If this happens, I would think it's a pretty desperate sign that VA wanted to move its A330 away from Transcon routes. JQ currently flies it 4x weekly; I personally don't think the market would be big enough for two carriers. IMHO VA would have a better chance by flying to somewhere Southeast Asia or Japan than HNL.
Would love to see VA do MEL-KIX or MEL-ICN. Will be great to see VA expand out of MEL more internationally.
Have often thought that Virgin Blue made a mistake not basing themselves in Melbourne and becoming the airline of Australia's 2nd city.
Roll forward to today and they could have been focusing on long haul routes out of Melbourne to serve the Melbourne corporates and leave Sydney to Qantas.
Though I think that boat has sailed !
Even though that would appear to make sense now, it’s importsnt to remember when Virgin Blue started flights things were very different.
- Ansett was still around, which was based in MEL
- Victoria was still in the early days of its recovery from years of economic doom and gloom
- Virgin Blue was still a small player in the market, and at one point was pushing hard to fly out of Essendon
As things changed in the competitive landscape, along with the benefits of a stronger economy in this state (increased jobs, increased population), new opportunities presented themselves.
It made sense for Virgin Blue to base themselves in BNE, which had no based airline and was a natural fit for tourism demand that served their LCC model perfectly.
Come 2004, Jetstars launch gave Melbourne a based airline again for the first time in 3 years, but even then it was based on a model that saw AVV gain most of their focus. Only once the next Melbourne based carrier entered the scene (Tiger) did JQ shift the majority of its capital city routes to MEL.
Hindsight is often something that shows us missed opportunities, but that often just ignores the reality of the time decisions are made.