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Oct 24, 2018
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https://assets.publishing.service.g...f_air_passenger_duty_on_regional_airports.pdf

In 2015 HM Treasury published a discussion paper on options for supporting English regional airports from the impacts of air passenger duty devolution (see above link).

The paper looked at devolving APD within England; varying APD rates within England; providing aid to regional airports within England.

The sticking point with the first two is that, as long as the UK remains within the EU or leaves with a deal that somehow incorporates a continuation of the single market in any leaving agreement, the UK will almost certainly have to continue to comply with EU regulations including state aid.

The 'Azores criteria' stipulates that for tax powers to be devolved by a member state to a regional authority, that regional authority must bear a sufficient degree of fiscal and autonomy from central government (the necessary degree of the autonomy is outlined in greater detail within the discussion paper). The Welsh and Scottish governments clearly have a sufficient degree of autonomy for tax devolution - they aren't regional authorities as we think of such bodies but have already had some tax powers (but not yet APD in Wales) devolved to them by the member state, ie the UK.

Regional or combined authorities in England don't have that autonomy at the moment and their budgets and powers would have to be greatly increased for them to be so regarded. The current West of England Combined Authority for example has a budget of £30 million a year which is little more than half the APD that BRS generates each year. The BRS APD equivalent would be deducted from central government funding if that authority axed APD, leaving it minus around £20 million each year instead of plus £30 million.

The same hurdles apply to varying APD within England although the Treasury did muse in its paper that it might be possible to vary APD within England according to airport congestion and remain within EU rules. The paper spoke of seeking the EC's views but I'm not aware that the Treasury ever did ask.

The third leg of the paper is not directly relevant to APD so I'll leave that although it is discussed within the linked paper if anyone wants to read it.

Clearly this paper was produced on the basis that APD would be devolved to the three national governments within the UK. Apart from the state aid difficulties, the problems that the Treasury sees and quoted within the paper (the additional burden of tax collection and consequences on some airports for example) seem to be why the question of Welsh APD devolution remains in the long grass.
An excellent post, thank you. If you're living then you're learning!
 

Jerry

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This is the passenger stats (roughly) for the Flybe base for 2018.
The seasonal routes have * next to them.
Belfast City 70,746
Edinburgh 101,671
Glasgow 33,261
Jersey 20,095
Paris CDG 75,402
Chambery 2709*
Berlin TXL 14,801
Dusseldorf 3235*
Munich 15,739
Cork 14,589
Dublin 104,890
Milan MXP 21,445
Rome FCO 17,584
Venice 8467*
Verona 8180*
Geneva 3213*
Faro 56,290 is shared with Ryanair who operate in the summer so for this exercise i'll guestimate 30,000 for Flybe on this route which is close to 2016s figure.
Rougly 540,000 people used Flybe from Cardiff in 2018 (i've allowed some discrepancy for rugby flights on Paris and Dublin).
That's roughly each aircraft carrying 180,000 passengers a year.

Hopefully those numbers will be attractive to airlines like Ryanair and Air France and Aer Lingus.
 

Jerry

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With Flybe now withdrawing the base i'm wondering if maybe in the long run it might be better if they as an airline drop Cardiff completely. As an airline they obviously don't feel that Cardiff is either important enough or profitable enough for them to continue to base and for the airport away based flights would be a poor subtistute. If it means that Cardiff loses routes like Edinburgh, Belfast, Glasgow, Paris and Jersey in the short term then so be it but in the long term routes like that could be attractive for other airlines to step in on and take up, assuming they are profitable of course. I personally wonder if the relationship between the airport and the airline will be too damaged for it too continue.
 

Carl0927

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With Flybe now withdrawing the base i'm wondering if maybe in the long run it might be better if they as an airline drop Cardiff completely. As an airline they obviously don't feel that Cardiff is either important enough or profitable enough for them to continue to base and for the airport away based flights would be a poor subtistute. If it means that Cardiff loses routes like Edinburgh, Belfast, Glasgow, Paris and Jersey in the short term then so be it but in the long term routes like that could be attractive for other airlines to step in on and take up, assuming they are profitable of course. I personally wonder if the relationship between the airport and the airline will be too damaged for it too continue.
Its really sad for this to happen to CWL, friends of mine flew on Flybe last Christmas CWL to FAO, said was a good flight and busy.
 
Jan 21, 2017
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With Flybe now withdrawing the base i'm wondering if maybe in the long run it might be better if they as an airline drop Cardiff completely. As an airline they obviously don't feel that Cardiff is either important enough or profitable enough for them to continue to base and for the airport away based flights would be a poor subtistute. If it means that Cardiff loses routes like Edinburgh, Belfast, Glasgow, Paris and Jersey in the short term then so be it but in the long term routes like that could be attractive for other airlines to step in on and take up, assuming they are profitable of course. I personally wonder if the relationship between the airport and the airline will be too damaged for it too continue.
The main question would be, who would replace them? It's almost cutting your nose off to spite your face.

There are very few options of carriers that would set up a suitable network at CWL with based aircraft. You need jets to fly the 1.5hr-2hr routes and for sustainability, props to fly domestic routes. Clearly, Flybe couldn't make this dual operation work with jets. Flybe have bigger brand presence that most other regional carriers in the UK.
So that would mean trying to attract an Airline that would base 1, maybe 2 aircraft to operate domestic routes on props, or an Airline that would be willing to base jets with higher seating capacity and go up against EZY at BRS.
CWL is not in a place to be picky over this situation, and I can't help but think they need to work with Flybe here and salvage whatever routes they can, as whether you want to believe it or not, Flybe are one of the best placed carriers for CWL's domestic network.
There are currently very few, if any, suitable carriers that could take over the domestic routes. In the short term it would likely be a non-based airline anyway. I still don't really understand why a non-based carrier (BE) operating domestic routes from other bases is such a bad thing from a schedule perspective. Whichever way around it's operated, the timings will be slightly worse for one direction of the route. Currently people travelling from CWL to DUB/EDI/BHD arrive into those cities earlier, but anyone travelling TO CWL from those cities arrive later. Being non-based just flips that around, meaning arriving into CWL earlier.

BE have certainly damaged their reputation across the country after the recent handling of their announcements. However people will soon forget if they manage to rebuild their reputation under Virgin/Connect. With the reduced cost by not having a CWL based (As explained by a poster on another forum), and switching the Q400's, it may means routes like BHD and EDI become more profitable for BE and are retained, or even stems further growth. You only have to look at the frequencies on some of these routes from BRS and the number of Welsh that use them to know that if the hard work is put in to marketing and reputation that CWL can win those back. It could even lead to further growth on these domestic routes if the better economics can also bring prices down.

We seem to be going around in circles on this topic, when what we really need to be doing is waiting for the winter schedule to be released to see what the plan is going forward. I have no doubt that CWL will be working hard to salvage what they can, and wouldn't be surprised if the WG are involved given the Blackbird deal.
 

Jerry

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Currently people travelling from CWL to DUB/EDI/BHD arrive into those cities earlier, but anyone travelling TO CWL from those cities arrive later. Being non-based just flips that around, meaning arriving into CWL earlier.
To me it depends on where the traffic is originating from. If the bulk of the traffic originates from South Wales then the ability to do day trips to places like Edinburgh and Belfast and Dublin during the work day will be reduced.
As for Flybe yes they are the most likely ones to be able to operate a domestic network but looking from the airports point of view are they reliable as partners any more and as I said on the other forum if the routes weren't profitable when they were non based before in 2013 what has changed now?
Hopefully the airport will be able to salvage something. I do wonder if the airport could persuade them to overnight an aircraft for EDI and BHD at least.
 
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Seasider

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We have to remember that Flybe set up the base at CWL (and DSA) to get work for the Embraer 190's. It is said that (huge) incentives were offered by the airport management so when it gets tough, they look at the profitability of each route and each base. It can be deduced that the jets (and bases) were not profitable, or not enough, to continue.
It is a shame that there is a possibility that some routes/frequencies will be lost, but we must remember, airlines are in business to make a profit.
 
Aug 3, 2018
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Flybe press release on the CWL website, seems to be an attempt by them, to show the public they are still flying, with a big show of loyalty to CWL. They stated that their winter timetable will be announced soon, we shall see how much their commitment to CWL is, when it is announced .
 

superking

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To me it depends on where the traffic is originating from. If the bulk of the traffic originates from South Wales then the ability to do day trips to places like Edinburgh and Belfast and Dublin during the work day will be reduced.
As for Flybe yes they are the most likely ones to be able to operate a domestic network but looking from the airports point of view are they reliable as partners any more and as I said on the other forum if the routes weren't profitable when they were non based before in 2013 what has changed now?
Hopefully the airport will be able to salvage something. I do wonder if the airport could persuade them to overnight an aircraft for EDI and BHD at least.
It would be too expensive to over night 2 planes 5 nights a week. You would have the cost of aircraft parking. The other cost would be the hotel prices,i don't know if the crew stops at an away airport if they would also get some form of payment. With them costs it would be cheaper to base aircraft.
 

Jerry

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It would be too expensive to over night 2 planes 5 nights a week. You would have the cost of aircraft parking. The other cost would be the hotel prices,i don't know if the crew stops at an away airport if they would also get some form of payment. With them costs it would be cheaper to base aircraft.
Surely not as expensive as operating a base though and the airport may well be willing to waive parking charges. Personally I'd be surprised if Flybe are paying parking charges under the current deal.
 

superking

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Over night parking is a different deal. You do a bit of asking around and people will say base of aircraft is cheaper than over night parking. Its always been this way.Long haul is different as only the crew expence to pay for
 

Jerry

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Over night parking is a different deal. You do a bit of asking around and people will say base of aircraft is cheaper than over night parking. Its always been this way.Long haul is different as only the crew expence to pay for
I was told elsewhere that it was the cheaper option due to expenses like airside passes and stuff like that not being required not too mention not having to employ employees, maybe that person was wrong?
It'll probably be at least a week or more until they release their winter schedule i'd have thought.
 

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