Lono
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Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:05 pm

Based in SFO.... What airline do you think the new LCC Virgin America will impact the most....

I'm thinking Alaska Airlines will be impacted the most....
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777ER
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:11 pm

If US Airways have many flights from SFO then Virgin America will shorely impact on US the most and it could even sadly be the final nail in the US coffin. If Virgin compete on US routes then it will impact US the hardest as they are still very fragile.
 
Azul320
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 3:24 pm

US barely has a presence at SFO with very few routes to the eastcoast. Vigin America would most likely affect United's large scale operation at SFO. If low fare start up Vigin America were to actually get up and running and be known for an on-time perfomance they would have to face the hurrendous delays I hear about out of SFO. WN backed out of SFO to OAK many years ago because of that.
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NWDC10
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 6:10 pm

United Airlines will be impacted the very most. Robert NWDC10
 
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Aeroflot777
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 6:28 pm

I live in SF, so it will impact me for sure  Big grin
So, now for the serious answer. I think that the airline that will have the hardest time will be United because of its hub.
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BestWestern
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 6:57 pm

Expect Virgin America to head West from SFO also - expect Hawaii operators to be impacted.

Am I right in saying no Low cost airline flies to the Islands?
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boeingbus
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:35 pm

I believe JetBlue mostly and other LCC will be impacted most - Both JetBlue and Virgin have the same image of frills with low cost, both airlines will serve SFO and New York as their hubs.... Also, Virgin America will serve premium markets and no secondary cities. Hawaii sounds interesting...can the A320 make it out there???

There are folks no matter what will only travel the majors(ME!!!), and those of you who don't have NO loyalty whatsoever and they will go after price of LCC.
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chrisnh
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:36 pm

I think TED and Virgin will go head-to-head, much like Song and JetBlue are now. In fact, in that battle JetBlue 'seems' to be winning, with Song in a holding pattern (at best) while B6 ramps up this fall at LGA and BOS.

Virgin USA perhaps picked SFO as their operational HQ because to add another LCC into the nearly-saturated east coast quagmire is a recipe for certain failure. Better to get your feet wet in a region not yet saturated with LCCs, and that means the west coast. And that means a showdown at high noon with TED ('A part of UniTED,' as the tag line likes to say).

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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 8:41 pm

High Density A320's operate 4hr+ flights ex London (LGW - Canary Islands for example) on a regular basis - so I presume there would be no issue with Hawaii.
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sevenheavy
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Fri Jun 25, 2004 11:00 pm

Hi,

I hope I am wrong but I seriously doubt that Virgin America would enter the west coast-Hawaii markets. The current legacy carriers that serve these routes (predominantly AA, UA, DL) have a hard time operating these routes at a profit. Flights to the islands are often used purely as a means of relieving frequent flyers of their miles!. There is also the added expense associated with operating long overwater segments (US west coast - Hawaii is the longest oceanic sector in the world where there is absolutely no land in between). I believe the nearest diversion if the Hawaiian islands are below minimums is Midway and this obviusly means large reserves of fuel need to be carried. An A320 could operate the 5 hour sector but could not carry the required contingency fuel without a severe payload penalty. AQ uses B73G's but these aircraft have slightly better range than the A320.

To get back to the original question Virgin America will, if successfully marketed and grown have the biggest impact on TED and UA from SFO and also on Jetblue because of their presence in OAK (and SJC!). To a lessor extent they could also take a slice out of Southwest and Alaska in certain markets.

In a nutshell they will put the squeeze on any carrier operating to the bay on routes in which they compete.

Regards,

SevenHeavy
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AA717driver
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 12:59 am

The HNL alternate issue isn't an issue. Other than a typhoon, when was the last time that ALL suitable airports in the islands were shut down with no warning? (Dec. 7, 1941 notwithstanding...) A 767-300 from STL had no more options for diversion than an A320 from SFO.

The fact that the legacy carriers operate that route IS exactly why VA might do it. Also, they may try to take a bite out of ATA's sardine flights. IMO.

VA will not impact JB in SFO. The few people who drive to OAK from San Fran may switch to VA but I doubt it. VA will draw from the disaffected legacy pax. UA, DAL and AA could be the big losers. Also, NW pax connecting to East Coast cities served by VA might be lured away.

Again, I believe the market share will shift from the low service legacy carriers to the leather-clad, PTV-equipped new breed LCC's.TC
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cactushp
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 1:11 am

Am I right in saying no Low cost airline flies to the Islands?

ATA and *cough* HP


CactusHP

EDIT: I have my sources

[Edited 2004-06-25 18:43:02]
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NW7E7
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 1:12 am

United will get killed in SFO!! Too bad.
 
BestWestern
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 1:32 am

Hawaii is perfect LCC country - just like florida from the north east. Its also perfect hour building night flying - avoiding the transcon 'me too' competition.
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san2snow
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 1:50 am

One of the initial losers will probably be the America West transcons out of SFO to JFK and Bos.
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FLY2LIM
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 1:54 am

Someone said that B6 would be affected in SFO. Last time I checked, B6 didn't fly into SFO, only OAK and SJC.
This is what I feel the main impact will be as far as VA. At this time, there are few options from SFO to places like LAS and PDX. Many of those options are out of OAK and SJC. I think that VA will offer a new "alternative" and it will have a domino effect. For example, all the people who live in SF and the peninsula will no longer need to go to a different airport to fly to LAS or other short flights like that. That's my opinion. I think everyone will be affected. Curiously, I think that VA will not compete directly with WN and B6 because those two are only operating out of OAK and SJC.
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sevenheavy
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:09 am

There are a number of old threads asking why LCC's haven't tried Hawaii flights in the past. The answer always seems to be the same: Cost. I still say that as much as I would like to see it these flights are unlikely to happen. For an LCC they are difficult to make money on - even east coast - florida markets have some higher yield, last minute business traffic and this is often what makes the difference between a profit and a loss. Granted they are nowhere near what the legacy carriers have charged for "walk up" fares but they are still far higher than the restrictive promotional fares that make up a large part of LCC's ticket sales. Couple this with the added cost of operating long over water ETOPS flights and the routes become very risky for carriers which need consistently high load factors to break even.

From what I've seen so far Virgin America is going to be aiming itself squarley at JB's business, with a similar high-end approach to the LCC model. I find it hard to believe that JB will emerge unaffected assuming that the two comptete on the same routes. UA lost business from SFO when JB started flying from OAK so why would these customers not be prepared to go back to flying from SFO if the price was right?.  Smile

Again I hope I am wrong but so far no LCC has been willing to make the jump to operate Hawaii flights, maybe one day this will change but it certainly would not be a wise move for a newly established (and therefore relatively vulnerable) LCC.

Regards,

SevenHeavy
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StearmanNut
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:09 am

They will all suffer with exception of WN. If Virgin does what I think it will do, all major airlines in the US will have two WN type operations to contend with. UA, AA, DL, and all others will have to make some major operational changes to stay in the game, barring another national tragedy.
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Mikey711MN
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:19 am

One thing I think that has been universally agreed upon is that SFO is so thoroughly delay-prone that Virgin America's startup there seems a bit of a shaky decision. Which leads me to the conclusion that they, too, know this and are therefore looking to immediately displace market share where they can, thusly creating a zero-sum effect on operations at SFO. Now while I'm not sure which routes are most suspect (read: lucrative for LCC startup), my guess is that a few of UA's hub operations will be the first target mostly because they've got the most to lose and they're limited in their resources to compete at SFO for any sizeable entrenchment.
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hz747300
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:22 am

UA. No question. However, that said, UA is used to dealing with SFO, and it is prone to delays as it is built in the foggiest part of the bay area. I hope it works for Branson though, and I still think Austin, TX would be ideal for a LCC with coastal connections. It just was not glamorous enough for the glory hog.
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Richard28
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:30 am

It suprises me that SFO is the base, especially when VS has recently expanded its relationship with HP, and will even have codeshares with HP starting soon.

maybe this is a guide as to which routes Virgin America will fly - i.e. non-HP routes?
 
wilco
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 2:32 am

UA without a doubt. Virgin America is gonna go after those transcon SFO-NYC and SFO-WAS routes..... I seriosuly doubt VirginAmerica will touch HNL, not at first at least: these routes bleed too much money.

Here is my less technical opinion: take the jetblue route map and look at it in the mirror- a lot of transcon traffic from SFO (like Jetblue's JFK) as well as traffic up and down the Western States.

-WILCO
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Lono
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:34 am

I was thinking not so much trans con flights... But I think Virgin will start north south flights out of SFO... Much like Alaska...and Alaska has been successful focusing on west coast service... and Alaska has been able to leverage pricing up until now... I have to think Alaska will be hit hardest as their turf will become a war zone... Much like JetBlue did on the east coast...to DL
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Northwest717
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:41 am

I think probably jetBlue because Virgin America is offering the same sort of product that jetBlue does. I heard that their cabin would include PTVs (correct me if I am mistaken) and they are operating A320s. They might even latch on to the same routes as jetBlue. I dunno, just my $.02.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

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cactushp
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:47 am

*cough* *cough* HP means business! i.e. Hawaii


CactusHP
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NYCTZ
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:17 am

ATA scheduled service to Hawaii includes LAX and SFO to both HNL and OGG ( I am pretty sure its daily) with seasonal service to Lihue,Kauai. Also PHX to HNL twice weekly along with PHX to OGG twice weekly and daily SEA to HNL service. Pleasant Holidays co-markets the SFO and LAX service to Hawaii with ATA offering a certain percentage of seats. Apple Vacations co-markets the PHX to Hawaii also with ATA offfering seats to sell. Not quite sure if the SEA to HNL service is connected with a tour operator or just ATA sched. service. Also there are many charter only flights to the islands including OMNI and North American. Overall I would say that LCC service to Hawaii is fairly abundant, however the way the industry is evolving its always a guessing game!

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nzblue
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 7:07 am

United will get killed in SFO!! Too bad.

Based on what?! We all know how strong and large a presence United was pre-9/11 in the San Francisco market. Even after 9/11, United is still the strongest carrier in the San Francisco-area based on market share...You don't think they can hold their own now? So there's going to be a new kid on the block, nothing new! Nothing overly disastrous. Certainly nothing that credits or validates the above comment. If United plays their cards right, which I am betting they will if they know what's good for them, they really have nothing new to worry about. They've delt with this situation before, and they'll deal with it again, plain and simple. LCC's are nothing new to the game. With the addition of new LCC's, if anybody it should be Southwest, JetBlue, and other discount carriers that should feel nervous. Sure, there's an over-saturation of "legacy carriers" in the US. LCC's are giving them a run for their money, and without question I'm sure we'll see some disappear. But just wait until the same shoe falls on the numerous low-cost carriers if this trend keeps up.

However, don't get me wrong. I agree, UA will be tested with the introduction of Virgin America, perhaps more than others, and every airline in the region (not to mention Virgin America's destination cities) will feel some kind of impact (however small or large), but comments and opinions like the one stated above are premature, irrelevant, and don't add any value to this discussion as is.

Short and sweet sometimes isn't.

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UAMAYBACH1239
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 10:51 am

I UA will only be impacted in certain markets, from west to east. It will not be able to compete with UA in Hawaii. Between UA , Aloha , and fog, they dont have a chance. Everyone knows around 1pm here comes the fog.
UA has been able to survive all this time because of their presence. A LCC will not have larger aircraft they can use to catch up. Thats a fight that even WN threw in the towel. AA tried it shortly after they bought Reno Air.
The delays will begin to add up. Dont forget here in the US our industry is still very soft.

Virgin should have used LAS for a hub.
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:41 pm

Based in SFO.... What airline do you think the new LCC Virgin America will impact the most....

I'm thinking Alaska Airlines will be impacted the most....


I disagree. I dont think AS will have a problem with Virgin America in SFO. I dont know what routes Virgin America will fly from SFO yet. Its too soon to tell who will be greatly impacted and who wont. But my only guess that UA might feel most of the impact because UA dominates SFO in almost every market it serves into and out of SFO. Note the keyword here: ALMOST.
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gigneil
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sat Jun 26, 2004 3:47 pm

An A320 could operate the 5 hour sector but could not carry the required contingency fuel without a severe payload penalty. AQ uses B73G's but these aircraft have slightly better range than the A320.

An A320 could do SFO-HNL just fine, but an A319 would do it better.

N
 
AA717driver
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:39 am

Simply having market share doesn't mean VA can't hurt UA. Howabout the SFO-DEN market where UA has gouged travellers for years?

VA will have the same impact on the SFO area as JB had on NYC. People paying less for more comfort, entertainment and genuinely friendly employees... No one will be run out of SFO but VA can carve a more than adequate niche from disaffected legacy pax.TC
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sq452
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:18 am

Conventional Wisdom is going to suggest that B6 and WN would be affected, when in all actuality they will probably be ok,

mostly UA is going to take the brunt of it i think, and then the rest of the major operators there.

I wish they had picked BOS though  Sad
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Lono
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 4:30 am

So from the responses here... you don't think Virgin will focus on the west coast... like Alaska does...??? I was thinking city pairs SFO-SEA, SFO-LAX, SFO-SAN, SFO-YVR, SFO-PVR, SFO-PDX, SFO-ANC, SFO-PHX... you know Alaska Air's bread and butter routes... The SFO-SEA route alone is huge.. I think they are looking at how successful AS has been on the west coast... and how much AS has been able to charge...
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access-air
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 5:05 am

So When does Southwest Airlines or AirTran get to set up a nice little LCC operation to try and compete with Easyjet or RyanAir over in the UK???

Access-Air
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 5:28 am

United. No question. Second Alaska.
 
777ualsfo
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 12:26 pm

If UA, Ted, and Alaska can get their costs down, they may give Virgin American a run for their money.

However, the newspapers here have said Virgin American is getting around 78 million from the city/state plus the airport will pay for their terminal reconstruction. This will all give them a great cost advantage compared with the carriers already there and if they get preferential landing/takeoff slots so they can avoid delays when the runways go down to single runways due to weather, they may run the previous carriers out of town.
 
Cubsrule
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:08 pm

With the weather delays the way they are at SFO and the fact that this zero-sum idea is unrealistic at least in the short term, every single airline operating at SFO will feel the effect of Virgin. Since UA is the largest operator, it will logically feel the most pain. HOWEVER, UA does have the advantage of being able to send larger equipment to somewhat compensate for weather delays. I've seen 752 and 772 flights combined into a 744 flight, for example. I think that some are underestimating the effect that Virgin will have on WN. Especially with (now not so) new BART service from the SFO to downtown, SFO is the clear choice when flying to San Francisco if price is not an issue. Virgin could potentially take price out of the picture and gain market share from WN in some markets because it operates from the Bay Area's most convenient airport.
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Aaron747
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 1:30 pm

WN backed out of SFO to OAK many years ago because of that.

This is patently false.
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ha763
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:21 pm

A brand new carrier with no ETOPS certification flying to Hawaii anytime soon? I doubt it. HA and NW were able to get 180min ETOPS certification because they basically flew under ETOPS rules with their DC-10s for months on the routes that they would need ETOPS.

HP hasn't flown to Hawaii in over 10 years. They codeshare with HA out of PHX.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 2:36 pm

Among them:
Alaska - especially as to West coast, western US major cities routes
HP - espeically as to their SFO/PHX and LasVegas and related routes
F9 (Frontier) - SFO-DEN, and related routes
UA/TED - SFO connector flights in the Western USA, SFO and southern CA airports and where SFO is the beginning/end of the flight. Those using UA to go to Hawaii, Asia, or transcon, will still use UA.
Overall, I do not see them a major threat to any of these airlines. I would say their intent is to be the Jet Blue of the Western USA, or like Frontier serves DEN. Recall how much Frontier affected UA over the years, (like the establishment of TED).
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Who Will Virgin America Impact The Most?

Sun Jun 27, 2004 3:14 pm

I was thinking city pairs SFO-SEA, SFO-LAX, SFO-SAN, SFO-YVR, SFO-PVR, SFO-PDX, SFO-ANC, SFO-PHX... you know Alaska Air's bread and butter routes...

Uhhh AS does not directly fly SFO-LAX, SFO-SAN, SFO-ANC or SFO-PHX. Those would be connections thru other cities by AS, QX, AA, other codeshare partners or transfer to other airline. SFO-SEA is a huge market for AS. Source: www.alaskaair.com

WN backed out of SFO to OAK many years ago because of that.

This is patently false.


This is actually true. As an ex-WN employee, it was taught at the new-hire classes in DAL that the reasons why WN pulled out of SFO and operated out of OAK instead was due to delays, delays and delays. It was not working around their 20 minute turn around times. They wanted to be an on-time airline and SFO was dragging them down.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.