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Bristol Airport showcasing the South West at global route development conference

Bristol Airport showcasing the South West at global route development conference
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A team from Bristol Airport is promoting the South West at the World Route Development Conference in Hannover, Germany this week (8 – 10 April 2019). The conference provides an annual opportunity for the world’s top airlines and airports to explore potential new route opportunities.

Key criteria when considering new services are the economic strength of the region an airport serves and its potential to attract inbound tourists. Meetings with airlines from around the world are arranged over the course of the two-day event, at which the Airport will be highlighting its convenient location for many of the South West’s iconic tourist attractions. The region will be showcased with an exhibition display stand working in collaboration with Destination Bristol, VisitBath and VisitBritain.

Plans are already well progressed for further growth in 2019 and beyond, building on a successful 2018 which saw 8.6 million passengers use the Airport.

Nigel Scott, Business Development Director at Bristol Airport, said:

“Last year was another successful year, but we are not complacent and remain focused on the future development of the Airport. Our continued success is clearly linked to the strong economy in the South West region, supporting business, in-bound tourism and leisure markets. In 2019 we are investing over £60 million in customer enhancements and development projects to include car parks, terminal, catering and airline facilities.

“This conference gives us the chance to showcase Bristol Airport and the region to airlines from across the world. It is an important opportunity to develop long-term relationships with potential airline partners. By bringing the South West to life in our presentation and trade stand we hope to create a lasting impression which will encourage airlines to consider Bristol Airport in the future. We will also be meeting airlines which already operate at Bristol Airport to discuss additional frequencies on existing services, with a view to increasing flexibility for business passengers.

“After the busiest winter flight programme with new destinations, additional services to existing routes and airlines providing more year-round routes, Bristol Airport is going from strength to strength.’

Forecast to serve more than nine million passengers 2019, Bristol is the ninth busiest airport in the UK, and England’s third largest regional airport operating to 126 direct routes globally.
 
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Comments

#2
Perhaps the fact that the conference is being held in Hannover will help;). Hannover is one of Bristol's twin cities dating from 1947, one of the first, if not the first, UK-Germany twinnings in the aftermath of WW2. Didn't help bmi regional's Bristol-Hannover route a few years ago though. It only lasted one season. Another twin dating from 1947 is Bordeaux which has been much more successful in its air route from Bristol.

Do I detect a slight change of emphasis in BRS policy? The airport's business development director states, "It (the conference) is an important opportunity to develop long-term relationships with potential airline partners". Until now the airport has been saying that it will concentrate mainly on existing airline partners to drive growth.

However, he also says that they will be meeting airlines that already operate at BRS to discuss additional frequencies on existing services with flexibility for business travellers particularly mentioned. That's something that has been raied on F4A more than once.
 

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#3
Perhaps the fact that the conference is being held in Hannover will help;). Hannover is one of Bristol's twin cities dating from 1947, one of the first, if not the first, UK-Germany twinnings in the aftermath of WW2. Didn't help bmi regional's Bristol-Hannover route a few years ago though. It only lasted one season. Another twin dating from 1947 is Bordeaux which has been much more successful in its air route from Bristol.

Do I detect a slight change of emphasis in BRS policy? The airport's business development director states, "It (the conference) is an important opportunity to develop long-term relationships with potential airline partners". Until now the airport has been saying that it will concentrate mainly on existing airline partners to drive growth.

However, he also says that they will be meeting airlines that already operate at BRS to discuss additional frequencies on existing services with flexibility for business travellers particularly mentioned. That's something that has been raied on F4A more than once.
Perhaps the fact that the conference is being held in Hannover will help;). Hannover is one of Bristol's twin cities dating from 1947, one of the first, if not the first, UK-Germany twinnings in the aftermath of WW2. Didn't help bmi regional's Bristol-Hannover route a few years ago though. It only lasted one season. Another twin dating from 1947 is Bordeaux which has been much more successful in its air route from Bristol.

Do I detect a slight change of emphasis in BRS policy? The airport's business development director states, "It (the conference) is an important opportunity to develop long-term relationships with potential airline partners". Until now the airport has been saying that it will concentrate mainly on existing airline partners to drive growth.

However, he also says that they will be meeting airlines that already operate at BRS to discuss additional frequencies on existing services with flexibility for business travellers particularly mentioned. That's something that has been raied on F4A more than once.
I didn't agree what the airport said to concentrate on existing airlines. By all means give them a hand to expand their services.
In this day and age you have to look every where for expansion and look at different things that has not been tried before.
Spread youre wings and people will look and listen and it will bear fruit in the long term.
 
#5
I imagine that FlyBMI folding was a trigger point for a change of strategy - a relatively small loss in terms of passenger throughput but a much greater loss in terms of profile and marketability.
Furthermore, TUI seems to have stopped further expansion at the airport for the moment and Ryanair has added only a few extra weekly rotations again this summer, with two new routes but one axed at the moment (Reus), albeit winter growth in recent years has been substantial. Add in that Ryanair is now operating at EXT for the first time and increasing CWL, and it might now be the time for a subtle change in emphasis.

Old faithful easyJet continues to expand and without that airline BRS would be but a pale shadow of what it is. However, with easyJet now operating over 55% of BRS's flights (vide airport press release this week), in any business it's never a wise move to rely too much on one customer for all sorts of self-evident reasons.

In fairness, I've never been aware of the airport saying they would rely entirely on existing airline partners for future growth, but that it would be the major source. I still have an aviation magazine published in April 2017 that carried a big feature on BRS in which the then CEO said, "Our preference is to work very hard with our existing customers and only add airlines when it makes sense". It's difficut to argue with that as a basic tenet but it obviously requires existing airlines to play their part.
 
#6
I really think they have got to get a new carrier/s on the old bmi routes as a first priority and going forward an Istanbul/ Middle East option too. The airport simply cannot rely on the 4 main carriers to continue the growth alone. There will be a point where easyJet will plateau and Ryanair seems to be already there. Also the key is boosting frequencies on existing routes. Is a daily Rome / Paris acceptable ? I personally do not think so and maybe easyJet may be encouraged to boost such frequencies.
 
#7
I really think they have got to get a new carrier/s on the old bmi routes as a first priority and going forward an Istanbul/ Middle East option too. The airport simply cannot rely on the 4 main carriers to continue the growth alone. There will be a point where easyJet will plateau and Ryanair seems to be already there. Also the key is boosting frequencies on existing routes. Is a daily Rome / Paris acceptable ? I personally do not think so and maybe easyJet may be encouraged to boost such frequencies.
EDI is another that might be looked at for increases on certain days of the week.

Sunday, Monday and Friday in particular seem to sell out often. Already all four soutbound flights next Sunday are sold out as are the first two northbound on Friday, with other flights sold out over the next few days. I wonder if they've looked at a sixth rotation on Mondays and Fridays and a fifth on Sundays. It's not a rare occurrence for all flights to be sold out on particular a day. Anyone wanting to fly from EDI to BRS next Sunday will have to make other arrangements, and that might mean by other airlines to an airport not as convenient to reach the West Country. I wonder how many customers easyJet have lost in this way over the years on the EDI route alone.

As for CDG and Rome, we have discussed easyJet increases or perhaps Ryanair competing on Rome in the past. easyJet seems content to sell out at high fares on CDG in particular, whereas additional flights might dilute the yield. For example fares to CDG this week ranged from £261 to £446 for one sector. Anyone coming late at these prices must really want to travel. It might have been a lot cheaper (including land travel costs) to go to Heathrow and fly from there, especially on the day the fare had risen to £446.
 
#9
Any suggestions from members on potential carriers? I think Turkish would be a good link, along with LH or AF.
BRS has had some retraction from new carriers lately after a period of good growth. The ones I can remember would be WOW, SAS and Wizz, with there being big expectations of expansion from Wizz.
I'm not sure what possible low cost carriers would come in without stepping on EZYs toes. I'm sure EZY are more than happy with BRS though and are in it for the long run. EZY have a very good route network, which may actually put new carriers off as it's not leaving much room for new routes.
 
#10
I wonder if they can do some sort of deal with the Lufthansa group so that over time Lufthansa would introduce Frankfurt and maybe Munich and then Swiss could introduce Zurich and Austrian eventually introduce Vienna bringing in new hubs and new point 2 point routes, maybe as well attract Eurowings on non hub routes.
 
#11
Any suggestions from members on potential carriers? I think Turkish would be a good link, along with LH or AF.
BRS has had some retraction from new carriers lately after a period of good growth. The ones I can remember would be WOW, SAS and Wizz, with there being big expectations of expansion from Wizz.
I'm not sure what possible low cost carriers would come in without stepping on EZYs toes. I'm sure EZY are more than happy with BRS though and are in it for the long run. EZY have a very good route network, which may actually put new carriers off as it's not leaving much room for new routes.
I think you have pretty much hit the nail on the head.

In 2014 BRS handled 6.3 million passengers whereas four years later in 2018 the total was 8.7 million. I remember discussing at the time how the airport could move on significantly from 6.3 mppa and I don't think anyone anticipated that they would add another 2.4 million passengers in the next four years.

It was achieved by easyJet continuing its growth and significant increases from TUI and Thomas Cook, with the latter two both ncreasing their summer based fleet by one aircraft. Ryanair added relatively little during the four summers but in the winters it increased its route numbers and weekly rotations by over 60%.

In the unlikely event (as it seems now) that the airport increased its anual passenger throughout by another 2.4 million in the next four years that would take it to just over 11 million by the end of 2022. In fact, the airport is not anticipating that rate of growth as it does not expect to get into the region of 12 mppa until 2025 at the earliest.

How will further growth be achieved? Probably through easyJet, TUI and Thomas Cook and to a lesser degree Ryanair but it would be unlikely that those airlines alone could take the airport to 12 mppa by the mid 2020s. So what other airlines might help? I think that as things stand it's difficult to go much beyond Foxlimayankee's suggestions. Even if that happened and even if someone like Swiss also chipped in it's unlikely that the combined total of passengers brought by those airlines would be much more than half a million a year, if that.

In recent years winter has played an increasingly important part. In 2014 for example passenger numbers in the winter months of Jan-March and Nov-Oct totalled 1.884 million and this had grown to 2.658 million in 2018 which is an increase of 41%, whereas overall passsenger numbers in the same period rose by 38%. So winter is helping out more and might continue to do so in the coming years.

The airport team must have some idea as to how they will reach that projected 12 mppa. Perhaps in the coming months we might begin to get some clues.
 

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