AA94
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VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:14 am

A UK regulatory board awarded VS all LHR landing slots that were vacated by the merger of BMI and BA.

Multiple news sources:

http://www.ausbt.com.au/virgin-atlan...-scotland-flights-start-march-2013

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...n-atlantic-heathrow-slots/1712857/

Looks like things are about to get mighty interesting.

[Edited 2012-11-18 17:14:29]
If you can't take the heat, you best get out of the kitchen
 
PHX787
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:18 am

Quoting AA94 (Thread starter):
Looks like things are about to get mighty interesting.

What about the current BA short haul slots, if any? This does sound a bit surprising. For VS, what is considered "short-haul" though?
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AA94
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:28 am

Quoting PHX787 (Reply 1):
What about the current BA short haul slots, if any? This does sound a bit surprising. For VS, what is considered "short-haul" though?

VS is planning to launch intra-UK flights in 2013, and these slots were a major step in finalizing that plan.

Previously, VS announced the start of LHR-MAN service to begin 31MAR13. According to news outlets, they are also planning to launch service to Aberdeen and Edinburgh. A timetable is expected to come forward in the next few days.

All short-haul ops will be flown by leased A319 aircraft.
If you can't take the heat, you best get out of the kitchen
 
NWADTWE16
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:35 am

Great news for VS and for their long-haul connections =)
 
RyanairGuru
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:37 am

I know that they missed out on the Russia slots, but did they end up applying for Egypt or Saudi Arabia in the end?

(did any airline apply for those authorities?)
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spiritair97
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:02 am

Quoting AA94 (Reply 2):

I assume these a319s will be in VS colors?
 
vincewy
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:53 am

Are there conditions attached to this deal for VS? Such as maintaining those slots for domestic routes rather than switching to other international routes.
 
toltommy
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:54 am

Who will actually operate the short haul flights? VS flying their own metal, or will they contract out the flying?
 
AA94
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 3:05 am

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 5):
I assume these a319s will be in VS colors?

That is the impression I get. I'm not completely sure on that, though.

Quoting vincewy (Reply 6):
Are there conditions attached to this deal for VS? Such as maintaining those slots for domestic routes rather than switching to other international routes.

I don't know for sure. I don't believe there are strings attached, but again, I am not sure.

Quoting toltommy (Reply 7):
Who will actually operate the short haul flights? VS flying their own metal, or will they contract out the flying?

Virgin Atlantic operates the flights. VS flying leased A319s. Lessor undetermined as of yet.

To all: We will be hearing more details tomorrow I am told. VS has only really sketched out their plans as of yet, but now that they have slots available to them I believe we will be hearing more on this topic come tomorrow. Unfortunately, specific information has been generally spotty.
If you can't take the heat, you best get out of the kitchen
 
mel
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:37 am

wonder where they will gate these A319 flights @ LHR?
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Andy33
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:05 am

A good question. It will probably have to be T1 for now as T3 and T4 are not equipped to handle Domestic flights (no way of segregating arrivals so they bypass Immigration and Customs). In 2013-14 the first phase of new T2 will open and T1 will close. At this point your guess is as good as mine as there might have been time to modify an existing terminal.
It's not a huge problem to connect between T1 and T3 - walkable landside and transfer buses airside.
 
anstar
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:41 am

Quoting AA94 (Reply 2):

All short-haul ops will be flown by leased A319 aircraft.

I believe it will end up being a A319/A320 mix.

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 4):
I know that they missed out on the Russia slots, but did they end up applying for Egypt or Saudi Arabia in the end?

They applied for all the available slots - so that included Riyadh, Nice and Cairo.

Quoting mel (Reply 9):
wonder where they will gate these A319 flights @ LHR?

Presumably T1 as that is where bmi operated from and these slots relate to that.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:28 am

Is there a link to any official announcement on this ?

VS don't mention it on their website, nor does the CAA
 
anstar
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:29 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 12):
Is there a link to any official announcement on this ?

VS don't mention it on their website, nor does the CAA

There is a quote from wridgeway here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-20384801

And its being reported in most online press now.
 
Eagleboy
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:32 am

Quoting toltommy (Reply 7):
Who will actually operate the short haul flights?

No news on that so far....assume 2-3 A319 to start with?

Quoting vincewy (Reply 6):
Are there conditions attached to this deal for VS?

I believe they have to serve the designated airports for 2-3 years. I have a memory of reading this when the issue first came up, but can't find the reference since.
 
LHRFlyer
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:34 am

Quoting vincewy (Reply 6):
Are there conditions attached to this deal for VS? Such as maintaining those slots for domestic routes rather than switching to other international routes.

Yes. They can eventually use the slots for other short-haul European services but they can't just convert them to long-haul.
 
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EK413
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:38 am

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 5):

Quoting AA94 (Reply 2):

I assume these a319s will be in VS colors?

I believe these birds will come from their American off shoot VX considering they have cancelled 20 of the 30 frames on order...?

EK413
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CometOrbit
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:46 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 12):
Is there a link to any official announcement on this ?
VS don't mention it on their website, nor does the CAA

From the Virgin Group web site:
http://www.virgin.com/travel/news/vi...ic-wins-uk-short-haul-flying-slots
 
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Dano1977
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:00 am

::::Looking into the very near future:::::::

Virgin launch domestic flights with a lot of razzmatazz - along with Sir Richard pictured with scantily clad actress/model/celebrity

Initial press conference Virgin Good - BA the spawn of the devil evil evil evil evil - brings competitiveness to UK domestic market blah blah blah, BA evil devil evil etc

Price War


Sir Richard, then in some highbrow paper, complaining that BA is abusing its position and forcing uneconomical prices on domestic market - But despite losing £££ we will stay in the fight and be the true consumer champion - BA Evil

Virgin Quietly drops domestic services
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GCT64
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:05 am

Quoting Andy33 (Reply 10):
In 2013-14 the first phase of new T2 will open and T1 will close. At this point your guess is as good as mine as there might have been time to modify an existing terminal.

Given that we have also seen VS express a strong interest in moving to the new T2 and multiple mentions of VS joining Star (whose LHR base will be in T2), it appears that this will pan out as: VS joins Star, VS moves to the new T2, domestic gates are provided at the new T2 for simple connections on Star airlines to/from MAN, ABZ, EDI.
Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A388,BA11,BU31,B190, B461,(..53 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
UAL777UK
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:07 am

Quoting spiritair97 (Reply 5):
I assume these a319s will be in VS colors?

For the reasons stated by Dano1977 there is no way SRB will not make a splash with this, assuming it really does come to fruition and so we are sure to see the aircraft in full VS livery and i think they will look grand.

Interesting times
 
747438
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:12 am

Quoting mel (Reply 9):
wonder where they will gate these A319 flights @ LHR?
Quoting Andy33 (Reply 10):
It will probably have to be T1 for now
Quoting anstar (Reply 11):
Presumably T1 as that is where bmi operated from and these slots relate to that.

They will operate out of T3.

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 18):
Virgin Quietly drops domestic services

I hope so
 
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ZSOFN
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:25 am

They've already mocked up their livery on an A320:

facebook.com/virginatlantic

"G-VMAN"

[Edited 2012-11-19 02:25:27]
 
anstar
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:38 am

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 18):
Virgin Quietly drops domestic services

Hardly - They are not just getting domestic pax - the main point is to get pax onto their long haul flights ex LHR.

Quoting 747438 (Reply 21):
They will operate out of T3.

How? There is no domestic ability at T3.... MAN is already announced as being out of T1.
 
AA94
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:47 am

LHR-MAN flights operate out of T1, and arrive into MAN T3.

http://virginatlantic.custhelp.com/a...MTM1MzMyMTk1NS9zaWQvVlBTVmVGYmw%3D
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Dano1977
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:02 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 23):

It was a tongue in cheek reply.

But you didn't disagree with the rest of it, so I will assume it will follow the same Virgin/Sir Richard script for launching a new service.
Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
 
747438
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:07 am

Quoting anstar (Reply 23):
Quoting 747438 (Reply 21):
They will operate out of T3.

How? There is no domestic ability at T3...

Read my profile  

I think I know what I'm on about
 
visualapproach
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:17 am

You can just about see the mood lighting and live Sky TV through one of those windows.
 
shankly
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:46 am

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 18):
::::Looking into the very near future


Perfectly described Dano

Already Steve Ridgeway has stated "We have fought hard for the right to fly short-haul and take a strong challenge to British Airways within these shores"

Yawn, yawn big, bad old BA.

And also...within these shores? Surely as a man clued up on aviation he means within the UK FIR?

Quoting NWADTWE16 (Reply 3):
Great news for VS and for their long-haul connections =)


Waiting in anticipation for the SNP view on this....great, a few jobs and some shiny VS metal in our skies....whoops, does that mean more of our flying folk being syphoned off on their global journeys via the Sassinak evil empire?
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MACDADDY
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:00 pm

Looks like the aircraft will be coming from Avion Express (LY registered carrier). They have A320 and A319 and operate on wet lease basis, so it all makes sense, but according to the advert they are looking to hire UK based crews. Good luck with them!

Source : Flight International advert for crew 20-28 NOV edition

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Virginblue4
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:41 pm

Looking forward to seeing A319/A320's in VS colours!

Quoting 747438 (Reply 21):

Why do you hope they stop services? Competition is a good thing....
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Skidmarque
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:26 pm

When Virgin eventually pull off of these domestic services, what happens to the slots ? Would VS keep them or would they returned to BA / allocated to someone else ?
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Dano1977
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:38 pm

Quoting shankly (Reply 28):

To be fair, it's the standard virgin play book.

Anybody going to open a book on which actress/model/celeb is going to be scantily dressed for the photo oppertunity?
Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
 
sevenheavy
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:46 pm

Quoting 747438 (Reply 21):
They will operate out of T3
Quoting 747438 (Reply 26):
I think I know what I'm on about

I guess time will tell....... 
Quoting 747438 (Reply 21):
Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 18):
Virgin Quietly drops domestic services

I hope so

Why on earth would you hope for something like that? Even if you arent a fan of VS, choice is a good thing. It always amazes me how the airline industry is about the only one where people (i.e. A.netters) wish for less competition. If you buy a BMW do you hope Audi, Mercedes and Jaguar stop offering competing models? What about TV's? Do you buy A 46' Samsung in the hope that Sony, LG, and the rest stop operating?

There will be more information on the short haul operation in the next few days......
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
flywrite
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:47 pm

I wonder if they're considering introducing any domestic flights into Gatwick? Given that BA is cancelling all LGW-MAN flights soon, it'd be a nice steal for Virgin, and the chance to connect passengers from the north into their LGW long haul flights.
 
skipness1E
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:58 pm

Quoting flywrite (Reply 34):
I wonder if they're considering introducing any domestic flights into Gatwick? Given that BA is cancelling all LGW-MAN flights soon, it'd be a nice steal for Virgin, and the chance to connect passengers from the north into their LGW long haul flights.

Doubt it, only the first wave would feed long haul, unlike LHR where they have mulitple flights out per day spread across til evening.
 
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Dano1977
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:20 pm

Quoting flywrite (Reply 34):

Don't think LGW domestics Ops is a go for Virgin. Especially on price sensitive bucket and spade flights.

Anyway, they got LHR slots.
Children should only be allowed on aircraft if 1. Muzzled and heavily sedated 2. Go as freight
 
vv701
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:29 pm

Quoting vincewy (Reply 6):
Are there conditions attached to this deal for VS? Such as maintaining those slots for domestic routes rather than switching to other international routes.

The actual wording is that the slots applied for must be used on the designated routes for "six (6) consecutive IATA Seasons". So that means from the start of Siummer Season 2013 until the start of Summer Season 2016. From then on the successful applicant has the standard "grasndfather" rights to the slots. So however successful or unsuccessful the new services prove to be the incentive to operate the new services until the start of Summer 2016 is huge.

Source: Clause 1.3.1 here:

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/merg...6447_20120330_20212_2323262_EN.pdf
 
GCT64
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:19 pm

It will be interesting to see what pricing, and what impact on pricing, VS has on LHR-EDI. Today (19 Nov), I believe that BA has operated 12 flights LHR-EDI including a couple of 767s. VS will add 3/4 flights per day (do we know how many? or do we need to wait a little while longer?) and will add, approx., 25% capacity to the route.

No doubt a fair amount of VS pax will be the connecting pax that used to go on BMI (from VS and Star) and are currently being routed on BA. All the indications we were given by BMI were that these pax were unprofitable (a loss of £38 per pax IIRC), so VS will probably need to charge their partners more per passenger (and I am sure BA is doing that already).

This will leave little additional capacity for O&D and VS will be at a disadvantage versus BA when it comes to frequency (for the full flexible fare pax), so I doubt the lawyers, bankers and politicians on London-Edinburgh (and v.v) day trips will be tempted to move across from BA.

Traditionally, as far as I, a customer, can tell, VS seems to offer the same prices as BA (so I am never quite sure how they claim: "Passengers can ... most importantly reap the benefits from the re-injection of vital competition we can provide on these routes", as I never see evidence of that on TATL pricing). I am currently interested and hope not to be disappointed.

Finally, it will be a challenge for VS to maintain a reliable, on time service with a very small fleet of aircraft. I hope for the pax sake (especially those on connections) that this doesn't become an issue.
Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A388,BA11,BU31,B190, B461,(..53 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
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downtown273
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:34 pm

If VS join Star Alliance then it would be good news for pax in Scandinavia, SK mainly fly to LHR and very little more, so it would give access to more markets.
 
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Richard28
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:46 pm

Quoting 747438 (Reply 26):
ead my profile  

I think I know what I'm on about

interesting... thought it was odd that MAN was announced from T1 when that was launched... good for Star connections but not for VS.... T3 would also mean pax can use the clubhouse.... a massive benefit....

Quoting VV701 (Reply 37):
So however successful or unsuccessful the new services prove to be the incentive to operate the new services until the start of Summer 2016 is huge.

... which makes me suspicious - perhaps this is why a wet lease is being operated here, to hold the slots through to Summer 2016... then switch them to new long haul ops....or could there be other reasons?

If the slots were operated at a loss for six seasons it could still be a cheaper way for VS to acquire them than paying cash up front?!
 
fcogafa
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:47 pm

If the route is indeed operated by a Lithuanian carrier Virgin will have to be careful that their reputation is not dragged down by any associated problems, such as Monarch recently had with a similar operation.
 
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lightsaber
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:55 pm

How many slot pairs were awarded? I recall a small number, but I'd like a verification.

Quoting LHRFlyer (Reply 15):
They can eventually use the slots for other short-haul European services but they can't just convert them to long-haul.
Quoting EK413 (Reply 16):
I believe these birds will come from their American off shoot VX considering they have cancelled 20 of the 30 frames on order...?

My thought before I read about the wet lease. Besides, VS will need the aircraft *quick*!

Quoting Dano1977 (Reply 32):
Anybody going to open a book on which actress/model/celeb is going to be scantily dressed for the photo oppertunity?

Could Branson still lift her?   

Quoting GCT64 (Reply 38):
so VS will probably need to charge their partners more per passenger (and I am sure BA is doing that already).

VS will also have lower costs. They might be able to get by on fairly low fairs. However, starting with new code shares will certainly help the revenue side.

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 40):
If the slots were operated at a loss for six seasons it could still be a cheaper way for VS to acquire them than paying cash up front?!

If allowed, a low cost strategy to gain LHR slots. Wet lease until the 18 months (or whatever it is exactly) and then say 'we gave it our shot, hello city XXX.'

Lightsaber
"They did not know it was impossible, so they did it!" - Mark Twain
 
by738
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:57 pm

Leased Lithuanian carrier....? aaaargh !
 
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ZSOFN
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:01 pm

My own attempt at a mockup:

 
skipness1E
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:17 pm

I would imagine cabin crew and branding will be VS with aircraft and flight deck from Lithuania. Given they will have ABZ/EDI/MAN, I imagine they will source some A319s of their own. ABZ will be one to watch, bmi had nothing bigger than the ERJ-145 on that one in recent years so an A319 seems like overkill. If they're serious about the whole business of feeding long haul (and STAR),I would imagine GLA has to be next.
 
Clydenairways
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:19 pm

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 41):
If the route is indeed operated by a Lithuanian carrier Virgin will have to be careful that their reputation is not dragged down by any associated problems, such as Monarch recently had with a similar operation

Maybe they will employ local crews and engineers for this operation.
 
sevenheavy
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:22 pm

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 40):

The flights will be from T1, not T3.

The wet lease is purely because VS really couldn't order aircraft until they knew they would get the routes, and by then it would be too late
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
LHRFlyer
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:39 pm

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 40):
... which makes me suspicious - perhaps this is why a wet lease is being operated here, to hold the slots through to Summer 2016... then switch them to new long haul ops....or could there be other reasons?If the slots were operated at a loss for six seasons it could still be a cheaper way for VS to acquire them than paying cash up front?!

Once again, Virgin is prohibited from just converting the slots to long-haul after three years.

They can only use them for another European short-haul service or the long-haul routes specified in IAG's competition commitments.

There's no way IAG's lawyers would have allowed Virgin to acquire 12 slot pairs for long haul routes through the back door.
 
by738
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RE: VS Wins All LHR Slots For Short-Haul Ops

Mon Nov 19, 2012 8:40 pm

Can't see GLA. I expect the short haul operation to be a token gesture by 2016.

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