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Could VS Join An Alliance?  
User currently offlineSeemyseems From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 971 posts, RR: 7
Posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5956 times:

Could VS join an alliance, if so which alliance would it be?

I read that in the EU, a country cannot have two airlines in the same alliance (lets say if VS joined *A, BD is already a member). And I doubt they would join oneworld because of BA and AA.

I know that they have codeshares with mostly *A members (except CO, who are joining soon) but could they codeshare with SkyTeam members.

Thanks, Sam.


seemyseems
23 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAtomsareenough From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 566 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5908 times:

Of course they could. The real questions are, would they or should they. I think you're right about Star being the most natural fit. I wonder what Virgin shareholder SQ's position is on that.

User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8517 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5852 times:
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Virgin is a special airline operating from LHR to the main cities needing connections to the UK. ITs LGW divison is for holidays to Disney and the Caribean. Its like a Singapore or Cathay needing no short haul planes to feed it. Virgin works well as a value airline and with its Upper Class a luxury airline. Why mes with what has worked for 25 years, leave it alone.

User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1708 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5761 times:

If there's an alliance VS'll join, it's *A.

But then again you never know if the Bearded One'll start his own alliance.

Virgin's essentially a niche airline, operating routes most out of LHR which has high O&D (certainly the highest overall in Europe). It targets the longest long-haul points from LHR, and also caters to viable holiday destinations from its secondary hubs. It's never required any feed, and starting intra-European operations would be a headache (competition-wise) and although I'm sure it woud boost load factors, VS's time is better spent investing in another batch of longhaul destinations rather than agonizing over the 4th daily A320 to MUC.
Joining an alliance would provide it with additional online connections at the point it serves. But it could also be expected to expand in areas it does not want to.


User currently offlineJoost From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 3188 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5702 times:



Quoting Seemyseems (Thread starter):

I read that in the EU, a country cannot have two airlines in the same alliance (lets say if VS joined *A, BD is already a member)

There exists no specific law or directive prohibiting this. So for this reason, VS can join Star Alliance.

The European Commission does look after the level of competition after mergers, joint ventures, take-overs, code shares, etcetera. All cases here individual. So if an airlines decides to start cooperating with another airline, they need to ask the EU for permission. Then, the EU looks if there is enough competition left after the takeover/merger, and if yes, permission is granted.

Purely joining an alliance doesn't really matter to the EU, for the simple reason that joining the alliance alone (painting aircraft, sharing terminals, connecting check-in and FFP) hardly influences the level of competition. Within an alliance, airlines can and do still compete with each other.

However, joining an alliance often goes hand in hand with other forms of cooperation, like codesharing, schedule coordination and even revenue sharing. Now these aspects do influence the level of competition, and are subject to EC approval.

Now, for the VS example: if VS would want to join OneWorld and cooperate with BA, they will never be allowed to do this. However, if they want to join StarAlliance, and code share with BA, I very much expect them to receive EC permission: BD and VS are very complementary and, with combined forces, they can be a stronger competitor to BA. This would please the EC very much.

It is said that it is Lufthansa who does not want VS in StarAlliance: VS namely would be a strong competitor of Lufthansa, and LH doesn't want VS to use "their" BD to feed the transatlantic routes of VS: LH rather has pax flying BRU-FRA-LAX than BRU-LHR-LAX, as on the first one they earn much more, than just the few quids for the BRU-LHR sector.


User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2781 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5690 times:



Quoting Directorguy (Reply 3):
But then again you never know if the Bearded One'll start his own alliance.

Who says they haven't already:

Virgin Atlantic VS (UK International)
Virgin America VX (US Domestic)
Virgin Blue DJ (Australia Domestic)
V Australia VA (Australia International)
Pacific Blue DJ (New Zealand Domestic & International)
Polynesian Blue DJ (Samoa International)
Virgin Nigeria VK (Nigeria Domestic & International)
AirAsia X D7 (Malaysia International)

Did I miss anything?


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5641 times:
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If they did, it's more likely to be Star, however I think they would be a good fit for Skyteam, at least as from a UK point of view.


111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineHeathrow From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 980 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5603 times:



Quoting United787 (Reply 5):

Did I miss anything?

If you include formers, Virgin Sun and Virgin express


User currently offlineSeemyseems From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 971 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 5566 times:



Quoting Joost (Reply 4):
There exists no specific law or directive prohibiting this. So for this reason, VS can join Star Alliance.

I thought that because in this thread it mentions how the EU wouldn't allow Spain to have two SkyTeam carriers. (Reply 15)



seemyseems
User currently offlineCba From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 4531 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (5 years 7 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 5468 times:



Quoting Joost (Reply 4):
However, joining an alliance often goes hand in hand with other forms of cooperation, like codesharing, schedule coordination and even revenue sharing. Now these aspects do influence the level of competition, and are subject to EC approval.

Same thing applies in the US... for example CO and UA trying to get antitrust immunity for revenue sharing and schedule coordination


User currently offlineLuvflng From Costa Rica, joined Nov 2000, 178 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5162 times:



Quoting United787 (Reply 5):
Who says they haven't already:

Virgin Atlantic VS (UK International)
Virgin America VX (US Domestic)
Virgin Blue DJ (Australia Domestic)
V Australia VA (Australia International)
Pacific Blue DJ (New Zealand Domestic & International)
Polynesian Blue DJ (Samoa International)
Virgin Nigeria VK (Nigeria Domestic & International)
AirAsia X D7 (Malaysia International)

Did I miss anything?

Ditto. Branson is a genius in branding. No alliance is so closely branded and the service level closely matched as the Virgin branded airlines in the world. The mega alliances should watch and learn how to do it right.



Radar Contact Terminated, Squawk VFR
User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 4673 times:



Quoting United787 (Reply 5):
Who says they haven't already:

Virgin Atlantic VS (UK International)
Virgin America VX (US Domestic)
Virgin Blue DJ (Australia Domestic)
V Australia VA (Australia International)
Pacific Blue DJ (New Zealand Domestic & International)
Polynesian Blue DJ (Samoa International)
Virgin Nigeria VK (Nigeria Domestic & International)
AirAsia X D7 (Malaysia International)

Did I miss anything?

Hi United787 ... actually you did. That is: 1) that all of these airlines (excepting VS and D7 of course) are basically franchises with totally different ownerships, and hence, it seems difficult for them all to pull together in one direction, and as a result... 2) although collectively they may look like an "alliance", they do not behave or act as such in a meaningful way for pax.

Meaning... 1) their frequent flyer programs are not coordinated, so that there is no such thing as equal or reciprocal tier status between Flying Club, Velocity or Elevate. 2) when you get to LHR from say SYD & HKG, there is no "alliance"-like connection to other European cities.

As a very happy freq. flyer of Virgin Blue, I wish to heck that these real "alliance" characteristics were present. If they were, I could then happily ditch oneworld and QF especially, and *A for that matter as collectively, the current Virgin grouping could take me to all the destinations I travel to regularly.

Cheers, Airbear


User currently offlineEghansen From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4635 times:



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 6):
If they did, it's more likely to be Star, however I think they would be a good fit for Skyteam, at least as from a UK point of view.

All of Virgin Atlantic's partners for the FF program are Star Alliance or not part of an alliance.

Partners are:

Air China, Air Jamaica, Air New Zealand, ANA, BMI, Continental, Gulf Air, Hawaiian, Jet Airways, Malaysia, SAS, Singapore, South African, US Airways, Virgin Blue


User currently offlineWilld From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4214 times:

If they wanted to *A would be the answer, especially when one considers that all of the FFP partners are *A members or non aligned. I can hardly see SQ being too happy at one of their investments going into Skyteam.

Having said all that Branson and Ridgeway have been very clear that they are taking a laissez faire approach to alliances. Rather like EK, they are just sitting back and watching what unfolds.

If anything an alliance amongst Virgin branded companies is much more likely and is already in place in one form or another. The mile earning on VS/DJ, previous co-operation between VK and VS, cabin crew exchange between VS and DJ.


User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4111 times:



Quoting Willd (Reply 13):
The mile earning on VS/DJ, previous co-operation between VK and VS, cabin crew exchange between VS and DJ.

Hi Willd. That's all very nice, but the alliances really work best for frequent travellers across the entire system, or those who like me fly one member very frequently (in my case either QF Domestic or NZ - as well as DJ) and use the other alliance members occasionally. In these cases, it's good to have the reciprocal recognition of tier status. The FF points are nice for their own sake, but tier credits are the main game for most frequent travellers.

This is a particularly pressing issue for DJ, who crave more than anything else, greater patronage from large corporate and government accounts. Sadly, despite all the perks offered sofar, they will never be taken seriously by that crowd (which I am not a part of thankfully  Smile ... like most of DJ's business flyers, I come from the small business sector) until they can offer a world-wide product which gives their pax flying internationally, all/most of the same perks they enjoy when flying DJ domestically.

BTW, there was an exchange FA from VS on a DJ flight I took earlier this week. He - like other all the other exchange FA's I've come across - was excellent.

Cheers


User currently offlineAAMDanny From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 378 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3598 times:

Virgin should start their own Alliance.... And add all the Virgin Airlines too it!

User currently offlineWilld From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 248 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3493 times:



Quoting Airbear (Reply 14):
Hi Willd. That's all very nice, but the alliances really work best for frequent travellers across the entire system, or those who like me fly one member very frequently (in my case either QF Domestic or NZ - as well as DJ) and use the other alliance members occasionally. In these cases, it's good to have the reciprocal recognition of tier status. The FF points are nice for their own sake, but tier credits are the main game for most frequent travellers.

Yes Airbear I agree with regards to the TP. Although it took VS and DJ a very long time to set up any sort of FFP mile redemption I am not surprised that TP's have not been forthcoming! From a VS point of view its a shame as one can earn TPs on other partners although given the length of DJ flights they wouldn't qualify for VS TP's Y class flights under 2,000 miles do not qualify.


I know of someone who did the DJ/VS exchange and loved it.


User currently offlineAerosol From Germany, joined Oct 2000, 560 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3436 times:

Does not fit their brand stategy (e.g. "being different") - thought as mentioned - they semm to offer codeshare.

User currently offlineAlphaomega From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 584 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3422 times:



Quoting Seemyseems (Thread starter):
Could VS join an alliance, if so which alliance would it be?

oneworld.....  rotfl   rotfl   rotfl 


User currently offlineSeemyseems From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 971 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3381 times:



Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 15):
Virgin should start their own Alliance.... And add all the Virgin Airlines too it!

This is what I was thinking, maybe VS could start up a short haul European airlines like the old Virgin Express. Would be very interesting to see Virgin have its own alliance, makes more sense too.



seemyseems
User currently offlineCloudboy From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 858 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 7 months 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 2744 times:



Quoting Airbear (Reply 14):
If they wanted to *A would be the answer, especially when one considers that all of the FFP partners are *A members or non aligned. I can hardly see SQ being too happy at one of their investments going into Skyteam.

Having said all that Branson and Ridgeway have been very clear that they are taking a laissez faire approach to alliances. Rather like EK, they are just sitting back and watching what unfolds.

If anything an alliance amongst Virgin branded companies is much more likely and is already in place in one form or another. The mile earning on VS/DJ, previous co-operation between VK and VS, cabin crew exchange between VS and DJ.

The problem is, that if they were to align themselves any closer, there would be a huge outcry, both from competitors, as well as from governments, that really it is just one airline. There was already a big brouhaha over Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America. They had to go out of their way to prove they were not the same company. An alliance would be looked at as thought they WERE the same company.

Personally, though, if other airlines can do it, I see no reason why Virgin should not be allowed to. And I would say if Virgin America and Virgin Atlantic would codeshare miles, I would probably join up.



"Six becoming three doesn't create more Americans that want to fly." -Adam Pilarski
User currently offlineAirbear From Australia, joined May 2001, 648 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2662 times:

Hi Cloudboy, the reply you quote above, was not mine, but was Reply #13 from Willd.

But in any case, how does the Virgin Group having holdings in each of the various Virgin-branded carriers, make them any different from an alliance and/or competition regs point of view, or public perception for that matter, from other carriers in the various alliances, who have shareholdings (or outright ownership) in each other, such as AF/KL ; LH/LX and LH/BD?

Cheers, Airbear


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26029 posts, RR: 22
Reply 22, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2657 times:

Like EK, I see no benefit to VS in joining an alliance. Their traffic is almost all O&D to/rom the UK. They're best to just negotiate standard codeshare agreements where it makes sense, without all the costs of alliance membership.

User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 7 months 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 2586 times:

They certainly could join, but their value to an existing alliance would be limited since they dont connect much beyond LHR. It would certainly give an existing alliance good access to LHR....But there are two issues

1. Diversion. They would divert traffic from say DL to their own metal thus hurting JFK-LHR and ATL-LHR on DL without adding any connections beyond LHR to backfill the DL flights

2. Their service is so superior to US carriers. This has been a problem between AA and BA for years. For as long time you couldnt get AAdvantage miles flying BA trans-Atlantic for this very reason. No one would fly AA.


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