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Topic: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: OP3000
Posted 2009-07-15 14:49:11 and read 7726 times.

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...-virgin-ceos-cush-godfrey-and.html

"He is also eyeing the potential for Virgin airlines in Brazil and Russia, but one of his long-held ambitionsis to attach short-haul operations to Virgin Atlantic. "I would love to do that, but I can't get the slots," Branson says. "Maybe, one day, something might happen between Virgin and BMI to give us the short-haul fleet. Some sort of integration of the two airlines would make sense." He is evasive about whether negotiations are underway with BMI's future majority owner: "If I were talking with Lufthansa, I wouldn't be allowed to talk about it, and if we weren't, I'd have nothing to talk about," he teases."

After reading this, I still wonder whether there is room for Virgin to fly short haul within Europe from LHR. Even though they'd do better than BD has, in my view the low fare carriers have eaten the intra-Europe market up so much that it would be tough to strike enough of a wedge between them and BA. Now with open skies, I actually see VS having more of a future flying long-haul from other EU countries.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: John
Posted 2009-07-15 14:57:14 and read 7698 times.

Didn't they already try that with BRU based Virgin Express, which has now merged with Brussels Airlines...??

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Shankly
Posted 2009-07-15 15:09:35 and read 7656 times.

SRB playing little airline thinks its a big airline game again. About as much chance of this happening as seeing one of these back in the air in his colours:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Ljungdahl

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: OA260
Posted 2009-07-15 15:27:01 and read 7604 times.



Quoting OP3000 (Thread starter):
After reading this, I still wonder whether there is room for Virgin to fly short haul within Europe from LHR.

They did it years back. LHR-ATH with A320's. I flew the route. Was good while it lasted.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: PlymSpotter
Posted 2009-07-15 15:39:33 and read 7568 times.



Quoting OA260 (Reply 3):

They did it years back. LHR-ATH with A320's. I flew the route. Was good while it lasted.

Didn't they have the A321 as well, I'm sure it was one of those I saw in Virgin Atlantic livery years back. Also shows that the A333/787 won't be the first twin jet in their fleet and colorscheme.

There was also Virgin Sun, the bright yellow Airbusses which lasted a year or so before being pulled.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: SunriseValley
Posted 2009-07-15 16:00:39 and read 7510 times.



Quoting OP3000 (Thread starter):
"I would love to do that, but I can't get the slots," Branson says.

I assume he is referring to LHR. A convenient scapegoat in my view. SRB is being somewhat disengenuous. There are at least three other airports surrounding London. What is wrong with LCY , Porter have proved that there is good shorthaul business from close-in airports such as YTZ. You don't need jets, just quality of service and schedules that work....period.
If he is serious about taking on BA here is his opportunity.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: WROORD
Posted 2009-07-15 16:08:20 and read 7486 times.

I think LGW would be a better choice than LHR. Some of their long-haul flights originate there. Also, with some national carriers close to extinction, or being bought and reduced to feeder airliners. I think there is additional room for a good quality service in EU. Something like Virgin America or JetBlue offers in US. Not sure if a hub network would be the best, but there are plenty of prime routes still open and not operated by anyone.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: OzarkD9S
Posted 2009-07-15 17:56:19 and read 7366 times.

they could, it's called BMI.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: OyKIE
Posted 2009-07-15 22:45:50 and read 7207 times.

I believe that they could succeed if they can distinguish their marketing from Ryanair and other low cost operators. They need to be very competitive on a cost base, but I would prefer to fly on Virgin Europe any day before I would fly Ryanair. If they could offer a great upper class as well they will succeed.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Richard28
Posted 2009-07-15 22:55:22 and read 7186 times.



Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 5):
There are at least three other airports surrounding London. What is wrong with LCY



Quoting WROORD (Reply 6):
I think LGW would be a better choice than LHR.

I assme He would want to fly LHR to feed with the vast majority of Virgin Atlantic flights.

Flying shorthaul from LGW or LCY just would not make any sense.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: SurfandSnow
Posted 2009-07-15 23:00:46 and read 7169 times.

They succeeded in Australia/Oceania and have been well-received here in the U.S. (can't say they are doing well just yet  Wink though) so I'm sure they could do well on intra-European runs. Of course, operational constraints from LHR make this much more a pipedream than a conceivable reality. Maybe when that 3rd runway opens, but probably not before then Sad

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: BCAL
Posted 2009-07-16 00:57:17 and read 7029 times.



Quoting Shankly (Reply 2):
SRB playing little airline thinks its a big airline game again.

Just what would SRB offer for an European short-haul service even if he could get the slots? There is no room for more LCCs in the European short-haul market and people do not associate the Virgin brand with the LCC module. He tried it before with Virgin Express (at one time SRB boasted this would become Europe's largest airline) and failed.

If he is planning to offer something similar to Virgin America, unlike the US where the service and fares on the the legacy carriers is generally appalling, in Europe some legacy carriers still offer good service and competitive prices. Virgin's past successes in civil aviation have festered on the corpses of defunct carriers - Ansett in Australia and British Caledonian in UK to quote two examples. There is no corpse to fester on in Europe.

Nothing would happen between VS and BMI. Apart from the fact that there is no love lost between SRB and SMB, why would LH want to benefit VS. In any event VS would have to expand its long-haul from a 35 aircraft fleet to +70 aircraft fleet to offer anything remotely similar to the frequency schedules of BA at LHR.

It would be against the odds that Virgin could suceeed in going short-haul. There is a better chance of FR deciding that they now have too many supplementary charges and scrapping every one.

Just like Michael O'Leary quoted on SRB, "He's like a little chihuahua barking at a dying labrador. Nobody cares!" Only this time the labrador is not BA but the European legacy airlines.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Bralo20
Posted 2009-07-16 01:31:14 and read 6960 times.



Quoting John (Reply 1):
Didn't they already try that with BRU based Virgin Express, which has now merged with Brussels Airlines...??

Back in 1996 Virgin started Virgin Express (TV), the BRU based "low cost" subsidiary of Virgin. In 2004 Virgin Express merged with SN Brussels Airlines which would become Brussels Airlines in 2007. It had a fleet of 5 B733's and 5 B734's. During the peak they had 22 aircrafts operating for VEX.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: ANstar
Posted 2009-07-16 01:37:34 and read 6944 times.



Quoting BCAL (Reply 11):
Virgin's past successes in civil aviation have festered on the corpses of defunct carriers - Ansett in Australia

That may be when it started... but they have grown into a respected carrier here and are still growing their pax numbers whilst QF and JQ were recently in decline (MAY figures).

Ansett WAS 9 years ago...

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Slinky09
Posted 2009-07-16 01:52:38 and read 6906 times.



Quoting BCAL (Reply 11):
Nothing would happen between VS and BMI. Apart from the fact that there is no love lost between SRB and SMB, why would LH want to benefit VS

SMB is quite out of the frame now having finally agreed a price with LH. Would LH want to benefit VS - maybe not but perhaps selling part of BMI to VS would make sense for them? LH already had more slots at LHR than VS and my reading between the lines says they would have walked from buying BMI if they could.

Would VS stand any better chance of making BMI work ... maybe, it's a crowded market, price is key, I think they'd have to rebrand very similar to VX and interior refit in the same manner. Not cheap.

Quoting OyKIE (Reply 8):
I assme He would want to fly LHR to feed with the vast majority of Virgin Atlantic flights.
Flying shorthaul from LGW or LCY just would not make any sense.

Absolutely. Or wait for the third runway if that ever happens (I can't believe the Tories and their promise to scrap it, way out of touch people) - more likely VS will get some of BMI first?

Quoting OP3000 (Thread starter):
After reading this, I still wonder whether there is room for Virgin to fly short haul within Europe from LHR.

Back to the OP, yes. Virgin have shown it can work in Aus, VX is getting many plundits albeit it's been strafed by just about everybody and is operating in a terrible business climate. Feeding the long haul network - isn't that what every other long route airline wants to do?

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: APYu
Posted 2009-07-16 02:06:34 and read 6868 times.



Quoting BCAL (Reply 11):
why would LH want to benefit VS

Because LH and its European could feed traffic into LHR from Europe. While BMI feeds traffic into LHR from around the UK - Leaving the great bearded one to fly them out over the Atlantic.

Such a threesome between LH, BD and VS has been discussed for years. Indeed much of the cost cutting at VS over the last few years could have been to make the VS operation much healthier and hence attractive to a potential suitor to promote such a tie up.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: LondonCity
Posted 2009-07-16 02:34:11 and read 6799 times.

What must also be noted is that profit margins within Europe are wafer thin. Big airlines like BA, AF, KL, LH etc make little if any money on their European operations.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Racko
Posted 2009-07-16 02:47:43 and read 6788 times.

The EU is already giving LH a very hard time just with the AUA takeover, there's no way a LH-BD-VS "threesome" would go through.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Kiwiandrew
Posted 2009-07-16 02:58:26 and read 6764 times.



Quoting Racko (Reply 17):
The EU is already giving LH a very hard time just with the AUA takeover, there's no way a LH-BD-VS "threesome" would go through.

but that is because there is a lot of overlap with other LH group members eg VIE-BRU ( SN and OS ) , VIE-GVA ( OS and LX ) , VIE-FRA (OS and LH ) , VIE-MUC ( OS and LH ) etc .

What specific routes would VS overlap on with any of the current LH 'family' - none as far as I can see .

on the topic of VS competing on shorthaul ... why would they want to and in the current environment do they have the money to take on a completely new venture ? IMHO , the only way you will see Virgin enter/re-enter European shorthaul is if a VS/BD combo goes ahead .

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Gemuser
Posted 2009-07-16 03:15:07 and read 6738 times.

Of course he COULD! He has shown in Oz & USA that he has the formula to do it, he now needs to get all the pieces into place. Yes that will be hard in the specific conditions of the GFC, EU & LHR, but there are answers, all it takes is knowledge, guts & money. The real question is it worth it, for anybody?

Quoting BCAL (Reply 11):
Virgin's past successes in civil aviation have festered on the corpses of defunct carriers - Ansett in Australia

That's a pretty simplistic view. Shortly after the Oz domestic market was deregulated we had four domestic players, QF, AN, DJ & Impulse. QF was in strong shape after a very sound privatisation, with the most comprehensive network. AN was well established, with a comprehensive domestic network & a developing international network. Impulse was a local regional carrier moving into the big league. Virgin was the flamboyant, pommey new comer, fronted by the unique SRB, but lead by local boy Godfrey.

Many, many things happened in the melee that followed including the internal rotting of AN, an offer to sell DJ to Impulse, countered by an offer to sell Impulse to DJ, before agreement on price was reached QF made an offer for Impulse that was accepted and AN went bankrupt. It was all too complex to dismiss as DJ to "have festered on the corpses of defunct carriers". Yes SRB was lucky, so was Impulse's owner (he got a good price from QF), AN was hard done by, by its owners and QF sailed on.

SRB COULD do the same in Europe, but if it would be worthwhile, I don't know.

Gemuser

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Candid76
Posted 2009-07-16 03:16:08 and read 6731 times.

I'm not sure what LH would have to gain from feeding VS at LHR. Would they not be better off feeding their own hubs? bmi already feeds Star long haul services from the key UK airports, which I doubt is to their benefit as they must get very little of the revenue. VS is not part of Star, and even if they joined I still don't understand why it would be in the interest of LH and bmi to feed VS.

As SRB seems to have the same myopic view of the UK market as everyone else, maybe he should remember that he has a presence at MAN that he could develop. The cost structure at LHR doesn't lend itself to short haul operations on a profitable basis.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: APYu
Posted 2009-07-16 04:27:01 and read 6603 times.



Quoting Candid76 (Reply 20):
I'm not sure what LH would have to gain from feeding VS at LHR. Would they not be better off feeding their own hubs?

They could focus each hub on a particular market. e.g. transatlantic via LHR, Far and Mid East via FRA

Quoting Candid76 (Reply 20):
I still don't understand why it would be in the interest of LH and bmi to feed VS.

The feed works both ways based on the fact that the three route networks complement each other

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: COEI2007
Posted 2009-07-16 04:59:01 and read 6475 times.

Establishing a short-haul network ex LHR for VS would be suicide. Unless they get hold or BD's short-haul network, it wont happen. Nearly every route ex LHR that VS short-haul would serve would have competition from BA, or a flag carrier like LH, IB etc

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Candid76
Posted 2009-07-16 05:01:26 and read 6464 times.



Quoting APYu (Reply 21):
They could focus each hub on a particular market. e.g. transatlantic via LHR, Far and Mid East via FRA

That would please bmi no end as their focus is on the Middle East and if you believe what is posted hereabouts that mid-haul operation is their main profit centre. See what I mean?

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europ
Username: Rutankrd
Posted 2009-07-16 05:01:44 and read 6464 times.

APYu
How many more times with the UK APU tax, Transit visa requirements on Russian/Serbians/Ukrainian etc..and excessive security measures that results minimum 3 hour transit times combined with the nightmare of LHR terminal changes.
Add the FACT that VS remains outside *A why on earth would LH group choose to route any TALC traffic from European mainline points away from FRA/MUC or even Zurich?

Same goes for Air China. ANA, South African, Thai and Singapore and even Air India - all these *A have better connections at FRA than LHR.

No *A operations are of the Focus City type at LHR and really London bound O&D (Good for that) with bmi operating a small regional feed to a few UK/Ireland Points.
As an added bonus bmi have also been able to interline with some of the smaller non aligned operators the likes of Gulf Air and Royal Brunei
I expect this to remain the case.

After some network evaluation i see bmi (LHuK) middle east and central Asia route network to be further rationalized, I actually see the A332s being removed and LH having some LHR slot lease pairs available for hand back to BA and Cash trading !

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: APYu
Posted 2009-07-16 05:35:33 and read 6219 times.

Rutankrd
So if VS were to join Star and the Star alliance have single terminal ops two of your biggest issues would make it a possibility. (OK it doesnt sort out the eastern eueopeans with the visa stuff but that seems acceptable as a minor inconvenience)

For all of our opinions - it is common knowledge that the three have beeen talking on and off for at least two years about something - so some sort of tie up cant be considered as ridiculous as you seem to think.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Babybus
Posted 2009-07-16 05:38:12 and read 6429 times.

I have a feeling that VS is within 10yrs of the end of its product lifecycle. I haven't heard anyone boast about flying them, indeed I hear the opposite.

We have very good natioanl airlines in Europe and we also have very good LCC's. Where would VS fit into what is a very tied up-market?

A short haul operation for VS may well be the brick that breaks the camel's back.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Shankly
Posted 2009-07-16 12:49:06 and read 4634 times.



Quoting Babybus (Reply 26):
I have a feeling that VS is within 10yrs of the end of its product lifecycle. I haven't heard anyone boast about flying them, indeed I hear the opposite

Babybus, thanks for also acknowledging the Emperors new clothes

I was at a tube station today and, as you do, looked at various adverts including, one for Virgin Mobile. As I look around the platform at the mix of men in suits, mums with kids, dress down execs, OAP's, trendy 20 blokes with their man bags, gorgeous girls in their...well not much actually today as it was warm and me, i'm thinking, who the bloody hell buys into this brand anymore?

Now I loved Miami Vice, but VS is still MV (sooooo 80's) when compared to some of todays CSI Miami brands (actually, BA included).

I've heard some odd things about their long haul product recently, both up front and at the back which really suggests an airline falling well below perception

It is my belief that VS's slots at LHR will be on ebay long before those of BA

As we say here in the UK..."too good to go down?" Nope, ask Nottm Forest fans and former BCAL, Pan Am, Braniff and Laker employees

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: COEI2007
Posted 2009-07-16 16:05:22 and read 4154 times.



Quoting Shankly (Reply 27):
Quoting Babybus (Reply 26):
I have a feeling that VS is within 10yrs of the end of its product lifecycle. I haven't heard anyone boast about flying them, indeed I hear the opposite

VS led the way by being something new and different. Airlines have caught up with them, especiall Middle-Eastern carriers! I think they need to really up there game to stay as the airline people talk about. I dont think setting up Europe ops would be a good idea, as to carry over the VS product onto Europe profitably would be near impossible!

Quoting Shankly (Reply 27):
who the bloody hell buys into this brand anymore?

Virgin Nigeria is loosing the ''Virgin'', and a rake of ''Virgin'' franchise business' have closed down or been bought out

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Brilondon
Posted 2009-07-16 18:52:15 and read 4077 times.



Quoting Bralo20 (Reply 12):
Quoting John (Reply 1):
Didn't they already try that with BRU based Virgin Express, which has now merged with Brussels Airlines...??

Back in 1996 Virgin started Virgin Express (TV), the BRU based "low cost" subsidiary of Virgin. In 2004 Virgin Express merged with SN Brussels Airlines which would become Brussels Airlines in 2007. It had a fleet of 5 B733's and 5 B734's. During the peak they had 22 aircrafts operating for VEX.

This is my thought exactly and they sold off to SN Brussels because he did not make enough money at it, or he would still be doing it today.

Quoting APYu (Reply 15):
Because LH and its European could feed traffic into LHR from Europe. While BMI feeds traffic into LHR from around the UK - Leaving the great bearded one to fly them out over the Atlantic.

They should hub everything at FRA and sell the fact you could connect to the Middle East from FRA without having to go to LHR.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: OP3000
Posted 2009-07-16 19:14:50 and read 4061 times.



Quoting Brilondon (Reply 29):

They should hub everything at FRA and sell the fact you could connect to the Middle East from FRA without having to go to LHR.

Keep in mind that London has a lot more O/D to/from the Middle East than FRA. In fact there's a few of those flights which could be run out of LGW to free up slots.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Avek00
Posted 2009-07-16 19:26:11 and read 4053 times.



Quoting COEI2007 (Reply 28):
VS led the way by being something new and different.

VS never really "led the way" in the marketplace. Rather, the airline made effective use of gimmicks to attract pax in the (then-) restricted markets in which it operated.

The UK air market -- particularly to the USA and East Asia -- is now far less restricted, and that freedom is what will ultimately bring on VS' demise.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Bongodog1964
Posted 2009-07-17 03:09:55 and read 3930 times.



Quoting Avek00 (Reply 31):

What's the difference between Michael Jackson and Airbus planes? Michael gets lighter, Airbus planes don't.

What's the difference between Michael jackson and a 787 ?. Michael is soaring up to meet the angels,the 787 is descending to hell !!!!

Quoting Avek00 (Reply 31):
Quoting COEI2007 (Reply 28):
VS led the way by being something new and different.

VS never really "led the way" in the marketplace. Rather, the airline made effective use of gimmicks to attract pax in the (then-) restricted markets in which it operated.

The thing with VS was the marketing, the gimmicks were in the main cheap to provide, but in the early stages very effective, two examples being the choc ice during the movie, and the k-id backpack. Over a period of time they lose their effectiveness. The backpack becomes just another one to add to the one handed out last year, as for the choc ice, are you watching the movie, and do you really want it ?

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Brilondon
Posted 2009-07-17 04:20:32 and read 3825 times.



Quoting OP3000 (Reply 30):
Keep in mind that London has a lot more O/D to/from the Middle East than FRA. In fact there's a few of those flights which could be run out of LGW to free up slots.

So what. Obviously I did not make it clear in my post I was talking about LH NOT BA. I am talking about changing planes flying form North America. Who the hell wants to fly into one airport (LHR) and have to go through the hassle of collecting luggage, transferring to another airport(LGW) and then go through check in and through security again.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Slinky09
Posted 2009-07-17 05:54:39 and read 3746 times.



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 32):
The thing with VS was the marketing, the gimmicks were in the main cheap to provide

Not so sure about that - onboard bars, in flight beauty therapists, AVOD, world-leading lounges, the first flat beds in business all aisle accessible ... these were not mere cheap baubles and when new added up to a very compelling set of bonuses to the simple flight itself.

VS's marketing needed innovative products to get air time over the competition - it certainly worked for a long time. Whether it is now in need of an overhaul is a different matter.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: Bongodog1964
Posted 2009-07-17 06:25:42 and read 3721 times.



Quoting Slinky09 (Reply 34):
The thing with VS was the marketing, the gimmicks were in the main cheap to provide

Not so sure about that - onboard bars, in flight beauty therapists, AVOD, world-leading lounges, the first flat beds in business all aisle accessible ... these were not mere cheap baubles and when new added up to a very compelling set of bonuses to the simple flight itself.

AVOD never appeared on the LGW or MAN routes, it was promised, but was scrapped to save money. The beauty therapists also disappeared in an economy drive.

The all aisle accessible flat beds were at the time unique, some however would say that they prefer the BA flat bed layout.
As to the onboard bar, whilst it sounds good, in practice is it that practical, certainly not when you are in your seat with the seat belt sign on.

In addition, the majority of the travelling public only ever saw the choc ice and the k-id backpack, marooned as they were in stowage.

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: APYu
Posted 2009-07-17 08:43:03 and read 3612 times.



Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 35):
The all aisle accessible flat beds were at the time unique, some however would say that they prefer the BA flat bed layout.
As to the onboard bar, whilst it sounds good, in practice is it that practical, certainly not when you are in your seat with the seat belt sign on.

Others would say the VS bed is better and the onboard bar is fabulous!

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: OP3000
Posted 2009-07-21 01:54:30 and read 3216 times.

I have another question that just came to mind about VS which I'll throw in:

Given open skies, could VS have success in launching service from cities in the EU (outside UK) to the US on a similar scale than they have from the UK?

Topic: RE: Could Virgin Succeed Going Short-Haul In Europe?
Username: BCAL
Posted 2009-07-21 07:50:55 and read 3058 times.



Quoting OP3000 (Reply 37):
Given open skies, could VS have success in launching service from cities in the EU (outside UK) to the US on a similar scale than they have from the UK?

It was only 2 years ago that VS boasted as soon as Open Skies took effect VS could be flying from European cities to the US

Quote:
An "open skies" deal outlined by U.S. and EU negotiators this month and hailed as the most important air travel pact in decades goes to EU transport ministers for review on March 22. "Virgin is exploring direct services to America from several European hubs," said a Virgin Atlantic spokesman.

He said a study was under way that could see Virgin add flights to the United States from Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Zurich, Amsterdam and possibly Madrid within two years, he said.

Reuters

Like many of VS's plans this never came to fruition. Perhaps they were scared off by the failure of the likes of Eos, MaxJet and Silverjet (or whatever they were called), a steep fall in demand triggered by the credit crisis, and/or BA's Openskies beat them to the finishing line. Or maybe the fact that VS is a 'big' airline constrained by circumstances in a small airline straitjacket. It has National Carrier infrastructure at its LHR base, but can never get the routes and therefore the investment to move from a 37+ Fleet to a 75+ Fleet and the diverse network it needs for long term survival?


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