Happy new year and welcome to the 2019 MAN News thread.
To recap some of the recent news from the back end of 2018:
- SAS have added Manchester to Aarhus.
VS have increased frequencies to ATL (5 weekly B744 up from 3 weekly B744) and JFK (daily A330 up from 3 weekly B744) for W19/20.
UA are soon to use of the B764 replacing the B752
QR increase to triple daily (which I believe is all A359)
CX extended use of the A35K in the winter and summer peak
AA using the B788 on PHL
El Al appears from May
EZY and RYR have clear plans for expansion subject to terminal space (RYR were unable to base 5 additional units due to terminal capacity constraints.
ET and 9W started their routes to ADD (via BRU) and BOM respectively towards the end of 2018. Both airlines have made positive (but fairly generic) noises about frequency increases to daily and in the case of ET decoupling from BRU.
On strategic development of new/existing routes:
China appears to have gone quiet following the bilateral fiasco, and the strategy has apparently shifted towards India (DEL specifically) and north east Asia (TYO and ICN in particular). Quite where TG are with MAN is anyone's guess.
CX and SQ are worth keeping an eye on in 2019. CX have already expanded to the larger A35K over the winter and summer “peaks” and I would not be surprised to see some additional frequencies (seasonal or otherwise) on the A359 announced in 2019. SQ have previously applied for a 6th weekly rotation on the existing route to IAH via MAN, and that appears to be in their thinking moving forward.
The new pier 1 should open in around 12 weeks time. It looks to be a dramatic improvement on what is currently in situ, but perhaps falls short of initial expectations. We will see how the terminal extension shapes up over the next 12 months, including the look and feel as well and should find out some of the new F&B and retail tenants imminently. We should also get news on the next build phases, including the detailed plans for the next pier and MSCP.
On other points:
The situations of 9W and BE are worth keeping an eye on for MAN. Should one or more fold, MAN would stand to lose its main UK local connectivity (including domestic feed to long haul) and its only year round route to India. MAN has done a good job of replacing the capacity lost from Monarch's collapse, so you wouldn't bet against them being able to do the same with BE and 9W, but I'm certain they'd rather be looking to develop the business further than backfill.
The potential purchase of BE by VS is worth watching. If VS proceeds with a purchase, and decides to optimise BE's network to better support VS' long haul feed, MAN appears to be in pole position to benefit.
Finally, this month sees the start of construction for the Hut Group's new HQ at Airport City. The investment for this alone outstrips MAG's investment in the current phase of the TP. There are also five (I think?) new hotels at various stages from planning to construction on the campus, as well as new warehousing and speculative office developments at airport city.
In summary, and with the usual (and this year not so usual) caveats - it is all systems go.