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FoxtrotSierra
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When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:02 pm

Currently, Virgin Australia only flies to LAX, which is understandable as range is an issue with the 777. This limits VA's ability to fly inland to the US as it is farther away than AKL which is operated by a 777, but VA lacks 787's and A380's that could do the job unlike QF and NZ. That said, YVR and SFO are within range for the 77W as demonstrated by AC and UA, so does VA have any plans to launch either?
 
Obzerva
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:35 pm

VA won't be acquiring any more 777 to expand to the US. Keep in mind they only have 5 in their fleet, and are running services from MEL/SYD/BNE to LAX.

The next aircraft order would be a single replacement aircraft family for consolidation of the A330s and 777s.

Virgin Australia have said their next major growth market will be HKG and China rather than US.
Over the next few years, we'll see less domestic A330 flying, with those aircraft being utilised to HKG and an as yet unannounced destination in China.

They need to consolidate more in the region than further afield ventures given their current balance sheet.
 
Frenchify
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:40 pm

Agreed with above post on potential expansion. It seems like most of their existence has been filled with news of constant financial concerns. I've always enjoyed their in flight.
and really thought the Premium Economy was worth the money. I look forward to making the comparison with American when I make my next trip for work.
 
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JBusworth
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:13 am

They have always struggled with their long haul network, having served places like Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg with their wide bodies but axing the flights after just a few months or years. They are currently looking at expanding into China through Hong Kong using their current domestic A330s. The next new routes are likely to be Brisbane/Sydney to Hong Kong and Melbourne to Mainland China. At some point they will probably get 10-15 A350s or B787s to replace the A330s and B777s which should allow expansion on a wider scale.
 
zkncj
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:06 am

Really don't think you'll see them expand in the next few years, until they are able to put together an business plan which involves making an profit rather than an loss.

VA for the last few years has also been crippled by its 3 main airline shareholders that all want VA todo something different, atleast NZ is now out of the mix which should help.
 
sq256
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:36 am

As mentioned, you won't see VA expanding outside of their HK/China plans (using the A330s) anytime soon considering their financial situation ever since they rebranded from the Virgin Blue LCC to hybrid-carrier Virgin Australia.

VA as already mentioned was also crippled with the multiple shareholders, although with NZ out (and potentially) EY exiting, they are likely to be focusing more on China with A330 equipment due to the Hainan & Nanshan stakes.

With the partnership with DL for Transpacific services and drawing back from estranged shareholder SQ and former shareholder NZ. In addition to being hostile rivals with UA, VA isn't likely to join Star anytime soon. Perhaps VA may join Skyteam with DL sponsorship should Borghetti move on (or is forced to move on).
 
planemanofnz
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:45 am

VA could still ask the HNA Group for additional A330 frames, if needed - after all, the HNA Group need VA to curtail bilateral restrictions.

Without A330s, VA still has room for international expansion too - it has 40 737 MAXs on order, which could be used to expand VA's presence in Asia.

For example, DRW - HKG (2,650 mi) and PER - SIN (2,421 mi) are shorter than current VA 737 routes, like SYD - DPS (2,871 mi).

AFAIK, the range of the 737 MAX is about 3,500 mi - this would allow the following DRW routes, to tie-in with the HNA Group in China:

Image

The 737 MAX would even be capable of some CNS - China routes too:

Image

Aside from China, the 737 MAX would also allow VA to open up various other routes - for example:

Image

Cheers,

C.
 
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LAX772LR
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:23 am

Heck, if anything you should be asking "can VA sustain its network?" Because that's not exactly a guarantee.

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually hand over the US routes to DL, and focus on Oceania and SE Asia, should their financial position repeat the last few recent results. :(
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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lightsaber
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:35 am

LAX772LR wrote:
Heck, if anything you should be asking "can VA sustain its network?" Because that's not exactly a guarantee.

I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually hand over the US routes to DL, and focus on Oceania and SE Asia, should their financial position repeat the last few recent results. :(

Yea, I hate to be so pessimistic, but VA needs to figure out how to make money and then expand in that direction.

Lightsaber
You only have the first amendment with the 2nd. If you're not going to offend someone with what you say, you don't have the 1st.
 
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aerorobnz
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:01 am

Step 1) Get rid of Borghetti
Step 2) Rationalise their odd-ball fleet, and cut unprofitable routes
Step 3) Make Money
Step 4 Recover the domestic market share they haemorrhaged to Qantas.
Step 5) Expand

Or do what they're continuing to do and fo the way of Air Berlin within a few more years.
Flown to 128 Airports in 48 Countries on 81 Operators. Visited 56 Countries and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
StudiodeKadent
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:05 am

There's an outside chance they may get the 737 MAX 7 (since its highly common with the MAX 8 they have on order) to expand into some lower-yield south-east Asian routes ex. BNE too. Ex. BNE that jet could reach Jakarta and Manila, and given its small size it wouldn't be hard to fill. Hell, its even possible for the 737 MAX 7 to reach Tahiti ex. BNE... just.

That said, this is unlikely. As one poster upthread said the next big aircraft order will be for a 777/A330 replacement... I'd say the A350-900 is probably the best candidate but the 787-9 is in the running too.

But yeah, I don't expect VOz to expand to any other North American cities beyond LAX (where they hook up with Delta). If there is any expansion, it'll probably be Delta launching a flight from SEA to Australia.
 
Sightseer
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:54 am

Here's hoping VA's new focus on Asia will bear fruit. I flew them once and enjoyed it. Would be a shame to see them meet AB's fate.

Is there any idea how MEL-HKG is doing?
 
planemanofnz
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:30 am

StudiodeKadent wrote:
There's an outside chance they may get the 737 MAX 7 (since its highly common with the MAX 8 they have on order) to expand into some lower-yield south-east Asian routes ex. BNE too. Ex. BNE that jet could reach Jakarta and Manila, and given its small size it wouldn't be hard to fill. Hell, its even possible for the 737 MAX 7 to reach Tahiti ex. BNE... just

Please, no - VA do not need yet another sub-type in their fleet!

Although the 737 MAX 8 has insufficient range for BNE - MNL / SIN / KUL, it can still open up various ASEAN routes from BNE:

Image

Cheers,

C.
 
Obzerva
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:54 am

Sightseer wrote:
Here's hoping VA's new focus on Asia will bear fruit. I flew them once and enjoyed it. Would be a shame to see them meet AB's fate.

Is there any idea how MEL-HKG is doing?


I understand the bookings were a bit light on initially, however there would a few factors associated with this
sporadic slot times in HKG
launched without the HX codeshare approved.

Both of these issues are mostly sorted, flights now carry a HX number and a late morning departure time is sorted.
It's also going from 5 weekly, to a daily mid November.
 
StudiodeKadent
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:03 am

planemanofnz wrote:
Please, no - VA do not need yet another sub-type in their fleet!


I agree VA should remove the EJets and rapidly consolidate to 1 narrowbody and 1 widebody... but isn't the 737-7 basically just a simple shrink? It wouldn't have any additional staff costs/training costs and would have very high commonality with the 737-8s. So would it really be that costly for them?

Although the 737 MAX 8 has insufficient range for BNE - MNL / SIN / KUL, it can still open up various ASEAN routes from BNE:


Apart from Denpasar (which doesn't have much premium traffic) how many of those routes have reasonable demand for a full service carrier? I don't think very many do. A 737-7 could serve BNE-MNL and BNE-CGK (particularly if the jets were equipped with respectable premium product... 5 abreast Premium, and some sort of lie flat business class perhaps... and you could fit 17.8" seats in Economy if you slim the armrests down to the A350 measurement of 1.5"), would both have very little to no competition (what competition PAL may represent in the near future will probably not be on a premium-configured narrowbody).
 
planemanofnz
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:10 am

StudiodeKadent wrote:
Apart from Denpasar (which doesn't have much premium traffic) how many of those routes have reasonable demand for a full service carrier? I don't think very many do. A 737-7 could serve BNE-MNL and BNE-CGK

Actually, the 737 MAX 8 can serve BNE - CGK - it is 3,381 mi, whereas the range of the aircraft is ~3,500 mi. BNE - MNL, at 3,597 mi, is a little bit too far.

I see BNE - CEB having some potential for outbound tourist traffic (like BNE - DPS), and SUB - BNE as having some potential for inbound tourist traffic (like CGK - BNE).

MH and BI have also routed some Borneo services to Australia (PER and BNE) before, so there might be potential there.

Cheers,

C.
 
Obzerva
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:26 am

StudiodeKadent wrote:
planemanofnz wrote:
Please, no - VA do not need yet another sub-type in their fleet!


I agree VA should remove the EJets and rapidly consolidate to 1 narrowbody and 1 widebody... but isn't the 737-7 basically just a simple shrink? It wouldn't have any additional staff costs/training costs and would have very high commonality with the 737-8s. So would it really be that costly for them?

Although the 737 MAX 8 has insufficient range for BNE - MNL / SIN / KUL, it can still open up various ASEAN routes from BNE:


Apart from Denpasar (which doesn't have much premium traffic) how many of those routes have reasonable demand for a full service carrier? I don't think very many do. A 737-7 could serve BNE-MNL and BNE-CGK (particularly if the jets were equipped with respectable premium product... 5 abreast Premium, and some sort of lie flat business class perhaps... and you could fit 17.8" seats in Economy if you slim the armrests down to the A350 measurement of 1.5"), would both have very little to no competition (what competition PAL may represent in the near future will probably not be on a premium-configured narrowbody).


Not sure if you've noticed, VA are removing the ejets, the leases are up, they've gone from a fleet of 18 to just 2, and they're heading out the door.

There's several posts about fleet consolidation on here, well you're right, but it's been happening for a while.
ATRs are also being reduced to 6 from memory (happy to be corrected).
 
StudiodeKadent
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 5:29 am

planemanofnz wrote:
StudiodeKadent wrote:
Apart from Denpasar (which doesn't have much premium traffic) how many of those routes have reasonable demand for a full service carrier? I don't think very many do. A 737-7 could serve BNE-MNL and BNE-CGK

Actually, the 737 MAX 8 can serve BNE - CGK - it is 3,381 mi, whereas the range of the aircraft is ~3,500 mi. BNE - MNL, at 3,597 mi, is a little bit too far.


Where did you get those range figures from? According to wikipedia the brochure range of the -8 is 3500nmi, or 6500km. Which is technically (by brochure range) enough to do CGK and MNL (and even theoretically KUL), but these routes would all need to deal with headwinds or tailwinds, not to mention there may be payload restrictions in the larger -8.

Don't get me wrong... it would be great if the -8 (in a premium configuration) could make all those routes and that would make things easier for Virgin Australia. They could use the same jets for Perth/Premium Transcon and for several South East Asian destinations. But if the -8 can't do it, the -7 probably could be useful for V-Oz.
 
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qf789
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:38 pm

Sightseer wrote:
Here's hoping VA's new focus on Asia will bear fruit. I flew them once and enjoyed it. Would be a shame to see them meet AB's fate.

Is there any idea how MEL-HKG is doing?


Figures are available for first month of operation that being July

HKG-MEL 4618 passengers, 88.4% load factor
MEL-HKG 3206 passengers, 61.4% load factor
Forum Moderator
 
StudiodeKadent
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:44 pm

qf789 wrote:
Sightseer wrote:
Here's hoping VA's new focus on Asia will bear fruit. I flew them once and enjoyed it. Would be a shame to see them meet AB's fate.

Is there any idea how MEL-HKG is doing?


Figures are available for first month of operation that being July

HKG-MEL 4618 passengers, 88.4% load factor
MEL-HKG 3206 passengers, 61.4% load factor


So... 74.9%full on average (across both directions). Is that good? Or bad?
 
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qf789
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:52 pm

StudiodeKadent wrote:
qf789 wrote:
Sightseer wrote:
Here's hoping VA's new focus on Asia will bear fruit. I flew them once and enjoyed it. Would be a shame to see them meet AB's fate.

Is there any idea how MEL-HKG is doing?


Figures are available for first month of operation that being July

HKG-MEL 4618 passengers, 88.4% load factor
MEL-HKG 3206 passengers, 61.4% load factor


So... 74.9%full on average (across both directions). Is that good? Or bad?


I would say that is not too bad to start with. When you compare to QF and CX numbers the are similar

HKG-AUS (numbers only cover all Australia, not specific routes)
CX 94.4%
QF 91.2%

AUS-HKG
CX 70.3%
QF 69.4%
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redroo
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:48 am

Putting aside the issue that Virgin isn't making money and needs to focus on that.

I struggle to see the 737MAX or the A321LR opening up all the routes that have been suggested for any airline. The Australian airlines are focused on getting Aussies where they need to go. There is little demand outside the key Asian cities of SIN, HKG, NRT, KUL, SGN, PEK, PVG. We can't even maintain MNL from all the capital cities.

The only way I can see them working is if they had the range to do Australia non-stop to China and Japan. If the 737 or A321 could do that, then we can talk about PER-NRT, ADL-NRT, ADL-HKG, PER-PEK, etc, etc. The smaller aircraft could then used to connect the smaller AU capitals to the major centres in Asia non-stop. That would fill in the gaps.

Then again, its a LONG time in a small, slow A321 / 737 to get from ADL-NRT or PER-PVG.
 
travelhound
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:14 am

I'd suggest the core route network would be a very profitable standalone business for Virgin Australia. The issues probably stem from the regional and wide body networks that are a significant drain on company profits.

Once VirgIn Australia has completed its restructure (making itself something like a dressed up Virgin Blue) the business should come back into profit very quickly.

As far as expansion goes, I'd suggest the selling off of the E-Jet and ATR families of aircraft will have a subsequent impact on passengers flown. So from this perspective the airline will probably be in contraction for a few years as it exits the (regional) markets that were a drain on its profits.

The A330's flying to Hong Kong could be more about reducing its losses rather than expanding its markets.
 
redroo
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:56 am

travelhound wrote:
I'd suggest the core route network would be a very profitable standalone business for Virgin Australia. The issues probably stem from the regional and wide body networks that are a significant drain on company profits.

Once VirgIn Australia has completed its restructure (making itself something like a dressed up Virgin Blue) the business should come back into profit very quickly.

As far as expansion goes, I'd suggest the selling off of the E-Jet and ATR families of aircraft will have a subsequent impact on passengers flown. So from this perspective the airline will probably be in contraction for a few years as it exits the (regional) markets that were a drain on its profits.

The A330's flying to Hong Kong could be more about reducing its losses rather than expanding its markets.



Capital city flying should be profitable in a two horse race but is it? Virgin Blue didn't have great margins before Borghetti went on a spending spree. Their cost base is now substantially higher than it was before.

It should be a nice little business, but whether the current team can turn a profit is another thing.
 
waoz1
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:20 am

Very funny post
Virgin expand its network lol
Cant even work out where they want to fly to
 
sq256
Posts: 148
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:22 am

travelhound wrote:
As far as expansion goes, I'd suggest the selling off of the E-Jet and ATR families of aircraft will have a subsequent impact on passengers flown. So from this perspective the airline will probably be in contraction for a few years as it exits the (regional) markets that were a drain on its profits.

The A330's flying to Hong Kong could be more about reducing its losses rather than expanding its markets.


The Embraers and the majority of ATRs are already on the way out. IIRC only 6 of the ATRs will be retained mostly for Canberra and Intra-NSW services iirc (open to correction on the later).

The Tiger Airbuses are being handed back to Scoot (replaced with 738s being transferred from VA mainline), and there are assumptions the 2 odd-ball VA Regional (ex-Skywest) A320s will also be leaving.

The HKG flying are mostly being done on behalf of the HNA group (who are one of the shareholders in VA). Namely to get around the bilateral restrictions since most of the capacity into "the big 4" cities on the HKG end has been taken up by CX. I wouldn't be surprised if BNE/SYD-HKG and MEL-(Unannounced Chinese city) are the eventual routes of their Chinese focus. VA's Chinese focus would take 4 of the A330 frames all up, leaving the remaining 2 on SYD/MEL-PER & v.v and the seasonal SYD/MEL-NAN upgauges.
 
a19901213
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Re: When will Virgin Australia expand its network?

Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:51 am

planemanofnz wrote:
VA could still ask the HNA Group for additional A330 frames, if needed - after all, the HNA Group need VA to curtail bilateral restrictions.

Without A330s, VA still has room for international expansion too - it has 40 737 MAXs on order, which could be used to expand VA's presence in Asia.

For example, DRW - HKG (2,650 mi) and PER - SIN (2,421 mi) are shorter than current VA 737 routes, like SYD - DPS (2,871 mi).

AFAIK, the range of the 737 MAX is about 3,500 mi - this would allow the following DRW routes, to tie-in with the HNA Group in China:

Image

The 737 MAX would even be capable of some CNS - China routes too:

Image

Aside from China, the 737 MAX would also allow VA to open up various other routes - for example:

Image

Cheers,

C.


Just to keep you in mind that Taiwan is not part of China so TPE and KHH really shouldn’t be in the chart.

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