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KRK: What's Going On?!  
User currently offlineSyeaphanR From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 72 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2368 times:
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Fishing around on services to KRK,...C0 stopped operating KRK-LGW, LO did not pick up and revive its own service! FR have, or are about to, move to KTW (hardly the same destination). All of a sudden, not much choice from Poland's 2nd city to the UK, save U2.

BA the only operator with direct business service. For how long (until they stop, or someone picks up)?

LO times via WAW are largely awkward!

Odd!

And even KTW in flux...After FR moved in, with STN-KTW service, Wizz quietly shut down their STN-KTW, at least for the winter (?)

Comments, folks?

[Edited 2008-10-01 14:46:11]

[Edited 2008-10-01 14:54:55]

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3040 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2328 times:

The party's over in the UK.

The inbound migrant Polish traveller has all but disappeared, loads have plummeted, suddenly the grass isn't that much greener, so frequencies have been adjusted accordingly.

I've said before, some lo-cos are seriously over-exposed to the Polish market, and the winter may be quite a draw on their bottom line.



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineXtoler From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 953 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2328 times:

Stupid question, but what's the tourism industry like in Poland? I'm not sure what the demand is to travel there, that may be what's killing the airline business. Once I was stationed in Germany, and the Cold War was over, there were plenty of tours for us Americans to go to Poland. For normal Americans here Stateside, they still think of Poland as a Communist country and don't want to go. Then again, these are the same people who don't have passports, and their idea of travelling is maybe going to Virginia Beach, or even worse, they think the beach is Lake Chesdin, because their pickup truck won't make it the 100 miles down the road to make it to VA Beach.

Then again, I shouldn't be so American-centric. Yes, there is more to Poland than WAW.



EMB145 F/A, F/E, J41 F/A, F/E, because my wife clipped my wings, armchair captain
User currently offlineSyeaphanR From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2291 times:
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The inbound migrant worker hasn't disappeared, even though there are markedly fewer.

The current phenomenon is the resident Polish "commuting": 80% of them consider themselves long-term UK residents...So a large part of the traffic is "support" now...Wives, kids, grandparents.

Krakow is filling rapidly with UK tourists, and of a different demographic to PRG; fewer stag-nighters, for example.

Quite a few on shopping trips to trendy London.

Krakow is, business-wise, a growing market...

I posted because I'm a "commuter" myself: A Brit, with Polish partner, travelling RT to KRK, KTW, occasionaly TAT, 3-4 times a year. Started flying LO, then OS/LH, evolved to SkyEurope, U2 (when pressed) and Wizz...I still miss SkyEurope on the STN-KRK!!

So I've seen a lot of changes in 5 years...Hence the heads-up!

My Polish family feel, like me, that the catchment is ill-served....Are high charges/costs at Balice, for example, distorting the business?


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3040 posts, RR: 23
Reply 4, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2267 times:



Quoting SyeaphanR (Reply 3):
The inbound migrant worker hasn't disappeared, even though there are markedly fewer.



Quoting SyeaphanR (Reply 3):
Krakow is filling rapidly with UK tourists, and of a different demographic to PRG; fewer stag-nighters, for example.

Quite a few on shopping trips to trendy London.

Clearly then, the drop in migrant worker traffic outweighs your claim to a rise in UK tourists, for if it were any other way, the flights would still be operating, or even increasing, no?

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineSyeaphanR From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2251 times:
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Should be more blinkin' stable for sure...A lot of finicking about, shifting traffic between differing UK and Polish endpoints, is not developing the market. Really wonder, when I have frequented the Wizz STN-KTW for a while, and witnessed it wedged, to have 3 bookings over the peak Xmas period shifted to LTN, 'cos they stopped the service....It's not just traffic levels.

The apparent problem with Balice is driving a shift to the far less convenient Katowice Pyrzowice (2 hrs bus to Krakow-Ouch!).

My point about the tourist demographic is that there's a weighting to the mid-class end of the market.

I hear similar comments, too, over traffic from Ireland....Shifting of traffic already booked included.

Given already missed potential on business traffic, is the right cross-section being offered to travellers? I'm certainly finding choices unavailable, in quality, in choice of airport and in flight times....


User currently offlineKonradh767 From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 9 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2238 times:

Tourism in Poland, and especially Kraków has really boomed in the past years.

A lot of Europeans recently discovered Krakow and tourism has grown ever since then.

Krakow is attractive because of cheap flights, cheap beer, shopping, an amazing night life and it's Poland's most historical and cultural city (it used to be Poland's capital and as opposed to Warsaw, most of the buildings are authentic because the city wasn't leveled during WWII).

I fly to Krakow every year with LO from ORD-KRK. Every year that I go, I see more and more tourists. Especially from the UK, Spain, and Asia. This past year, every bar and nightclub was swarming with drunk and loud English tourists.


Also, Krakow has been ranked fifth in the Best European Cities 2008 by Travel + Leisure magazine

http://www.travelandleisure.com/worl.../2008/results.cfm?cat=citieseurope

It beat Prague, Venice, and Barcelona. Surprisingly, in 2005 it even beat Paris in the same ranking.

I am frankly surprised that so many airlines are dropping KRK routes. I am not surprised however that only BA offers business class, although there is a lot of business travel to KRK, most tourists are looking for a cheap trendy weekend. Then again, a lot of low-cost airlines also discovered Krakow and there probably wasn't enough demand for all of them to continue service.


I don't really think that all Americans think of Poland as still a communist country. A lot of people I know actually have traveled to Poland to see the country. It seems to be becoming more popular of a country to see on a tour of Europe. Poland as a whole is becoming more and more like Western Europe, especially after entering the EU.

Finally, if you've never been to Krakow , or Poland, I strongly recommend it. Krakow is my favorite city in the World--no joke--and I don't see how someone wouldn't enjoy a trip to this wonderful city.


-konrad


User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2217 times:

I don't know the exact or official numbers but from my standpoint in the UK I would have to say that the Poles are still very much flooding into the country and are now dominating the low to middle income job market (at least in London for example). You sometimes have to look very hard to employ someone who is not Polish and many of the Poles I work with are relatively new arrivals.

But on another tangent I know for a fact that the Krakow youth hostel market is extremely oversaturated and many hostels are now struggling to stay alive. Krakow has definitely experienced a massive increas in tourism recently but I think the budget airlines, just like the hostels, have put too much overcapacity in the market and therefor starting to cut back.


User currently offlineDanny From Poland, joined Apr 2002, 3515 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 2182 times:



Quoting SyeaphanR (Thread starter):
Fishing around on services to KRK,...C0 stopped operating KRK-LGW, LO did not pick up and revive its own service! FR have, or are about to, move to KTW (hardly the same destination). All of a sudden, not much choice from Poland's 2nd city to the UK, save U2.

BA the only operator with direct business service. For how long (until they stop, or someone picks up)?

LO times via WAW are largely awkward!

Odd!

And even KTW in flux...After FR moved in, with STN-KTW service, Wizz quietly shut down their STN-KTW, at least for the winter (?)

Comments, folks?

I recon three carriers (BA, U2 and FR) on London - Krakow market is plenty of choice and avaliability.


User currently onlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 23217 posts, RR: 20
Reply 9, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2133 times:



Quoting Thestooges (Reply 7):
I don't know the exact or official numbers but from my standpoint in the UK I would have to say that the Poles are still very much flooding into the country and are now dominating the low to middle income job market (at least in London for example). You sometimes have to look very hard to employ someone who is not Polish and many of the Poles I work with are relatively new arrivals.

I know that for a variety of reasons, Poland is becoming more attractive for Poles. There was an article in the New York Times a month ago or so about the dramatic declines in Polish populations in the States, and while that's partially based on the weak dollar, I suspect some of the same factors are at work both in Britain and in here in the US.

Quoting Konradh767 (Reply 6):
(it used to be Poland's capital and as opposed to Warsaw, most of the buildings are authentic because the city wasn't leveled during WWII).

Of course, Warsaw's old town is arguably the most stunning piece of Communist architecture in eastern Europe. It takes a VERY discerning eye to pick up the fact that those buildings are ~50 years old.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineKonrad From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 533 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2122 times:



Quoting Danny (Reply 8):
I recon three carriers (BA, U2 and FR) on London - Krakow market is plenty of choice and avaliability.

I think Danny has the point. Three carriers with 5 daily flights on London to Krakow is plenty of choice and availability, especially for the (low) winter season.

Ryanair isn't going anywhere, they will study their KTW results first and see how they compare to KRK. Sure they are closing KRK STN starting November and till December 19 in their PR stunt, but I don't think they will be off to KTW. Also, FR stays on KRK DUB and KRK SNN even during that closure period and despite earlier claims.

BA is doing rather well on LGW KRK, last time I was in Krakow airport there were 15+ Club passengers in the lounge prior to BA departure.

U2 covers LGW and LTN.

It is a shame LOT didn't take over their own long-standing KRK LGW service after the demise of C0 but they never had their act together. Besides, LOT didn't get back C0 737s so they don't even have the metal to fly KRK LGW at the moment.


User currently offlineSyeaphanR From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2050 times:
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Quoting Konrad (Reply 10):
BA is doing rather well on LGW KRK, last time I was in Krakow airport there were 15+ Club passengers in the lounge prior to BA departure.

Exactly!

The "loud" lot have been getting the cold-shoulder, so the leisure market is drifting upwards a little.

Quoting Thestooges (Reply 7):
But on another tangent I know for a fact that the Krakow youth hostel market is extremely oversaturated and many hostels are now struggling to stay alive.

The hostels have largely aimed too low for the emerging business. The newer generation have aimed further up-market, and are getting better yields, especially the ones with sense to base in locations like Kazimierz...Lessons in segmentation the air market can learn...Poland is emphatically NOT an all lo-cost market!

I'm like a lot of mid-range Krakow travellers, hating the cattle-cart performances of U2, fearing FR worse, with the downside of inadequate baggage weight, yeah, verily, as an extra! Wizz are tolerable, as they do use the priority boarding tool fairly well (not U2!!), but they operate to that psuedo-Siberian outpost, Pyrzowice!!!

I miss NE (SkyEurope), because they had allocated seats, and flew from convenient Stansted to convenient Balice....But they had FR to match, and did not have time or cash to build loyalty, at a phase when the Polish tide was at full cheapo-craving flood!

Quoting Konrad (Reply 10):
It is a shame LOT didn't take over their own long-standing KRK LGW service after the demise of C0 but they never had their act together. Besides, LOT didn't get back C0 737s so they don't even have the metal to fly KRK LGW at the moment.

Yes, again, the nail on the head! This is what I suspected...Indeed what I feared when LO handed the route to C0...The old LO 735 used to run full most of the time, with the front end always full...This before EU accession!

Of course, the LO LGW-KRK was also a BD codeshare....Hello? Mr Bishop? Sadly, I fear, no chance!

LO are their own worst enemy, I fear, getting sassy, I'm told, to the point of annulling domestic flights on a day-to-day "empty flight" basis.....And telling passengers they ought to be on the train!

The message I get from family who travel on business is that for international travel, they miss a middle option, too!

There is a lot of talk around the area about Balice management being a nightmare too. A high-charging nightmare! I'd love to hear some local Polish comment on that here, too!

Yes, I feel that there might be so many flights, but there IS little practical choice. Via VIE or MUC is a nice choice as a fan trip, but a drag as a journey! (The tales I could tell...) I especially think there should be a mid-market direct option to match BA, even, hopefully, to LHR, not LGW!

Well, one can dream....


User currently offlineSyeaphanR From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2039 times:
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OH, and two vital additional statements!

I love Krakow, and the area of the Beskids from Bielsko-Biala to Szczawnica, to bits.

I'm getting very bored with Wizz A320s; I hope SkyEurope make it to my December trip ! (Ahhhh, 737-700s)  Big grin


User currently offlineDelta777jet From Germany, joined Jun 2000, 1297 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (6 years 1 month 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1895 times:

Balice management is very unprofessional with ripping off charges for every airline except Ryanair. I heard a relatively new airline in Poland is now starting to involve the European Commission on the matter of unfair market practice at Krakow airport, especially on terms of General Aviation flights.


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