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Longhaul from Bristol

Discussion in 'Bristol' started by alphagolf, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. andrewgreen

    andrewgreen Active Member

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    I agree ! It’s probably beacause they don’t want the negative press with a minority kicking up a big noise
     
  2. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    I agree that the airport management (the owners also probably had a big influence because any extension would be costly with a 150-metre tunnel having to be built, let alone all the undoubted environmental hassle that would be thrown up) seems to have decided that BRS can make progress whilst relying on its current ski jump as one or two describe it. Looking at the situation purely from the viewpoint of the owners whose priority is to maximise profits at all times, 12 mppa (as an example) is a footfall of 12 million people and whether they fly in or out of the Middle East or the USA or to the Costas and and other sunny European destinations the ancillary spend and the revenue from airlines probably wouldn't be much different.

    As with, say, First Group's bus routes in and around the city, they only operate those that are commercially viable, and those that aren't are axed or are supported by the local authority from its ever dwindling public purse. First say their primary duty is to their shareholders, which it is, and the same applies to the airport, albeit there are only three shareholders. Like the airport they are a business first and foremost, and a public service when they are able to be without compromising their business.

    The BRS owners would have to be confident that scheduled long haul would increase their profits and the value of the airport which of course is also a consideration, especially to a pension fund.

    The draft of the new master plan should indicate the way the airport is looking towards the next 20-30 years. The consultation document is almost a brain storming exercise. I can't help thinking that the management had and has an idea of what they prefer and I'm not sure that the public response to the consultation will make that much difference. The management's and airport owners' take on long haul and particularly the runway (I would hope they at least say why they believe the issue is not worthy of public response) will be indicative of the way they view the future. The current master plan of 2006 has turned out to be quite accurate in many ways: not least with passenger number projections and infrastructure development.

    A ME route in particular would be of potential value to the local economy. The BRS owners might be susceptible to a sustained outcry from local business interests, but local business is not in a strong position because it did not support the CO EWR route in the way it was hoped or in the way it indicated it would prior to that route's inception.

    Filton is an interesting case. Various stories have surfaced throughout the years suggesting that, in the 1950s when Whitchurch was closed and the city council moved its airport to Lulsgate, they could have become tenants of the Bristol Aeroplane Company (BAC), some reports suggest for a peppercorn rent. I've never been able to discover the truth of it.

    Had that happened and had it been possible to build and operate an airport on a works site and somehow have appeased the many objectors who would have surfaced (and would continue to surface as EGTG:FZO grew and grew), then yes it would have been an excellent site for an airport: situated next to the crossing of two major motorways, although in the 1950s that would not have been in the mix; close to main line rail with a branch line actually running through the site; a 2,600 metre runway (not one of the longest in the country though, which urban myth is still repeated in the local press from time to time); much lower AMSL and better weather; a much bigger site; not in the Green Belt.
     
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  3. aviatorconcorde

    aviatorconcorde Active Member

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    I’ll give my thoughts.

    Qatar will be at Cardiff. They could move in the future, that is entirely possible but I’d say less likely.

    Emirates do not have an aircraft for the job, the 787-10’s are years away and I don’t think they could operate from Bristol? I don’t think the TUI -9 comes to you so going on that. Happy to be corrected on this though! Dubai is also getting very slot constrained and this may not change until the move to DWC in the mid 2020’s.

    Etihad are in a massive restructuring currently. They do have the A330’s which would probably be a well suited aircraft. I’d say they’d be the most likley of the big ME carriers to come in potentially in a few years when they have sorted themselves out. This route could potentially pick up some P2P traffic for the UAE.

    Of course there’s flydubai, they haven’t ventured this far into Europe yet but with MAX’s coming online this could be possible providing the runway allows.
     
  4. Jerry

    Jerry Moderator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    I'm not sure it's about the press. Personally i think it's about money. Extending the runway will be expensive and what will BRS get in return? A daily narrow body to the US? Maybe a daily widebody to the Gulf? A lot of money for little reward for an airport who's prime purpose is to make money for it's owners and those services aren't guarenteed either. BRS could extend the runway and not attract the new long haul services.
     
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  5. superking

    superking Well-Known Member

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    Looking at it another way. It could be swept under the carpet till the master plan is approved.With no mention about the runway extension would make ppl happier and not look at the master plan twice. The only mention of the runway was no extension needed.
     
  6. aviatorconcorde

    aviatorconcorde Active Member

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    This is also my thoughts. A runway extension for probably 2 or 3 scheduled flights a day that won’t actually be guaranteed. With the way things are going with narrow body aircraft getting longer ranger, it wouldn’t surprise me if the idea was scrapped.
     
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  7. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    That's certainly the current thinking as set out in the existing 2006 master plan which says that the cost and environmental disruption would not be justified by the return. In 2006 the airport thought there would be a market for no more than four long-haul scheduled routes, three of which would be to the USA. They believed there would be greater scope for long-haul charter flights and so far that is how things have turned out.

    There are wide-bodied aircraft out there that can use BRS to the likes of the ME and eastern North America without load penalty, but whether airlines are prepared to use them on a 2011-metre runway seems open to serious question.
     
  8. Coathanger16

    Coathanger16 Well-Known Member

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    Wasn't sure whether or not to put this in the General Thread or here, but...

    Airbus are currently testing the A350's performance at Wellington in NZ. Wellington airport have organised these tests with Airbus to assess what routes & payloads the A350 could fly out of Wellington. With many Asian airlines having the A350 on order, the airport is keen to see if the A350 could make connections from Wellington to Asia viable.

    For those that don't know, Wellington has a short runway (2081m) which limits how far aircraft can fly and its only "connection" to Asia is with Singapore airlines via Melbourne (previously Canberra).

    I post this here as Bristol's runway is relatively similar in length to Wellington's (2011m vs 2081m), so if Airbus are successful in proving flights from Wellington to Asia are technically viable (aircraft performance wise) , it may help airlines that operate the A350 in assessing operations from Bristol.

    What does that mean for Bristol? Well if Airbus can prove the A350 can operate from Wellington to say Singapore (a distance of 5200mi) with only marginal or no payload limitations, it should also show that certain routes could be viable performance-wise from Bristol.

    e.g.
    Bristol to Doha - 3355 mi
    Bristol to New York - 3360 mi
    Bristol to Dubai - 3516 mi
    Bristol to Goa - 4819 mi
    Bristol to Las Vegas - 5159 mi

    So whilst not a guarantee of a route, this may help Bristol achieve some more long haul flights without a runway extension.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12064226
     
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  9. superking

    superking Well-Known Member

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    It was a pity the A350 did not take advantage of the BRS runway last week as it was doing hot fuel tests in CWL. A pity it had to go half way round the world to check if suitable for short runways. When in CWL Airbus had a short runway not far from CWL to try out.
     
  10. superking

    superking Well-Known Member

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    Old age kicked in again. I put A350 was in CWL last week,it should have said A330. I cant edit post to change it.
     
  11. Jerry

    Jerry Moderator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    Are you refering to the A350 tests in Wellington in New Zealand? I wouldn't be surprised if Airbus were 'invited' as Wellington's runway is short and suffers from gales so i've no doubt they want to encourage airlines to operate from there plus Airbus get to test it in different conditions.
    Also with BRS does it actually have the space to park a test aircraft and is it too busy for it anyway considering the like of BMI and EZY have to train at CWL and NQY.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/news...comes-arrival-of-new-widebody-airbus-aircraft
     
  12. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    Even if BRS could take a 350 on some routes it doesn't mean an airline would operate. One of several reasons the Qatar CEO gave for not operating at BRS to Doha was operational. TUI operates its B787-8s each week from BRS to Cancun (nearly 5,000 miles), Orlando Sanford and Punta Cana (both around 4,200 to 4,300 miles), and whereas Cancun sometimes needs an outbound fuel stop the other two do not. Sanford and Punta Cana are about 900 miles further than Doha yet Qatar will not use their 787-8 on the BRS runway even though the aircraft could operate to DOH without load penalty.
     
  13. Jerry

    Jerry Moderator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    With the A350 i think it'll have to depend on which airlines operate them. At the moment it seems like a lot of legacy carriers from Europe and Asian carriers and of course Qatar. Looking at the airlines that are operating them and will operate them i can't see any wanting to fly to Bristol. Bristol's long haul i believe will generally rest with TUI a 787 operator.
     
  14. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    Transatlantic scheduled appears further away than ever. if BHX is struggling to get any what chance BRS and smaller airports?

    The ME was realistic with Qatar but that's now gone and I can't see anyone else pitching up in the foreseeable future. Turkish Airlines might turn up at some point but with a narrow bodied aircraft and with far fewer transfer options than the MEB3.

    In terms of the wider local economy in the region, today's news about the first step on a long route to LHR runway 3 assumes even greater significance because it's highly likely the local airport will not see long haul business routes for a very long time. LHR is very important to West Country business and its presence extended the M4 corridor all the way west to the city region.
     
  15. Coathanger16

    Coathanger16 Well-Known Member

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    Etihad have the A350 on order (both variants). After some bad investment choices recently they are struggling I think at the moment, but once their new terminal opens in Abu Dhabi they may get back to expanding again.

    It may also be that to match the A350, Boeing does similar proving flights with the 787 which could help Bristol.

    I would have thought that if BHX can handle 2x A380 and a B787 to the ME each day (with rumours of another DXB flight in the near future), that CWL & BRS could each accommodate a single service as well. Of course LHR is very convenient for those along the M4, but BRS also serves Cornwall, Devon and the rest of the SW which would all find BRS more convenient than LHR.

    I think as with most UK airports these days, it'll be a case of 'wait & see'...
     
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  16. Kernow Bravo

    Kernow Bravo Member

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    I was under the impression that a condition of the 3rd runway approval would be improved connections from the regions (i.e. more domestic flights). Whilst BRS-LHR might be stretching the point somewhat, NQY-LHR and EXT-LHR are strong candidates if those conditions are maintained.

    Arguably this scenario could reduce the BRS catchment for long haul significantly, particularly if the QR service ex CWL is still operating by the time the LHR 3rd runway comes on stream.
     
  17. Coathanger16

    Coathanger16 Well-Known Member

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    True - though a 3rd runway is still almost a decade away from opening. Surely enough time for BRS to attract a long haul service and develop it enough so it sticks around once runway 3 opens.
     
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  18. TheLocalYokel

    TheLocalYokel Administrator Staff Member

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    The B787-8 would be able to reach Doha from the existing BRS runway given that TUI regularly flies to Florida with the type without the need to refuel. It's just that Qatar won't use theirs from the BRS runway although they could. The 787-9 might well be all right for Doha too if an airline was prepared to use it. One of the type recently replaced an unavailable TUI B787-8 to Cape Verde which admittedly is not as far as Doha which is about 600 miles further but at least the airport can accommodate the 9 series. I'm not sure about the B787-10.

    As things stand with Qatar nailing their colours to CWL and Emirates aircraft too big to operate at BRS, Etihad seems the only possible option with its B787-9s and possibly its 10 series. Its A350-900 and 1000 aircraft might or might not be compatible with BRS. Some of these types are yet to appear with Etihad of course.

    Airlines would still need to be able to fly profitably to/from LHR from the from/to regions not currently covered. Code shares would be the obvious way of providing seamless transfer passenger traffic, assuming that neither IAG nor overseas airlines would want to provide their own aircraft to link the regions.

    In theory, regular air connectivity from Devon and Cornwall to LHR would reduce the potential long haul catchment from BRS (if they had something in the first place) if EXT and NQY had air access to LHR.

    By its actions , or perhaps inaction is a better word, regarding the runway BRS has really acknowledged that it is unlikely to see much long haul scheduled activity. Business in the city region already relies overwhelmingly on LHR for long haul - with little detriment to the region's economy it would seem - and a third LHR runway whilst opening access to the likes of EXT and NQY would also see LHR increase its offering of long haul airlines and frequencies which would be of increased benefit to the city region.
     
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  19. Coathanger16

    Coathanger16 Well-Known Member

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    It may be that after further tests Boeing ups the performance specs for the 787 allowing TUI to fly their longer long haul flights more routinely without fuel stops as well as perhaps allowing TUI to serve destinations slightly further afield. Goa is roughly the same distance from Bristol as Cancun - not sure if that has been discussed elsewhere but could TUI serve Goa from BRS?
     
  20. Jerry

    Jerry Moderator Staff Member I've upgraded to support F4A!

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    I think it has been mentioned before that it is quite possible as the aircraft isn't flying into a headwind i believe like Cancun often has to do. The only thing i'll query is that isn't Goa generally a winter destination? And BRS don't seem to have expanded the winter long haul like they have with the summer long haul at BRS.
     

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