02hilliert From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2007, 494 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 9 months 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 2770 times:
I just noticed yesterday that XL Airways are operating scheduled flights from Gatwick to Knock-Ireland West Airport. I went on their site to check it out and found one-way fares for £10 incl. taxes and charges, so thought i'd check it out. The flight number is JN030V, leading me to assume that it is used as a positioning flight for the aircraft to operate charters out of NOC, but it appears it is a straight return. Anyone know why XL are flying this route? and any idea as to the cabin service on offer? I assume a pay bar?
NG737PSR From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 305 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (5 years 9 months 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 2600 times:
The service is becoming more and more popular as the weeks go on, some loads are 100+ , customers really like it as they get an allocated seat on a more comfortable B737-800 than Ryanair, plus more customer friendly service and also a checked baggage allowance included in the ticket price. In flight service is a cash bar/snack service with tax free shopping also available.
PlymSpotter From Spain, joined Jun 2004, 11513 posts, RR: 62 Reply 7, posted (5 years 9 months 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 2551 times:
My track record with trip reports is not good, even for the most interesting of trips I normally take about a year to post them I'll see with this one, two B738s isn't exactly the most interesting combination I can think of, any tips for what to do for 8 hours in NOC or around that area would be most welcome - I'm thinking perhaps of going to Sligo for the day, it's not too far away from the airport.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
So the loads are fairly weak but perhaps improving. At fares as low as £10 each way including tax though the yields will be dire - they would need to be charging roughly £50 one-way with a full flight just to break even, so I can't see this one lasting.
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
02hilliert From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2007, 494 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (5 years 9 months 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2424 times:
Quoting NG737PSR (Reply 6): Have a great trip, don't forget to write a trip report as to what it was like both the flight and your stay in Ireland
I'm on it! Travelling on 02/04, so should be up shortly after that. As for my stay in Ireland, well... i'm departing NOC for LTN 1hr30mins after arriving! And then getting back to Gatwick with Ryanair to DUB, then Aer Lingus back to LGW. I didn't want to take a bus or train!
Quoting NG737PSR (Reply 4): more comfortable B737-800 than Ryanair, plus more customer friendly service and also a checked baggage allowance included in the ticket price. In flight service is a cash bar/snack
I was thinking of copying your NOC-LTN flight as well, but looking at the times it's far too tight for my liking, even with online check in, as I don't entirely trust flights on a mainly charter airline leaving from LGW to be on time! Also thought about taking the train/ferry/train back to Brum from Sligo, but that was far more expensive than flying, so flying it is!
Quoting EICVD (Reply 12): I wouldnt go there if I was you. The only word to describe sligo is boring!
More boring than sitting at NOC for 8 hours? I think I'll take my walking boots and see if there are any good hiking paths near by, I'm sure the air is fresher there than it is in the Midlands.
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
02hilliert From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2007, 494 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (5 years 9 months 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2377 times:
Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 13): I was thinking of copying your NOC-LTN flight as well, but looking at the times it's far too tight for my liking, even with online check in, as I don't entirely trust flights on a mainly charter airline leaving from LGW to be on time!
I was a little concerned myself, but didn't want to spend ages waiting at NOC for a flight to somewhere else. Having watched the timings since XL started operating the route, all of the flights i've kept my eye out for have run to time, so i'm optimistic! I'm looking forward to it. It will be another of the UK/Irish Airports I have on my list to tick off. I'm gradually working my way through those.
So the loads are fairly weak but perhaps improving.
I think you need your head checked. 85% in the middle of Winter? Ryanair pulled the route the day Easyjet did and despite there being a customer base there Ryanair didn't bother with it. I think its excellent to see an 85% load factor at this time of year, and look forward to the summer season when the peak comes in Irish air travel.
Gkirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24757 posts, RR: 57 Reply 17, posted (5 years 9 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 2239 times:
Quoting REA18S (Reply 16): I think you need your head checked. 85% in the middle of Winter? Ryanair pulled the route the day Easyjet did and despite there being a customer base there Ryanair didn't bother with it. I think its excellent to see an 85% load factor at this time of year, and look forward to the summer season when the peak comes in Irish air travel.
He meant 85 pax average. And on a 189 seater 738, that ain't too good.
When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
Tonymctigue From Ireland, joined Feb 2006, 1916 posts, RR: 9 Reply 19, posted (5 years 9 months 22 hours ago) and read 2126 times:
Quoting Revo (Reply 1): This service is a scheduled service. I believe it may have something to do with Ryanair pulling out and people wanted a link to Knock so XLA stepped in.
Quoting BY738 (Reply 2): Cant see it lasting too long- if FR couldnt do anything with it...why would XLA ?
Quoting Humberside (Reply 14): FR only started LGW-NOC because Easyjet did. Not sure how long FR remained on the route after Easyjet pulled it
FR operated the service for many years alongside U2 but as someone pointed out above, FR pulled the plug the same day that U2 announced they were pulling the plug. Now U2 didn't just pull NOC but they ceased all flights to Ireland so SNN, ORK & DUB also were cut in one swoop. U2 cited intense competition from FR as the reason on all routes so it was not just NOC that wasn't performing. As for FR, well more than likely they were only operating NOC-LGW to put pressure on U2 because there is no way one 738 & one 320 per day each way could have been filled from NOC. At the time FR pulled out, the reason cited was that they needed the LGW based AC that was operating the route for expansion elsewhere. I think it may well have been relocated to SNN because they announced three or four new routes from SNN at the same time they pulled NOC-LGW.
Quoting PlymSpotter (Reply 7): I'm thinking perhaps of going to Sligo for the day, it's not too far away from the airport
No Sligo isn't too far & as boring as it may be, there is more to do there than in NOC, which is literally out in the middle of nowhere. I think there is a shuttle bus that brings you to there nearby town of Charlestown, where you can get the Bus Eireann "Expressway" coach to Sligo. I think this service operates on an hourly basis but I'm not certain of that. By the way, don't be fooled by the word "Expressway" as this service is anything but. The word Express means it only stops at every town & village but not a people's houses.
Next Flights CX178 MEL-HKG; CX257 HKG-LHR; EI387 LHR-SNN
Vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3772 posts, RR: 5 Reply 20, posted (5 years 9 months 21 hours ago) and read 2099 times:
FR wanted to concentrate their LON flights to LTN and STN after U2 pulled out, so it does not mean that there is no potential for LGW-NOC. In the current issue of AIRPORTS, there is a feature article about Knock and the airport goes on record saying that customers wanted a LGW link back and so XL Airways was approached.
Sawtooth From Ireland, joined Jan 2007, 614 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 20 hours ago) and read 2029 times:
XL should do well on this route once people get to know the brand and the timetable is simplified for the summer, LGW is NOCs only major hub connection. LGW - NOC carried almost 150k over the 10 months FR/U2 operated the route twice daily, partly down to the heavy price competition. FR want to protect the good yields on LTN and especially STN, and on U2s arrival in ireland launched the NOC-LGW route along with similar increased services at SNN and ORK, which had the desired effect running U2 out of "their" territory.
As for things to do the airport is in a rural area and serves the wider region of Connaught, so the main city is Galway an hour drive to the south. Westport is a really nice town 40 mins west, stunning scenery with the mountains and islands along the Clew bay coast if you get good weather.
Vfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 3772 posts, RR: 5 Reply 23, posted (5 years 9 months 18 hours ago) and read 1964 times:
Quoting Babybus (Reply 21): Knock is Ireland's version of Lourdes in France. It's a place of pilgrimage and prayer. Maybe you could have a visit to the shrine and then head for Westport which is a tourist town not too far away.
Interestingly (by the way), the article I mentioned earlier said that there is hardly any pilgrimage-related inbound traffic at Knock nowadays (if ever there was). Probably not what the Monsignore who was the driving force behind the building of the airport had hoped for.