Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1782 times:
How are Iberia performing on flights to Gibraltar? What destinations do they serve? With what type and frequency? Will they likely increase services or any other carriers considering GIB. Would love to see connections with Germany or other European destinations. Im surprised AT dont do an ATR hop to Tangier or Casablanca.
BCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1623 times:
Quoting Orion737 (Reply 3): never understood why Gibraltar never had any charter flights.
Several reasons: How many hotel beds are available in Gibraltar compared with the tourist hotspots like Majorca, Costa Blanca etc; the proximity of AGP; the airport not really being up to standards to cater for a mass tourist influx; the difficult approach avoiding overflying Spanish airspace - only Captains can land there and even then they require special training.
I think somewhere in the history of GB Airways was the fact that the Gibraltar Tourist Bureau (or whatever they are called) wanted more airlines to fly direct to GIB but they were few takers - MON being the only airline that comes to mind - so the Bland Group, who owned and operated several hotels on the Rock and had several tourist interests, formed their own airline to cater for the demand. GB Airways took over BEA UK-GIB flights and the rest is history.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
Orion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1594 times:
I know accommodation is limited but I remember when AE went bust and Dan Air took over the routtes from LGW with 146s and 737s. they even layed on a coach for transporting passengers for a small fee to close resorts in Spain.
Gibraltar did have more accommodation a few years ago, when they had a large Aparthotel outside town but it was turned into a retirement home/flatlets.
I think I once travelled on a charter from LTN on a BY732 in the 80s, dont know why they gave up on GIb and it was in Intasuns brochure for many years. Now its Cadogan (Bland) primarily.
RIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 1587 times:
Despite the spectacular scenery, the cable car ride to the top, a look at the apes, and then a walk up and down High Street, where some of the shops are closed on weekends (Jewish, Muslim), there is not much else to do. So, as far as charter flights are concerned, what are the tourists going to do there for a week. Don't get me wrong -- I love Gibraltar and I have been there several times. However, as a visitor, two days are enough.
RIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 1495 times:
Quoting Orion737 (Reply 7): Im surprised that someone doesnt do a 'Dan Air' and fly to GIB for easy access to southern Spain resorts closer to GUb than AGP. Dan Air layed on special coaches to meet these flights
Don't forget Jerez. They have a mediocre following, including Ryanair. Actually, trying to dig themselves out of the dirt like GIB. The other two competing airports are Seville and Faro, Portugal. I know that FAO is doing well, but I've read on this site that Seville is so-so.
GatoVolador From Spain, joined Apr 2007, 435 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 1408 times:
Gibraltar was not a success, that's for sure. When the route was started, I forecasted in a Spanish forum that the route made no sense, and the majority of people debating with me disagreed. In my opinion, MÃ¡laga airport is only 60 minutes away from Gibraltar, and shows a much more efficient infrastructure to deal with passengers, aircrafts, cargo, and so on, and on top of that, it has a 24h schedule, and it's by far cheaper.
Since AGP is able to sustain all the transportation needs of MÃ¡laga and the Costa del Sol (up to Sotogrande), why an extra airport would be needed? In fact, GIB has a role in the UK-GIB market, but not elsewhere, since GIB is not (in general) the final destination of any Spanish / European passenger (except those coming from the UK, because of the cultural and the political relationship). On top of that, the area next to GIB is not that populated / rich to need an extra airport.
In my opinion, the MAD-GIB route could have performed well but it didn't because:
1) Iberia didn't let Air Nostrum operate the flight. Air Nostrum could have set at least two flights (one in the morning, and another one in the evening) with their Dash / CRJ of 50 seats, matching more efficiently both the point to point business traveller's needs, and the connecting passenger's needs. Instead of doing this, Iberia put the flight in a very convenient schedule to capture connecting pax from Spain/Europe/America, but that was terrible to point to point travellers (particularly for those from GIB).
2) GB Airways (operating as BA) was quite unloyal. IB & GB, before launching the route, agreed to operate two MAD-GIB-MAD (or GIB-MAD-GIB) daily frequencies to allow the premium passengers a fast trip to MAD or to GIB in the same day. They agreed that IB would operate the frequency of the morning and GB the other one. IB loaded the route on Amadeus only a few months before the agreement between GIB, the UK, and Spain. But on the contrary, GB airways started it very late (and left the route very soon as well), and whereas IB put its own code on GB flights, the carrier from Gibraltar didn't do the same with the ones of Iberia (even if they had agreed to do so). And then, the outcome was the the local travellers from GIB entered BA website and they only saw one daily flight. And you know, it's the classical "OK, the schedules are not good, I'd rather take the train". And with GB Airways giving up the route, IB knew that they wouldn't be able to maintain a constant flow of passengers on their own.
3) The AVE train is arriving MÃ¡laga at the end of 2007, and for sure GIB is more vulnerable than AGP. Can a flight operated on a daily basis compete with the AVE service out of MÃ¡laga?
==> As long as Iberia & GB Airways were unable to match the needs of the local point to point travellers, the ones willing to pay premium fares (business class) avoided the route and preferred the AGP-MAD one (which has more competitors, cheaper fares, and much more frequencies) or even the AVE. This was the key aspect. Also seasonality is important, since Sotogrande, Tarifa, etc. etc. are a touristic pole, but the demand falls dramatically during the winter time. (Actually, IB said that they could resume daily flights by the next summer.)
On top of that, GIB didn't make a good job.
1st) The airport needed to be rebuilt before the launch of the flights, and it wasn't done. Now the government of GIB announces flight restrictions due to the works at this airport. And as you could imagine, an airline is not willing to bear the costs of an airport that doesn't work properly.
2nd) The airport, although being very small, is very costly to airlines because (a) their taxes charged are above the ones of LHR (guys, are you mad or what??? GIB is NOT London!!!); and (b) the fact that the runaway crossed the road makes impossible of fast rotation of the aircraft, being the minimum time 50-60 minutes. (How do you want an airline have the aircraft on the ground one hour, which costs money, if even in BCN Clickair makes stops of 30 minutes?)
3rd) On top of the prices, there was a lack of basic facilities and services. The airport has small and limited opening hours (that's why GB airways cancelled the flights very frequently), they are affected by bad weather, they need to improve their procedures to avoid bird strikes, etc. etc.
4th) The airport was very uncomfortable for the passengers coming form the Spanish side. Even if the agreement with Spain stated that Spaniards using GIB airport would be considered as if they (administratively speaking) departed or landed from Spain (so, no subjection to immigration), they had to deal with strange entrance and exit procedures as entering the airport from a bus station located in Spain. Come on, guys.... I still don't understand the obsession of Gibraltar with the border and immigration. It's funny that you can pass from Ayamonte (Spain) to Portugal just by passing a bridge (without even stopping of showing the ID card or a passport), and the same goes with France, and that a such a small country, economically fed by activities that are considered illegal from the EU point of view, still requires ID cards to their neighbours. I know the UK is not part of Schengen, but stopping the flow of people (or making it more difficult) is something against GIB and its airport. I wonder why GIB have not learnt the lesson.
To sum up, in my opinion GIB had to prepare itself as a good airport for civilian purposes during this winter and try to catch airlines up to this point. Of course, LGW and MAD are strategic stations, but many others could also fit. On Iberia's side, I wish they could substitute their A319 by two/three daily flights with Air Nostrum: one leaving MAD at 6:30/7 am to gather the local business pax from from airports; another one at 11/12 am (maybe 4-5 days per week) to catch connecting pax from Europe/America (IB said that there was a marked for the US-GIB passengers going to GIB to take a cruise); and another one at 7/8 pm, both to gather local travellers back to home and to connect with the late evening flights to LATAM out of MAD.