Well I think it is safe to assume that we're all aviation enthusiasts on here. But, seriously, any notion of what "fans", "frequenters", "supporters" etc may be affronted by in relation to airports competing for business with each other in the real world is entirely irrelevant. When negotiating a contract with a potential new operator, I can assure you that no airport executive will be concerned about the reaction of spotters if Airport A wins new business which Airport B also tendered for. The world of business has no place for such sentimentality.I doubt anyone that isn't a MAN "fan" or "frequenter" would call it inappropriate
I think you express MAG's point of view very succinctly. By carving up the business in a way which suits them they can reduce overall investment and operate more in the way one would expect from a cartel. Unfortunately, this risks interpretation as anti-competitive behaviour and that can ultimately trigger an investigation into abuse of monopoly power over a market.Competition is great however surely it doesn't matter to MAG which airport has the freight and which has the most passengers as long as all three MAG airports are successful in there own right
Whilst I agree with you that MAG's immediate interests lie with maximising profit by ensuring that their divisions do not compete too robustly with each other, there are wider implications to consider. An airport is a key amenity which provides essential services to other businesses across its region. It is incumbent upon the airport operator to provide the most comprehensive range of services it can reasonably support on behalf of the region it serves. Economic development within the surrounding catchment area depends on this. And in the case of MAN - which benefits arguably more than any other entity from the Northern Powerhouse partnership - it is particularly important that the airport is seen to 'do its bit'. In the realms of cargo, some observers would argue that MAN has fallen well short in this regard, perhaps out of desire to promote investment at EMA to the benefit of MAG but not the NW region. Would that constitute monopolistic behaviour? It is in MAG's interests to promote transparent and robust competition between their neighbouring airports across all sectors, or a day may come when a regulator orders them to dispose of an asset which they would rather retain.
Geographically, EMA is very well located to service a large area of the Midlands and the M1 corridor. But that doesn't mean there is no role for MAN. NW England is a densely urbanised manufacturing region which is home to many leading exporters and importers in its own right. MAN has a responsibility to provide the level of facilities these customers deserve, or to step aside in favour of an operator which is able to do so. Perhaps MAG should consider contracting out cargo marketing at MAN given the clear conflict of interest in promoting stablemate EMA to the detriment of the NW economy.EMA far better placed to serve a large area of the country more successfully than Manchester can