- Jan 14, 2009
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It's a valid point. Some years ago (probably ten or more) TUI focused on CWL one summer with almost daily departures to the likes of Malaga and Alicante. I remember an advertising campaign on Bristol buses and on bus stops in the city even though TUI flew the same routes from BRS but not at the same frequency. That initiative did not last although it may have coincided with the time TUI and First Choice merged (the recession was also beginning to make itself felt) following which the merged company began to concentrate more on BRS than on CWL. In the 80s and 90s Thomson, as it was then, generally had a bigger CWL programme in summer than it did from BRS, but there was also a First Choice base at BRS in those days.Dont forget that TUI are basing an extra 737 at CWL. A lot of Welsh use TUI from BRS. Given the extra capacity at CWL is may displace customers from BRS but still keep them as TUI customers.
TUI are adding just under 140k seats with the extra aircraft at CWL, meaning there's still an increase in the Southwest & Wales region for TUI of 100k seats.
Generally prices are cheaper at BRS or more availability. Now there's greater frequencies and seats available, prices at CWL may come down and more Welsh people will use it over BRS. Overall if TUI can't increase their market share, BRS may actually lose out.
EXT are seeing small additional capacity as well so could be the same story.
BRS senior management has said again recently that it expects 2019 to pass through the 9 million barrier. That would mean at least another 300,000 passengers over 2018. Although a much smaller annual increase than BRS has seen in recent years it still begs the question as to where these extra passengers are coming from.
If TUI is rationalising its SW Britain operation a further clue might be forthcoming when the 737MAX10 begins to arrive in the fleet (in 2020?). That seems to be a replacement for the 757 and has approximately the same number of seats. If BRS is still in TUI's mind for advancement then a couple of MAX10s might turn up in due course.
Just over a year ago I spoke to a senior figure at BRS who I've known for a number of years who has a wide knowledge of routes and airlines at the airport, and I asked what was likely to happen when TUI withdrew the 757s. I was told that nothing had been decided so far as the airport knew but one option was to replace the two 757s with three 738s giving a total of five 738s at the airport in summer.
It might be that since that conversation TUI decided to put in the additional 738 at CWL instead.