Home Open Account Help 104 users online

European Railroad Discussion > Flybe Airline collapses in UK


Date: 03/04/20 21:18
Flybe Airline collapses in UK
Author: F7sForever

It’s early morning in the UK, but news is all aflutter right now with news of the collapse of low-cost airline Flybe, which has struggled for ridership over the past few years. Flybe is the second airline in the troubled European discount segment to collapse in the last few month, preceded by Thomas Cook Airlines last year. At one point, Flybe was the largest independent airline in the UK. Officials are blaming travel downturns due to coronavirus, but the airline has been on the ropes for a few years now, even after being purchased by a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium last year.

European markets are extremely interesting, and the dynamic is very different from the airline-ruled US market. Planes face stiff competition from trains on many routes, and especially on routes where high speed service is available, the edge typically goes to rail. A good example is London to Paris - 2:15 by Eurostar, 15 trains a day, for as low as €40. Compared to 1:15 flying between the two for around the same price. And both London St. Pancras and Paris Gare du Nord are downtown stations, compared to Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle airports, which are an hour outside of their respective towns. Add the check in and security time on the front end, and flying can take twice as long as taking the train. Advantage: rail. There is also a pretty significant social slant against the inefficiencies of airline travel, which is another significant difference between Europe and here in the US. 

The urgency to compete was printed right on the side of the Flybe planes that I saw, like the Manchester-bound De Havilland Dash 8 that I photographed rising out of City Airport on the east side of London in Oct. 2017. “Faster than road or rail” the plane said, in at least four places, even knowing that the math didn’t always favor that claim. When Thalys high speed trains first began operating between Paris and Brussels, Belgium in 1996, shortening the trip between downtown stations to 1:15, the service stripped air traffic so thoroughly that Air France cancelled service between the two airports just a few months later.

Anyhow, this is a story of great interest to me, and I will be interested to see how it develops. But for right now, I am sure that tens of thousands of UK air travelers are waking up to the news that their days are completely screwed.

Edit: that de Havilland Dash 8-400 has a max cruising speed of 550 kmph, less than twice the speed of a lot of the trains that it is competing against. The Thalys and Eurostar trains go up to 320 kmph on the LGV Nord in France, and have nice long stretches of 300 kmph track in the UK and Belgium.

Top photo: Flybe flight to Manchester leaving London City Airport, UK, Oct. 2017.
Bottom photo: Thalys to Paris, Eurostar from London, and Dutch Rail trains at Amsterdam Centraal Station, Nov. 2019.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/04/20 21:24 by F7sForever.






Date: 03/04/20 23:06
Re: Flybe Airline collapses in UK
Author: pennengineer

F7sForever Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> It’s early morning in the UK, but news is all
> aflutter right now with news of the collapse of
> low-cost airline Flybe, which has struggled for
> ridership over the past few years. Flybe is the
> second airline in the troubled European discount
> segment to collapse in the last few month,
> preceded by Thomas Cook Airlines last year. At one
> point, Flybe was the largest independent airline
> in the UK. Officials are blaming travel downturns
> due to coronavirus, but the airline has been on
> the ropes for a few years now, even after being
> purchased by a Virgin Atlantic-led consortium last
> year.
>
> European markets are extremely interesting, and
> the dynamic is very different from the
> airline-ruled US market. Planes face stiff
> competition from trains on many routes, and
> especially on routes where high speed service is
> available, the edge typically goes to rail. A good
> example is London to Paris - 2:15 by Eurostar, 15
> trains a day, for as low as €40. Compared to
> 1:15 flying between the two for around the same
> price. And both London St. Pancras and Paris Gare
> du Nord are downtown stations, compared to
> Heathrow and Charles de Gaulle airports, which are
> an hour outside of their respective towns. Add the
> check in and security time on the front end, and
> flying can take twice as long as taking the train.
> Advantage: rail. There is also a pretty
> significant social slant against the
> inefficiencies of airline travel, which is another
> significant difference between Europe and here in
> the US. 
>
> The urgency to compete was printed right on the
> side of the Flybe planes that I saw, like the
> Manchester-bound De Havilland Dash 8 that I
> photographed rising out of City Airport on the
> east side of London in Oct. 2017. “Faster than
> road or rail” the plane said, in at least four
> places, even knowing that the math didn’t always
> favor that claim. When Thalys high speed trains
> first began operating between Paris and Brussels,
> Belgium in 1996, shortening the trip between
> downtown stations to 1:15, the service stripped
> air traffic so thoroughly that Air France
> cancelled service between the two airports just a
> few months later.
>
> Anyhow, this is a story of great interest to me,
> and I will be interested to see how it develops.
> But for right now, I am sure that tens of
> thousands of UK air travelers are waking up to the
> news that their days are completely screwed.
>
> Edit: that de Havilland Dash 8-400 has a max
> cruising speed of 550 kmph, less than twice the
> speed of a lot of the trains that it is competing
> against. The Thalys and Eurostar trains go up to
> 320 kmph on the LGV Nord in France, and have nice
> long stretches of 300 kmph track in the UK and
> Belgium.
>
> Top photo: Flybe flight to Manchester leaving
> London City Airport, UK, Oct. 2017.
> Bottom photo: Thalys to Paris, Eurostar from
> London, and Dutch Rail trains at Amsterdam
> Centraal Station, Nov. 2019.

I seem to recall reading that a lot of Flybe's business was in the non-London-UK-market, both domestic and to the Continent, routes on which road and rail are both quite uncompetetive time- or price-wise.



Date: 03/04/20 23:08
Re: Flybe Airline collapses in UK
Author: 86235

I'm not remotely surprised, this was inevitable given the financial lifeline they were seeking from government some six weeks ago. If any of their routes are really profitable they will be picked up by the likes of BA, Easyjet or Ryanair and if they are deemed "socially desirable" then the government can tender the route with an appropriate subsidy.



Date: 03/05/20 02:47
Re: Flybe Airline collapses in UK
Author: dan

Massive cut backs  have been announced by many European airlines, even here in the US taking place shortly, on the other hand their seems to be some space  developing on a lot of flights



Date: 03/05/20 10:04
Re: Flybe Airline collapses in UK
Author: railstiesballast

Humor?
Flybe...."Fly by night"
Is "Fly by Night" a British term too?



Date: 03/05/20 10:17
Re: Flybe Airline collapses in UK
Author: exhaustED

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Humor?
> Flybe...."Fly by night"
> Is "Fly by Night" a British term too?

Yes it is.



Date: 03/05/20 13:31
Re: Flybe Airline collapses in UK
Author: SD70M

They were nicknamed Flymaybe but now will not fly again. Already the small Scottish airline Loganair is in talks to take over 4 of the routes. It comes as no surprise to me either that they have gone bust, I thought that they were a goner in January. The UK government has declined to bail them out to the tune of $100M as it would be a case of good money after bad. A devastating blow for my local airport SOU which relied heavily on Flybe. 90% of their flights were with them, already a taxi firm which operated out of the airport has decided to close as a result.

Posted from Android



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0713 seconds