on Oct 15th

ayroplain 10th Oct 2012 17:09

dismantling the "noddy train" that connects terminal and piers.
Funny you should post that reference. Saves me having to raise the subject first.
A more appropriate name would be "shoddy train". I hadn't been through STN in a good many years until very recently. Having got off the aircraft and walked the walk we eventually arrived at the dead end that is this train where a large queue had already formed. A display board on the wall indicated that the next train was due in 2 minutes but that it was a one-car train (so don't bother queuing beyond the first two gates). 5 minutes later it still hadn't arrived as the queue lengthened. After 8 minutes this hopelessly small carriage arrived with a mad rush from pax to get on. The sign still indicated 2 minutes. I was the last one able to get on. (bit like the Tube) OR so I thought. Pax still in the corridor and not willing to wait just began to push their way on to this already overloaded cattle-wagon. With no staff present to organise things it was a free-for all and soon we were all crushed together like no sardine would ever be subjected to. There were so many on board that all the hand-space on the hold-onto post was gone, not that it was really needed. I began to fear another Hillsborough. After a few more minutes waiting the doors closed and off we went. As we approached the next stop an announcement indicated that nobody should get off as this was a boarding only area. The train stopped but there wasn't even room for half a baby sardine to get on. Despite this, the train just stood at the platform for the computer-designated period while everyone held their breath. Finally, the doors closed and we were away again on this ridiculously long journey. At the point where the train terminated we could see that we were opposite the near end of the pier we had disembarked the aircraft from having done some kind of round trip. We could have walked it in three minutes. It was a relief to get off this thing and breath fresh air again.

In a country where schoolboys are not allowed to play conkers in school unless wearing safety glasses I'm amazed that this shoddy train has been allowed by the 'elf and safety brigade to continue to run .

Overall, I found STN to be looking very rundown. The area around the escalators to the trains looked as if it hadn't been cleaned or swept since 2011. The actual design of the Terminal, especially after security going out, is very poor and makes one wonder how it was ever sanctioned.

Tranceaddict 10th Oct 2012 18:00

Passenger Numbers Down
Stansted: Passenger numbers down as BAA confirms negative "Olympics Effect"

BAA, which during August abandoned its lengthy battle against a Competition Commission ruling that it must sell Stansted, said its five airports handled a total of 9.52million passengers during the month.

Heathrow’s numbers were 1.9% down on August 2011 at 6.46million, following 4.4% fall in July, while the total at Stansted was 5.2% down as 1.88million, similar to the 5.3% fall seen the previous month.

However, BAA said the August reduction at Heathrow was due to a fall of 4.6% during the first two weeks which had been partially offset by growth of 0.3% during the rest of the month.

“This suggests a continuation of the ‘Olympics effect’ reported in July, with UK passengers staying at home as well as non-Olympic visitors from overseas choosing to defer their journeys,” BAA said.

“Overall, passenger traffic at Heathrow in July and August has been lower than originally expected and the shortfall is not expected to be recovered later in the year,” it added.

The further decline in numbers at Stansted during August means that the airport’s year-to-date total of 11.82m is now 4.7% down compared with the same stage last year while its rolling 12-month total of 17.46m is 4.8% down.

However, cargo tonnage at Stansted grew by 13.9% in August, taking year-to-date growth to 3.2% and the rolling 12 month figure into positive territory at 0.8%.

Elsewhere within BAA, passenger numbers last month were up by 9.2% at Aberdeen and by 3.1% at Glasgow but were down 6.4% at Southampton.

Powerjet1 11th Oct 2012 07:40

September figs. Down 4% on Sept 11. 17.38m, down 4.8% yoy

pamann 11th Oct 2012 08:29

Never had an issue with the transit train to/from to Satellites 1 & 2? In fact it's always been quite speedy and never uncomfortably overcrowded and I've used it dozens and dozens of times. :confused:

I would agree that the boarding station especially at Satellite 1 is looking particularly shabby and probably hasn't been updated since the terminal opened back in 1991?

FRatSTN 14th Oct 2012 22:38

BAA has said today that Stansted could be run for £5 million cheaper per year! First-round bids are due next week.

It's said that freeying Stansted from BAA's ownership will produce immediate savings and reduce management costs. Passenger numbers are forecasted to grow to around 24.6 million by 2019. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, which are down from £117m in 2008 to an estimated £87.3m this year, are forecast to rise to £201m.

Stansted airport owner admits it could be run for £5m less - Telegraph

It's looking like we may be starting to get a glimmer of light at the end of this very, very long tunnel!

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