Possibly in the future VA might launch flights to SFO
(two which have been rumored before) and possibly do something left-field like SEA
(especially if they could get AS
feed). I think that VA probably have a (slightly) higher chance of growing outside of LAX
on the west coast than QF
do, but I still think it is a slim chance.
First, they don't have the aircraft to do it and they don't have any more 777s on order. So far they haven't shown much enthusiasm for international expansion right now, so I can't see them ordering more anytime soon. At the time of the rebranding as Virgin Australia I was expecting a larger A330 order to help open routes to markets such as HKG
- major destinations which cannot be served effectively from the east coast via SIN
. That has failed to eventuate. Further, I wondered if they would operate a 737 from CNS
(and maybe DRW
) to SIN
to help fill a hole in SQ
's network. CNS
never happened and DRW
was started by SilkAir.
The other thing to consider is that BNE
are currently only 3x weekly. I think that their first priority should be to get those to daily, or at least 5x weekly, to better compete against QF
for business traffic.
To come full circle, I could possibly see a 772 order from VA, the 77W is simply too big for them. They were blinded by CASM figures, and didn't consider that they would struggle to fill the larger aircraft with decent frequencies. The 772 would be a better size for BNE
: just the decrease in capacity could justify increasing the flight to 5x weekly, and the increase in frequency might sufficiently stimulate the market to allow them to increase the flight to daily. The 772 would also be a better aircraft for SFO
- I think that a 77W would simply be too big in these markets.
And then comes the question of why order the 777? Given that they aren't growing internationally in the next couple of years, why don't they just order the 787 or A350 and wait until then to start international expansion?
So many questions, and - unfortunately - right now there aren't many answers. I'm not certain that even VAH management are certain what their international strategy is right now (using their own metal, that is), but hopefully they can figure it out soon and that we will see some more growth.