Can anyone give an update on the VA ATR fleet?
Is it being reduced?
If so what routes will be cut?
Rumoured (on another forum) they are reducing the ATR fleet to 6 airframes. Presumed QLD routes will be cut and keep the remainder for NSW/VIC ops. Seems silly to me to reduce this fleet so few years after investing in it. Nearly all profitable airlines around the world have prop fleets, in Oz particularly they do very well. So why VA want's to get out of it is a mystery.
Personally I think that VA should have axed all intl ops, joined *Alliance, and created a domestic network based on 737's and props. Nice stable network reaching into all regional ports, FF program with decent but not spectacular lounges, nice J product and reward redemptions on *Alliance partners. Not spent squillions on widebodies and ending up where they are now. With not enough widebody metal to do anything significant internationally and a reduced domestic network. You can't compete with QF for regular domestic traffic based on that. Trying to match QF across all platforms was a bad mistake, they never had the funds for it. Should have looked to AIrNZ for a better model of a small airline, with a viable network (intl ops served by alliance partners). Would have suited the pocketbook better and given them an edge over JQ, with a prop fleet that could take the brand everywhere JQ couldn't go.
In this day and age Oz doesn't need another also-ran intl carrier, there are enough brands out there doing that well and serving the Oz market. VA should have leveraged that and focused on being a good domestic brand, with a nimble new fleet and competitive product. Instead they went off into neverland where they didn't have the $$$ to go.