|Quoting Reply 118):|
Haha, I think what I'm saying is that one would be setting up SNN for a fall, since the capital will draw the focus, not the 'regional' (I don't mean that in a patronising way, honest!!) airport. There current marketing seems right, if a Mountrath resident isn't even thinking of SNN.
Unless they get a QR or CX etc, then that would be something to stick on the M50 Airport Exit!!!
It is very much of a chicken vs the egg situation. If, (and before someone jumps down my throat, I'm speaking purely hypothetically) SNN
for that matter were ever to attract a CX
, then there is much to be done to lay the foundations for a bold move like that. If I were in charge, I would look at this as a three stage process and would need the guts of 10 to 15 years to implement (i.e. no politicians need apply! Sound, rational minded, educated people motivated by a business success rather than collecting votes).
Firstly, the SAA need to stem the exodus of carriers and routes from the airport and consolidate their position. The most obvious way to to that is increase the passenger throughput. The closure of GWY will be of some benefit but more from a marketing point of view to potential new operators who are looking at the level of competition in the region. I would expect any additional passengers to and from SNN
from GWY will be almost insignificant. The more obvious way however to improve the throughput at SNN
is to expand the reaches of its catchment, something that is much easier nowadays than ever. Like was said, cars can drive both ways on the motorways and if DUB
is "stealing" passengers from our regionals because of the motorways then there is nothing to stop the reverse from happening if the right strategy is implemented. The fact that a Mountrath resident isn't even thinking of SNN
is a kudos to DUB
and the airlines serving it but an obvious lack of oversight by the SAA. Of course they're not going to look at SNN
if the don't know who flies there, where they fly to and most of all, if they somehow still think it is in some obscure backarse of nowhere place that is hard to get to it. So, the SAA should design an advertising campaign do the following:
1) Advertise the airlines that fly there and the routes on offer
2) Emphasise the convenience of SNN
as opposed to DUB
by showing driving times, distances, check in times and the other conveniences of using smaller airports
3) Demonstrate the potential savings on offer not only in terms of air fare but overall cost of trip including getting to and from there
This of course will involve stepping on some toes and will be difficult since the DAA and SAA are effectively one and the same and one of the arguments that proponents of an autonomous SNN
(of which I'm not one) use on a regular basis. There should also be a campaign designed to draw passengers from oversees. Those who are looking at Ireland and trying to decide which parts they would like to visit. Remember FR
did manage to put through over 2 million passengers at the height of their operation. I know it was unsustainable and very poor yielding traffic but it was there. The biggest criticism of the FR
base is it failed to bring any significant amount of inbound traffic, mainly because like those in the midlands, most of them didn't know where SNN
was and what there was on offer in the region. Again an advertising campaign in the destinations served from SNN
could potentially bring in more passengers rather than relying solely on feed from the SNN
end of things.
Secondly, the once their position has been consolidated, then the SAA have some bargaining power. They will have data to prove passenger numbers are growing and they are coming from new markets. It will be a hell of alot easier to convince new airlines that routes are viable from there if existing routes are performing. The first stage of route development should be growth of existing services in terms of frequency and/or aircraft size. The second stage should be focused on a few of the more obvious short haul routes to larger hub airports such as CDG
, preferably on the hub operators at these airports. Again, a slow steady approach is best rather than the FR
like bubble that existed in the last decade.
Finally, once SNN
has proven itself capable of competing with DUB
for passengers to destinations served from both airports, then they can look at the holy grail of new markets from Ireland with big legacy carriers such as CX
As I said, this is all hyopthetical and there are alot of ifs and buts but if I were in charge, that would be my business strategy.
Airports: SNN GWY NOC DUB ORK BOS EWR JFK ORD MCI BOI SEA LHR STN CDG LYS FAO GVA HKG MEL ADL HBA