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Virgin Atlantic's Expansion Plans  
User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 2262 times:

I read recently that Virgin Atlantic is about to embark on a major expansion of its operations. The airline now plans to serve Chicago from this Autumn (even though they have not received US authority to go ahead) with a new LHR-ORD A340 service.

Virgin also plans to expand its operations in Asia with plans to serve Bangkok, Singapore and Australia very soon. How will this affect its current operations? Virgin Atlantic already code-shares with Malaysia Airlines on the LHR-KUL-SYD/MEL/ADL routes twice a day...Will this mean the end to the VS-MH tie-up?

The two airlines however have recently linked their frequent flyer programmes together - what will become of all this? Last year, Virgin Atlantic announced in the Malaysian press plans to begin an additional LHR-KUL service with its own aircraft to supplement the already busy sector...will this ever happen?

I reckon MAS should ditch the Virgin code-share and vice-versa. The two airlines are too different in nature and should go separate ways...I once flew LHR-KUL-LHR on a 'Virgin' ticket but was generally unimpressed with the code-share system. Its time that MAS just went out and compete with Singapore Airlines for traffic in the UK...there's little reason why MAS should do well on its own. Similarly, the Virgin brand is already known in Malaysia and Virgin should compete with BA for Malaysian traffic.

any thoughts?

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAirbus boy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2169 times:

Malaysia is not allowed to fly into LHR anymore they had some reckless operation. Landing a 747 with 3.2 tonnes of fuel when you need 4 for a go around and things like that. So Virgin lost out on that!
Dave


User currently offlineGardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1520 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2167 times:

I read that Virgin were planning to ditch its code-share flights to Australia as they weren't generating enough traffic on the route. I think they would succeed if they flew their own product by themselves. The public would love it . There are plans to expand to India, Colombo and Seoul(the last two since BA withdrew from these routes) but dont know if this will actually happen.

User currently offlineFlyinglen From Canada, joined May 1999, 57 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2166 times:

I've read in a local aviation paper that Virgin is contemplating service to YVR(Vancouver, Canada). They'd face a lot of competition with oneworld and Air Canada, not to mention Canada 3000 and Air Transat on the charter side.

Glen... from Vancouver


User currently offlineTygue From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 2164 times:

I would love for Virgin to come into Vancouver. It would be a bummer for A/C and C3 to lose a small part of the Canada/Europe Market, but Virgin is a GREAT airline. They treat their pilots with a great deal of respect and have a great operation going on over in Europe. They would definately be one of the first airlines I would send my resume to when I am ready to fly the big boys.

Just my 16.25 cents.

Matt


User currently offlineLima From Argentina, joined May 1999, 1122 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 2164 times:

I have read on three opportunities the possible Virgin plans to fly to Buenos Aires. I think Virgin wants to be present in every market were BA does good business and enjoys little competition.

User currently offlineJet Setter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2162 times:

Mr Branson's No.1 on his "hit-list" is India and he is pushing hard for rights to fly to Bombay and Calcutta.
He also wants Singapore (hopefully within 18 months), Bankok and Oasaka.
Virgin has said there isn't a strong enough business case for an Australian route yet - probably due to poor performance of it's Ansett/Malayisa codeshares.

Virgin have advertised the LHR-ORD service in the British press even though they don't have approval. So they are optimistic about a November 1999 start.

Virgin Sun will expand next year adding 2 more A320s for a total of 4. Gatwick and Manchester will have 2 each based there.

Long term plans call for a US domestic airline to mirror it's low fare Virgin Express in Europe


User currently offlineLima From Argentina, joined May 1999, 1122 posts, RR: 15
Reply 7, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 2161 times:

Another route were it mentioned to be willing to fly was Lagos, probably in association with Nigeria Airways but using Virgin aircraft.

User currently offlineFLY777UAL From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4512 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (14 years 11 months 3 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 2164 times:

Unfortunately for Mr. Branson, his 'long term' plans will never materialize, and he will never be granted access to the US Domestic market.

FLY777UAL

fly777ual@hotmail.com


User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2935 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (14 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2163 times:

Firstly, MAS does still fly into London-Heathrow twice daily and has also expanded to serve Manchester three-times a week - even AFTER the scandal about the fuel shortage. After investigations by both Malaysian and British Authorities...MAS has been cleared that it was not negligent and did not break IATA rules with regards to its fuel policy - perhaps a quick pause for thought for ANYONE travelling on ANY airline.

The fuel-affair has been written off in the Malaysian press as scandal on behalf of British Airways - BA and MAS have long fought over traffic rights on the busy LHR-KUL route. Their rivalry on the route goes back to the 1980s when the two airlines declared war on the route and resorted to petty tactics - like BA making MAS park miles away from the terminal at LHR and likewise BA only allowed to use the furthest gate at KUL for years..etc.

Anyway, MAS has since published all its fuel logs to the British Dept. of Transport which has found the 'low-fuel' allegations to be unsupported.

Going back to my point...I thought Vrigin was doing OK on the LHR-KUL-Oz route...the REAL problem is that Virgin doesn't advertise this route - so not many people know about it!



User currently offlineJohans From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (14 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2163 times:

I do hope that Virgin will be able to start up a low fare airline like Virgin Express in the United States. I hope (although I would never fly it because i don't like ORD one bit) that Virgin gets approval for their LHR-ORD route. Virgin only flys one flight a day into SFO, while BA flys two. Virgin could give more competition to BA by adding a second route here to SFO. Perhaps with the A340 because all I've ever seen are 747's at SFO (although I was on a camping trip once at an island over SFO's departure path for European airlines, and saw a A340 fly over on it's way out) Besides. United needs some competition on the LHR-ORD route. oneworld and Star alliances now dominate this route. Virgin would give it a fresh look and slap them (Star especially) across the face.

Moi,
Kai


User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (14 years 11 months 1 week 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2165 times:

Supposedly there was a mess up on the documentation for the LHR-ORD route between the FAA and Virgin. Virgin did not respond in the proper amount of time or something to that extent. If the route is flown it will begin with A340 equipment but move to 747s once the traffic starts to grow.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineGardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1520 posts, RR: 1
Reply 12, posted (14 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2159 times:

I read today that Virgin are seriously looking at the possibility of launching flights in their own right to Australia, as well as to Singapore. My guess is that they are looking at a LHR-SIN-SYD B744 or A340 service atleast 4 times a week, increasing to daily later on.

User currently offlineRpwgw From Australia, joined Jun 1999, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (14 years 11 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 2148 times:

Well they are picking up 5 747-200s from Air New Zealand as we speak (formerly ZK-NZW - ZKNZZ). These aircraft were delivered new to Air New Zealand from 1981 onwards. I had been throught the first one several times at AKL between December and March. Great fun!!!

Virgin need the aircraft to take up any traffic rights that they are granted. Reputably they paid USD$150m the lot plus approximately 60,000 hours of work on maintenance/config. Some of the work may be done in China. The airframes are in good order - Air NZ flys huge sectors eg, AKL- LAX, LAX- LHR, AKL-NRT/HKG so they are only ever on the ground a few hours at a time.


User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (14 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 2140 times:

Does anyone know that names the ANZ 747-200s will have when they join the fleet?


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineRpwgw From Australia, joined Jun 1999, 209 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (14 years 11 months 1 week 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 2136 times:

The first one in service was Honey Pie if I recall rightly.

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