ZKOJH
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Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Mon Jul 09, 2012 11:34 pm

Bit of a weird choice I must say!

With the news that they want to move to the New T2 at LHR too, seems joining 'Star' must be soon to pop out of SRB's hat!

Virgin Atlantic intends to start flying from Heathrow to Moscow next year as part of plans to build a broader network of short and mid-haul flights connecting at the London hub, reported The Guardian.

The airline said it would operate daily flights to the Russian capital should it win the slots British Airways has to give up at Heathrow.

this is coming out of 'cargonewsasia' and 'The Guardian'

follow the story below  Smilehttp://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...eathrow-moscow-flights?INTCMP=SRCH

[Edited 2012-07-09 16:41:33]
Vietnam time..
 
mogandoCI
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:37 am

really wish VS could finally come into the fold ... LHR has been a major missing piece in Star's puzzle, and bmi wasn't exactly doing its job
 
LAXintl
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:44 am

This would be a return to Moscow.

VS served it on I believe two separate occasions already.



Anyhow the route is only becoming available now thanks to the required divestiture by BA following the BMI takeover.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
tonystan
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:44 am

Didnt they have an A321 at one stage operating this route?
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
spiritair97
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:05 am

Quoting tonystan (Reply 3):

If that was the case, it was in the days of Virgin Sun, the short-lived UK airline that operated shorter VS flights at times.

[Edited 2012-07-09 21:06:15]
 
LAXintl
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:09 am

No I think the Airbus was part of the Virgin Greek venture - South East European Airways that ran between Athens and London, and was later absorbed into Virgin fleet itself.

But anyhow - the first time around for VS to Moscow was stop over on the London - Tokyo service.

[Edited 2012-07-09 21:10:28]
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
Ps76
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:17 am

Hi!

If they can get slots I can definitely see them making money on medium length routes. Moscow, maybe Tel Aviv, maybe Turkey. Although I haven't flown them in a long time and am not really a fan of what Virgin has become many people really like flying them so I'm sure they would do well.

Many thanks.

P.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:49 am

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 1):

I wonder in all honesty what else would you have had BMI do? They had more codeshares than any airline ever?
In more recent days, they seemed to have little focus beyond being a good little partner and carrying other people's passengers via LHR. They were not focussed on much beyond flying as many slots as possible.
Would VS use an A333 off the bat for this?

[Edited 2012-07-09 22:31:44]
 
nethkt
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:04 am

With thousands of nouveau riche commuting between the UK and Russia,
together with the suitable strategic branding of Virgin Atlantic, I'm sure we could see up to 2 daily flights offering for both connecting and point-to-point pax.

I'd love to see them utilize A340-600 on this route!
Let's just blame it on yields.
 
ZKOJH
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:29 am

whilst (VS) they were in Cancun to launch then new route to LGW in the media release it is said they want to use the new A333 on the Moscow Route, as they want to go up against BA who use 744's with first class.
Vietnam time..
 
laca773
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:35 am

What a/c would VS use on a route like this? A333? Can they get a hold of a couple of A321s in the near future?

With this talk of moving to T2 and the Star Alliance rumors, I was thinking we would see them join Sky Team, if any alliance, since VA has been getting close to DL. Just a thought.
 
mikey72
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:04 am

I'm feeling dizzy with anticipation !

(there goes the neighbourhood....again)

Quoting laca773 (Reply 10):
I was thinking we would see them join Sky Team

What about SQ's stake ?
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
anstar
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:42 am

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 11):

What about SQ's stake ?

What about it? If they wanted them to join star they have had over ten years to do so!
 
mikey72
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:13 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 12):
What about it? If they wanted them to join star they have had over ten years to do so!

Are you being deliberately obtuse ?

Quoting laca773 (Reply 10):
I was thinking we would see them join Sky Team
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
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SKAirbus
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:26 am

Interesting!

There is going to be a bit too much widebody action on this route with BA now operating it as a long haul route.

I'm sure VS could fit their economy product into an A321, abandon premium on this route and have a medium haul Upper Class product. No room for a bar though, so maybe that'll put SRB off  
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mikey72
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:40 am

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 14):
Interesting!

Yes it is.

Could it one day be the worlds shortest commercial A380 flight ?
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
anstar
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:49 am

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 13):

Are you being deliberately obtuse ?

Just pointing out that the star ship has likely passed. If STAR wanted VS then bmi would not have gone to BA, UA/CO would not have ended their FF agreements and of course SQ could have opened some doors.
 
mikey72
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:55 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 16):
Just pointing out that the star ship has likely passed. If STAR wanted VS then bmi would not have gone to BA, UA/CO would not have ended their FF agreements and of course SQ could have opened some doors.

Oh, sorry.

  

Would they get one foot in the door at Sky being half owned by Star ?

(oh my head hurts...when did it all get so complicated)

Maybe its got nothing to do with the alliances and they just want a shiny new terminal ?
Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
LX138
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:18 am

I doubt 'getting VS into Star' has ever been discussed at an SQ management meeting. I'd doubt Star is discussed on anything more than a rare occasion in their own strategy meetings such is the carriers loose involvement with the group.

Quoting laca773 (Reply 10):
What a/c would VS use on a route like this? A333? Can they get a hold of a couple of A321s in the near future?

Likely to be the A330 as they aren't likely to want a small subfleet of A321(S).

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 15):
Could it one day be the worlds shortest commercial A380 flight ?

I think China Southern are already running there's on 2/3 hour flights, far shorter.
StarWorld Team - The ultimate airline alliance
 
tonystan
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 9:57 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 5):
No I think the Airbus was part of the Virgin Greek venture - South East European Airways that ran between Athens and London, and was later absorbed into Virgin fleet itself.

Ah how right you are...just checked it out on the photo search engine. Cute little airbus it was too! Didnt realise it was a venture with another carrier and for some reason had it in my head it was for moscow services!
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
simpsondude
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:06 am

Brilliant strategy from Virgin. They must have noticed a fall in passenger numbers and demand after they lost bmi doing their feeder service.

Could we possibly start seeing more feeder routes into LHR with virgin? Edinburgh, Dublin, Manchester, Nice, Hannover perhaps? Although could Virgin fill a A330 on these routes and would it be financially viable?
 
skipness1E
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:21 am

If you are asking can VS fill an A330 on those routes, um, let's just run with "no". If they were going to run short haul they'd hey a short haul fleet. As to what STAR wants, by its very nature, the alliance is coping with competing wishes and needs of occasionally feuding carriers. I think people on here, when speaking of SkyTeam or STAR having direction and strategy, are perhaps overstating the case. I doubt Air Canada for one wanted BMI to go to BA as their many LHR flights had some good feed from domestic whereas perhaps short haul LHR STAR carriers cared not one whit.
 
LHRFlyer
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:34 am

Virgin has wanted to operate to Moscow for quite some time, but lost out to bmi who gained the traffic rights. Virgin did used to stop-off in SVO en route to (I think) Tokyo.

If they get the slots and the traffic rights, they should do well on this route.
 
ba319-131
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:47 am

Admittedly VS have wanted to open this route for years, but one can't help but think they see it as a busy and profitable BA traffic route, so decided to steal some of the action.

Then again, they need somewhere new to fly all these new planes they have on order....
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
skipness1E
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:59 am

Since BA started using the B744 and B763, there seems to be a lot less Aeroflot at LHR. We used to see the odd B763 from them on a weekend too. Not sure a Virgin A333 would be the best equipment to start off with.
 
LHRFlyer
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:08 am

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 23):
Admittedly VS have wanted to open this route for years, but one can't help but think they see it as a busy and profitable BA traffic route, so decided to steal some of the action.

I'm sure they want some of the action. But it's fair to say that until BA put long-haul aircraft on this route, they exploited the lack of competition by offering a pretty sub-standard business class product for the length of the route and the fares they could command.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 11:24 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 24):
Since BA started using the B744 and B763, there seems to be a lot less Aeroflot at LHR. We used to see the odd B763 from them on a weekend too

4 daily so no change in frequency by Aeroflot however they changed flight numbers and decoupled all but two weekly through flight codes to Tokyo
Schedule is mainly A321.

Like a lot of things associated to the Alliances - CDG as a transfer point these days is more important to SU than LHR.

Also many/most/all of those truly wealthy beyond belief oligarchs in London (and their trophy wives) wouldn't know a commercial airline if it got up and bit them. They prefer a lot more flexibility in their travel arrangements.

Virgin could well be successful in securing this route from UK authorities ,however it will be fraught with usual difficulties associated with negotiations in Moscow.

UK/Russia political relations remain strained .
 
LX138
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:17 pm

I think this route could do well.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 24):
Since BA started using the B744 and B763, there seems to be a lot less Aeroflot at LHR. We used to see the odd B763 from them on a weekend too. Not sure a Virgin A333 would be the best equipment to start off with.

There does seem to be less. I remember the IL-86's packed to the rafters. Now it's rarely anything other than a A321.

If BA are filling a 747, I think it shows where the market share is going.

What do you expect VS to use then if it's not a A330?
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AAMDanny
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:40 pm

I hear from my friends at VS is that a charter airline is going to be subbed in to operate the route on 'the A320 family'
And if it is a success, other routes will be added.

If it continues to be a success, Virgin will take on the short haul themselves.

IMHO, That sounds like a pretty sensible idea, if it don't work, they are not stuck with an aircraft on lease etc. They can just end the sub contract.

Sounds like a job for Titan Airways (they could use there 737/757/767's and their brilliant crews)
 
sq_ek_freak
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 2:54 pm

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 15):
Could it one day be the worlds shortest commercial A380 flight ?
Quoting LX138 (Reply 18):
I think China Southern are already running there's on 2/3 hour flights, far shorter.

And don't forget our BKK-HKG-BKK run as well as our DXB-JED-DXB flights.

Quoting LX138 (Reply 27):
If BA are filling a 747, I think it shows where the market share is going.

Hasn't BA always had the premium traffic on this route?
Keep Discovering
 
laca773
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 3:59 pm

Quoting LX138 (Reply 18):

Likely to be the A330 as they aren't likely to want a small subfleet of A321(S).

That's true. However, perhaps VS will want to add a few other routes from LHR/LGW/MAN. Possibly TLV? The A321 would be a good a/c for those markets.

Does anyone know how BA is doing since they upgauged one of the 767s to a 744? Aside from the upcoming Olympics, have they been flying P & J full? Are Y fares heavily discounted in this market with the increase in capacity?

The A321 is a good a/c for SU to operate on their LHR rotations. They're much more fuel efficient compared to their older 763ERs or those old IL8 or are they IL9s?

Transaero also flies LHR, albeit with a 735. I was surprised to see such a small a/c in this market, if from just a competitive standpoint. I'd think they would be flying it with a 73H or a 762.
 
jumpjets
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:35 pm

Quoting rutankrd (Reply 26):
Virgin could well be successful in securing this route from UK authorities ,however it will be fraught with usual difficulties associated with negotiations in Moscow.

One of the conditions of the BA acquisition of BMI was that two of the LHR slots to be surrendered were allocated, outside the tender process for the remaining slots to be surrendered, to Transaero. I thought this was a strange condition and concluded [on the basis of no evidence at all] that this was a politically inspired decision - and which may now help smooth the path of whoever else acquires slots for Moscow in the tender process. If VS win the Moscow slots they may not get too much grief from the Kremlin.
 
GCT64
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:36 pm

Quoting laca773 (Reply 30):
Transaero also flies LHR, albeit with a 735. I was surprised to see such a small a/c in this market, if from just a competitive standpoint. I'd think they would be flying it with a 73H or a 762.

TSO's flights into LHR are very much "equipment varies", looking at the first 5 days of July, they operated with:

1st: B763 + B738
2nd: B738 + B737
3rd: B738 + B734
4th: B738 + B737
5th: B763 + B763

(first equipment is on TSO333/444, second on TSO353/354)

Great for enthusiasts as we see almost their entire fleet here  
Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A388,BA11,BU31,B190, B461,(..53 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
Calpe
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:40 pm

There is a lot on people on this thread mentioning Virgin adding more short/medium haul routes if Moscow is a success but I thought the whole point behind launching this flight to Moscow was if they got some of the ex BD slots which mostly are restricted to certain domestic destinations. Therefore there wouldn't be much scope for VS to expand further beyond this route unless they acquired more slots from somewhere or sacrificed some of their current long haul schedule. I have a feeling that the Moscow flight will be the only new addition we can expect and everything is just rumours.

Could anyone re-cap us on how many slots and the restrictions applied to them, that BA are having to give up?
 
jumpjets
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:19 pm

Quoting Calpe (Reply 33):
Could anyone re-cap us on how many slots and the restrictions applied to them, that BA are having to give up?

In essence the conditions are 14 pairs of slots have to be surrendered as follows:

•Seven daily slot pairs to be used between Heathrow and either Edinburgh and/or Aberdeen
•Two Heathrow daily slot pairs will be leased to Transaero for use on flights to Moscow
•Five daily slot pairs to be used between Heathrow and the following destinations - Nice, Cairo, Riyadh, Moscow, Edinburgh and/or Aberdeen - so six destinations and five slots - so no guarantee that an application for any Moscow slots would be successful.

Furthermore other airlines can apply for seats on the integrated BA/bmi short and midhaul network for their transfer passengers, on normal commercial terms
 
f4f3a
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:50 pm

Will be fine on this leg lots of a330 on short haul routes
To places like agp gva pmi. Emirates runs lots of turn around
Flights similar length as well

I'm surprised though as I would have thought
This route from London to Moscow would have
Been announced by u2 or fr after BMi was bought .
It's only 4 hrs ish .

I imagine it will be a good earner for them.

The only question is a/c utilisation. Can they use it same day on another
Route??
 
tonystan
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:23 pm

Quoting f4f3a (Reply 35):
Will be fine on this leg lots of a330 on short haul routes
To places like agp gva pmi. Emirates runs lots of turn around
Flights similar length as well

I'm surprised though as I would have thought
This route from London to Moscow would have
Been announced by u2 or fr after BMi was bought .
It's only 4 hrs ish .

I imagine it will be a good earner for them.

The only question is a/c utilisation. Can they use it same day on another
Route??

I agree, its also a good utilisation of an aircraft. VS using the A330s and even perhaps its 747s on certain short/medium haul routes could help increase the usage of aircraft. Dont know if id bother using the A340s though cos those things are gas guzzlars!

When I was working for QR I regularly flew 330s to sectors such as DOH-BAH (25 minutes), DOH-DXB (45mins), DOH-AUH (45mins) and slightly further flights such as DOH-BEY, DOH-AMM and the similar duty as LHR-DME the DOH-CAI!

Im sure the aircraft is very capable of operating these sort of routes efficiently if the loads are there.
My views are my own and do not reflect any other person or organisation.
 
willd
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:25 pm

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 4):
If that was the case, it was in the days of Virgin Sun, the short-lived UK airline that operated shorter VS flights at times.

No. VS operated 321's of its own right. These replaced the 320's which they had to operate the ATH route they took over from SEEA having operated them in partnership with SEEA for years (or was it SEAA).

The Virgin Sun aircraft were a different operation altogether.
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:32 pm

Quoting SKAirbus (Reply 14):
There is going to be a bit too much widebody action on this route with BA now operating it as a long haul route.

Aha.. that explains why I saw a BA 744 on flightradar24 on its way to Moscow.. thought it was a large aircraft for such a relatively short route..
 
skipness1E
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RE: Virgin Plans Heathrow-Moscow Flights

Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:36 pm

SEEA, South East European Airways, operated SX-BSV from memory, A320 in VS colours. They went bust and BA took the A320 in house as G-OUZO. This was later replaced by a new A321, then axed.

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