QF744
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Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:31 am

Here it is - the news we have been waiting for!

Virgin Atlantic have received approval to fly LHR-HGK-SYD; flights start December!

Here's part of their news release..

QF744


Virgin Atlantic Airways, the full-service international airline of the Virgin Group, announced today that it would launch daily scheduled services between Sydney and London via Hong Kong, commencing on Wednesday, 8 December. 
Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic said: “I am delighted that Virgin Atlantic is now able to offer flights between Australia, Hong Kong and the UK – everyone at Virgin has long wished for us to operate to Australia and today’s announcement really is a dream come true.   Australians have also been waiting for many years for the BA-Qantas duopoly to be broken and for new competition to be introduced.
“Today’s announcement is another major landmark in Virgin Atlantic’s development.  Sydney is a prestigious route and will become our 23rd destination.    Tomorrow is also the 20th anniversary of our very first flight from Gatwick to Newark in 1984.    Australia is a country that everyone at Virgin has been hoping to fly to from since these early days and the news that our ambitions have become a reality will really add to our celebrations.
“Virgin Atlantic’s new services on the kangaroo route will be good news for consumers in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK, as it will mean that much needed competition and choice is brought to these markets. I am sure that Virgin Atlantic’s award winning service and innovative products will be well received both in the Australia-UK and Australia-Hong Kong markets.”
Virgin Atlantic Airways Flight VS201 will depart Sydney at 1615, arriving at Hong Kong at 2205. After a stop of just 90 minutes, the aircraft will then depart Hong Kong at 2335, arriving at London Heathrow at 0450 the following day.
Flight VS200 will depart London’s Heathrow Airport daily at 2130 arriving in Hong Kong at 1750 the following day. The aircraft will then depart Hong Kong at 1920 arriving in Sydney at 0710 the following day.
All services will be operated by 306-seat Airbus A340-600 aircraft with a configuration of 45 Upper Class Suites, 28 Premium Economy and 233 Economy seats.
Details of Virgin Atlantic’s introductory promotional offers will be announced later this year, and tickets will go on sale for the new services at the same time.
In addition to the Sydney route, Virgin Atlantic recently announced that it is due to launch a number of other new routes including Cuba and The Bahamas and an increase in services to the US, Caribbean, Asia and the Far East.

IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
767-332ER
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:33 am


Would be wonderful if the article said that flights would be operated by the brand new Boeing 777-300ER's  Laugh out loud. Great to have another company operating this lucrative route.
Twinjets...if one fails, work the other one twice as hard!!!
 
Alitalia7e7
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:35 am

It would be great news is DJ would allow you to accumulate FFP on flights within Australia and redeem them on VS. I would switch my FFP to DJ as my company no longer uses QF.......

Hope Branson can organise this!
 
QF744
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:36 am

guess it's also safe to assume that CX has been given approval on LHR-JFK services!
QF744
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:41 am

YEAH????? Where is CX???? Did they get the LHR-JFK!!!
I am so excited!!! I have more options now for my holiday to LHR later this year!!!! ummm look forward to experience the Upper Class Suite!!!!!
 
whitehatter
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:47 am

Good luck to VS.

There is enough growth potential on the kangaroo route. The charter market proved this with the multi-stop ops, and EK/MH/SQ carry a lot of passengers on the route too.

Let's hope VS can help drive the cost down. Why should it cost UKP £1000 or more when BY or MYT could do it for under UKP £500
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:54 am

As i said before, I am looking forward to the $4,000 AUD J Class tickets days back again to HKG!!!!

BTW, can I get UA Mileage Plus on VS's flights????
I think if VS joins Star Alliance it will make it much better and I will be willing to swap over (ummm hard decision to give up my Diamond MPO!)
 
whitehatter
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:01 am

VS and Star can't be that far off.

BD are the existing Star carrier in the UK, but there is now precedent for more than one Star carrier in a given country.

The entry of VS into Star would also make the BD/VS co-operation much easier. It's already there! VS could then codeshare on BD flights from MAN to ORD/IAD/YYZ along with UA and AC.
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
QF744
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:31 am

As CX123 said, the best part of this is how competitive the Kangaroo route will become!

By December, QF, CX and VS will all be operating SYD-HKG-LHR!

Great choices for pax both ways now...

QF744
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
whitehatter
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 11:35 am

SCREW LHR!

SQ operate MAN-SIN-SYD

EK operate MAN-DXB-SYD

MH operate MAN-KUL-SYD

Anyone getting the message? Those routes all operate at great loads!
Lead me not into temptation, I can find my own way there...
 
Ironminds
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:07 pm

Arriving 0450? Isn't there a 5 or 6 AM curfew for SYD?
 
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NZ1
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:15 pm

By December, QF, CX and VS will all be operating SYD-HKG-LHR!


Watch out for NZ, I am sure it can't be too far around the corner either.

Regards
NZ1
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Head Forum Moderator
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cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:19 pm

NO 0450 is for LHR not SYD!

Also WhiteHatter, HKG is a much better transit city to be in (compared to BKK and even SIN) the Proximity to China (a definite advantage) also gateway to North Asia (Japan, Korea).

This will open up far more opportunity compared to BKK/SIN and DXB.

Also just the SYD-HKG route is the most significant trunk route. I dare say it will surpass the SYD-SIN/BKK soon (when KA joins in the competition!!!)
 
QF744
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 12:49 pm

CX123, I totally agree - HKG will become one of the most significant trunk routes between Australia and Europe... but it will take a lot of catching up to rival SIN...

don't forget there are four airlines that use SIN..

-Qantas
-Singapore Airlines
-Austrian (via MEL)
-Emirates (via MEL, BNE)

QF744
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
HB-IWC
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:04 pm

Does this mean an effective downgrade for Hongkong or does Hongkong get extra capacity to make up for the one they're about to lose to Sydney? BA recently increased its Hongkong flights from 14 to 17 weekly, so it would be kind of strange to see Virgin scale back.

 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:29 pm

What do you mean by downgrade?????
I thought this agreement will increase the overall frequency between AUS and HKG???

QF744, despite SIN has those main airlines, I think on an overall basis, HKG has stronger prescence in the overalall Asia region.
With the codeshare agreement with SU, I really can't think of any major cities in the world you can't reach via HKG?

Also HKG will be building the new terminal by 2006 to cater for the arrival of A380. It might even become the first airport in Asia to be ready for this aircraft.

HKG definitely has so much more potential overall any other airport in the region. (both Cargo and Pax)
 
donder10
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:56 pm

Anyone getting the message? Those routes all operate at great loads!


And at poor yields.
 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:15 pm

Sorry what do you mean by great loads and poor yield?

I am a bit confused?
 
QF744
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:17 pm

then again QF is about to post a record profit this year (end 30 June)... making them one of the most profitable airlines in the world, if not the most!

should be interesting to see how much traffic QF picks up on HKG-LHR... all their other flights via SIN and BKK are full!

for us Aussies, it will mean getting to Europe easier (and hopefully quicker).. and I also like the idea of a HKG stop-over.. much more to do there than in SIN & BKK!

QF744
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
HB-IWC
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:22 pm

For VS's London-Hongkong route, the extension of the existing flight comes down to a capacity downgrade, as the Hongkong station will now have to share its aircraft and available seats with the Sydney station, whilst the deployed aircraft remains unchanged. That is unless VS adds capacity on the Heathrow-Hongkong leg or plans to upgrade VS200/201 to a B744.

 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 2:25 pm

Yep Totally Agree with you QF744!!! HKG is a might more fascinating city. Not to say SIN and BKK are bad, but HKG is just different.
 
QF744
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:01 pm

And now for my 200th posting  Big grin ....

You would expect that VS will upgrade their HKG schedule, or change flight times by a few hours... not sure how easy that will be to fix quickly, since you can count the plane away from HKG for over 22 hours.

QF744
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 3:09 pm

It seems that the SYD-HKG-LHR routes will be the shortest?? Am I Right?? When compared to QF 1 (via BKK) and via SIN????

 
Victor
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Cathay Pacific

Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:34 pm

months ago .. i heard VS is goin to double daily to HKG once they got the right to fly between HKG and SYD.
 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 5:42 pm

Urmm I thought VS is already doing Double daily already?

Do you mean Triple Daily?

So many Options to choose from soon!!! and all goin to my favourite city LHR!
 
antares
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:18 pm

QF 744. Qantas is unfortunately no where near being the most profitable airline in the world. In terms of net margin on sales after abnormals it is at least fourth after SQ,CX and LAN-Chile, and depending on how you view the figures it also trails Emirates, whose shareholders own the odd oil well.

That still makes it unusual in that it is a profitable global network carrier, and it sure deserves credit for that. No-one in the Australian financial community is sure whether or not Qantas will post its best ever full year to June 30 when it releases the results about August 19 but they are expected to be pretty good.

If my memory is correct on latest financial filings the best margins for all jet operations regardless of business model are made by Ryanair, Virgin Blue or JetBlue (not sure in which order) then SQ, based on the last nine months of its recent full year results. The first quarter was a disaster because of SARS.

However London media reports suggest that Ryanair is about to post much lower results than previously.

 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:27 pm

Kaddyuk

I thought all flights from LHR-SYD will take 2 days (incl. BA and QF??)

Stopover in HKG is much more interesting and the airport is much nicer!!!
 
srbrenna
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:43 pm

Nice swipe at BA as well. Another PR coup for Branson as he is playing on the fact that nobody realises that this route was controlled by international treaty. In return for 1 UK carrier getting HKG - SYD, CX were allowed to do LHR - JFK.

I think it is about high time that he realised that he has a large quality operation with a good product. He should promote that instead of always having a go at BA which makes him look like a petulant child.

Looking forward to the next Branson outburst that doesn't feature BA!!
 
antares
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 6:50 pm

Let's not forget that when Branson flies LHR-HKG-SYD he is in fact 49 % owned by Singapore Airlines.

It is part of their strategy (which has not been without the odd expensive misfortune, as in the Air NZ/Ansett plan) to buy into carriers that give them potential earnings from routes they cannot fly in their own right.
 
N754PR
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 7:04 pm

Are VS not adding the second flight to Hong Kong??. I see the flight to Sydney is just the Hong Kong - London flight (VS200/201)
Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
nickofatlanta
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 7:17 pm

I wonder why a press release dated today includes the following:

Andrew Pyne, general manager for international affairs and alliances at Cathay Pacific, said that the European Commission was still in the process of scrutinising the deal but that an outcome was likely in September.

"I think Virgin's plans are premature but there are reasonable expectations that the EC will (let it go ahead)," he told Reuters.

http://www.reuters.co.uk/newsPackageArticle.jhtml?type=businessNews&storyID=532751§ion=finance
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD?

Mon Jun 21, 2004 7:31 pm

QF744, a writer, does not give the source of his news . . . it would make it appear more credible if it were quoted from a known reliable source . . .

There is nothing on the VS website . . .




[Edited 2004-06-21 12:40:41]
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
sky0000547
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 7:37 pm

Yes the VS200/201 does get very full especially during December time. I already booked by Xmas VS flight to HKG way back in April now that the same flight is continuing to SYD, seats will be at a premium. I agree that VS might need to operate twice daily at least during peak seasons otherwise 1 A346 a day are not enough if they are competing with BA and CX to HKG.

Happy Flying  Smile
 
srbrenna
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 8:10 pm

It is not a question about how many times they would like to travel HKG - SYD. This is a reciprocal agreement. 1 UK carrier can have 5th freedom rights to fly LHR - HKG - SYD in return for CX being able to fly HKG - LHR - JFK. If CX only operate 1 flight then VS can only do 1 as well
 
sky0000547
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 9:13 pm

It is not a question about how many times they would like to travel HKG - SYD. This is a reciprocal agreement. 1 UK carrier can have 5th freedom rights to fly LHR - HKG - SYD in return for CX being able to fly HKG - LHR - JFK. If CX only operate 1 flight then VS can only do 1 as well

How about keeping VS200/201 LHR-HKG as it is but add an extra daily flights to do LHR-HKG-SYD?? Wasn't that the original plan for VS anyway?

Happy Flying  Smile
 
srbrenna
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Mon Jun 21, 2004 10:52 pm

An excellent point. I am cursing for not thinking of that myself!
 
planemad
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:39 am

Brilliant. I can't wait to fly this route.
 
gigneil
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:51 am

Its been fairly positive that they'll add a second daily LHR-HKG.

N
 
airliner777
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 6:40 am

I'm happy to see how the aviation industry has recovered from the "big hole" since the past couple of years. It is great to see how VS is increasing their routes and reaching new markets. By the way, which aircraft will be used for the flight to HAV?

Fly safe,

Airliner777
 
N754PR
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 7:57 am

So is VS going to plod on with one daily service from LHR to HKG while CX and BA offer 2-3 daily flights? All I hear is how rude the VS ground staff are and how bad the seats are in Y on VS.
Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
United Airline
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:03 am

Yeah! HKG is more exciting!!!!

Heard that VS plans to launch a 2nd daily flight between HKG and LHR. Can anyone confirm that?

[Edited 2004-06-22 01:04:21]
 
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Richard28
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 8:45 am

Carduelis, here is the link to the release on the VS website.

http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/press_release.view.do?press_id=2134

Rich.
 
QF744
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:17 pm

Carduelis, the fact that I am a writer means I receive the press release via email - and the post was in fact several hours BEFORE any of the news agencies/bureaux released the information!

That's why on many of my posts, you will hear the news on A.Net FIRST before any other source!!

Anyway, I believe VS would have to launch a second LHR-HKG-LHR service with the second Sydney extension - the numbers will be very good for VS outbound from SYD to LHR and vice versa. Also the times for planes on the ground in HKG will vary dramatically.

I'll see what I can find out about the 2nd daily service!

Respect.

QF744
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
carduelis
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 12:37 pm

The Press Release was not there at the time of my posting.

However, as it is now showing, it therefore gives a valid factual VS statement.

Press Releases used to have a 'release time' to ensure it is officially published at the same time, but maybe not these days?



[Edited 2004-06-22 05:53:08]
Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
 
QF744
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 1:57 pm

The release came out of Australia, not the UK this time... probably explains why it wasn't up on the UK site...

Still wondering when Cathay will announce their LHR-JFK flights!

They would be confirmed, since VS's are!

QF744
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:12 pm

I know??? Where is the CX press Release?? Nothing as yet???

I am concerned that CX will loose out of this deal!
 
747firstclass
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:33 pm

Does CX have the slots to start the LHR-JFK flight or is this going to be a long protracted ordeal for CX to get the slots while VS operates LHR-SYD?
 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 2:49 pm

That is EXACTLY how I feel about this as well!!!
Comeon EU guys! be fair to CX!
 
QF744
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:14 pm

CX will get the slots from LHR-JFK.... it was part of the deal that saw VS get HKG-SYD.

Interesting how 2 days before the announcement that QF said they would start HKG-LHR services from November! wouldn't be suprised if QF & CX have codeshares on those flights!

QF744
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE UPPER DECK
 
cx123
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RE: Virgin Atlantic Gains Approval For LHR-SYD

Tue Jun 22, 2004 3:19 pm

Highly Unlikely CX and QF will codeshare.
THE HKG-LHR route is like a battlefield.

I mean possibly with BA but as they always isolate CX in many ways, highly unlikely!

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