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OzzyOzBorn 23rd Jun 2020 18:33

When a video was made showing MAN's apron as seen from a microlight aircraft - supported by stills taken from the tower on or around the same date - I counted aircraft on view as being in the high eighties. I think it was 88, though I've discarded that piece of paper now. Certainly a number in that ballpark. This included the five TUI MAX's which are away from the main parking area, but not anything which may have been hangared. The number was well below 114. Maybe that was the number recorded on FR24 which miscounts Barton vicinity movements as Manchester arrivals and leaves them in the totals for ages because they aren't subsequently noted as departing again?

With several Thomas Cook and FlyBe aircraft to leave permanently, plus other frames from some solvent carriers such as Virgin, there should be plenty of vacant stands to backfill before long. And ten new stands coming into service to the NW of T2 Pier 1 as well.

750XL 23rd Jun 2020 20:32

There's also a number of stands constantly being loss for taxiway repairs, upgrades, fuel hydrant installation etc.

OzzyOzBorn 23rd Jun 2020 21:17


There's also a number of stands constantly being loss for taxiway repairs, upgrades, fuel hydrant installation etc.
Are those jobs actually progressing (hope so) or are the contractors still furloughed and work frozen?

UnderASouthernSky 23rd Jun 2020 21:55

It's not just available stands that you need for freight, but a stand to fit the aircraft. A stand just freed up by a retiring Flybe Dash 8 will not accommodate an A330F. And certain freighters need tie down points by the nose wheel, which further limits which stands can be used by wide body freighters on a busy airfield - MAN or elsewhere.

OzzyOzBorn 23rd Jun 2020 23:43


It's not just available stands that you need for freight, but a stand to fit the aircraft. A stand just freed up by a retiring Flybe Dash 8 will not accommodate an A330F. And certain freighters need tie down points by the nose wheel, which further limits which stands can be used by wide body freighters on a busy airfield - MAN or elsewhere.
With all due respect, this point is so glaringly obvious that there didn't seem to be any point in raising it on a forum geared to a professional user-base. But just because a stand is capable of accommodating a B747-8F turnaround, it doesn't follow that it will be left vacant in case one shows up. Stands are generally made available for use by multiple aircraft types up to the maximum size permitted. So a bit of pre-planning is required to ensure that sufficient capable stands are available to accommodate the larger types scheduled to arrive at any given time. But MAN routinely plans for this, in common with other major airports. It should not be a barrier to including freighters in the schedule. In an extreme case, it should always be possible to tow a long-term parked blocking aircraft out of the way. For example, a B738 should easily fit on one of the ten newly-constructed stands. Parked up aircraft can be repositioned according to need.

MAN777 24th Jun 2020 00:37

The other major issue is finding a handling agent to do the turnaround. Will they be prepared to invest in all the equipment and staff training for a handful of freighter movements. I havent had much contact with MAN for some time and Im not sure whether the hi-lo’s are even still available ?

techair 24th Jun 2020 00:53

There isn’t a main deck hi-lo available at Manchester any more. I spoke to a decision maker from a large HA a fair bit back about this point and it works out the very expensive equipment could be employed far more profitably at a different station with far more freight flights. Who would’ve thought it!

chaps1954 24th Jun 2020 07:35

I don`t thinnk there are that many stands that can take a B748 because of length of wings

ATNotts 24th Jun 2020 07:46


Originally Posted by MAN777 (Post 10818813)
ATNotts
WOW thats quite a reply, thanks for spending time to thoroughly explain your views.

I think its obvious that the big drop in freight carried is because the underbody freight didnt fly because the flights were grounded. The figure is no shock to anybody and the addition of a few daily 747Fs would make little difference to the figures.

As soon as the flights start up the tonnage will rise again.👍

You sound like an office based stats man to me ?

Have you ever actually been airside during a dedicated 747F turnaround ? If you had you would know its not just a case of parking an aircraft for an hour. The dedicated ground equipment and staffing levels required are very different from a passenger flight. Also the staging areas for freight on freight off require a lot of concrete. Establishing all this for a few movements a day is not cost effective, if it was profitable MAG would have continued to support freighter OPs at MAN

MAG is simply keeping its house in order matching trimmed assets to supply most profitable return, it will be interesting to see how the proposed THG operation pans out.

Actually not office based, or a qualified "stats man" but I am interested in statistics since I know that they can be made to fit almost whatever narrative they are intended to underpin. Did however spend too many years in logistics and saw how the air cargo business changed, and have observed large cargo aircraft being turned around and certainly turning around a 747 in all cargo config in a hour would be nigh on impossible.

MAG will have made a decision that passengers are their route to maximising profitability at Manchester, although I suspect they might have some moments of self doubt during the last 12 weeks or so. And it may not just be MAG, obviously it's the handling agents that have to be staffed up for cargo handling, and if they've taken a conscious decision not to invest money in cargo handling large scale all cargo operations ain't about to happen. The management at EMA must be pretty happy they puts their eggs into the cargo basket, since passnger flight completely stopped for about 10 weeks.

SWBKCB 24th Jun 2020 07:56


The management at EMA must be pretty happy they puts their eggs into the cargo basket, since passnger flight completely stopped for about 10 weeks.
Yet curiously in all this palaver over MAG and it's cargo strategy, the fact that EMA's throughput dropped in May doesn't get a mention?

ATNotts 24th Jun 2020 09:23


Originally Posted by SWBKCB (Post 10819219)
Yet curiously in all this palaver over MAG and it's cargo strategy, the fact that EMA's throughput dropped in May doesn't get a mention?

That's PR and marketing people for you. MAG have particularly savvy PR and Marketing departments.

mmeteesside 24th Jun 2020 10:35


Originally Posted by techair (Post 10819047)
There isn’t a main deck hi-lo available at Manchester any more. I spoke to a decision maker from a large HA a fair bit back about this point and it works out the very expensive equipment could be employed far more profitably at a different station with far more freight flights. Who would’ve thought it!

Who handles the daily 757F then?

chaps1954 24th Jun 2020 11:01

Big difference from B757 to a B747 in the way they are handled

OzzyOzBorn 24th Jun 2020 11:20

Lots of negative "can't do" postings. MAN is by far the UK's busiest airport outside London (well, in normal times!) and a vital component of the Northern Powerhouse initiative. If an item of ground handling equipment is required, order it! Or bring back whatever they shipped off to EMA/STN. "There aren't enough cargo flights to justify the expense ..." No, and there won't be for as long as MAG policy is to switch-sell cargo leads away from MAN. Bring back the capability and present a welcoming environment for cargo business. You make the investment first, then the business follows. That's how it works.

My earlier reference to the B747-8F was just for illustrative purposes. There are many other freighter types! MAN certainly did have a B748 capable stand quite recently - whether or not it still is so would depend on changes made in realigning the taxiways. It certainly shouldn't be beyond the capabilities of an airport of MAN's stature to ensure this capability going forward in any case.

Let's have more of the "can do" attitude upon which MAN built its early success. Now it seems to be a list of "well we can't do this because ..." Handling a cargo turnaround isn't rocket science.

ATNotts 24th Jun 2020 11:27


Let's have more of the "can do" attitude upon which MAN built its early success. Now it seems to be a list of "well we can't do this because ..." Handling a cargo turnaround isn't rocket science.
But it's not as easy as that, if you're thinking about large freighters. Sure, it won't a problem unloading a "just in time" urgent shipment from a Cessna Caravan, it can be hand balled off. However you can't just put someone off passenger check-in onto a Hi-Lo and expect them to operate it, nor tow around pallet dollies, or drag pallets down the floor of a 747. if you haven't got the trained staff on hand in the first place just switching on a cargo handling service isn't going to be child's play.

OzzyOzBorn 24th Jun 2020 11:34


But it's not as easy as that, if you're thinking about large freighters. Sure, it won't a problem unloading a "just in time" urgent shipment from a Cessna Caravan, it can be hand balled off. However you can't just put someone off passenger check-in onto a Hi-Lo and expect them to operate it, nor tow around pallet dollies, or drag pallets down the floor of a 747.
I never suggested they should expect an employee to undertake a task which they haven't been trained to do. Every job airside depends on appropriate training. MAN has done this before and it can do so again. They handled B77F's relatively recently, so it is probable that some of that expertise is still around anyway.

750XL 24th Jun 2020 12:04


Originally Posted by mmeteesside (Post 10819394)
Who handles the daily 757F then?

Fedex self handle their own flights at MAN, the warehouse guys come airside for the load ups/offloads then back into the warehouse for the rest of their shift.


If an item of ground handling equipment is required, order it!
Do you have any idea how much these things cost to purchase? Yet alone maintain. You're not going to get much change out of £1 million. Who in their right mind is going to purchase that, to have it sat gathering dust all year? Perhaps get one ad-hoc charter flight in, that you manage to charge £2000 ground handling for - on a good day.

chaps1954 24th Jun 2020 12:17

Now as we have read this morning SwissPort are making over 50% of UK staff redundent (4500UK)

OzzyOzBorn 24th Jun 2020 13:26


Who in their right mind is going to purchase that, to have it sat gathering dust all year?
Hmmm. You clearly rate MAG's cargo marketing team very highly! Actually, you may have a point. Some new direction needed?

And the UK's largest airport outside London can't afford a £1m piece of equipment. Which they used to have until quite recently? Oh dear ...

UnderASouthernSky 24th Jun 2020 13:39


Originally Posted by OzzyOzBorn (Post 10819563)
Hmmm. You clearly rate MAG's cargo marketing team very highly! Actually, you may have a point. Some new direction needed?

And the UK's largest airport outside London can't afford a £1m piece of equipment. Which they used to have until quite recently? Oh dear ...

Isn't it the handling agent and not the airport authority who owns/leases handling equipment?


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