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Route Development

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I've always thought that BRS is pretty much well served as a regional airport but I'd be interested to know what destinations are still not served by the airport where there's still potential?
 

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Re: Potential Routes from Bristol Airport

There are no Scandinavian routes and Germany is poorly served.

The only German routes are the easyJet to Berlin Schoenfeld (daily in summer but reduced to 5 x weekly this winter and last) and the Monday to Friday niche route to Bremen, operated by the German carrier OLT using Saab 2000s and 340s. The route is primarily for aviation industry personnel and until about five years ago operated from Filton. However, Airbus who presumably subsidise it, because passenger numbers are often poor, had it switched to BRS in an attempt to have some seats bought by the general public to try to defray costs.

In the past BRS has had scheduled routes to Frankfurt (last operated by Lufthansa/Eurowings in 2008/2009 and before that by BAConnect), Hamburg (tried by easyJet for about a year around 2005, and the OLT Bremen route used to double-drop at HAM as well), Dusseldorf and Munich (the last two operated by BAConnect but withdrawn in 2007 when Flybe took over BACon).

Ironically there is no route to Hannover which was (and remains) Bristol's first twin city and the first German and British cities to be twinned after WW II (in 1947). Two other twin cities, Bordeaux and Porto, see summer connections with easyJet and Ryanair respectively though Tbilisi, Georgia and Guangzhou, China might have to wait a little longer for a direct link to Lulsgate, and twins in Mozambique and Nicaragua certainly will.

Scandinavia has been served in past years by both easyJet and SAS. easyJet operated to Copenhagen for a couple of years (I used the link in 2004) and loads were good but the route was axed when the Danish government imposed a £7 per person arrival tax.

SAS operated summer routes to both Stockholm and Oslo with Boeing 737s for a couple of years which the airline said at the time had exceeded expectations but when SAS was in severe financial difficulties about three years ago and massively downsized the Bristol routes were two of many that disappeared across the SAS network.

Other gaps include Zurich (another that was operated daily by BACon but axed when Flybe took over) and Milan (yet another BACon casualty when the Malpensa route was axed - it was taken over by easyJet and flown daily year-round but when Ryanair came on to Bergamo, easyJet eventually cut back on Malpensa and then axed it). Ryanair have now axed Bergamo this winter though it does make a re-appearance at 2 x weekly in summer 2011 if the web timetable is to be believed (not always the case).

The airport was very surprised when Flybe axed all the BACon routes and even said so publicly in evidence to a Competition Commission enquiry, as the base and most of the routes were said to be profitable when BA operated them. BA operated to Paris Cdg, Glasgow and Edinburgh as well, all routes now operated by easyJet and Air France/Airlinair in addition in the case of Cdg. Indeed, BA had recently expanded its based fleet to five ERJ 145s.

Long haul scheduled is problematical. The airport has now lost the Continental daily link with New Jersey and a replacement NYC route is unlikely in the forseeable future. Realistically, Toronto ought to be a goer, perhaps once or twice a week in summer - the only link from the South West/South Wales is perhaps surprsingly that from Exeter that operates once a week in summer. Bristol has had Toronto links but the airlines seem to go bust or be taken over with Royal Air, Canada 3000 and Odyssey springing to mind. Perhaps other airlines are superstitious and think there is a curse on the route. :pray:

For its size BRS still has a comprehensive network to major European cities and the airport management has realistic hopes that some of the gaps identified above will be filled.
 

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Re: Potential Routes from Bristol Airport

Germany is is funny one. Many regional airports seem to suffer from a lack of flights to Germany despite the country been one of the UK's largest trading partners in Europe. It's odd that Lufty seem to think that everyone will travel to LHR or MAN for connections to Germany. UK airlines seem to struggle to gain a foothold into the country with regards to slots. Whether this is down to night time flying restrictions in Germany or lack of airports or slots there I don't know, it's just weird.

Scandinavia is another funny one. Again many regional airports seem to struggle to gain new flights there. I wonder if there just isn't enough demand to make regional departures work?

Canada should be a relatively easy target for the airport with a weekly or twice weekly service.

As for New York and other longer haul services, maybe BRS will regain the Continental service if passengers flying from regional airports are taxed less.
 

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Re: Potential Routes

I think that a lot of people are surprised that Ryanair hasn't tried a Scandinavian destination from Bristol, if only in summer.

They operate successfully in terms of loads to the Baltic States - Riga (summer-only) and Kaunas (load factors in the high 80s to low 90s per cent most summer months on both, albeit Kaunas only started in summer 2010 but has been retained for the winter). Like the several Polish routes they operate from BRS there is undoubtedly a substantial customer base from the eastern end of the Baltic routes which wouldn't apply to Scandinavia in such large numbers but I'm still surprised they haven't had a go.

Ryanair has tried a number of questionable routes (at the time they were announced) from BRS which the airline has since aborted - the likes of Eindhoven and Trieste for example - so it is surprising that they haven't attempted at least one Scandinavian venture, especially as the SAS and easyJet loads showed there is a market, and a market prepared to pay SAS prices in the case of Oslo and Stockholm, albeit Ryanair would no doubt fly to one of its back street airports.

Although it was a disappointment to lose CO to Newark it didn't concern me anything like as much as Lufthansa pulling the Frankfurt route after only a year, especially when nearly 100,000 people used the route and the LH UK chief had told the airport only a few weeks before their decision was announced that the route was ahead of expectations and profitability.

A senior member of the BRS management team told me this personally so it's not rumour or conjecture. The clear impression given the BRS management was that with the recession looming the airline did not want to operate LHR, BHX and BRS to FRA as the airline thought one or more routes would be diluted and, as BRS was the newest and smallest, it was the one to go.

I don't really expect an airport of BRS's size to have regular transatlantic scheduled routes (I doubt that CO would have come anyway had they had access to LHR in 2005 when the BRS route started) but I do hope that the airport would have a broad selection of short-haul hub destinations of which FRA would be a very valuable one. Perhaps when economic conditions improve and the expansion of FRA develops both slots and the route might again be considered worth investing in.

I was never sure how Exeter managed to get the summer Toronto service in the first place - it was many years ago - given its relatively small core catchment size. Can't be EXT's slightly longer runway and lower elevation because the EXT flight invariably routes via another UK or Irish airport for commercial reasons. I think they started with the Globespan tour operator probably in the 1990s.
 

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[textarea]Bristol Airport expects new routes for 2012

Bristol Airport is hoping for new flights to new destinations in Germany, eastern Europe and Scandinavia by 2012, Travelmole reports. Aviation director Shaun Browne said the airport had made a strong case for new routes when it attended a three-day 'routes' conference aimed at bringing airports and airlines together.

Bristol Airport's business case for services to and from the southwest region was well received at Routes Europe in Sardinia. He said: ‘The diverse range of businesses based in the region, combined with a wealth of tourist attractions, makes a compelling case for network development managers assessing new route opportunities. But we did not only get strong signals from airlines. It is also clear that Bristol is a destination which other airports want to see on their departure boards. As a result, early indications for 2012 are very encouraging and we anticipate being in a position to make several significant announcements over the coming months.’

Source[/textarea]
 

TheLocalYokel

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The management seems very confident of new carriers and routes being announced in the next 3-6 months, probably to start in 2012 in the main.

They have an item on their website saying that new routes are 'in the pipeline' and the minutes of the recent consultative committee meeting records the CEO saying much the same, with full-service carriers being mentioned.

A Lufthansa Group carrier to Germany, possibly bmiRegional, is rumoured to feature.

Scandinavia would be a popular choice too.

The airline has had nothing since SAS axed its summer routes to Oslo and Stockholm in 2008 following the huge downsizing of that airline. The 737 equipment had loads and yields that the airline said had exceeded their initial estimates. Before that easyJet had a route to Copenhagen that was building very impressively until the Danish government slapped on a 10 euro per passenger tax, whereupon the airline axed its BRS and NCL routes to CPH and also reduced frequencies from its major airports to CPH.
 

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[textarea]Bristol airport targets more flights to Germany and Scandinavia


One of Bristol airport's main targets for 2012 is to provide more flights to Germany and Scandinavia, a region that includes Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Shaun Browne, aviation director at Bristol airport, said trends such as recovery in the business travel market and 'great value' offerings from airlines and tour operators are set to continue in 2012, paving the way for a third successive year of rising passenger numbers (at the airport).

He added: 'Our key targets remain securing services to Germany and Scandinavia, and we will continue making the business case for these vital links in our discussions with existing and potential airline partners.'[/textarea]

Full report at http://news.opodo.co.uk/NewsDetails/201 ... candinavia

The previous two posts in this thread from last year show that this is a continuing theme.

The routes anticipated then have not yet materialised but rumours continue to circulate that it's not all a lost cause.
 

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UK regional airports always seem to struggle to gain new flights to Germany. I think the Germans have a night-time flying ban at many of the big airports. I know our LBA-DUS service operated by Jet2 has diverted into Cologne-Bonn on the odd occasion when it's been running late. This must put a strain on the slots available through the normal operating hours. Scandinavia also seems to be another difficult fish to catch but I've no idea why.
 

TheLocalYokel

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UK regional airports always seem to struggle to gain new flights to Germany. I think the Germans have a night-time flying ban at many of the big airports. I know our LBA-DUS service operated by Jet2 has diverted into Cologne-Bonn on the odd occasion when it's been running late. This must put a strain on the slots available through the normal operating hours. Scandinavia also seems to be another difficult fish to catch but I've no idea why.
Having regard to all the French routes that UK regional airports boast - I know that France is somewhere that is extremely popular with British second-home owners - it does seem strange that Germany is relatively poorly served across the board.

BAConnect and its predecessors operated to Frankfurt, Munich and Dusseldorf from Bristol, at least daily to each, using 50-seat ERJ145 jets for several years and it only stopped when Flybe bought BACon in 2007.

Lufthansa, in the form of Eurowings, operated from Bristol to Frankfurt 3 x daily, 7 days a week from April to October 2008 using Bae 146-300 aircraft with seating capacity of 112 (according to the BRS Mayfly).

Many people, including me, believed this was overkill, especially for a new route for the airline.

The winter schedule was reduced but the route still carried just under 100,000 people in the near 13 months of its operation.

I was told by someone who would know that the route was ahead of LH's business plan when its cessation was abruptly announced in April 2009. It was generally believed that the recession which was savagely taking hold was the reason, with the airline keen not to dilute their operations at the 'neighbouring' Heathrow and Birmingham airports.

Bristol also had a niche route to Bremen operated with Saabs by the German airline OLT, mainly to serve the aviation industry at both ends of the route, but this ceased last year.

Currently the only German route is easyJet to Berlin Schoenfeld which will switch to Berlin Brandenberg when that airport opens this coming summer. It's 6 x weekly in summer with a reduction in winter. At one time it was daily year round.

Scandinavia has always been a problem for Bristol. easyJet had a Copenhagen route in 2003 and 2004 that was building well (I used it myself once) until the Danish government slapped on a £7 per passenger arrival tax which saw easyJet axe its BRS and NCL routes to CPH and cut back on its London routes to the Danish capital.

The Scandinavian bad luck also affected Stockholm and Oslo that both performed well for SAS in 2007 and 2008 (Oslo only in 2008) but fell victim to the airline's need to reduce its size by nearly a half because of financial woes when numerous routes went west.

I sense the frustration of the airport as there have been plenty of promising tries to Germany and Scandinavia which for various reasons never quite stuck.
 

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I think the Germans are very protective of Lufhansa if any other airlines want to operate so it is hard to get the time slots needed.
 

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Website route questionnaire

BRS has a questionnair on its website to try to gauge interest in the following routes not currently served.

Copenhagen
Dusseldorf
Frankfurt
Hamburg
Munich
Istanbul

DUS, FRA and MUC were all served by BAConnect until Flybe took it over in 2007. DUS and MUC were daily and FRA double daily all with ERJ145s.

Lufthansa (Eurowings) then did FRA for 13 months until April 2009, axing it as the recession began to bite.

It was operated by Bae 146-300 aircraft, initially 3 x daily 7 days a week, and carrried over 98,000 passengers during its lifetime. Maybe the aircraft were too big and/or frequency too great, at least to begin with - frequency was reduced during the winter of the operation.

easyJet operated Copenhagen in 2003-2004 and it was attracting very good loads but was axed when the Danish government imposed a £7 per passenger tax.

Hamburg was tried by easyJet in 2005-2006 and was one of the very few Orange failures at BRS in terms of loads, though they were nowhere near dire.

HAM was also operated by the German airline OLT (Saab340 and 2000 aircraft) as a niche route for the aviation industry double-dropping with Bremen. HAM ceased but Bremen carried on till last year.

Istanbul has never been tried from BRS, not even regular charters so far as I can recall.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Following on from the previous post regarding a routes questionnaire, Bristol Airport website is also conducting an in-depth survey into business travel though the airport.

Anyone interested can see what's being asked at this link.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm= ... ZeuA%3d%3d
 

Seasider

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I just hope that people answer honestly and say which routes they would use, how many times per year. A lot of people say that they will use it and don't, or not very often. A difficult thing to gauge the response, good luck to them.
 

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Seasider said:
I just hope that people answer honestly and say which routes they would use, how many times per year. A lot of people say that they will use it and don't, or not very often. A difficult thing to gauge the response, good luck to them.
I totally agree Seasider. The same can be said about almost all the major regional airports as we are all too aware. Top of the list will almost always include New York yet in practice the route is very unlikely to prove successful and this isn't unique to Bristol in anyway. The best way for airports to gauge opinion is through destinations served previously. I believe National Statistics also conduct passenger surveys at airports with particular reference to the passenger origin.
 

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Continental ran the Bristol-Newark route for five and a half years from 2005 to 2010.

The BRS team certainly did an excellent job in getting the route in the face of competition from other regional airports.

Part of the strategy was pointing out to Continental how many people from the South West flew to the USA from Heathrow, especially a large section of the important business market.

In fact, the Southwest is the third largest market for originating/terminating passengers at Heathrow after South East England (73.9% of LHR's passengers), East of England (8.6%) and South West England (7%). The next region is East Midlands with 3% of LHR's originating/terminating passengers. These are the figures from the most recent CAA survey in 2010.

BRS used the huge leakage of passengers from the South West to LHR along with other data, including its own surveys, as well as its undoubted marketing skills to entice CO to BRS.

The first year exceeded CO's projected numbers and for the most part thereafter passenger numbers were very good, except for the months of January and February.

Part of the reported reason for CO's eventual pullout though was the disappointing uptake at full fare in the business-first cabin, and the finger was pointed at the business community, a sector that had been so supportive in gaining the route in the first place.

This could be seen as evidence to prove the contention that people say one thing but do something else in these surveys, although the recession from 2009 onwards also played its part.

It's possible though that however well the CO route did it would have been axed. In 2005 CO had no access to LHR. Within a couple of years or so they did and now operate 5 x daily to Newark so it might be that the retention of a EWR route from just 100 miles down the road would have been unlikely anyway.

It wasn't just Bristol. When CO moved into LHR the airline axed its Gatwick-Newark flights too. In fact, the Bristol route held on for a couple of years after Gatwick ceased.

I suspect airports use these surveys as a back-up to other stats and data when pressing an airline for a new route. No airline is likely to accept an airport's own survey that a route ought to be viable without evidence from other sources as well.
 

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[textarea]US visitors targeted by Bristol travel chiefs

Destination Bristol and Bristol Airport will be promoting the region to thousands of potential American visitors at the New York Times Travel Show this week.

The influential exhibition, organised by the world-renowned New York Times newspaper, is acknowledged as one of the leading consumer and travel trade shows in the US.

It attracts more than 18,000 people including travel professionals, media and the public looking for inspiration on places to visit.

Previous research from the show, which this year runs from tomorrow until Sunday, shows that 88% of people are likely to purchase a trip as a result of attending the exhibition.

Staff from Destination Bristol and Bristol Airport, joined by Bath Tourism Plus, believe the event provides an excellent opportunity to showcase South West England and encourage more Americans to visit the area.[/textarea]

Full report at this link http://www.bristol247.com/2012/03/01/us ... efs-96846/

It doesn't seem to be a case of BRS trying to resurrect a new direct route to the USA but rather an attempt by local tourist boards to persuade more Americans to visit the area using the existing hubs at AMS, CDG, BRU and DUB.

Last year the airport linked up with Aer Lingus at this show to publicise the Aer Lingus Regional route to the USA via Dublin.

[textarea]Businesses call for 'hotspot' airport links

More regular flights to Germany and developing export hotspots – along with increased competition between airlines – are what South West businesses primarily want to see from the region’s airports. That's according to the cover story of March's issue of Insider, out this week.

David Powell, head of law firm Osborne Clarke’s Bristol office, said: "The South West’s biggest export markets are Germany, the US and France, so more direct flights to major financial centres in those countries would provide a huge boost to businesses in the region.

"We also need more direct flights to the region’s export growth hotspots, such as the Middle East and Far East. Our regional airports face a real threat from airport developments in the South East. Developing routes based on the needs of South West businesses would help them counter that threat."

Air France KLM’s Henri Hourcade told Insider last month that his aim is to get more business travellers using regional airports to travel via its hubs at Schipol and Paris Charles de Gaulle rather than use the overly busy BAA London airports.[/textarea]

Full story at http://www.insidermedia.com/insider/sou ... ort-links/

The airport's response is that the main challenge is to stem the leakage of passengers from the area to Heathrow and Gatwick.

Looking at the CAA's most recent surveys (for 2010) the problem is clear to see.

Of Heathrows scheduled passengers 73.9% originated or terminated in the South East, 8.6% in the East of England and 7% in the South West. The next area was East Midlands down at 3%.

At Gatwick the figures were 82.2% South East, 7.2% East of England and 4.9% South West. The next area was West Midlands at just 1.6%.

These figures show just how much potential traffic there is to capture - well over 5 million journeys a year.

A lot could never be captured as they use direct routes from LHR and some from LGW that would never be sustainable at BRS or any other South West airport, but there are still a lot of passengers who could be attracted if the routes were there and the product appropriate.
 

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BA have been in talks with a number of regional airports of late. Could be something to do with the takeover of BMI so maybe they have plans. I am not entirely sure which airports they have been in talks with but I would think Bristol airport is going to be high up the list.
 

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http://www.anna.aero/2016/11/09/bri...earches-last-year-destination-8-bmi-regional/

I don't know if this was discussed at the time - I was in Australia when anna.aero selected Bristol-Zurich as its unserved route of the week last November. I came across the article when looking at other anna.aero reports.

It's still relevant.

anna.aero was very bullish about this route and suggests easyJet, bmi regional or SWISS. They believe very strongly that a 2 x daily bmi regional with SWISS code share would be 'the perfect addition' to bmir's BRS route network. SWISS itself is also a possibility according to the report. They are also positive on easyJet but that would be point to point only.

Helvetic was the last airline to operate BRS-ZRH - at 3 x weekly They began in late 2011 and operated the route until 2014, with a double drop at CWL for the first part of its life. In fact, the route began as CWL-ZRH before BRS was added and CWL was later dropped.

Helvetic was point to point with no connectivity into the SWISS system at Zurich.
 

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bmi regional or SWISS
If BRS was to get a ZRH route in the future then i think BMI with a SWISS codeshare or SWISS itself would be the better option for the airport as it would lead to a better long haul connectivity for the airport.
 

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If BRS was to get a ZRH route in the future then i think BMI with a SWISS codeshare or SWISS itself would be the better option for the airport as it would lead to a better long haul connectivity for the airport.
So do I. easyJet already serves Geneva and Basel. I'm a bit concerned about bmir's Dusseldorf route which is not a LH code share when Ryanair begins Cologne-Bonn in the autumn at 4 x weekly.
 

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