daron4000
Posts: 604
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:17 pm

Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:33 pm

With the recent news about Virign America, it appears that maybe they will actually become a real airline. My first question has to do with the product. Will it be a coach class, but high-end a la Song type product, or will it conceivably have an "Upper Class" as well, because that might woo some FF's to it, where as just another coach product might not do as well a job. What do you think?

Also, what types of routes will they primarily fly, and who will this hurt the most. Probably UA, because of their hub at SFO, but maybe it will actually hurt low cost carriers. Again, what do you think? Also, how do you think this will affect UA? Will it by an Indy-Air type in IAD/Frontier in DEN, or something worse?
 
malaysia
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RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:53 pm

Quoting Daron4000 (Thread starter):
With the recent news about Virign America, it appears that maybe they will actually become a real airline.

What real recent news?
There Are Those Who Believe That There May Yet Be Other Airlines Who Even Now Fight To Survive Beyond The Heavens
 
luv2fly
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:07 pm

Believe it when I see it, right now all I can say is talk is cheap....
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
hz747300
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:14 pm

My questions are:

1. Will it be allowed to interline/codeshare with Virgin Atlantic?
2. Virgin's entity here in Australia is trying to get trans-Pacific service. Will it be allowed to interline/codeshare with flights from Australia on Pacific(Virgin) Blue?
3. Will it have a frequent flyer program?
4. What classes of service are available (VB in Australia is one class)?
5. Will it imitate jetBlue with its PTVs and liveTV service? (VB has subscribed to jetBlue's liveTV service here)
6. What is its actually strategy for a route network?***

***This I know that they will not reveal until the last possible moment. But it would be interesting to see what the plan is from SFO.
Keep on truckin'...
 
irelayer
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Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:34 pm

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:26 pm

There were a couple of stories about it today on the A.NET newswire (I could not access them). That might be what he is talking about.

-IR
 
msett1
Posts: 41
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RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:37 pm

Why is everyone being so negative about it? Supposedly they secured financing and applied for DOT approval. Sounds pretty good to me.

Matt
 
hz747300
Posts: 1906
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 2:05 pm

Quoting Msett1 (Reply 7):
Why is everyone being so negative about it? Supposedly they secured financing and applied for DOT approval. Sounds pretty good to me.

Why? Because we have yet to hear any substantive reason on how it will be successful. The negativity comes from us being in the dark. All of us armchair arline CEOs are looking at SFO, and looking at the possibilities to/from, and trying to decipher where the niche is that needs to be filled.

One thing I can see happening is a mirror image of jetBlue offering liveTV in PTVs with leather seats out of SFO and creating a cult following like jetBlue did in New York. However, they will not be able to compete on price with Southwest, unless someone absolutely positively has to fly from SFO, and they will have to actively pursue passengers away from any point-to-point carrier in the Southwestern United States. For long haul, transcontinental it might be easier to lure a few more passengers away from UAL, or legacy carriers going to their hubs on the east coast.

But the flying public is very discriminating right now, and fairly price sensitive. It will not be easy for Virgin America--and the cash burn will be the financial item to watch when the airline starts.
Keep on truckin'...
 
pixuk
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RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:21 pm

Well, this is all speculation at the moment, but my interpretation is that it won't be a mirror image of anyone, although Branson has in the past stated that it will 'learn lessons' from Virgin Atlantic.

Everything they have so far said (and I'll be the first to admit, that's not an awful lot), is saying this will be unlike any other airline.

Some things I think we can guess; It'll be low-cost, or at least lower-cost than its competition. Consider VS's Upper Class product is actually a Business Class cabin, although many confuse it with First class beacuse of all the add-ons - but it's price is pegged to match other transatlantic J-class products.

No doubt there will be other innovations (Branson-bashers will no doubt call them gimmicks). I wouldn't have thought they'd be copying some of the things they have done on VS such as on-board Massage, proper bar or limo service, as they're not appropriate to Virgin America's domestic model; but I think it's safe to say that they've had plenty of time to dream up some pretty inventive ideas to make their product stand out.

Where they will make a big impact is the marketing. Say what you like about Branson, but marketing is one of his strongest points. Expect a huge marketing campaign, targeted at the 18-30, and designed to ruffle the feathers of the competition. That's Branson's style. He will be aiming to make the American public want to flash their Virgin America luggage tags almost like a status symbol. Whilst we may be a bitter and twisted bunch on a.net, it would be interesting to ask the general public, if the price were the same, who would you rather fly with - Southwest or Virgin America?

Pete

Pete
 
SunValley
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RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:10 pm

Quoting Pixuk (Reply 9):
here they will make a big impact is the marketing. Say what you like about Branson, but marketing is one of his strongest points. Expect a huge marketing campaign, targeted at the 18-30, and designed to ruffle the feathers of the competition. That's Branson's style. He will be aiming to make the American public want to flash their Virgin America luggage tags almost like a status symbol

This is so very true, But look for Branson to stay out of view pretty much with VirginAmerica, until the operations certificate is secured. Then watch him go into action on behalf of VirginAmerica.

He will no doubt cause reacations from several carriers including jetBlue to go a$$ over tea kettle to figure out what VirginAmerica will be doing.
I'm sure it won't be VW bugs driving up & down the beaches of Southern California or blue potatoe chips.

I do wonder what jetBlue will name their next satirical aircraft as a dig to Virginamerica? (kind of like the "song Sung blue" when Song Announced They were forming")
 
stirling
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RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:18 pm

Quoting Malaysia (Reply 1):
What real recent news?

Article 1

Article 2

Virgin America, which filed for ownership fitness and airworthiness certification with the U.S. Transportation Department and the Federal Aviation Administration, also said it secured $177.3 million in financing from private investors.
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GSPSPOT
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Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:44 am

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 9:51 pm

But when, oh when will we actually KNOW something? Wasn't this concern supposed to be already operating? I'm getting tired of waiting.
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BigGSFO
Posts: 2213
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2005 5:27 am

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:37 pm

Another article from SFGate however not stating anything new.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/12/09/VIRGIN.TMP

Does mention a desire to serve JFK, EWR, LGA. Not sure how they will pull SFO-LGA off. Maybe the same way jetBlue's buses do BUR-JFK in the summer - via SLC.  Smile

I wonder which terminal at SFO they will operate from. The vacant central terminal will need a lot of work to become operation again.

I am big fan of the legacies but I must admit I am excited, even if it's only on paper right now, that Virgin America is coming to SFO. It's about time!
 
FriendlySkies
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RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:27 pm

UA makes most of it's money at SFO in international. Therefore, I don't think this is going to hurt them as much as some think...however, I still expect UA to put up some sort of fight.
 
FA4B6
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RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Sat Dec 10, 2005 1:55 am

Does it make sense for B6 to start JFK-SFO and IAD-SFO? They could take 1x daily from JFK, add two JFK-SFO's, and use the ex-IAD-SMF equipment and put that on a SFO turn.

It would be preemptive, JetBlue already has brand recognition in the Bay Area, they already serve OAK, SMF, SJC, and I know it has delays but so does LGA and EWR.
"Leap! And the net will appear."
 
nkops
Posts: 2153
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 10:09 am

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:50 am

Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 11):
Not sure how they will pull SFO-LGA off

Isn't there a perimeter rule in LGA??
:evil:
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Sat Dec 10, 2005 6:57 am

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 6):
But the flying public is very discriminating right now, and fairly price sensitive. It will not be easy for Virgin America--and the cash burn will be the financial item to watch when the airline starts.

Myself I believe he has missed his wndow of opprotunity to pull this off.

Quoting GSPSPOT (Reply 10):
But when, oh when will we actually KNOW something? Wasn't this concern supposed to be already operating? I'm getting tired of waiting.

Yes all talk so far and nothing to report.

Quoting Nkops (Reply 14):
Isn't there a perimeter rule in LGA??

Everyday except Saturday.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
StuckInCA
Posts: 1618
Joined: Wed Oct 19, 2005 12:55 pm

RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Sat Dec 10, 2005 7:30 am

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 6):
However, they will not be able to compete on price with Southwest, unless someone absolutely positively has to fly from SFO

I'm not sure why you're implying that flying out of SFO is a bad thing. I understand (and have experienced) that delays can be an issue, but it's a decent airport and is much more convenient than SJC or OAK in my opinion. For me, that would be worth a premium. While I live in the LA area, my extended family is in SF. We either fly to SFO or we drive. SJC is just too far and OAK.... well... it's OAK.
 
vega
Posts: 1161
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RE: Virgin America Product/Competition

Sat Dec 10, 2005 8:31 am

Wonder if they are planning a primarily all business class airline (ala UA Premium Service) with spiffy service between the West and East Coast. I mean they could make a tidy profit using 320s at $1000 a seat (round trip) and really only be competing with a portion a UAs services. I just can't imagine Branson making a business decision to compete head on with everyone for the cheap seat traveler.
WN'll eat him alive since it seems that it's been proven over and over that the majority of the low fare public will not pay even a little more for better inflight services. I'd gladly pay $1K for SFO - East Coast for a very good seat and service.
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