QF744 From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 413 posts, RR: 1 Posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 9755 times:
Here it is - the news we have been waiting for!
Virgin Atlantic have received approval to fly LHR-HGK-SYD; flights start December!
Here's part of their news release..
Virgin Atlantic Airways, the full-service international airline of the Virgin Group, announced today that it would launch daily scheduled services between Sydney and London via Hong Kong, commencing on Wednesday, 8 December.
Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic said: “I am delighted that Virgin Atlantic is now able to offer flights between Australia, Hong Kong and the UK – everyone at Virgin has long wished for us to operate to Australia and today’s announcement really is a dream come true. Australians have also been waiting for many years for the BA-Qantas duopoly to be broken and for new competition to be introduced.
“Today’s announcement is another major landmark in Virgin Atlantic’s development. Sydney is a prestigious route and will become our 23rd destination. Tomorrow is also the 20th anniversary of our very first flight from Gatwick to Newark in 1984. Australia is a country that everyone at Virgin has been hoping to fly to from since these early days and the news that our ambitions have become a reality will really add to our celebrations.
“Virgin Atlantic’s new services on the kangaroo route will be good news for consumers in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK, as it will mean that much needed competition and choice is brought to these markets. I am sure that Virgin Atlantic’s award winning service and innovative products will be well received both in the Australia-UK and Australia-Hong Kong markets.”
Virgin Atlantic Airways Flight VS201 will depart Sydney at 1615, arriving at Hong Kong at 2205. After a stop of just 90 minutes, the aircraft will then depart Hong Kong at 2335, arriving at London Heathrow at 0450 the following day.
Flight VS200 will depart London’s Heathrow Airport daily at 2130 arriving in Hong Kong at 1750 the following day. The aircraft will then depart Hong Kong at 1920 arriving in Sydney at 0710 the following day.
All services will be operated by 306-seat Airbus A340-600 aircraft with a configuration of 45 Upper Class Suites, 28 Premium Economy and 233 Economy seats.
Details of Virgin Atlantic’s introductory promotional offers will be announced later this year, and tickets will go on sale for the new services at the same time.
In addition to the Sydney route, Virgin Atlantic recently announced that it is due to launch a number of other new routes including Cuba and The Bahamas and an increase in services to the US, Caribbean, Asia and the Far East.
HB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4414 posts, RR: 76 Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9206 times:
Does this mean an effective downgrade for Hongkong or does Hongkong get extra capacity to make up for the one they're about to lose to Sydney? BA recently increased its Hongkong flights from 14 to 17 weekly, so it would be kind of strange to see Virgin scale back.
Cx123 From Australia, joined May 2004, 695 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 9158 times:
What do you mean by downgrade?????
I thought this agreement will increase the overall frequency between AUS and HKG???
QF744, despite SIN has those main airlines, I think on an overall basis, HKG has stronger prescence in the overalall Asia region.
With the codeshare agreement with SU, I really can't think of any major cities in the world you can't reach via HKG?
Also HKG will be building the new terminal by 2006 to cater for the arrival of A380. It might even become the first airport in Asia to be ready for this aircraft.
HKG definitely has so much more potential overall any other airport in the region. (both Cargo and Pax)
HB-IWC From Greece, joined Sep 2000, 4414 posts, RR: 76 Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 9084 times:
For VS's London-Hongkong route, the extension of the existing flight comes down to a capacity downgrade, as the Hongkong station will now have to share its aircraft and available seats with the Sydney station, whilst the deployed aircraft remains unchanged. That is unless VS adds capacity on the Heathrow-Hongkong leg or plans to upgrade VS200/201 to a B744.
QF744 From Australia, joined Feb 2004, 413 posts, RR: 1 Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 9034 times:
And now for my 200th posting ....
You would expect that VS will upgrade their HKG schedule, or change flight times by a few hours... not sure how easy that will be to fix quickly, since you can count the plane away from HKG for over 22 hours.