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1973mcg
Topic Author
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:45 am

Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:06 pm

So 6 years after the previous owners decided they no longer wanted low-cost and charter flights, Durham Tees Valley has announced a new weekly summer service to Burgas with BH Air:

http://www.dtva.co.uk/get-in-touch/medi ... -programme

I guess this is the first positive result of the takeover by the Combined Authority earlier this year, and hopefully signals a return to growth at the airport. The decision to halt leisure flights was very bizarre and a major factor in the collapse in passenger numbers in recent years.
 
emuwarveteran
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:49 pm

Re: Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:14 pm

The previous owners kicked out low-cost and charter carriers? So stupid... small airports thrive off these in Europe, especially charters
CL CRJ9, W6 A320
 
Humberside
Posts: 3239
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:44 am

Re: Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 7:44 pm

1973mcg wrote:
I guess this is the first positive result of the takeover by the Combined Authority earlier this year.

It was announced last year before the takeover
Visit the Air Humberside Website and Forum
 
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nighthawk
Posts: 4890
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 2:33 am

Re: Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 8:46 pm

emuwarveteran wrote:
The previous owners kicked out low-cost and charter carriers? So stupid... small airports thrive off these in Europe, especially charters


Clearly not - the previous management decided to cancel them all, as they were costing more to facilitate than they brought in. Blackpool struggled due to a poor contract with Jet2 also, which ultimately led them to going bankrupt. A lot of airports have bent over backwards to try and attract services, only to end up regretting it.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:16 pm

nighthawk wrote:
emuwarveteran wrote:
The previous owners kicked out low-cost and charter carriers? So stupid... small airports thrive off these in Europe, especially charters


Clearly not - the previous management decided to cancel them all, as they were costing more to facilitate than they brought in. Blackpool struggled due to a poor contract with Jet2 also, which ultimately led them to going bankrupt. A lot of airports have bent over backwards to try and attract services, only to end up regretting it.


True, but what's the alternative?

Network carriers pay more per flight, but there are too little of them. This makes airports can't rely on just network carriers as well, those few flights do not generate enough income to keep an airport operative.

Of course one LCC flight costs too much to handle, you'd make a loss on it. The trick with such flights is to get some volume, to handle more than a few flights a day. The more flights you got, the lower the costs per flight. Right up to the point where otherwise loss-making flights become profitable.

Take Airport Weeze (NRN) for example. Only one airline flies there: Ryanair. However Ryanair has a good number of flights from Weeze every day, which means there's work to be done for the airport staff the whole day long. Weeze is more or less profitable because of that. But if Ryanair would reduce their number of flights from Weeze to one or two flights a day, they wouldn't be profitable anymore. The staff would have nothing to do most of the day, but for those few flights they still need to be there. The costs would remain the same while the income drops.

This is the problem for Durham Tees Valley: not enough flights. Staff having nothing to do for large parts of the day, but required to be there for the few flights they have. An airport cannot live of network carriers alone, they need more flights. They need volume to keep the staff occupied, to cover the costs of employing that staff.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 4884
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

Re: Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:32 pm

Patrickz80 in the UK the staff need not be there all day, we have what are called "zero hour" type contracts for exactly this sort of situation (sadly)
 
davidjohnson6
Posts: 1171
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 10:10 pm

Re: Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:03 pm

Rygge airport near Oslo had the same problem a few years ago - expectation that following changes there would be enough flights to demand plenty of staff, but not enough to cover the costs of keeping the airport open. Airport management decided that there was no immediate prospect of the problem being solved and took the decision to shut down the commercial side of the airport

There remains on Teesside a large piece of land that apart from a few flights per day is substantially deserted - this situation has been ongoing with no sign of significant improvement for 10 years now. Tony Blair as an MP from a nearby area was prime minister for 10 years so if there was to be any significant subsidy to the region to revitalise the local economy, there was plenty of opportunity to do so. The credit crunch began in autumn 2008 - any economic recovery and increased demand for flights should have been present for several years by now

This is not some remote offshore island that relies on the airport for survival - this is an area that has good rail and road links and another airport relatively nearby with 38 times as many passengers in 2018. Furthermore, this other airport is neither in a different country (eg Vienna v Bratislava) nor is there any expectation of it becoming a different country and it has no obvious major strategic value (e.g. Prestwick if Scotland becomes independent)

Populations and industries are not static - they change over time - and what was very beneficial to a community 30 years ago is not necessarily as beneficial as it is now. Passenger use of MME in 2018 was below the level it was 46 years earlier. We generally find over history that as the utility of one type of use of land diminishes, eventually it gets redeveloped into a more effective other purpose. If anything MME is becoming almost a "museum of what airports were like 20 years ago" but with the contorted car parking charges and passenger facility fee and without the fun side of being a museum. After many years of desperately trying to prove how worthy it is, at some point one has to wonder whether a substantial chunk of the land could be put to better alternate use.
 
DBCooper
Posts: 182
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 2:51 am

Re: Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:48 pm

Dear MME,
Please bring back:
1. Air service to LON
2. Rail service and a means of getting from the station to the airport terminal. Do you still have that electric cart?
3. More rental car options
If you do this, I will return and stop flying NCL or taking the train to Darlington.


-DBC
 
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nighthawk
Posts: 4890
Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2001 2:33 am

Re: Holiday flights return to Durham Tees Valley (MME)

Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:37 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
nighthawk wrote:
emuwarveteran wrote:

This is the problem for Durham Tees Valley: not enough flights. Staff having nothing to do for large parts of the day, but required to be there for the few flights they have. An airport cannot live of network carriers alone, they need more flights. They need volume to keep the staff occupied, to cover the costs of employing that staff.


You're right, you need volume to make it count. Below a certain volume it's just not cost effective to do, as Blackpool and Teeside are finding. But you can't just magic up demand from nowhere, it's either there or it isnt. In the case of Blackpool, they realised they couldn't increase flights enough to make it viable, and so took the decision to stop flights and demolish the terminal. Teeside decided charters were costing more than they brought in, and so they cancelled them all. If you're losing money, you cut back on areas that cost more than they bring in.

What's the alternative? Airports don't have to operate commercial flights. There are plenty of airports across the UK that don't have scheduled flights - they instead cater to private jets, GA, or operate as a maintenance base. If your commercial passenger ops are burning a hole in the balance books, then you need to cut them and go down this route. Or give up and sell off the land for housing.

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