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Tag Archives: Forecast

Flybe says UK’s domestic air travel boom is over

Flybe has declared an end to the boom in domestic air travel as the regional airline reported a deepening drop in demand for British routes.

The Exeter-based carrier runs domestic services which include Manchester to Norwich and Aberdeen to Gatwick, but the fallibility of its business to UK demand has been underlined by two profit warnings this year.

Flybe avoided another surprise on earnings on Wednesday as it published first-half results, though an increase of pre-tax profits in the six months to 30 September of £8.2m to £14.3m had been forecast to be significantly higher at one point this year. Before the profit warnings, Flybe had been expecting to make £36m.

As well as the poor profits performance, the results contained a further admission of weakness in the UK market. Flybe said winter bookings were down 1% compared with last year, confirming a deterioration of sales on top of an already poor outlook. Only last month Flybe had forecast a 1% increase in winter bookings.

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Manston: “Airports could go out of business”

Some regional airports could go out of business if the Government fails to recognise their important role in easing the nation’s capacity crisis. That's the warning from Manston Airport chief executive Charles Buchanan.

He argues that direct and immediate action is needed to resolve the short and long-term airport capacity shortages at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted where new runways have been ruled out indefinitely. In Manston's submission to a consultation on aviation policy, he urges the Government to look to existing regional airports to buy time for longer term plans to be explored.

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Number-crunching

Charles Buchanan (CEO, Manston Airport) from the night flights proposal: Today some 110 staff are employed by the airport, with approximately a further 40 employed in servicing the operation of the airport. The airport currently generates £4.5m GVA (Gross Added Value) of which some £3.8m is within the Thanet economy … development in line with the published Master Plan would …

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“Night flights would boost business in Thanet” says airport

Up to eight flights a night could take off and land at Kent International Airport, according to plans submitted to Thanet District Council. Bosses at the airport have submitted their long-awaited night-time flight policy, and campaigners now have 12 weeks to have their say on the proposals.

Managers say allowing flights between 11pm and 7am would attract more business to the area. They are banned under the airport's current planning agreement with the council.

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Manston makes night-time submission

A Kent airport has resubmitted its proposals for night flights. Manston airport, near Ramsgate, has asked Thanet Council for permission to run at least six flights between 11pm and 7am. Bosses said the plans would create around 3,000 jobs by 2018 and are vital for the long-term future of the company. Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive at Manston, commented:

"For the airport to be commercially viable in the longer term and deliver for Kent what other airports have done for their regions, it is vital that we are allowed to compete in terms of the operating hours."

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Plans for Manston Airport night flights

A Kent airport is asking for permission to operate night flights. Manston Airport wants Thanet District Council to allow an average of eight take-offs or landings per night. The move would allow the operation to attract new airlines and a study suggested it could create more than 3,000 jobs.

But opponents fear it could pave the way for 24-hour arrivals and departures. The proposal is for three flights between 23:00 and 23:30, two flights between 23:30 and 06:00 and three between 06:00 and 07:00.

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Wouldn’t it be a huge boost for the local tourist industry if Manston could actually develop a viable passenger business?

The research says that it wouldn’t. The UK exports tourists rather than importing them - more Brits fly abroad for their holidays than foreigners come here.

The UK currently runs a “tourism deficit” of £19 billion a year and about £17 billion of that flies out of the UK every year with people flying abroad on holiday. This aviation tourism deficit is costing the UK about 900,000 jobs a year because people spend their money abroad instead of here.

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What about the hundreds of indirect jobs the airport will create?

Indirect employment is just a way of double-counting people who are already employed in other industries. If every industry counted its indirect employment the way airports do, the number of people employed in British industry would far exceed the total UK population!

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Is it true that every 1 million passengers creates 1,000 jobs?

Far from it. You’ve only got to look at airports that have the kind of passenger business that Manston hopes for to see the truth:

Bristol – 439 jobs per million passengers.

Bournemouth – 408 jobs per million passengers now, and expected to fall to 247 by 2015

Prestwick (another Infratil airport) – 248 jobs per million passengers, and that was before the last two rounds of redundancies.

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Surely we can trust Infratil’s numbers?

Infratil (who own Manston) also own Prestwick Airport near Glasgow. In autumn 2008 Infratil’s forecast for passenger numbers at Prestwick was 5.7 million by 2018 and 12 million by 2033...

Almost immediately, freight and passenger business plummeted, and Prestwick ran at a loss for the rest of the year. Shortly after that, 50 staff lost their job. By autumn 2010, passenger business had fallen so much that another 120 staff had been made redundant... so much for Infratil’s forecasts.

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