View Full Version : EZY head-to-head against the shed?

10th Apr 2001, 01:56
A gauge of opinion please:
These bean-counters, even the orange ones, are now getting a bit shaky on their economics IMHO and I thought a bit of debate was required!

As has been mentioned on the LTN-bashing thread, EZY are starting GLA/EDI>BFS soon.

As both these routes are currently served by J41/Sheds does anyone think they can feasibly fill a 737-700?
Have they gone too far this time?

1. Almost all traffic on the route is business so they'll be paying more than just 39 return.
2. EZY manage to fill a 737 LTN>INS when BA can only manage a half-full 146 from LGW so maybe it's just possible.
3. Given the choice, most passengers would prefer a Boeing to an SD-360 (nothing against the shed)
4. Fantastic to see BFS being developed as a hub!

1. Needs about 200% increase in current traffic to be feasible
2. Only 15 minute (approx) saving over Shed/J41 flight-time.
3. BRAL management are acknowledged to be among the best and I think will put up a good fight unlike EZY's prior opposition - how tempted are they to stick a Barbie-jet on the route and crush EZY before they even start I wonder? :-)

On a seperate note, to show that low-costs are not always definetly the best, GLA has just lost it's AF direct flight to CDG and all onward connections from Europe's most efficient hub thanks to Ryanair's PIK>Beauvais blowing it out of the water. I'm all for 9 return but I don't think this is in the business community's best interest?? Thoughts?

You start off with an empty bag of experience and a full bag of luck. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

LTN man
10th Apr 2001, 08:53
GO are offering 2 flights a day in both directions to both GLA and EDI while easyjet will offer up to 4 flights a day to GLA and 2 a day to EDI. Total seats available each day will be 3000. Can’t help but think that it will all end in tears.

Lord Fulmer
10th Apr 2001, 12:20
At this rate Belfast is going to be empty!

10th Apr 2001, 12:50
Go wont be flying a 737 on the route- and tickets are 25 pounds return.

10th Apr 2001, 12:54

Seeing as Go only fly B733s - just what do they intend to use then ??

carlos vandango
10th Apr 2001, 14:04
I shouldn't think Easy will be too concerned about BRA. After all they've nicked most of the pax from the BHD-LPL route AND the BRA figures for BHD-MAN don't look to promising either. It would appear that the public are going orange to LPL these days.
N.I has always been classed as low yield and so should suit Easy nicely. Things could get very interesting if Go expand their Bristol plans. BRS-BFS should prove popular and have British European running for cover too.

10th Apr 2001, 19:42
Just to put you all out of your misery. Go are subchartering the Edi/Gla/Bfs to Titan who will be using a Bae146.
This will be until the end of summer then their own aircraft will take over the routes.

10th Apr 2001, 21:48

Can't Go and eJ leave each other alone for God's sake?

Don't they have a view for the future. As soon as one says something, the other copies it and then doubles it.

How cunning. The beginning of the end if people don't get a grip.

10th Apr 2001, 22:54

To add to and correct a few of the points you made regarding the INV-LGW BRAL service;

BRAL provides a total of 666 seats in each day between INV and LGW, Easyjet some 300 mid week and 600 at weekends. BRAL provide the local business person with an early south bound flight and a late evening return. All passengers are offered free food and drink.

Whilst not immune to weather diversions and tech delays BRAL will always try to continue to provide a flight. When Easy divert or have tech problems they will return empty to LTN or cancel flights.

Quite often we will pick up pax who are inconvenienced by late running or cancelled Easyjet flights. We are very pleased to see that they often return to fly with us rather that Easy.

The load factors you quote are not correct - although I agree winter months are quiet. The first 4 flight loads today (approx) 70%, 100%, 80%, 95%.

Feel free to pop over and have a chat during your stay at Inverness - perhaps we could correct some of your other points!

It's not easy having fun; even smiling makes my face hurt.

10th Apr 2001, 23:39
bral - thanks for your corrections re. INS>LGW.

I'm only working on anecdotal evidence so since you're the man who has to sign the sheet you certainly know better than me!

BTW: Do you know where I can get accurate load-factor details for all scheduled UK carriers. Admittedly I haven't been digging that hard but it doesn't seem to be published anywhere easily accessible!

You start off with an empty bag of experience and a full bag of luck. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

11th Apr 2001, 23:46
Well what do you know, Go are going to start their BFS - GLA/EDI without having enough capacity in their own fleet and are to sub charter Titan for the summer. Umhhhhhhhh
sounds alot like they have jumped in at the deep end in an effort to stop EZY getting the upper hand.
If tickets are 25 quid, even if they fill the plane will they cover the cost of leasing in a/c and crews? Perhaps some-one with more financial savvy could say but doesn't seem very sound to me!

controller friendly
12th Apr 2001, 03:01
A few points on the original request for discussion,
BRAL have had their own way on the route for what about 5 years now as they run the services from both BHD & BFS.The prices are ridiculous.
The alternative ferry crossings aren't much better.
NI people have for years had to pay well over the odds for that small stretch of water.
EZY have learnt from the service to LPL & have realised that they could fill the aircraft with football supporters alone at the weekends.
Though both airlines on the route seems a bit much!But it is good to see the low cost carriers in N.I.
At least Mr Paisley should be happy as the future is definately orange at BFS!!!

12th Apr 2001, 04:14
I suspect BRAL will see a massive drop in pax figures initially when the Easy mob start the routes.

Once the cancellations and the usual delays start to bite, my personal opinion is that the business community will more than likely come back to BRAL on the J41/ATP (and Embraer if the management are smart enough to whip one onto the route).

The savings in time, as pointed out, are pretty much irrelevant and if BRAL are canny enough to lower the fares (and keep them at a reasonable level - I agree the current fares are pretty horrific for regular travellers) then the 737s won't be around for long.

What Easy and Go *can* fight for, is the tourist and leisure traveller who will book half a year in advance for the cheapest flight.

Having flown these routes for years myself, I damn well know there is not enough current demand for three operators. Whether the low-cost boys and girls can generate additional seats through the very nature of their ermmm 'low-costness' remains to be seen.

I think GO's chartering of the 146 is a class piece of brinkmanship and despite what people have posted here, quite a clever idea. It's small enough (and disposable enough not to worry the accounts if it doesn't work) to get high loads, and could operate as a loss-leader to test the waters.

Easy have to commit to an entire 737... glad I'm not paying the bills !

Bral - whilst we bat on the same side, I don't think our stale strip of egg sandwich and a free glass of Holsten Pils or a cheap whiskey has much of an influence on bookings. The business people who travel do not choose the airline... stand in an Easy queue from late afternoon in LTN going to GLA or EDI and listen to the gripes. Yet, time after time, their companies book Easy because it is a matter of bottom line and the flights (when they operate) are full. I personally doubt that they can bring this to bear on the NI market and, like you, I'm sure that the spare aircraft and lack of delays will bring the pax back, if and when they decide to try out the competition. IF IF IF... we lower our prices.

12th Apr 2001, 11:27
"Let the games begin!!!"

southern softy
12th Apr 2001, 12:55
I think TBONE and freinds watch too much TV.
If the "usual delays and cancellations" occur then it will be another successful ORANGE route. Those "usual delays and cancellations" are not anything like you would wish the price and service are excellent, all services have glitches from time to time.

Anyway, lets see what happens..... :)

12th Apr 2001, 18:39
I don't wish to start an Easy-bashing thread as I completely agree that the service and prices are excellent.

My comments about delays are from personal experience. It is, unbelievably, cheaper for me to buy a confirmed Easy ticket than a staff standby for my travel down South so I use them regularly, but not when I absolutely definitely 100% need to be there at an exact time !

I stand by my comments that there is not enough *current* capacity to support a new Easy route and the BRAL schedule, let alone GO as well.

As you said, we'll have to see the outcome. All the rest is pure speculation :)

brain fade
12th Apr 2001, 21:07
I.M.H.O. you guys are completely missing the point. Its correct to say that bral have only 41's and ATP's on the route so it does look a bit odd that they hope to fill a 737 several times a day. But go/sleazy surely see the ferries, not bral as their target. there are thousands a day crossing the water on the high speed ship or the conventional ferries. sure, many have their cars with them, but how many of the rest would fly if only they could get a ticket at a decent price? now they can so we'll soon see. I'm sure bral will suffer, but all good things come to an end eventually and this is where the franchises are terribly vulnerable to being undercut by easy and the likes. I forecast easy, and go are going to clean up here.

13th Apr 2001, 00:55
Very good point about the ferry catchment - it hadn't crossed my mind.

An Easy ticket + an Easy A Class Merc on arrival booked well in advance is still cheaper than either the ferry companies or BRAL. Very tempting.

Yes, the franchises have the weakspot you describe, but they also have the commercial backing to drop prices in line. Suck it and see !

13th Apr 2001, 04:09
As a Belfast person "born and bred" I think its is fair to say that the targets for this little war-ette are the ferries.

I spent 13 years at Ulsterbus and the coach fares on the cross channel routes are not too different to EZY/Go so the targets must be the NatEx/Scotrail/Ulsterbus/Stena pax.

Stena each week are sending coach loads to IKEA at EDI on day trips ! It's amazing what the irish market can generate. Add the football traffic at weekends plus the bizz traffic who could be weaned from their cars and the traffic at 'low yield' fares is there.

BRAL suffer cos the fares between BHD/BFS-MAN look stupid against the EZY BFS-LPL fares.

Get your marketing right and an educated consumer is your best customer !

gul dukat
13th Apr 2001, 04:23
bill the coach ......could not agree more ...went to Glasgow on a day trip with an aged parent the other week ...4 coaches full at Stranraer ...and not one footballer amongst them .....EZY seem to have the BFS -LPL route well sewn up ...publicitiy is everything !!! The loads do seem to an untrained eye to be "making a few bob " and long may it continue .The general population in NI seem at last to be reaping the benefit of somewhat cheaper fares !! A correspondent of BRAL on another thread extols the virtues of "free meals " to all their pax ex INS ...I reckon the ordinary punter can see through "free" meals and where possible would like the extra few bob in their pocket as spends on arrival !!!..Now if only we can have a few more DIRECT european routes !!! good luck to EZY and GOE ....we have paid too much too long !!!!

"earth is full ....go home "

13th Apr 2001, 04:57
given that EZY is operating 2 flights BFS-EDI and 2 flights EDI-AMS , could it be that they are hoping to gain some BFS-AMS passengers?

gul dukat
13th Apr 2001, 15:00
hi Baggy ....don't think so ...they are upping the schedule from BFS -AMS to two from one a day .Still not as good as when KLMuk pulled the plug but at least it is a welcome return !! The pax figures on all of the routes seem to be very healthy so good luck to them !!

alpha charlie
13th Apr 2001, 15:09
It not a case of taking passengers from the likes of BRAL and the other carriers. The low cost airlines generate new business by offering affordable fares which brings new passengers to air travel. People who might otherwise not have been able to afford the prices of an air ticket previously.

13th Apr 2001, 21:16
gul dukat, Just look at the frequency of the ferry operation to see potential traffic levels. (Bear in mind that the north Irish Sea routes generate more traffic - pax and freight - than Dover-Calais)

Ulsterbus has a 15 vehicle fleet based at Stranraer (or they did in my day as U/bus coaching manager) that was never kept sitting around and they didn't get involved in local coach hire work so all traffic was ex-NI.

Bagheera, can't pax already route BFS-LPL-AMS ?

I think that this battle will be well worth watching as the fare levels mean that the low cost carriers are taking on surface carriers head to head. If they get it right the A75 and A77 will become very quiet roads !

gul dukat
14th Apr 2001, 03:09
Bill the coach .....did I miss something? ...I AGREE with you !!! the ferry traffic is huge ..and a lot of folk would cheerfully pay to travel to see a football team on a Saturday ...or visit their granny in EDI or AMS for that matter ...or travel to or from university ...these are the sorts of folk who would NOT have had much of an option before !! Lets have MORE low cost guys entering the fray ...as Controller friendly says the "majors" have had it too much their own way for too long !!! and has anyone been on a ferry on the north irish sea in January !!! enough already !!!

14th Apr 2001, 18:50
It's all well and good getting competition from scotland to Belfast, and as many have highlighted, it is the ferries who may lose. But think ahead a few years, when stenna and others pull out of the passenger market and handle only freight. You will have one option, fly and nothing else. or get a ticket to travel with the truckers. So the Northern Ireland tourist board should be worried, as a large part of the holiday market consists of people taking cars across either to or from Scotland/N.England. This will not generate new visitors, just move them from the ferries, which are actually quite pleasant nowadays, and can work out extremely cheap, cheaper than easyjet/Go, and don't need to be booked six months in advance in order to get the true discount fares.

As for Go or Easy Jet, neither of these has been shown to be reliable enough to use for a day trip business in N.Ireland or anywhere else for that matter. When flights are cancelled by these two airlines (at the drop of a hat), they hold all the cards, and passengers have almost no rights for refunds/transfers to other carriers etc...

So, BRAL should stick at it, because as someone else has pointed out, the business travellers will stay/return long term if treated well.

So, competition can be good where a routing can support it. But in the long term (years) N.Ireland will have been well and truly shafted.

In case you are not convinced, when I was younger, the only boat crossing available from Scotland to N.Ireland was a cattle transporter, which also carried passengers.

So, N.Ireland, you will get cheap air fares, but will end up with no other crossing routes. If their is no money to be made by the ferry companies, they will go elsewhere.

I discussed Easy Jet recently on another thread, and gave up as eventually lots of people from easyjet (in disguise) joined in generally singing the utmost praises of what is after all a rather bodgy airline. So, no doubt the same will happen here too.

14th Apr 2001, 20:34

don't go knocking it just cos you didn't get the response you wanted. This is an open web site and attracts people with legitimate views to put forward, just like you, but just cos we don't all agree with your rantings doesn't mean posting is worthless. Perhaps there are just a lot of people with different views to you?


14th Apr 2001, 22:04
I think that the traffic generated on N.I. routes is ex-N.I. rather than ex-U.K. so the NITB wouldn't be too bothered.

For years I travelled BFS-LHR and found myself included in stats as a "visitor" each time I returned to BFS.

The NI market with all those ferries is a huge market which depends equally on frieght and pax movements.

15th Apr 2001, 06:42
I really wish the Orange lot wouldn't take this so personally.

Absolutely no-one is knocking the professionalism of the crews, be they flightdeck or cabin crew. No one disputes the value of the majority of the tickets sold, nor the quality of the service once en-route.

What is a problem is the reliability of said service, and this is poor. Not hearsay, but fact. Hard wingeing fact, backed up with my own 6 bookings in the last 4 weeks if anyone cares to dispute it.

It is not only poor, but consistently poor and this will not do for the majority of business travellers. Two or three hour delays do not inconvenience the holiday traveller particularly - frustrating, but not earth shattering. If one frequently fails to make meetings, conferences and anything else with a strict deadline, the difference of a hundred quid becomes somewhat irrelevant.

50 with Easy or 150 with BRAL. One is pot luck, the other has, generally at worst, a 15 min delay. Easy do not operate spare aircraft unless I'm grossly mistaken and there is no slack in the system. Morning flights are great.... once you get to late afternoon there is usually a problem.

I think Flypast is pretty much on the money with that analysis. BRAL is going to have to sharpen up its act to retain the pax though, and that means cutting fares to a competitive level. With the BA buyout, that doesn't look too difficult, does it ?!

The major winner in the short-term is the NI passenger. Whether this translates to a long-term gain remains to be seen.

Mad Max
15th Apr 2001, 13:03
Hello TBone, "easy do not operate spare aircraft unless I'm grossly mistaken" - erm, well yes you are mistaken, because we do to support this Summer's programme. You have some valid points about our recent past performance, rest assured there are plenty of measures being taken to address just that and not before time if you'll pardon the pun.

Look forward to your continued custom.
Cheers, Max.

17th Apr 2001, 12:05
Mad Max,

By getting rid of the LPL-LTN service does it give a spare aircraft since that was the one which was generally 'pinched' ?

20th Apr 2001, 01:44
Since the subchartered aircraft from Titan will be 146s would it not be better for Go to operate GLA/EDI to BHD and offer a superior product to EZY from BFS, increasing the chances of their reactionary stab into the market working?

After all, "people want to fly to Belfast, not 13 miles west of it" [JY ad poster circa 2000 I believe :)]

Is operation to BHD much more expensive than to BFS?

You start off with an empty bag of experience and a full bag of luck. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

20th Apr 2001, 03:22
Hey Mad Max :)

Where've you been? Have you missed me?


20th Apr 2001, 03:57
Am I missing something here...When EZY started up their reliability was woeful.(Presumably due to lack of Aircraft).However over the last couple of years I can only remember one Ezy going tech and although many have been late I would have to say by no more than the majors (when slots are in force).
I dont work at an Ezy hub so maybe my experience is different but I welcome their approach to the domestic market.
Curled up sandwich ,That will be an extra 100 pounds please!

[This message has been edited by Bagheera (edited 20 April 2001).]