BMED From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2004, 863 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 7858 times:
I don't know but my guess was that the airline wanted to see if there was demand for domestic flights to connect onto the company's long haul service. Properly similar to when the company started doing holiday packages and created virgin sun.
Correct me if I'm wrong however as this is a guess.
Vanguard From Solomon Islands, joined Feb 2004, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 7750 times:
Remember that this was in the pre-LCC days, and MST is pretty well placed for the Ruhr, Belgium and Netherlands. If the airport operators struck a deal, it was possibly the plan to pick up traffic there to feed into the main US routes. I guess it didn't pay - or perhaps it stopped when Virgin Express started up. Perhaps someone else can give the dates?
BCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 14
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7316 times:
Quoting Simairlinenet (Reply 6): The reasoning for Maastricht is explained in Simon Calder's "No Frills" book
Shortly after launching the Newark service in June 1984, Branson devised a route from Gatwick to the Dutch city of Maastricht. This was a classic 'no-frills' operation that predated FR, U2 etc by a decade. The Maastricht connection was hatched to help fill Virgin's Gatwick-Newark service, particularly during the lean winter months when demand was at the lowest. During the winter there was over capacity on the market between the UK and the US and all airlines were chasing customers with rock bottom fares. Yet travellers in continental Europe had little access to cheap transatlantic flights, so Virgin Atlantic Flight 200 connected with the LGW-NEW service, to feed the route with traffic to and from the continent. Maastricht was ideally located at the south-east corners of Holland, for travellers from Belgium and West Germany.
The idea was that on quiet days, the flight would be operated by the Vickers Viscount, which was owned by British Air Ferries (BAF). VS entered into a damp lease with BAF – the pilots were from the latter and the cabin crew were from VS.
Branson had grand ambitions for the Maastricht link. There was enough leeway built into the 747 schedule to allow, if demand was sufficient, for the Jumbo inbound from New York to continue on from Gatwick to Maastricht. It never did.
The Gatwick-Maastricht flight was not restricted to transatlantic passengers. For the first time, British travellers had a low-cost option to fly to the continent at a flat fare of £19 each way. It could have precipitated a low-cost revolution in the skies – yet after five years of under-marketing and underperformance, by which time VS had changed from a back-packers' airline to the airline it is today, the Maastricht service was quietly dropped.
Interestingly, Branson makes no reference to this chapter in his autobiography or in Virgin's official history.
Virgin Atlantic never flew from to/from Dublin; this was Virgin Express – the Belgian airline – who failed to conquer Ryanair's hold over Dublin. The VS Viscount was probably operating another charter for BAF when it was seen at Dublin.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
Diesel1 From UK - Wales, joined Mar 2001, 1642 posts, RR: 10
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7217 times:
Quoting BCAL (Reply 9): Virgin Atlantic never flew from to/from Dublin; this was Virgin Express – the Belgian airline – who failed to conquer Ryanair's hold over Dublin. The VS Viscount was probably operating another charter for BAF when it was seen at Dublin.
You're correct in saying VS never flew to/from DUB, as they never operated these flights themselves - what they did do was contract the flights out to other airlines.
During the summer of 1988 flights were operated by Club Air using an ex Dan Air 727-100
After the failure of Club Air, the flights were taken over by UK carrier Capital AL who used a Viscount operating under their own (BZ) flight code. There may have been some link between Capital and VS for a while before the flights became entirely 'Capital's" and were operated by their BAe146s.