Interesting new put out today suggesting that MAN domestic services are experiencing growth as a result of the continuing railway problems, particularly on the route to London which saw 29% growth in December.
I believe that one of the expectations of future domestic air travel was that there would be fewer services between Manchester and London, yet it looks as though the new low fares on offer have seen a mushroom effect on passenger numbers. Whether this will be maintained when the Virgin rail fleet is fully replaced with the "Pendolino" trains is open to debate, but I'd like to know if some passengers will not revert back to rail travel having found that in some instances the fares appear to be dramatically cheaper e.g. a day return to LCY for £40 is cited by VLM.
This Manchester Evening News
story reports on this unexpected rail to air substitution. Of interest should be the comment about the MAN-LCY by VLM who are reported to have transported nearly 25,000 passengers in the 4 months they have been operating their service.
bmi in particular are doing well, with the number of passengers on their LHR service increasing by 71%. The one dubious comment comes from BA who state that they carry the most passengers to London from MAN....isn't that a surprise, after all, we'd have never have thought they'd be number one when you consider they operate up to 11 daily LHR services, up to 7 daily LGW services & 3 weekday daily STN services versus bmi's up to 7 daily LHR services and VLM's 28 weekly LCY services.
There is also a MAN press release
on this subject.