User avatar
JakubH
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:15 pm

How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:39 am

Assuming that the intended goal is to grow a small airport into a financially sustainable operation (aka it is not forever subsidized by the government), what are some of the case studies/best practices from around the world for doing so?

More specifically, multi-year efforts to do so have been seen in the Czech Republic where the capital airport (Prague, PRG) is growing at close to 20% YoY yet the two main regional airports (Brno, BRQ and Ostrava, OSR) are trying to stay above water and are largely dependent on their respective region's financial support. Since PRG is decidedly the key international hub in the country and reachable from Brno and Ostrava in about 4 hours, how great is the potential of these two smaller airports to succeed in a thriving economy? For businessmen working in either of the two smaller cities, existing connectivity is not optimal, especially for one-day trips, and for foreign firms, this may be a disincentive to consider otherwise thriving and affordable regions for investment.

I suppose the best-case scenario would be to have regular flights in the morning and evening to/from one or more of the following: MUC, FRA, WAV, AMS/CDG, ZRH and (ultimately) LHR from at least one of the two airports (aside from more leisurely seasonal traffic to southern and other destinations). Can this ever be achieved?

Are there things the government/airport operators can do on their own to make the respective regional airports work? Or is this purely a question of regional economic performance and proximity of existing alternatives that determine success of a small airport like the two ones in question?

Quick characteristics:
BRQ serves a region of about 1-1.5 million and the second-largest Czech city (400,000) with growing biotech, computing and manufacturing sectors. It's also a university town and relatively popular with tourists. VIE is about 100 miles away and accessible by bus or train (in around 3 hours). BMI regional flies to MUC 1-2x daily, Ryanair 6x weekly to STN and Wizzair 3x weekly to LTN. 2016 traffic was about 210,000 PX on regular and 210,000 PX on charter flights. Also 4,100t of cargo. BRQ is about 25 minutes away from downtown Brno.

OSR serves a region of about 1 million and the third-largest Czech city (300,000) with car manufacturing, heavy industry and energy companies. Also a university city with a markedly improving quality of life, but a limited tourist appeal. Nearest airports are KTW (1.5 hours away by car), KRK (2 hours away, but much less convenient) and VIE (4 hours by train/car/bus). CSA flies 3x daily to PRG, Ryanair 4x weekly to STN and 2x weekly to BGY (Bergamo). 2016 traffic was 191,000 PX on regular flights and 47,000 PX on charter flights. Also 4,100t of cargo. OSR is about 30 minutes away from downtown Ostrava.
A regular since 2000. Home bases in Los Angeles and Prague.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 2322
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:57 am

Most of these small regional airports are low-cost airports, mainly dominated by Ryanair and Wizzair. Other than those, the chances of any airline serving them are practically zero and I think there's not much that can be done about that.
 
A350
Posts: 1065
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:40 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:28 am

I worked for some years near to Dresden Airport (DRS) whoch may be in a more or less similar situation. It's a city with 500,000 inhabitants in eastern Saxony with some lectronics industry and a university. Saxony itself has 4 million inhabitants, but a bigger airport in the west with LEJ.

DRS itself is struggling and AFAIK loss-making, but has some scheduled flights to FRA, MUC, ZRH, STR, etc. and some leisure flights. It has no LCCs beyond Eurowings/Germanwings. It's a nice airport with suburb train connection to Dresden city and the motorway. It is operationally making money but financially losing money because of the credits for the terminal.

The only thing the government can really do beyond building the airport IMO is to set up a good railway and road connection. This is the case in DRS and leads to the strange situation that the aiport is darely needed by the local industry but still loss-making.
 
SCQ83
Posts: 3854
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 8:32 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:49 am

Wizzair has made EIN-BRQ seasonal; it used to be year-round. So it doesn't think like things are improving or the market is there.

Btw Ryanair has started flights to Pardubice which is really close to PRG. Are those subsidised?
 
oldannyboy
Posts: 1796
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:28 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:12 am

Not much you can do to "make an airport grow" in actual fact. There is only so much growth that can be stimulated -and often with costly, debatable and unfeasible (in the long run) artificial subsidies and gimmicks. I mean, if the customer base is not there, it's not there. Pax numbers can sustainably grow if the attraction factor of a destination increases over time, for one reason (a theme park) or another (a cluster of factories).
Prague serves one of Europe's greatest capitals... a city of immense beauty, and with a rich cultural heritage, so that explains why the airport has grown so much in the post-communist decades, but at the same time, given Prague's lack of industry and technology, the traffic is very much leisure oriented, and this is evident by the sheer numbers of LCCs serving the airport, vis-à-vis the small number of long-haul business carriers.
I admit I don't know Brno, but I once visited Ostrava on business, and the light manufacturing industrial precinct there seemed pretty small and the town -albeit pretty- had a very provincial feel. We flew there via Vienna as there were no direct flights, other that Ryanair from STN.... kind of a tell-tale sign if you ask me...
 
User avatar
hippogryphe
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:43 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:15 am

Brno-Eindhoven has just been discontinued altogether. BRQ traffic has been down substantially in the last couple years, double digit percentages. The region and city are subsidizing at least the MUC flights, which recently went twice daily, and have been telling the press that 5+ new destinations are coming soon. They have also just, last week, changed the operating company at the airport. The subsidies are broadly unpopular among the general public, so unlimited extension of them is likely not possible, particularly as the authorities have a fairly large number of flashy and expensive infrastructure projects in the works. Without them I am not optimistic about the future of anything but summer charters and the longstanding Ryanair London flight. I agree that local companies and investment would benefit from better network connections but people I speak to don't seem to mind the trek to Vienna (it's actually only about 80 miles, not 100) or even to Prague, which I personally find very inconvenient. Bratislava also draws away a lot of low-cost tourist traffic. I don't know much about the situation in Ostrava but Brno is generally a much more vibrant place; if it's not working much here, it's not going to fly up there.
 
Bhoy
Posts: 104
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 1:50 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:15 pm

A350 wrote:
DRS itself is struggling and AFAIK loss-making, but has some scheduled flights to FRA, MUC, ZRH, STR, etc. and some leisure flights. It has no LCCs beyond Eurowings/Germanwings.

Not strictly true, easyJet have 4 flights a week from DRS to BSL. But yeah, it's just Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun.
 
User avatar
SheikhDjibouti
Posts: 999
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 4:59 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:16 pm

JakubH wrote:
Assuming that the intended goal is to grow a small airport into a financially sustainable operation (aka it is not forever subsidized by the government), what are some of the case studies/best practices from around the world for doing so?

TBH, what you need is a miracle.
No, seriously.

It has worked for these places...
LDE Tarbes–LOURDES–Pyrénées Airport
SCQ Santiago de Compostela Airport
NOC KNOCK Ireland West Airport

and of course, the biggest one of all
Mecca (Hajj Flights etc)
I promised myself I'd leave before the party turned ugly. I would quit at 1000 !
Here I am stuck at 994; each time I'm tempted to post, I find myself wondering who will even read it / what is the point?
Or maybe I've just got nothing left to say.
 
User avatar
Loew
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:00 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:36 pm

Generally I would say the first step would be selling these airports to people/companies who actually know what they are doing. Sorry, but local governments do not have the best reputation for running any business, including the "Local government" business. Then again, just by looking at the map, BRQ is simply way too close to both VIE and PRG. Instead of throwing large piles of tax payers money into this airport operation for decades, it would surely be cheaper (maybe even profitable) to just offer a direct train from Brno to VIE.

While OSR is a slightly different story as there is only one medium sized airport within 2 hours car drive, that being the KRK airport, still getting airlines to fly to OSR would incur huge subsidies, and again it is clearly cheaper for local government to just pay for a train/bus line from OSR to KRK. Domestic flight PRG-OSR can be easily replaced by train as well.

Actually I am aware of only two profitable international airports, in the former Czechoslovakia, PRG and KSC, the latter one being a small airport, approximately of the BRQ size, but without any competition within 3 hours drive and under a competent VIE management and ownership.
 
dfpinto
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 2:48 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:32 pm

You would need to advertise in international markets and tourism fairs a product branded as "South Moravia". Brno is a very beautiful charming city and already very popular with students and backpackers, but, as an example, how many people know that South Moravia is also a Wine region? I spent once a couple of days in a village close to Breclav during new wine season. It was an amazing experience, but I only got there through some Czech friends who organized the whole visit.

I know it is easier said than done and I know Czechs are still skeptical about a tourism invasion in their homes, but it is the only way I see potential in BRQ.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:59 pm

Loew wrote:
Actually I am aware of only two profitable international airports, in the former Czechoslovakia, PRG and KSC, the latter one being a small airport, approximately of the BRQ size, but without any competition within 3 hours drive and under a competent VIE management and ownership.


Actually, there is competition within 3 hours of drive from KSC. BUD. And it's getting a lot of traffic that could go to KSC. The reason is the awful timing of flights from KSC for longhaul connections.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
mjoelnir
Posts: 6968
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:06 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:27 pm

If a region needs an airport and flights to grow industry, the region has to subsidies the airport and flights. Infrastructure costs money. Airports and being able to travel by air is part of infrastructure. It is an absurd concept to subsidies trucking, car and bus travel by building the roads and than talk about it not being possible to subsidies air travel. Why should cars, trucks and buses and their users get the infrastructure free while rail and air travel pays everything for itself?
If to four hours by car you would add 100 EUR for road use, driving could suddenly look much less attractive compared to flying.
 
User avatar
Slash787
Posts: 604
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:37 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:32 pm

Well to make any small airport to grow, tell Ryan Air to fly there.
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 2322
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:54 pm

SCQ83 wrote:
Btw Ryanair has started flights to Pardubice which is really close to PRG. Are those subsidised?


Maybe they are, maybe not. However the thing is that landing fees in Pardubice are most likely lower than in Prague. Ryanair is known for serving alternative airports to save on landing fees, so in this case Pardubice has the upper hand over Prague for being cheaper. Not that Prague is very expensive, but still more expensive than Pardubice.

Loew wrote:
Then again, just by looking at the map, BRQ is simply way too close to both VIE and PRG. Instead of throwing large piles of tax payers money into this airport operation for decades, it would surely be cheaper (maybe even profitable) to just offer a direct train from Brno to VIE.


I have to disagree on that. For each expensive major airport there needs to be a cheaper alternative. Vienna and Prague are the expensive major airports, they serve the upper class market. You pay a little more, but you get to fly from a big luxury airport close to the major city. But not everyone is looking for that. Some people prefer to pay less and get less in return, that's what the alternative airports are for. They're less convenient, offer less service and often cater to cheaper airlines. What makes these airports attractive is their low landing and handling fees.
 
incitatus
Posts: 3169
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:49 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:08 pm

Luxury airports...? Luxury airports don't serve commercial airlines!

Airlines like Ryanair work in routes that have either end: 1. A large pool of people looking for affordable travel, 2. A tourist attraction people want to fly to.

If Brno can't quite make it to either list, then the best bet is to attract network carriers like Lufthansa, Swiss and Air France. But they will initially come in with smaller aircraft and will be happy to take a mediocre load factor and high fares. The market has to prove good enough for them to switch to larger aircraft.

But is there enough business travelers to support their ramp-up?
Conservatives against Trump
 
User avatar
Loew
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:00 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:55 pm

WildcatYXU wrote:
Loew wrote:
Actually I am aware of only two profitable international airports, in the former Czechoslovakia, PRG and KSC, the latter one being a small airport, approximately of the BRQ size, but without any competition within 3 hours drive and under a competent VIE management and ownership.


Actually, there is competition within 3 hours of drive from KSC. BUD. And it's getting a lot of traffic that could go to KSC. The reason is the awful timing of flights from KSC for longhaul connections.


I would not call it exactly within 3 hours, if anything it is 3 hours and more depending on traffic. It is true though that KSC is losing some traffic to BUD. Still, it is a small airport making money so lets stay on the topic.
 
User avatar
Loew
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:00 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:07 pm

PatrickZ80 wrote:
SCQ83 wrote:
Btw Ryanair has started flights to Pardubice which is really close to PRG. Are those subsidised?


Maybe they are, maybe not. However the thing is that landing fees in Pardubice are most likely lower than in Prague. Ryanair is known for serving alternative airports to save on landing fees, so in this case Pardubice has the upper hand over Prague for being cheaper. Not that Prague is very expensive, but still more expensive than Pardubice.

Loew wrote:
Then again, just by looking at the map, BRQ is simply way too close to both VIE and PRG. Instead of throwing large piles of tax payers money into this airport operation for decades, it would surely be cheaper (maybe even profitable) to just offer a direct train from Brno to VIE.


I have to disagree on that. For each expensive major airport there needs to be a cheaper alternative. Vienna and Prague are the expensive major airports, they serve the upper class market. You pay a little more, but you get to fly from a big luxury airport close to the major city. But not everyone is looking for that. Some people prefer to pay less and get less in return, that's what the alternative airports are for. They're less convenient, offer less service and often cater to cheaper airlines. What makes these airports attractive is their low landing and handling fees.


Sorry but VIE already has an low cost and much more conveniently located alternative: BTS. As for PRG I would not call it exactly a "luxury airport", but I get what you mean. Still BRQ can´t be a low cost alternative to PRG, because first of all there are already loads of LCC airlines flying into PRG, and if any of those airlines would want to change for some cheaper alternative, then PED is much closer to PRG, and also definitely cheaper than BRQ. Besides, lets not forget that there is already another airport in Prague, that could be changed into a LCC airport, as well as there are already plans to do so, and that airport is VOD.
 
drdisque
Posts: 612
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:57 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:33 pm

OST has the more appealing demographic/geography as it is more isolated from large airports, so it is less likely to leak, and its local market is likely strong, even though it is a slightly smaller market.

They would be best off offering an incentive package to a European network carrier and/or their regional affiliate to begin service to a non slot-controlled hub.

The top two suggestions would be KLM Cityhopper on OSR-AMS and Lufthansa Regional on OSR-MUC. The issue is that the smallest aircraft either of these airlines has is the E-175 for Cityhopper and the CRJ-900 for LH. So the hurdle they have to clear is much higher than it was when there were a lot of 30 seat props on branded regional service in Europe.

Another option might be something on the LX code to ZRH.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:33 pm

Loew wrote:
I would not call it exactly within 3 hours, if anything it is 3 hours and more depending on traffic. It is true though that KSC is losing some traffic to BUD. Still, it is a small airport making money so lets stay on the topic.


Yes, 1.6 mil Euros in 2016. I'd love to contribute too, but with the current flight structure it won't happen anytime soon.
What I see as a problem is that the management seems to be living in the past. I see no indications that they would market themselves as an airport serving the whole region instead as an airport serving eastern Slovakia.
And as far as being on topic or not, we'll see how much traffic will KSC bleed to BUD once the M30 is finished in its full lenght.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
User avatar
holcakker
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:47 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:34 pm

Loew wrote:
While OSR is a slightly different story as there is only one medium sized airport within 2 hours car drive, that being the KRK airport, still getting airlines to fly to OSR would incur huge subsidies, and again it is clearly cheaper for local government to just pay for a train/bus line from OSR to KRK.


Katowice is even closer to Ostrava than Krakow with significant traffic (served by 25 airlines and used by 3,2 million pax in 2016).
 
User avatar
holcakker
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:47 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:40 pm

WildcatYXU wrote:
Loew wrote:
Actually I am aware of only two profitable international airports, in the former Czechoslovakia, PRG and KSC, the latter one being a small airport, approximately of the BRQ size, but without any competition within 3 hours drive and under a competent VIE management and ownership.


Actually, there is competition within 3 hours of drive from KSC. BUD. And it's getting a lot of traffic that could go to KSC. The reason is the awful timing of flights from KSC for longhaul connections.


Plus Debrecen (285k pax), Poprad (84k pax) and Rzeszów (664k pax) versus the 437k pax handled by Kosice in 2016.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:48 pm

holcakker wrote:

Plus Debrecen (285k pax), Poprad (84k pax) and Rzeszów (664k pax).


I didn't know that Debrecen has commercial service. I was under impression that the airport there is purely military (not that there wasn't strong military presence at KSC in the past).

I'd take off RZE from the list of possible competitors for KSC, since the drive there from Slovakia is awful. I needed 4 hours to cover the 205 km between RZE and my destination in southeastern Slovakia 3 years ago. And it was summer, I don't even want to think how would it look like on a snowy winter day.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
User avatar
holcakker
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:47 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:08 pm

There is only civil traffic in DEB (Wizz, Lufthansa and charters). It's not used for mil flights since the Russians left. This year's traffic is expected to be 10-15% more as the airport had 274.000 passengers until the end of October.
 
PatrickM
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 8:08 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:36 pm

Bhoy wrote:
A350 wrote:
DRS itself is struggling and AFAIK loss-making, but has some scheduled flights to FRA, MUC, ZRH, STR, etc. and some leisure flights. It has no LCCs beyond Eurowings/Germanwings.

Not strictly true, easyJet have 4 flights a week from DRS to BSL. But yeah, it's just Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun.


+ those flights are in the late evening - not so great if you choose a transit flight via BSL..
 
User avatar
JakubH
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:15 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:37 pm

drdisque wrote:
OST has the more appealing demographic/geography as it is more isolated from large airports, so it is less likely to leak, and its local market is likely strong, even though it is a slightly smaller market.

The top two suggestions would be KLM Cityhopper on OSR-AMS and Lufthansa Regional on OSR-MUC. The issue is that the smallest aircraft either of these airlines has is the E-175 for Cityhopper and the CRJ-900 for LH. So the hurdle they have to clear is much higher than it was when there were a lot of 30 seat props on branded regional service in Europe.

Another option might be something on the LX code to ZRH.


These jets need to fill about 80 seats each way. Given the level of business activity near Brno and Ostrava is high (and that most Czechs still rely on PRG and VIE for business travel rather then trecking to KTW or KRK), I am surprised neither BRQ nor OSR have been able to fill a 3-4x weekly to either AMS, ZRH or MUC (though BRQ has BMI regional which is anecdotally 70% full, despite the problematic schedule - arrival to BRQ at 12:00, departure 12:30 during the day, and arriving at 18:30, departing 19.00 in the evening).

What about a triangle like this on workdays?
ZRH - OSR (2000-2115, overnight stay) 1,2,3,4
OSR- MUC (0600-0700) 2,3,4,5
MUC - OSR (1630-1730) 2,3,4,5
OSR - ZRH (1800-1915) 2,3,4,5

That way, connectivity to long-hauls and EU destinations at MUC is ensured, a single overnight is required for business trips to Switzerland/beyond, and 1/2 day visits to Moravia are easy to arrange from most European destinations? As someone said, OSR seems like a better candidate than BRQ, also given a train connection from key cities and a lack of easy access to another hub. I also think MUC and ZRH just make more sense given their relative proximity (compared to AMS, say) and connections to the rest of the continent/world.

This suggestion covers business travel for 1200+ people in Moravia every week - not a crazy number for a thriving region, I would think.

This sounds idealistic, but if you bear with me, how could one turn this into reality?
Last edited by JakubH on Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
A regular since 2000. Home bases in Los Angeles and Prague.
 
Travelmanager
Posts: 129
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:38 pm

At the end of the day, the focus should be on building PRG. CSA Czech isn't doing so well and I heard that they were being sold to a different Czech carrier. In the long term, I can't help but feel that the country wouldn't be better served via enhanced/faster rail service to PRG from the cities that are a couple hours away. PRG might be growing 20% y over y, but there has been aggressive growth in the other competing capital airports in the region and the focus needs to stay on building a the main airport. Your question is multifaceted, but for a country the size of the Czech Republic 1 main airport is the right approach.
 
User avatar
Loew
Posts: 82
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:00 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:12 pm

holcakker wrote:
WildcatYXU wrote:
Loew wrote:
Actually I am aware of only two profitable international airports, in the former Czechoslovakia, PRG and KSC, the latter one being a small airport, approximately of the BRQ size, but without any competition within 3 hours drive and under a competent VIE management and ownership.


Actually, there is competition within 3 hours of drive from KSC. BUD. And it's getting a lot of traffic that could go to KSC. The reason is the awful timing of flights from KSC for longhaul connections.


Plus Debrecen (285k pax), Poprad (84k pax) and Rzeszów (664k pax) versus the 437k pax handled by Kosice in 2016.


TAT is a charter only airport, except for W6 flight to LTN. Same flight is operated from KSC by the same airline. DEB is almost the same story, with one scheduled service to Munich by LH, and one scheduled W6 service to TLV. As for RZE, it has a scheduled LO service to WAW, which KSC has too and a few FR flights to various UK destinations, plus MUC by LH. KSC is clearly lacking connection to either MUC or FRA by LH. Other than that, these airports are not really threatening KSC position. Now im not saying KSC is the best airport in the world, with the best management in the world, but in the region in question, this airport doing quite well. And since the OP asked how to grow a small international airport, I am just pointing my finger to a small international airport, in that region which is doing reasonably well.
 
User avatar
hippogryphe
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:43 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:26 pm

International business has been booming in Brno in recent years, and any growth at BRQ should be aimed at improving network connections, not low cost. There are few tourists in Brno relatively speaking and little to no interest among locals at seeing any more. From what has been hinted at in the papers by the airport authorities, however, it's looking like more LCC/tourist heavy traffic. (Although a return of Moscow service is rumoured, which would be relatively useful for business.) I don't know whether this is a failure of strategy on the part of the city/region (highly possible, the responsible people are fairly thick) or just taking what they can get. I would think that the local economy would be more than capable of filling, e.g., two well-timed E-170s or CRJ-700s to a major hub daily but then again even business travellers in East/Central Europe are pretty price sensitive and most people don't seem to mind driving to Vienna or even Prague. If the economy continues as it is for another five years or so, it's probably inevitable but I don't see the current promises delivering much very useful.
 
User avatar
JakubH
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:15 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:26 pm

Travelmanager wrote:
At the end of the day, the focus should be on building PRG. CSA Czech isn't doing so well and I heard that they were being sold to a different Czech carrier. In the long term, I can't help but feel that the country wouldn't be better served via enhanced/faster rail service to PRG from the cities that are a couple hours away. PRG might be growing 20% y over y, but there has been aggressive growth in the other competing capital airports in the region and the focus needs to stay on building a the main airport. Your question is multifaceted, but for a country the size of the Czech Republic 1 main airport is the right approach.


In my view, this hinders business ties with the region - a trip to PRG from Brno or Ostrava (and surrounding cities) is at least 3 hours long + wait time at PRG. That makes one day trips hard to do - and limits long-haul connectivity without an overnight in Prague. What does not help is CSA's weak network and absence of solid long-haul connectivity, which Travel Service (new owner) is unlikely to build quickly. Giving 30-40% of the country a direct link to a global hub, in my mind, still makes business and strategic sense, even if they never start competing with Prague in any significant way.

Plus foreign investors might notice and follow the lead of Hyundai (Korea), Doosan (Korea), Siemens (Germany), Bosch (Germany), Honeywell (USA), Toyota (Japan), IBM (USA), Red Hat (USA), Continental (Germany) etc., all of which have invested in the region.
A regular since 2000. Home bases in Los Angeles and Prague.
 
USAOZ
Posts: 443
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:34 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:29 pm

not central Europe but maybe look at Wellcamp Brisbane West (WTB) (just renamed Toowoomba)

http://www.wellcamp.com.au/

BNE(Brisbane) is Australia's 3rd busiest airport, soon to become 2nd busiest after SYD.

By road WTB/BNE is around 2 hour drive, as long as not driving in peak hour(158 km)

There are also 2 other international airports nearby Gold Coast (OOL) 2.5 hours drive, 222 kms away, a low cost alternative to BNE on beach in big tourist area & Sunshine Coast Maroochydore(MCY) 3 hours/239 kms.

WTB was privately built in record time, by wealthy local family.

In only a few years after it was cattle paddocks, it now has a regular 747F flights to HKG + many daily flights to BNE, SYD, MEL, CNS + smaller aircraft Saab 340's to small regional towns.

The owners thinking long term, have said it will probably not make money in short term, but will benefit the area enormously. WTB is surround by millions of square kilometres of farms & they export much via 747F. Population in Toowoomba is only around 115,000 but another 50,000 in towns west within ~3 hours drive (there are no other airports of any size west of WTB, that can take anything bigger than a Saab 340)

Private owners have made a success of WTB in a very short time. They got virtually no assistance at all from local, state or federal govts, with possible exception of some slightly improved roads near the new airport.

Toowoomba has a small airport TWB, which commercial Saab 340's & similar used to fly into.
 
USAOZ
Posts: 443
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2017 4:34 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:31 pm

USAOZ wrote:
not central Europe but maybe look at Wellcamp Brisbane West (WTB) (just renamed Toowoomba)

http://www.wellcamp.com.au/

BNE(Brisbane) is Australia's 3rd busiest airport, soon to become 2nd busiest after SYD.

By road WTB/BNE is around 2 hour drive, as long as not driving in peak hour(158 km)

There are also 2 other international airports nearby Gold Coast (OOL) 2.5 hours drive, 222 kms away, a low cost alternative to BNE on beach in big tourist area & Sunshine Coast Maroochydore(MCY) 3 hours/239 kms.

WTB was privately built in record time, by wealthy local family.

In only a few years after it was cattle paddocks, it now has a regular 747F flights to HKG + many daily flights to BNE, SYD, MEL, CNS + smaller aircraft Saab 340's to small regional towns.

The owners thinking long term, have said it will probably not make money in short term, but will benefit the area enormously. WTB is surround by millions of square kilometres of farms & they export much via 747F. Population in Toowoomba is only around 115,000 but another 50,000 in towns west within ~3 hours drive (there are no other airports of any size west of WTB, that can take anything bigger than a Saab 340)

Private owners have made a success of WTB in a very short time. They got virtually no assistance at all from local, state or federal govts, with possible exception of some slightly improved roads near the new airport.

Many people have suggested that the Wagners who own the airport, should be running the country, as they get things done, as Australian politicians are totally useless, like everywhere.

Toowoomba has a small airport TWB, which commercial Saab 340's & similar used to fly into.
 
User avatar
JakubH
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:15 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:59 am

USAOZ wrote:
not central Europe but maybe look at Wellcamp Brisbane West (WTB) (just renamed Toowoomba)

http://www.wellcamp.com.au/
...
The owners thinking long term, have said it will probably not make money in short term, but will benefit the area enormously. WTB is surround by millions of square kilometres of farms & they export much via 747F. Population in Toowoomba is only around 115,000 but another 50,000 in towns west within ~3 hours drive (there are no other airports of any size west of WTB, that can take anything bigger than a Saab 340)

Private owners have made a success of WTB in a very short time. They got virtually no assistance at all from local, state or federal govts, with possible exception of some slightly improved roads near the new airport.

Toowoomba has a small airport TWB, which commercial Saab 340's & similar used to fly into.

A fascinating case. Saab 340s were used by two (now defunct) airlines flying out of OSR in the past - but their isolation from network careers made the flights unsustainable. I wonder if a long-term lease of one or two smaller planes, preferably jets, (while operating for LH/LX/KL) would be financially viable - maybe even with a subsidy at first. For firms to rely on it, such flights would need to be year-round and at least 4-5x weekly both in the morning and evening.
A regular since 2000. Home bases in Los Angeles and Prague.
 
Pe@rson
Posts: 16476
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 6:29 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:47 am

USAOZ wrote:
(there are no other airports of any size west of WTB, that can take anything bigger than a Saab 340)


Just a technical point. CCL, RMA, LRE, XTO, CTL, etc., all have DH3 and, for all but XTO, DH4 flights.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
flyfresno
Posts: 522
Joined: Tue May 02, 2006 6:18 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:31 am

Košice, Slovakia (KSC) is in a similar situation. The airport does fairly well for its size, but I’m sure, like almost every airport, it wants to grow more. The large number of auto and other manufacturing plants nearby helps a lot. Aside from a small amount of skiing and a few castles, there isn’t much to draw leisure/tourism to that region. Other than VIE, PRG, and IST, all their service seems to be vacation leisure related going outbound. I’m sure the airport markets itself in the far western part of Ukraine, Northeast Hungary, and Southeast Poland, and it would be interesting to see just how big of a catchment area they really have.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:00 pm

flyfresno wrote:
Košice, Slovakia (KSC) is in a similar situation. The airport does fairly well for its size, but I’m sure, like almost every airport, it wants to grow more. The large number of auto and other manufacturing plants nearby helps a lot. Aside from a small amount of skiing and a few castles, there isn’t much to draw leisure/tourism to that region. Other than VIE, PRG, and IST, all their service seems to be vacation leisure related going outbound. I’m sure the airport markets itself in the far western part of Ukraine, Northeast Hungary, and Southeast Poland, and it would be interesting to see just how big of a catchment area they really have.


The population of the Kosice district is about 800000. I'd add the Presov district except for the far north east, that would be another 700k. So the natural catchment area would have a population about 1.5 mil. Proper advertisement could expand that to the Zakarpatia Oblast in the Ukraine - another 1.2 million. Counties of Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen and Szabolcs-Szatmar in Hungary could add another 1.5 million. Even Satu Mare county in Romania isn't too far away and could add about 350k. So we are talking about a potential catchment area with a population of approximately 5 million. However, poor areas with not too much industry, so not too much business traffic. OTOH there are lots of expats and emigrants originating in the area (including myself), so there could be at least quite sizeable VFR traffic. I don't think KSC is doing enough to tap into this potential. I have yet to hear about somebody from Miskolc picking KSC as the departure point over BUD.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
User avatar
hippogryphe
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:43 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:23 am

I went searching for the article I recently read, and mentioned above, about falling passenger numbers at regional Czech airports. I was unable to find it – perhaps I am the victim of a hallucination – but I did find some interesting bits and pieces.

First off, just yesterday Ryanair announced Pardubice-Alicante from summer, the only such service from the Czech Republic. Numbers in Pardubice must be looking solid. http://zdopravy.cz/ryanair-prekvapil-z- ... ante-4353/

Next, there is an interview with the regional governor of South Moravia, stating this his number one priority is transportation, improvement of the highway connection to Vienna being specifically mentioned but also expansion of the airport. I quote, "I'm working on nothing but trying to expand the airport. Unfortunately, Brno is not very attractive to the big airlines." https://brnensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region ... 71112.html

Last Friday it was announced a company called Accolade, about which I know nothing, is taking over operations of BRQ. https://brnensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region ... 71110.html

And finally there is this piece from the end of October about the ending of the Brno-Eindhoven connection, in which the mayor claims there could be 5 new destinations in the spring. Rome is persistently mentioned but the article says they are looking primarily eastward. https://brnensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region ... 71028.html
 
LH982
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:28 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:50 am

BMI code share with Lufthansa on the Munich - Brno flights, so they already have the network feed. I would have thought a Munich - Ostrava service would also work, as it would provide Lufthansa feed and is useful for the automotive industry links.

I'm not sure if a link to a hub further west would help, as it could involve a lot of back tracking.
 
User avatar
JakubH
Topic Author
Posts: 60
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:15 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:38 am

hippogryphe wrote:
And finally there is this piece from the end of October about the ending of the Brno-Eindhoven connection, in which the mayor claims there could be 5 new destinations in the spring. Rome is persistently mentioned but the article says they are looking primarily eastward. https://brnensky.denik.cz/zpravy_region ... 71028.html

Oh well, the never-ending fascination with Eastern destinations - the same applies for OK as an airline, which has undermined its own network by following this strategy. 5 destinations are not unthinkable, though more likely from Ostrava, I might say. ZRH, MUC, AMS CDG and BRU are the best choices, with a potential for DME one day, I think.

LH982 wrote:
BMI code share with Lufthansa on the Munich - Brno flights, so they already have the network feed. I would have thought a Munich - Ostrava service would also work, as it would provide Lufthansa feed and is useful for the automotive industry links. I'm not sure if a link to a hub further west would help, as it could involve a lot of back tracking.

They do - as I mentioned earlier, I think timing of that flight is unfortunate. It does not work for one-day trips and limits connections to long haul flights too. Fingers crossed smart people work at BMI and BRQ/OSR to negotiate a better solution.

OSR might indeed have a better position for these key connectors to European hubs - even if it's just 3x weekly to each of them... Something like:
Star Alliance - 2x 0.5 plane needed, one from ZRH, another from BRU
ZRH - OSR (2000-2115, overnight stay) 1,2,4
OSR- MUC (0600-0700) 2,3,5
MUC - OSR (1630-1730) 2,3,5
OSR - ZRH (1800-1915) 2,3,5
BRU - OSR (1900-2100, overnight stay) 3,4,7
OSR - BRU (0700-0900) 1,4,5

SkyTeam - 0.5 plane needed from AMS
AMS - OSR (2100-2300, overnight stay) 7,1,4
OSR - CDG (0630-0830) 1,2,5
CDG - OSR (1600-1800) 1,2,5
OSR - AMS (1830-2030) 1,2,5

This would accomplish regular:
- business flights to Munich (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, in the morning; returns same day)
- business flights to Brussels (Monday, Thursday, Friday, in the morning)
- business flights to Amsterdam (Monday, Tuesday, Friday, in the evening)
- business flights to Zurich (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, in the evening)
- business flights to Paris (Monday, Tuesday, Friday, in the morning, return same day)
- direct long-haul connectivity at Munich, Brussels, Paris
- weekend tourist trips to Amsterdam and extended weekend trips (3-day weekends) to Munich, Zurich, Brussels, Amsterdam and Paris.

Sure, this shouts idealism but why not in a booming economy like the Czech one?

Assuming 80-seaters with, say, 60 filled seats needed for profitability, this amounts to just over 18,700 passengers needed to each of these destinations over a year, or less than 100,000 scheduled passengers combined. With redundancy built in for cancellations and the ability to substitute between airports, this would make business pax and tourists alike more willing to fly out of an otherwise smaller airport. In an economy sustaining 12+ million passengers traveling from Prague and many more from VIE, I cannot see why this should be hard to accomplish, especially given the excellent train connectivity of OSR to most of Moravia (which could be further streamlined).

Finally, Ostrava has a growing maintenance shop, with the following certifications: Boeing 737-300/400/500 (CFM56), Boeing 737-600/700/800/900 (CFM56), Airbus 320 family (CFM56,V2500), Saab (SF) 340 (GE CT7), LET L-410 (Walter M601), and A330). This would be perfect for AF, KL, LH, SN and LX!

Curious if professional route planners can provide more input...
A regular since 2000. Home bases in Los Angeles and Prague.
 
User avatar
hippogryphe
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:43 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:13 am

LH982 wrote:
BMI code share with Lufthansa on the Munich - Brno flights, so they already have the network feed. I would have thought a Munich - Ostrava service would also work, as it would provide Lufthansa feed and is useful for the automotive industry links.

I'm not sure if a link to a hub further west would help, as it could involve a lot of back tracking.


That is true but (a) it is not marketed as such, certainly not by Lufthansa, who are entirely invisible locally*; (b) fares remain quite high, even with whatever subsidy they are getting; and (c) at least before the change in timetable and increase to 2x daily there were issues with the times. (I booked it twice inbound from America and missed the short connection in the morning bank twice, although Munich is not exactly the most inefficient or difficult hub to deal with.) It's a good start but is not quite hitting the sweet spot in my opinion.

*The LH/BMI relationship is odd. In BRQ, at least as of last year, they couldn't print LH boarding passes, which meant a visit to the LH customer support center during your connection, which always entails an argument with the gorgons who guard it and refuse to believe their kiosks don't work. They also have monolingual British crews and safety recordings, which strike a very weird note on a flight between Germany and the Czech Republic.
 
marosbts
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:49 am

Well, you are in general in a similar situation how many secondary airports all across Europe. To make matters worse, you have 2 more odds to fight against:

1. lack of interest of home based carrier (ČSA) to undergo the risk and invest money into creating direct flights from regional airports
2. Located close to Vienna or even Bratislava, which are larger airports, with larger catchment area and thus beeing way more attractive to carriers than BRQ

Especially the situation with Vienna is an issue not only for BRQ but also for BTS. The reason is that VIE has virtually no interest that carriers operating to VIE would also operate flights from neighbouring airports. And due to the fact that OS is home based in VIE and is part of the LH group, there will be immense presures that no Star Alliance carrier would start operating from BRQ or BTS. Same would apply to SkyTeam carriers as CSA will push them to operate to PRG. And Oneworld in Europe is basically non existent so there is little chances that any alliance carrier would operate to the regional airports.

So what is left - low cost carriers and regionals. From the low cost carriers which do not follow the Ryanair model, all are already in Vienna. Easyjet has now even a Austrian license so its only a matter of time when a base in Vienna will be established, so again - no interest to go to smaller airports in the region. From what remains - Transavia, Jet2, Eurowings, Vueling, Volotea etc are all already operating to Vienna. So what remains are only Ryanair and Wizzair and they basically do business only if the cost of the airport are small enough and only go and expand if they feel demand is sufficient. If they can not grow number of flights/routes from a small airport, it has very little sense for them to operate only one route.

And in terms of regionals - there is virtualy not many of them left in Europe, those which are still alive are struggling and often are not able to provide code shares to connect to alliance carriers from their hubs. Their financial stability is often very bad so you are running chances that you invest millions in subsidies and ultimately they still go bust or end the service if not profitable in long term.

So what are your options? Well, not many. You could have your government to step in and offer PSO subsidies tu spur growth of regional flight connections. Given the current political clima over there, thats hardly going to happen. You could try to reduce fees to spur growth, but that will cause that the bottom lline will suffer, so on long term its not feasible if you are not able to reach such a huge growth that it offsets the reductions. Ultimately, the last option is to realize that if the local government wants to have an airport, it will have to subsidize either the cost of running it or the cost of aquisition of new carriers / routes. Not much more IMHO you could do in this situation.
 
2travel2know2
Posts: 2575
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 3:01 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:14 pm

marosbts wrote:
Especially the situation with Vienna is an issue not only for BRQ but also for BTS. The reason is that VIE has virtually no interest that carriers operating to VIE would also operate flights from neighbouring airports. And due to the fact that OS is home based in VIE and is part of the LH group, there will be immense presures that no Star Alliance carrier would start operating from BRQ or BTS. Same would apply to SkyTeam carriers as CSA will push them to operate to PRG. And Oneworld in Europe is basically non existent so there is little chances that any alliance carrier would operate to the regional airports.

IMHO, it's a question of time Star Alliance TK would fly to BTS most likely from its IST hub or even SAW hub.. TK is no LH group and does fly to airports very close to each other in several markets.
A dedicated rail service between BTS and Vienna would do wonders for BTS but one wonders what kind of approval would that venture get from Austria (because possible VIE airport lobby against it). Also it's strange that BTS airport website doesn't have a German language version.
I'm not on CM's payroll.
 
User avatar
hippogryphe
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:43 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:22 pm

marosbts wrote:
Well, you are in general in a similar situation how many secondary airports all across Europe. To make matters worse, you have 2 more odds to fight against:

1. lack of interest of home based carrier (ČSA) to undergo the risk and invest money into creating direct flights from regional airports
2. Located close to Vienna or even Bratislava, which are larger airports, with larger catchment area and thus beeing way more attractive to carriers than BRQ

Especially the situation with Vienna is an issue not only for BRQ but also for BTS. The reason is that VIE has virtually no interest that carriers operating to VIE would also operate flights from neighbouring airports. And due to the fact that OS is home based in VIE and is part of the LH group, there will be immense presures that no Star Alliance carrier would start operating from BRQ or BTS. Same would apply to SkyTeam carriers as CSA will push them to operate to PRG. And Oneworld in Europe is basically non existent so there is little chances that any alliance carrier would operate to the regional airports.

So what is left - low cost carriers and regionals. From the low cost carriers which do not follow the Ryanair model, all are already in Vienna. Easyjet has now even a Austrian license so its only a matter of time when a base in Vienna will be established, so again - no interest to go to smaller airports in the region. From what remains - Transavia, Jet2, Eurowings, Vueling, Volotea etc are all already operating to Vienna. So what remains are only Ryanair and Wizzair and they basically do business only if the cost of the airport are small enough and only go and expand if they feel demand is sufficient. If they can not grow number of flights/routes from a small airport, it has very little sense for them to operate only one route.

And in terms of regionals - there is virtualy not many of them left in Europe, those which are still alive are struggling and often are not able to provide code shares to connect to alliance carriers from their hubs. Their financial stability is often very bad so you are running chances that you invest millions in subsidies and ultimately they still go bust or end the service if not profitable in long term.

So what are your options? Well, not many. You could have your government to step in and offer PSO subsidies tu spur growth of regional flight connections. Given the current political clima over there, thats hardly going to happen. You could try to reduce fees to spur growth, but that will cause that the bottom lline will suffer, so on long term its not feasible if you are not able to reach such a huge growth that it offsets the reductions. Ultimately, the last option is to realize that if the local government wants to have an airport, it will have to subsidize either the cost of running it or the cost of aquisition of new carriers / routes. Not much more IMHO you could do in this situation.


That's a very thorough and well thought out analysis.

I am personally a fan of Austrian; I have flown them many times and find them consistently excellent. And as I know they have been precarious at various times, I don't really begrudge them their jealous hold on the local market. Nonetheless, I feel that if there were real money for Daddy LH in flying proper service here, it would happen regardless of Kiddy Austrian. Same for ČSA, a tiny airline which, sadly, could expire at any moment, and KLM. I think the problem is mostly in the market fundamentals here. That may, probably will, change in coming years but at the moment it is what it is.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:40 pm

marosbts wrote:
Especially the situation with Vienna is an issue not only for BRQ but also for BTS.


Yes, location of VIE is a problem for BTS. Basically, it is not needed. The population of Vienna and Bratislava is about 2.5 million. What can the surrounding counties add, another 2.5 million? Look here, YYZ is serving an area with a population of 6.5 million and YHM just on the fringe can't get any decent service. Same goes for YKF. Even YXU (similar distance to YYZ as BRQ->VIE) can't get anything beyond some flights to Western Canada on WS, vacation charters in high season and connector flights on QK and Encore.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
marosbts
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:58 pm

2travel2know2 wrote:
IMHO, it's a question of time Star Alliance TK would fly to BTS most likely from its IST hub or even SAW hub.. TK is no LH group and does fly to airports very close to each other in several markets.
A dedicated rail service between BTS and Vienna would do wonders for BTS but one wonders what kind of approval would that venture get from Austria (because possible VIE airport lobby against it). Also it's strange that BTS airport website doesn't have a German language version.


Well, this is only partially true. The designation of TK has originally been based on flights to BTS and not to KSC. Only afterwards the route was moved to KSC which - what a surprise is owned by VIE. This ultimately had advantages for both VIE and TK. On one side VIE is not loosing passangers to BTS, but in contrary - gaining them at an airport they own. TK as well is not creating competition to its VIE flights, but because the bilateral agreement between Slovakia and Turkey is single designation, they also blocked out other carriers like Pegasus or Atlas from launching services to BTS, which would be in direct competition with TK flights to VIE.

WildcatYXU wrote:
Yes, location of VIE is a problem for BTS. Basically, it is not needed. The population of Vienna and Bratislava is about 2.5 million. What can the surrounding counties add, another 2.5 million? Look here, YYZ is serving an area with a population of 6.5 million and YHM just on the fringe can't get any decent service. Same goes for YKF. Even YXU (similar distance to YYZ as BRQ->VIE) can't get anything beyond some flights to Western Canada on WS, vacation charters in high season and connector flights on QK and Encore.


I think that this is not true. BTS with nearly 2 million pax is an alternative in 2 ways. On one side the ultra low cost carriers like FR and W6 but also is a viable option in cases where carriers can not enter VIE due to bilateral agreements which are often single designation. Your argument would mean that even airports like Hahn, Beauvais, Memmingen or many others should be closed because they are just near a big hub. Dont forget even STN was a hell hole a couple decades ago. BTS as such is more than interesting from a catchment area perspective to be needed and the pax volume and current growth of about 15% YoY are more than reasonable.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 4:09 pm

marosbts wrote:
I think that this is not true. BTS with nearly 2 million pax is an alternative in 2 ways. On one side the ultra low cost carriers like FR and W6 but also is a viable option in cases where carriers can not enter VIE due to bilateral agreements which are often single designation. Your argument would mean that even airports like Hahn, Beauvais, Memmingen or many others should be closed because they are just near a big hub. Dont forget even STN was a hell hole a couple decades ago. BTS as such is more than interesting from a catchment area perspective to be needed and the pax volume and current growth of about 15% YoY are more than reasonable.


Hahn, Memmingen and Beauvais are arguably located in the richest areas of the EU, where enough disposable income to fly is available. BTS, despite being located in the highest income area in Slovakia, not so much. The Proximity of Austria definitely helps, the question is how much.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
marosbts
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:14 pm

WildcatYXU wrote:
marosbts wrote:
I think that this is not true. BTS with nearly 2 million pax is an alternative in 2 ways. On one side the ultra low cost carriers like FR and W6 but also is a viable option in cases where carriers can not enter VIE due to bilateral agreements which are often single designation. Your argument would mean that even airports like Hahn, Beauvais, Memmingen or many others should be closed because they are just near a big hub. Dont forget even STN was a hell hole a couple decades ago. BTS as such is more than interesting from a catchment area perspective to be needed and the pax volume and current growth of about 15% YoY are more than reasonable.


Hahn, Memmingen and Beauvais are arguably located in the richest areas of the EU, where enough disposable income to fly is available. BTS, despite being located in the highest income area in Slovakia, not so much. The Proximity of Austria definitely helps, the question is how much.


You do realize tho that Bratislava county is the 6th richest region in terms of GDP per capita in the EU, even surpassing Vienna?
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:29 pm

marosbts wrote:
You do realize tho that Bratislava county is the 6th richest region in terms of GDP per capita in the EU, even surpassing Vienna?


Yes. And at the same I realize that part of that is unrealistically high cost of living in Bratislava. How about trying to compare per capita disposable income to other parts of the EU?
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40
 
User avatar
PatrickZ80
Posts: 2322
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:33 am

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:34 pm

WildcatYXU wrote:
Yes, location of VIE is a problem for BTS. Basically, it is not needed. The population of Vienna and Bratislava is about 2.5 million. What can the surrounding counties add, another 2.5 million? Look here, YYZ is serving an area with a population of 6.5 million and YHM just on the fringe can't get any decent service. Same goes for YKF. Even YXU (similar distance to YYZ as BRQ->VIE) can't get anything beyond some flights to Western Canada on WS, vacation charters in high season and connector flights on QK and Encore.


Obviously you're looking at it from a Canadian perspective, and the Canadian market is very different from the European market. There are only a few airlines in Canada compared to the many many many airlines in Europe.

It's true that the population of Vienna and Bratislava is about 2.5 million and they are close together. So close that they can't compete on location. But that doesn't mean this area can't be served by two airports, each catering a different side of the market. They just got to share those 2.5 million between them.

The proximity of a major airport is no reason another airport in the area can't be succesful, only that other airport has to cater for a different kind of passenger. Most likely that'll be the low-cost passenger. Lots of examples of that. In fact, my local airport (Lelystad) is currently being expanded to become a relief airport for Amsterdam. Both airports will serve more or less the same region, but different market. Of course here also comes the problem that Amsterdam is getting full and can't handle all of the demand, so there needs to be a second airport. That's the reason Lelystad is being expanded. Lots of major airports in Europe face that same problem and are happy to have another airport in the region to handle LCC flights so the major airports got more capacity for the legacy carriers.
 
marosbts
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:56 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:39 pm

WildcatYXU wrote:
marosbts wrote:
You do realize tho that Bratislava county is the 6th richest region in terms of GDP per capita in the EU, even surpassing Vienna?


Yes. And at the same I realize that part of that is unrealistically high cost of living in Bratislava. How about trying to compare per capita disposable income to other parts of the EU?


Still, latest data from Eurostat from 2014 show that Bratislava county has higher disposable income than e.g. any region in Holland and is e.g. almost at the level of Helsinki or Berlin, or is 20% higher than in Prague. And with the madness going on here since 2014 I would bet that we are over those by now.
 
User avatar
WildcatYXU
Posts: 2856
Joined: Sat May 06, 2006 2:05 pm

Re: How to grow a small international airport in Central Europe?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:06 pm

marosbts wrote:
WildcatYXU wrote:
marosbts wrote:
You do realize tho that Bratislava county is the 6th richest region in terms of GDP per capita in the EU, even surpassing Vienna?


Yes. And at the same I realize that part of that is unrealistically high cost of living in Bratislava. How about trying to compare per capita disposable income to other parts of the EU?


Still, latest data from Eurostat from 2014 show that Bratislava county has higher disposable income than e.g. any region in Holland and is e.g. almost at the level of Helsinki or Berlin, or is 20% higher than in Prague. And with the madness going on here since 2014 I would bet that we are over those by now.


Well, OK. It will be interesting to watch how is BTS doing (albeit KSC is more important for me)
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E45, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, MD82, Saab 340, YAK40

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Starlionblue and 20 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos