Back Online!

January 20, 2009

After a much longer-than-anticipated spell in the hangar, Adam Rowden Aviation Photography is back online with a new look and new photos!

There are also a number of new features to check out, including…

  • An Aviation News feed (with RSS)
  • Share a Photo (email a photo to a friend)
  • Photo Galleries
  • Photo Articles (inc. Aviation Photography Basics, and Photography at Stansted and Newcastle)
  • Your Lightbox (a space to pull together photos into a personal album)

Enjoy! back online in January

December 22, 2008

Sorry folks – it’s been a long time since I took offline line for some ‘temporary’ maintenance!

The website moved to a new server during the summer, but this required some significant changes to be made behind the scenes. Never one to miss an opportunity, I decided to incorporate a redesign of the website at the same time, though this has taken somewhat longer than I envisaged to finish!

All being well – and last-minute bugs pending – we should be back online in January, along with many new photos from Newcastle, Manchester and Stansted.

See for a preview!

Aer Lingus gives Gatwick a go

December 22, 2008

Aer Lingus surprised many last week when it announced plans to launch a new base at London’s Gatwick airport. Starting April 2009, Aer Lingus will base four Airbus A320s at Gatwick, its second base out of the Republic of Ireland (the other being Belfast), with plans to have eight aircraft based at the airport by spring 2010.

The announcement comes at an interesting time for the Irish carrier. It is once again doing all it can to deflect another take-over bid by Ryanair, whilst at the same time tussling with the unions over various cost cutting measures which could result in significant job losses and the closure of a number of crew bases outside of Dublin.

Establishing a base at Gatwick will be no mean feat. In picking sun-spots such as Nice, Malaga and Faro as three of its initial destinations, it’s almost certainly lining itself up for a run-in with easyJet, Gatwick’s largest customer and a fierce competitor on Mediterranean routes from Gatwick. easyJet recently swallowed up GB Airways (who were based at Gatwick) and is showing no signs of slowing down its expansion at Gatwick, especially as more and more lucrative slots are vacated by north American carriers switching to Heathrow.

Nor can one forget the likes of BA, Monarch Scheduled and the plethora of charters carriers who now offer seat-only deals, all of which are well-known names in and around Sussex and have customer bases to match.

It stands a better chance, perhaps, with some of its other chosen destinations, such Vienna, Munich, Knock and Zurich, which are not currently served from Gatwick. It is also upping its existing Gatwick-Dublin service to six-times-daily, and with BA pulling off this route at the end of the winter (to code-share with Aer Lingus, in fact), will face competition only from Ryanair.

The same Ryanair, that is, that threw a hissy-fit when easyJet entered the Gatwick to Ireland market (with services to Shannon, Cork and Knock) a few years ago. Ryanair immediately scheduled competing services of its own and forced easyJet to retreat a year later. Ryanair has made no secret of its future plans for Gatwick, especially as its spat with Stansted continues and it looks for new homes for its ever-growing fleet of Boeing 737s. It will soon add more Gatwick routes of its own, to Girona and Alicante, with others rumoured to follow soon. The saving grace for Aer Lingus is that, for the time being at least, Ryanair does not currently base either aircraft or crew at Gatwick and a direct response might take longer to mobilise.

As a spectator, it will be fascinating to see the response that Aer Lingus receives, not just from competitors but from passengers alike. It’s going to require a significant marketing budget to build awareness of its new base and do what it can to evolve its all-Irish image. Building the brand around London will not be as easy as it might have been around Belfast. But it will also need to be able to compete on price (does loyalty exist as much in the low-cost sector?) and have the capacity to build on frequencies very quickly. It sounds crazy, but eight Gatwick-based aircraft by spring 2010 may well be not enough of a foot-in-the-door.

View my photos of Aer Lingus, Ryanair and easyJet.