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Route Development

TheLocalYokel

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I contacted Bristol Airport’s Facebook social media team late this afternoon and specifically asked about the German routes and Paris route, I got the following response:-

Hi,
We have no update on any of the routes at present.
Best regards
Mark
An understandable reply until something is announced, and the social media team might not be aware of the state of negotiations anyway.

What Dave Lees said in interview with ITV local news was that they are working very hard to find replacements for the lost flybmi routes (which you would expect him to say) but he went on to mention his confidence that a replacement for one of the routes would be announced this week with a European airline (which he might not be expected to say without good reason).
 

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TheLocalYokel

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So given that Rhodes cannot be the route mr lees alluded to any idea what and when ?
The below was posted in the BRS flybmi thread on Tuesday.

Heard a rumour from a dispatcher at the airport that Air France were going to come in again on the cdg flights
It's obviously no more than a rumour. Given that Flybe was operating BRU, ABZ, CDG and four German routes when it folded and that BRU and ABZ are being replaced by CityJet and Loganair respectively, it could only realistically be CDG or one of the German routes. FRA would seem the likely German one if it was to be to that country.

As to when any announcement would come, I can only go by the CEO's comment on the local telly on Monday that he was confident of something being announced this week for one of the routes. We all know that the aviation industry can throw up surprises and shocks, and something that seemed on course might hit the buffers or be delayed.
 

Jerry

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If it is Air France it will be interesting to see if it's mainline or HOP!.
Another factor is how will Easyjet react? I doubt they saw flyBMI as a threat but they may feel different about Air France.
 

kraktoa

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Easyjet Paris flight afaik is quite rotten timings. Evening dep from BRS and 9 pm return from CDG. Useless for business travellers unless they wish to stay overnight. Any AF offering with early amflights will be brilliant for BRS and fulfil the hole left by BMI
 

TheLocalYokel

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If it is Air France it will be interesting to see if it's mainline or HOP!.
Another factor is how will Easyjet react? I doubt they saw flyBMI as a threat but they may feel different about Air France.
easyJet didn't increase when Air France in the form of Airlinair came onto the CDG route route a decade or so ago with 3 x daily ATR 42 later ATR 72 aircraft.
 

Marko1

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So no other announcement this week then ? Given that Loganair have been snapping up plenty of bmi routes I’m surprised they are not continuing Bristol’s routes too unless they are not an attractive proposition for them
 

Jerry

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So no other announcement this week then ? Given that Loganair have been snapping up plenty of bmi routes I’m surprised they are not continuing Bristol’s routes too unless they are not an attractive proposition for them
If they are routes that rely on codeshares and not point 2 point they may not be interested.
 

TheLocalYokel

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I don't know how easy it would be to get decent slots at somewhere like Frankfurt, although I believe the additional runway opened there in the past year or so has improved matters. Although flybmi and Loganair were owned by the same group it might not be as simple as switching the routes with a code share to the other airline.

I know what I heard on Monday when the BRS CEO said he was confident of announcing this week that one of the lost routes would be taken on by a European airline. I thought initially of a Lufthansa airline but on reflection an Air France airline might be more likely.

Given that the Lufthansa-owned Brussels Airlines has been operating BRS-BRU for many years at least 3 x daily either as a code share with flybmi or with flybmi and before that Flybe operating for Brussels Airlines, it seems odd that the bigger hub at FRA has been more difficult to sustain regularly. I realise that Brussels Airlines has not been LH-owned for all the time BRS-BRU has operated but it seems confident enough to take the route back itself with CityJet using larger aircraft than the flybmi code share but at the same frequency.
 

andrewgreen

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With the uncertainty over the Brussels route and Frankfurt not seeming to tempt anyone , perhaps it would be a good time for Turkish to step in and pick up all those connecting passengers and route them through Istanbul ?
 

TheLocalYokel

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With the uncertainty over the Brussels route and Frankfurt not seeming to tempt anyone , perhaps it would be a good time for Turkish to step in and pick up all those connecting passengers and route them through Istanbul ?
I wonder whether airlines are awaiting the final Brexit outcome (assuming there is one) before deciding on future strategy - not just at BRS.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Going back to the comment of Dave Lees about his expecting an announcement last week re one of the lost flybmi routes being replaced by a European carrier, I'm now beginning to wonder if those who suggested it would be Brussels Airlines (albeit via CityJet) will turn out to be correct.

CityJet taking over the BRS-BRU route for Brussels Airlines from the end of March has been 'in the system' for a while - long before the announcement of flybmi's demise. The cessation of flybmi as an airline created a gap of about six weeks between their ending and CityJet beginning. Now it seems the hiatus has been extended by a month. Perhaps that's why any announcement has been delayed if it was indeed the BRS-BRU route to which the CEO was alluding.
 

TheLocalYokel

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In many ways the demise of flybmi and the resultant loss of routes is similar to 2007 when BAConnect was bought by Flybe which promptly closed the BRS 5-aircraft ER145 base and axed most of the routes. If anything that had a bigger effect than the loss of flybmi might have.

BAConnect operated to*:

Paris CDG - up to 30 flights per week against easyJet's single daily
Frankfurt - 6 x weekly
Munich - daily
Dusseldorf - 6 x weekly
Milan Malpensa - daily
Zurich - daily
Edinburgh - up to 30 flights per week against easyJet's 19 per week
Glasgow - up to 30 flights per week against easyJet's 19 per week

* Taken from the BRS timetable for winter 2006-2007, the last full season before BAConnect ceased to exist

That's about a third more flights each week than flybmi operated.

All of the sole BAConnect routes eventually returned in one shape or another even if they didn't all stick.

FRA came back in 2008 for 12 months with Lufthansa via Eurowings before being axed because of the effects of the recession. It reappeared in 2013 with flybmi that also started MUC in the same year and DUS in 2015. Helvetic operated ZRH from 2011 to 2014. MXP was taken on by easyJet between 2008 and 2010, before flybmi flew the route from 2013 until last year.

Of the axed BAConnect competed routes, CDG saw Air France return in various guises to compete with easyJet until 2013, after which flybmi took over the easyJet competitor mantle. EDI and GLA have seen no competition for easyJet since BAConnect's cessation but there have been increased rotations by easyJet on both with the result that the weekly number of seats on both routes isn't much less than when BAConnect was competing.

The lesson seems to be that most of the sole BAConnect routes were eventually replaced and the others broadly saw replacements for BAConnect either in new competitor airlines or through existing airlines increasing their own seat provision.

There is no reason to believe that BRS is now a weaker airport than it was in 2007. Annual passenger numbers for 2018 show an increase of 47% on those for 2007. It might therefore be considered surprising if none of the lost flybmi routes are replaced by another carrier (I realise that ABZ already has been). If 2007 is a guide it might take a little time though.
 

kfs

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I wonder whether airlines are awaiting the final Brexit outcome (assuming there is one) before deciding on future strategy - not just at BRS.
Since Turkey doesn't yet have an aviation agreement with the EU, the UK leaving (or not) shouldn't be an issue for Turkish if they feel there is the customer base at Bristol. Sadly, I fear they can't make the commercial case.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Since Turkey doesn't yet have an aviation agreement with the EU, the UK leaving (or not) shouldn't be an issue for Turkish if they feel there is the customer base at Bristol. Sadly, I fear they can't make the commercial case.
It would seem that way, or at least they can't make as good a commercial case as some other airports. Whether the new Istanbul Airport will eventually mean that routes to such airports as BRS become possible remains to be seen. One snag with Turkish is that they don't operate to Australasia unlike the MEB3. That part of the world has a big VFR market from the UK, and in addition is a popular destination for holidaymakers from the UK.
 
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Coathanger16

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It would seem that way, or at least they can't make as good a commercial case as some other airports. Whether the new Istanbul Airport will eventually mean that routes to such airports as BRS become possible remains to be seen. One snag with Turkish is that they don't operate to Australasia unlike the MEB3. That part of the world has a big VFR market from the UK, and in addition is a popular destination for holidaymakers from the UK.
Turkish doesn't yet but its on the cards:

https://www.ausbt.com.au/turkish-airlines-wants-istanbul-sydney-flights-by-june-2019

The launch date may slip from June as the opening of the new Istanbul airport has once again been pushed back (hope it doesn't go the way of Berlin's Brandenburg airport).
 

Marko1

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Feb 1, 2013
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Any news about replacements for the German/ Paris services. Is anyone interested ?
 

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