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Brown1950

Emirates ex Stansted

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Stansted not such a good choice at the moment, their runway has been closed after snow.

Passengers stranded at the airport.

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2016 Stansted passenger numbers was 24 million and just behind Manchester (25 million) and placed 4th in total passengers numbers of all UK airports and ahead of Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and Edinburgh.... all of which have at least one daily flight to the Middle East.... Emirates have obviously done their homework and think this "regional" airport is worth their interest.... :whistling:

Oh dear. Take a look at departure destinations from Stansted. Most of them are relatively short haul European Hops, so of course the passenger numbers will be high.Ryanair and Easyjet.

 

Emirates have at least 2 flights a day from Gatwick and Heathrow. They simply dont NEED an extra flight a day from a regional airport. I would be amazed if any of their flights ex UK run at capacity or near capacity (Though I am happy to be corrected here) Financially it doesnt make sense when they have inspection and maintenance contracts at LGW and LHR. I could understand them if they decided to run a daily service out of Glasgow or Edinburgh but Stansted? nope, it just doesnt add up.

I also question why no other Long Haul company runs passenger flights 7 days a week out of Stansted? Why did China Airlines not do it when it was financialy in their interest to do so, as it costs them more to run connecting flights to Schipol than it would have done to run out ex Stansted.

 

As I postulated, I suspect its an advertising ploy, they have the money to burn, rumours are they funded the self promoting TV series Ultimate Airport Dubai as an advertising campaign, as well as having their name plastered across the bottom of their planes which will probably be routed out between London and Stansted for people to see.

The ragheads might be arseholes with their silly religions but they arent financially stupid.

 

Also, again, the new runways planned at either Gatwick or Heathrow are still in discussions. If Emirates can show even a slight rise in traffic numbers they can start demanding extra slots at whichever airport gets it thereby saving billions in maintenance and service charges. However I dont think they will show any increased passenger numbers with just some people deciding to go from Stansted, but not, in my opinion in sufficient numbers to run a daily service out of there.

Time will tell. Lets reboot this discussion in a year or two.

Edited by Goldpanner

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I wont travel from Stanstead now, The bastards actually charge people to drop passengers off, apart from which, its a shitty airport at best.

To be honest though I realy dont see the point of Emirates running out of there.

Its an airport in the middle of nowhere not near any large connurbation and for anyone living in, say Colchester or Chelmsford its just as easy, probably easier to get to Heathrow

it takes me less than 30 minutes to get to Stansted and I live in Chelmsford . against 1.5 hours to get to heathrow on almost any day and much longer if I fly anywhere near the rush hour. for me the cost of flying from the local airport would be much less if the flight costs are the same. I can Taxi to stansted for around £30-£35 but can get stung up to £120 for heathrow. If you want to avoid the drop off fee then get dropped in the carpark and take the free bus to the terminal.

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Financially it doesnt make sense when they have inspection and maintenance contracts at LGW and LHR. I could understand them if they decided to run a daily service out of Glasgow or Edinburgh but Stansted? nope, it just doesnt add up.

I also question why no other Long Haul company runs passenger flights 7 days a week out of Stansted? Why did China Airlines not do it when it was financialy in their interest to do so, as it costs them more to run connecting flights to Schipol than it would have done to run out ex Stansted.

 

Maintenance contracts don't matter, as the planes are rotated on a timetable to either make sure they are in a hub or at base for the checks. Marshalls is just up the road in Cambridge, they have an on call tech team who are often in and out of LHR plus Stansted Aerospace just up the road. bloody hell GP you've got me replying in blue now!

 

 

Also, again, the new runways planned at either Gatwick or Heathrow are still in discussions. If Emirates can show even a slight rise in traffic numbers they can start demanding extra slots at whichever airport gets it thereby saving billions in maintenance and service charges.

 

I think you're right. Having given this some thought and re reading your points earlier, I am tending to agree with you more now that it is less about providing a lucrative service and more about maybe a longer term goal and exposure.

 

Saying that though, there is going to be a marked increase in air travel, and with Qatar being the Middle Eastern whipping boy in recent times, maybe Emirates are hedging their bets on taking more pax from them and at the same time increasing their capabilities and options from the UK if ever Qatar has sanctions put upon it by us due to leverage exerted from the rest of the ME, which could, feasibly include access to UK Airports. Maybe. Could actually be both scenarios.

 

However I dont think they will show any increased passenger numbers with just some people deciding to go from Stansted, but not, in my opinion in sufficient numbers to run a daily service out of there.

Time will tell. Lets reboot this discussion in a year or two.

 

Good idea, it'll be interesting to see what develops as it'll probably have an impact on many of us.

 

 

Like Jack, I would take a flight Ex STD over one Ex LHR / LGW to the same destination if it was ever down to deciding upon which airport to leave from.

 

 

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Oh dear. Take a look at departure destinations from Stansted. Most of them are relatively short haul European Hops, so of course the passenger numbers will be high.Ryanair and Easyjet.

 

Emirates have at least 2 flights a day from Gatwick and Heathrow. They simply dont NEED an extra flight a day from a regional airport. I would be amazed if any of their flights ex UK run at capacity or near capacity (Though I am happy to be corrected here) Financially it doesnt make sense when they have inspection and maintenance contracts at LGW and LHR. I could understand them if they decided to run a daily service out of Glasgow or Edinburgh but Stansted? nope, it just doesnt add up.

I also question why no other Long Haul company runs passenger flights 7 days a week out of Stansted? Why did China Airlines not do it when it was financialy in their interest to do so, as it costs them more to run connecting flights to Schipol than it would have done to run out ex Stansted.

 

 

A quick check shows Emirates has 6 A380 flights per day from LHR and 3 A380 flights per day from LGW and that is without including the Qantas code-share flights to DXB.

 

MAN is 3 flights per day,

BHX 2 flights per day

GLA 2 flights per day

NCL 1 flight per day.

 

If an airport like Newcastle can support a daily flight to Dubia I'd hazard a guess that Stansted could.....

 

https://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/276339/why-emirates-has-added-stansted-to-its-route-map/

 

 

Why Emirates has added Stansted to its route map

Emirates will begin daily flights to Dubai from Stansted next year, providing a huge boost for the London airport’s long-haul ambitions.

newsarticle-276339-scaled-580x0.jpg

By David Casey

Posted

21 December 2017 10:06 Share this article

34 Shares

Stansted is perhaps best-known for being a budget airline stronghold, with Ryanair and easyJet having a 77 percent and 11 percent capacity share of the market respectively in 2017.

But the airport is keen to be more than a base for short-haul low-cost carriers and has been making a play to add long-haul destinations to its route map, emphasising its strengths as an alternative to the capacity-constrained Heathrow and Gatwick.

Attracting Emirates is therefore a big win for London’s third-busiest airport. The carrier will launch a new daily route from Dubai (DBX) to Stansted on 8 June 2018, becoming the first Middle Eastern airline to operate out of the airport.

The daily route will be operated by its new three-class Boeing 777-300ER, offering passengers six seats in First Class, 42 in Business Class and 306 in Economy Class.

With the introduction of the service, Emirates will operate ten daily flights connecting Dubai and London. It currently operates six Airbus A380 services to Heathrow and three to Gatwick.

So why has Emirates taken the decision to launch the new route? Opening the Stansted gateway gives the airline access to the region’s strong business community and the wider 7.5 million population that fall within its catchment area.

More than 25 of the world’s largest corporations have established operations in the wider Cambridge and Peterborough area, with Airbus, Astra Zeneca and GSK among the multinational companies based there.

The London Stansted Cambridge Corridor is now regarded as one of the top five global knowledge regions, alongside San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Boston.

In addition, Hong Kong, Dubai, Shanghai, Singapore and Mumbai are the most popular business destinations from the East of England, which Emirates serves daily through its Dubai hub.

Leisure travellers can also enjoy direct, daily services to Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Bali and the Indian Ocean islands.

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates, said there was therefore “clear demand” for the service, while Stansted’s chief executive Ken O’Toole added the airport’s catchment and its available runway capacity offers growth opportunities for Emirates in the future.

Emirates’ decision to increase its London-Dubai capacity comes just weeks after Australian airline Qantas announced it planned to end its daily Airbus A380 Sydney-Dubai-London Heathrow rotation from March 2018, instead switching to a Sydney-Singapore-London Heathrow routing.

 

 

 

Also notice Qantas pulling out of the "codeshared" Sydney - Dubai - Heathrow route in favour of flying via Singapore..... adding Stansted replaces that lost capacity to London without needing another expensive Heathrow slot.

Edited by TheFiend

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A quick check shows Emirates has 6 A380 flights per day from LHR and 3 A380 flights per day from LGW and that is without including the Qantas code-share flights to DXB.

 

MAN is 3 flights per day,

BHX 2 flights per day

GLA 2 flights per day

NCL 1 flight per day.

 

If an airport like Newcastle can support a daily flight to Dubia I'd hazard a guess that Stansted could.....

 

https://www.routesonline.com/news/29/breaking-news/276339/why-emirates-has-added-stansted-to-its-route-map/

 

 

Also notice Qantas pulling out of the "codeshared" Sydney - Dubai - Heathrow route in favour of flying via Singapore..... adding Stansted replaces that lost capacity to London without needing another expensive Heathrow slot.

Just a point. You are confusing departure airports from profit making airports. Emirates arent that concerned with profit. What they DO want is nigh on world domination of air routes and airports. Simply because there is a flight out of Newcastle doesnt mean they make a profit out of it and it would be interesting to see bums on seat figures from Newcastle. Newcastle simply cant support a daily flight, but Emirates dont care. The end justifies the means.

Its called 'Market Domination' and thats what Emirates wants. Emirates can take the loss and it adds to their attempted world domination of air routes. They are now starting to call themselves "The Worlds Favourite Airline"

Its a Government owned airline so money is no problem.

 

And Just one thing I find most curious. Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways both operate cargo flights out of Stansted yet no passenger services?!. If there was indeed a market for Eastbound Long haul, why arent they running flights from Stansted? and why arent all the other Eastbound Long Haulers fighting to run out of Stansted as there's bags of slots cheaply available compared to LHR and LGW. Also First and club are going to be dissapointed with Emirates First and club lounges at Stansted.....

Funny old world aint it?

As I said. Time will tell. *I* dont think it will work, others here differ. Emirates dont care one way or another, they just want their name in lights !

Edited by Goldpanner

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Also First and club are going to be dissapointed with Emirates First and club lounges at Stansted.....

First Class passengers won't mind after they are settled in this.

 

EmiratesFirst..jpg

 

Interesting here is

 

that the aircraft will be a 777-300ER configured with their fancy new First Class, and be on the ground at Stanstead for 7 hours. It's like they are flying people in and out for a dinner meeting!

 

Some of your comments are mirrored in the link above.

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I think you will find that Emirates are making shit loads of money flying from the UK to Dubai.

 

The reason being, using aircraft that can fly for 15 hours on a route that takes less than 7 means they can pack the hold full of cargo which is very profitable.

 

I fly from Glasgow and on all 3 trips this year Business has always been at least 80% occupied and on one occasion overbooked, with a volunteer (me) bumped into the Economy cabin, given 3 seats to myself and a free Business Class round trip ticket on the same route.

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Just a point. You are confusing departure airports from profit making airports. Emirates arent that concerned with profit. What they DO want is nigh on world domination of air routes and airports. Simply because there is a flight out of Newcastle doesnt mean they make a profit out of it and it would be interesting to see bums on seat figures from Newcastle. Newcastle simply cant support a daily flight, but Emirates dont care. The end justifies the means.

Its called 'Market Domination' and thats what Emirates wants. Emirates can take the loss and it adds to their attempted world domination of air routes. They are now starting to call themselves "The Worlds Favourite Airline"

Its a Government owned airline so money is no problem.

 

And Just one thing I find most curious. Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways both operate cargo flights out of Stansted yet no passenger services?!. If there was indeed a market for Eastbound Long haul, why arent they running flights from Stansted? and why arent all the other Eastbound Long Haulers fighting to run out of Stansted as there's bags of slots cheaply available compared to LHR and LGW. Also First and club are going to be dissapointed with Emirates First and club lounges at Stansted.....

Funny old world aint it?

As I said. Time will tell. *I* dont think it will work, others here differ. Emirates dont care one way or another, they just want their name in lights !

 

I have flown with Emirates from MAN, NCL and BHX and every time the flights have always been plenty of bums on seats.... NCL started off as an A330 but it wasn't long before it was switched to a 777.....

 

MAN and BHX were 777, they are now A380...

 

You would be surprised at how many people travel from those "regional airports" to the Middle East and beyond...

 

Earlier this year I flew DOH to MAN via LHR as it was a quicker option that waiting in DOH for the next MAN flight..... would I do it again? No way, the connection at LHR was just too much hassle!!!

 

For the last couple of years my airline of choice from MAN has been Qatar, so it's not as though I'm an Emirates "fanboy"

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I have flown with Emirates from MAN, NCL and BHX and every time the flights have always been plenty of bums on seats.... NCL started off as an A330 but it wasn't long before it was switched to a 777.....

 

MAN and BHX were 777, they are now A380...

 

You would be surprised at how many people travel from those "regional airports" to the Middle East and beyond...

 

Earlier this year I flew DOH to MAN via LHR as it was a quicker option that waiting in DOH for the next MAN flight..... would I do it again? No way, the connection at LHR was just too much hassle!!!

 

For the last couple of years my airline of choice from MAN has been Qatar, so it's not as though I'm an Emirates "fanboy"

 

I never claimed anyone was a fanboy. But the evidence is blaringly there. If Stansted was such a catch why arent other airlines flying it Eastbound?.

Emirates are trying for Market Dominance and flying from any airport they can get traffic rights from and Stansted will help them in this.

Southampton would have been a better financial departure point for them but its not money theyre after.

Anyways

Like I said Time will tell.

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STD is geared up for mostly short haul / domestic flights , offering a base from which to accomodate them and reduce the impact on other airports traditionally used for long haul like lhr / lgw. It was never really envisioned to be a long haul global hub like LHR.

 

What it basically is, is a smaller airport offering another long haul service by way of either an experiment / advertising or marketing ploy or whatever.

 

In todays environment , a UK-DXB is hardly long haul anyway. 7 hours or whetever it is is a piss in the wind (It used to take me 9 - 11 hours to get from LHR to MCT on a Tristar / VC10 back in the 70's with 3 stops while passively smoking 400 bensons courtesy of the Oil workers).

 

As you know DXB is a hub, so there will be no shortage of pax wanting to fly there. In fact, I might even give it a go in the future for our Manila trips if the price point is right, Cathay's FF program is beginning to suck big time and I'm fed up of paying for Marco Polo.

 

Bottom line is that we shall wait and see what happens. I hope it works out, Emirates have made a shrewd move either way. I don't think Mr Emirates is short of a bob or two, so they can probably afford the financial risk!.

Edited by Butch

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@Goldpanner, Southampton's runway is too short for a 777 !

 

Now I cant find the evidence but I clearly remember a few years back on the BBC South News that a 777 had made an emergency landing at Southampton after leaving Gatwick.

There was also serious discussion of lengthening the Runway back in 2014.

Now with the recent sale of Bournemouth airport and the possibility of that closing and being sold for housing I can see the argument for lengthening the runway, but as far as I know the runway can just take a 777, theyve had A320's in there.

The big problem is the airport facilities but there was also discussion of building another terminal anyway.

Southampton admittedly does have problems with even a lack of Taxiways but they own a thumping great piece of land around the airport so it wouldnt take much to upgrade the services.

Bournemouth would be ideal for runway expansions and addition as the land around it is all owned by the new owner but I cant see it happening.

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A few years back i flew from Stansted on Maxjet on one of their all business class flights to the states. Whilst the airport itself had / has a reputation as a low cost / backpacker type place my experience was pretty good. I arranged private car transfers which took me pretty much to the door of the executive lounge ( admittedly at an additional cost of almost £200 ) and then it was straight from lounge through fast track security and onto the plane. If Emirates offer their premium passengers a similar experience you would barely be aware that you were flying from Stansted. Unless there has been a recent change all of their first class and some of their business class fares include private transfers

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Southampton = 1723 m

 

Takeoff Distance

(777-200) 8,300 ft (2,530 m)

(777-200ER) 11,600 ft (3,535 m)
(777-200LR) 11,600 ft (3,535 m)
(777F) 11,600 ft (3,535 m)
(777-300) 11,200 ft (3,415 m)
(777-300ER) 10,500 ft (3,200 m)

 

Landing Distance

(777-200) 5,600 ft (1,705 m)
(777-300) 6,100 ft (1,860 m)

Edited by The_Fat_Controller

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I never claimed anyone was a fanboy. But the evidence is blaringly there. If Stansted was such a catch why arent other airlines flying it Eastbound?.

Emirates are trying for Market Dominance and flying from any airport they can get traffic rights from and Stansted will help them in this.

Southampton would have been a better financial departure point for them but its not money theyre after.

Anyways

Like I said Time will tell.

 

Newcastle was basically just a short-haul/domestic airport until Emirates came along offering to Dubai and onward...

 

 

 

 

Emirates Celebrates 10 Successful Years

Emirates, a global connector of people, places and economies, is today celebrating a decade of operations out of Newcastle Airport. Carrying over 912,000 passengers between Newcastle and Dubai since launching in September 2007, the figures reflect the importance of the city to the ongoing growth of the UK’s northern powerhouse.

Over 115,000 passengers have travelled between Newcastle and Dubai in the last 12 months alone. From Newcastle, passengers connecting through Dubai have travelled around the world with Emirates. In the last 12 months, the most popular destinations for travellers going on from Dubai were Bangkok, Sydney and Singapore. Closely following these destinations were Hong Kong, Perth and Melbourne, demonstrating the global reach of Emirates’ network.

 

Around 28,000 tonnes of cargo have been shipped in and out of Newcastle since the launch of the route, with 4.2 million kgs carried in and out of the UK in the past 12 months. The most popular cargo carried include pharmaceutical products and oil well equipment.

 

Laurie Berryman, Emirates Vice President, UK, said:

We are so proud to be celebrating ten years of operations out of Newcastle Airport. The gateway continues to go from strength to strength and the milestone represents Emirates’ continued commitment to the city.

“We’re really excited about what the future holds in Newcastle, and look forward to the next decade of operations.”

 

Nick Jones, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport

“We are delighted to be celebrating Emirates 10th anniversary. Emirates takes great pride in the role it plays in the region, both for business and leisure passengers and we look forward to this fantastic relationship going from strength to strength in the future.”

 

Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Chair of the LA7 Airport Holding Company

“The Emirates route is an important asset to the North East, not only enhancing regional connectivity but also attracting thousands of inbound tourists into the region. The daily link to Dubai with Emirates has played a key role in the airport’s growth and I hope to see it continue for many years to come.”

 

James Ramsbotham, Chief Executive of the North East England Chamber of Commerce

“The last ten years have been some of the most economically challenging in our lifetimes, yet North East England has thrived – achieving record levels of employment, productivity and export success. We have Emirates to thank for so much of this: opening up the Middle East, Asia, the Far East, Australasia and Southern Africa through its daily scheduled flight to its Dubai hub. It has been transformational. Our businesses have been quick to take advantage and do justice to the confidence in our region shown by Emirates for which we cannot thank the airline enough. Hello tomorrow – it is also our future.”

 

Emirates provides a daily flight from Newcastle to Dubai, which is operated by a Boeing 777 and departs at 13.45.

 

If they can make a success of Newcastle I'm sure that Stansted will work as well, especially as it adds cargo capacity to the UK...

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If Emirates apply the same 70 mile radius policy for their Chauffeur Drive services, then Business and First customers as far away as Oxford, Reading, Norwich and Canterbury will be included, quite a catchment area.

 

https://www.distances-calculator.com/towns-within-a-radius-of.php?t=Stansted&c=Great%20britain

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If Emirates apply the same 70 mile radius policy for their Chauffeur Drive services, then Business and First customers as far away as Oxford, Reading, Norwich and Canterbury will be included, quite a catchment area.

 

https://www.distances-calculator.com/towns-within-a-radius-of.php?t=Stansted&c=Great%20britain

 

That's a very good point indeed.

 

However, for those living in Norwich I think a donkey would suffice :D :D

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I think you will find that Emirates are making shit loads of money flying from the UK to Dubai.

 

The reason being, using aircraft that can fly for 15 hours on a route that takes less than 7 means they can pack the hold full of cargo which is very profitable.

 

I fly from Glasgow and on all 3 trips this year Business has always been at least 80% occupied and on one occasion overbooked, with a volunteer (me) bumped into the Economy cabin, given 3 seats to myself and a free Business Class round trip ticket on the same route.

:deal:

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I think you will find that Emirates are making shit loads of money flying from the UK to Dubai.

 

The reason being, using aircraft that can fly for 15 hours on a route that takes less than 7 means they can pack the hold full of cargo which is very profitable.

 

I fly from Glasgow and on all 3 trips this year Business has always been at least 80% occupied and on one occasion overbooked, with a volunteer (me) bumped into the Economy cabin, given 3 seats to myself and a free Business Class round trip ticket on the same route.

Indeed Emirates have a problem with cargo loads ex UK especially with the A380 Aircraft. Most of the A380 aircraft cargo holds are full of baggage so introducing the B777-300ER will help with cargo capacity. I can see loads of trucks providing cargo for this route ex Stansted from MAN/LHR likewise trucks flow to Newcastle from Manchester/Birmingham.

Edited by Brown1950

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From my point of view the relative profit making one airport over another is less than nothing to me . I want to fly from the most convenient airport and Stansted is by far my most convenient airport ,being around 21 miles from my front door, whilst Gatwick is 62 miles and Heathrow is 67. Southend is nearer at only 18 but doesn't have flights to my chosen destinations. The one caveat is that being a real bargain hunter I would put convenience behind cost as a factor in my choice of flights and unless the price was nearly the same I would continue to use the cheapest "convenient" carrier and airport, but purely geographically stansted is the most convenient for me.

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Southampton = 1723 m

 

Takeoff Distance

(777-200) 8,300 ft (2,530 m)

(777-200ER) 11,600 ft (3,535 m)

(777-200LR) 11,600 ft (3,535 m)

(777F) 11,600 ft (3,535 m)

(777-300) 11,200 ft (3,415 m)

(777-300ER) 10,500 ft (3,200 m)

 

Landing Distance

(777-200) 5,600 ft (1,705 m)

(777-300) 6,100 ft (1,860 m)

 

Yet indeed one did land there a few years back. Being 'Air Interested' its one of those things that make my ears pop up when theres mention of it on TV and as I live in Hampshre we get BBC Southern TV and it was mentioned on there. At the time I though hey thats interesting.

But Long term Stansted own sufficient land to lengthen the runway. The big problem is the softlads moaning about noise from bigger aircraft.

I would say if you dont want to hear airplanes, dont move near an airport.

 

With respect to Stansted? I'll stick by what I said. I think things may start moving when they start announcing more slots at whatever airport gets the new runway. If Emirates can con another slot I suspect they will drop Stansted flat. I may be worng and If so will apologise. But I dont think I am.Its and advertising ploy by Emirates nothing more.

Edited by Goldpanner

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.

But Long term Stansted own sufficient land to lengthen the runway. The big problem is the softlads moaning about noise from bigger aircraft.

I would say if you dont want to hear airplanes, dont move near an airport.

 

 

Stansteds runway is the same length as the 2 at Manchester, give or take a meter, so they wouldn't need to lengthen the runway..... it could handle an A380....

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Yet indeed one did land there a few years back. Being 'Air Interested' its one of those things that make my ears pop up when theres mention of it on TV and as I live in Hampshre we get BBC Southern TV and it was mentioned on there. At the time I though hey thats interesting.

But Long term Stansted own sufficient land to lengthen the runway. The big problem is the softlads moaning about noise from bigger aircraft.

I would say if you dont want to hear airplanes, dont move near an airport.

 

With respect to Stansted? I'll stick by what I said. I think things may start moving when they start announcing more slots at whatever airport gets the new runway. If Emirates can con another slot I suspect they will drop Stansted flat. I may be worng and If so will apologise. But I dont think I am.Its and advertising ploy by Emirates nothing more.

 

Not a case of being right or wrong GP, I think you've raised a very valid alternative viewpoint of why Emirates are doing things and you certainly made me reconsider my thoughts on the matter, and in fact I'm coming in line with yours on many of them. It's prompted the best part of 3 pages of discussion, which is what this part of the forum is all about IMO.

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Stansted has other uses too!

 

Why do security scares and hijacked planes fly to Stansted Airport?

 

What is it that makes Stansted the go-to place for hijacks and other aviation security incidents in the UK

 

A recent security-enforced redirection of a Luton-bound Ryanair flight from Lithuania to a new destination at Stansted Airport was another case of Britain's third largest airport being called into emergency action.

 

Fortunately nothing suspicious was found, and other than upsetting the flight schedules, no damage was done. But why is it always Stansted that ends up being used in this situation?

 

Situated 37 miles outside London and 20 miles from Chelmsford in Essex, Stansted airfield was used by the RAF and US Air Force during World War II, after which it came under the control of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

 

It is Britain's officially designated airport dealing with hijacks because the layout of the facility allows planes to stand well away from terminal buildings and other planes in a situation where negotiations may be required.

 

Staff undergo regular security drills, and there are specialist security staff for the hijack scenario.

 

The first time Stansted's emergency function was called into action was in 1975.

 

A British Airways flight from Manchester to Heathrow was hijacked and after passengers were allowed off at Heathrow because the hijacker believed he would be allowed to fly on to Paris, the plane was diverted to Stansted and he was arrested in possession of a toy pistol and imitation dynamite.

 

Seven years later, in 1982, an Air Tanzania Boeing 737 internal flight carrying 99 passengers ended up at Stansted after previous stops in Nairobi, Jeddah in Saudi Arabia and Athens.

 

After 26 hours of negotiations, the hijackers surrendered and their passengers were released unharmed.

 

Another high-profile incident occured in August 1996, when six Iraqi nationals took control of a Sudanese A130 Airbus flight between Khartoum and Amman, with 197 passengers and crew on board.

 

Armed police were deployed, with the SAS on call to help them if needed, before successful negotiations saw the passengers and crew released (below).

 

The hijackers, who claimed to have TNT explosive and were carrying sauce bottles disguised as grenades, said they were seeking refuge from the regime of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

 

They were given jail terms of five to nine years before later being cleared and freed by the Court of Appeal.

 

In Feburary 2000, Stansted played host to Britain's longest airport siege, when nine Afghan men held 156 passengers and crew on a hijacked Afghan Ariana internal flight hostage for three days.

 

The group, who were opponents of the country's Taliban regime, were jailed for up to five years before having the convictions quashed.

 

There were also two incidents in 2013 - a Pakistan International Airlines flight from Lahore to Manchester was diverted to Stansted and escorted by RAF Typhoons due to an unspecified onboard threat, and in September of the same year Sri Lankan Airlines flight from Colombo to Heathrow was diverted after a passenger claimed 'something' was in the luggage hold.

 

Following the emergency landing, a 49-year-old man was arrested and jailed for three years after admitting a charge of endangering an aircraft.

 

Earlier in February 2017, a Pakistan International Airlines plane on its way from Lahore to Heathrow was escorted by Typhoon jets in Stansted after an anonymous phone call issued a security warning - which turned out to be fake.

 

It isn't just security threats that fly into Stansted either. After security concerns over a visit by US President George W. Bush to the UK in June 2008 led to severe disruptions to commercial services at Heathrow Airport - the airborne entourage included a 747, a 757 and four helicopters as well as Air Force One - leading airlines petitioned the authorities that it should never happen again.

 

As a result Barack Obama's three visits to London in 2009, 2011 and 2016 all arrived and departed the UK through Stansted instead, as did a visit by First Lady Michelle Obama and their daughters Malia and Sasha in 2015.

 

 

 

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