LHRjc
Topic Author
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Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 12:44 am

I just heard on the 4:30 headlines on LBC 97.3 here in London that Sir Richard Branson has announced today that Virgin are to launch a Business Class only airline from "A London Airport" to European cities, the examples they gave were Frankfurt and Paris. I can't find anything about this anywhere else, so don't know if it's true. Does anyone have any more info ?

JC

Edit: Don't know if maybe this co-incides with the Biggin Hill Air show which is on today and LBC are sponsoring ?

[Edited 2007-06-03 17:45:43]
"Our 319's are very reliable. They get fixed very quickly."
 
LHRjc
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 1:06 am

Now on Sky News

http://news.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30400-1268813,00.html

"Sir Richard said the time was right for the venture, which "would provide choice and quality for the customer".

Speaking during the launch of Virgin's new daily service between Heathrow and Nairobi, Sir Richard said he hoped the business-only carrier would be operational in nine to 18 months and include destinations such as Frankfurt, Zurich, Paris and Milan."
"Our 319's are very reliable. They get fixed very quickly."
 
flytuitravel
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:09 am

Quoting LHRjc (Thread starter):
"A London Airport"

Fingers crossed its LTN. Would be nice to see a Virgin airline here!


flyTUITravel.
 
JRadier
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 2:17 am

Quoting FlyTUITravel (Reply 2):
Fingers crossed its LTN. Would be nice to see a Virgin airline here!

If LHR wouldn't be as slot controlled as it is I would guess for LHR as opposed to other London Airports, primarily because of the connecting traffic from VS.
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
Humberside
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:30 am

Quoting FlyTUITravel (Reply 2):
Fingers crossed its LTN. Would be nice to see a Virgin airline here!

Think LTN has run out of overnight parking spots. LGW is hard to get slots at peak times, LHR is full almost all the time and I think STN is also busy at peak times. Going to be hard for Virgin to set up any London based short haul airline
Visit the Air Humberside Website and Forum
 
David_itl
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:34 am

Glad to see them focused on the needs of the UK regional travellers. NOT! Almost London Airways part 2?!
 
ib16uk
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:37 am

Humberside - what about LCY ? It doesnt get much mention on here - Could compete with BA Cityflyer
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:43 am

wow.. this definitely puts the cat amongst the pigeons.


I think this is a brilliant idea.

City airport has to be the favourite.. offering a biz-jet service on a scheduled basis from LCY to other major cities under the virgin brand has absolutely loads of potential as long as the flight times are right.. it would absolutely have to be early am and early evening flights, to accomodate the majority of business travellers who go for same day meetings, or go in the evening, stay a while and return.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
BrianDromey
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:46 am

Quoting LHRjc (Reply 1):

"Sir Richard said the time was right for the venture, which "would provide choice and quality for the customer".

Looks like "tricky Dickie" wont be getting his hands on bmi any time soon then......

Brian.
Next flights: MAN-ORK-LHR(EI)-MAN(BD); MAN-LHR(BD)-ORK (EI); DUB-ZRH-LAX (LX) LAX-YYZ (AC) YYZ-YHZ-LHR(AC)-DUB(BD)
 
Humberside
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:46 am

Quoting Ib16uk (Reply 6):
Humberside - what about LCY ? It doesnt get much mention on here - Could compete with BA Cityflyer

Could do. Thers plenty of spare overnight parking spots. But the biggest aircraft that could be used is a A318
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ManchesterMAN
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:47 am

I would think LCY would be the obvious choice. Its right in the heart of "the city" and you can whisk yourself through there in no time at all. Perfect for a business airline. The downside is that they would be restricted in aircraft selection as the A318 would be the biggest thing they could get into LCY.

Alternatively they might want to use Biggin Hill and offer limo transfers from LHR for connecting pax.
Flown: A300,A319,A320,A321,A330,A340.A380,717,727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,MD11,MD80,F100,F50,ERJ,E190,CRJ,BAe146,Da
 
David_itl
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:53 am

Please note it's NOT an intra-European airline. Have some people forgotten what Branson said about open-skies?

See http://www.abtn.co.uk/Virgin_to_launch_business_only_airline

"Speaking to ABTN in Nairobi as Virgin launched services to Kenya, chairman, Sir Richard Branson, said that the operation would begin flying from Europe to New York and other US cities, swiftly followed by the UK."
 
Humberside
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:59 am

Quoting David_itl (Reply 11):
Please note it's NOT an intra-European airline.

Have Sky News/LBC got mixed up or could this be in addition to Europe-US flights?
Visit the Air Humberside Website and Forum
 
David_itl
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:06 am

Quoting Humberside (Reply 12):
Have Sky News/LBC got mixed up or could this be in addition to Europe-US flights

Must be mixed up - since when would Sky News/LBC become "experts" in delivereing aviation news (or news in general for that matter). Remember standards of reporting aviation items can be very poor - I believe one broadcaster announced that TNT ordered 146 QTs and not the actual "up to 72 146QT aircraft" back in the 1980s.

Given how "green" Branson's become, why would he want a short-haul airline operating given that trains operate quicker than they do here and that if he gained control of BD the 1st route to go would be MAN-LHR in favour of him operating more Thomas the Tank Engine service?
 
PavlovsDog
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 4:21 am

Are their any EMB-170's available for lease? I imagine that would be the ideal aircraft for a LCY operation.
 
JRadier
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:19 am

Quoting David_itl (Reply 13):
I believe one broadcaster announced that TNT ordered 146 QTs and not the actual "up to 72 146QT aircraft" back in the 1980s.

So? The freight version of the 146 is actually called 'Quiet Trader' or QT for you  Wink.

photo's in the database
For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:33 am

Quoting ManchesterMAN (Reply 10):
A318 would be the biggest thing they could get into LCY.

I dont think they would use anything this big.

Any scheduled business class airline will be a little bit niche operation.. only so many £500-600 return tickets on any one flight within europe... and many of these will be connecting passengers from a long haul.

What he'll effectively do is drain the business class from BA/LH etc..on intra european routes.
This will hurt BA/LH very quickly and require either an upscale of service, or down rating of fares.

lets face it business class in Europe is an economy seat for 3 divided by 2, with free food /drinks at the front of the plane... even Ryanair could offer this if they tried.

However a 30-50 seater business jet with proper service on a scheduled basis will certainly do well in the same price range... there's definitely a market gap here for someone ready to give this a go.


Put it this way 12x daily to Zurich from City Airport shared between AF/LX and BA.. well ive paid £400 for this "luxury" in economy more than once.. however a bizjet offering will see my business straight away even if it's slightly more if it guarentees me a good service level. or marginally better than whats on offer today.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
goldorak
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 5:47 am

I doubt it"s a good idea. Intra-european flights are now more on the low-cost model, even for legacy carriers. And if it starts, forget Paris as a destination from LON due to 2h15 travel time with Eurostar in a few months from now. J class in Europe in almost only filled with connecting pax on long haul flights. Company don't pay anymore J class for intra european flights (unfortunately !)
 
David_itl
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 6:15 am

Quoting JRadier (Reply 15):
So?

You've fallen for it. They only mentioned the model 146QT but made the mistake in splitting the 146 from the QT so relaying the thought that 146 of them had been ordered!

Quoting StarGoldLHR (Reply 16):
Any scheduled business class airline will be a little bit niche operation.. only so many £500-600 return tickets on any one flight within europe... and many of these will be connecting passengers from a long haul.



Quoting Goldorak (Reply 17):
Intra-european flights are now more on the low-cost model, even for legacy carriers

Did you not read the link I provided where only Europe-New York services are on the agenda?
 
boeingpride800
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:04 am

The European-East Coast USA business class only type markets are getting over-served.
 
SFORunner
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline

Mon Jun 04, 2007 8:37 am

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/to...ctors/transport/article1878736.ece

Virgin is understood to have held early-stage talks with Boeing, Airbus and Embraer, the Brazilian planes maker, over a possible $700 million (£350 million) order for new aircraft.

... and ...

Although Virgin owns valuable take-off and landing slots at London’s Heathrow airport, the carrier remains undecided on whether it will use the airport for its new premium-only services.

Securing new slots at Heathrow would prove costly and potentially difficult. It could opt instead to use Gatwick, where it already has a base, or Luton or Stansted, from where competing business-only flights depart.
 
ThePRGuy
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 1:09 am

Quoting FlyTUITravel (Reply 2):
Fingers crossed its LTN. Would be nice to see a Virgin airline here!

It will be Heathrow....tie this up with a strategic takeover bid for british midland?...Maybe hes chatting to SK and LH........


Alex
Heathrow has been described as the only building site to have its own airport.
 
rj777
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 3:15 am

Just got this in my e-mail. Looks Like SRB is planning another American Invasion!

http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/04/news...dex.htm?section=money_email_alerts
 
FLYGUY767
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 7:23 am

Quoting BoeingPride800 (Reply 19):
The European-East Coast USA business class only type markets are getting over-served.

It is a free market. Virgin has the name, the branding, and their reputation to fill planes. This is going to be very intersting. However I think the main airlines that will be hurt in all of this are the US airlines, and a few of the new upstarts such as Silver Jet and Max Jet. I seriously think that Eos will be the only winner, or niche business class airline to stay around for the long-haul. A rumor, and I will repeat a rumor that has been flying around New York for the past few days is that Eos and Delta Air Lines may be chatting very soon! Eos Airlines is taking on an additional 3x 757-200 equipment. Rumors for those equipment include JFK-ZRH, JFK-CDG, and JFK-AMS. If not to mainland Europe the rumor is BOS-STN, IAD-STN, ORD-STN.

If that is the case there would be a number of advantages. Delta while now flying JFK-LGW 2x with the 763, and soon another flight, would be complimented by 3x JFK-STN (Business Class) flights. That would in essence bring Delta to a total of 6x JFK-London segments. Again, it is a rumor, but if true then Delta will definitely be on top of the New York TATL market.

-JD
Summer Trip 2007: DEN HAAG>DUBAI>LONDON>VERONA>COSTA SMERALDA>CAPRI
 
StarGoldLHR
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:31 pm

Quoting SFORunner (Reply 20):
Boeing, Airbus and Embraer, the Brazilian planes maker, over a possible $700 million (£350 million) order for new aircraft.

Does Embraer make something that can cross the atlantic non-stop ?

Quoting ThePRGuy (Reply 21):
It will be Heathrow....tie this up with a strategic takeover bid for british midland?...Maybe hes chatting to SK and LH........

I really hope not. BD is the last chance the UK has at a European non-chavvy budget airline.. lose BD as it's just BA.
Personally I prefer VS go it alone with the EU Business airline

Quoting Goldorak (Reply 17):
I doubt it"s a good idea. Intra-european flights are now more on the low-cost model, even for legacy carriers. And if it starts, forget Paris as a destination from LON due to 2h15 travel time with Eurostar in a few months from now. J class in Europe in almost only filled with connecting pax on long haul flights. Company don't pay anymore J class for intra european flights (unfortunately !)

Youve obviousl not travelled through LCY recently then.
This airport is a goldmine. Thousands of travellers paying £500 fares for a 500mile journey in an old F50 or BAE146, I agree Paris / Brussels to LCY will be hard to match Eurostar from November.. but anywhere else in Europe is still fare game.

I speak to hundreds of London workers / business travellers who regularly pay £500+ even for an economy ticket. I myself paid £400 for a return to GVA and £367 for a day trip to AMS, both in Y class within the last month.
At the end of the day if youve got to be there for a meeting, and youve got to be back for another and you have to have those times.. then you have to have that fare.
So far in 2008 45 flights and Gold already. JFK, IAD, LGA, SIN, HKG, NRT, AKL, PPT, LAX still to book ! Home Airport LCY
 
onthebeach
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RE: Virgin To Start European Business Only Airline?

Wed Jun 06, 2007 12:33 am

Could the CNN story be wrong about them talking with Embraer and Bombardier? Or does anyone know if they might have planes capable of going that distance? Hard to imagine flying Trans Atlantic on a regional jet.