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Longhaul from Bristol


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Kernow Bravo

Member
Apr 26, 2017
92
18
Taunton
As far as BRS is concerned they would have to get their current 10 mppa planning cap raised to take advantage. It would be ironic if the LHR third runway failed to progress because of planning decisions and BRS expansion was also blocked because of the planners.
I actually think the stars may align to the benefit of BRS in this case.

The green lobby will very likely scupper the LHR third runway. With the next Climate Conference in Glasgow in 2 years time, the UK would need to be seen to be leading the way, so at the very least the issue will be kicked into the long grass. Remember Boris has in the past been no fan of expanding LHR, and now his constituency is rather too close for comfort!

However, as a result of the referendum and last month's election, it seems inevitable that the centre of gravity for domestic economic investment will escape the confines of the M25 to some extent. The focus of UK trade policy also seems likely to veer westwards for similar reasons.

Therefore growth in air travel outside LHR will still be needed and airports like BRS could (comparatively) quietly add a couple of TATL flights 'under the radar' without the hullabaloo and gnashing of teeth that would greet further LHR expansion. MAN and NCL would also likely benefit, but the 'levelling up' I keep hearing from government ministers will take longer and cost more in the north/midlands than it will in the already relatively productive BRS catchment.

Some tactical investment will be needed to fill the vacuum caused by any gravitational pull away from the south east, and the south west is an obvious candidate to support that.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Yes
I actually think the stars may align to the benefit of BRS in this case.

The green lobby will very likely scupper the LHR third runway. With the next Climate Conference in Glasgow in 2 years time, the UK would need to be seen to be leading the way, so at the very least the issue will be kicked into the long grass. Remember Boris has in the past been no fan of expanding LHR, and now his constituency is rather too close for comfort!

However, as a result of the referendum and last month's election, it seems inevitable that the centre of gravity for domestic economic investment will escape the confines of the M25 to some extent. The focus of UK trade policy also seems likely to veer westwards for similar reasons.

Therefore growth in air travel outside LHR will still be needed and airports like BRS could (comparatively) quietly add a couple of TATL flights 'under the radar' without the hullabaloo and gnashing of teeth that would greet further LHR expansion. MAN and NCL would also likely benefit, but the 'levelling up' I keep hearing from government ministers will take longer and cost more in the north/midlands than it will in the already relatively productive BRS catchment.

Some tactical investment will be needed to fill the vacuum caused by any gravitational pull away from the south east, and the south west is an obvious candidate to support that.
The raising of the passenger cap will firstly be in the hands of North Somerset Council , a local authority that is far more 'Green' orientated since last May's local elections. The majority of the councillors on the planning committee are likely to be against BRS expansion which is a big topic amongst a lot of residents in that local authority area.

The first clue we should get is the nature of the recommendations of the council's planning officers to the elected representatives who will make the decision. The councillors don't have to follow thair professional officers' advice but if the advice is to reject the important thing will be the reasons.

The airport can always appeal a rejection decision to the Planning Inspectorate when a professional planning inspector will be appointed to consider the appeal which will probably involve taking evidence at a public hearing. In some ways that might be a better option all round as the matter will be given an independent, professional airing, although it will add to the already lengthy delay. The inspector will base his/her decision partly on any government policy or guidance on the subject generally, and would also consider the local effect. He or she would then make a final decision although in some cases the inspector would forward a report with recommendations to the secretary of state to decide the outcome.

I'm certainly not an expert on planning but over the years I have read up on it, both for personal reasons and in connection with a number of high-profile local cases such as football stadiums.

If we do have any planning expert members I would be very pleased to hear their comments and be corrected if necessary.
 

Bes

New Member
Jan 30, 2020
3
3
37
London
Whilst I am not a fan of activities that increase our carbon output as a nation in general, from a selfish perspective I am very glad to see positive steps towards the expansion/ 12M PPA cap being implemented.

As someone who will soon be living in Australia, it would be absolutely amazing to see EK/ QR/ EY come in with a direct service so my young family and I can fly between Melbourne and Bristol with only a single change and not have to schlep from LHR to Paddington and then on the GWR mainline.

I am hopeful APD changes in March and a positive outcome to the expansion question make one of these airlines look at BRS again. Much chance of this? Surely BRS and courting EK regarding a direct service?!
 

Jerry

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Jun 1, 2016
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Cardiff
As someone who will soon be living in Australia, it would be absolutely amazing to see EK/ QR/ EY come in with a direct service so my young family and I can fly between Melbourne and Bristol with only a single change and not have to schlep from LHR to Paddington and then on the GWR mainline.
Would you not consider Qatar Airways at Cardiff as an option for you? Or KLM/LH from BRS?
 

Bes

New Member
Jan 30, 2020
3
3
37
London
Would you not consider Qatar Airways at Cardiff as an option for you? Or KLM/LH from BRS?
No - my relatives are too far from CWL (Easier to get to LHR) and KLM/ LH with the extra change is just too painful/ long, not to mention much more expensive than going to LHR!
 

TheLocalYokel

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Yes
Whilst I am not a fan of activities that increase our carbon output as a nation in general, from a selfish perspective I am very glad to see positive steps towards the expansion/ 12M PPA cap being implemented.

As someone who will soon be living in Australia, it would be absolutely amazing to see EK/ QR/ EY come in with a direct service so my young family and I can fly between Melbourne and Bristol with only a single change and not have to schlep from LHR to Paddington and then on the GWR mainline.

I am hopeful APD changes in March and a positive outcome to the expansion question make one of these airlines look at BRS again. Much chance of this? Surely BRS and courting EK regarding a direct service?!
Whilst I am not a fan of activities that increase our carbon output as a nation in general, from a selfish perspective I am very glad to see positive steps towards the expansion/ 12M PPA cap being implemented.

As someone who will soon be living in Australia, it would be absolutely amazing to see EK/ QR/ EY come in with a direct service so my young family and I can fly between Melbourne and Bristol with only a single change and not have to schlep from LHR to Paddington and then on the GWR mainline.

I am hopeful APD changes in March and a positive outcome to the expansion question make one of these airlines look at BRS again. Much chance of this? Surely BRS and courting EK regarding a direct service?!
I think one of the problems in the past has been finding an aircraft that is both operationally and commercially suitable for BRS.

Etihad have some B787-9s and Emirates are supposed to be getting some in the next few years. This aircraft type can operate from BRS as TUI have shown on occasions when standing in for 787-8s. The ME ought to be easily in range even from BRS's runway. Whether there is a commercial imperative is another matter. BRS's relative proximity to LHR means that airlines are content in the knowledge that most West Country travellers automatically default to London (usually LHR) when it comes to direct long haul travel, and a lot use LHR for short haul too even to destinations served from BRS, perhaps at times because the frequency, timings or days of operation at BRS are lacking.

Today on the local radio the BRS CEO said that 8 million annual air journeys are made via the London airports by people originating or terminating in the South West.

As for APD, some media reports suggest that if domestic or short haul APD is reduced there will be an increase on long haul.

My wife and I have been flying to Melbourne most years since 2010 for VFR and we use the London airports, LHR or LGW, with Emirates. Given the length of the overall journey (well over 24 hours when the surface element is included) it's not too much of pain. We've looked at KLM from BRS and also flybmi when they code-shared with Lufthansa but neither was of any use - the elapsed flight times alone were horrendous involving two en-route changes.
 
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Bes

New Member
Jan 30, 2020
3
3
37
London
My wife and I have been flying to Melbourne most years since 2010 for VFR and we use the London airports, LHR or LGW, with Emirates. Given the length of the overall journey (well over 24 hours when the surface element is included) it's not too much of pain. We've looked at KLM from BRS and also flybmi when they code-shared with Lufthansa but neither was of any use - the elapsed flight times alone were horrendous involving two en-route changes.
Yes same issues we face. London just looks like the easier option unfortunately.

With NCL (Less wealthy catchment, lower annual pax numbers MAN, EDI, GLA all with ME carriers and in relative proximity albeit not as well connected as Bristol is to London) able to maintain a daily EK, I would imagine BRS would be viable (Especially as the 787-9 is smaller than NCL's 777) :unsure: Although I understand BRS lacks a proper cargo facility. Does that mean cargo handling is not possible on such flights?
 

TheLocalYokel

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Yes
Yes same issues we face. London just looks like the easier option unfortunately.

With NCL (Less wealthy catchment, lower annual pax numbers MAN, EDI, GLA all with ME carriers and in relative proximity albeit not as well connected as Bristol is to London) able to maintain a daily EK, I would imagine BRS would be viable (Especially as the 787-9 is smaller than NCL's 777) :unsure: Although I understand BRS lacks a proper cargo facility. Does that mean cargo handling is not possible on such flights?
First of all, please accept my apologies for neglecting to welcome you to Forums4Airports. Welcome and I hope you will be posting regularly.

Freight is undoubtedly an important component of such services as those to the Middle East. At present BRS's air freight contribution is negligible. The airport was rather vague about the freight issue in the documentation it produced about the new master plan which we still await. In fact, we've not even had the draft master plan published yet for further public consultation. It's well overdue - by about a year - but it might have been sidelined whilst the airport worked on more pressing matters trying to gets its passenger cap lifted along with a planning application for infrastructure to support up to 12 mppa.

CAA stats shown that in the whole of 2018 BRS handled 7 tonnes of air freight. Other non-London airports with ME routes were MAN (114,131 tonnes), Edinburgh (20,316 tonnes), Glasgow (15,466 tonnes) and Newcastle (5,524 tonnes). Of course, not all this freight went solely on ME airlines or ME routes.

Unsurprisingly LHR handled the most in 2018 - 1,685,137 tonnes. As far as I can see only London City (7 tonnes), Leeds-Bradford (3 tonnes), Newquay (3 tonnes) and Teesside (1 tonne) handled the same or less tonnage than BRS. Even small airports such as Norwich (220 tonnes) and Humberside (121 tonnes) handled more.

Cardiff handled 1,459 tonnes in 2018. It's thought that freight was one of a number of issues that led to Qatar Airways choosing CWL over BRS for its Severnside airport.
 
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