Britair
Topic Author
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 3:50 am

Virgin Atlantic To Start Australia Services

Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:29 pm

Richard Branson said Virgin Atlantic plans to commence flights between Australia and Hong Kong in 2003.

Speaking to reporters today (Wednesday), Branson said talks were ongoing for Virgin Atlantic to fly from Hong Kong to "one or two major cities in Australia next year".

The move would link with Virgin Atlantic's London-Hong Kong service, providing competition on the Australia-London route dominated by Qantas Airways and British Airways.

Branson said today's agreement on Virgin Blue's access to the former Ansett terminal at Sydney Airport will provide a valuable platform for domestic expansion.

"It really does mean that we can be a head-on competitor to Qantas and our aim reaching 50% of the market one day is a realistic one," Branson said.

He said the terminal's facilities would also strengthen Virgin Blue's pitch for business customers, although it remained committed to its single-class, low-cost model.

Branson said Virgin Blue would send tender documents to 18 Pacific rim airports on Friday then select about six destinations for an expansion program in the region beginning in mid-2003, with Bali "still very much on our list" despite the bombings last month.

"You're as safe in Bali today as you would be in Sydney or Melbourne or London - I for one will be going to Bali on holiday next year," he said.

Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey said the airline was also keen to expand its services to include New Zealand, but only if New Zealand competition authorities blocked Qantas' bid to buy 25% of Air New Zealand.

"We won't go to a gunfight where there's two people and someone's pointing a gun at our back," Godfrey said.

Branson said he does not expect Singapore Airlines to enter the Australian domestic market.

"I don't think that's a serious likelihood now ... if they were going to do it they probably would have done it by now," he said.
 
AJ
Posts: 2295
Joined: Wed Nov 03, 1999 3:54 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic To Start Australia Services

Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:31 pm

There's been some discussion about it here:
http://www.airliners.net/discussions/general_aviation/read.main/959540/
Cheers.
 
Britair
Topic Author
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 1999 3:50 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic To Start Australia Services

Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:40 pm

oops

sorry


 Smile
 
donder10
Posts: 6944
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2001 5:29 am

RE: Virgin Atlantic To Start Australia Services

Wed Nov 06, 2002 7:45 pm

I'm sure SQ will be utterly thrilled.
 
United Airline
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Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:24 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic To Start Australia Services

Wed Nov 06, 2002 11:23 pm

I wonder what aircraft will they be using. Richard Branson stated earlier that it will be the B 747-400 but would it be too big??????

Ansett Australia used to fly HKG-SYD with a B 747-400 though.
 
Ikarus
Posts: 3391
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2001 10:18 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic To Start Australia Services

Wed Nov 06, 2002 11:51 pm

London-Hong-Kong-Sydney? 747-400 until the A380 comes along would be my guess...

Exciting News. Now if they also offer LAX-Sydney, they could reach Sydney from two sides and slowly (organically) build up a presence in Australia from there, eventually leading up to the Virgin Pacific that has been rumoured so often. It would be much wiser to do it gradually than to try and enter the market with one big (costly) boom.

Regards

Ikarus