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NichCage
Topic Author
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Why did EasyJet, Flybe, Air France, and KLM end flights to Cologne/Bonn?

Sun Jun 26, 2016 12:55 pm

EasyJet- Why did they stop flights to Cologne/Bonn? They were in the market for a while so it must have been profitable for them.

Flybe- They flew a Q400 between BHX and Cologne/Bonn. Why did they end flights? They had the smallest aircraft to make the flight work.

Air France- Not enough demand for CDG-CGN? Why was it axed?

KLM- The AMS-CGN was axed in January of 2016. Why was it cut? Cologne/Bonn was a destination on the KLM network for a while, and it was sad to see it get cut.
Last edited by NichCage on Mon Sep 05, 2016 9:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
mozart
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

Re: Why did EasyJet, Flybe, Air France, and KLM end flights to Cologne/Bonn (CGN)

Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:26 pm

Several reasons, although not sure one of them completely explains it all:

    CDG-CGN: for O&D traffic, there is the Thalys high speed train connecting Paris to Cologne in a bit more than three hours.
    AMS-CGN: again, for O&D traffic there are high speed trains every two hours connecting the two cities in 2h45
    For all airlines, including the connecting traffic of AF and KL: CGN's catchment area overlaps partly with that of DUS airport, and FRA airport since the opening of the new high speed train line between Cologne and Frankfurt Airport is less one hour away from CGN city centre.

That doesn't leave that much for CGN. CGN's traffic is more of the leisure/charter/LCC type, and during some period (still today?) the airport actually marketed itself as being particularly attractive to LCCs.
 
airevents
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2002 7:20 pm

Re: Why did EasyJet, Flybe, Air France, and KLM end flights to Cologne/Bonn (CGN)

Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:56 pm

Very interesting topic indeed. I have been doing some research about the airport for an article and it is quite remarkable that the airport is hugely successful in recent years in attracting low-cost traffic but for legacy carriers, it just doesn´t seem to work. Well, I guess the answer for all four carriers is probably that they didn´t make any money with their flights or saw more possibilities elsewhere. Easyjet pulled the plug on most flights to North Rhine Westphalia, DUS as well so that may be a bit of a strategic decision. CGN-LON and DUS-LON were totally overserved until recently, this has now changed quite a bit after Easyjet pulled out and so did AB from the route to Stansted ex DUS. Market consolidation I guess.

Paris may be explained by a lack in O+D demand. It is indeed super easy to take the THALYS from Cologne to Paris (but what an uncomfortable train, after one ride, I promised myself to never repeat that). AF´s flights to Paris were weirdly timed, initially they had two ATRs a day maximum, that later changed to a single daily Embraer 190. Not competitive at all. For both connecting traffic and Point to Point one would need at least two daily flights, better three, so the product just wasn´t very competitive at all. Apparently, there wasn´t enough demand for connecting travel via CDG either, which seems a bit strange to me as it would never occur to me to travel to Paris by train and catch a flight from there, similar to going to Brussels by train, which is quite annoying when you want to get to the airport.

I guess for both KLM and AF, it had to do with a focus on neighbouring airports like DUS and FRA. People from DUS don´t usually have a problem driving to CGN to catch a flight from there and viceversa. It seems like DUS is becoming more of an airport for legacy carriers flying to their respective hubs, while Cologne´s focus is on developing LCC flights. Both airports work in their respective segments largely and that is maybe something that airlines have also come to terms with. Just a guess but looking at recent new routes or route losses from both airports, DUS and CGN, it seems to make sense.

As for Flybe, their service to CGN didn´t last long at all. They also have a huge presence at DUS, flying to many destinations from there. I guess flying to CGN for airlines already flying to DUS (at least for AF, KL and BE in this example) was a bit like the cherry on the cake. DUS seems to work alright and maybe the market for extra flights from CGN just wasn´t big enough, simply as the distance between both airports is quite short.
 
mozart
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

Re: Why did EasyJet, Flybe, Air France, and KLM end flights to Cologne/Bonn (CGN)

Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:17 pm

airevents wrote:

Paris may be explained by a lack in O+D demand. It is indeed super easy to take the THALYS from Cologne to Paris (but what an uncomfortable train, after one ride, I promised myself to never repeat that). AF´s flights to Paris were weirdly timed, initially they had two ATRs a day maximum, that later changed to a single daily Embraer 190. Not competitive at all. For both connecting traffic and Point to Point one would need at least two daily flights, better three, so the product just wasn´t very competitive at all. Apparently, there wasn´t enough demand for connecting travel via CDG either, which seems a bit strange to me as it would never occur to me to travel to Paris by train and catch a flight from there, similar to going to Brussels by train, which is quite annoying when you want to get to the airport.


In fact, if connections weren't timed as stupidly one could easily get from Cologne to CDG by taking the high speed train. Thalys Cologne-Brussels and then a direct connectoin on one of the very frequent TGVs between Brussels and CDG. But the railway companies don't offer well timed connections
 
LJ
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Re: Why did EasyJet, Flybe, Air France, and KLM end flights to Cologne/Bonn (CGN)

Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:35 pm

NichCage wrote:
KLM- The AMS-CGN was axed in January of 2016. Why was it cut? Cologne/Bonn was a destination on the KLM network for a while, and it was sad to see it get cut.


Don't forget that the F70s are leaving KLM and they probably felt that the Embraers were too big for the flight.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Why did EasyJet, Flybe, Air France, and KLM end flights to Cologne/Bonn (CGN)

Sun Jun 26, 2016 9:10 pm

As for o/d traffic trains and even cars make a great alternative to flights between cities that are not that far apart. Lots of people in the Netherlands would never even think of flying when they want to go to Cologne, they just drive there or take the train. Same for Belgium and northern France.

Years ago me and a friend were looking for a cheap holiday and found one on the internet, but the departure airport was CGN. My friend lives in the Netherlands, but very close to the German border so we just drove to CGN and flew from there. Flying from AMS wouldn't make sense since it would almost be as far as CGN and the same holiday with flights from AMS was a whole lot more expensive than with flights from CGN.

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