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SE/Waterford regional airport in trouble!

  • 12-12-2002 9:15am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,272 merlante


    According to the Irish Times today Euroceltic is pulling out of Waterford airport! It is cancelling its services to Luton and Liverpool and presumably the Dublin route also. Apparently they were aiming to get 40,000 people travelling throughout the year but they only got 31,000.

    In any case, if this is true then the airport is in real trouble. There is no PSO contract for a Waterford-Dublin route so Waterford could end up with no flights whatsoever!

    This is all very sudden and there seems to be general shock at the announcement. I think now that Euroceltic have secured the PSO routes to Donegal and Sligo (I think) they are getting rid of the other loss making (for now) routes.

    merlante


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,946 ✭✭✭ jmcc


    Originally posted by merlante

    In any case, if this is true then the airport is in real trouble. There is no PSO contract for a Waterford-Dublin route so Waterford could end up with no flights whatsoever!

    Yeah. Seems that the fscks in Dublin are too busy supporting lossmaking airports in ballygobackwards with fsck all local population to worry about to care about little things like the fact that one of the main gateway areas does not have air access. The more I think about it, the more I come to believe that Waterford should declare independence from Dublin. :) I had better have another cup of coffee - this daylight thing is affecting my mind.

    Actually though with increased broadband, one of the side effects will be a marked decrease in the need to travel. Most of the high-tech business tradeshow events were hit badly like this in the 1990s. Everybody used to go to the major tradeshows in London and then the web happened. Attendance at these shows dropped by 50-60% over the period of a few years.

    The irony of the whole thing is that with the airport in Waterford, it takes about 2 hours to get to London. It still takes about 3 hours to get to Dublin.

    Regards...jmcc


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,764 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ToxicPaddy


    Well Waterford airport seems to have been doomed from day one...

    Its never been properly funded, the roads to it are a complete joke, and all you have to do is look at how little its been helped by the government...

    Airport taxes in Ireland and Europe crucify any small airline companies as the majority of airline fares are made up of the costs incurred by an airline to use an airport..

    so any small company like Euroceltic is gonna struggle..

    Then with everything that happened with 9/11, the airline business is a very unsteady industry at the moment...

    I hate to say it, but it looks as if waterford is going to be without
    an airport pretty soon.. :(


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 merlante


    They'll have to sort something out. The airport can't go. You have to believe that Cullen will be able to do something if push comes to shove - especially with Waterford being a gateway and all that.

    In fact as far as I know, the main reason that Waterford doesn't have a PSO (government subsidised route to Dublin) was that it was deemed to be a profitable airport. If it looks like it's going to be shut down, then it can't be very profitable can it?

    And to be honest it seems very fishy that Euroceltic are pulling out right now, with all the offers they've been giving on free flights, 2 for the price of 1 etc. just recently. They must have known they weren't doing well when, for example, they began offering free flights to Dublin - and indeed started the Dublin service. (you wouldn't imagine the Dublin service would be as profitable as the Luton one)

    It seems to me that when they got the PSO contracts for Donegal and Sligo, and an influx of money, they were tempted to make the PSOs their core business. Maybe that's what they're doing. Despite whatever losses they have apparently made, there is some strategic decision being made here. They gave the impression they were pretty happy with the way things were going, which is why people were shocked at the news.

    merlante


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,980 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    Today the airport authorties issued protective notice for all 22 employees. They have also made it clear the air-sea rescue
    helicopter cant be manitained at the airport if the jobs go.
    Maybe that'll concentrate minds.

    Mike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 merlante


    It was reported in the Irish Times today that the chairman of the airport, Nicholas Fewer, will meet today with Martin Cullen and Seamus Brennan (Ministers for Environment and Transport respectively) to try to sort out the whole thing. Fewer will apparently make a strong case for either a PSO route or direct funding for the airport.

    Personally I think it's money down the toilet unless they get the PSO route. No matter how much cash they get, it will be hard to market the place initially given the high rate of failure. Still I think it can be made profitable - they should put a few flights from Waterford to the Canaries or Majorca or Lanzarote during the summer and people in the south east would soon start thinking of the airport as being useful. If you fly out of there once, you are much more likely to do so again.

    merlante


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,985 ✭✭✭✭ Lump


    Waterford, a gateway??? Oh please give me a break. I dont know why you give out about sligo and the other airports getting support. I'd prefere top fly to sligo/donegal/cork then fly to london if I was coming from london or dublin and I had a choice...... what is in waterford. Look **** happens. I was goping to fly euroceltic to London only to discover that it'd cost over 120 euro fror the return.




    John


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,980 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    Lump, Waterford is a gateway for what thats worth (not much) and a damn site better place to be than Sligo or Donegal. The weathers ****e up there...!

    Mike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 merlante


    Waterford, a gateway??? Oh please give me a break. I dont know why you give out about sligo and the other airports getting support.

    Of course Waterford is a gateway, and being the fifth city a damn sight more plausable than Tralee-Killarney or Letterkenny or the three towns in the midlands.

    We haven't been complaining about the other airports getting support - we've been complaining about Waterford not getting support. On the principle that their 'should' be flights to each city (and isolated large town, i.e. Sligo) in Ireland. But as an urban centre of over 50,000 and a catchment population of another 50,000 in close proximity you're damn right we're annoyed when the bally-go-backwards of Ireland get air links and Waterford does not. Though in fairness I understand it was an EU decision not to fund the PSO to Waterford on the basis that it was doing ok as a commercial airport at the time.
    I'd prefere top fly to sligo/donegal/cork then fly to london if I was coming from london or dublin and I had a choice...... what is in waterford. Look **** happens. I was goping to fly euroceltic to London only to discover that it'd cost over 120 euro fror the return.

    Sligo? Donegal?? I'm sure they are lovely places but there is more "in" Waterford, trust me.

    And of course Euroceltic is not going to beat ryanair for prices - what do you expect? Their special offers are similar to aer lingus special offers.

    merlante


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,985 ✭✭✭✭ Lump


    cOk, fair enough I may have been a little harsh. But I dont think it's going to be badly miseed. Ok?


    John


    Oh and I lied, the return flight was 320 Euro, a damn sight hight then the £50 sterling I paid for my Aerlingus flight to england. I dont think then service can explain the reason for such a high increase. Also I'm suere the airport charges in waterford arent any where like the charges in dublin, so you do the maths.....


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 merlante


    cOk, fair enough I may have been a little harsh. But I dont think it's going to be badly miseed. Ok?

    Well clearly a lot of people won't miss it, but the thousnds of people who used it might be a bit put out. I was going to get one of the free flights from Dublin to Waterford a week or two ago myself, but other things came up. Would have been damn handy when the flights were cheap.
    Oh and I lied, the return flight was 320 Euro...

    Sometimes aer lingus have ludicrously expensive flights to the uk too - you simply don't fly on them. I've seen loads of decent offers from euroceltic recently. They've been doing one to Luton for 59 euros one way, I think, for months. That's at least as competitive as aer lingus - and worth it if you are going to Waterford and not Dublin or Cork, which people do, believe it or not.

    merlante


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 96 ✭✭✭ highlight


    Well I for one would miss Waterford Airport.

    Not necessarily for the travel but more for the laugh. I went to pick up a friend there last Christmas - it was such a laugh, the little mini bar (four bottles in a hole in the wall); the baggage handler who doubled as the check in guy with the addition of a small hat, and the duty free shop sorry rack. The best was the hand that came out of the wall picking up the luggage to transfer it to the plane!

    Seriously though, I would fly to Waterford from Dublin if I could. The BF's family live near Mullinavat and it's better than driving or getting the train (which I did New Year's Eve at a cost of €31 plus parking at Heuston)


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 merlante


    According to the Irish Times today, it looks as if the air rescue service for the south east, based at the airport, will probably relocate to Cork.

    That's the way it goes folks.

    merlante


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,980 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    Today EuroCeltic announced they are re-balancing their
    winter/summer schedules, with flights Monday-Wedneday-Friday
    until the end of March then the summer schedule will kick in.

    This sounds like a "Titanic/re-arranging deck chairs"
    approach and it maybe just to take the heat of the company
    for a while until they pull the plug after saying "well, we tried".

    What we need is for government to take some serious interest in the facility, calling Minister Cullen...

    Mike.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 merlante


    It's all very strange. The News & Star (in a very low key article) last week said that the airport was in the final stages of negotiation with another carrier that was due to take over the day after euroceltic left. Of course they didn't mention who this new carrier would be. Now we hear that euroceltic are staying on.

    I do know that cullen and brennan were involved in whatever was agreed with , and to be honest I doubt that euroceltic would be still around if it wasn't for their intervention. Maybe the airline has been promised better funding or a PSO or god knows!? In any case, if it's all just a plaster, then a plaster is better than nothing, and hopefully there'll be a more long term solution in the works.

    merlante


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,980 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    Its been announced on RTE business pages that
    Euroceltic has gone bust, 120 jobs have been lost.

    http://www.onbusiness.ie/2003/0121/euroceltic.html

    Not that the company seems to know it - http://www.euroceltic.com/

    Mike.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 9,764 Mod ✭✭✭✭ ToxicPaddy


    So whats the latest from waterford airport..??

    Has anyone heard if its going to stay open or be closed..??


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,272 merlante


    As far as I can tell, Euroceltic is history, but Aer Arann are taking over the Luton run, so the airport will stay open. The question is whether or not the air-sea rescue services can stay or not.

    merlante


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 88,980 ✭✭✭✭ mike65


    Originally posted by merlante
    The question is whether or not the air-sea rescue services can stay or not.

    merlante

    Indeed and after what happened off Tuskar Rock on Thursday, it must be clear the South-East needs air sea rescue cover.

    Mike.


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