Well MEL-HKG can't be that successful if they scale it back from daily to 5pw and throw daily at SYD instead. But they will also have data on how many pax connect from SYD through MEL nowadays, so they will obviously go direct in the future.
Having worked overseas for many years (but always actively watching this thread), I always wondered about the negativity relating to VAs intl ops, but more and more I understand. They seem to be all over the shop. It leaves the impression of a lack of strategy. they try something new for a while (like this MEL-HKG), only to chop & change a few months later. To me - as a previously outside observer - this seems like a prime example of that! Markets need a little longer to mature I would think, brand awareness needs to be generated , especially on the HKG side (and yes, I appreciate slot issues were not in their favour, the Hainan angle etc), yet already they are reducing service. That does not look like there is any clear strategic direction in what their international arm is up too. It strikes me a bit of a ´let´s dip into the hat, see what rabbit we drag out and give that a try´ sort of scenario. I wish them every success, I think the competition is needed, but - at least in my humble opinion - they do leave me scratching my head a little in regards to mid & long term strategic direction
Reducing MEL is surprising but I'm guessing - as everyone else on here is - that they're anticipating better yields out of Sydney so would rather max efforts on that service for now. Again, not great for Melbourne but with limited capacity it probably makes sense. I'm told the 330 transcons are now profitable so the drawdown on those has stopped (for now). Not sure how accurate that is.
But yeah, it doesn't build a great reputation in the Melbourne market to go to daily then pull back a bit so soon. I hope they know what they're doing but sometimes you have to wonder.
But for me the attitude on this forum re VA that irks is the double standard when compared to QF. VA get dumped on for their fleet - it's more streamlined (and modern) than Qantas (ignoring international where QF's only real difference is). VA gets slammed for onboard service - you may not like it but when I board a VA aircraft I know exactly what I'm getting; QF? Highly variable in my experience. VA's international network has chopped and changed - well hell, Qantas just tried Dubai for a couple of years, ditched that and returned to Plan A via Asia. VA puts E190s on main trunk routes during offpeak - outrage!; Qantas puts 717s on the same - innovative, smart, clever thinking.
And the VA downgrade from 330s to 737s on transcon? Yeah, that sucks for J pax. But you know what? Happened to me on QF one of the few times I got to J it across. I'm told that my company got additional FF points but as they go into a consolidated pool, fat lot of good that did for me as a passenger.
Looks like VA have finally turned the corner on the profitability side. Then at least you can have some confidence that the management team (kinda) knows what they're doing. I mean it's not like it's a rip roaring after tax profit but finally it's a nudge into the black. I note that the shareprice fell a bit on the back of the announcement that there's no immediate plan to take the carrier private. Will be interesting to see if this changes over the next 12 months as HNA's situation is clarified and whether EY's shareholding is confirmed.