Apuneger From Belgium, joined Sep 2000, 3026 posts, RR: 13 Reply 3, posted (10 years 3 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1595 times:
this is news for me as well. I haven't heard anything about this...yet. Can you give more details about the AMS - Rome (FCO?) flight. Have you just seen an VEX aircraft take off from AMS? Have you seen a TV-flight number somewhere? Have you read something about it? Haven't I been following latest VEX-developments?
LJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4140 posts, RR: 1 Reply 4, posted (10 years 3 months 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 1587 times:
Not really. It's not VEX idea to start ex AMS but the idea of a Dutch travel tycoon who "charters" VEX for his idea of low cost flights ex AMS. If the experiment is succesfull they may increase the number of flights ex AMS and we may see more VEX at AMS (provided that the Dutch travel tycoon will use VEX for the other flights and not start his own airline).
Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (10 years 3 months 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 1492 times:
First VEX relied on Sabena to keep flying. Now this.
Do people think this is a viable long-term strategy for VEX? Do they have a long-term guarantee with Mr.Dutch tycoon, or is this just limited to one destination? Why don't they set themselves up at a cheaper location, and start fanning out from there? Why not relocate to a UK regional airport?
There must be something better to do than just being a parasite...
LJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4140 posts, RR: 1 Reply 8, posted (10 years 3 months 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 1482 times:
Do they have a long-term guarantee with Mr.Dutch tycoon, or is this just limited to one destination?
As far as they have made public the agreement only covers Rome with an option to extend it to other destination (probably Palma and a few other destinations in Spain). Nothing mentioned about how long the contract lasts, but the person behind the whole idea is in it for the long run (and given his choice of destinations doesn't seem to like KLM/Basiq much).
Why don't they set themselves up at a cheaper location, and start fanning out from there?
Because mr. Dutch tycoon buys x number of seats on each VEX flight leaving AMS(guaranteed income). Thus they get money from the travel agency and are allowed to sell directly to the public (against much higher prices). Not a bad deal for VEX (moreover as the public doesn't actually know which airline they fly if they book via the travel agent).
Moreover VEX is getting exposure on the Dutch market against low cost,
Capt.Picard From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 9, posted (10 years 3 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1447 times:
Sure, that's fine. VEX gets guaranteed income, just like in the Sabena days. My point was more whether this was a profitable long-term strategy. I mean, they seem to be relying on travel agents to fill seats on the one hand (just as UK charter airlines do), whilst selling seat-only capacity to the general public at the same time, over a variety of airports to different destinations.
Fine, not so different from some low-cost airlines. But they seem to be making up a business plan as they go - i.e. they don't seem to have stopped and thought it through completely. Perhaps Cologne was a big disappointment, but not an excuse to throw hands up in the air and say 'oh well, it happens'.
I mean, what exactly defines VEX? What is its primary objective and role in Europe? What are VEX trying to acheive? I don't know if even the people at VEX can answer that!
I guess what I'm basically trying to say is that VEX never really seemed to have any concrete strategy - have they actually made any money yet?
Pothiabs From United States of America, joined May 2001, 114 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (10 years 3 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 1458 times:
the word "parasite" also often crossed my mind when thinking of VEX. It is true that they have always been able to live from something, that "something" being an easy source of revenue : the Belgian charter market in the late 90's, overrated codeshare with Sabena (+), the advantage of their image as "young underdog", ....but :
Although very efficient and sometimes sly, they do lack some creativity, and sometimes it seems like they are just "trying a bit of everything until the fish bites". Many airlines can not afford to experiment like that, but VEX can, just because they have this low cost base to fall back on. It's just that, up to now, they have not really been able to take much advantage of this solid platform.
One should also question if they can continue to operate on mainly season-sensitive routes where the competition from charter airlines is considerable (PMI, AGP, BCN, LIS, NCE, BOD, ATH, MAD, FAO), and destinations that are or will soon be served by an even more cost-efficient carrier (LIN-BGY, FCO-CIA, with BCN-GRO in the pipeline ?). It would be interesting to see the effect the CRL-BGY flights are having on the BRU-LIN and BRU-MXP traffic, knowing that Ryanair managed to steal away +/- 20% of the BRU-FCO volume and reroute it via CRL-CIA.
I also think they shouldn't be afraid of trying to expand further, even into the domain of SNBA on well-selected routes. As you will all have gathered already from earlier postings, I do not think SNBA has a good chance of surviving, moreover : right now they are about at their weakest point when it comes to financial solidity to go into competition. So VEX shouldn't take the risk of waiting until :
1. SNBA collapses, or either
2. starts making profit, gain financial strength and credibility towards potential investors. (which I still doubt heavily, but one has to consider all possibilities here, after all we're in Belgium)