User avatar
enilria
Topic Author
Posts: 6169
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:02 pm

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-1...t-on-slower-winter.html?cmpid=yhoo

The carrier will now take delivery of 10 Airbus A320 planes, down from its original order for 30, in 2015 and 2016, according to a statement today. Those 10 aircraft are the last of the original batch, as the first 20 were to be handed over to the Burlingame, California-based airline from 2013 through 2015.

Virgin America also deferred the delivery range for 30 A320neo-model jets to 2020 through 2022 from the original dates of 2016 through 2019. The moves followed last month’s disclosure of a capacity reduction from January through March, the first cut in available seats since the airline started flying in 2007.

“During the summer we started looking at whether it still made sense to grow as fast as we were planning on, given fuel prices and what I’ll say is a modest economic growth climate in the U.S.,” Chief Executive Officer David Cush said in a telephone interview. “You don’t invest the capital if you can’t earn an adequate return.” There were no financial penalties associated with the cancellation, he said.


Very bad in terms of the carrier's future. I know there numbers are poor, but I don't think at their current size there is any future unless they completely change directions to something else.
 
SonomaFlyer
Posts: 1865
Joined: Tue Apr 20, 2010 2:47 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:16 pm

They have a limited number of options open to them:

1. Expand rapidly and take on the big airlines or;
2. Slow growth and try to raise yields in the face of stiff competition.

This industry is brutal. Competition is stiff across the board on domestic (US) flying and VX is struggling. At the same time, they can't keep bleeding cash. Slow growth is what all airlines are doing now so this should not be shocking.
 
User avatar
DeltaMD90
Posts: 8245
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:25 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:08 pm

This is painful to watch. I wish the best for the employees but at the same time I don't see how anyone is still sinking money into them. It's not like they're really trending towards profitability either...
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)
 
User avatar
enilria
Topic Author
Posts: 6169
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:29 pm

I have the same opinion I had when I first flew on them. "What a wonderful product that appeals to a small % of the traveling public". I don't think you can build something for any niche in this business and make any money, unless that niche is people who are cheap. Nobody is willing to pay more for any kind of (domestic) special service, even frequent fliers. There only those that expect it for free by virtue of being loyal. VX is a niche airline and that niche only exists profitably on a few transcon routes and possibly LAS. I don't think it is viable anywhere else.

I wonder what will happen to VX now. I don't think they can sit still. I also question whether Cush is the right leader for them. I think they need somebody with more of a route planning or financial background and less of a sales guy like they have now. They should try to get Fornaro.
 
wingnutmn
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:27 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:52 pm

How much money would it take to pull away a top exec at DL, UA, or AA to take over VX and try a new route to profitability? Is this something that a regional CEO or President could accomplish? Some industry names out there are Steenland, Mehnke, Bastian, or maybe it is a new challenge for Horton or Parker if AA/US ever tie up.

Another idea is who may want the planes and or pilots? We all keep hearing about the impending pilot shortage, so you could pick up 40 A319/320 airframes and 40 options plus 500 pilots that already have a type rating. That would be 1-2 years of hiring for DL or UA right there.

Wingnut
Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
 
anstar
Posts: 2864
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:04 pm

Or is there a legacy US carrier that might be interested in buying them and having them as their "leisure" fun brand but with no frills?
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9606
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:30 pm

I think this is a good business decision. Virgin America tried to imitate JetBlue by growing rapidly and taking on routes that were already well served, but do it with a better product. However they are not only competing against one airline, almost every route they serve has two or more competitors. The legacy airlines have killed them. UA, DL and AA matched VX fares on all their transcon routes. AS went in for the kill by dumping capacity on the west coast routes. VX has tried the notoriously low yielding California – Florida market. Every airline has been pulling Mexico capacity over the last few years because drug violence has scared tourists away (even from beach resorts), yet VX is trying to make it work.

VX has no where for these planes to go. Fortunately Airbus will have no problem with the NEO slots, although Airbus does have a gap of late production run A320s that are not in high demand at this point so those slots aren’t going to be easy to transfer. The rapid growth of VX needs to be tamed down. Virgin can’t make any money anywhere. Their management has publicized that they made a mistake by having direct competition on every route they serve. JetBlue didn’t have that, because they took advantage of JFK’s lack of domestic network.

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 4):
How much money would it take to pull away a top exec at DL, UA, or AA to take over VX and try a new route to profitability?

If you look at Virgin America’s management offices, there is a strong contingent of UA people. Their headquarters is only a few miles from the headquarters of UA’s old technical operations business in SFO. Virgin took a lot of UA people who refused to move to ORD when UA was restructuring in bankruptcy.

Quoting anstar (Reply 5):
Or is there a legacy US carrier that might be interested in buying them and having them as their "leisure" fun brand but with no frills?

Virgin is the opposite of that. They offer more frills.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
B6WNQX
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:28 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:30 pm

What if B6 were to try to acquire VX? This would reduce a lot of competition on the same routes. Are the fleets using the same engines?

I know B6 probably wouldn't want to me in M&A activity according to the CEO, but it is a thought. It would help push yields up on the transcons for everyone.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15218
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:45 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
there is a strong contingent of UA people

AA people, not UA people

Quoting B6WNQX (Reply 7):

What if B6 were to try to acquire VX?

There's no value to VX. Maybe some JFK slots that B6 doesn't have a need for and that's it.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
wingnutmn
Posts: 491
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2004 10:27 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 5:51 pm

Quoting B6WNQX (Reply 7):

The last thing B6 needs are A319's. They want A321's. Also, I am not sure that B6 has the capital right now to try and acquire another airline. The best bet is a major buying them and shutting them down for an immediate reduction in competition or a continued slow death through market predation!

Wingnut
Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing! It's a bonus if you can fly the plane again!!
 
hiloboy1
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:21 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:01 pm

Could HA be up to something? They just signed a code share agreement the other day, HAL what do you think.
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:03 pm

The airline today reported $15.8mil operating profit in the third quarter and forecasts operating profit in Q4 also.   

Strip away the growth cost and some finance cost, the airline is now in the black operationally. A good achievement.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:15 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
VX has no where for these planes to go.

I think that part of their problem is CA tunnel vision. I'm sure someone could work it out better than I could, but I can't help but think that a small base, say 5 or 6 frames, in somewhere like DFW could work out for them

[Edited 2012-11-16 10:16:16]
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
wingman
Posts: 2769
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:25 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:25 pm

I for one love this airline. It's simply the best domestic flying experience right now and I sincerely hope they make it. Everything from check in at SFO to the planes themselves, the staff, the onboard product...all at the very top of the heap. I really don't know what to suggest to them except maybe try to expand that HA codeshare strategy with others that are not part of a major global alliance. EK obviously springs to mind...perhaps an investment from them to build out some East Coast hubs that could then take on the feeds from Dubai. With HA, the Virgin Network, and EK, you'd need some kind of carrier partner covering Asia, one in LAC, and you might have a start to a new alliance model with a single massive carrier at the center and smaller regional carriers to do the feeder traffic.

All I can say is please Jesus, don't force me back to UA, after VX every ride in UA coach is like water boarding.
 
User avatar
enilria
Topic Author
Posts: 6169
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:32 pm

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 4):
How much money would it take to pull away a top exec at DL, UA, or AA to take over VX and try a new route to profitability? Is this something that a regional CEO or President could accomplish? Some industry names out there are Steenland, Mehnke, Bastian, or maybe it is a new challenge for Horton or Parker if AA/US ever tie up.

I'd say Fornaro has a better track record at FL than most of those, but agreed. They need new leadership.

Quoting wingnutmn (Reply 4):
Another idea is who may want the planes and or pilots?

A320s are dirt cheap, so nobody.

Quoting B6WNQX (Reply 7):
What if B6 were to try to acquire VX?

That's possible. It makes sense. i think B6 thinks they will die anyway.

Quoting B6WNQX (Reply 7):
Are the fleets using the same engines?

That'll be an afterthought if they announce a deal.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
The airline today reported $15.8mil operating profit in the third quarter and forecasts operating profit in Q4 also.   

Strip away the growth cost and some finance cost, the airline is now in the black operationally. A good achievement.

I'll say the same thing i said about F9's 3Q profit. Operating profit means almost nothing as it does not include interest on debt and a 3Q operating profit means even less since it is clearly the best quarter. Finally, all their reporting is fairly meaningless as a private company. Actions speak louder than words. Deferring future deliveries is a much more solid sign that things are going badly.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 12):
I think that part of their problem is CA tunnel vision.

Agreed. I think their brand also works in MIA and LAS, possibly ORD/NYC. Cush immediately instituted a LAX/SFO-only policy when he arrived. It's one of the reasons he should be leaving.
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18110
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:40 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
I think this is a good business decision.

I agree, but the idea of profit before growth is a shocking concept in the rarified air of a.net.

I don't study Virgin America particularly, although I wish it well. So - superficially - it seems to me that it has two choices. It either changes and become (yet another) ULCC. Or - it sticks to its guns, serves those routes that will pay for its quality service in sufficient numbers and at sufficient prices.

Maybe adopt that most un-American motto - smaller is better.  

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
as739x
Posts: 4993
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 7:23 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:00 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
If you look at Virgin America’s management offices, there is a strong contingent of UA people.

I don't know if you have been in their HQ, but there are not as many UA people as you think. It's actually a large amount of ex-NW, DL and a few other carriers. The only large number of UA employee's are in the pilot group.
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15218
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:22 pm

Quoting as739x (Reply 16):

I don't know if you have been in their HQ, but there are not as many UA people as you think. It's actually a large amount of ex-NW, DL and a few other carriers. The only large number of UA employee's are in the pilot group.

Lots of F9 people joined VX early on too, but then they left
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
yellowtail
Posts: 3708
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:46 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:35 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 14):
Agreed. I think their brand also works in MIA

Now there is an idea ..sorta turn it into a Virgin Caribbean using MIA as the hub...call it Virgin Americas.......maybe a little room in MSY too.
When in doubt, hold on to your altitude. No-one has ever collided with the sky.
 
airliner371
Posts: 2058
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:53 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 7:53 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
They should try to get Fornaro.

I always liked him. What is he doing now?
 
User avatar
lightsaber
Crew
Posts: 11740
Joined: Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:55 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:21 pm

I think this is the required decision. But the slow growth period is for too long of a time frame.

Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
I wonder what will happen to VX now. I don't think they can sit still.

Nor I. they must grow to establish economy of scale (e.g., advertising and route network).

Quoting anstar (Reply 5):

Or is there a legacy US carrier that might be interested in buying them and having them as their "leisure" fun brand but with no frills?

It would be cheaper to acquire the aircraft and pilots on the 2nd hand market.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
Their management has publicized that they made a mistake by having direct competition on every route they serve. JetBlue didn’t have that, because they took advantage of JFK’s lack of domestic network.

Nice summary one mistake VX made. The other was pursuing B6's rapid growth strategy without B6's large CASM advantage (when they were new). B6 was able to generate 'buzz' with their TCON fares and Florida fares as they created a new market. Early on, B6 was stimulating traffic growth. Since then, Spirit has also entered the market and that has made the number of monopoly routes drop.

As bussinessweek noted: "They had gotten to the party late."
http://www.businessweek.com/news/201...lights-labor-cost-on-slower-winter

Quoting B6WNQX (Reply 7):
Are the fleets using the same engines?

   B6 uses the V2500 and will use the PurePower PW1100G for the NEO. VX uses the CFM-56 and will use the LEAP-X for the NEO.

I join the crowd in thinking there is little to no value for B6 to pay for VX.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
Strip away the growth cost and some finance cost

Which leaves VX vulnerable to an increase in interest rates as they continue to acquire debt. I think a slowdown will help.

Quoting mariner (Reply 15):
Maybe adopt that most un-American motto - smaller is better.

Until B6 goes back into growth mode. VX is too small to maintain 'mindshare.' VX will also be competing with a much healthier AA in three years. While a few years of slow growth is wise, if they do not figure out how to profitably accelerate growth within 4 or 5 years, they will be in deep trouble.

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
User avatar
enilria
Topic Author
Posts: 6169
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 17):
Lots of F9 people joined VX early on too, but then they left

That was a much better management team than what they now have IMHO.

Quoting yellowtail (Reply 18):
Now there is an idea ..sorta turn it into a Virgin Caribbean using MIA as the hub...call it Virgin Americas.......maybe a little room in MSY too.

That was talked about before they started as being a better fit for their brand, but they never did anything with it. I think with NK retrenching in FLL it opens up more options, although the cost in MIA is high. It would work even better if they were in *A.

Quoting airliner371 (Reply 19):
Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
They should try to get Fornaro.

I always liked him. What is he doing now?

He is on retainer to WN with a no compete, although I think it's up before long AND they could buy him out of it I'm sure.
 
User avatar
enilria
Topic Author
Posts: 6169
Joined: Fri Feb 22, 2008 7:15 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:28 pm

My bet is that around Feb 2013 they announce they are shedding 4-8 existing aircraft. That's going to be the next shoe to drop.
 
vaus77w
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:05 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:31 pm

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
Fortunately Airbus will have no problem with the NEO slots, although Airbus does have a gap of late production run A320s that are not in high demand at this point so those slots aren’t going to be easy to transfer.

Do you think Airbus will re-market these NEO slots or just bump everyone up the queue?
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18110
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:44 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 20):
Until B6 goes back into growth mode. VX is too small to maintain 'mindshare.' VX will also be competing with a much healthier AA in three years. While a few years of slow growth is wise, if they do not figure out how to profitably accelerate growth within 4 or 5 years, they will be in deep trouble.

I have no idea what will happen in four or five years, but if Virgin America wants to continue with its present model, then I think smaller is better - eventually some growth, sure, but tempered. I think it is highly unlikely that Virgin America is ever going to take over the world - or even the USA - so, as a niche carrier, why not accept and embellish the niche?

So Qantas, for example, decided that profit - and shareholder value - is presently crucially more important than growth.

Airline geeks may fume that Qantas is postponing aircraft deliveries and making a stock buyback instead, but the shareholders are the owners.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
brilondon
Posts: 3014
Joined: Sun Aug 21, 2005 6:56 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:55 pm

Having never flown VX, I don't really have a personal opinion on the in flight product, but their business model forecasting 5% growth seems to conflict with not taking aircraft because they are not financially sound. How can a company forecast growth yet also talk of being in financial trouble. I don't see a future for a company that has a growth forecast being as rosy as they are making it seem and then also seem like they are in trouble. There is a huge conflict of ideals here that does not compute.
Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
 
laca773
Posts: 2032
Joined: Sat Nov 06, 2004 7:10 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:26 pm

I saw the Bloomberg article earlier and was alarmed at first. After reading it, I understood their position and think they are making some very smart moves and decisions to scale back markedly and proceed in a cautious fashion. If they were not taking this frame of mind, I think things would be come much worse and their survivability much more doubtful.
I think the VX/VA/VS need to join an alliance to become more competitive and expand at some point.
 
avek00
Posts: 3155
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:27 pm

Quoting enilria (Reply 14):
Agreed. I think their brand also works in MIA and LAS, possibly ORD/NYC. Cush immediately instituted a LAX/SFO-only policy when he arrived. It's one of the reasons he should be leaving.

They should have gone gangbusters in building MIA -- the airport has significant spare capacity for a focus city, many MIA markets are O&D heavy, AA was (and in some ways, still is) weak enough to be confronted there, and the VX Airbus fleet can hit everything from southwestern Canada to Northern South America without much trouble.
Live life to the fullest.
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:33 pm

Quoting avek00 (Reply 27):
They should have gone gangbusters in building MIA

I guess this is less relevant to MIA than other cities, especially if they had expanded to LatAm, but isn't FL quite a low yielding market? While there is doubtless plenty of O&D between, say, MIA and NYC there is no guarantee that it would be prepared to pay a premium for VX's product.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15218
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:34 pm

Quoting avek00 (Reply 27):

They should have gone gangbusters in building MIA -- the airport has significant spare capacity for a focus city, many MIA markets are O&D heavy, AA was (and in some ways, still is) weak enough to be confronted there, and the VX Airbus fleet can hit everything from southwestern Canada to Northern South America without much trouble.

Most of the VX leadership is ex AA--they probably know a thing or two about MIA. It could be telling that they didn't touch MIA at all.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 13399
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:09 am

Quoting MaverickM11 (Reply 29):
It could be telling that they didn't touch MIA at all.

Probably because MIA's cost per enplanement are atrocious.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
jpetekyxmd80
Posts: 3958
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2003 3:16 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 12:41 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 24):
I have no idea what will happen in four or five years, but if Virgin America wants to continue with its present model, then I think smaller is better - eventually some growth, sure, but tempered. I think it is highly unlikely that Virgin America is ever going to take over the world - or even the USA - so, as a niche carrier, why not accept and embellish the niche?


I completely agree. Their current model is not at all conducive to the rapid expansion the former number of aircraft would have required. It would simply mean they'd be started more lower yielding, less attractive, or thinner routes from SFO and LAX. That doesn't seem like a winning formula. Their plans may have been grander years ago, but obviously survival is now paramount.

It may have been a stark dose of reality from the current financials to arrive at this decision, but I don't think it's a bad one. They'd be far from the first airline to have bitten off more than they could chew, and that doesn't need to be a sign of impending doom.

One thing I would question is Hawaii. That's turning into a bloodbath with some really stiff competition from the Bay Area. But since Alaska has presumably been successful in their big push into Hawaii, I wonder if VX shouldn't have beaten AS to the punch.

[Edited 2012-11-16 16:44:05]
The Best Care in the Air, 1984-2009
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18110
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 1:49 am

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 31):
They'd be far from the first airline to have bitten off more than they could chew, and that doesn't need to be a sign of impending doom.

I thought the Q3 profit was pretty good - not good enough, perhaps, but getting there. People are throwing cold water on it as "just an operating profit" - that there was really a net loss - but under those terms Southwest only made $16 million in the same quarter. Absent special charges, Southwest's operating profit was $97 million. Which one of those numbers gives the more accurate picture of how Southwest, the airline, is doing?

In Australia and New Zealand "underlying profit" - which excludes all special charges and receipts - is standard reporting. It is considered a truer picture of how the company - the airline, say - is actually performing.

Statutory (net) profit is scarcely discussed, and Qantas, as one example, does not provide guidance on it.

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 31):
One thing I would question is Hawaii.

I think that was probably a good idea, but ETOPS can be a long laborious process for an airline (it took Allegiant a while) and probably not a priority in the early days.

mariner

[Edited 2012-11-16 18:07:31]
aeternum nauta
 
SuperDash
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Sep 07, 2003 1:52 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:54 am

I love the people on A-net...There needs to be a class on how to read a financial statement and how to ignore the "spin". Virgin had, yet again, another horrible quarter. Their total loss was $12M in the quarter UP from $3M last year. For just 9 months, they have posted a $120M loss, up from $69M last year for the same period. Their cash is down to $75M. Their model is not working.

With that said....Today's announcement is the smartest thing they have ever done. They need to turn fully allocated profits, not just operating profits. This will preserve cash for them as they don't need to make payments to Airbus. The airline has been making some wiser moves of late. Only time will tell if they can get yields up faster than their costs go up.
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18110
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:58 am

Quoting SuperDash (Reply 33):
I love the people on A-net...There needs to be a class on how to read a financial statement and how to ignore the "spin".

That would be a very good thing.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
allegiantflyer
Posts: 234
Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:59 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:00 am

Well im sure we should all know by now....Nothing good last forever
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 13399
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:12 am

Quoting mariner (Reply 32):

I thought the Q3 profit was pretty good - not good enough, perhaps, but getting there. People are throwing cold water on it as "just an operating profit" - that there was really a net loss - but under those terms Southwest only made $16 million in the same quarter. Absent special charges, Southwest's operating profit was $97 million. Which one of those numbers gives the more accurate picture of how Southwest, the airline, is doing?

Perspective is important here, however - one carrier has been consistently profitable for the majority of its existence, whereas the other has been bathed in red ink for the entirety of its existence.

Those throwing cold water on it are doing so for good reason.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18110
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:25 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 36):
Perspective is important here, however - one carrier has been consistently profitable for the majority of its existence, whereas the other has been bathed in red ink for the entirety of its existence.

Sure, if you want. The fact remains that the "net" was $16 million.

If Qantas added the (about) $400 million dollars it is receiving from Boeing to it's revenue column, or as a "special receipt", it would grossly inflate the profit and give a quite false perspective of how the airline is doing.

Similarly, if Virgin America is making progress to a possible turnaround - and I'm not claiming it is, I'm simply using Q3 numbers - then that should be considered.

"Perspective" applies across the board and any agenda can be misleading.

mariner

[Edited 2012-11-16 20:48:11]
aeternum nauta
 
deltal1011man
Posts: 4549
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 9:17 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:30 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
Strip away the growth cost and some finance cost, the airline is now in the black operationally.

.....so take away most of the reason the airline is bleeding money, and boom they turn a profit.



Surely hope you use the same idea when you talk about UA/AA/DL/US/AS/F9/NK/WN/HA etc.

Quoting hiloboy1 (Reply 10):
Could HA be up to something? They just signed a code share agreement the other day, HAL what do you think.

I hope your kidding...
New airliners.net web site sucks.
 
MaverickM11
Posts: 15218
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 1:59 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:38 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 30):

They went to DFW pretty quickly; perhaps they know MIA doesn't offer the opportunity that a.net thinks it does.
E pur si muove -Galileo
 
LAXintl
Posts: 20183
Joined: Wed May 24, 2000 12:12 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:25 am

Quoting vaus77w (Reply 23):
Do you think Airbus will re-market these NEO slots or just bump everyone up the queue?

Yes deliveries will be reshuffled.

VX might actually get some money out of this if they already made some pre-delivery payments and can turn around and get the positions reassigned for a profit.

Quoting mariner (Reply 32):
I thought the Q3 profit was pretty good - not good enough, perhaps, but getting there. People are throwing cold water on it as "just an operating profit" - that there was really a net loss - but under those terms Southwest only made $16 million in the same quarter. Absent special charges, Southwest's operating profit was $97 million. Which one of those numbers gives the more accurate picture of how Southwest, the airline, is doing?

  

Frankly I think this quarter and that they also forecast a operating profit for Q4 could be turning point.

Now they need to work to beat down the expansion and finance cost - which is exactly what they are doing with these fleet moves.

Quoting SuperDash (Reply 33):
Their cash is down to $75M.

Its actually UP. $75mil cash is a very large number for VX. Historically they have been in the $25mil range.

But being privately held, you never know how much added cash is sitting behind the curtain and off the airline books.

Quoting Deltal1011man (Reply 38):
.....so take away most of the reason the airline is bleeding money, and boom they turn a profit.

What this mean is the airline routes are profitable. The revenues exceed cost, so the continued concept that they are losing money on all their markets is frankly wrong.
Quite clearly on a macro scale their network and markets do work with revenues exceeding their cost by a nice margin (4.3%)
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
User avatar
Schweigend
Posts: 463
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2010 8:47 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:20 am

I wish VX were more like Australia's Virgin Blue, who started up only a few years before VX did. DJ has done in the Oz market what VX should be doing in the U.S. -- that is, competing well against incumbents like UA, the way DJ has done with QF.

And, I think ALL the Virgin brands should be linked together, if that is possible, for their mutual success.

Quoting Roseflyer (Reply 6):
VX has no where for these planes to go.

I agree. Well, they could set up a new hub or focus city somewhere, but WHERE?

St. Louis?

Quoting enilria (Reply 3):
"What a wonderful product that appeals to a small % of the traveling public".

Enjoy its lovliness while it lasts coz VX is likely to become just another memory....

Quoting B6WNQX (Reply 7):
What if B6 were to try to acquire VX?

It could happen, and their respective strengths on the East and West coasts might add up to something nice, despite the different engines on their A320s.

But they'd be focused on O&D, not connecting traffic.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 11):
Strip away the growth cost and some finance cost, the airline is now in the black operationally. A good achievement.

That is the basic metric. At least they're in the black, so hopefully they'll have some time to work out their future.

Quoting enilria (Reply 14):
i think B6 thinks they will die anyway.

Probably so, but I feel in my gut that the two should join forces. B6 could pick up the VX pieces in a liquidation.

Quoting mariner (Reply 15):
I don't study Virgin America particularly, although I wish it well. So - superficially - it seems to me that it has two choices. It either changes and become (yet another) ULCC. Or - it sticks to its guns, serves those routes that will pay for its quality service in sufficient numbers and at sufficient prices.

YESSIR!

(Maybe they need better marketing?)
 
AirbusA322
Posts: 100
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 6:38 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:41 am

Virgin Australia is chasing 16 A320's for its stake in Tiger Airways Australia. Delivery was stated by 2019.

Might be where they go?
 
PlanesNTrains
Posts: 5365
Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:19 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:46 am

To me, MIA seemed like a no-brainer, along with DFW and perhaps BOS. Oh well...

-Dave
-Dave
 
Flighty
Posts: 7651
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 3:07 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:47 am

Just generally, the theory of a startup is you do lose money until you reach critical mass. Apparently VX is saying they are at their idea mass now, but they hope yields are improving.

VX relies on LCC or ULCC yields to fund a very pretty product. Obviously customers like it. Today's yield environment could actually support VX if more industry consolidation occurs. Will Republic exit the market? US Airways? If yes, then Virgin could have breathing room.

Really its principal problem remains Jetblue. The two ought to just merge. In a fantasy world, VX should acquire and assimilate Jetblue.  
 
User avatar
EA CO AS
Posts: 13399
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2001 8:54 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 10:51 am

Quoting Flighty (Reply 44):
VX relies on LCC or ULCC yields to fund a very pretty product. Obviously customers like it.

That's great, except it's clear that customers aren't willing to pay a premium for it. That's their fundamental problem.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
RyanairGuru
Posts: 6554
Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:59 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:02 pm

Quoting Schweigend (Reply 41):

DJ was launched at the same time as B6, so they have a good start on VX.

The big thing that allowed DJ to grow was the collapse of AN. Given that Australia had, in effect, two airlines (QF and AN) then the path was suddenly wide open for DJ to expand VERY quickly.
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
diverdave
Posts: 446
Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:00 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:34 pm

Quoting mariner (Reply 32):
I thought the Q3 profit was pretty good - not good enough, perhaps, but getting there. People are throwing cold water on it as "just an operating profit" - that there was really a net loss - but under those terms Southwest only made $16 million in the same quarter. Absent special charges, Southwest's operating profit was $97 million. Which one of those numbers gives the more accurate picture of how Southwest, the airline, is doing?

Interestingly, both SouthWest and Virgin America had interest expenses of $28 million in the 3rd quarter.

SouthWest's special charges include the cost of modifying the 717s for Delta, and acquisition costs of AirTran. Those are truly special costs. But you have to pay interest unless you go bankrupt.

And VX's interest costs are up 45.7% over 3rd quarter last year, and are up 66.1% YTD over 2011 YTD. That's over 7.5% of revenue.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...2-financial-results-179638501.html

Quoting SuperDash (Reply 33):
I love the people on A-net...There needs to be a class on how to read a financial statement and how to ignore the "spin". Virgin had, yet again, another horrible quarter. Their total loss was $12M in the quarter UP from $3M last year. For just 9 months, they have posted a $120M loss, up from $69M last year for the same period.

Back in the day, many students had to take basic economics and accounting as part of a diversified education. I still remember the basics from those classes.

David
 
User avatar
mariner
Posts: 18110
Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2001 7:29 am

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sat Nov 17, 2012 7:51 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 45):
That's great, except it's clear that customers aren't willing to pay a premium for it. That's their fundamental problem.

But apparently, they are, at least in their mature markets. From the report:

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/11/16/499...america-reports-third-quarter.html

"The airline's core markets (those operated more than 24 months) achieved an operating margin of eight percent in the third quarter and were profitable year-to-date."

The newer markets, not so much:

" This strong performance in mature markets was offset by weaker performance in newer destinations added during the airline's rapid two-year growth phase. "

Any new market is a risk and time was when we gave those new market two years to turn a buck. These days, at least on a.net, folk seem to want it to happen overnight.

Quoting diverdave (Reply 47):
SouthWest's special charges include the cost of modifying the 717s for Delta, and acquisition costs of AirTran. Those are truly special costs. But you have to pay interest unless you go bankrupt.

Sure you do. But the only point is that the airline operation - flying folk to and from - was profitable. And that is a start.

mariner

[Edited 2012-11-17 11:54:39]
aeternum nauta
 
yeelep
Posts: 724
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:53 pm

RE: VX Slashes Order Book, 5% Growth For Several Years

Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:47 am

Quoting jpetekyxmd80 (Reply 31):
One thing I would question is Hawaii. That's turning into a bloodbath with some really stiff competition from the Bay Area. But since Alaska has presumably been successful in their big push into Hawaii, I wonder if VX shouldn't have beaten AS to the punch.

VX would have needed to start service to Hawaii within two months of their inaugural flight. The requirements to become ETOPS certified would have made that impossible. There is also the question-in my mind at least-whether the A320 can fly to the islands profitably.