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DobboDobbo
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:06 pm

What Virgin Connect can offer partners of VS/DL is a larger target market at, for example, MAN. A good example of how this might play out in practice is with WestJet, who might sense an opportunity at MAN following the merger of Transat and Air Canada - with the advantage of being able to distribute passengers across much of the U.K. and Europe via MAN.
 
JamesCousins
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:40 pm

The amount of negativity in this thread is baffling to me. Are there any slots available at Heathrow? Not overly. Does that mean Virgin (in one representation or another, in this case Virgin Connect) should't operate what they can to feed their network? Absolutely not. Moreover, it is simply naive to assume that this is all about Heathrow, that couldn't be further from the truth. With UK air travel growing at a rate of knots, and Heathrow basically full for the foreseeable future, Virgin look to be tapping into opportunities at Manchester where BA currently seem much less interested.

Virgin are the ones competing against a hugely dominant national flag carrier here, not the other way around. Just because their prior strategy/attempts in this area have been poorly executed doesn't mean they shouldn't try again. Suggestions here that anywhere other than Manchester or Heathrow is no longer of interested to Connect also appear short sighted, I can't see Virgin giving up valuable and frequent slots out of BHX to the likes of CDG and AMS - Flybe has a lot of very unprofitable routes, but equally a large number of successful and consistently profitable routes. Virgin Atlantic (Holdings) might only own 30% of Connect, but to suggest that DL & AF/KLM are no interested is pure insanity. FlyBE is currently a major competitor to AF & KLM in and out of the UK, from my understanding every UK - CDG/AMS route (bar LHR) has been served by FlyBE. We've already seen Delta influence heavily on Virgin Atlantic, just look at the A330neo order and connecting stats DL have shouted out about US domestic

I'd personally be willing to bet that Virgin Connect will morph over the next 5/10 years into something virtually unrecognizable with a large A220 (think of the insane number DL have ordered and the maintenance contracts DL can fulfill for 220 operators) or E2 order likely at some point. Virgin will become truly poised for Heathrow expansion while growing its presence at MAN more than any other carrier
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Luftymatt
Posts: 542
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:56 pm

VSMUT wrote:
Luftymatt wrote:
TUGMASTER wrote:
Wonder what will happen to the FlyBE franchisees ... Eastern, Blue Islands, etc

Good point. Stobart and Flybe are very happy with the franchise agreement with Blue Islands, and would like to keep it. If Stobart has their way it will stay, it's just a matter of seeing if the Virgin Connect part of the operation agree.


The first ATRs of those two will be going into full Virgin livery from next year. Full overhaul of the cabins too.


Do you mean the Stobart ATR's?
chase the sun
 
VSMUT
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:29 pm

Luftymatt wrote:
VSMUT wrote:
Luftymatt wrote:
Good point. Stobart and Flybe are very happy with the franchise agreement with Blue Islands, and would like to keep it. If Stobart has their way it will stay, it's just a matter of seeing if the Virgin Connect part of the operation agree.


The first ATRs of those two will be going into full Virgin livery from next year. Full overhaul of the cabins too.


Do you mean the Stobart ATR's?


Blue Islands
 
jbs2886
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:21 pm

JamesCousins wrote:
The amount of negativity in this thread is baffling to me. Are there any slots available at Heathrow? Not overly. Does that mean Virgin (in one representation or another, in this case Virgin Connect) should't operate what they can to feed their network? Absolutely not. Moreover, it is simply naive to assume that this is all about Heathrow, that couldn't be further from the truth. With UK air travel growing at a rate of knots, and Heathrow basically full for the foreseeable future, Virgin look to be tapping into opportunities at Manchester where BA currently seem much less interested.

Virgin are the ones competing against a hugely dominant national flag carrier here, not the other way around. Just because their prior strategy/attempts in this area have been poorly executed doesn't mean they shouldn't try again. Suggestions here that anywhere other than Manchester or Heathrow is no longer of interested to Connect also appear short sighted, I can't see Virgin giving up valuable and frequent slots out of BHX to the likes of CDG and AMS - Flybe has a lot of very unprofitable routes, but equally a large number of successful and consistently profitable routes. Virgin Atlantic (Holdings) might only own 30% of Connect, but to suggest that DL & AF/KLM are no interested is pure insanity. FlyBE is currently a major competitor to AF & KLM in and out of the UK, from my understanding every UK - CDG/AMS route (bar LHR) has been served by FlyBE. We've already seen Delta influence heavily on Virgin Atlantic, just look at the A330neo order and connecting stats DL have shouted out about US domestic

I'd personally be willing to bet that Virgin Connect will morph over the next 5/10 years into something virtually unrecognizable with a large A220 (think of the insane number DL have ordered and the maintenance contracts DL can fulfill for 220 operators) or E2 order likely at some point. Virgin will become truly poised for Heathrow expansion while growing its presence at MAN more than any other carrier


I agree largely with your points. Yes, LHR and MAN will be the main connection points for VS, but I expect Virgin Connect to maintain a significant UK/European network to keep a large customer base (feeding the connections). The full network is needed to get people to take flights to LHR and MAN for connections to VS. I also think we will see a smaller mainline let. I wonder, too, if we might see Virgin Connect do some flying for AF/KLM.
 
SEU
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:40 pm

There is a potential here, I think Virgin will keep all of the most profitable routes that flybe currently have, scrap the rest and build a network around the main hubs. There are rumours of a potential A220 order.
 
raylee67
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:15 pm

Now many FlyBe routes are all over the place, flying from many small UK cities to Europe and many odd domestic UK routes. Once it becomes VS Connect, would it adjust the route network to really become a "connect" carrier for VS? i.e. flying mostly from LHR to Europe and secondary UK cities to provide connection with VS long haul service? If yes, it will need many LHR slots. Where will the slots come from? If no, it doesn't seem that it can provide much synergy with VS.
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TYWoolman
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:50 pm

Virgin Connect branding clearly identifies the strategy going forward, meaning the connecting into premium, long-haul product (Virgin Atlantic and Delta). From the perspective of Virgin Atlantic and Delta, Virgin Connect will be seen as the building-up on the domestic feed to go up against British Airways. Future routes will be analyzed and implemented to keep the revenue in-house from domestic to international.
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:47 pm

An interesting and timely interview with the VS CEO, including on this topic.

Extract and link below.
———————————————

https://thepointsguy.com/news/virgin-at ... rovements/

———————————————-

Brian Kelly: So Little Red didn’t work. Why do you guys feel convinced about Flybe?

Shai Weiss: It’s a very fair question. First of all, let me just go back. Businesses, not pilots, are allowed to make mistakes and it’s only what we learn from it. So we, of course, studied what happened with Little Red. Little Red was called Little Red. It flew from Manchester into Heathrow.

Shai Weiss: It was before we understood the importance of Manchester to Virgin Atlantic, which we’ve now really amplified our presence there and have more plans into the future. And the cheeky answer to the difference between Little Red and Flybe is eight and a half million passengers. It flies today with around 75 planes in the domestic market at about 80% and above load factor.

Shai Weiss: It’s a company that is 40 years old, has had a rough patch. We’re going to show it a lot of love, get it back on track, rebrand it, and then really orient it towards feeding into Manchester and Heathrow to our long-haul routes, but also growing the domestic market, which is so necessary. So I think that that’s the idea. And of course, it’s not Little Red.
 
Breathe
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:56 am

oldannyboy wrote:
I'm baffled and confused. Very. I can't see how an airline that is debt-ridden and has at best an over-expanded and pretty much haphazard route system that flies in and out depressed regional centres can be turned into a successful outfit that can somehow magically "connect" to the 'Virgin world'.

Which regional centres would you describe as being depressed?
 
BNAMealer
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Thu Oct 17, 2019 11:51 am

SEU wrote:
There is a potential here, I think Virgin will keep all of the most profitable routes that flybe currently have, scrap the rest and build a network around the main hubs. There are rumours of a potential A220 order.


They’ll need to overhaul the fleet if they want a chance at success, so I hope that rumor is true.
 
Mullion
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:43 pm

I have read some rubbish recently, UK airports are not depressed infact many are very prosperous i:e Manchester and Birmingham and Leeds etc.
It has been stated so many times that the main target is LHR and MAN (which in my opinion MAN stands to gain the most due the expansion of the city in the business world)
 
by738
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:15 pm

interesting to see Loganair Flybe codeshare back on after all the squabbles... Virgin Loganair through tickets!
 
ahj2000
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:25 am

SO the real question...when will we get the paint job?
-Andrés Juánez
 
questions
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:04 am

ahj2000 wrote:
SO the real question...when will we get the paint job?


Oh wow. Did you respond to the RFP? Any design insights you can share?
 
Luftymatt
Posts: 542
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 9:38 am

VSMUT wrote:
Luftymatt wrote:
VSMUT wrote:

The first ATRs of those two will be going into full Virgin livery from next year. Full overhaul of the cabins too.


Do you mean the Stobart ATR's?


Blue Islands


It's likely to happen, I agree. However it hasn't been officially confirmed yet.
chase the sun
 
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Aisak
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:06 am

JamesCousins wrote:
The amount of negativity in this thread is baffling to me. Are there any slots available at Heathrow? Not overly. Does that mean Virgin (in one representation or another, in this case Virgin Connect) should't operate what they can to feed their network? Absolutely not. Moreover, it is simply naive to assume that this is all about Heathrow, that couldn't be further from the truth.


Yes, Thank you. Why all the fuss about LHR when we all know it can’t grow...
If this is about providing feed... the work can be done at any airport with LongHaul flights. And MAN is one of them and connect airways stated MAN will be one of the two main distribution points. After all, if you’re flying to JFK from INV, you couldn’t care less if connecting at LHR or MAN...
Well, maybe not for some people here, who just rather prefer connect at the most congested airport in the world and risk being stuck with the limited frequency.

Flybe flying under the VS code and brand will not only work for feed at MAN (and a little at LHR) but it will help the brand to expand across the UK. Now you can only see Virgin flights at LGW/LHR and MAN apart for the occasional MCO flight elsewhere... there is no way to create brand awareness with that, or convincing people to build up loyalty on the Flying Club FFP.
But if EDI suddenly has 3/4 daily VS flights to LHR, 2/3 VS flights to MAN, and NQY/BHX... and CDG, and AMS as AFKLM codeshares... and ATL as a DL codeshare, and MCO on Virgin Atlantic... and even some ocasional summer only to the Spanish coast. Well that would be something to think about opening a VS Flying club and start crediting groceries, gas, car hire, credit card expenses....

But if you just have just the mini shuttle to LHR on an airline called FlyBE which runs no FFP at all and the ocasional Virgin MCO... there’s no brand awareness at all or loyalty to build
 
BrianDromey
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 10:46 am

BE and VS operate from separate terminals at both MAN and LHR, for now. MAN is, of course, rebuilding, but flyBe had been earmarked to stay in T3. I guess that can change “in 2020”.

There is much less opportunity for flyBe to move at LHR. Unless they check-in at T3 with VS and have arrivals at T2 as T3 cannot handle domestic arrivals at the moment. flyBe use remote stands and busses so it’s not impossible.

Overall though, slapping Virgin Connect on flyBe wont transform it overnight or make either airline more viable. They remain separate entities, remember it’s Virgin Connect, no VS Connect
 
vfw614
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:02 am

I see nothing in Virgin's press releases that would suggest that regional flying will not remain the core business of Virgin Connect. Just read the landing page of the company's website. It stresses about half a dozen times that the airline will remain committed to connectiong regional markets and remain a regional airline (ie. not become a US-style feeder airline). With the built-up of any decent hub-and-spoke operation at LHR impossible for obvious reasons until a third runway comes along (if ever), they will dedicate some resources to feeding VS longhaul from Manchester. Given the sizeable operation Flybe already has at MAN on the one hand and the rather limited capacity VS offers from there, I do not see spectacular growth at MAN short- to mid-term.
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:15 am

In light of the comments above it is worth repeating these recent quotes from Shai Weiss who is Virgin Atlantic’s CEO (see also above).

This is in line with press releases, court documents from the time of the acquisition of BE, and a variety of other comments from VS personnel.

It is clear that VS intends to reposition itself, and this is part of it. How far they go and how quickly it moves is anyone’s guess - and it may fall flat on its face - but the direction of travel is clear.



———————————————

https://thepointsguy.com/news/virgin-at ... rovements/

———————————————-

Brian Kelly: So Little Red didn’t work. Why do you guys feel convinced about Flybe?

Shai Weiss: It’s a very fair question. First of all, let me just go back. Businesses, not pilots, are allowed to make mistakes and it’s only what we learn from it. So we, of course, studied what happened with Little Red. Little Red was called Little Red. It flew from Manchester into Heathrow.

Shai Weiss: It was before we understood the importance of Manchester to Virgin Atlantic, which we’ve now really amplified our presence there and have more plans into the future. And the cheeky answer to the difference between Little Red and Flybe is eight and a half million passengers. It flies today with around 75 planes in the domestic market at about 80% and above load factor.

Shai Weiss: It’s a company that is 40 years old, has had a rough patch. We’re going to show it a lot of love, get it back on track, rebrand it, and then really orient it towards feeding into Manchester and Heathrow to our long-haul routes, but also growing the domestic market, which is so necessary. So I think that that’s the idea. And of course, it’s not Little Red
 
AirbusA322
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:20 am

Will they keep it as a loco or merge it in with the main VS model of inclusive baggage and refreshments. In other words full service.

Bit like Virgin Oz. From ATR/737/330/777 it’s all the same across regional, Dom and international. Which is inclusive baggage, refreshment, seat selection.
 
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downtown273
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:54 am

FlyBE is a key player at BHD, I hope the routes will remain.

Connections to VS/DL's L/H network will be welcome (I suppose only via MAN? Maybe a new BHD-LGW route to feed into VS/DL's LGW network?), and will give NI travellers a welcome alternative to BA's LHR connection for long haul.
 
pdp
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:09 pm

BrianDromey wrote:
BE and VS operate from separate terminals at both MAN and LHR, for now. MAN is, of course, rebuilding, but flyBe had been earmarked to stay in T3. I guess that can change “in 2020”.

There is much less opportunity for flyBe to move at LHR. Unless they check-in at T3 with VS and have arrivals at T2 as T3 cannot handle domestic arrivals at the moment. flyBe use remote stands and busses so it’s not impossible.

Overall though, slapping Virgin Connect on flyBe wont transform it overnight or make either airline more viable. They remain separate entities, remember it’s Virgin Connect, no VS Connect


I know it's unlikely as T2 is mostly Fort Star Alliance, but could VS not move in once the old T1 is gone? It doesn't seem to be a massively oversubscribed terminal after all.
 
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OA260
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:17 pm

downtown273 wrote:
FlyBE is a key player at BHD, I hope the routes will remain.

.


There are a lot of nervous people regarding what routes will survive. Any cuts will be a major blow to BHD as BE pretty much keeps the airport afloat. With rumors about just one airline connecting BHD-LHR from next year it will be interesting to see how things pan out.
 
vfw614
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:48 pm

Shai Weiss can wish whatever he wants, of course, but facts remain facts:

1) No free slots available at LHR
2) Going rate of a slot pair anything between 40 - 75m quid. A feeder flight from any given destination would require two slots pairs unless you can keep the aircraft at LHR on the ground for a couple of hours - so slot purchases to, let's say, 20 destinations would require an investment to the tune of 1.6-3bn quid.
3) Even at these prices, slots are hardly available for purchase anyway
4) Plus: Longhaul feed would require numerous slots not randomly spread over a 24h period, but all within banks of arriving / departing flights

In short, without a third runway feeding LHR ops will remain a pipe dream. His statements regarding LHR feed are to create political pressure to facilitate support for an additional runway.
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:48 pm

downtown273 wrote:
FlyBE is a key player at BHD, I hope the routes will remain.

Connections to VS/DL's L/H network will be welcome (I suppose only via MAN? Maybe a new BHD-LGW route to feed into VS/DL's LGW network?), and will give NI travellers a welcome alternative to BA's LHR connection for long haul.


I think what I am about to say is right, but am ready to stand corrected, but I believe the VS network at MAN is more extensive than LGW and the current trend is for that gap to increase over the coming years.

If I were a betting man (I’m not!) I’d say MAN is likely to be the transfer hub with released capacity allocated to LHR.
 
A380MSN004
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 1:50 pm

factsonly wrote:
Virgin Connect has every opportunity to integrate FlyBe's existing network into SKYTEAM hubs at AMS, CDG, LHR, MAN, and will do so in close cooperation with its partners AF, DL, KL, VS.
This will give Virgin Connect access to a worldwide sales and frequent flyer potential, never seen by FlyBe.
At present FlyBe codeshares with some of these SKYTEAM partners on its routes and Virgin Connect can extend this cooperation to new destinations.
In addition FlyBe codeshares with EK, EY, CX and others, these airlines are likely to continue this cooperation with Virgin Connect.

Virgin Atlantic codeshares with SQ, SA, CA, NZ and Virgin Connect could be open for close cooperation with these and other airlines as well.
In addition Virgin Atlantic codeshares extensively from the UK regions to AMS & CDG and on to North America with AF/KL, so existing FlyBe routes add to this network.
Virgin Connect is not about pure UK domestic point-to-point, but network integration into a much wider global network.

Existing FlyBe routes in W19 into AMS, CDG, LHR and MAN:
- EMA-AMS 1x daily
- EXE-AMS up to 2x daily
- BHX-AMS 7x daily
- LCY-AMS up to 2x daily (weekends)
- MAN-AMS 4x daily
- SOU-AMS 4x daily
VS codeshares on 15x KL routes UK-AMS, plus all KL destinations in AMS-USA/Canada/Mexico.
Virgin Connect could do the same.

- BHX-CDG 3x daily in cooperation with AF
- CWL-CDG 1x daily in cooperation with AF
- EXE-CDG 2x daily in cooperation with AF
- MAN-CDG 4x daily in cooperation with AF
- SOU-CDG up to 3x daily in cooperation with AF
Plus FlyBe codeshares on AF operated UK-France routes and could add more routes from CDG.
VS codeshares on AF routes UK-CDG, plus all AF routes CDG-USA/Canada/Mexico

- LHR-ABZ 3x daily
- LHR-EDI up to 6x daily
- LHR-GUE 1x daily
- LHR-NQY 4x daily

- MAN-ABZ 5x daily
- MAN-AMS 4x daily
- MAN-BHD up to 7x daily
- MAN-CDG 3x daily
- MAN-CMF (winter only)
- MAN-DUS 4x daily
- MAN-EDI 4x daily
- MAN-EXE 2x daily
- MAN-HAJ 1x daily
- MAN-IOM 4x daily
- MAN-JER 1 daily
- MAN-NOC 1x daily
- MAN-LUX 1x daily
- MAN-LYS 1x daily
- MAN-MXP 1x daily
- MAN-NTE 1x daily
- MAN-NQY 1x daily
- MAN-SOU 6x daily
VS codeshares on FlyBe services from MAN.

Seeing no future for Virgin Connect seems somewhat short sighted.


Thanks to this route list, can someone say which ones are profitable and which ones are not ?
And why ?

Many thanks.
 
DobboDobbo
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:14 pm

A380MSN004 wrote:
factsonly wrote:
Virgin Connect has every opportunity to integrate FlyBe's existing network into SKYTEAM hubs at AMS, CDG, LHR, MAN, and will do so in close cooperation with its partners AF, DL, KL, VS.
This will give Virgin Connect access to a worldwide sales and frequent flyer potential, never seen by FlyBe.
At present FlyBe codeshares with some of these SKYTEAM partners on its routes and Virgin Connect can extend this cooperation to new destinations.
In addition FlyBe codeshares with EK, EY, CX and others, these airlines are likely to continue this cooperation with Virgin Connect.

Virgin Atlantic codeshares with SQ, SA, CA, NZ and Virgin Connect could be open for close cooperation with these and other airlines as well.
In addition Virgin Atlantic codeshares extensively from the UK regions to AMS & CDG and on to North America with AF/KL, so existing FlyBe routes add to this network.
Virgin Connect is not about pure UK domestic point-to-point, but network integration into a much wider global network.

Existing FlyBe routes in W19 into AMS, CDG, LHR and MAN:
- EMA-AMS 1x daily
- EXE-AMS up to 2x daily
- BHX-AMS 7x daily
- LCY-AMS up to 2x daily (weekends)
- MAN-AMS 4x daily
- SOU-AMS 4x daily
VS codeshares on 15x KL routes UK-AMS, plus all KL destinations in AMS-USA/Canada/Mexico.
Virgin Connect could do the same.

- BHX-CDG 3x daily in cooperation with AF
- CWL-CDG 1x daily in cooperation with AF
- EXE-CDG 2x daily in cooperation with AF
- MAN-CDG 4x daily in cooperation with AF
- SOU-CDG up to 3x daily in cooperation with AF
Plus FlyBe codeshares on AF operated UK-France routes and could add more routes from CDG.
VS codeshares on AF routes UK-CDG, plus all AF routes CDG-USA/Canada/Mexico

- LHR-ABZ 3x daily
- LHR-EDI up to 6x daily
- LHR-GUE 1x daily
- LHR-NQY 4x daily

- MAN-ABZ 5x daily
- MAN-AMS 4x daily
- MAN-BHD up to 7x daily
- MAN-CDG 3x daily
- MAN-CMF (winter only)
- MAN-DUS 4x daily
- MAN-EDI 4x daily
- MAN-EXE 2x daily
- MAN-HAJ 1x daily
- MAN-IOM 4x daily
- MAN-JER 1 daily
- MAN-NOC 1x daily
- MAN-LUX 1x daily
- MAN-LYS 1x daily
- MAN-MXP 1x daily
- MAN-NTE 1x daily
- MAN-NQY 1x daily
- MAN-SOU 6x daily
VS codeshares on FlyBe services from MAN.

Seeing no future for Virgin Connect seems somewhat short sighted.


Thanks to this route list, can someone say which ones are profitable and which ones are not ?
And why ?

Many thanks.


I think you are asking for confidential information that will almost certainly not be in the public domain.
 
Bhoy
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:51 pm

pdp wrote:
BrianDromey wrote:
BE and VS operate from separate terminals at both MAN and LHR, for now. MAN is, of course, rebuilding, but flyBe had been earmarked to stay in T3. I guess that can change “in 2020”.

There is much less opportunity for flyBe to move at LHR. Unless they check-in at T3 with VS and have arrivals at T2 as T3 cannot handle domestic arrivals at the moment. flyBe use remote stands and busses so it’s not impossible.

Overall though, slapping Virgin Connect on flyBe wont transform it overnight or make either airline more viable. They remain separate entities, remember it’s Virgin Connect, no VS Connect


I know it's unlikely as T2 is mostly Fort Star Alliance, but could VS not move in once the old T1 is gone? It doesn't seem to be a massively oversubscribed terminal after all.

VS wouldn’t want to move to T2 at LHR, they’ve spent Millions upgrading the Clubhouse in T3 and wouldn’t want that investment to be wasted.
 
Bhoy
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:57 pm

downtown273 wrote:
FlyBE is a key player at BHD, I hope the routes will remain.

Connections to VS/DL's L/H network will be welcome (I suppose only via MAN? Maybe a new BHD-LGW route to feed into VS/DL's LGW network?), and will give NI travellers a welcome alternative to BA's LHR connection for long haul.

Forget about LGW, BE closed that station earlier this year, and moved their last route from there to LHR.
NI might however get an alternative to BA for long haul through enhanced connections to AMS/CDG as well as MAN...
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:05 pm

I saw this elsewhere today. Official rendering or not, I've no idea...

Image
 
jetlanta
Posts: 1664
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2001 2:35 am

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:06 pm

It is interesting that most of these comments are about feed. Feed is critical, of course, but mass is as well. Americans are quite accustomed to the concept of flying a particular carrier extensively domestically year round, then choosing the same carrier for their long-haul needs. Virgin can now offer a more complete portfolio of service that can potentially make them a carrier of choice in way a long-haul only airline cannot. A person may fly Virgin Connect 30x a year but only have a few long-haul trips a year. They will now be more likely to fly Virgin Atlantic to meet those needs. It is about scale, not just feed. For VS to become more relevant than it is today, it needs scale. In a Two Runway LHR Scenario (today) VS needs other markets to grow in to get that scale. In a Three Runway LHR Scenario, VS will need to have short-haul capability as well. FlyBe gives them the opportunity to accomplish some degree of success in the first case, and a platform to grow from at LHR in the second.

As someone who is quite family with Delta, I recommend to the Brits on this board that you throw out your preconceptions. Delta's DNA is all over this deal at the strategy level. What you see today will be unrecognizable in five years. Enjoy the ride.
 
DobboDobbo
Posts: 1127
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:02 am

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 3:49 pm

jetlanta wrote:
As someone who is quite family with Delta, I recommend to the Brits on this board that you throw out your preconceptions. Delta's DNA is all over this deal at the strategy level. What you see today will be unrecognizable in five years. Enjoy the ride.


Hi Jetlanta - thanks for your comments.

Would you be able to expand on what you expect to see over the next 5 years?
 
jetlanta
Posts: 1664
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2001 2:35 am

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:08 pm

DobboDobbo wrote:
jetlanta wrote:
As someone who is quite family with Delta, I recommend to the Brits on this board that you throw out your preconceptions. Delta's DNA is all over this deal at the strategy level. What you see today will be unrecognizable in five years. Enjoy the ride.


Hi Jetlanta - thanks for your comments.

Would you be able to expand on what you expect to see over the next 5 years?



Well, I'm constantly surprised by their cleverness, but a few thoughts (without any knowledge of labor contracts and how they might impact some of this):

    Fleet renewal to transition back to jets, while keeping props for the appropriate short haul markets

    Grow MAN presence and connectivity, particularly within the UK (avoiding too much overlap with North America flows over AMS and CDG)

    Also growing MAN presence to key European business markets

    Optimize slot portfolio in AMS and CDG (in coordination with AF/KL) to build depth in the most important UK business markets (frequency, frequency, frequency)

    Growth to AMS and CDG hubs from non-London markets can provide an opportunity that BA cannot match in its current network

    Building an aggressive sales organization that takes all of the tools (Long haul, regional, partners) to leverage corporate growth

    Upgrade ground and in-flight services to be more consistent with the VS experience and reliability (similar to Delta's success with elevating Delta Connection)

    Building on this larger presence to boost the Virgin brand across the UK to position themselves politically to gain from the LHR expansion (Need a slot regime changed? Make the politicians happy by being a bigger and better airline for ALL of the UK.)

The thing to understand Delta is that they do everything at a strategic level. Their financial performance allows them to make bold investments (like 49% of VS) and be patient with them. They believe in segmentation and they believe that the key to winning as a higher-cost operator is to lean into it and provide products that people are willing to pay more for. VS and FlyBe are not low-cost operators and never will be, so expect a premium lurch for Virgin Connect. That doesn't mean luxury. It means clean, modern aircraft. It means premium services on a regional airline scale. It means reliability as well. And it means a strong degree of experience consistency with VS. Common branding, consistent policies, seamless connectivity, etc. They will attempt to become more relevant to the needs of business travelers across the UK. All of this while being nimble enough to not only take advantage of sudden opportunities, but to create them. Delta's hallmark of the past decade is proactively creating its own opportunities. Some of these include: Developing NEW hubs at LAX, SEA, BOS and LGA (via a very clever slot swap with US Airways) within a decade; developing the world's most robust equity partner network (including VS);and improving operational reliability so much that they are now widely-regarded in the US as the "best" network airline...which leads to a significant unit revenue advantage to the industry. Many people now prefer to fly Delta, even at a higher fare.

It won't be easy for VS to do all of these sort of things in the UK. The environment is different. But I'd certainly expect a push to achieve a premium-worthy level of reliability and product. And I'd expect bold and unexpected strategic moves.
 
LX138
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:20 pm

It's going to be interesting. Their current route network is not sustainable. As expected, the suggestions of codeshares here, there and everywhere have been made which is not a wise suggestion. What Flybe/VS Connect desperately need is feed in their direction - high yield business that can sustain the route overheads of the network they run. The bmi system of doing this the other way round is doomed to failure, and that's me being positive.

If DL are involved in the planning and strategy of this = the operation will last 12 months before collapse. US regionals are all about feed, loyalty, service and benefits. Over here its about the cheapest fare you can possibly find, insane competition from both LCC/large network carriers and zero loyalty.

Some have mentioned TCX gone there is now a gap in the market. Erm, I really don't think the mid-haul leisure (with a bit of long-haul) programme of TCX's demise is going to keep VS execs excited with the 'options' now option to them. They was probably some overlap to Florida and the Caribbean and thats it.

One can hope that they'll have to try growing the regional/shorthaul LHR, LGW and MAN networks to create more of a hub and spoke system. You can't help think that MAN will be a very hard to to that when the yields are already so low on the point to point flights VS currently have.
StarWorld Team - The ultimate airline alliance
 
LX138
Posts: 317
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:45 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:26 pm

jetlanta wrote:
DobboDobbo wrote:
jetlanta wrote:
As someone who is quite family with Delta, I recommend to the Brits on this board that you throw out your preconceptions. Delta's DNA is all over this deal at the strategy level. What you see today will be unrecognizable in five years. Enjoy the ride.


Hi Jetlanta - thanks for your comments.

Would you be able to expand on what you expect to see over the next 5 years?



Well, I'm constantly surprised by their cleverness, but a few thoughts (without any knowledge of labor contracts and how they might impact some of this):

    Fleet renewal to transition back to jets, while keeping props for the appropriate short haul markets

    Grow MAN presence and connectivity, particularly within the UK (avoiding too much overlap with North America flows over AMS and CDG)

    Also growing MAN presence to key European business markets

    Optimize slot portfolio in AMS and CDG (in coordination with AF/KL) to build depth in the most important UK business markets (frequency, frequency, frequency)

    Growth to AMS and CDG hubs from non-London markets can provide an opportunity that BA cannot match in its current network

    Building an aggressive sales organization that takes all of the tools (Long haul, regional, partners) to leverage corporate growth

    Upgrade ground and in-flight services to be more consistent with the VS experience and reliability (similar to Delta's success with elevating Delta Connection)

    Building on this larger presence to boost the Virgin brand across the UK to position themselves politically to gain from the LHR expansion (Need a slot regime changed? Make the politicians happy by being a bigger and better airline for ALL of the UK.)

The thing to understand Delta is that they do everything at a strategic level. Their financial performance allows them to make bold investments (like 49% of VS) and be patient with them. They believe in segmentation and they believe that the key to winning as a higher-cost operator is to lean into it and provide products that people are willing to pay more for. VS and FlyBe are not low-cost operators and never will be, so expect a premium lurch for Virgin Connect. That doesn't mean luxury. It means clean, modern aircraft. It means premium services on a regional airline scale. It means reliability as well. And it means a strong degree of experience consistency with VS. Common branding, consistent policies, seamless connectivity, etc. They will attempt to become more relevant to the needs of business travelers across the UK. All of this while being nimble enough to not only take advantage of sudden opportunities, but to create them. Delta's hallmark of the past decade is proactively creating its own opportunities. Some of these include: Developing NEW hubs at LAX, SEA, BOS and LGA (via a very clever slot swap with US Airways) within a decade; developing the world's most robust equity partner network (including VS);and improving operational reliability so much that they are now widely-regarded in the US as the "best" network airline...which leads to a significant unit revenue advantage to the industry. Many people now prefer to fly Delta, even at a higher fare.

It won't be easy for VS to do all of these sort of things in the UK. The environment is different. But I'd certainly expect a push to achieve a premium-worthy level of reliability and product. And I'd expect bold and unexpected strategic moves.



A well balanced and good strategy plan, I like it.
StarWorld Team - The ultimate airline alliance
 
jeffh747
Posts: 861
Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:32 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:55 pm

JannEejit wrote:
I saw this elsewhere today. Official rendering or not, I've no idea...

Image

Looks beautiful but I doubt that is an official rendering. The tail logo is different and not as clean as the branding on the current Virgin Atlantic tails. They haven't used that font/style for the Virgin titles since they got their A340s.
ATR-72-600, A318 A319 A320 A320neo A321 A321neo A332 A333 B717 B727 B734 B73G B738 B739 B752 B762 B763 B772 B788 CRJ2 DHC6 DHC8-300 E145 E190 MD82 MD83 MD90 SF340B
 
Cunard
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:45 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:42 am

Bhoy wrote:
pdp wrote:
BrianDromey wrote:
BE and VS operate from separate terminals at both MAN and LHR, for now. MAN is, of course, rebuilding, but flyBe had been earmarked to stay in T3. I guess that can change “in 2020”.

There is much less opportunity for flyBe to move at LHR. Unless they check-in at T3 with VS and have arrivals at T2 as T3 cannot handle domestic arrivals at the moment. flyBe use remote stands and busses so it’s not impossible.

Overall though, slapping Virgin Connect on flyBe wont transform it overnight or make either airline more viable. They remain separate entities, remember it’s Virgin Connect, no VS Connect


I know it's unlikely as T2 is mostly Fort Star Alliance, but could VS not move in once the old T1 is gone? It doesn't seem to be a massively oversubscribed terminal after all.

VS wouldn’t want to move to T2 at LHR, they’ve spent Millions upgrading the Clubhouse in T3 and wouldn’t want that investment to be wasted.


I assume that your fully aware that Terminal 3 will eventually be demolished so the ''Millions'' that VS have spent on upgrading the Clubhouse will become irrelevant.

As you should be aware, once Terminal 1 is ''finally'' demolished then Terminal 2 will be extended and when it's completed Terminal 3 will close and airline's redistributed to the other terminals.

In the above scenario it's more than likely that VS will move to the newly expanded Terminal 2.

Relocating to Terminal 2 will be a great move for VS especially as the terminal already has domestic gates that are currently used by Virgin Connect and the airline can build a purpose built Clubhouse within the extended Terminal 2.

With VS along with DL eventually moving to an expanded Terminal 2 the two airline's via their JV will have excellent facilities and lounges in a ''brand new'' terminal and they will be in a better position to compete with AA/BA.

By the time that Terminal 2 is expanded and Terminal 3 eventually closes the investment made by VS in their Clubhouse will be almost a decade old so again it's totally irrelevant.
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
8herveg
Posts: 1487
Joined: Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:01 am

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:59 am

When is Terminal 1 at LHR being demolished / when is the extended Terminal 2 expected to open?
 
Cunard
Posts: 2510
Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 6:45 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:45 am

8herveg wrote:
When is Terminal 1 at LHR being demolished / when is the extended Terminal 2 expected to open?


There doesn't seem to be a clear time frame as to when Terminal 1 is being finally demolished. I believe that the baggage facilities for Terminal 2 are currently housed in Terminal 1 and this is something that needs to be sorted before the actual terminal is demolished.

The piers have already been demolished except for the former ''steel tubular'' pier that Domestic and Ireland flights used. The airbridges from this pier have gone and widebody stands have been built where the other two piers were located with the apron built around the footprint for the expanded Terminal 2.

There doesn't seem to be a clear time frame as to when the expansion of Terminal 2 will commence let alone it's expected opening date. Although it didn't take too long to build the current Terminal 2 and with all the infrastructure already in place it wouldn't take more than two years to complete the extension and to fit it out.

Once Terminal 2 is finally extended and completed then Terminal 3 will be demolished. The entire CTA ''Central Terminal Area'' will then be totally transformed with a new travel interchange, offices and hotels.

All the details including the plans, images, videos and information regarding the expansion of Terminal 2 and the transformation of the CTA are available online for everyone to view.

Heathrow Airport's website has a dedicated page with images and videos!

All of the above information has been discussed in length on other threads. I know it is related to Flybe to some extent but let's not totally derail the thread by exclusively discussing the expansion of London Heathrow Airport.
Last edited by Cunard on Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
DobboDobbo
Posts: 1127
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:02 am

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:55 am

jetlanta wrote:
DobboDobbo wrote:
jetlanta wrote:
As someone who is quite family with Delta, I recommend to the Brits on this board that you throw out your preconceptions. Delta's DNA is all over this deal at the strategy level. What you see today will be unrecognizable in five years. Enjoy the ride.


Hi Jetlanta - thanks for your comments.

Would you be able to expand on what you expect to see over the next 5 years?



Well, I'm constantly surprised by their cleverness, but a few thoughts (without any knowledge of labor contracts and how they might impact some of this):

    Fleet renewal to transition back to jets, while keeping props for the appropriate short haul markets

    Grow MAN presence and connectivity, particularly within the UK (avoiding too much overlap with North America flows over AMS and CDG)

    Also growing MAN presence to key European business markets

    Optimize slot portfolio in AMS and CDG (in coordination with AF/KL) to build depth in the most important UK business markets (frequency, frequency, frequency)

    Growth to AMS and CDG hubs from non-London markets can provide an opportunity that BA cannot match in its current network

    Building an aggressive sales organization that takes all of the tools (Long haul, regional, partners) to leverage corporate growth

    Upgrade ground and in-flight services to be more consistent with the VS experience and reliability (similar to Delta's success with elevating Delta Connection)

    Building on this larger presence to boost the Virgin brand across the UK to position themselves politically to gain from the LHR expansion (Need a slot regime changed? Make the politicians happy by being a bigger and better airline for ALL of the UK.)

The thing to understand Delta is that they do everything at a strategic level. Their financial performance allows them to make bold investments (like 49% of VS) and be patient with them. They believe in segmentation and they believe that the key to winning as a higher-cost operator is to lean into it and provide products that people are willing to pay more for. VS and FlyBe are not low-cost operators and never will be, so expect a premium lurch for Virgin Connect. That doesn't mean luxury. It means clean, modern aircraft. It means premium services on a regional airline scale. It means reliability as well. And it means a strong degree of experience consistency with VS. Common branding, consistent policies, seamless connectivity, etc. They will attempt to become more relevant to the needs of business travelers across the UK. All of this while being nimble enough to not only take advantage of sudden opportunities, but to create them. Delta's hallmark of the past decade is proactively creating its own opportunities. Some of these include: Developing NEW hubs at LAX, SEA, BOS and LGA (via a very clever slot swap with US Airways) within a decade; developing the world's most robust equity partner network (including VS);and improving operational reliability so much that they are now widely-regarded in the US as the "best" network airline...which leads to a significant unit revenue advantage to the industry. Many people now prefer to fly Delta, even at a higher fare.

It won't be easy for VS to do all of these sort of things in the UK. The environment is different. But I'd certainly expect a push to achieve a premium-worthy level of reliability and product. And I'd expect bold and unexpected strategic moves.


Many thanks for Sharing your thoughts on this and apologies for the delayed response.

It would be interesting to see the extent of the Virgin Connect network from MAN. I have assumed it will largely remain focussed in feed from within the U.K. in the basis that: (I) feed from Europe will tread in the toes of AF/KL; and (II) flights to the main European centres will face heavy competition from the likes of EasyJet, Ryanair and JET2, I’m addition to the LH group. This for me is the more interesting short haul question.

On the long haul I’ve assumed it will focus on doing what they can’t do at LHR, and perhaps Not as well as at AMS and CDG (or via ATL).That is to link the regional U.K. to the USA, provide a bridging point for traffic between India and the USA, and perhaps linking regional Europe to the USA and Indian subcontinent. For this the first priority is to get all of the existing routes to daily year round frequencies with a sprinkling of new routes as summer seasonal. There is also the question of India since Jet Airways demise. Once that can be resolved, I suppose if this is a success they can expand on it further.
 
jetlanta
Posts: 1664
Joined: Thu Jul 12, 2001 2:35 am

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 3:05 pm

DobboDobbo wrote:
jetlanta wrote:
DobboDobbo wrote:

Hi Jetlanta - thanks for your comments.

Would you be able to expand on what you expect to see over the next 5 years?



Well, I'm constantly surprised by their cleverness, but a few thoughts (without any knowledge of labor contracts and how they might impact some of this):

    Fleet renewal to transition back to jets, while keeping props for the appropriate short haul markets

    Grow MAN presence and connectivity, particularly within the UK (avoiding too much overlap with North America flows over AMS and CDG)

    Also growing MAN presence to key European business markets

    Optimize slot portfolio in AMS and CDG (in coordination with AF/KL) to build depth in the most important UK business markets (frequency, frequency, frequency)

    Growth to AMS and CDG hubs from non-London markets can provide an opportunity that BA cannot match in its current network

    Building an aggressive sales organization that takes all of the tools (Long haul, regional, partners) to leverage corporate growth

    Upgrade ground and in-flight services to be more consistent with the VS experience and reliability (similar to Delta's success with elevating Delta Connection)

    Building on this larger presence to boost the Virgin brand across the UK to position themselves politically to gain from the LHR expansion (Need a slot regime changed? Make the politicians happy by being a bigger and better airline for ALL of the UK.)

The thing to understand Delta is that they do everything at a strategic level. Their financial performance allows them to make bold investments (like 49% of VS) and be patient with them. They believe in segmentation and they believe that the key to winning as a higher-cost operator is to lean into it and provide products that people are willing to pay more for. VS and FlyBe are not low-cost operators and never will be, so expect a premium lurch for Virgin Connect. That doesn't mean luxury. It means clean, modern aircraft. It means premium services on a regional airline scale. It means reliability as well. And it means a strong degree of experience consistency with VS. Common branding, consistent policies, seamless connectivity, etc. They will attempt to become more relevant to the needs of business travelers across the UK. All of this while being nimble enough to not only take advantage of sudden opportunities, but to create them. Delta's hallmark of the past decade is proactively creating its own opportunities. Some of these include: Developing NEW hubs at LAX, SEA, BOS and LGA (via a very clever slot swap with US Airways) within a decade; developing the world's most robust equity partner network (including VS);and improving operational reliability so much that they are now widely-regarded in the US as the "best" network airline...which leads to a significant unit revenue advantage to the industry. Many people now prefer to fly Delta, even at a higher fare.

It won't be easy for VS to do all of these sort of things in the UK. The environment is different. But I'd certainly expect a push to achieve a premium-worthy level of reliability and product. And I'd expect bold and unexpected strategic moves.


Many thanks for Sharing your thoughts on this and apologies for the delayed response.

It would be interesting to see the extent of the Virgin Connect network from MAN. I have assumed it will largely remain focussed in feed from within the U.K. in the basis that: (I) feed from Europe will tread in the toes of AF/KL; and (II) flights to the main European centres will face heavy competition from the likes of EasyJet, Ryanair and JET2, I’m addition to the LH group. This for me is the more interesting short haul question.

On the long haul I’ve assumed it will focus on doing what they can’t do at LHR, and perhaps Not as well as at AMS and CDG (or via ATL).That is to link the regional U.K. to the USA, provide a bridging point for traffic between India and the USA, and perhaps linking regional Europe to the USA and Indian subcontinent. For this the first priority is to get all of the existing routes to daily year round frequencies with a sprinkling of new routes as summer seasonal. There is also the question of India since Jet Airways demise. Once that can be resolved, I suppose if this is a success they can expand on it further.


I think that all makes sense. They are going to grow. They believe they have to in order to make VS more relevant and competitive in the future. And I think they need to demonstrate the they can legitimately be the UK's 2nd flag carrier so that their argument regarding LHR expansion is take more seriously.

One thing to be sure of, just like this Flybe deal, expect the unexpected. They will be thinking outside the box for sure.
 
SEU
Posts: 278
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:21 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 4:33 pm

jeffh747 wrote:
JannEejit wrote:
I saw this elsewhere today. Official rendering or not, I've no idea...

Image

Looks beautiful but I doubt that is an official rendering. The tail logo is different and not as clean as the branding on the current Virgin Atlantic tails. They haven't used that font/style for the Virgin titles since they got their A340s.


I don't think it'll be far off that, however I've heard from someone that it could be more virgin Australia red writing white everything else to save costs
 
User avatar
JannEejit
Posts: 1641
Joined: Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:04 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:14 pm

SEU wrote:
jeffh747 wrote:
JannEejit wrote:
I saw this elsewhere today. Official rendering or not, I've no idea...

Image

Looks beautiful but I doubt that is an official rendering. The tail logo is different and not as clean as the branding on the current Virgin Atlantic tails. They haven't used that font/style for the Virgin titles since they got their A340s.


I don't think it'll be far off that, however I've heard from someone that it could be more virgin Australia red writing white everything else to save costs


That wouldn't surprise me at all.
 
jomur
Posts: 352
Joined: Sun Jun 19, 2016 6:36 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:55 pm

So if Flybe/Virgin Connect is to feed domestically for Virgin at Man why are they cutting all the routes and have said they will cut more if people can go by car or the train, basically that is all UK domestic flights.
 
BHXRunway15
Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2017 12:17 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Sun Oct 20, 2019 9:11 pm

jetlanta wrote:
DobboDobbo wrote:
jetlanta wrote:


Well, I'm constantly surprised by their cleverness, but a few thoughts (without any knowledge of labor contracts and how they might impact some of this):

    Fleet renewal to transition back to jets, while keeping props for the appropriate short haul markets

    Grow MAN presence and connectivity, particularly within the UK (avoiding too much overlap with North America flows over AMS and CDG)

    Also growing MAN presence to key European business markets

    Optimize slot portfolio in AMS and CDG (in coordination with AF/KL) to build depth in the most important UK business markets (frequency, frequency, frequency)

    Growth to AMS and CDG hubs from non-London markets can provide an opportunity that BA cannot match in its current network

    Building an aggressive sales organization that takes all of the tools (Long haul, regional, partners) to leverage corporate growth

    Upgrade ground and in-flight services to be more consistent with the VS experience and reliability (similar to Delta's success with elevating Delta Connection)

    Building on this larger presence to boost the Virgin brand across the UK to position themselves politically to gain from the LHR expansion (Need a slot regime changed? Make the politicians happy by being a bigger and better airline for ALL of the UK.)

The thing to understand Delta is that they do everything at a strategic level. Their financial performance allows them to make bold investments (like 49% of VS) and be patient with them. They believe in segmentation and they believe that the key to winning as a higher-cost operator is to lean into it and provide products that people are willing to pay more for. VS and FlyBe are not low-cost operators and never will be, so expect a premium lurch for Virgin Connect. That doesn't mean luxury. It means clean, modern aircraft. It means premium services on a regional airline scale. It means reliability as well. And it means a strong degree of experience consistency with VS. Common branding, consistent policies, seamless connectivity, etc. They will attempt to become more relevant to the needs of business travelers across the UK. All of this while being nimble enough to not only take advantage of sudden opportunities, but to create them. Delta's hallmark of the past decade is proactively creating its own opportunities. Some of these include: Developing NEW hubs at LAX, SEA, BOS and LGA (via a very clever slot swap with US Airways) within a decade; developing the world's most robust equity partner network (including VS);and improving operational reliability so much that they are now widely-regarded in the US as the "best" network airline...which leads to a significant unit revenue advantage to the industry. Many people now prefer to fly Delta, even at a higher fare.

It won't be easy for VS to do all of these sort of things in the UK. The environment is different. But I'd certainly expect a push to achieve a premium-worthy level of reliability and product. And I'd expect bold and unexpected strategic moves.


Many thanks for Sharing your thoughts on this and apologies for the delayed response.

It would be interesting to see the extent of the Virgin Connect network from MAN. I have assumed it will largely remain focussed in feed from within the U.K. in the basis that: (I) feed from Europe will tread in the toes of AF/KL; and (II) flights to the main European centres will face heavy competition from the likes of EasyJet, Ryanair and JET2, I’m addition to the LH group. This for me is the more interesting short haul question.

On the long haul I’ve assumed it will focus on doing what they can’t do at LHR, and perhaps Not as well as at AMS and CDG (or via ATL).That is to link the regional U.K. to the USA, provide a bridging point for traffic between India and the USA, and perhaps linking regional Europe to the USA and Indian subcontinent. For this the first priority is to get all of the existing routes to daily year round frequencies with a sprinkling of new routes as summer seasonal. There is also the question of India since Jet Airways demise. Once that can be resolved, I suppose if this is a success they can expand on it further.


I think that all makes sense. They are going to grow. They believe they have to in order to make VS more relevant and competitive in the future. And I think they need to demonstrate the they can legitimately be the UK's 2nd flag carrier so that their argument regarding LHR expansion is take more seriously.

One thing to be sure of, just like this Flybe deal, expect the unexpected. They will be thinking outside the box for sure.


Always interesting getting an opinion from outside of the UK but becoming the second flag carrier by shrinking its biggest base in terms of aircraft and can all this be done by concentrating on MAN/LHR? I am a BHX local and there is deep suspicion of their intentions, none more so due to the lack of any direct mention of BHX in the various press releases.

In the last few weeks at very short notice, they have seriously reduced their winter schedule cutting 5 European routes (HAM. HAJ, LYS, TXL & MXP) or I should say making 3 seasonable (LYS, MXP & TXL) although the CAA stats show two of routes can be even busier in winter (TXL & MXP) during the pre Christmas period. BHX is not alone as MAN - MXP, TLS and GLA are either ending or going seasona as well as LCY - DUS.

The fact that summer 2020 is not on sale is not giving much confidence either.

Also with BHX the fact that Flybe have to give up 5 slot pairs on AMS and 3 slot pairs on CDG if another airline is interested is another worry about the BHX operation and the fact easyjet have announced GLA and EDI to BHX could be an indication that some more changes are afoot. Indeed I believe the AMS initial summer 2020 slot application was 3rd of October and nothing has been said if Flybe still hold the 5 slot pairs or if another airline has shown interest (The rumour was easyjet were considering).

I suppose it was pretty obvious that things could not go on as they were and to be fair most of the decisions seem logical or inevitable in some instances although until more is known some will remain concerned or suspicious and this drip, drip flow of information isn't helping.

Winter season starts next week and various sites are showing 45-48 (depending on the day) aircraft needed out of around the 65 that will be left in the fleet (DH8, 175 & 195) when some more jets leave in the next few weeks which is still over 25% out of use at any one time which is eye-watering to say the least.
 
philabos
Posts: 45
Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:24 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Mon Oct 21, 2019 3:16 am

I will admit I am not an airline guy, but succeeding in the UK domestic market outside connecting traffic is very tough.

If God made a country highly fit for railways, this would be it. Over 1.5 billion railway passengers per year in a nation of 65 plus million.
The US has 30 plus million per year in a nation of well over 300 million by comparison. Half of our 30 million travel east of Buffalo and Pittsburgh in 6% of the land mass, mainly along the East Coast.

I suppose it doesn't take many to fill up a smallish aircraft, but can you make any money?

Now back to lurking.
 
RyanAirB737
Posts: 72
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 6:52 am

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Mon Oct 21, 2019 5:14 am

I am glad Virgin is bringing back connections to Scotland etc. Right now, I fly VS to LHR T3, and then haul it to T5 for a flight to Scotland on an A320. I really wish Virgin Little Red had been successful. I am not a fan of these turboprops, and am afraid I will still make the T3->T5 dash.

vhtje wrote:
'Virgin Connect' .... connect to which VS flights exactly? They have 5 destinations from Heathrow: Aberdeen, Edinburgh, New Quay, Guernsey and Isle of Man. Nice destinations, all of them, but even together they are hardly likely to be huge feeders for VS' LHR operation. Plus, BE operate out of T2, not T3 - let's hope it's a better connection experience than Little Red, but my hopes are not high.


I have fond memories of taking the flight connections bus from T3 to T1 and what a maze T1 was. It felt like going through T1 flight connections took us in a big circle. Being dropped off in a deserted room, taking an escalator up what seemed like 2 floors, the mini-immigration check station (and the international connections to the left which seemed to bypass it). Then taking an escalator down to security (somewhere in there was an unassuming corridor to T2), then through a mess of stores and restaurants to a sad dumpy small concourse with UK departures (I somehow missed the long tube that went to Irish departures). It must have taken a lot of work to get the passenger flow to work, but work it did (just inconvenient). It was so much walking.

Now that T1 is out of service, I wish I could find the detailed floorplan or blueprints for that terminal.
 
crownvic
Posts: 2688
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 10:16 pm

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:23 am

I make the journey from Orlando Florida twice a year to Newquay using Flybe on the connection. The previous LGW connections to Flybe were seamless. Now it requires a road trip to LHR to catch the Flybe flight and on the return an extra overnight stay near LGW as it is impossible to make the LGW MCO flight.
 
DobboDobbo
Posts: 1127
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 1:02 am

Re: Flybe to become Virgin Connect in 2020

Mon Oct 21, 2019 10:30 am

crownvic wrote:
I make the journey from Orlando Florida twice a year to Newquay using Flybe on the connection. The previous LGW connections to Flybe were seamless. Now it requires a road trip to LHR to catch the Flybe flight and on the return an extra overnight stay near LGW as it is impossible to make the LGW MCO flight.


Is via MAN not an option?

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