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Ozair
Topic Author
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Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:20 am

A friend of mine flew to Hong Kong the other day on the new daily Virgin Atlantic service, said the service was fantastic. He attributed this to the fact that there were only 26 people on the plane. Considering that it was an A346 was Virgin's decision to fly to Australia a wise one? They continue to codeshare to the UK with Malaysian, surely with their own services this should stop and filling the seats of their own planes take priority
 
gigneil
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:25 am

I sincerely doubt there were only 26 people on the plane.

Sincerely.

N
 
777ER
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:36 am

I read in the Wellington news paper a few days ago that Branson expects the LHR-BKK-SYD service to run un-profitable for about the next 3-4 years. He also expects the services to run light intill more and more passengers work out throu advertising that VS is now flying the route.
 
junior1970
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:39 am

Hmmm...26 pax in a A346 ? That means 1 f/a for every 2 passengers ? Awesome. At least you can sleep good on a long trip like this.  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
Ozair
Topic Author
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:39 am

He stated 2 in first, three in business and just over 20 in economy, I must say also that he is a reliable source and you are welcome to contact him to confirm his story.

I could see the flight being more full from HK to LHR as it is an established service.
 
jupiter2
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:29 am

Gigneil, I am facinated how the hell you would know from where you are. Ozair quoted the details from a passenger onboard, lets face it, if the thing is empty then it is going to be pretty easy to tell.
As an observer in SYD, I do not know their exact numbers, however just from observing their practices in SYD it is pretty easy to tell the loads are light. For one they are the only carrier that does not let the airport authority put the passenger load numbers on certain screens which are available around the airport if you access to them. They are a handy item if you can get to one, they give rego,eta, gate number and passenger numbers for the flight, even the number of people transitting.
The most condeming thing however for an outsider though would be the fact that it is quite often the only "heavy" which will depart off 07/25, and then barely use half of it. All the other "heavies" will go 16R/34L and struggle into the air. Now either they have hung some almighty powerful Rollers on this thing or the loads are light !!!
Gigneil, while I know the credibilty of a lot of the info on this site is doubtful, most people who will quote details like this are not doing just for the sake of getting a rebuttal from you. Trust people, even if it is only occasionally.
RL
 
A340Driver
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:37 am

The loads ARE that light and they ARE huge Rollers on the A346! It's a dream to fly.
 
virgincrew
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:16 am

Hey OZair,

Yeah our loads are very light at the moment. Bare in mind this is only our second month of operating the SYD route. The LHR-HKG & HKG-LHR sectors are full and always are.
 
jupiter2
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:01 pm

Virgin guys,
It is not unrealistic for there to be light loads at present, most airlines do not expect a new route to turn a profit from day one. However 26 is extremely light, hopefully it is not the norm, you just hope it doesn't last to long !!!
VirginCrew, maybe the fact that the LHR/HKG sectors is having to great an effect on the SYD performance. I was under the impression that LHR/HKG was to go double daily with one flight continuing on to SYD, did this not happen ??

On the down side though, there has been huge demand between HKG/China and Australia in recent weeks. On some days here in SYD we have had 4 CX's, 2 MU's, 2 CZ's, plus the QF and CA flights, most of them with very good loads, you would have hoped that VS could've gotten some of that extra traffic !!!

A340driver, I know they are big engines, but really that is only compared to the hair dryers on the 2 and 300's !!!!
RL
 
virgincrew
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 12:59 pm

Jupiter 2

Hey there, when the loads pick up there will eventually be two HKG's a day. Like you say one will do LHR-HKG-LHR and the second will continue through to SYD.
 
QANTAS077
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:09 pm

i've heard that the loads to Sydney aren't that flash either.
 
jakob77
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:10 pm

It certainly is difficult for VS to compete against CX on this route on the basis of frequency.
CX offers 3x daily between LHR and HKG and also another 3x daily between HKG and SYD to offer the most choices for passengers. With KA rumored to start her own SYD service in the summer, it'll only get tougher for VS.
 
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malaysia
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:11 pm

oh Id get stuck in HKG? well I was planning to fly IAD-LHR-SYD on Virgin

 
jacobin777
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:39 pm

wasn't this one of the Routes where SRB was talking about using the A380 on?
 
jakob77
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 1:42 pm

imagine 26 pax on a A388!!
 
The Coachman
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:14 pm

Ouch...

I've seen the VS 346 take off from 07/25 and it takes off quite quickly, once there was a CX 343 behind it and that took the whole of 07/25 (it always would though with the hairdryers LOL).

I can believe the loads would be light. It doesn't have the backing of a FF scheme and that doesn't help.
 
bill142
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 2:47 pm

Branson expects the LHR-BKK-SYD service to run un-profitable for about the next 3-4 years

I would expect it to be unprofitable longer then that, considering that VS flies LHR-HKG-SYD and with the MH codeshare via KUL.
 
FlyboyOz
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:58 pm

That's true...I know why.

1) The airfare to HKG is more expensive than last year. From $899 to $1499

2) Lots of chinese people want to fly chinese airlines such as Cathay Pacific - CX fly to SYD three times a day. CX flights have more pax than Qantas. I mean... I have checked the comparsion between Qantas and CX flying to HKG. I found out that chinese people has chosen CX over Qantas. Chinese people want feel more comfortable with their own language as CX has lots of asians cabin crew.
 
cragley
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:09 pm


I say wait til school holidays when all the students go home. Full loads guaranteed!

 
The Coachman
Posts: 1193
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:14 pm

Umm....Cragley...

Australian school holidays have just finished...

What are loads ex HKG to SYD btw? Should be good with Chinese New Year...
 
A340Driver
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:42 pm

HKG is not planned to go to double daily at all. The route was started as expansion away from a crowded Heathrow as more of a HKG-SYD stand alone operation that could also be sold LHR-SYD. The route isn't marketed a great deal in the UK.

The route is Oneworld dominated with high frequency and much higher standards of service on competitor airlines than Virgin is used to across the Atlantic. There is also the frequent flyer scheme problem to consider. People won't fly an airline outside of their scheme even if they want to. They aren't used to Virgin down there and they don't get Asia Miles.

Of course loads will improve but it could be an uphill climb.

Virgincrew, what's with the 'our loads'. You bought shares?
 
CaptainTim
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 7:15 pm

i saw Branson when he came to hong kong to promote the flight at the hotel for the crew "Park LAne" and he was quoted saying to the reporters there that he feeels that this will be one of the best routes that Virgin will serve in the upcoming year..

soo i dunno.. perhaps it was just a stroke of luck for the passengers on that flight that ony 26 passgers were on board...??

tim
 
A340Driver
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 8:21 pm

Oh please, he says that at EVERY route launch! Why do people believe everything that comes out of RB's mouth? Let's see what he says in Mumbai, Havana and Nassau later in the year.
 
BestWestern
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:01 pm

Virgins problem is that LHR HKG is very successful in its own right. To offer specials on LHR HKG SYD means losing a higher revenue on the first segment ex LHR.

So, the airline is relying on local O&D traffic out of HKG. HKG-SYD is quite a competitive route, both directly, and via close by hubs. The strength of OneWorld and Star FFP's in that market is amazing, It wont change in a hurry either. This mostly affects premium traffic, as these tend to be frequent flyers with airline status.

 
leelaw
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 9:37 pm

I agree with BestWestern, the marketing strategy in this case alludes me?
 
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fbgdavidson
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:33 pm

He stated 2 in first, three in business and just over 20 in economy, I must say also that he is a reliable source

Bearing in mind VS don't have a First cabin I'd say he wasn't that reliable!
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:46 pm

Fbgdavidson

That doesn't necessarily suggest lack of credibility, but lack of knowledge of the VS products and mistaking their UCS for first and their PE for business. We don't know how extensive that person's knowledge is on airlines and their services. Those of use on this site tend to know cause we are into aviation. He could simply have been an innocent person commenting on his flight.
 
cragley
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 10:57 pm



OK VS generally has dirt cheap fares on their codeshare services from OZ with MH.

Are they now going to have 2 different fare levels or are they going to increase their MH codeshare netts.


Coachie : I know when school holidays are.

 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
keno
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:46 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Wed Feb 02, 2005 11:46 pm

They continue to codeshare to the UK with Malaysian, surely with their own services this should stop.

VS & MH codeshare on LHR-KUL-SYD will expire this year, as agreed 10 years ago when the two airlines first signed the agreement.
 
virgincrew
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:12 am

A340Driver,

When I use the term 'our loads' it's becuase I am a loyal employee of the airline I work for and if I did ever get disgruntled with VS like you have, then I would have the guts to leave and find another job !!!!
 
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malaysia
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:41 am

VS is gonna do LHR-BKK????

when when??

I will start using VS from now on non-revving from LHR-BKK cause I dont have to pay anything except tax

 
VSCaptain
Posts: 89
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:59 am

I heard that LHR-SYD route with VS is doing so well that VS are thinking about upgrading the route from a A340-600 to a 744!
 
aa777jr
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:04 am

I read in the Wellington news paper a few days ago that Branson expects the LHR-BKK-SYD service to run un-profitable for about the next 3-4 years.

I have read the same thing. Look for VS to stick with this route for a few years. I'm sure loads will fill up sooner than later.

Regards,
AA777jr
 
VS045
Posts: 188
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 5:15 am

26 isn't really the worst thing ever because:

Firstly, it has only been running for 8 weeks

Secondly, it doesn't matter where those 26 are just as long as they are in the premium cabins, although, on this occasion, they were not.

And also what is SRB ment to say? "Yes we are flying to SYD, but I don't think that it will be profitable for another 5 yeasr!" That would really inspire confidence in VS!

Cheers,
VS045
 
User avatar
eta unknown
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:02 am

All this speculation is too early to tell.
In 1979 I flew Qantas LAX-HNL-SYD on a 747 Combi, VH-ECA, three months after the service started. At HNL we parked next to QF's SFO-HNL-SYD flight which was completely full on a 747 all pax. My LAX flight, however, had less than 20 pax on board- now look at QF in LAX!
 
jacobin777
Posts: 12262
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:29 pm

RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:25 am

wasn't this one of the Routes where SRB was talking about using the A380 on?
 
Ozair
Topic Author
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RE: Virgin Atlantic And SYD, Is It Worth It?

Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:53 am

Thankyou for all the responses, sorry on the first class slip, I was just quoting him and although he does fly often on business I do not think he has flown Virgin before. My bad. I enjoy Virgin Atlantic, my wife and I have flown on them several times and I have always enjoyed the service.

I am interested that the codeshare is ending soon, I flew this route just over a year ago to the Uk. I am not sure ending it will add too much to the loads of the HKG service though.

Would VS fill the lower hold with Cargo to make up for the lighter passenger loads? I am not sure whether they are a large cargo hauler but they certainly have the space on the A346.

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