Nuremburg floats Blue Ocean campaign to beat hub sharks

Located between Germany's two hub airports of Frankfurt and Munich means Airport Nurnberg may be the small fish in the pond, but it hopes Its Blue Ocean campaign will help deliver new capital city connectivity in the future.

The Air Service Development team at Nuremberg Airport in Germany is advising prospective airline partners to beware of the shark tank that hub airports can be and benefit from the Blue Ocean chances in Nuremburg. Living between the European nation’s two hub airports of Frankfurt and Munich mean the facility may be the small fish in the pond, but it hopes this campaign will help deliver new capital city connectivity in the future.

“There are no sharks in Nuremberg,” Christian Kaser, head of aviation marketing and business development, Airport Nurnberg told Routesonline during the World Routes network development forum in Chengdu, China. “Instead a there is a great opportunity to take advantage of our strong business links to sustain new regular air services.”

The airport may have been fighting for scraps from the top table, but has successfully developed a route network based around low-cost and leisure airlines. Wizz Air has been its fastest-growing carrier and will continue its growth into 2017 with new links to Belgrade and Tuzla.

It is now seeing the rise of Ryanair which will open a single aircraft base in Nuremberg from this winter, adding to a long-standing route to London Stansted. The deployment will facilitate the introduction of new Bergamo, Budapest, Malta, Manchester and Rome flights, while a link to Porto is already confirmed for summer 2017.

“Ryanair are delivering us with city connections and have embraced the business value that we can offer as a destination,” explained Kaser. “We are excited about the winter expansion and hope we can build up capacity and frequencies to add to the scale of the base in the future.”

Nuremberg is the largest base worldwide for multinational Siemens, while Adidas, Puma, GfK, Schaeffler, Stabilo and LEONI are just a few of the major brands that have their headquarters in the city and surrounding area. This means the per capita purchasing power in the core catchment of the airport is 11.4% above the German average.

“We have an attractive business proposition and are now working to overcome our excessive regional leakage into the hubs. This is partly due to the long-haul activities from Frankfurt and Munich, but we have work to do in the short-haul market,” said Kaser.

The airport estimates that just under two thirds of its catchment demand leaks out to other airports, around 2.7 million passengers annually. It hopes that a focus on boosting its business links will help balance this split.

“Ryanair is delivering city connectivity but there are still more unserved capital city markets on our radar including Madrid, Athens and Warsaw.  We have no connectivity into Scandinavia nor Poland, while London is underserved and a second airport is wanted,” said Kaser. Heathrow is the target as data shows it is among the top three transfer destinations out of the city.

2017 will also see the arrival of a Germania base in Nuremburg and an enhanced offering into Mediterranean markets, including links to Dalaman, Paphos and Faro.  These will be flown using an Airbus A319 and a Boeing 737 and will also see the carrier go head-to-head with airberlin in the Nuremberg – Palma de Mallorca market.

Kaser urged airlines at World Routes to “start swimming in the blue ocean” and take advantage of Airport Nurnberg’s 25 minutes turnarounds, 24 hour operation and no slot restrictions. “Why be number six or seven for take-off when you can always be number one?” he said.

“Why jump into a dangerous shark tank when the blue ocean offers you interesting options on the route to profitable growth? At Airport Nurnberg airlines can look forward to a largely competition-free market that offers a huge amount of untapped potential in the business, leisure and incoming sectors for attractive city pairs and unserved point-to-point routes,” he added.