Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Virgin American's Onboard Loads 2007  
User currently offlineKnope2001 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2951 posts, RR: 30
Posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4995 times:

As requested in another thread, here are Virgin America's onboard loads so far (through December 2007). I don't think this information has been posted here. Remember, however, that onboard loads only tell half the story and don't say much about yield.

Load factors with an asterisk are for months with only a few flights (service started late in the month)

LAX-IAD
38.6%* october
49.9% november
55.2% december

LAX-JFK
85.8%* august
55.8% september
61.3% october
68.5% november
74.0% december

LAX-SFO
66.3% august
54.7% september
59.3% october
58.7% november
54.1% december

SFO-IAD
48.8%* september
66.4% october
66.7% november
63.1% december

SFO-JFK
81.9% august
51.6% september
57.3% october
61.8% november
65.6% december

SFO-LAS
48.0% october
52.6% november
55.1% december

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4976 times:

I figure LAX-JFK was doing the best. And the LAX-SFO loads show why they are doing the promotional give aways. Ouch. IAD also started out pretty poorly but looks to be improving.

VX still has to worry that in a market of high fuel prices and high load factors that they can't pull competitive loads on any route but LAX-JFK. I mean, those December loads are poor, considering how hard it was to find a cheap seat on any legacy in 2nd half of that month.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineKcrwFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3834 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 14 hours ago) and read 4936 times:

I know they're not cheap, but with all of the onboard goodies, are those loadfactors turning into a profit?

I think that once VX develops a base of loyal customers, they'll be in good shape. How long will that take? Your guess is as good as mine.


User currently offlineFreequentFlier From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 901 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4935 times:

The loads are low and VX have been running sale after sale after sale. Sounds like they'll run out of cash by early 2009 if not sooner.

User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33077 posts, RR: 71
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4932 times:

They need to seriously consider adding one or two rows to First Class. It's frequently impossible to get a first class seat on LAX-JFK.


a.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25834 posts, RR: 50
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4892 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 1):
LAX-SFO loads show why they are doing the promotional give aways

Yes and LAX-SFO is a route that really does not have much seasonal swings so the excuse that its winter does not mean much.

Going up against entrenched UA and SWA in the California corridor is not for the faint of heart.

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 4):
They need to seriously consider adding one or two rows to First Class. It's frequently impossible to get a first class seat on LAX-JFK.

 checkmark  Indeed. On about 3 occasions when business had me to NY, I really tried to book VX just to try them out, however F class was sold at the times I needed travel. With only 2-3 daily flights at the time unlike other carriers one cant simply be willing to wait an hour or two to the next available flight.

Only downside I could see with added F seats however how would they work out across the rest of the network which likely might not need them and lead to a need for subfleet for the LAX/SFO-JFKs which obviously limits operational flexibility.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineKcrwFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3834 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4857 times:



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 4):
They need to seriously consider adding one or two rows to First Class. It's frequently impossible to get a first class seat on LAX-JFK.

That makes sense. If economy is running half full, and first is always full, maybe they should go ahead and add 3 or 4 rows to first. Its not like they'll miss the economy seats.


User currently offlineAerohottie From Australia, joined Mar 2004, 802 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4802 times:

I wouldn't read too much into these numbers.
This load trend is what most start-ups go through... high initial loads due to the launch, followed by a drop in demand and then a steady increase as the carrier becomes more accepted by the market. I good sign in all of this is that the markets are now increasing quite rapidly.



What?
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 4798 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 5):
Yes and LAX-SFO is a route that really does not have much seasonal swings so the excuse that its winter does not mean much.

Winter? It was 95 degrees at my house the other day! It was even 85 in Santa Monica on Sunday!  Wink

But yes, this is a mostly business route, with of course some regional leisure traffic, and UA also sends connecting pax to SFO for Asia.

With such low load factors, there is just no excuse for not doing what I and others have suggested and adding more F seats. 8 more seats would take out 3 rows of Y (if they cut F pitch to 52 or so, something nobody will notice in a non-flat non-long haul aircraft...).

That would cut Y capacity by 18, something they won't miss unless LF are routinely averaging above 85%, and add in 8F seats of revenue vs. 18 unsold Y seats.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4678 times:



Quoting LAXintl (Reply 5):
Only downside I could see with added F seats however how would they work out across the rest of the network which likely might not need them and lead to a need for subfleet for the LAX/SFO-JFKs which obviously limits operational flexibility.



Quoting KcrwFlyer (Reply 6):
That makes sense. If economy is running half full, and first is always full, maybe they should go ahead and add 3 or 4 rows to first. Its not like they'll miss the economy seats.

I see that maybe if they added the extra rows of first they can use those on lucrative transcons and just give the extra first seats as an upgrade to FFs on shorter routes.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4644 times:



Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 9):
I see that maybe if they added the extra rows of first they can use those on lucrative transcons and just give the extra first seats as an upgrade to FFs on shorter routes.

They already offer "discount" F for the first few seats on each flight. On the flights with lower projected F load, they just sell MORE discount F seats.

There will be people who bite on them if the price is right. No need to give them away.

Or they could hold back 2 for last minute bookings on all flights, as that is what business travelers need. Right now, VX is useless to the business traveler who has the approval to fly F by their company. Those flyers are not going to choose VX Y vs. another carrier F on principle, because if they are seen doing this too many times, the corporate policy will magically change...  Wink



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineLDIkaros From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4605 times:



Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 3):
The loads are low and VX have been running sale after sale after sale. Sounds like they'll run out of cash by early 2009 if not sooner.

Agree. Their load factors are horrendously low and with all their fare sales I don't think they make that much with their existing customers either.

Maybe extending their first class would help. Still, they operate highly competitive routes and are based in a very expensive region. Does that make sense for a startup, especially in a cut-throat business such as airlines?


User currently offlineKcrwFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3834 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 4595 times:



Quoting LDIkaros (Reply 11):
Still, they operate highly competitive routes and are based in a very expensive region. Does that make sense for a startup, especially in a cut-throat business such as airlines?

Not much.


User currently offlineFuturecaptain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 4571 times:

I've always wondered where you go to get this information. I know airlines report numbers to the DOT but their website sucks for searches.
Where is the info?


User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5081 posts, RR: 28
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 4461 times:



Quoting Aerohottie (Reply 7):
I wouldn't read too much into these numbers.
This load trend is what most start-ups go through... high initial loads due to the launch, followed by a drop in demand and then a steady increase as the carrier becomes more accepted by the market. I good sign in all of this is that the markets are now increasing quite rapidly.

Totally agree with you. I am actually quite impressed with the loads listed. I really expected about 30-40% factors after startup. If the numbers are right, I would be really interested to see what Jan-March have brought. If there is improvement by just 10%, they are certainly in line with a decent load factor for a startup. I have worked for a startup, and remember the first 4 months we hardly broke a 40% load factor. Some flights were at about 10%. It took about a year to get our loads in the 60-70% range. Consistency is important, and I think we just might find ourselves a winner here.

Quoting FreequentFlier (Reply 3):
The loads are low and VX have been running sale after sale after sale. Sounds like they'll run out of cash by early 2009 if not sooner.

Sale after sale is good. It attracts business, and puts a name out for them. Lets face it, it is a hard economy right now. I am really tight on my spending now, so I am certainly more likely to be attracted to a sale, than pay full price. I really feel confident about Virgin, and I really like the product they offer. I don't see them going away anytime soon.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 4431 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

This explains why they had flights on Dec. 19th '07 going for $139 a week before from IAD-SFO while all the other airlines were charging $300+

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 8):
(if they cut F pitch to 52 or so, something nobody will notice in a non-flat non-long haul aircraft...).

In this case, I disagree, especially in Row 1 on VX. I almost prefer their exit row to the Row 1 product, due to more "usable" legroom, and, more importantly, a much higher chance of having an empty seat next to you. In addition, those damn gooseneck LED reading lamps are torture if your neighbors or the person behind you is using them! Add to that the FAs going in and out of the forward galley, and to that the fact that you can't use the empty screen next to you strictly for Google-maps ....

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 14):
Sale after sale is good. It attracts business, and puts a name out for them. Lets face it, it is a hard economy right now. I am really tight on my spending now, so I am certainly more likely to be attracted to a sale, than pay full price. I really feel confident about Virgin, and I really like the product they offer. I don't see them going away anytime soon.

But it's better if you didn't have to have sales and could charge full price. However, that could actually be their strategy, to have more or less perpetual sales since that tends to increase the sense of urgency and feeling of value for joe customer. (Bose and those "Call in the next 10 minutes and we'll send you 4 Ionic Breezes for $500" commercials come to mind... your average customer would probably never consider buying 1 Ionic Breeze for $100....but when he sees 4 for $400 and things he's getting a $1600 value, time to add to the pile of credit card debt!).



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
User currently offlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17681 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 4257 times:



Quoting KcrwFlyer (Reply 2):
I know they're not cheap, but with all of the onboard goodies, are those loadfactors turning into a profit?

No way, no how.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 14):
Sale after sale is good. It attracts business, and puts a name out for them.

Not if you're barely filling 2/3rds of the plane



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineAAJFKSJUBKLYN From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 911 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 4154 times:

I find it weird that I have seen absolutely no marketing for them other then the sign at JFK letting you know what terminal they are at. I was speaking to a neighbor, and she was like who the heck are they and she travels JFK-LAX nealy 4 times a month, she works for one the studios...forgot which one. She is also a Platinum flier with AA and her company has an agreement with AA as well, so that could be why.

User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 4137 times:



Quoting Luv2cattlecall (Reply 15):
In this case, I disagree, especially in Row 1 on VX. I almost prefer their exit row to the Row 1 product, due to more "usable" legroom, and, more importantly, a much higher chance of having an empty seat next to you.

Well, I usually prefer exit row to F on a narrowbody for short/medium haul, if the service isn't going to be much different.

But I guess they could go:

Row 1 55" (current) pitch, even though it's a bit constrained.

Rows 2-4 50" pitch. Having flown AA on their 762s in J a few times, the 50" pitch is perfectly fine for the amount of recline you get and for flights of 6 hours or less.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week ago) and read 4084 times:

How mich cash did they start out with? Costs on fuel are beyond their control, but I wonder if revenues are meeting plan?

User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5081 posts, RR: 28
Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3946 times:



Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 16):
Not if you're barely filling 2/3rds of the plane

But, we really don't know the load factors since December, so there could be improvements. F9 always has a sale of some sort going on, and their loads are pretty nice.



I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineKcrwFlyer From United States of America, joined May 2004, 3834 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (6 years 7 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3918 times:



Quoting F9Animal (Reply 20):
F9 always has a sale of some sort going on, and their loads are pretty nice.

Arent they losing money too?


User currently offlineVS11 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 1111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 7 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3812 times:

So far there does not appear to be anything really concerning. I am sure they have budgeted to be in the red for at least a year if not two - typically Virgin Atlantic allows 2 years for a route to become proftable. Also, in line with other Virgin brand companies and airlines, they do not advertise much and rely on viral marketing. The Virgin strategy has been tried and tested so many times before and it has always worked - if you have a great and consistent product at a great value for the customer, there is no way people would not give you business, which is why there is less advertising because word-of-mouth advertising is pretty effective and cheaper.

User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (6 years 7 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3799 times:

Does their on board goodies as one member put it, include any food. A meal service on a US airline would be nice and seperate them from jetBlue and the like.

User currently offlineWorldTraveler From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (6 years 7 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3745 times:



Quoting Aerohottie (Reply 7):
This load trend is what most start-ups go through

But the airline industry has never seen sustained $130/bbl JET FUEL. No one has budgeted for those prices for jet fuel and the cash is quickly flying out the window with loads that are that light.

Low fare carriers like B6 that have comparable costs but much higher loads are not posting much in the way of profits; VX certainly can not be, esp. considering they have huge start up costs that are unique to their operation.

The fact that VX is asking the DOT to allow confidential treatment of its financial data indicates that they are indeed threatened and are trying to prevent competitors from knowing how bad things are.

The current environment will certainly claim a few more airlines and it is very likely that newer airlines instead of the established network airlines will take the brunt of the hits. When fuel is as high as it is, there is no such thing as a low cost or low fare carrier. Further, since fuel constitutes a much higher percentage of costs for newer carriers than it does for network carriers, newer carrier costs are only within a couple percentage points of network carriers. Network carriers have the financial ability to defend themselves well given the small cost differences between themselves and newer carriers.


25 PHXtoDCAtoMSP : Definitely not always. Does it often work? Yes. But ALWAYS? Definitely not. Virgin Cola has been a failure. Virgin's National Lottery attempt failed.
26 Orion737 : they started out very cock sure about themselves, big launch and all that. I think they ought to go away from US territory and stop trying to take ove
27 VS11 : Well, assuming that fuel cost is equal to all carriers, then it is not a factor in the financial picture. Besides, labor costs are usually larger tha
28 VS11 : I agree that not all Virgin products have been a success so I should revise my post as "the strategy has worked for the most part". My point however
29 WorldTraveler : network carriers fly lots of international routes where the opportunity to recover fuel costs is much higher. Also, low fare carriers have artificial
30 Bicoastal : Just to put it in perspective....on the same routes during the same months, United has been running 90% plus load factors. Virgin who??
31 ScottB : What's so remarkable about the current situation is that fuel costs have now outpaced labor costs at virtually all U.S. carriers (with the exception
32 Post contains links VS11 : You obviously do not understand bankruptcy. Do you think that banks that have poured billions into airlines will miraculously say: do not bother payi
33 Halls120 : I fly IAD-SFO and IAD-LAX frequently, and can attest to the crowded flights Bicoastal alludes to. Virgin must be bleeding red ink.....
34 Mariner : Okay, I'll bite. Which LCC's are carrying significant debt - other than mortgages for new aircraft? mariner
35 WorldTraveler : again, you don't understand bankruptcy. the bankruptcy process converts debt into equity. the debt that was shed in bankruptcy became equity (stock o
36 Mariner : Okay, I'll bite again. What "huge financial commitments" - other than mortgages for new aircraft? mariner
37 VS11 : Well, while you are technically right my point is somewhat different. I guess I did not explain well what I meant. The debt is not wiped out - it is
38 WorldTraveler : sorry but the big network carriers have the ability to issue debt and draw down credit lines. Until VX releases its financial results, no bank or inv
39 VS11 : Regardless how many times you reapeat it, it does not make it true. Not all debt is converted into equity. A lot of it is sold to distressed debt hed
40 ANstar : Most airlines odnt turn a profit in their first year of operations so I think you are indeed correct. If they are still having loads under 70% during
41 VS11 : Big difference between CO and AA and UA, DL, NW, US . The borrowing costs of the last four are higher than those of the first two. I know they can ge
42 Mariner : I've read it several times, because I wanted to be sure of your meaning. In the case of Southwest, I believe that their total debt is covered by cash
43 Hiflyer : Interesting load numbers...thanks for posting. After too many years in the industry any carrier doing under 70 percent during Xmas is not doing well..
44 Luv2cattlecall : Food is free in F, and on-demand for a price in economy. A sandwich is $7, bag of chips $1 or $2, etc... Non-alcoholic drinks are free and unlimited.
45 WorldTraveler : I didn't say it was. Only the debt which the company decides to "jettison". hedge funds are merely the means by which the debt or equity is moved aro
46 VS11 : This is entirely immaterial to the point I was making. And a company does not jettison debt. As debt claims are satisfied before equity claims, there
47 Mariner : Assuming you mean "threat", I fail to see that. The slots in the production line alone are, in themselves, of value. Since neither of the airlines yo
48 EA CO AS : Which is exactly why they're petitioning the DOT to keep their monthly data private. They don't want people to see truly how bad the bloodletting has
49 VS11 : Incorrect. They do not want their competitors to see their financial data. And this is a perfectly legitimate reason as they can very quickly become
50 Post contains images EA CO AS : Same thing. And as far as collusion is concerned, that's hogwash - if they can't effectively compete with established carriers whose financial data T
51 VS11 : I do not know what rules you have in mind but all of the major airlines publish their financials as public companies. They are available for anyone f
52 LAXintl : The DOT has had long standing requirement for airlines to provide traffic and financial data - private or not. There are plenty airlines out there tha
53 EA CO AS : I agree that as a private company they may not have the same level of disclosure required of a publicly traded company, but there have been many stor
54 Live2fly83 : interesting point, this is probobly a contention carriers in opposition of their request will cite also I tend to agree- I dont see the DOT creating
55 F9Animal : Yes and no. Depends on the quarter. It has been up and down, but many changes have come under their new leader. The changes will start to at least sh
56 BestWestern : Not a chance.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Carson Talks N. American Orders In 2007, 2008 posted Thu Dec 7 2006 14:50:12 by AerospaceFan
Virgin American posted Sun Apr 18 2004 13:24:19 by Mjszanto
Virgin American HUB. posted Sat Jun 28 2003 18:39:02 by Flymia
Silver? (Virgin/American) posted Fri Mar 24 2000 07:01:47 by 747-600X
Back To The Dec 2007 Incident Onboard An El Al 777 posted Sun Mar 2 2008 16:56:37 by TodaReisinger
Jetblue To Offer Onboard Internet By End Of 2007 posted Wed Jul 4 2007 19:14:20 by JerseyGuy
TAP Loads 28-31 May 2007 posted Sat Jun 23 2007 20:30:48 by Hardiwv
Loads On Virgin Atlantic To SYD posted Fri Jun 8 2007 10:19:44 by BDRules
North American And Virgin Nigeria Sign Agreement posted Thu Feb 8 2007 22:39:03 by LouA340
US Loads E90 Into February 2007 Schedules posted Sun Dec 10 2006 13:13:46 by PVD757