englandair
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VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Sun Jul 08, 2001 7:44 pm

I read on Pprune (on a topic about GB ordering more a/c) that VS has shown interest in buying the BA franchise GB Airways.
All I read was that BA made a large bid for GB to counteract a bid made by VS. It also says the same happened with City Flyer.

Is it true that VS are interested in buying a shorthaul airline and merging it into Virgin Atlantic?
 
englandair
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Sun Jul 08, 2001 9:04 pm

 
go canada!
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Sun Jul 08, 2001 9:07 pm

BA would only sell anything to branson if they thought they could rip him off.

any airline in the world stands a better chance than virgin of buying anything from BA.

at the moment branson doesnt own VS. 49% is of course owned by SIA and the rest happens to be owned by llyods tsb as branson has morgaged his ailine to pursure other business ventures so for the time being nothing is going to be moving until branson gets his stake back.
It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
 
englandair
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Sun Jul 08, 2001 9:32 pm

BA doesn't own GB, they're an independant franchise operater of BA, and what's Sir RB not owning VS got to do with anything?!
 
Guest

RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Sun Jul 08, 2001 10:55 pm

I would think GB doesn't have a wide enough network to benefit Virgin. Additionally, isn't GB based mostly at LGW, whereas Virgin has a larger presence at Heathrow.

Go Canada! has no real grasp of the situation, only tidbits. It's quite funny actually.

rgds
russ
 
Guest

RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Sun Jul 08, 2001 11:02 pm

Considering that Virgin Sun and Express have both failed, I can only see one reason for VS wanting GBAir, and that is LGW Slots!
 
englandair
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 12:14 am

Does anyone know what 'The Beehive' is? (regarding GB).

GB Airways currently fly from LGW & LHR. Destinations are:
-Alicante, Spain
-Casablanca, Morroco
-Faro, Portugal
-Funchal, Portugal
-Gibralta (British dependancy between Spain & Morroco)
-Lisbon, Portugal
-Madeira, Portugal
-Valletta, Malta
-Marrakesh, Morroco
-Nates, France
-Palma de Mallorca, Spain
-Porto, Portugal
-Seville, Spain
-Tenerife, Spain
-Tangiers, Morroco
-Tunis, Tunisia
-Valencia, Spain.

The GB Airways fleet:
-3 Boeing 734 (to be disposed of)
-4 Boeing 733 (to be replaced by A319s in the future)
-2 Airbus A321 (1 on order)
-1 Airbus A320 (10 on order)
 
VgnAtl747
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 1:38 am

Ambasaid- I don't really see how you can say that V.Sun and V.Express have failed. They haven't. Failing means that it is costing more to opperate than the incoming revenue. Buth these airlines are profitable. Just amybe not as much as V.Atlantic. Virgin might wabt GB to increase its presence in other countries judging by the GB route schedual.
Work Hard. Fly Right. Continental Airlines
 
David_itl
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 2:13 am

That list of routes looks to be made up of mainly leisure destinations. How many passengers would transfer on to Virgin's routes? Not many, I suspect!
 
Guest

RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 3:00 am

VrgnAtl747,

Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Virgin Express Ireland was shut down early this year and Virgin Sun is due to close at the end of the summer season! (No reservations accepted for after the end of Oct)

Virgin Express stock is presently trading at 1.027 (High 3.750) with 1st Qtr loses running at EUR 3.79 million versus losses of EUR 13.78 million in previous year. They do however expect to breakeven this year, which considering the expansion of Go / Easy and Ryanair in the last couple of years, I think that I'm justified in saying that Virgins short hauls projects have failed!

 
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Crosswind
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 5:51 am

Ambasaid,
Virgin Sun (the tour operator) was sold because Virgin found it difficult to secure enough hotel beds to make the operation viable in a market dominated by just a few pan-European tour operators. Plus, it appears Virgin decided a Mediterranean tour operation didn't fit in with Virgin's "premium" image.

Virgin Sun the airline was very successful in delivering their part of the operation.

Virgin sold the company to First Choice, but not the Virgin Sun brand. Any holidays booked after October 2001 will be operated by First Choice, the aircraft will be returned to their lessors, the pilots will go back to work for Virgin Atlantic, other staff will be offered jobs by Air 2000, Virgin and First Choice and Air 2000 get Virgin Sun's slots at Manchester and Gatwick. The latter appears to be the main reason for the purchase of Virgin Sun.

A bit long winded, but just wanted to make it clear that the shut down of Virgin Sun was in any way due to a failiure, or problems with the airline. It was Virgin making the decision to get out of the market, and First Choice unsurprisingly closing the operation since the deal did not allow them rights to use the Virgin Sun brand.

While it's true that Virgin Express has so far been a complete disaster, this press release from last week may indicate the company has finally turned the corner;
-----
Brussels-based Virgin Express made a €511,000 profit in April, turning round a €2.2m loss in the same month last year. Virgin Express admits that ‘it is not and will not become standard practice’ to issue monthly figures.

The improved performance over April 2000 validates a major restructuring which started this time last year. The fleet was halved, routes were dropped while the Shannon-based Irish operation and Brussels-based charter business were pulled. As a result, capacity and passenger carryings have dropped but load factor has increased. April 2001 ASKs were 30.1% down at 606.6m with RPKs down 14.1% to543.5m. However, load factor leapt 16.7% to 89.6%, with the number of passengers carried down 16% to 636,673. Turnover for April 2001 came in at €18.7m.

-----

For what it's worth, I don't believe Virgin have any real interest in GB Airways, with little to gain by attempting to take them over.

On the other hand, GB Airways provide British Airways with a network presence in many markets they could not profitably serve, and are a valuable source of connecting traffic, particularly for Latin American routes. British Airways would fight very hard to keep GB Airways as a franchise carrier, should Virgin make a bid for them (which I doubt they will)

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
Guest

RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 12:06 pm

Thanks for explaining that Crosswinds.
 
aussie_
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 2:35 pm

Having flown Virgin Express in the past, I had the impression that it fills the gap between a full service and low-cost carrier.

It operates out of BRU (major hub airport) rather than a secondary port, seats are allocated, boarding passes issued, free drinks served and on some flights even snacks.

A codeshare agreement even exists with Sabena (despite this being an absolute disaster for the latter) on many key business routes out of Brussels.

Virgin Express has had its share of problems and has admirably redressed the situation. However my gut feeling is that the codeshare with Sabena will not last long and the pressure will once again be put on, especially now that Ryanair is amongst the competition.
 
englandair
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 6:18 pm

As Crosswinds explained so well, Virgin Sun the airline wasn't a flop as they mainly carried passengers on package holidays with Virgin Sun the tour operator. So if the tour operator was doing badly (ie selling few holidays) , then the airline would have done badly. (bloody good for a charter airline though. I flew them 4 times LGW-PMI-LGW, LGW-Faro-LGW)

I don't think Virgin Express has anything to do with this either. They're a low cost airline, based in Belgium- they might carry the Virgin trade mark, but that's where the simmilarity between them and any shorthaul VS flight would end!

There's no way those 2 airlines can be discribed as 'Virgins shorthaul airlines', because they're totally different to Atlantic!

If VS did buy GB, I doubt they'd keep those routes. I think the slots and a/c would be used on less 'leisurely' routes.

British Airways would fight very hard to keep GB Airways as a franchise carrier, should Virgin make a bid for them (which I doubt they will)
Surely they wouldn't remain a franchise of anyone as if they were bought then they'd be the property of VS, whereas now they're an independant airline.

ps. I've now found out that 'The Beehive' is the HQ of GB Airways. If you've clicked on the link above, then you'd know that APPARENTLY Virgin management have been paying it a visit....



 
Guest

RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 7:34 pm

The Beehive is the original Gatwick Airport terminal building - a rather interesting round building shaped rather like, er, a beehive! It's next to the Aviation House (the CAA's building) on the south side of the airport; you can see it clearly by train on the South Coast line from LGW.

VS has very severe cashflow problems at the moment, and frankly I don't see them buying anything unless it is to improve their own balance sheet. GB Airways belongs to the Blandford Group, one of the biggest Gibraltar trading companies, and they certainly don't need the money!

As has already been stated, GB Airways' slots are all at LGW, so I can't see those as being the primary target. They've got a number of A321s on order (and have taken delivery of the first couple, if memory serves me correctly) and their franchise agreement with BA has some time to run.

All in all, this wouldn't be - in my opinion - a logical fit.
 
Guest

RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 8:01 pm

And of course the opinion of a liar and wannabe like you means a lot!
 
viscount
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 8:12 pm

I thought I 'd like to set the record straight on this subject.

GB Airways is a BA franchise carrier serving routes in the Med and North Africa which BA could not at one time operate profitably on.

GB Airways is owned by the Gibraltar (not Gibralta) based Bland (not Blandford) Group who are part of a large leisure and hotel group.

GB Airways is in a healthy financial situation which was boosted by their association with BA and I believe neither party would be willing to give up their partnership. However the Bland Group might be tempted to sell if Sir Richard made a good offer. However I do beleive that if they do sell it would be to BA first.

Time will tell.....after all this is only a rumour.
 
go canada!
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 8:28 pm

as already stated VS cant do anything at the moment in relation to purchasing new airlines as richard barnson morgaged his stake to his BANK llyods tsb, unitl he buys it back, VS isnt owned by Branson.

for further info...scroll back to richard branson morgages virgin thread, its a few weeks old but for the branson can do no wrong camp it makes interesting reading.

its also interesting that branson has never said he wanted to purchase a regional carrier, he is interested in long-haul routes,.If branson wanted to take BA on he would use virgin express and purchase new aircraft.

Virgin alt doesnt do short haul except for athens, if branson wanted to change it he would have done so by now dont you think?plenty of airlines have been up for sale, AirUK, British Regional, Go to name but a few and gill were in adminstration. did u see branson being interested? I dont think so.

It is amazing what can be accomplised when nobody takes the credit
 
Guest

RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 8:49 pm

Viscount - yep, it's Bland Group ... sorry!
 
englandair
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RE: VS Interested In Buying GB Airways?

Mon Jul 09, 2001 10:28 pm

If GB are doing as well as you say, is it likely that when the BA franchise comes to an end, GB won't renew it?