Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Falling Passenger Numbers At Virgin Atlantic  
User currently offlineLHRFlyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 817 posts, RR: 1
Posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 11255 times:

Whilst reviewing the Association of European Airlines passenger statistics for January-March 2011, I noted that Virgin Atlantic has posted a relatively sharp fall in passenger traffic for the year to date.

In March 2011 Virgin carried 9.6% fewer passengers than in March 2010, and for the quarter January-March 2011 Virgin carried 6% fewer passengers, even though overall capacity is up. BA, on ther hand, carried 17.5% and 10% more passengers for the same period. AF-KLM and LH have also posted positive trends.

http://files.aea.be/News/PR/PRTU11-03.pdf

Granted the comparison with BA is impacted in part by the period of industrial action in March last year, but this is still quite a fall in passengers (and both BA and Virgin had overall falls in passengers in 2010 see: http://files.aea.be/News/PR/PRTU10-12.pdf ).

I wonder whether Virgin has been impacted by:

a) Less short-haul feed from BD due to BD cutting routes;
b) More competition from Middle Eastern carriers on Asian routes; and most importantly
c) ATI between AA&BA

I guess this may put into context Richard Branson's enthusiasm for joining an alliance/finding a buyer.

32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineshankly From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2000, 1545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 11155 times:

d) falling cabin service standards
e) woefully outdated premium product

No longer the pioneer it once was. 25 more years? I'd be surprised



L1011 - P F M
User currently offlineanstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5264 posts, RR: 7
Reply 2, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 11083 times:

Quoting LHRFlyer (Thread starter):
b) More competition from Middle Eastern carriers on Asian routes; and most importantly

Id say that is a big part of it - especailly on routes like JNB/CPT also.

Plus the UK is still not in the best shape economically.

Quoting shankly (Reply 1):
d) falling cabin service standards
e) woefully outdated premium product

I believe the new J product is due out next year and PE and Y have had menu improvements with food from June 1 I have been told.


User currently offlineCoachClass From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 441 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11028 times:

Reading reviews of the on-board service from Skytrax and others indicates to me that the bloom is off the rose. Cramped seating, poor food, unfriendly crews, tired planes, and so on. Virgin took its former passengers for granted and did not keep up with the standards or expectations it had so successfully created over the years. It's just not fun anymore so why support it?

User currently offlinesandyb123 From UK - Scotland, joined Oct 2007, 1119 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 11007 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

The Virgin Brand as a whole has been tarnished IMO. Their entry into telecoms and a pletera of micro-brands (such as V Galactic etc) doesn't help. Virgin Holidays also got a terrible bashing on UK consumer program 'BBC Watchdog' recently.

VS image seems to change constantly. Three brand tweeks in a short period a going for a leisure market seems to dilute their message. And their premium product is (as the OP says) lacking well behind.

I fly to South Africa fairly regularly, always in J or F and compared to EKs product and fairs their is no contest. BAs new premium products (although expensive) are light years ahead.

What's happening on the Atlantic routes?

Sandyb123



Member of the mile high club
User currently offlineslinky09 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2009, 843 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 10804 times:

Interesting to see in the same report how woefully BMI is performing.

As for VS - I disagree about the premium product, PE is still way above the only real competition (BA) and UC is still excellent compared to many, although the new UC is eagerly awaited.

The problem of tired planes is being addressed (albeit with some upsets) as A333s are introduce and the LGW 747 fleet goes in for major overhauls this year (interiors, IFE, seating) ...

Back to the numbers, they're odd and unexplained in context, but looking at the BD numbers I suspect a) above is a factor, and the later Easter this year (falling on Apr 5 last year meant many took off at the end of March) ...


User currently offlinemogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10630 times:

lack of alliance should be a meaningful factor. passengers are increasingly getting locked into the Big 3, and even EY/QR are gradually moving closer to one of those (sans Emirates, whose own objective is to connect anyone to anywhere).

another small factor is lack of favorable pricing for pax requiring connections, thus overly dependent on O&D.

The major presence of A343 and B744 is not helping either when others are flying 388 and 77W to VS's backyard.


User currently offlineScottB From United States of America, joined Jul 2000, 6793 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10590 times:

Quoting LHRFlyer (Thread starter):
c) ATI between AA&BA

Also, the end of the Bermuda II restrictions has meant more competition on U.S.A.-LHR. While CO still codeshares with VS, it's likely that they send far less traffic over to VS now that they have their own multiple daily frequencies to LHR.


User currently offlineVV701 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 7624 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 10517 times:

A word of caution. Look at the wider situation before concluding any specific single reason for a change in comparative data.

There is a significant fall in passengers flying VS in March 2011 (-9.6 per cent), which is much higher than the fall for the first quarter of 2011 (-6.0 per cent). This is almost certainly partly due to passengers switching to VS during the March 2010 BA FAs' strike with the passengers switching back in March 2011.

The data show that in the first quarter of 2011 the number of VS passengers fell by 6.0 per cent to 1,121.6K. Mathematically this implies that VS carried a total of 1,193.2K passengers in first quarter 2010.

The data also show that in March 2011 the number of VS passengers fell by 9.6 per cent to 391.9K. This implies that VS carried a total of 433.5K passengers in March 2010.

From this we can calculate the VS data for January plus February that was not impacted by the March 2010 BA FA strike. These data are:

Jan + Feb 2010: 759.7K passengers
Jan + Feb 2011: 729.7K passengers
Change 2011 v 2010 -3.9 per cent

If we assume that the base trend in VS passenger numbers in March 2011 was the same as in January and February 2011 we can conclude that more than half - around 60 per cent - of the March fall is due to the impact of the BA FA strike in 2010. and that without that impact VS would have shown a passenger decline of around 4 per cent for the first quarter.

Of course the impact of the BA FA strike is wider than just impacting the BA and VS figures. Every other airline in direct competition with BA will have experienced to a greater or lesser extent a positive impact on their 2010 figures and a negative impact on the 2011 comparison. So it is not surprising that BD's figures are amongst the worst as they compete face to face with BA on more routes than any other airline. But the figures of all directly competitive airlines including, for example, the likes of AF and LH will also include some impact from the BA strike.

Equally importantly going forward we are yet to see the impact of any of the other 2010 BA strikes on 2011 comparative data.


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10174 times:

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 5):
PE is still way above the only real competition (BA)

All BA need to do in that respect is change the on-board service in WTP then it will be on par with VS, thats the only difference I see between the 2 carriers. The seats are near enough the same, IFE is good (Seat and IFE great on the 77W btw) baggage allowance is the same as well.


User currently offlinewilld From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10110 times:

Quoting lhr380 (Reply 9):
All BA need to do in that respect is change the on-board service in WTP then it will be on par with VS, thats the only difference I see between the 2 carriers. The seats are near enough the same, IFE is good (Seat and IFE great on the 77W btw) baggage allowance is the same as well.

Not sure how you can say that. VS seat is on the majority of fleet a large purple leather seat so very different. The meal service is completely different, the BA service is essentially an economy meal just served in a larger seat, no proper cutlery, no brandy/baileys service, no fruit bowl, no pre departure drink, no ice cream service the list goes on. I do agree that BA do not need to do too much to improve but they haven't at the moment and as such they are very different products.


User currently offlinelhr380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 10030 times:

Quoting willd (Reply 10):
Not sure how you can say that. VS seat is on the majority of fleet a large purple leather seat so very different. The meal service is completely different, the BA service is essentially an economy meal just served in a larger seat, no proper cutlery, no brandy/baileys service, no fruit bowl, no pre departure drink, no ice cream service the list goes on. I do agree that BA do not need to do too much to improve but they haven't at the moment and as such they are very different products.

When I sat in the Prem seat on a 340 I saw no real difference between the BA and VS seat. I also did say in my message the on board service needs to change to match the service VS offer on board.


User currently offlineJFKPurser From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 486 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7670 times:

4 engines 4 long haul?

User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6732 times:

It's simple. 13 out of 22 VS daily Heathrow departures are to the United States.

The restrictions at Heathrow that made this kind of set up viable are now gone.

I've been saying it all along but it always falls mostly on deaf ears on this site.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinesouthernstar From UK - England, joined Jan 2011, 16 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6283 times:

I was a very high user of Virgin, but now when i can i opt for another carrier.

Why? Cabin service - OLD
Cabin - Outdated (i normally fly upper)
IFE - Outdated (i use to laugh when the pa say 'award winning IFE' not even touch screen)
Crew - I more the offen get the feeling i'm doing them a favour being on board and when trying to sleep the crew drag
their feet or stomp through the cabin or talk so loud in the bar/galley you almost have to remind them it's a night
flight.

Need i continue..........


User currently offlineflythere From Hong Kong, joined May 2010, 443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6190 times:

Quoting LHRFlyer (Thread starter):
b) More competition from Middle Eastern carriers on Asian routes

Heard that VS is doing well with the Kangeroo route via Hong Kong.
Yet the fact that there is little interaction between Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Austrlia is really ponderable....


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 6162 times:

It is actually quite a noteworthy paradox that an airline with the ethos of Virgin Atlantic has become a relic because of said ethos.

It displays very well the requirements needed for sustained viable operations in today's airilne industry.

It also highlights that too much competition is a killer, big is best and that it is all about survival of the fittest.

The usual benefits of competition don't apply in this industry. Not any more. The uneven playing field, the parlous state of the world economy, the commodities markets and the aggresive strategy of some with very deep pockets are all total game changers !!



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5916 times:

The days when airlines repected each others markets are unfortunately gone. Organic growth is now an anathema to some. There are too many big players wanting a piece of everyone else's action. It's unbalanced and I will go ahead and say I don't like it and i'm not sure it's a good thing.

I could be wrong, we'll see...



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineal2637 From Ireland, joined Oct 2006, 407 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5700 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 17):
The days when airlines repected each others markets are unfortunately gone.

State run monopolies?


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 5547 times:

Quoting al2637 (Reply 18):
Quoting mikey72 (Reply 17):
The days when airlines repected each others markets are unfortunately gone.

State run monopolies?

Look sorry but if you're going to hone in on a 'snippet' of what I say and then expect me to explain it out of context with the rest of what I said.....?

It's a clever tactic, but somewhat transparent.

(Who owns EK again ? And 20% of Air France ?)

[Edited 2011-06-09 02:26:56]


Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4799 times:

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 19):
Look sorry but if you're going to hone in on a 'snippet' of what I say and then expect me to explain it out of context with the rest of what I said.....?

It's a clever tactic, but somewhat transparent.

There's nothing transparent about it and I'm also asking what you mean by it? There far too much of what you claim placed in the 'general' catagory but yet you are reluctant to answer any direct question relating to a specific claim. No-one is asking for an explanation 'out of context' whatever........simply, other than state run monopolie's (which is what you're repeatedly advocating in several different threads), when did airlines ever respect each other's markets and can you please provide examples of that? Such is hardly a 'snippet' which you conveniently seem to want to ignore answering. If you're going to make a statement then either have the courtesy to explain it, or admit it's untrue. It's surely more of a 'tactic' to make a statement then conveniently refuse to explain it!

[Edited 2011-06-09 04:02:45]

User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4575 times:

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 20):
There's nothing transparent about it and I'm also asking what you mean by it?

By 'it' I mean...

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 17):
The days when airlines repected each others markets are unfortunately gone. Organic growth is now an anathema to some. There are too many big players wanting a piece of everyone else's action. It's unbalanced and I will go ahead and say I don't like it and i'm not sure it's a good thing.

In context to the rest of what I said it has nothing to do with :

Quoting al2637 (Reply 18):
State run monopolies?

I'm sure the boards of Lufthansa and Air Canada would agree with me on the importance of maintaining markets/routes established through organic growth.



Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineAirNZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4535 times:

Quoting VV701 (Reply 8):
A word of caution. Look at the wider situation before concluding any specific single reason for a change in comparative data.

There is a significant fall in passengers flying VS in March 2011 (-9.6 per cent), which is much higher than the fall for the first quarter of 2011 (-6.0 per cent). This is almost certainly partly due to passengers switching to VS during the March 2010 BA FAs' strike with the passengers switching back in March 2011.

   excellent post and your conclusion is perfectly correct in the very large part that such has played. However, facts are not commonly recognised here and too many are too busy formulating 'reasons' which have no basis in reality whatever.


User currently offlinemikey72 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 1780 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 4403 times:

Quote form The Telegraph newspaper in London on the 5th November 2010 :

Sir Richard Branson begins strategic review of Virgin Atlantic
Sir Richard Branson has hired Deutsche Bank to examine strategic options for Virgin Atlantic in a move that could eventually see him relinquish control of his airline.

The Virgin Group founder, who owns 51pc of Virgin Atlantic, has asked the German bank to study the airline's market position in the wake of British Airways' transatlantic tie-up with American Airlines

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 22):
However, facts are not commonly recognised here and too many are too busy formulating 'reasons' which have no basis in reality whatever.

You better have a word with The Telegraph AirNZ. They appear to making things up.....

I think it is quite fair to assume that VS (with 60% of it's entire Heathrow operations in the American market) would be impacted negatively by the BA/AA venture.

[Edited 2011-06-09 04:34:44]


Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
User currently offlineworldliner From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4243 times:

If you compare VS to BA, there really is no comparison in terms of the route map. Yes BA is in Oneworld but BA has so many connections of its own, not of a sister company.
Why fly VS from the U.S just to change to BD to go somewhere you can fly direct on AA/BA or on BA where your checked in all the way through and making the connection alot simpler.

Not to mention VS's product is horribly worn out. Even on the new 330's im hearing that they look older than the 747's interior wise. Am I the only person who can't understand the thinking behind having so many Virgin brands? Whats the need in all of the subsidiaries : Virgin Australia, Virgin America, Pacific blue etc...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Group

The link gives you an example of how virgin have bitten off a hell of alot more than they can chew. Trying to be good at everything whilst only being average at most of them.



@777Worldliner
25 TeamInTheSky : I think all of these reasons spoken to are why VS is looking for an alliance partner. And really, LH and company might not be as interested as most on
26 VV701 : Sorry. You have lost me. Are you trying to suggest that the more significant fall in passengers carried by VS between March 2010 and March 2011 and b
27 slinky09 : Couldn't compete with One World but SkyTeam offers AF, KLM, AZ, and CZ as codeshare partners. VS also code shares with Cyprus Airways, and has SAS as
28 cbrboy : Virgin Blue Holdings (VBH) is a separate company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and only connected to VS by commercial agreement and th
29 starguy : I can assure you, you have been misinformed, they are still immaculate inside, being only a few months old. All of the LGW 747's are scheduled to be
30 cbrboy : Virgin Blue Holdings will need to negotiate with the Samoan Government and an independent shareholder if they want to change the name of Polynesian B
31 jumpjet : Interesting thread, but here's a couple of questions for you aviation experts out there please.... I've booked a family holiday to Kong Kong, Australi
32 slinky09 : That's just spurious. And, don't forget that even in this wonderful, globalized, free trade world. airline ownership is one of the last bastions of n
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...
Surprising Passenger Numbers At TIJ For 2007 posted Wed Feb 27 2008 14:10:46 by Marcus
Passenger Numbers At RSW Top 8 Million For 2007 posted Tue Jan 29 2008 13:32:29 by RSWA330
Profits Plunge At Virgin Atlantic posted Tue Aug 14 2007 13:41:34 by Concorde001
Passenger Numbers At Major Scandinavian Airports posted Tue Jul 11 2006 18:38:23 by Heisan67
Passenger Numbers At MAN Picking Up posted Mon Mar 25 2002 16:38:20 by David_itl
Passenger Numbers At MAN Down 6% In January posted Tue Feb 12 2002 00:22:22 by David_itl
What's New At Virgin Atlantic? posted Mon Jul 10 2000 14:37:32 by NJTurnpike
2 X A340 600 Virgin Atlantic At Lourdes? posted Fri Dec 24 2010 08:56:28 by corernagh14
Video: Virgin Atlantic A346 Go-Around At Boston posted Mon Jul 19 2010 05:43:20 by reggaebird
Virgin Atlantic 747 At JFK Today 9/22 posted Tue Sep 22 2009 13:32:23 by Contrails15