LondonCity
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VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 9:29 am

According to an interview with VS CEO Steve Ridgway in the Australian Business Traveller magazine, his airline wishes to take over some of the former Bmi services out of LHR.

I can understand VS needing short-haul flights to feed passengers onto its long-haul flights at LHR. But I wonder what are the chances of these flights going ahead ?

http://www.ausbt.com.au/virgin-atlan...l-replace-bmi-from-london-heathrow
 
PHX787
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 9:34 am

Quoting LondonCity (Thread starter):
But I wonder what are the chances of these flights going ahead ?

The question would be, what aircraft would VS use on such routes? Would they purchase A-320s to use on those routes?

If they don't purchase narrowbodies, I don't see any of this happening.
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Eagleboy
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 9:38 am

I agree, suddenly deciding on a new shorthaul start-up seems a bit ask at short short notice.
Unless VS have plans in motion already and have aircraft already sourced?
Or indeed a deal organised with a regional carrier to operate under the VS brand as a feeder into LHR?
 
LHRFlyer
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 9:43 am

If it really does happen I really doubt it will be operated by Virgin Atlantic, just Virgin branded and operated by someone else as a joint-venture.
 
flipdewaf
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 10:06 am

I personally would love to see VS jump on this and try and take advantage instead of complaining about getting a raw deal.

Fred
Image
 
JACK02116
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 10:55 am

Apart from narrow bodied aircraft all they need are take-off and landing slots at LHR - and I am pretty certain that there are not many of those available at the moment.

Perhaps SRB thinks that somehow IAG will be forced to give up more ex BMI slots and he will get them all?

Or more likely this is just more Virgin hot air and it will come to nothing. They had the chance to buy BMI and get a decent number of slots to set up a short haul operation and they decided not to play the game - so probably they are not that serious.

Just more Virgin smoke I think.

Having siad that I always try to fly Virgin America on my internal US flights and a similar service around Europe would be a welcome addition.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 10:55 am

Quoting flipdewaf (Reply 4):
I personally would love to see VS jump on this and try and take advantage instead of complaining about getting a raw deal.

Agree 100%

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 3):
If it really does happen I really doubt it will be operated by Virgin Atlantic, just Virgin branded and operated by someone else as a joint-venture.

BMI Regional?

Either way they would need to souce some NB's pronto.

I wont hold my breaqth on thsi coming to fruition but stranger things have happened.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 11:12 am

Steve Ridgeway doesn't quite seem to grasp the allocation procedure for the remediation slots, of course VS is at liberty to apply for them, on the other hand so can many other EU airlines. The article infers that they have them in the bag.

I still can't see how VS can hope to make a go of them, as they will end up with a very small short haul business tacked onto their existing long haul services. I would guess 6 or so planes will be the entire short haul fleet,
 
qf002
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 11:14 am

A branded wet lease agreement would be the go on this concept. VS would have minimal initial costs, and wouldn't be committing to a long term fleet of aircraft, new crews etc.

I doubt very, very much that VS will start flying shorthaul themselves. A few key European and domestic routes to feed long haul operations now that BMI is gone might be wise though.
 
virgincrew
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 12:03 pm

I think if VS are smart in this, they should pair up with Sector Aviation Holdings Ltd (SAH) who purchased BMI Regional from IAG and try and get the LHR slots that are up from grabs from IAG / BA.

If they worked with them and the flights operated under a VS livery and branding - it might work.

I really wanna see this livery ........

Hello Beautiful !!!
 
emalad
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 12:06 pm

I would love to see VS flying short haul in the UK. How about VirginBaby as a name, to pick up where WW are going to leave. Am sure it would be in interesting livery if ever it came about  
 
skipness1E
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 1:53 pm

We can debate the pretty colours or the aircraft, the livery, the slots and the history....er and being airliners.net we clearly will. HOWEVER.....commercially?

BA's own short haul is a borderline loss maker and bmi's LHR domestic services have been downsized, axed or struggled. The main driver for BA to maintain the operation is to feed long haul, which is profitable as a line of business but dependent on short haul. Now Virgin did not make a serious effort to buy bmi, hence they will not come close to having any critical mass of flights to feed long haul and at the same time not make a massive loss on point to point. That ship has sailed and Ridgeway himself waved her off shrieking at the unfairness of big bad BA from the pier. Had he gotten the company wallet out things may ended differently.

Virgin would beed three daily returns per destination to have any serious impact on the market, and good mix of domestic destinations. Thing is bmi failed in the end on a mass market like Glasgow and had to leave. It's not as if they'll be offering Upper Class facilities on board so Virgin would be going against easyJet and BA in a saturated market and a likely price was. They would be unlikely to break even for a very long time, and also, what would be the third destination? Belfast versus Aer Lingus and BA? Manchester where bmi couldn't fill and ERJ-145 much of the time? Aberdeen where BA just launching LCY-ABZ with a very good and modern product? Inverness? Seriously? They would get slaughtered on core Euro routes like CDG and FRA and the domestic routes are limited, the consequence is that they do not have enough potential to make a business case to do this given the fairly high costs involved. BMI Regional have no LHR slots and you're not being all that competitve when your main competitor flies A320 series aircraft on the same route.

The only way to feed Virgin at LHR is to join an Alliance, now that clearly did not save bmi but I think would be good for VS. Feeding VS at LHR from UK domestic is commercial suicide. Take it seriously when BAA announce they're spending money on a domestic facility for Terminal 3.

Virgin have been here before. Virgin Express was a LHR regular for a long time, they had the chance to do something with that but they never did and now it's all too late. Bite the bullet and get in with Skyteam or STAR before it's all too late.

[Edited 2012-05-14 06:56:11]

[Edited 2012-05-14 06:57:25]
 
nclmedic
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 2:31 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 11):
Bite the bullet and get in with Skyteam or STAR before it's all too late.

Completely agree!
 
virgincrew
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 3:39 pm

i>
Quoting skipness1E (Reply 11):
Bite the bullet and get in with Skyteam or STAR before it's all too late.

Couldn't agree more ......   
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
babybus
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 3:47 pm

VS don't have a good track record with short haul from the UK as far as I remember.

There was Masstrict and Athens and neither seemed to work out. UK short haul might be a little bit flooded at the moment to accept a new short haul operator.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
jonnyclark
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 5:15 pm

I think there is a great void in the European market for a Virgin America-esque airline. And to be honest I think Virgin have already got the proof a product like that would work. They could easily lease planes from their american counterpart and for only a small livery change, would have a small fleet ready to go operating on what they must know are their most important feeder traffic city pairs.

I hope something like this happens. About time Europe got some decent carriers, rather than slightly crustier older generation carriers or LCCs.

Jonnyclark
thedesignair.wordpress.com

[Edited 2012-05-14 10:16:32]
Jonny, commercial pilot & founder of Thedesignair
 
skipness1E
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 5:22 pm

There's no room between BA / KLM / AF / LH and easyJet for a Virgin America type clone. Point to point within Europe is a loco market with connectivity and the remainder of P2P mopped up by the legacies. As it stands now, the market is already pretty saturated, it would not be commercially wise to price yourself beyond easyJet and yet not offer the benefits of a BA I think.
Perhaps I am being too London centric, there may be a niche in Europe, but there's almost literally no room out of London LGW and LHR.
 
axelesgg
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 5:29 pm

Wasn't that exactly how the Laker Airways (Skytrain GK) went out of business?
Fly Draganair
 
sbworcs
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 5:42 pm

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 3):
just Virgin branded and operated by someone else as a joint-venture.

Would that be allowed under the terms of the slot divestiture. I thought I read on here in a previous thread that whoever has the slots has to use them themselves not through a third party?
The best way forwards is upwards!
 
ASA
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 5:42 pm

Quoting emalad (Reply 10):
I would love to see VS flying short haul in the UK. How about VirginBaby as a name, to pick up where WW are going to leave. Am sure it would be in interesting livery if ever it came about  

Wouldn't VirginBaby an oxymoron, though?

Do we mean a baby virgin (doesn't make sense) ... or the baby of a virgin??!! there is only ONE i can think of  

  
 
bastew
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 7:25 pm

Would be great to see this happen. However, a few questions (some which have already been asked on this thread).

1. Where are all the slots going to come from? The merger is a done deal. The slot numbers IAG has to surrender is public knowledge. This will only allow Virgin (IF they are successful at getting them) to operate the London - Scottish routes they want to operate. Shorthaul european/russian routes? Where will they come from?

2. Where are the aircraft coming from?

3. Where are any concrete details in the article? Like 'we plan on starting services by October this year'. Or 'we have placed an order for aircraft'. Or 'tickets will be available for sale by X date'. As per usual vague details.

4. Why would the CEO of a major UK airline (whom have been playing a very public game with the media in the UK in their pursuit for the IAG/LH deal to be quashed) make some announcement in an Australian business publication? Where is their UK press release? It's what the whole industry has been waiting for.
 
f4f3a
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 8:54 pm

there was a rumour going round that u2 were considering buying the domestic slots for lhr.

I read somewhere that these have to be used domestic for 3 years then they can be used for anything . If thats true then they would be worth a lot more as international.

I could see U2 serving heathrow from gla edi ncl bfs and code sharing for virgin.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 10:01 pm

Quoting JACK02116 (Reply 5):
Apart from narrow bodied aircraft all they need are take-off and landing slots at LHR - and I am pretty certain that there are not many of those available at the moment.

Where would VS get the slots? BA bought BMI partially for the feed and partially to convert the slots to long haul.

The reality is that London needs a *major* airport expansion in one place. Either a 3rd runway with 6th terminal at LHR or the Thames Estuary.

Quoting JACK02116 (Reply 5):
Or more likely this is just more Virgin hot air and it will come to nothing. They had the chance to buy BMI and get a decent number of slots to set up a short haul operation and they decided not to play the game - so probably they are not that serious.

I agree. They missed out on BMI. They are demanding slots from a competitor at below market rates. I doubt BA is that inclined to sell slots to VS.

Quoting f4f3a (Reply 21):
I could see U2 serving heathrow from gla edi ncl bfs and code sharing for virgin.

With what slots? I've read that slot pairs are worth 1,300 pounds per day at peak times. That is 10 pounds per passenger (roughly) for every flight for a narrowbody. (Recall, not every flight sells out.) For an A380, the amortized cost is trivial per passenger (for a longer flight too). I just do not see U2 winning the bidding wars for LHR slots.

Lightsaber
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rjm777ual
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 10:12 pm

They could do what they are doing with the US and Aussie, create a Virgin Europe!
Greetings from Dulles!
 
skipness1E
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 11:01 pm

Quoting f4f3a (Reply 21):
there was a rumour going round that u2 were considering buying the domestic slots for lhr.

Isn't Bono a litte too green for this? Besides their last album was just terrible. Terrible.

OK..."I could see U2 serving heathrow from gla edi ncl bfs and code sharing for virgin." EZY don't code share, they're a loco, besides they have that market sewn up via STN / LTN and LGW without adding the nonsense of being number 12 for start in the LHR rush. If I was connecting to Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic can you really see me flying easyJet in the priority boarding queue itching to run for a good seat. Now I know EZY are good and getting better but they're not going to "feed" Branson, there's not enough in it for them.

3 destinations, (GLA/EDI/XYZ), 3 flights a day is nine slot pairs. Do the maths of buying them versus whatever profits you expect to get, bearing in mind BMI were using ERJ145s on MAN and ABZ and had to drop GLA.

[Edited 2012-05-14 16:18:25]

[Edited 2012-05-14 16:19:04]
 
Gingersnap
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Mon May 14, 2012 11:03 pm

Quoting f4f3a (Reply 21):
I could see U2 serving heathrow from gla edi ncl bfs and code sharing for virgin.

The costs would be astronomical for U2. I'm not saying they couldn't afford it, but I honestly don't think they could justify the cost to themselves or their shareholders.
Now I could see U2 leasing out a few A319s (with crew) to VS to operate domestic flights out of LHR however.
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sevenheavy
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 9:19 am

I just don't see this happening. First and foremost they need the slots, which they don't currently have. They would need the aircraft, which would take time and money, and they would need to know that short haul flying of this kind of volume can contribute to the bottom line i.e. if not profitable in isolation, then certainly contributing to the profitability of the long haul flying. VS already have a sizeable code sharing set up, including with BA......if it ain't broke...

The only way I can see this happening is in the context of some kind of tie up with another carrier. For example, Flybe operates aircraft on these routes, maybe or maybe not under the Virgin branding, either as a code/capacity share or even in a similar arrangement to U.S. carriers and their regionals.

Even then, I'm not convinced. Would another carrier want, or be able to do it, and as Skipness says, you have to get the product right if you're flying as feeder for VS's long haul product, particularly with regards to Upper Class (although I guess BA's domestic product is essentially economy seating with lounge and in flight catering so its possible)
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 9:24 am

EZY's CEO has clearly stated they looked at LHR - but not for long due to its costs and congestion.
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
vv701
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 2:26 pm

Quoting jonnyclark (Reply 15):
I think there is a great void in the European market for a Virgin America-esque airline. And to be honest I think Virgin have already got the proof a product like that would work.

You mean fourth time lucky?

I get a sense of deja vu when I read suggestions like this.

About a quarter of a centuiry ago I seem to recall a small fleet of these:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Robert Reid


operating as an adjunct to Virgin Atlantic. It soon disappeared.

Then about 15 years ago I seem to remember a larger fleet of around 20 737s like this one:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Roberto Falciola


opoerating around Europe.

After it disappeared a new, smaller fleet of 320s that looked like this briefly took tio European skies:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © N94504


It certainly looks as if Virgin are hugely experienced at setting up new short haul airline operations in Europe. Indeed I doubt that anyone is more experienced. The problem seems to be that they are equally experienced in shutting those operations down.
 
skipness1E
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 2:55 pm

You missed CityJet flying out of LCY on a Virgin franchise and South East European Airways operating SX-BSV on LHR-ATH. Indeed that operation came in house to VS as G-OUZO and was operated on G-VATH an A321 for a time as well.
 
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nighthawk
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 3:26 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 22):
With what slots? I've read that slot pairs are worth 1,300 pounds per day at peak times. That is 10 pounds per passenger (roughly) for every flight for a narrowbody. (Recall, not every flight sells out.) For an A380, the amortized cost is trivial per passenger (for a longer flight too). I just do not see U2 winning the bidding wars for LHR slots.

Airport slots are free - you cannot sell them.

However, as slots at peak times are in high demand, what a lot of airlines will do is apply for slots at less than desirable times, then swap them with an airline for a slot at a more desirable time, while paying a small fee to the airline you are swapping with.

In this case no slots are being swapped, instead BA are returning the slots, to be re-allocated on the condition that they are used on the specified routes. As such, no fee can be demanded for them.
 
LondonCity
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 3:27 pm

Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 27):

EZY's CEO has clearly stated they looked at LHR - but not for long due to its costs and congestion.

EZY's CEO has confirmed that LHR is a 'no go.'

http://www.abtn.co.uk/news/0715618-heathrow-no-go-easyjet

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 29):
You missed CityJet flying out of LCY on a Virgin franchise and South East European Airways operating SX-BSV on LHR-ATH.

I believe Virgin also operated DUB-LTN in the early days.
 
Pe@rson
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 3:34 pm

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 31):
Quoting Pe@rson (Reply 27):

EZY's CEO has clearly stated they looked at LHR - but not for long due to its costs and congestion.


EZY's CEO has confirmed that LHR is a 'no go.'

http://www.abtn.co.uk/news/0715618-h...syjet

Hence saying "they looked at LHR - but not for long".  
"Everyone writing for the Telegraph knows that the way to grab eyeballs is with Ryanair and/or sex."
 
virgincrew
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 3:34 pm

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 30):
Airport slots are free - you cannot sell them.

This was true until a few years back. However a report produced for the EU showed that the "no-sale" rule was restricting the expansion of European commercial aviation. So the rule was changed and the sale of slots is now encouraged:

http://www.euractiv.com/transport/eu...-sale-airport-slots/article-172103

The LHR slot coordinator, Airport Coordination Ltd, now has a section on its web site (with restricted access) that effectively is a market place for buying and selling slots. It is called "slottrade":

http://www.slottrade.aero/

Without this change in rules it would not have been possible for BA to buy six daily slot pairs, formerly operated by BD, from Lufthansa Group last autumn:

http://www.stressfreeairportparking....res-more-slots-at-heathrow-airport
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
vv701
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 6:16 pm

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 30):
Airport slots are free - you cannot sell them.

Here is a link to the web site where LHR slots ARE officially bought and sold:

http://www.slottrade.aero/slot-trading-volumes.asp

The last sale of any size was last September. Just before Lufthansa Group put BD up for sale they put 6 daily LHR slot psairs from the BD portfolio on the market. They were bought by BA.
 
DavidByrne
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Tue May 15, 2012 11:51 pm

Quoting VV701 (Reply 28):
About a quarter of a centuiry ago I seem to recall a small fleet of these [Photo of VS Vickers Viscount] operating as an adjunct to Virgin Atlantic. It soon disappeared.

As I recall, it was a very small fleet - of one, and operated just one route, MST-LGW, once daily, ostensibly as feed to the LGW-EWR service, and aiming to draw pax from Aachen and the Ruhr Valley catchment (Dusseldorf etc) as well as southern Netherlands.

I took the flight once in the mid-80s, as a sort of nostalgia trip (certainly the last Viscount flight I took). Even then it seemed a bizarre route for VS to operate.
This is not my beautiful house . . . This is not my beautiful wife
 
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nighthawk
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 7:44 am

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 33):
The LHR slot coordinator, Airport Coordination Ltd, now has a section on its web site (with restricted access) that effectively is a market place for buying and selling slots. It is called "slottrade":

http://www.slottrade.aero/

From the "How It Works" section of that website:

Within the EU, slots are traded by way of a slot exchange – slots are swapped between airlines on a one-for-one basis. The exchange involves swapping historic peak time slots for newly allocated off peak slots. The off peak slots are returned to the pool after the exchange, so that the net effect of the exchange is the transfer of peak time slots from Airline A to Airline B.

So you are not really buying the slots, you still need to swap.

I guess we will need to wait and see exactly how the BA slots are being transferred, but my understanding is that they will be releasing them rather than trading them, and I would be surprised if they are allowed to profit from these slots.

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 33):
Without this change in rules it would not have been possible for BA to buy six daily slot pairs, formerly operated by BD, from Lufthansa Group last autumn:

http://www.stressfreeairportparking....rport

this link doesn't work, so I cannot read the article, but based on the above, this could not have been a purchase but a swapping of slots.
 
BestWestern
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 8:00 am

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 31):

I believe Virgin also operated DUB-LTN in the early days.

Yes, they did

http://cdn-www.airliners.net/aviation-photos/photos/5/0/5/0307505.jpg

using a 727 and

a viscount



and also launched Virgin Express Ireland



and also flew 146s...

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7017/6736344323_2fdb653b1b_b.jpg
You are 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a flight than an average person!
 
LondonCity
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 9:14 am

Quoting bestwestern (Reply 37):
Yes, they did

Thanks. It brings back old memories, especially the picture of the Viscount !
 
Candid76
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 10:04 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 16):
Perhaps I am being too London centric, there may be a niche in Europe, but there's almost literally no room out of London LGW and LHR.

However who says that this supposed Virgin short haul operation has to be LHR based? The logical place for such an operation to be based is MAN. While I see no commercial case logically for a handful of short haul aircraft just flying on these few "ex. bmi" domestic routes into LHR and nothing else, this could be part of a larger operation, maybe with a few core routes out of EDI and a small network of city routes out of MAN? I don't think they'd have much trouble attracting pax away from FlyBE and even Jet2 make a go of city destinations!

Once again the Heathrow blinkers need to be put to one side. I even would have seen more sense in VS buying bmi regional rather than bmi mainline and developing that.

Whatever happens this saga has some way to run yet!
 
skipness1E
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 10:56 am

Why on Earth do you say MAN? Flybe would be in a fight to the death and VS fly only leisure routes in the morning with nothing to feed in the evening? easyJet are also growing at MAN, so as niches go, it's pretty mainstream.
 
sevenheavy
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RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 11:42 am

Quoting Candid76 (Reply 39):
Once again the Heathrow blinkers need to be put to one side. I even would have seen more sense in VS buying bmi regional rather than bmi mainline and developing that.

The only reason for VS to even consider a short haul operation (which is a big question in itself) is to feed the long haul network. Connecting traffic on leisure routes is much smaller than on business routes to start with, never mind the fact that MAN only has two daily long haul flights to feed into.

It would be LHR or nothing......probably nothing!
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
Candid76
Posts: 552
Joined: Sun May 01, 2005 5:10 am

RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 12:14 pm

Virgin is a strong brand, I would say much stronger than FlyBE. A core short haul feeder network would be a prerequisite for long haul expansion at MAN, I'm not suggesting that the latter should happen before the former is established. Only LHR has the O & D demand to support long haul without that feed.

All I am saying is that if you had a fleet of, say, 10 ERJ190s or similar, three of which operated Scotland-LHR routes, the others operating a small network from MAN and, say, EDI, that is a different proposition to what most commentators on here have been assuming, that taking the on offer LHR slots means a small subfleet of say 3 A320s. Of course that won't make money! I'm just thinking outside the box. 190s are not that hard to get, I think Niki might be binning theirs. This concept could help feed VS at LHR (and possibly others if they do join an alliance) while taking a step towards a bigger operation at MAN which would put them a step ahead of their rivals.

However this is the UK, and hence I agree with sevenheavy that the result will be... probably nothing!
 
vv701
Posts: 5773
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 4:47 pm

Quoting nighthawk (Reply 36):
From the "How It Works" section of that website:

Within the EU, slots are traded by way of a slot exchange %u2013 slots are swapped between airlines on a one-for-one basis. The exchange involves swapping historic peak time slots for newly allocated off peak slots. The off peak slots are returned to the pool after the exchange, so that the net effect of the exchange is the transfer of peak time slots from Airline A to Airline B.

The slot trading situation in the UK has historically been different to that in the rest of the EU. This is covered on the slottrade.aero web site by this paragraph:

"Airport slot allocation is governed globally by the IATA Worldwide Slot Guidelines and, within the EU, by the EU Slot Regulation 95/93 as amended. There are also national or local laws in some countries."

The important sentence is the last sentence. The UK nastional rules are and have been at variance to those of the EU. So the market in LHR slots has been rather grey. Nevertheless many sales have been reported in detail. The most notableof these sales were when QF was reported to have bought a single daily slot pair for $20 million and when CO was reported to have paid out more than $100 million to buy LHR slots so it could move its flights from LGW when Open Skies was implemented in March 21008.

It was at about 2008 that the EU started to bring its slot trading regulations into line with those prevailing in the UK:

http://atwonline.com/international-a...rules-allow-secondary-trading-1201

The selling and buying of slots in the the UK has been going on for many years. I believe that the EU regulation changes have been mirrored by the recent addition of the "slottrade" portal to the Airport Coordination Ltd web site.

Note how the "How It Works" section of that web site starts:

" Initiate SlotTrade Posting - one airline initiates a desire to trade slots (buy, sell, lease in, lease out, or swap)."

It could not be clearer. An airline may initiate a trade in slots that may be a purchase - hence "buy" - or sale - hence "sell"- as well as a "lease" or a "swap"

The last significant stand-alone sale of LHR slots that I am aware of was last September. Just before Lufthansa Group announced that BD was up for sale, BA bought six daily former BD LHR slot pairs:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/bu...ore-slots-at-heathrow-2360148.html

Note that the article states that the price for these slots has not been disclosed and that trhe 'How It Works" section of the "slottrade.aero"says it is optional as to whether the price of a slot sale is declared.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 3378
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

RE: VS To Fly Short-haul From London Heathrow?

Wed May 16, 2012 4:50 pm

Quoting Candid76 (Reply 42):
Virgin is a strong brand, I would say much stronger than FlyBE

That's not a meaningful comparision as you are not comparing like with like. Virgin have no market presence in short haul, flybe have no market presence in long haul.

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