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Could The Virgin Group Start An International Airline In US?  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3682 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5120 times:

I was wondering, what wound be the chances of the Virgin group starting a international airline in the United States? First, the Virgin group started a domestic airline in Australia ( Virgin Blue), then they start a domestic airline in the United States ( Virgin America), and now they started an international airline in Australia ( V Australia), so the ideal of an US base Virgin international airline could happen. It would be nice to see, may be a V USA, for flights from LAX or JFK to Asia, Europe or the Middle East, but is there a chances of it happening?

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineUSFlyer MSP From United States of America, joined May 2000, 2142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 5011 times:

Considering all the problems Virgin America is having and the general track record of International-only US carriers, I say the chances are extremely low. I really don't understand why Virgin has three different airlines, V Australia, Virgin Blue, and Pacific Blue/Polynesian Blue, in Australia/NZ. It seems rather redundant to me.

User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4087 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4957 times:
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I looked at the title then I looked at the calendar, thinking it couldn't possibly be something started April 1st that no one had caught on yet...

More to the point, Virgin America is still being challenged on its citizenship in regard to the requirement that any US carrier be effectively owned and controlled by US citizens, so I don't really see the Virgin Group being in a hurry to get into another, similar fight by starting yet another carrier. if anything, let them develop Virgin America and use that as the backbone/feeder to initiate international operations.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineSrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4835 times:

I see no reason for them to start up a US-based international airline. Perhaps Virgin America could eventually do some international service within the Americas (to Mexico, Canada, the Caribbean, and some points in Central and South America), but outside of that, they'd be better off codesharing on fellow Virgin Group associated airlines like Virgin Atlantic and V Australia or even Singapore Airlines (They do fly into VX's hub.).

User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 33082 posts, RR: 71
Reply 4, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 4823 times:

If the airline solely flies internationally, citizenship is moot.

Open Skies is for all intensive purposes a U.S.-"based" airline owned entirely by British Airways.

Of course, would certain countries that lack Open Skies grant this paper airline third-country traffic rights? That's the question.



a.
User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25458 posts, RR: 86
Reply 5, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4760 times:
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Quoting USFlyer MSP (Reply 1):
I really don't understand why Virgin has three different airlines, V Australia, Virgin Blue, and Pacific Blue/Polynesian Blue, in Australia/NZ. It seems rather redundant to me.

Because of the agreement with Singapore Airlines, the "Virgin" part of Virgin Blue cannot be used outside of Australia.

Thus Pacific Blue was set-up for New Zealand/Pacific Islands service, and now Indonesia.

Polynesian Blue is a whole other ball game. It is majority owned by Samoan interests - 49% Samoan Government, 2% Aggie Grey hotels.

It replaces the original Samoan airline, Polynesian, which wasn't doing all that well and the deal was orchestrated by the World Bank.

The minority holding (49%) to manage and operate the airline was offered to several airlines and Virgin Blue won the bidding.

For all legal intents and purposes, Polynesian Blue is a Samoan airline.

mariner

[Edited 2009-04-10 14:43:01]


aeternum nauta
User currently offlineArcrftLvr From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 826 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4733 times:



Quoting USFlyer MSP (Reply 2):
It seems rather redundant to me.

I believe it has something to do with SQ's partial ownership stake in the Virgin group. That ownership stake grants them veto power on name selections of any new airline. SQ does not want the Virgin name on any route where they would either compete with them or potentially compete down the road, sometime.


Also, I highy doubt the Virgin group would start an international airline in the US. Why would they compete against themselves?


User currently offlineAlianza From United States of America, joined Apr 2008, 230 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4699 times:

Guys correct this where I am wrong, but if the second round agreement is ironed out between the U.S. and the EU, there is the possibility that VA will be able to offer more domestic connections within the U.S. (extended service using their own a/c's), so Virgin would not need to start another airline. But, seems the U.S. is holding up this second round. I believe it is something along those line.


Regards,


User currently offlineBMIFlyer From UK - England, joined Feb 2004, 8810 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4693 times:

In the current climate, I would say "No", not a chance. Besides VS cover LAX, SFO and JFK already  Smile


Lee



Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
User currently offlineJbernie From Australia, joined Jan 2007, 880 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4657 times:



Quoting 747400sp (Thread starter):
I was wondering, what wound be the chances of the Virgin group starting a international airline in the United States?

My first question is "For what purpose?" If they setup an airline within the US they could only add a few routes... Canada, Mexico, Sth America. For Asian service they would probably be better served setting up shop in say Japan or Hong Kong (with home base in Asia they can reach out to more destinations within Asia). V.Australia already covers Australia, Virgin Atlantic covers US -> Europe and Europe -> Australia.

Otherwise if they really needed to, just code share with someone and save the $$$.


User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4087 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 4656 times:
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Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 4):
If the airline solely flies internationally, citizenship is moot.

It is so far from being moot with respect to the OP's question!

True, the Virgin Group could start a new airline registered somewhere in Europe and use the Open Skies Agreement to fly between any point in the US and any point in Europe (much like Openskies currently does now). But if it is registered in Europe to get around the US' citizenship requirements, it would need Seventh Freedom rights both from the US and from whatever country it wishes to fly to in order to serve destinations in Asia or the Middle East, as the OP asked. I think we can all agree that would be a tall order.

Quoting Alianza (Reply 7):
Guys correct this where I am wrong, but if the second round agreement is ironed out between the U.S. and the EU, there is the possibility that VA will be able to offer more domestic connections within the U.S.

While European carriers did complain that the current Open Skies Agreement does not give them the right to operate domestic flights within the US, they were not asking too loudly for it anyway. What they really want is the right to control a US carrier, so that BA could take over AA, LH gobble up B6 and VS swallow VX, for instance, but US unions are not in favor of such a move and the current administration isn't too keen on taking on the unions when it doesn't have to.

[Edited 2009-04-10 15:19:20]


I've got $h*t to do
User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 4610 times:

For VS there's no need to set up an International airline in the States to fly to many Caribbean or Latinamerican destinations since those Caribbean/Latinamerican countries allow 5th liberty traffic rights between the U.S and their countries.
Recent example: IB had a hub operation in MIA, an IB would fly between MIA and MAD, several IB MD80 (then A320 types) flew between Centralamerica and MIA. Of all the destinations IB flew from MIA, only 1 didn't allow traffic to/from MIA (I think it was SAL).



I don't work for COPA Airlines!
User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5719 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4525 times:



Quoting Mariner (Reply 5):
Because of the agreement with Singapore Airlines, the "Virgin" part of Virgin Blue cannot be used outside of Australia.

While this and everything in Mariners reply is totally correct, there is a further point shaping the structure of the "Virgin" airlines and that is the capital required. The Virgin Group sold 49% of VS to SQ to raise funds, they sold down their holdings in Virgin Blue Holdings (VBH) to 25% for the same reason. (VBH owns 100% DJ, VA, Pacific Blue (NZ), Pacific Blue (Australia) and 49% of Polynesian Blue), they only hold 25%? of VX.

Part of the complexity is national requirements, traffic rights & operational matters, but at least some of it is because the Virgin Group & SRB can't afford to own any more of the various airlines.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21544 posts, RR: 59
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4516 times:

Virgin would rather than Virgin America be foreign owned, with foreign workers under foreign labor rules. If anything, it would be more likely to see Virgin open up an airline based in a country that registers cruise ships, but it would require true freedoms first, so that there would be no requirement to stop in that country to conduct flights. Liberia, whatever. Until that time, airlines generally must be based in the country of origin or destination unless specific freedoms are granted otherwise.


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineWestjet!Eh! From Canada, joined Jul 2001, 153 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4325 times:



Quoting Mariner (Reply 5):
Thus Pacific Blue was set-up for New Zealand/Pacific Islands service, and now Indonesia.

Yes...but Virgin Blue is still operating to Indonesia.


User currently offlineMotorHussy From New Zealand, joined Mar 2000, 3233 posts, RR: 9
Reply 15, posted (5 years 6 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4293 times:



Quoting Mariner (Reply 5):
It replaces the original Samoan airline, Polynesian, which wasn't doing all that well and the deal was orchestrated by the World Bank.

Are you sure about this? This I did not know. Not doubting you as you're very good with your sources and news, just incredibly surprised that I did not know this given my insider knowledge in this particular area. Will have to look in...

Quoting Westjet!Eh! (Reply 14):

Yes...but Virgin Blue is still operating to Indonesia.

No, there you'd be wrong. "Streuth!" I hear you say but, Mariner's absolutely right, 100% fair dinkum, all metal to Asia, Pacific and New Zealand is with Pacific Blue (exept for Polynesian Blue, see above). Virgin Blue is exclusively domestic.

Regards
MH



come visit the south pacific
User currently offlineSurfandSnow From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 2888 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2940 times:

Lets not forget Virgin America's application to the DOT to commence LAX-SJD service (which was awarded to UA in the end). Clearly, VX has already considered becoming an international airline. I would imagine SFO/LAX-YYZ and perhaps SFO/LAX-YVR would do very well. These are the types of sophisticated major cities that the Virgin brand targets. No need to establish yet another airline, just let Virgin America go international.


Flying in the middle seat of coach is much better than not flying at all!
User currently offlineLuv2cattlecall From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1650 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2826 times:
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Quoting USFlyer MSP (Reply 1):
Considering all the problems Virgin America is having

What "problems"? Their CASM data that included start up costs doesn't count..

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 2):
More to the point, Virgin America is still being challenged on its citizenship in regard to the requirement that any US carrier be effectively owned and controlled by US citizens,

They're being accused of it...somewhat, but I doubt the officials are doing any more than giving Alaska lip service. The whole citizenship thing was a poor attempt at a stall tactic in the beginning...now it's just getting old.

Wow, never thought I'd see the day where I defend VX!



When you have to breaststroke to your connecting flight...it's a crash!
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