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VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?  
User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1453 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 17833 times:

According to an interview with VS CEO Steve Ridgway in the Australian Business Traveller magazine, his airline wishes to take over some of the former Bmi services out of LHR.

I can understand VS needing short-haul flights to feed passengers onto its long-haul flights at LHR. But I wonder what are the chances of these flights going ahead ?

http://www.ausbt.com.au/virgin-atlan...l-replace-bmi-from-london-heathrow

44 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 7174 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 17772 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Thread starter):
But I wonder what are the chances of these flights going ahead ?

The question would be, what aircraft would VS use on such routes? Would they purchase A-320s to use on those routes?

If they don't purchase narrowbodies, I don't see any of this happening.



One of the FB admins for PHX Spotters. "Zach the Expat!"
User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1794 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 17722 times:
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I agree, suddenly deciding on a new shorthaul start-up seems a bit ask at short short notice.
Unless VS have plans in motion already and have aircraft already sourced?
Or indeed a deal organised with a regional carrier to operate under the VS brand as a feeder into LHR?


User currently offlineLHRFlyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2010, 811 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 17673 times:

If it really does happen I really doubt it will be operated by Virgin Atlantic, just Virgin branded and operated by someone else as a joint-venture.

User currently offlineflipdewaf From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2006, 1562 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 17424 times:
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I personally would love to see VS jump on this and try and take advantage instead of complaining about getting a raw deal.

Fred


User currently offlineJACK02116 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 145 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 17025 times:

Apart from narrow bodied aircraft all they need are take-off and landing slots at LHR - and I am pretty certain that there are not many of those available at the moment.

Perhaps SRB thinks that somehow IAG will be forced to give up more ex BMI slots and he will get them all?

Or more likely this is just more Virgin hot air and it will come to nothing. They had the chance to buy BMI and get a decent number of slots to set up a short haul operation and they decided not to play the game - so probably they are not that serious.

Just more Virgin smoke I think.

Having siad that I always try to fly Virgin America on my internal US flights and a similar service around Europe would be a welcome addition.


User currently offlineual777uk From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 17028 times:

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 4):
I personally would love to see VS jump on this and try and take advantage instead of complaining about getting a raw deal.

Agree 100%

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 3):
If it really does happen I really doubt it will be operated by Virgin Atlantic, just Virgin branded and operated by someone else as a joint-venture.

BMI Regional?

Either way they would need to souce some NB's pronto.

I wont hold my breaqth on thsi coming to fruition but stranger things have happened.


User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3534 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 16853 times:

Steve Ridgeway doesn't quite seem to grasp the allocation procedure for the remediation slots, of course VS is at liberty to apply for them, on the other hand so can many other EU airlines. The article infers that they have them in the bag.

I still can't see how VS can hope to make a go of them, as they will end up with a very small short haul business tacked onto their existing long haul services. I would guess 6 or so planes will be the entire short haul fleet,


User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 2948 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 16826 times:

A branded wet lease agreement would be the go on this concept. VS would have minimal initial costs, and wouldn't be committing to a long term fleet of aircraft, new crews etc.

I doubt very, very much that VS will start flying shorthaul themselves. A few key European and domestic routes to feed long haul operations now that BMI is gone might be wise though.


User currently offlinevirgincrew From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 16445 times:

I think if VS are smart in this, they should pair up with Sector Aviation Holdings Ltd (SAH) who purchased BMI Regional from IAG and try and get the LHR slots that are up from grabs from IAG / BA.

If they worked with them and the flights operated under a VS livery and branding - it might work.

I really wanna see this livery ........




Hello Beautiful !!!
User currently offlineemalad From United Kingdom, joined May 2006, 444 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 16414 times:

I would love to see VS flying short haul in the UK. How about VirginBaby as a name, to pick up where WW are going to leave. Am sure it would be in interesting livery if ever it came about  

User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3196 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 15912 times:

We can debate the pretty colours or the aircraft, the livery, the slots and the history....er and being airliners.net we clearly will. HOWEVER.....commercially?

BA's own short haul is a borderline loss maker and bmi's LHR domestic services have been downsized, axed or struggled. The main driver for BA to maintain the operation is to feed long haul, which is profitable as a line of business but dependent on short haul. Now Virgin did not make a serious effort to buy bmi, hence they will not come close to having any critical mass of flights to feed long haul and at the same time not make a massive loss on point to point. That ship has sailed and Ridgeway himself waved her off shrieking at the unfairness of big bad BA from the pier. Had he gotten the company wallet out things may ended differently.

Virgin would beed three daily returns per destination to have any serious impact on the market, and good mix of domestic destinations. Thing is bmi failed in the end on a mass market like Glasgow and had to leave. It's not as if they'll be offering Upper Class facilities on board so Virgin would be going against easyJet and BA in a saturated market and a likely price was. They would be unlikely to break even for a very long time, and also, what would be the third destination? Belfast versus Aer Lingus and BA? Manchester where bmi couldn't fill and ERJ-145 much of the time? Aberdeen where BA just launching LCY-ABZ with a very good and modern product? Inverness? Seriously? They would get slaughtered on core Euro routes like CDG and FRA and the domestic routes are limited, the consequence is that they do not have enough potential to make a business case to do this given the fairly high costs involved. BMI Regional have no LHR slots and you're not being all that competitve when your main competitor flies A320 series aircraft on the same route.

The only way to feed Virgin at LHR is to join an Alliance, now that clearly did not save bmi but I think would be good for VS. Feeding VS at LHR from UK domestic is commercial suicide. Take it seriously when BAA announce they're spending money on a domestic facility for Terminal 3.

Virgin have been here before. Virgin Express was a LHR regular for a long time, they had the chance to do something with that but they never did and now it's all too late. Bite the bullet and get in with Skyteam or STAR before it's all too late.

[Edited 2012-05-14 06:56:11]

[Edited 2012-05-14 06:57:25]

User currently offlinenclmedic From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 341 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 15679 times:

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 11):
Bite the bullet and get in with Skyteam or STAR before it's all too late.

Completely agree!


User currently offlinevirgincrew From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 422 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 15302 times:

i>
Quoting skipness1E (Reply 11):
Bite the bullet and get in with Skyteam or STAR before it's all too late.

Couldn't agree more ......   



Hello Beautiful !!!
User currently offlinebabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 15231 times:

VS don't have a good track record with short haul from the UK as far as I remember.

There was Masstrict and Athens and neither seemed to work out. UK short haul might be a little bit flooded at the moment to accept a new short haul operator.


User currently offlinejonnyclark From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2011, 112 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13813 times:

I think there is a great void in the European market for a Virgin America-esque airline. And to be honest I think Virgin have already got the proof a product like that would work. They could easily lease planes from their american counterpart and for only a small livery change, would have a small fleet ready to go operating on what they must know are their most important feeder traffic city pairs.

I hope something like this happens. About time Europe got some decent carriers, rather than slightly crustier older generation carriers or LCCs.

Jonnyclark
thedesignair.wordpress.com

[Edited 2012-05-14 10:16:32]


Jonny, commercial pilot & founder of Thedesignair
User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3196 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 13646 times:

There's no room between BA / KLM / AF / LH and easyJet for a Virgin America type clone. Point to point within Europe is a loco market with connectivity and the remainder of P2P mopped up by the legacies. As it stands now, the market is already pretty saturated, it would not be commercially wise to price yourself beyond easyJet and yet not offer the benefits of a BA I think.
Perhaps I am being too London centric, there may be a niche in Europe, but there's almost literally no room out of London LGW and LHR.


User currently offlineaxelesgg From Sweden, joined Jan 2010, 186 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13538 times:

Wasn't that exactly how the Laker Airways (Skytrain GK) went out of business?

User currently offlinesbworcs From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2005, 836 posts, RR: 5
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13274 times:

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 3):
just Virgin branded and operated by someone else as a joint-venture.

Would that be allowed under the terms of the slot divestiture. I thought I read on here in a previous thread that whoever has the slots has to use them themselves not through a third party?



The best way forwards is upwards!
User currently offlineASA From Bangladesh, joined Dec 2010, 721 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 13274 times:

Quoting emalad (Reply 10):
I would love to see VS flying short haul in the UK. How about VirginBaby as a name, to pick up where WW are going to leave. Am sure it would be in interesting livery if ever it came about  

Wouldn't VirginBaby an oxymoron, though?

Do we mean a baby virgin (doesn't make sense) ... or the baby of a virgin??!! there is only ONE i can think of  

  


User currently offlinebastew From Australia, joined Sep 2006, 1024 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 11817 times:

Would be great to see this happen. However, a few questions (some which have already been asked on this thread).

1. Where are all the slots going to come from? The merger is a done deal. The slot numbers IAG has to surrender is public knowledge. This will only allow Virgin (IF they are successful at getting them) to operate the London - Scottish routes they want to operate. Shorthaul european/russian routes? Where will they come from?

2. Where are the aircraft coming from?

3. Where are any concrete details in the article? Like 'we plan on starting services by October this year'. Or 'we have placed an order for aircraft'. Or 'tickets will be available for sale by X date'. As per usual vague details.

4. Why would the CEO of a major UK airline (whom have been playing a very public game with the media in the UK in their pursuit for the IAG/LH deal to be quashed) make some announcement in an Australian business publication? Where is their UK press release? It's what the whole industry has been waiting for.


User currently offlinef4f3a From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2004, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 10641 times:

there was a rumour going round that u2 were considering buying the domestic slots for lhr.

I read somewhere that these have to be used domestic for 3 years then they can be used for anything . If thats true then they would be worth a lot more as international.

I could see U2 serving heathrow from gla edi ncl bfs and code sharing for virgin.


User currently offlinelightsaber From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12850 posts, RR: 100
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 9960 times:
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Quoting JACK02116 (Reply 5):
Apart from narrow bodied aircraft all they need are take-off and landing slots at LHR - and I am pretty certain that there are not many of those available at the moment.

Where would VS get the slots? BA bought BMI partially for the feed and partially to convert the slots to long haul.

The reality is that London needs a *major* airport expansion in one place. Either a 3rd runway with 6th terminal at LHR or the Thames Estuary.

Quoting JACK02116 (Reply 5):
Or more likely this is just more Virgin hot air and it will come to nothing. They had the chance to buy BMI and get a decent number of slots to set up a short haul operation and they decided not to play the game - so probably they are not that serious.

I agree. They missed out on BMI. They are demanding slots from a competitor at below market rates. I doubt BA is that inclined to sell slots to VS.

Quoting f4f3a (Reply 21):
I could see U2 serving heathrow from gla edi ncl bfs and code sharing for virgin.

With what slots? I've read that slot pairs are worth 1,300 pounds per day at peak times. That is 10 pounds per passenger (roughly) for every flight for a narrowbody. (Recall, not every flight sells out.) For an A380, the amortized cost is trivial per passenger (for a longer flight too). I just do not see U2 winning the bidding wars for LHR slots.

Lightsaber



Societies that achieve a critical mass of ideas achieve self sustaining growth; others stagnate.
User currently offlinerjm777ual From UK - England, joined Nov 2011, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 9829 times:

They could do what they are doing with the US and Aussie, create a Virgin Europe!


Greetings from Dulles!
User currently offlineskipness1E From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2007, 3196 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 9393 times:

Quoting f4f3a (Reply 21):
there was a rumour going round that u2 were considering buying the domestic slots for lhr.

Isn't Bono a litte too green for this? Besides their last album was just terrible. Terrible.

OK..."I could see U2 serving heathrow from gla edi ncl bfs and code sharing for virgin." EZY don't code share, they're a loco, besides they have that market sewn up via STN / LTN and LGW without adding the nonsense of being number 12 for start in the LHR rush. If I was connecting to Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic can you really see me flying easyJet in the priority boarding queue itching to run for a good seat. Now I know EZY are good and getting better but they're not going to "feed" Branson, there's not enough in it for them.

3 destinations, (GLA/EDI/XYZ), 3 flights a day is nine slot pairs. Do the maths of buying them versus whatever profits you expect to get, bearing in mind BMI were using ERJ145s on MAN and ABZ and had to drop GLA.

[Edited 2012-05-14 16:18:25]

[Edited 2012-05-14 16:19:04]

25 gingersnap : The costs would be astronomical for U2. I'm not saying they couldn't afford it, but I honestly don't think they could justify the cost to themselves
26 sevenheavy : I just don't see this happening. First and foremost they need the slots, which they don't currently have. They would need the aircraft, which would ta
27 Pe@rson : EZY's CEO has clearly stated they looked at LHR - but not for long due to its costs and congestion.
28 Post contains links and images VV701 : You mean fourth time lucky? I get a sense of deja vu when I read suggestions like this. About a quarter of a centuiry ago I seem to recall a small fl
29 skipness1E : You missed CityJet flying out of LCY on a Virgin franchise and South East European Airways operating SX-BSV on LHR-ATH. Indeed that operation came in
30 nighthawk : Airport slots are free - you cannot sell them. However, as slots at peak times are in high demand, what a lot of airlines will do is apply for slots
31 Post contains links LondonCity : EZY's CEO has confirmed that LHR is a 'no go.' http://www.abtn.co.uk/news/0715618-heathrow-no-go-easyjet I believe Virgin also operated DUB-LTN in th
32 Post contains images Pe@rson : Hence saying "they looked at LHR - but not for long".
33 Post contains links virgincrew : This was true until a few years back. However a report produced for the EU showed that the "no-sale" rule was restricting the expansion of European c
34 Post contains links VV701 : Here is a link to the web site where LHR slots ARE officially bought and sold: http://www.slottrade.aero/slot-trading-volumes.asp The last sale of an
35 DavidByrne : As I recall, it was a very small fleet - of one, and operated just one route, MST-LGW, once daily, ostensibly as feed to the LGW-EWR service, and aim
36 nighthawk : From the "How It Works" section of that website: Within the EU, slots are traded by way of a slot exchange – slots are swapped between airlines on
37 Post contains links and images bestwestern : Yes, they did using a 727 and a viscount and also launched Virgin Express Ireland and also flew 146s...
38 LondonCity : Thanks. It brings back old memories, especially the picture of the Viscount !
39 Candid76 : However who says that this supposed Virgin short haul operation has to be LHR based? The logical place for such an operation to be based is MAN. Whil
40 skipness1E : Why on Earth do you say MAN? Flybe would be in a fight to the death and VS fly only leisure routes in the morning with nothing to feed in the evening?
41 sevenheavy : The only reason for VS to even consider a short haul operation (which is a big question in itself) is to feed the long haul network. Connecting traff
42 Candid76 : Virgin is a strong brand, I would say much stronger than FlyBE. A core short haul feeder network would be a prerequisite for long haul expansion at MA
43 Post contains links VV701 : The slot trading situation in the UK has historically been different to that in the rest of the EU. This is covered on the slottrade.aero web site by
44 skipness1E : That's not a meaningful comparision as you are not comparing like with like. Virgin have no market presence in short haul, flybe have no market prese
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