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BHX, Its Catchment Area And Market?  
User currently offline777Heaven From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4216 times:

Hello there.

Ive just been reading the thread about Emirates capacity upgrade to Britain's second city Birmingham.

With the main terminal's international pier now in advanced stages and plans to extend the runway what future potential does the Airport have? North American scheduled flights seem to be a relatively small part of the airports operations (would any other routes be profitable here?). With US Airways planned service, are more likely to follow suit or as the past has shown services keep comming and going.

What about potential routes to the rest of the world? Scheduled routes to China? flights to India? Africa, even South America.

BHX does have a huge catchment area but with London to the South and Manchester to the North these cities airports are traditionally the choice for many passengers so what can BHX do to attract more of the flying public.

What airlines could potentially begin services in the future and where do people see BHX in 10 years time?

777Heaven

36 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1526 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4184 times:

Very hard to say.
BHX is close to LHR so that must impact on carriers starting additional long-haul flights. Then what about the planned high-speed rail link ? If it's built, and it's a big "if" and quite a few years away, then it will curb growth (especially in long-haul services) out of BHX.


User currently offlineTom355uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 336 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 4153 times:

I'm sure the runway extension will have major benefits, not least the endurance extension of originating flights. I remember travelling to MDPP from BHX in 2005 on a Thomson 763ER, we actually lifted off on the starter strip at the end of 15  Wow!!! However, For global connections to Asia/Oceania/Southern Africa BHX is pretty much sorted with the twice daily EK flights to their hub. It costs less to fly to many of these places with EK via Dubai than a direct flight with many others. Further North American connections would definitely be welcomed though, possibly even RyanAtlantic (when and if etc...) could utilise it as a base, seeing as Ryanair have had a major increase in passenger numbers there since they stationed there.


on Twitter @tombeckett2285
User currently offlineMainMAN From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 2115 posts, RR: 5
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4044 times:

Is it something like only 40% of West Midlands travellers pass through BHX?

I wouldn't imagine that MAN takes many, with the exception of long-haul charter and maybe some transatlantic. LHR/LTN and STN are all pretty easy to get to from the Midlands, which is perhaps the biggest obstacle BHX faces.

It would be interesting to know how many of SQ, AA, DL, US, QR and EY passengers ex-MAN originate in the West Midlands.


User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1804 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 4015 times:

First of all.................an obvious attempt to slip the "Britain's second City" line in.
By all inetents and purpose, Birmingham has a larger council where as Manchester, like London, is made up of smaller unitary authorities before you even begin to include Bolton and Rochdale etc. Furthermore, Manchester is now regarded as Britain's second City in the eyes of European's aswell as British people. See the BBC survey from a few years ago.

As for BHX, most of it has been said. It's relative close proximity to LHR and London is probably it's biggest handicap. Having MAN 90 miles to the North doesn't help either, compounded by this airport generally being the second choice to London for many airlines. MAN's catchment is huge too. Aswell as the North West it draws passengers from North Wales, Yorkshire and the North East aswell as the Midlands. In contrast, few people North of Stoke tend to use BHX and those to the South have a wealth of choice from the London airports. Even those in the East Midlands have historically been well catered for by the Charters out of EMA and in later years, LCC's.

MAN struggles to compete when LHR is 3.5 hours down the road, BHX does well considering.



Proud to fly from Manchester!
User currently offlineIainbhx From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3975 times:



Quoting Tom355uk (Reply 2):
For global connections to Asia/Oceania/Southern Africa BHX is pretty much sorted with the twice daily EK flights to their hub. It costs less to fly to many of these places with EK via Dubai than a direct flight with many others.

Oddly enough, I have never found this, I have always found EK somewhat more expensive than LH/LX or AF/KL if heading to SIN, HKG or Australia from BHX.

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 4):
First of all.................an obvious attempt to slip the "Britain's second City" line in.
By all inetents and purpose, Birmingham has a larger council where as Manchester, like London, is made up of smaller unitary authorities before you even begin to include Bolton and Rochdale etc.

Try and get in a reasonable comparison, if you want to compare Manchester to Birmingham, then that's fine, but if you want to compare the old Greater Manchester Met to Birmingham then that's wrong and you have to do it as Greater Manchester to West Midlands. The two areas are of similar size, but the core city element is larger for Birmingham. Manchester, by population being about the seventh largest city in the UK.

Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 4):
As for BHX, most of it has been said. It's relative close proximity to LHR and London is probably it's biggest handicap. Having MAN 90 miles to the North doesn't help either, compounded by this airport generally being the second choice to London for many airlines.

Agreed here, especially on the effect of airline choice on picking MAN and as for LHR, it's so near and yet so far. LHR is a real pain to get to from here, public transport isn't brilliant and the M40 can be a mare. I prefer to get the next flight to FRA/MUC/ZRH myself and change there.

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 1):
Then what about the planned high-speed rail link ? If it's built, and it's a big "if" and quite a few years away, then it will curb growth (especially in long-haul services) out of BHX.

If it turns up, then it will possibly constrict growth. There again, it could help grow the airport as LHR's third runway! I already know plenty of people who live in the Milton Keynes/Oxford belt who use BHX rather than LHR because of the convienience.



iainbhx
User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1804 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3945 times:



Quoting Iainbhx (Reply 5):
Try and get in a reasonable comparison, if you want to compare Manchester to Birmingham, then that's fine, but if you want to compare the old Greater Manchester Met to Birmingham then that's wrong and you have to do it as Greater Manchester to West Midlands. The two areas are of similar size, but the core city element is larger for Birmingham. Manchester, by population being about the seventh largest city in the UK.

Absolutely thats why I wouldn't include Bolton, Rochdale etc into the argument. However, Trafford, Tameside, and dare i say it, Salford all lie within a few miles of the City Centre, part of Salford being on top of the Centre. Ask anyone where the Trafford Centre is and they'll say.....Manchester. Furthermore, MAN lies on the border of Manchester, Stockport and Trafford. It's all very complicated and the boundaries are blurred admittedly. Very often people in Stockport refer to Manchester as town and indeed Stockport is only 8 miles by train from Piccadilly.

Towns in Greater Manchester such as Oldham and Rochdale tend to be very loyal to their Lancastrian routes but still they feed off and gravitate towards Manchester more than what Barnsley or Rotherham do Sheffield for instance. At the same time, some areas under Rochdale and Bury control (i.e Middleton and Radcliffe) carry Manchester postcodes, used to be under MCC control and citizens class themselves as mancs.....further distortion.

Manchester City Council covers a relatively small area and this has actually been reduced further in the last 30/40 years.

I'm not a Manc by the way but som Brummies do get very defensive over this.



Proud to fly from Manchester!
User currently offlineSeemyseems From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 971 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3923 times:



Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 4):
First of all.................an obvious attempt to slip the "Britain's second City" line in.
By all inetents and purpose, Birmingham has a larger council where as Manchester, like London, is made up of smaller unitary authorities before you even begin to include Bolton and Rochdale etc. Furthermore, Manchester is now regarded as Britain's second City in the eyes of European's aswell as British people. See the BBC survey from a few years ago.

You beat me to it!

Does Stockport and Altrincham come under Manchester nowadays?

BHX is a good airport but MAN still gets more business, a lot of major airlines fly into MAN... more than into BHX. MAN also has plans to extend terminals and aprons etc.



seemyseems
User currently offlineAAMDanny From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 376 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3838 times:

Not just people of Birmingham use BHX. People from Coventry, Warick, Stratford-upon-Aven, Nuneton, Bedworth and the other towns of the Warickshire/Coventry districts have easy access to BHX, especially from the M6 M'Way. Then, also, theres the people in the EMA catchemnt area, BHX has a lot more services than EMA, especially Scheduled services to other hub's.

Quoting Seemyseems (Reply 7):
MAN also has plans to extend terminals and aprons etc.

Yeah and so does BHX. BHX's new Int'l pier opens shortly (November?!?!)

They have already added more parking at T2, and have improved the remote parking in the T1 area, and have a new intl pier thats nearing completion.

They have also completed an entire revamp of the departures hall which is honestly no longer recognisable!

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 1):
Very hard to say.
BHX is close to LHR so that must impact on carriers starting additional long-haul flights. Then what about the planned high-speed rail link ? If it's built, and it's a big "if" and quite a few years away, then it will curb growth (especially in long-haul services) out of BHX.

Like You, I Dont hold my breath on British Rail I gave up on it years ago.

Let's not forget tho, thats planned for about 10 years away IICR. At current, Midlanders (BHX Area) have good choices when travelling scheduled from BHX, however they still choose to travel with airlines like KL, LH, AF from MUC/FRA/AMS/CDG, and not forgetting CO with onward's connections from EWR, US from PHL and EK from DXB to avoid some of the chaos of LHR and the M25. But what it looks like is that BHX is trying to attract more long haul operators into the Airport, the new Int'l terminal is designed to handle more 777/767/787/A330 sized aircraft.

Let's not also forget the Turkish Airlines service which seem's to be doing really well.

I wouldnt be surprised to see AA bringing back there ORD-BHX service, and/or introduce a JFK-BHX service when they get there 752's equpiped for ETOP/Trans Atlantic services.


User currently offline777Heaven From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3801 times:

Ok lets get some facts

Greater Manchester population: 2.240.230

Birmingham population: 1.010.200

If you are going to compare Birmingham to Greater Manchester then lets compare Manchester to "Greater Birmingham" (Excluding Coventry and Wolverhampton)

Manchester population: 458100

West Midlands population: 2.284.093

Hardly Fair is it? Now I love Manchester and would defend it to a tee, Ive worked there for a good few years and spent many years travelling between London and Manchester so dont you dare start trouble on here because of a harmless remark.

Now back to the Thread at hand.


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3062 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3767 times:



Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 8):
Let's not also forget the Turkish Airlines service which seem's to be doing really well.

It's a shame when facts don't back up peoples' opinions or hopes.

The TK BHX service is doing poorly at best, despite what is being said on some other fan sites. Loads are hovering in the mid 60% and upfront is even less. Revenue is frightening. You can get a weekend return, BHX-IST, in May for £118. No full service carrier is going to make money on a 4+hour flight at those prices. TK need to tap aggressively into the demand for the indian subcontinent out of BHX if they are going to make anything of the route.

The US PHL route is also one seemingly on life support even before it has started. Will it last the season even on its reduced schedule? Your guess is as good as mine, but the signs aren't good for it being any more than a seasonal one-off without a dramatic upswing in the economy and the exchange rate.

Rgds



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1804 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3724 times:



Quoting 777Heaven (Reply 9):
Ok lets get some facts

Greater Manchester population: 2.240.230

Birmingham population: 1.010.200

If you are going to compare Birmingham to Greater Manchester then lets compare Manchester to "Greater Birmingham" (Excluding Coventry and Wolverhampton)

Manchester population: 458100

West Midlands population: 2.284.093

Hardly Fair is it? Now I love Manchester and would defend it to a tee, Ive worked there for a good few years and spent many years travelling between London and Manchester so dont you dare start trouble on here because of a harmless remark.

Now back to the Thread at hand.

Bit of an aggresive response don't you think?

I was very careful not to include the Greater Manchester argument. I merely said that Manchester is bigger than the MCC area...................Trafford, Tameside and Salford having very little in the way of a Central area. Therefore, they are more of a suburb. That said, land size doesn't necassarilly mean anything neither does population. What is clear is that Manchester is widely regarded now as the second city. Thats all I was saying.



Proud to fly from Manchester!
User currently offline777Heaven From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3691 times:



Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 11):

Regarded by who? a minority of people in the UK? Also i think you will find most europeans dont have a clue what our second city is, also if you are not a manc why the hell are you so defensive? And aggressive?

and now that i come back with some figures you try and change your arguement......very floored mate and very silly also.


User currently offlineIainbhx From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3690 times:



Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 11):
Trafford, Tameside and Salford having very little in the way of a Central area. Therefore, they are more of a suburb. That said, land size doesn't necassarilly mean anything neither does population. What is clear is that Manchester is widely regarded now as the second city. Thats all I was saying.

In which case you'll let us have Solihull and the adjacent parts of Sandwell and Dudley? No, thought not.

Widely regarded inside the M60 as being the second city and that's about all. I'll stick to calling it the seventh city.

Oh and MCC hasn't been cut down in size by by any local government reform in the last 30-40 years. What's happened is that some "overspill" estates which had Manchester manage the housing were transferred to the other boroughs. Same happened here in Birmingham with Chelmsley Wood.



iainbhx
User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 3062 posts, RR: 23
Reply 14, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3671 times:

Whilst you girls have a pi$$ing contest over whose got the bigger....catchment area, the fact is in movements, freight and passenger throughput, only one city is second to London, and that's MAN; always has been and always will be.

Now will you please put all your toys back in the pram and go to bed.  Yeah sure



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineRichardw From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 3762 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3596 times:

Will be interesting to see how well the US Airways service does.

User currently offline777heaven From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3515 times:

Blueshamu nobody is disagreeing with you there. It is the biggest airport outside London, the primary gateway of the north with a huge catchment area. That is a fact. However when someone deliberately tries to cause trouble on a perfectly legitimate thread it will not be tolerated.

PS i also hope US airways does well, there is a market here for further expansion into North America. Lets see what the future holds.


User currently offlineBaexecutive From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 761 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3497 times:

Never mind Birmingham and Manchester, if the measurement of the second city is of commercial, economic, political or cultural importance then Edinburgh beats those two hands down!

Strongest economy of any UK city outside London
More FTSE 100 companies based here other than Londontown
HQ of two of the five 'big' banks
Europe's sixth largest financial centre
Home of the worlds largest arts festival
The only city to have held the commonwealth games twice
Second busiest tourist destination outside London
The city was UNESCO's first 'City of Literature'
Its old and new towns are world heritage sights
Has an official royal residence in the centre of town
Home of the worlds oldest department store Jenners
Capital city of Scotland with its own parliament
Has a castle slap bang in the middle of it, on top of a dormant volcano
Twinned with Munich, Nice, Vancouver, Florence and Kiev


User currently offlineGT4EZY From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 1804 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3442 times:

I wasn't trying to cause trouble and I'm not getting defensive about it. However I was pointing out the somewhat needless inclusion of "Britain's second City" in you OP.

Like I say, I'm not a Manc but I was simply putting my argument that Manchester is made up of boroughs in the same way as London. I conceeded that as a borough, Birmingham is indeed, bigger. As usual though, the brummy has a chip on it's shoulder.....Manc's don't seem to be as defensive is this whole argument.

What is clear is that Manchester has a far reaching international profile. Call it the Manchester United effect if you want, but in recent years Manchester has been put on the International stage several times.

For me, Manchester is Britain's second City. It's a legitimate argument and one that I'm sure will rumble on.

Quoting Iainbhx (Reply 13):
Oh and MCC hasn't been cut down in size by by any local government reform in the last 30-40 years. What's happened is that some "overspill" estates which had Manchester manage the housing were transferred to the other boroughs. Same happened here in Birmingham with Chelmsley Wood.

No, Middleton, Prestwich etc were under MCC control.



Proud to fly from Manchester!
User currently offlineIainbhx From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2008, 242 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3403 times:



Quoting GT4EZY (Reply 18):
No, Middleton, Prestwich etc were under MCC control.

Except they weren't. Prestwich was originally an Urban District then it's own municipal borough under Lancashire not what was the City and County of Manchester. Middleton went straight to being a municipal borough in the 1894 Act. None of these areas were part of Manchester. All this info is easily found, so why bother coming up with stories about it.

To get back to the subject. I worry that the US flight to PHL is hitting the same catchment as the CO flight to EWR. Some people from my office go to PHL about 3-4 times a year and they say they will stick with CO to EWR and Amtrak. There again, CO used to operate a DC10 with decent loads from BHX, so there should be some spare capacity in the area.

When the new runway comes, BHX is hopeful of getting flights to China and the sub-continent. When I interviewed the previous Chief Exec last summer as part of a scrutiny process, he was confident that with the new runway, BHX would get a West Coast flight, a China flight and a India flight fairly quickly when the new runway is built. I hope he is correct. I expect PK to grow over the years as well and I expect that EK will eventually go triple daily, but not for a long time.

From a purely selfish viewpoint, my main "missing routes" from BHX are VIE, TXL and a regular, reliable, scheduled MAD.



iainbhx
User currently offlineBHXDTW From Eritrea, joined Feb 2005, 1092 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3372 times:

HI guys... long time since I posted, and as this is my home town, thought I had better wade in with my useless knowledge...
For a start, TK is not doing well (I think someone also mentioned this) Loads are ok ex BHX .. not great, but ok.. but the real problems are ex IST ... I have some contacts at BHX and this is my source..
PHL... I am really worried about this. I went to a USair party the other week in BHX to promote the features of the service, my colleague was told by one of the US guys that they were already hoping the service would be upgraded to an A330.. (something I doubt, but would like)
I agree that this could dilute CO traffic which as already seen numbers decline (As has everyone) .. OR .. or, CO will retain its frequent traveller base and US will be the one to suffer.. can anyone provide any comparisons between US and CO 757's ? (i.e. AVOD / PTV / seat pitch etc ) Also, I wonder if this PHL service will dilute its MAN revenue...
I know EK keep going from strength to strength as per my contact there and they are close to opening their own lounge as they dont like the current one they use (I cant remember if its Servisair or Aviance... I know they dont like their high tier skywards members sharing with bucket and spaders who have bought a loungepass)
I havent heard much on PK, I know they use a 773 occasionally.

I wont divulge my opinions on MAN vs BHX, however I will agree that MAN has developed itself more and has currently more potential... though, I hope that with BHX's expansions BHX will also maximise its potential...
I must say that the new pier expansion is LONG over due and as much as I love my hometown airport, I do enjoy flying from MAN.
Also, BHX needs a decent airport hotel... we have all the budget accor hotels.. Novotel, Ibis and E-tap.. but the nicest hotel (the Hilton metropole) is actually on the NEC site (LG Arena) ... the Arden is ok but not on site and the Holiday Inn is at Elmdon ! ...
At least MAN has the Radisson !! ...

TK need some good sales team in the BHX area... I have met all the local managers and even the CEO at the launch party, and they are all super lovely and nice... however, I think more aggressive sales and marketing people are needed !! ... especially to market potential gaps left by Air India for instance (who say they will be back, but I highly doubt !! )

In my opinion I would like to see a China flight... PVG or PEK .. I know that with the local engineering, car and construction firms (and law firms) they all do a lot of business out there and at the moment have to fly via Europe or trek to LHR... and, to be honest... not everyone is of the same 'I will just drive 2hrs to LHR/MAN' mentality ... a lot of my clients want to fly from BHX .. and BHX only... so they connect in AMS or CDG ..

I would also like to see AI back or 9W come in... doubtfull too... however, with no competition on the ATQ route it means that T5 can operate without competition !! and I love the fact thet T5 have operated into BHX for so long !!

Regarding the US west coast... as much as I would love this.. I am doubtful... lets be practical.. however, regardless of the fact that CO can satisfy most peoples US requirements with one stop in EWR (and now US via PHL) .. They are not always the cheapest.. even in BusinessFirst... most of my longhaulers going to LAX/SFO go to LHR to fly direct as its cheaper, even though flying from BHX would be more convenient...

AA - LAX .. thats my one..

Cheers guys...

J


User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 21, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3361 times:

Ah I love regional p**sing contests/arguments !! Chips on shoulders all round  Wink


A few points on both airports from somebody who has extensive experience of both (from an industry point of view more so than a passenger/enthusiast point of view).

MAN will always be the largest airport in the UK outside of London for a very simple fact - geography. BHX is too close to London and more specifically LHR. If Birmingham and Manchester magically swapped places then Birmingham would be the larger airport. Despite what people say the fact is that you can drive between BHX and LHR in considerably less than the 2hr margin which tends to mark down where catchment areas overlap or don't. For all BHX's strengths (and I happen to think its passenger experience is far superior to MAN's - which manages the quiet unbelievable feat of making LHR feel good!) it will never grow a leval of services beyond a local convenient niche for the West Midlands, and won't reach a level akin to MAN's.

Many long haul services out of MAN are marginal at best, out of BHX they are even more on the bubble. A few niche routes will work man others won't.

The runway extension at BHX is a joke - when I worked on the half airport sale a couple of years back, every bidder through their technical partners were advised that the runway extension was unneccesary - a complete ridculous expense for something that will bring thwem no morwe new traffic. Unfortunately a few councillers had a bee in their bonnet about how they must have all these west coast US and Chinese services - never mind the fact that those of us who work with the airlines on route development exercises all the time spoke to said airlines and they all said - no chance. And that was before the economy tanked...... So the winning bidder was the one who agreed to the runway extension, even though they knew it wasn't needed.

mind you I don't blame them for getting it approved. One of MAN management's rare good decisions was pushing through the second runway at the right time - also not really needed, except during the peak.

MAN is better located geographically (i.e further from London), has a better catchment area, has a larger business demand (although far lower than some fanboys seem to think) and will always attract more long haul flights than BHX. not to the degree some believe - but certainly far more than BHX could, with LHR relatively close down the road.



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineRutankrd From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 3038 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 3337 times:

More to catchment area than simple head count - Regional spending power for instance has a significant effect.

Even in the current economical gloom ALL people and especially the media need to realize that the economy is STILL much larger NOW than even at the turn of the century and the eternal British measure (fixation) of domestic home prices are higher than three years ago.

What we are suffering now is fear of the unknown and the ninety percent of the the brain continually receiving negative messages is NOT helping.
More the 95% of the working population still are and they are earning as much today as 12 18 and 24 months ago. We need to get back to spending ASAP.

As to the Manchester verses Birmingham 2nd City argument well they are BOTH major economical centres in their own right , however the economical drivers differ significantly and so does the resulting spending power.

Fact is the West Midlands remains a largely manufacturing based economy even now with numerous suppliers and customer relationships especially with similar areas in Germany, Eastern Netherlands and North Italy- Evidence the historical success of routes to the likes of Hamburg Stuttgart Milan and even Lyon from Birmingham.

Manchester in particular however has continued to decline as a manufacturing centre for a generation but has seen newer service media and financial oh and yes sport and leisure becoming major economical drivers. Fact is these industries generally lead to greater wealth and spending power.
This greater wealth lead to development of many more diverse travel patterns added to the fact that like it or not LONDON is not really on the doorstep is it - It can still be a 3-5 to 4 hour (5 hours to Gatwick !) ground travel experience EACH way. For the leisure time limited leisure travel this extra days domestic travel has value and cost !.
The UK travel market noted this and for thirty years this drove growth including the long haul. The leisure destinations continue to dominate don't they?
Manchester's management however failed to respond to the LCC growth during the last decade, they gambled on the airport becoming at the very least a focus city for one of the alliances, rather than continuing to build on that leisure base.This has failed as the three alliances consolidate at just few Hubs across Europe.

Never Manchester or Birmingham will ever be like Munich and the Heathrow factor is legendary.

Summary Manchester is a largely leisure travel airport with alliance feeder spoke flights (including some longer haul) ,. The only missing route of significance is Madrid.
Real catchment area North of Stoke, Greater Manchester/Merseyside (You know this is effectively one Conurbation). All points south of Carlisle, Northern Wales and some leisure travel (especially long haul or mid week departures) from across the pennines
Area and numbers just huge (Close to that of Greater London). Plus some inward travel not to be forgotten.

Birmingham is a largely business travel airport connecting the city with important trading areas plus some ethnic VFR services and actually this airport management were somewhat quicker to embrace the LCC development and this has seen steady growth maintained !
Here again the only missing route of significance is Madrid ! (these must be a reason for this- Both major English cities should surely support a feeder service into one of the worlds Biggest alliance hubs.
Birmingham's catchment area is much more geographically restricted and this has effected the growth of the leisure sectors. Area covers South of Stafford, All the West Midlands of course, business travel for the East Midlands (Heavy competition and options available)
Central Wales(Limited numbers) and England/Wales Borders south of Shropshire.
To the south Of Birmingham the London Airports are a very real threat on every level, to the west Bristol becomes a viable option after just a few tens of miles outside the West Midland Conurbation.
Birmingham does have some significant business inward travel as well.

As for the second city of England its neither Manchester or Birmingham, in fact its a small city in Kent called Canterbury !

Edinburgh has NO claim what so ever. That's the capital and first city of a completely different country - Scotland !


User currently offlineAirbusA6 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2037 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3283 times:

BHX is certainly well connected, with the nearby M6 and M42 plus the railway station, making it very convenient for the W Midlands conurbation, but any future high speed line would likely (as its first section) go London-Heathrow-Birmingham, making it a potential restriction on future long haul growth...


it's the bus to stansted (now renamed national express a4 to ruin my username)
User currently offlineRdwootty From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 905 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3251 times:

If only Ryanair would market it as London North, fast train to London in only 1 hour and a bit, less time to Euston than the Piccadilly Line from LHR!!
Anyway down to facts
BHX does have the problem that anyone south of Coventry or Warwick will lurch to LHR and anyone north of Cannock will lurch to MAN.
In addition , as mentioned, the lounges are quite poor and this is affecting the business passengers. Who wants the tracki bottom brigade in the lounges prior to the Ibiza flight.
The waiting area for normal passengers is also poor with only the catering having the room.
All this affects the passengers view of the airport.
We will not talk about the inordinate wait for luggage on the return that is legendary.
All in all it is a " regional airport" and will always be such.
USair have already cut the flights to 5 a week and this makes a normal 14day holiday alsmot impossible to organise.
I suspect that when the runway is extended then there may be some charter long hauls but thats all.


25 EMAlad : I live in Derby which is nearer to EMA, however I chose to fly from BHX the other year when we went as a family to Zakynthos using First Choice. I als
26 GT4EZY : lol I hope that wasn't a sly dig at me. As you well know, I know MAN's place as an airport. Which is always seemingly on it's knees. MAN also benefit
27 Iainbhx : Interesting, because that doesn't back up my view from Birmingham. Having done a good deal of work with the airport in the last 18 months, I would sa
28 MAN2SIN2BKK : The problem for Birmingham, Manchester and all UK regional airports is how they are percieved not just by most foreign travellers who get very scared
29 LondonCity : I agree. There are people based near Bristol and Cardiff airports who will drive all the way to Heathrow (a drive of 100 to 120 miles) rather than fl
30 MAN2SIN2BKK : That's another example I was going to give; I have used that route myself last November as my parents live at Portishead; it was a convenient connect
31 David_itl : I rather belive that the problem lies with the London errr...British Tourist Authority who seemingly just don't bother extolling the virtues of non-S
32 MAN2SIN2BKK : Good one; I have an example of a colleague from Cheshire that went to Barbados in 1989; his travel agent booked him on BA to MAN - LGW then the BA LG
33 PlymSpotter : Referring to the original question posed in this thread, BHX also has a fairly large catchment area to the West - mid Wales doesn't have the greatest
34 Seemyseems : Alright, well I didn't know that! I think that MAN extending, is more important as it is the biggest airport outside of London. Birmingham and Manche
35 Trintocan : An interesting discussion. I have never flown from either BHX or MAN but I know that some people based in South Wales fly from BHX especially where le
36 Baexecutive : What are you talking about? Who mentioned second city of 'England'?
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