Loganair

TheLocalYokel

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To answer Jerry's question, I do have the Flybe yield and volume data by route. I'll need to leave you to your own conclusions on who I might be or how I might have that, I'm afraid. Cardiff Airport also has it for the routes that were covered by Project Red Kite, but I'd be very surprised if they have the comparators for the routes like those at Exeter or Birmingham to show whether the Cardiff performance was better, worse or in line with the average.

As I've said - the Exeter Flybe yields were quite a bit higher than Cardiff on pretty much every route apart from Belfast. There were quite a lot of routes where efforts to squeeze up yields simply resulted in a big drop in passenger volumes and Cardiff was amongst that group (DSA routes were generally much the same). The argument of "fly a small aircraft and you can push the fares up" doesn't work in these markets given the price sensitivity and easy interchangeability for customers of using alternatives at the likes of BRS (for CWL) and EMA (for DSA).

You perhaps go from carrying 40,000 passengers at £60 average fare (so £2.4m revenue per year) to 18,000 passengers at £80 average fare (so £1.44m). £2.4m isn't enough to sustain a daily Q400 service and £1.44m isn't enough to sustain a daily Embraer 145 service, and the 33% increase in average fare leads to a 55% drop in passenger numbers. If the relationship between the increase in fares and the drop in passenger volumes was linear, you'd stand a chance - but it is not. I'm struggling to explain this any better, but that's the problem here.
Many thanks for that explanation, Starflyer.

If, say, some of the CWL domestic routes became APD-free, either because they were desinated PSO or the Welsh Government was given the power and abolished the tax, in your example of 40,000 @ £60 average fare that produces £2.4 million would effectively give the airline an extra £520,000 if they kept fares the same and retained the £13 pp APD equivalent. Would that in itself be enough to sustain the route?

PSO flights are APD-free in both directions so far as I'm aware but a general abolition of APD by the WG would only apply to outbound flights from CWL (unless they were PSO) unless the reciprocal flights also became APD-free in some way. There is also the fact that under 16s don't pay APD anyway on the lowest class of seat but I'm guessing that this type of passenger is not a large proportion of the customers on domestic flights.

In general terms, if an airline suddenly found a route that it had been operating became APD-free would it be likely to keep fares much as they were and retain the APD tax element of the 'fare' that formerly went to government, or reduce the fares a bit and keep a smaller proportion of the APD-equivalent in the hope of attracting more passengers, or reduce the fares completely in line with the APD that was 'saved' again in the hope of attracting more passengers?

My feeling is that a combination of these things might be tried depending on the type of route and airline concerned. In this I'm not just thinking of airlines with smaller aircraft on mainly domestic routes.

Thank you for your input which I find extremely informative.
 

Jerry

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Starflyers information does in a way explain why the WG and airport have lobbied so hard for devolution of APD. They probably feel it's the only chance the airport has of many routes being sustainable without subsidies.
Hopefully those routes will return one day but it doesn't sound positive that they will.
 

Starflyer

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If there was a way of the double domestic APD being changed or routes becoming a PSO with an APD exemption, it would be a massive help. It's probably the best way forward for CWL today. The passenger doesn't look at a fare and think "it'll be £47 to fly to Edinburgh plus £13 APD so £60". You have to show the fare including all taxes and fees in the EU (unlike some other parts of the world) and so £60 is £60. If the airline gets to keep all of that £60 instead of paying £13 of it across to the UK Government, it's a big help to their economics without impacting demand as the price the passenger is being asked to pay for their ticket hasn't changed.
 

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Many people have commentated on why loganair dropped the Scottish routes from Cardiff and some of us have wondered why they seem to have chosen Exeter over Cardiff or me personally why they didn't resume the EDI-CWL-EXT-EDI pattern. I wonder if possibly one of the reasons is the new partnership with Blue Islands? Maybe as an airline they felt with demand being a lot lower that they would want to fly to smaller airports where they have a partner who can also help fill their flights? At CWL they don't have that. Just a thought.
 

TheLocalYokel

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Many people have commentated on why loganair dropped the Scottish routes from Cardiff and some of us have wondered why they seem to have chosen Exeter over Cardiff or me personally why they didn't resume the EDI-CWL-EXT-EDI pattern. I wonder if possibly one of the reasons is the new partnership with Blue Islands? Maybe as an airline they felt with demand being a lot lower that they would want to fly to smaller airports where they have a partner who can also help fill their flights? At CWL they don't have that. Just a thought.
When Flybe expired EXT had neither Blue Islands nor Loganair at the time. I can't remember who came forward first at EXT following Flybe's demise, Blue Islands or Loganair. Unless the Blue Islands/Loganair partnership had been more or less arranged from the beginning of Flybe's cessation but not announced publicly until later EXT would have been in the same position as CWL. In fact, worse at EXT because CWL already had the Loganair GLA route that began its short life on 27 February this year, a week before Flybe collapsed.

I know it's a stuck record but it's inconceivable that CWL would be without such routes as Edinburgh and Dublin as well as the likes of Belfast, Glasgow and Paris. The snag is that the uncertainty of the virus situation is probably delaying any final outcome of negotiations with whoever.
 

Jerry

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It's looking likely then that for summer 2021 Loganair won't be resuming Edinburgh and Glasgow from Cardiff.
Unless a based airline comes along i can't see Cardiff having any flights to Scotland for Summer 2021.
 

Marko1

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The question would be who would take them on. Only easyJet flies domestic in the uk and given that they are cutting back everywhere I doubt they would be interested. Cardiff’s only hope is eastern at the moment but are they interested elsewhere
 

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The question would be who would take them on. Only easyJet flies domestic in the uk and given that they are cutting back everywhere I doubt they would be interested. Cardiff’s only hope is eastern at the moment but are they interested elsewhere
Exactly it's either an Eastern Airways base or no routes to Scotland.
 

Marko1

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Very blunt reply Jerry. They clearly do NOT wish to fly from Cardiff for any reason do they . A bit like Bristol’s relationship with Flybe over the years
 

Jerry

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Very blunt reply Jerry. They clearly do NOT wish to fly from Cardiff for any reason do they . A bit like Bristol’s relationship with Flybe over the years
It was a surprisingly candid social media reply. Usually get something non committal but not this time.
It'll be a shame not to have any flights to Scotland but hopefully eventually they'll return in the long term.
 

Marko1

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I would say that it would be a basic requirement to have a connection restored to both Scotland and Ireland as soon as possible. Unfortunately Corvid may delay that but I’m sure they will come. However once again very blunt no from Loganair
 

mathers_wales_uk

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Think they made it quite clear that a basic 1 x daily wouldn’t be viable. They don’t currently have the aircraft to operate multiple daily flights which they believe would be required. Maybe when things pick up in the economy they may wish to invest in additional aircraft and give it a go.
 

Jerry

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Think they made it quite clear that a basic 1 x daily wouldn’t be viable. They don’t currently have the aircraft to operate multiple daily flights which they believe would be required. Maybe when things pick up in the economy they may wish to invest in additional aircraft and give it a go.
Yet it works for Exeter? Would be interesting to know why it works for Exeter but not Cardiff?
 

TheLocalYokel

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A look back in this thread to June leads to a comment made by the Loganair CEO in a video interview with an aviation analysis organisation. In relation to the CWL-EDI route the CEO said, "When you're operating a single-daily flight that then means you're probably down to operating four or five flights a week. If that still means you're carrying too much capacity you can't cut capacity any further without leaving a service that is useless to anybody. That's the kind of position we reached with the Cardiff operations not helped" He also alluded to easyJet at BRS being an obstacle.

What he did not say, and was not asked as far as I can recall, was whether a multi-daily service would alter things.

One of our members who seems to have some inside knowledge of Flybe's operations said back in June on this forum, "I think the point being fundamentally missed here is that of yield. From my recollection of Flybe stats, the likes of EXT-EDI had a higher starting point than the equivalent routes from CWL. When I last saw any figures when Loganair was a Flybe franchise, the NWI-EDI yields were more than double those at CWL. If it's volume that's under pressure and not so much yield, a route with lower yields will be chopped first."

At the time there was a robust discussion about the issue with a number of members finding the validity of the claims of the Loganair CEO and our fellow F4A member difficult to understand. The discussion went around in circles and eventually fizzled out. Unsurprisingly, with the Scottish routes still unfilled three months later the matter is being revisited.
 

Jerry

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Unsurprisingly, with the Scottish routes still unfilled three months later the matter is being revisited.
I suppose to me at least it's inconceivable that Cardiff would be without a connection to Scotland when next summer starts. Glasgow i can understand being marginal but not having flights to Edinburgh seems odd. I know people will quote yield etc and I understand that but still it feels like somethings not quite right for at least Edinburgh not to be onsale for Summer 2021. Same for Dublin and Paris to be honest though they obviously wouldn't be operated by loganair.
Maybe this is the new norm for CWL in the future. Covid19 has changed quite a lot.
 

Jerry

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Edinburgh to Cardiff is on sale according to SeanM1997

Flights start 2nd August 2021 Looks to be 5x weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Must have posted at the same time! Lol
 
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