View Full Version : Flyforbeans ???

30th May 2012, 15:22
After some speculation earlier in the year about them acquiring baby and BMIr, does anyone know where they stand to this day ??? Just curious that is all after looking at their website on the wayback machine, it all looked so, so promising !

30th May 2012, 15:51
Tell you what, Airguru - I'll give you chapter and verse when you stop pretending to be a 39 year old Airbus pilot, and go back to being a teenager from the valleys....


30th May 2012, 16:26
Ok no problem TA, now spill the beans ? (If you pardon the pun)

30th May 2012, 16:41

I'll let you draw your own conclusions -

1. The European economy is toast, especially in South Wales.
2. No-one, but no-one, is interested in funding a start up anything in this economy, let alone an airline.
3. There are now very real question marks over the future of CWL.
4. There are few real growth opportunities at other UK airports.
5. The imminent collapse of the Euro will make everything sharply worse.


30th May 2012, 16:57
Totally agree, are they still out there ? Or have they had their beans on toast ?

30th May 2012, 16:59
Is this designed to be a thread to test your puerile sense of humour?

Why not check Companies House?


30th May 2012, 17:03

I fear your history with a certain Welsh airline and old knowings of Cardiff is likely clouding your judgement. Your views are a little... extreme...

1. The European economy is toast, especially in South Wales.
2. No-one, but no-one, is interested in funding a start up anything in this economy, let alone an airline.
3. There are now very real question marks over the future of CWL.
4. There are few real growth opportunities at other UK airports.
5. The imminent collapse of the Euro will make everything sharply worse.

1) The South Wales economy is growing and has displayed growth figures over the past 3 years but has also produced growing unemployment figures at the same time. But industrial output remains on growth.
2) Well, start-up investments are becoming more common over this past 12 months especially. But getting it is no doubt harder.
3) There aren't 'real' questions over the future of CWL. The CWL management from what I can draw seem to be actively trying to raise routes from their airport. But it's a difficult market with BRS just up the roads. But a valuable asset as Wales' major airport.
4) This is another debatable point. There are many growth opportunities from UK airports, but the problem is that they're not well served by a Bus or Boeing operated by the loco's. This is where the likes of Eastern have succeeded in operating multiple daily rotations on routes which one would suggest wouldn't make sense with multiple daily rotations.
5) Not going to debate this, it is on the brink of collapse. Which will have some affect on business being conducted in Europe.

Is this designed to be a thread to test your puerile sense of humour?

Why not check Companies House?


Your expectations of spotter clubs are rather high :) :ugh::ugh:

30th May 2012, 17:15
Your expectations of spotter clubs are rather high

A fair comment, I did giggle at it :)

I'd put the rest in context. I would say that there really are serious question marks over Cardiff Airport, sadly. Current throughput of pax stands at 1.2 MPPA, with a TOTAL leakage to BRS of around 700 KPPA - even assuming that all that leakage can be stopped (which would require all the BRS routes to be introduced from CWL), the total throughput is still stubbornly below 2 MPPA - which is not critical mass for the airport. I would imagine the airport is currently profitable - marginally - so there is currently absolutely no incentive for the airport's owners to sell it, especially when the realisable value is likely to be so far adrift from the book value - but as the property market recovers? Jury is out. If there were no 'real' questions over the future of the place, why is the First Minister setting up an enquiry to debate same?

The airport is only a valuable asset if it is exploited - right now, it isn't.

The local economy is massively over-dependent on the public sector, which is going to be the bogey man of the Government for years to come. Growth is sluggish at best, and as you rightly note, unemployment is going very much the wrong way. That doesn't sound good for any airline wanted to invest there.

You may well be right about niche operators. That's not my pitch. But in terms of what FFB were trying to achieve, where would you go to get critical mass? Just CWL? BRS is out, U2 and FR have that one sewn up. Forget the South East. Midlands is out, U2 and Spotty M are in like Flynn. All points North? Jet2. I just cannot see any room for a new mass market operator in the UK unless someone else fails.

Re start ups - yes, some money is available for some start ups. But for a jet operation that is going to need fat end of 50m? No. Just no. Unless of course some operator sees something the rest of us have missed, or who have struck kerosene in their back garden, or have pilots who will pay to fly, or have won a raffle to win four A320s....


30th May 2012, 17:36
I admire your enthusiasm TA, but as JCSL points out, employment is on the rise within South Wales which is good news. I have always been an advocate of 'The Market is there'. This is clearly evident with the MON/Cosmos route launch on Monday, which was a brilliant occasion for all at CWL, whilst attracting a fair share of passengers for a route which was only launched in December, operated by an airline which has no brand identity in South Wales, which will grow after a few months of operation of SFB.

I am sure that FFB are still out there ! According to Companies House as you state TA, Flyforbeans limited is dissolved, but Flyforbeans Aviation Limited is still active.

By the way, i believe that only the valleys are dependant on the Public Sector. The city region is mainly private with a few public institutions, then the Vale of Glam which is also largely private companies. In Wales we have loads of small businesses that are doing well. If they were to grow then South Wales could be a very, very prosperous region indeed. Apart from the 'benefit' culture merthyr tydfil which does not really hold up much hope !

30th May 2012, 17:49
No, both JSCL and I agree that unemployment is RISING, not falling.

Monarch's brand identity in South Wales doesn't add up to a bucket of spit - it could have been operated by Air Botswana, since the passengers were IT - so had no choice of operator.

As someone who was raised in South Wales, and has spent a lot of money analysing the market there - I can tell you that you are wrong about the composition - the Welsh fiscal gap is north of 10bn, which wouldn't happen if the private sector was doing well.

According to the ONS, the public sector is responsible for 23% of UK jobs (22.8% of GB jobs). Cardiff, that great private sector powerhouse? 26.4% public sector. And the Vale of Glamorgan - 28.1% public sector.

For completeness over 40% of jobs in Merthyr are in the public sector. I am struggling to see ANYWHERE in Wales where the percentage of the workforce employed by the public sector is lower - or even close to - the UK average.


30th May 2012, 17:54
Hmm i do see your points, but the last time that employment figures had been released, the number of unemployed had decreased by 32,000 or something like that. And yes i keep forgetting that Monarch are operating the flight on behalf of Cosmos. Monarch still sell through their website too though.

The way forward for CWL is to get a based low-cost carrier, something like Flyforbeans offers ! If the prices are right, and cheaper than at BRS and BHX, then the potential catchment is rather large for such routes. Just need someone to dip into the water, and find out for themselves. Baby was doing well until the winter months, and many believe that if they based more aircraft at CWL then it would have been much more profitable than it was.

30th May 2012, 18:01
No, the way forward is for Cardiff to prove there is a serious and sustainable market. Until it does that, no-one is going to go there, least of all a start up.

Right now, I just don't believe that the market is big enough - or rich enough - and that comes not from gut feel, or wishing upon a star, or reading the entrails from black and white chickens - but cold, hard facts and numbers.

Welsh unemployment fell by 1,000 in the first quarter, but that is not the seasonally adjusted number - and in any case, unemployment is a proxy variable. Across the UK unemployment in Q1 fell by 45,000 - which is way more proportionally that it did in Wales....

'Just needs someone to dip their toe in the water' - with your 50m? Airlines, especially start ups, don't 'dip their toe in the water' - they invest after a lot of research. Right now, they don't like the answers.

Cardiff has a massive seasonality problem - baby would have gone far far earlier if they had based more aircraft in CWL. I suspect the 'many who believe' otherwise have no clue about airline economics.


30th May 2012, 18:03
But as we can have discussed, AirGuru, there are demands for the small regional markets and whilst not as popular the use of 19-50 seater prop routes are where further development might appear in UK airports. It's impossible for Flyforbeans as a start-up to achieve the necessary structure to begin as a low cost Easy or Ryanair style. What you need to redirect your focus from is wanting the big boys and their summer routes to the regional operators who provide links to vital industrial cities which would also present employment opportunities for the south of Wales.

Now is NOT the time for a major UK start-up to enter the loco sector. If it works, someone will try and move in, that's business. If it becomes proven to work at CWL, Ryanair or Easyjet will think 'jobs a good un' and move in on Flyforbeans. Now is just NOT the time.

30th May 2012, 18:06
The many who believed were from a well informed aviation source, that i read somewhere. I endeavour to find it for you once my exams are complete in around 3 weeks time.

So how do you see there being a way to prove the market ? Only way i can see to do that is to launch services, hence the 'dipping your toes in the water' ?

Delta obviously thought there was some sort of market when they went to launch a JFK route just before the Ryder Cup. They wouldnt waste an aircraft even if it was state funded. I believe they even went as far as securing slots, but hey thats not too difficult at CWL at the minute !

30th May 2012, 18:10
a well informed aviation source, that i read somewhere

Go on, WAN?

A market is proved by serious, original and expensive research. Airlines DO NOT just 'suck it and see' - do you have any clue how much starting a new ROUTE costs, let alone starting an entire airline?

Delta obviously thought there was some sort of market when they went to launch a JFK route just before the Ryder Cup

Do you not think the two events might have been related?

The Ryder Cup is now history. If someone is looking at Cardiff from the US they are going to be doing some very heavy research - and the fact that they aren't coming speaks volumes.

And state funding of airlines is ILLEGAL. Google Ryanair and Charleroi.


30th May 2012, 18:17
No it wasn't WAN, as i say i will find it for you once i have more time on my hands. I don't really have much of a clue as to how much it costs to initiate research, but i know that state funding is illegal, which is why most of it is given in terms of marketing etc. which is what the DL route would have consisted of.

I still believe a low-cost carrier based at the airport has all of the solutions for CWL. Sun Routes have always been really popular with BCN having a decent first month of operations. So there is a certain market there, and as you say it is very niche and in severe contrast to that at BRS. In order for something to be successful though, you need to be rivalling EZY's and FR's fares over the bridge. Something which Vueling manages to do on every occasion !

30th May 2012, 18:25
What was Vueling's load? 45%?

I'll put money on this being the first and last season. Vueling is a low cost - unless it can hit the 75%-80% mark, they won't be in CWL.

A low cost at Cardiff is going to be competing nose to nose with U2 and FR. Both have massive networks, huge brand recognition, and thanks to the economies of scale, lower fares. The fact that fares from CWL are lower than the equivalent fares from BRS is NOT good news - someone is discounting hard, and airlines don't do that unless they need to.

The DL support was not marketing based; it was planned to be in the form of loss underwriting. That would be a fun test case.... if it were paid, it would look to me like a breach of the rules, and if I were say BA, I would be calling uncle. With a lot of justification as well.

If the market is as niche as you say, listen to JSCL and start a turboprop operator with higher fares. Forget a low cost - low costs need volume, and right now, Wales doesn't seem to have any load that isn't going via BRS....


30th May 2012, 18:37
Vueling's load was 48% for the month TA, which i believe is half decent for the time of year i.e, being april, and considering it is the first month of operations, where the airline has had to gain brand identity and all that. It will probably be seasonal on all services to be honest though, BCN, PMI and ALC.

Alex Cruz said initially that they intend to stay at CWL not for just one season, that being a quote from himself. So, Vueling will be back for Summer 2013 i believe. Also, they chose CWL over both SOU and EDI for their first UK-BCN flight (discarding the EDI ones back in 2007). They must have had confidence from somewhere. I will put a bet on vueling achieving good loads throughout the Summer season i.e being May, June, July and August. PMI and ALC are supposedly looking good, with BCN holding up well also. So to put it your way is a tad harsh.

30th May 2012, 18:38
Attracting new routes is always fun - lots of press and a big cake on launch day.

Is there anything really wrong howevere with just trying to improve existing business operations ? Could CWL do anything better ? Any way to reduce airline costs while maintaining service levels ? Perhaps something to boost loads on existing routes ? Etc etc

I would have difficulty believing Cardiff is already run perfectly - make existing stuff better and you can make a far better impression when an airline becomes receptive to opening new routes or upsizing aircraft on current routes.

30th May 2012, 18:41
48% is half way to half decent. For a low cost, it is not good. Trust me.

Alex Cruz said initially that they intend to stay at CWL not for just one season

Well he would, wouldn't he? What he really means is they intend to stay at Cardiff IF THE ROUTE PERFORMS. Right now, it isn't.

Harsh? No. Fair? Yes.


30th May 2012, 18:45
It is not fair to sum up a route by looking at the first month's figures sorry TA.
Vueling will be a success at CWL, or i will eat these words !
Believe me ! (You are calling half decent 98%) Dont think so !

30th May 2012, 18:49
It is not fair to sum up a route by looking at the first month's figures sorry TA.

You are talking to someone who has planned and launched routes for a low cost and watched them perform. It is PERFECTLY fair to take a view on a route after month one; it is simply not following the sort of profile that is expected.

Do you really believe that this route is going to get the 85%-95% loads - at proportionate yields - that it needs to succeed? I don't, and frankly, I've worked in this industry longer than you have drawn breath.

Vueling will be a success at CWL, or i will eat these words !

I'll save you a fork.


30th May 2012, 18:53
I am absolutely behind TA on this one.

An airline is not going to start a massive operation from Cardiff presented with the current facts:

Passenger figures nearly halfing in 4 years
Core routes such as AMS, DUB, CDG, EDI all dropping
Airlines dropping like flies out of the airport and reductions from many such as WW, WOW, FCA, TOM, BE, TCX. The promised BE expansion still to this day is far off occurring.

I am not saying this is all down to CWL, it's not. As mentioned above the economy has hit the fan and things don't seem brighter for the foreseeable future. New airlines that have come in the Cardiff in recent months have only launched a small number of routes, which goes to show their uncertainty and lack of trust of the S. Wales market. None of these new routes have best start either. MON dropping to twice monthly (you comment on how the flight looked packed, I gauge this is from the Facebook pictures. Remember CWL arrivals isn't that big and they cut out half the flights so that is effectively 2 loads of passengers) , 2L to ZRH won't be around for much longer with loads never about 30% and VY achieving okayish figures for the BCN route but considering this collided with Easter break it doesn't look too good. Also ticket prices for the rest of the summer say it all. And I have got a feeling that with no BCN... there will be no VY.

When Baby pulled out there was a massive gap left in the Cardiff route map and how many airlines jumped at the chance? Not even TOM who has a monopoly at CWL on those routes did. If airlines were sure of the market then they would of been all over CWL like a rash. VY is a start but it is going to be a long uphill struggle, and again they only launched the baby core routes (PMI, ALC) at a low 3 weekly with no AGP, IBZ, MAH... etc which were served regularly by Baby.

I have said this thousands of times... CWL need to support the routes it has currently, get growth on those routes and then airlines may start to consider CWL. Currently it isn't looking great.

30th May 2012, 18:54
I would like to know what company you work for on that basis !

30th May 2012, 18:56
AG, I would go with TA on this one. He knows exactly what he is talking about.

30th May 2012, 18:57
Well, Planenut321 - you have the wrong user name. Not a nut at all.

I hope you are considering a career in aviation management - if not, please do so!



30th May 2012, 22:06
Air Guru,

First of all show some respect to an aviation proffesional who has vasts amounts of experience in this field. To have a difference in opinions and beliefs is natural on a forum but to try and make him out to know nothing about his proffesion and job he does day in day out is damn right rude.

Second of all I think you need to take a real look at the facts and the stats. When you look at these you should learn to understand what they are telling you and not what you want to hear. Many of us deal using sats and facts as they are the only thing that's set in black and white which you can't argue with.

You can however dress them up in many different guises. The person attracting the airlines will look at them more optimitically compared to the airline (The one that needs to spend the cash and take the risk) will look them in a different light.

I am sure you know exactly who I am (one of the admins of WAF)


When Cardiff Airport approached Vueling they without a shadow of a doubt begged them to operate all the core sun routes that were left behind by bmibaby. Alicante, Palma de Mallorca, Faro, Malaga & Murcia.

However Vueling decided to operate only the Alicante & Palma de Mallorca flight plus adding the suprise of Barcelona. The decision would have been made taking a look at the hard evidence which are likely to include looking at so much data. which may possibly include yield, catchment, population, competition, passengers forecasts, GDP, fees and porbably so much more that Twin Aisle know the ins and outs of.

Why did Vueling decide not to operate the others? It's quite simple that the figures didn't look attractive enough for them.

Is Barcelona such a shock? Well not really as the airlines main base is Barcelona and as they offer connections at Barcelona to many of their other destinations then it is an added way to feed their network. Also the addition of Iberia codesharing on the route allowing connections to their flights from Barcelona is another major plus.

With all these selling points and more then it maybe considered that the route is underperforming and therefore likely to chopped if things don't continue to improve. The from pricese on BCN are still around the 30 euros mark which are great for the passengers but not so good for the airline and it's bean counters.

PMI & ALC are looking as if they are selling quite well however maybe not in line with the rest of the Vueling.

I and many others believe and have stated quite clearly in the past that if the Barcelona does not work then it may mean the withdrawal of Vueling flights alltogether from Cardiff.

Cosmos / Avro / Monarch Airlines

As we have established previously Monarch Airlines is chartered by Cosmos to operate it's route therefore it is a chartered flight. As Cosmos, Monarch Airlines & also Avro are all subsidiaries of Monarch Holdings plc then it only makes sense to improve the chance that somone with book flights by selling via it's various subsidiaries.

The fact here is that Cosmos has decided re-schedule it's weekly flight's in to fortnightly for Summer 2012 due to lower than expected sales.

On the positive side of things they have allready placed Summer 2013 on sale back to weekly.

Helvetic Airways

Very poor loads and as long as this continues which there is no reason why it shouldn't then we are likely to see it ending and possibly operating from BRS only. As we have seen in the past passengers find no issues in traveling to BRS to catch their flights.

The Economy

I have said many times before that South Wales is one of the poorest regions within the UK with the highest level of unemployment for decades if not ever before.

People in general are not spending as they were back in 2006-2007 as there is no confidence and ver little disposable income. Back then there wasn't a care in the world and it was as if money grew on trees. Some would max out credit cards as a sign that they couldn't really afford to go on holidays just to provide a good lifestyle for themselves and their families. Some would even go on two or three holidays per year including city breaks.

Times have since changed a high number of the South Wales population are on benefits of some kind. The UK Government are due to cut if not allready the level of benefits people have which no doubt will make them poorer further. No doubt if I went around various workplaces in South Wales many employees if not majority will have some sense of insecurity on the future of their jobs. People are not confident anymore and live in fear therefore it is a case of looking after every penny. These two or three trips abroad a year may only be one and that's if theyir lucky.

Airlines simply do not and cannot afford to take the risks they once did. Everything is gone through with a fine toothcombe twice or three times before making the commitment. There is always and element of risk how ever they look to minimise the risk and losses by looking at more certain routes.

The Future

At first we need to hope that once the figures of the withdrawal of bmibaby stops having an impact on our monthly stas (October 12) we need hope that we get no further bad announcements from the airlines serving CWL. This will mean that the passenger figures will start leveling off and hopefully build some confidence in the airport and stop attracting all the negative publicity from the press.

We also need to hope that the Enterprise Zones at St Athan & Cardiff City Centre are a success and that several businesses will start operating there. In turn this will increase the demand to certain destinations which may in turn make them more viable than they are presently.

I know that CWL management are actively seeking to concentrate on attracting routes that are not just likely to be used for outbound travellers (UK going away fro holidays) but routes that are likely to bring inbound tourism also. Having a mixture a mixture of this kind will increase the potential number of passengers. This is done by Easyjet & Ryanair but not done so much by Jet2.com, Monarch Airlines or bmibaby who concentrate more on UK passengers travelling abroad.

It is true that success breeds success however over the last 5 years or so any good news announced by Cardiff Airport has been unfortunatly followed by worse news which ends up having a negative impact on the stats.

As for the Cardiff Airport Task Force? Here is what my views are which i posted on Wales Air Forum (http://walesairforum.co.uk)

The Welsh Government has sat back for several years and have been reluctant in getting involved in a team approach when it comes to working with the airport to attract new routes and airlines. It will be harder to attract these now especially as the Welsh Government continue to slate the airport and undermine them.

The Welsh Government should be working with aviation experts, travel trade, the airport, hotels, inbound & outbound tourism and businesses etc to provide a team Wales approach to entice the airlines. The airport cannot support the routes directly however they can help in so many different ways including advertising, marketing etc

I believe that this task force has been set up for the wrong reasons and that is to continue to attack the airport. Work with Prof Stuart Cole, Martin Evans amongst many other aviation experts and use them to come up with a policy for aviation. There are many statements from the Welsh Government that contradict to what the views of these proffesionals are.

This task force is doombed for failure before it even takes off unless Carwyn can keep his mouth shut and actually take on board the true issues. It's a case of learning from mistakes made in the past to make us be in a better position in the future.
One thing I wish to say is that Spencer Birns is doing a fantastic job at Cardiff Airport. He never stops trying to bring in the airlines. I totally support Cardiff Airport and want it to grow as much as possible and boomb as much as anybody. Afterall that is what my website is all about and the airport is where I earn a living.

Stone Cold II
30th May 2012, 22:08
CWL I hate to say it is screwed. No future in my opinion it's had it's glory days and has missed the boat

Vuelling will fail at CWL fact again sad to say.

I operated a BCN last week from BRS and we had 4 empty seats on the way out and 6 empty seats on the way back so if they are only 48% full then it is doing really bad and nothing to do with the season.

Last year I brought back a family member from AGP into BRS and I asked him why he didn't use baby at CWL. He said even with the drive and parking he was saving over 80 per person. Always use EZY.

I would love CWL to thrive as it is my home airport but with EZYand RYR down the road it's stuffed and unless the management can get one of these 2 to move in then it's future is bleak.

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