Exeter International Airport (EXT) - General Thread


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Jerry

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I have noticed TUI have dropped faro entirely.
Portugal was put on a black list due to Covid19 so it's probably down to that.
I don't know whether the Flybe EXT-AMS and EXT-CDG were KLM/AF code shares. If they were KLM/AF might have access to passenger profiles etc. If not they would have to look at the raw passenger numbers published by the CAA.
I'd have thought that the airport would have any interlining data for passengers travelling further than Amsterdam and Paris.
 

JENNYJET

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A very under utilised airport in my view. The last time I passed it, an RAF Tristar was landing so I peeled off the motorway to investigate a very capable airfield ripe for development for the far SouthWest region.
 

TheLocalYokel

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A very under utilised airport in my view. The last time I passed it, an RAF Tristar was landing so I peeled off the motorway to investigate a very capable airfield ripe for development for the far SouthWest region.
It is but much like Cardiff Airport it lies in the shadow of Bristol Airport with around 1.5 million annual passenger journeys originating or terminating in Devon (mainly) and Cornwall transiting through BRS.

Ironically, it has better surface connectivity than BRS being closer to the M5.

For a long time EXT was overwhelmingly in thrall to Flybe for its scheduled services (Scilly Skybus to the eponymous islands was the only other scheduled carrier). Since Flybe's demise Aurigny, Blue Islands, Loganair and Aer Lingus Regional have come onto the UK and Channel Islands regional routes left vacant by Flybe which is probably a better situation for the airport as it is not reliant on one airline.

In fact, Ryanair had begun operating from EXT a couple of years ago as well and fly from there to Malaga and Alicante. They also tried Naples and Malta but they seemed to have lapsed (Naples pre-COVID).

Although I live less than 70 miles from EXT I've never used it (BRS is just up the road from our house) but my wife's brother and his wife who live on Dartmoor have used it quite a lot and find it very useful although, much to their annoyance, they still find they have to drive north along the M5 to BRS for some holidays not served from EXT. Olbia was the latest.

EXT will undoubtedly grow post-COVID and, like CWL, will benefit if BRS is permanently capped at 10 mppa, a total it was close to reaching before the pandemic struck.
 

Ray Finkle

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There is no doubt about the potential that EXT possesses when it comes to the leisure market

I had a walk along the front of the terminal but didn't go inside for obvious reasons.

It looks like a nice little airport it's just a shame that it was more or less deserted. I noticed the Isle of Scilly Skybus parked at the far end by a small building labelled Arrivals 2 which I am assuming is some sort of domestic arrivals area straight into the car park? If so it must be literally minutes from aircraft to car.

It's definitely conveniently situated for the English Riviera but I guess for the outbound market it faces very stiff competition from BRS just up the M5.

Staying in the Hampton by Hilton (excellent hotel by the way) we were opposite the Flybe HQ and Training Academy. Very sad to see it now more or less empty.

I bet he had a bath too! And plenty of toilet paper!

A spa bath no less, definitely big enough to drown a mouse. Also a radio, that worked.
 

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I had a walk along the front of the terminal but didn't go inside for obvious reasons.

It looks like a nice little airport it's just a shame that it was more or less deserted. I noticed the Isle of Scilly Skybus parked at the far end by a small building labelled Arrivals 2 which I am assuming is some sort of domestic arrivals area straight into the car park? If so it must be literally minutes from aircraft to car.

It's definitely conveniently situated for the English Riviera but I guess for the outbound market it faces very stiff competition from BRS just up the M5.

Staying in the Hampton by Hilton (excellent hotel by the way) we were opposite the Flybe HQ and Training Academy. Very sad to see it now more or less empty.

A spa bath no less, definitely big enough to drown a mouse. Also a radio, that worked.

EXT does face serious competition from BRS's greater economy of scale. As I wrote in an earlier post EXT would benefit if BRS loses its planning application appeal and is stuck with a 10 mppa passenger cap. CWL would do well out of that too.

Perhaps surprisingly EXT did not submit any comment to the local authority when it was considering the BRS planning expansion which it rejected earlier this year, whereas both the Welsh Government and its airport company lodged formal objections saying the expansion was unnecessary because CWL has unused capacity that could handle the extra flights the BRS planning application was seeking to operate.
 

Ray Finkle

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Perhaps surprisingly EXT did not submit any comment to the local authority when it was considering the BRS planning expansion which it rejected earlier this year, whereas both the Welsh Government and its airport company lodged formal objections saying the expansion was unnecessary because CWL has unused capacity that could handle the extra flights the BRS planning application was seeking to operate.


Definitely surprising, one would have thought they'd take an opportunity to stifle the competition.

Maybe the focus at the time was on Flybe?

EXT does face serious competition from BRS's greater economy of scale. As I wrote in an earlier post EXT would benefit if BRS loses its planning application appeal and is stuck with a 10 mppa passenger cap. CWL would do well out of that too.

It's such a shame as Flybe seemed the perfect fit for an airport such as Exeter, I wonder where they go from here? I can't see easyjet diluting one of their most successful bases at BRS, maybe there could be a little more from Ryanair?
 

TheLocalYokel

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It's such a shame as Flybe seemed the perfect fit for an airport such as Exeter, I wonder where they go from here? I can't see easyjet diluting one of their most successful bases at BRS, maybe there could be a little more from Ryanair?
Perhaps more from Ryanair - they have Alicate and Malaga year-round and Malta is shown as returning next summer. Naples was tried but loads were not great by Ryanair standards and it had been axed for this summer before the pandemic wrought its mayhem. TUI had increased their offering for this summer with a second based aircraft for part of the week but that too became a virus victim.

Having suffered a 30% drop in passenger numbers (to around 700,000 per annum) following the recession of the later 'noughties' EXT had managed to get back to pre-recession passenger numbers last year and was looking to build slowly but steadily. It still might once the virus effects are out of the way.
 

Matt kenshole

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Maybe slightly optimistic, BUT!

I think Ryanair will take more of the EXT slice of cake prior to next summer. My gut feeling will be Tenerife and Faro and interestingly Naples is still on their booking system but no flights shown... maybe they are planning on giving that another go?

considering the current climate the Alicante and Malaga load has been almost double what BRS has had on the Saturday and Sunday flight. (Although I’m aware there are daily flights from Bristol). But still this has to be positive? if anyone is going to make a success of EXT Ryanair is our only hope!

TUI have had an aircraft based at EXT year round for as long as I can remember- I’m not sure what the offering is from them next summer but I should imagine that they will continue to base 1 738 next year. I would of thought next summer will more than likely be a stupidly busy one for them. I for one am flying with them for 3 holidays next year! I will not fly from BRS, even if you paid me!

aer lingus was an interesting arrival to the airport- but after my visit last week 67 odd pax on the inbound in 40 odd on the outbound- maybe Dublin could be on its way?

blue islands will for sure succeed at EXT and given time I think will become the next Flybe! They are committed to basing some ATR’s at the airport with a engineering arm present and their offering in terms of value for money is far better than that of Flybe’s. Using the EXT- MAN route 4-5 times a year Im glad blue islands took this route back on!

I’m also lead to believe there is a buyer for capital- or their fleet at least! Let’s hope they stay at EXT!

as I said from the start maybe slightly optimistic but the loads given the current circumstances to me look positive!
 

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Maybe slightly optimistic, BUT!

I think Ryanair will take more of the EXT slice of cake prior to next summer. My gut feeling will be Tenerife and Faro and interestingly Naples is still on their booking system but no flights shown... maybe they are planning on giving that another go?

considering the current climate the Alicante and Malaga load has been almost double what BRS has had on the Saturday and Sunday flight. (Although I’m aware there are daily flights from Bristol). But still this has to be positive? if anyone is going to make a success of EXT Ryanair is our only hope!

TUI have had an aircraft based at EXT year round for as long as I can remember- I’m not sure what the offering is from them next summer but I should imagine that they will continue to base 1 738 next year. I would of thought next summer will more than likely be a stupidly busy one for them. I for one am flying with them for 3 holidays next year! I will not fly from BRS, even if you paid me!

aer lingus was an interesting arrival to the airport- but after my visit last week 67 odd pax on the inbound in 40 odd on the outbound- maybe Dublin could be on its way?

blue islands will for sure succeed at EXT and given time I think will become the next Flybe! They are committed to basing some ATR’s at the airport with a engineering arm present and their offering in terms of value for money is far better than that of Flybe’s. Using the EXT- MAN route 4-5 times a year Im glad blue islands took this route back on!

I’m also lead to believe there is a buyer for capital- or their fleet at least! Let’s hope they stay at EXT!

as I said from the start maybe slightly optimistic but the loads given the current circumstances to me look positive!
Some good points - thank you for raising them.

Ryanair do tend to leave discontinued routes in their booking engine for a long time.

I take it you are comparing loads to AGP and ALC from seat selector details, unless of course you have 'inside' information. With Spain suddenly put into the quarantine list BRS to those resorts was left heavily over-provided with FR flying more than once daily on some days and easyJet going daily as well. It will be interesting to see the August CAA route passenger stats when they are eventually published.

Those numbers for Aer Lingus are excellent in the present circumstances.

Next year is of course a dip into the unknown right across the aviation industry at present. The most optimistic industry projections seem to be no more than 75% of 2019's passenger figures, but many aviation people believe it will be considerably less, with 2019's volumes not seen again until 2023/2024.

I've been looking back at the major recession of the mid to late 'noughties' and the detailed airport figures confirm what I believed to be the case which was that recovery was not evenly spread, with some airports affected far worse than others and taking much longer to recover. Even those that escaped the recession effects fairly lightly did not recover at the same pace. There are three UK airports in the top 20 measured by passenger volume that have still not returned to the annual passenger figures they saw pre-recession eleven or twelve years ago.

EXT of course is just outside the top 20 and was one of the more seriously recession-affected airports seeing a 30% decline in its passenger numbers between 2008 and 2012. It did manage to get back above its pre-recession total for the first time last year which, as you will know, was a record 12-monthly total for the airport but it has taken nearly a decade to do so.

I think that EXT is now in a much better postion to negate many of the vicissitudes it, like all airports, will encounter from time to time and would not have suffered so greatly from the recession had it then possessed its current business model.

As a matter of interest why don't you like Bristol Airport?
 

Jerry

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My gut feeling will be Tenerife and Faro and interestingly Naples is still on their booking system but no flights shown... maybe they are planning on giving that another go?
For Tenerife they'd have to setup a base at either end and dropped destinations do tend to linger in the Ryanair system especially the app.
 

superking

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Dropped routes by Ryanair normally get taken off their site a fair time after the route has been dropped. But you never know they might try it again. Corona 19 will have a lot to say on that one.
 

TheLocalYokel

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It appears Ryanair have dropped Malta for next year!
It might be a case of Ryanair reorganising the schedule. CWL to MLA has also been removed from the booking engine in the past day or so.
 

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Press release issued today by Exeter Airport regarding the latest known recommencement dates for various routes. The press release makes clear that it is subject to change and the recent governemt edict regarding some Greek islands might already have altered some things.

 

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The local authority has agreed a package of measures to assist Exeter Airport as it deals with the impact of the virus effects. The measures include a further deferral of £180,000 business rate relief and forward-funding the airport's share of a local road-enhancement scheme to the tune if nearly £750,000. In addition the council will endorse the concept of a sustainable aviation cluster centred on the airport.

The report to the council cabinet that recommended these measures contained this warning: It is not possible to say categorically that the package of support outlined in this report will stave off the threat facing the Airport, is not a cure, and won’t address in totality of issues they face, but it will help to cushion the impact of the pandemic and we hope it is more than a gesture.

The report also stated: The Airport does though face an existential threat currently. In the worst case scenario the Airport would close.

The council is demanding government assistance for airports.

Although not emphasised in the linked report above, other news media reports stressed the value that the councillors place on the airport as a driver of the local economy and an important source of jobs, and it could not be allowed to close. That's a refreshing change when compared with the attitude of some local authorities who treat their local airport almost as a pariah.
 

Matt kenshole

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With the announcement of jet2 opening a base at Bristol, I won’t hide the fact that im absolutely gutted we dident attract them at EXT. I know the airport tried hard to make that one happen, but once again Bristol cuts the cake.

that said- could this squeeze TUI and Ryanair more toward EXT? I feel Exeter has had an unlucky run with Ryanair this year and as a result they have pulled X2 of the 4 routes planned. (Although Malta still displayed as returning in the spring next year on the airports website). Then we lost them entirely for the winter months!

could the jet2 base at Bristol be a good thing for EXT?
 

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With the announcement of jet2 opening a base at Bristol, I won’t hide the fact that im absolutely gutted we dident attract them at EXT. I know the airport tried hard to make that one happen, but once again Bristol cuts the cake.

that said- could this squeeze TUI and Ryanair more toward EXT? I feel Exeter has had an unlucky run with Ryanair this year and as a result they have pulled X2 of the 4 routes planned. (Although Malta still displayed as returning in the spring next year on the airports website). Then we lost them entirely for the winter months!

could the jet2 base at Bristol be a good thing for EXT?
The same questions are being asked in the CWL forum about that airport.

Up to to a point Jet2 is replacing Thomas Cook at BRS where they had three based aircraft. TUI and easyJet had replaced some of the TCX capacity but not all.

There are so many imponderables.

TUI and /or Ryanair (probably not easyJet as the BRS base is an extremely profitable one for it although no-one knows how the pandemic will affect any airport going forward) might shift some capacity to CWL and/or EXT.

The pace of recovery will almost certainly vary from airport to airport as it did after the recession of a decade ago. EXT and CWL were amongst the slower airports to recover from that with CWL still not back to its pre-recession passenger numbers and EXT only managing to get there last year. Again, it's not guaranteed that the same airports will recover as slowly or as quickly as they did post-recession.

Like it or not (and from a previous comment I think you are in the latter category) the size and type of the BRS catchment plus its situation almost midway between EXT ad CWL will inevitably make it the first port of call for most airlines serving south-west Britain. Jet2 was able to get into BRS because the pandemic had reduced its passenger numbers to the extent that its current 10 mppa passenger cap which would have been reached next year had there been no pandemic is not likely to be in the firing line again for at least two or three years.

By then BRS will have hoped to win its planning appeal and have its cap raised to 12 mppa. If it fails that will be the time when CWL and EXT would likely benefit more than a little because BRS would be at its planning consent maximum passenger limit and airlines could grow no further there nor new ones find any space.

In the meantime it's anyone's guess whether airlines will switch at least some capacity west to Wales or south-west to Devon. Obviously it depends partly on the rate of passenger demand as the pandemic fades. Perhaps Ryanair's reaction will be the most interesting as they can be unpredictable.
 

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