Moderators: jsumali2, richierich, ua900, PanAm_DC10, hOMSaR

 
anstar
Topic Author
Posts: 3342
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:30 am

Seems things aren;t going as expected with Virgin's new route. Let's hope business picks up soon, htough I don't think they have much luck until they put anther LHR-HKG flight on to allow more though PAX.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/business/...oute/2005/08/14/1123957949573.html
 
Trolley Dolley
Posts: 548
Joined: Sat Jul 29, 2000 1:57 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:56 am

I was just wondering, what international routes has VS withdrawn from in its history?

Maybe their song and dance at the service launch about the "duopoly" on the Kangaroo route ignored the reality of the depth, beadth and intensity of competition from so many airlines on that route.
 
User avatar
Richard28
Posts: 2751
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 5:42 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:29 am

they pullled Toronto and Chicago after 9/11, when the 747 classic fleet was retired.
 
tjr16698
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 8:06 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:36 am

Yes, I remember the Toronto and Chicago withdrawals too.
Would it make economic sense for them to consider re-opening either or both of these again now? Or is there some other reason for not pursuing this?
Apologies for the ignorance.
Cheers
Russ
 
User avatar
sunrisevalley
Posts: 5392
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:26 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:01 am

In my not so humble opinion, Virgin is what I term a piss and wind airline that takes their own bull s**t too seriously.
 
sparkingwave
Posts: 568
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:01 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:03 am

Well, if Virgin can't do it then how are all the other airlines who've ordered A380s to take over these routes gonna do it? It's gonna be quite a scene to see how the loads will hold up when capacity jumps in the next couple of years.

Virgin better learn from Pan Am in the 70s that it can't always hang on to a nonperforming route for pride's sake. It's better for Virgin to make money than to become a casualty. And it can happen to any airline, like it did PA!

Fuel for thought.

Sparkingwave
Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
 
hz747300
Posts: 2420
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:10 am

So many airlines offer service on this route beyond Qantas and British Airways. If you figure the flights will have you in a metal tube for at least 24 hours anyways your choices with transfers start to get even more appealing. Pricing it out, Austrian is typically the cheapest for steerage, with BA & Qantas being the priciest. Routing though with highly regarded Asian carriers, Singapore, Cathay, and Thai, usually priced in the middle, where does that leave Virgin, especially without a big alliance to rack up points with when traveling with them.
Keep on truckin'...
 
jacobin777
Posts: 12262
Joined: Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:29 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:37 am

Quoting Trolley Dolley (Reply 1):
I was just wondering, what international routes has VS withdrawn from in its history?

It will take a couple of years for this route to be profitable..even VS themselves stated that..

also, if I can recall reading somewhere here..a few posted that they don't have the fleet yet for this route.they need more planes and better connections..

the problem as mentioned above is regarding when the WhaleJet comes on board..if I can recall...VS was mentioning that LHR-SYD would be one of the routes their WhaleJet will be flying..

maybe this is one of the reasons as to why they are thinking of delaying their WhaleJet orders..

I'm not a big VS fan, but I wish them the best as we the customers win with competition.
"Up the Irons!"
 
dutchjet
Posts: 7714
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2000 6:13 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:37 am

The London-Australia route is hugely competitve; as pointed out, its not just BA and QF, its every Asian carrier (some with exceptional reputations for good service) and EK and NZ and even UA.....there are many choices on this route and some at very sharp prices.

BA, QF, and some of the others also have an advantage in that they can offer onestop service between London and several major cities in Australia such as Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, etc....many pax fly into one city and depart from another which is not possible with Virgin....Virgin offers service only to Sydney. On the other side of the route, BA and QF feed their flights out of LHR with passengers from many UK regional and European cities.

But the big problem, I think, is the route that Virgin uses - LHR-HKG-SYD is fine except for the fact that LHR-HKG was already a successful route for Virgin and the aircraft leaves London with lots of passengers just flying as far as HongKong.....HKG bound passengers on the flight limit the seats available to those wanting to travel on the airplane all the way to Sydney. Same is true for the return flight. It also seems that Virgin has been less than successful in breaking into the HKG-SYD market and therefore it has a problem. Its an interesting situation, Virgin either has to additional weekly flights to HongKong (increasing risk) which will allow more seats to be available in the LHR-SYD market, or find a new (less popular) stopover city (where? Bali?), or withdraw from the route (which I dont think is very likely after all of the fuss made about this service), or deal with the status quo and hope that things improve. My guess is that Virgin will add an additional flight between LHR and HKG, say an A346 operating 3 or 4 times per week, to improve its performance on the LHR-SYD route......just a guess.

Virgin is a good and innovative airline, although I can personally live without Branson and his media tactics.....maybe after this experience Sir Richard will not be so self-confident and he will be a little less media-happy.
 
planesailing
Posts: 564
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2005 4:57 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:09 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 8):
But the big problem, I think, is the route that Virgin uses - LHR-HKG-SYD is fine except for the fact that LHR-HKG was already a successful route for Virgin and the aircraft leaves London with lots of passengers just flying as far as HongKong.....HKG bound passengers on the flight limit the seats available to those wanting to travel on the airplane all the way to Sydney. Same is true for the return flight.

Could that not be solved a lot easier with an equipment change?

They are usings A346's to Sydney, which seat 309. Their 744's out of LHR are configured for 394, so the extra 85 seats could come in handy? There must be a 744 route in their network where it is running at around 80% load factor, meaning a 309 seat aircraft would run at 100%. I guess the problem with the Kangaroo run is that it requires more than 1 aircraft to do the rotation regulary.
 
N754PR
Posts: 2909
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 1999 10:03 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:27 am

VS need another Hong Kong flight and ASAP. BA now offer 3 daily and CX is going 4 daily.... VS have ONE daily.

Now their problem is if the LHR flight is full how can they get pax from SYD to LHR!

Anyway, I'll not be flying VS (at least in Y) as their seating is way too tight for me. Even CX is bad enough if you cant get a good seat.
Bush, your a sad, sad man.
 
ZKOJH
Posts: 1503
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:51 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:35 am

just wait to NZ start flying that route, oh ye !!!!
Air New Zealand ~ dreams of flying
 
Turbojet
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:14 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:39 am

Quoting Dutchjet (Reply 8):
But the big problem, I think, is the route that Virgin uses - LHR-HKG-SYD is fine except for the fact that LHR-HKG was already a successful route for Virgin and the aircraft leaves London with lots of passengers just flying as far as HongKong.....HKG bound passengers on the flight limit the seats available to those wanting to travel on the airplane all the way to Sydney. Same is true for the return flight. It also seems that Virgin has been less than successful in breaking into the HKG-SYD market and therefore it has a problem. Its an interesting situation, Virgin either has to additional weekly flights to HongKong (increasing risk) which will allow more seats to be available in the LHR-SYD market, or find a new (less popular) stopover city (where? Bali?),

Before VS adds the 2nd daily flight to HKG, VS must prove that the low load on SYD-LHR-SYD is due to less inventory released to HKG-SYD-HKG segment.

I am also wondering whether or not VS will withdraw HKG-SYD-HKG after it successfully negotiates codeshare agreement with SQ.

Another disadvantage for VS on this route is VS is not part of major leagues nor have decent feeding network in Europe and Oz.
 
aerokiwi
Posts: 2804
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2000 1:17 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:55 am

Maybe a LHR-KUL-SYD routing? Doesn't Malaysian have a monopoly on this one?
 
Turbojet
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 5:14 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:11 am

Quoting Aerokiwi (Reply 13):
Maybe a LHR-KUL-SYD routing? Doesn't Malaysian have a monopoly on this one?

I think LHR-KUL-SYD or LHR-DPS-SYD are all very good alternatives but these two routes are somewhat different from LHR-HKG-SYD in terms of types of passengers -- business vs tourists. VS needs different strategy on those markets.
 
6thfreedom
Posts: 2641
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:09 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:27 am

Quoting Turbojet (Reply 14):
Quoting Aerokiwi (Reply 13):
Maybe a LHR-KUL-SYD routing? Doesn't Malaysian have a monopoly on this one?

I think LHR-KUL-SYD or LHR-DPS-SYD are all very good alternatives but these two routes are somewhat different from LHR-HKG-SYD in terms of types of passengers -- business vs tourists. VS needs different strategy on those markets.

Why SYD???

I would suggest that LHR-BKK-MEL is also a great option.
VS does not operate to BKK, which is a hugely popular destination from the UK, and TG has the monopoly BKK-MEL, while TG, QF and BA operate BKK-SYD!

The other option would be LHR-KUL-MEL.
While MH and OS operate KUL_SYD, only MH operates KUL-MEL.
 
hz747300
Posts: 2420
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:32 am

Is OS allowed to have passengers flying KUL-SYD or SYD-KUL only?

Keep on truckin'...
 
malb777
Posts: 443
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 5:53 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 11:59 am

Does any body think that seating and service by VS has anything to do with poor loads. I recently done the SYD-HKG-LHR retrun with QF and those flights , as with all the other QF flights on that route operated at 100% all the time, okay QF frequent fliers etc help boost the loads, but the VS brand has the capacity to fill SYD-HKG route with pax from the VB flights.
Just my twocents 
thank god i was not born a bird. this type of flying is much better
 
User avatar
yyz717
Posts: 15779
Joined: Mon Sep 10, 2001 12:26 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:08 pm

Quoting Tjr16698 (Reply 3):
Yes, I remember the Toronto and Chicago withdrawals too.
Would it make economic sense for them to consider re-opening either or both of these again now? Or is there some other reason for not pursuing this?

I think a lack of LHR slots is keeping YYZ and ORD from being recommenced.
I dumped at the gybe mark in strong winds when I looked up at a Porter Q400 on finals. Can't stop spotting.
 
HKGKaiTak
Posts: 971
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 9:48 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:52 pm

Quoting N754PR (Reply 10):
Now their problem is if the LHR flight is full how can they get pax from SYD to LHR!

VS is not promoting SYD to LHR in cattle class at all, only in Upper Class (or whatever they call it).

They're promoting almost exclusively SYD to HKG only, and with very tempting cattle class prices too.  bigthumbsup 

Quoting Aerokiwi (Reply 13):
Maybe a LHR-KUL-SYD routing? Doesn't Malaysian have a monopoly on this one?

Funnily enough if you are a travel agent and you type in VS for SYD-LHR you'd find the only fare available is via KUL  Wow! ... this code-share with MH has been going on for a number of years now. No idea how successful it is though.

Quoting Turbojet (Reply 12):
Another disadvantage for VS on this route is VS is not part of major leagues nor have decent feeding network in Europe and Oz.

VS does have a good feeding network with DJ in Oz from MEL and BNE at least, it doesn't have the regional feed like QF does. I guess VS can sell tickets over in Europe or Hong Kong bundled with DJ flights here - it does serve all the touristy places.

The only problem is if I'm in MEL or BNE, why would I fly to SYD and change planes? If I'm flying any of the Asian carriers or with QF and EK I'd hop on a plane to Asia and change there.

Another concern for VS is the the "feed" from LHR onwards? The trend with all carriers and with QF and BA is that they offer onward connection or fly into to other European cities at no extra cost. And it could get feeder traffic from rest of UK and Europe, for instance. The fact that VS does not have a European network might not be good for it, either.
4 Engines 4 LongHaul
 
6thfreedom
Posts: 2641
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:09 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:53 pm

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 16):
Is OS allowed to have passengers flying KUL-SYD or SYD-KUL only?

Yes, OS has the rights to sell SYD-KUL vv only, although for the most part their services seem to be filled with pax going all the way thru to VIE and beyond to points in Europe.

When OS does have spare capacity, the fares on SYD-KUL are excellent...
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1669
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:24 pm

was in hkg recently and we stayed at the renaissance harbor view and in the course of the day at the pool..my children quickly made friends with kids from the uk and germany...the 3 dads of those kids worked for VS in lhr as pilots....all 3 said that VS was disapointed in the oz flts and were looking at moving the oz destination flt thru another asian city..they were on the way back to europe from a 3 week holiday and said that the syd-hkg leg they were on had only 96 in economy.
Bus Driver
 
aaflt1871
Posts: 2165
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:29 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:27 pm

Quoting Tjr16698 (Reply 3):
Would it make economic sense for them to consider re-opening either or both of these again now? Or is there some other reason for not pursuing this?

I would say no just for the fact that ORD is a AA and UA stronghold that VS cannot compete with!! Throw in BA and I would say those 3 have the ORD-LHR route covered. If Virgin America ever gets off of the ground maybe someday they will start the route up again, but I really doubt it.

AAFLT1871
Where did everybody go?
 
United Airline
Posts: 8971
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:24 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:39 pm

Dragonair and Oasis are planning flights between Hong Kong and London too. CX is going 4 times daily and maybe 5 times daily once they start LHR-JFK. NZ will start daily flight soon. QF will go daily eventually....

BA: 3 times daily.

So VS should go double daily...
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:40 pm

Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 4):
In my not so humble opinion, Virgin is what I term a piss and wind airline that takes their own bull s**t too seriously.

And what's the reason for that humble opinion? Some arguments would be helpful...

Quoting ANstar (Thread starter):
Well, if Virgin can't do it then how are all the other airlines who've ordered A380s to take over these routes gonna do it?

Because not all airlines are the same?


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
Airbus A3XX
Posts: 479
Joined: Wed May 19, 1999 5:12 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:49 pm

Quoting Malb777 (Reply 17):
Does any body think that seating and service by VS has anything to do with poor loads. I recently done the SYD-HKG-LHR retrun with QF and those flights , as with all the other QF flights on that route operated at 100% all the time, okay QF frequent fliers etc help boost the loads, but the VS brand has the capacity to fill SYD-HKG route with pax from the VB flights.
Just my

I suppose that could also be a reason for their poor loads ex-SYD. A few friends of mine have recently took advantage of the two-for-one HKG deal (two return SYD-HKG tickets at only A$1000!) but was disappointed with their service. They thought the seats are tight (compared with CX and QF) and the service by the cabin crew was poor.
 
hz747300
Posts: 2420
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:57 pm

Quoting Udo (Reply 24):
Quoting ANstar (Thread starter):
Well, if Virgin can't do it then how are all the other airlines who've ordered A380s to take over these routes gonna do it?

Because not all airlines are the same?

That's actually a bad argument--unless you are stating that increased capacity will create its own demand. Is it a self-fulfilling prophecy to drop an A380 on the route when you cannot fill an A346, or a joke? Are they thinking that there is a large amount of people that want to go to the Virgin Spa in flight on the Virgin Jumbo-Leadership Liner?

At some point, LHR/HKG and return will reach saturation--continuation or no continuation especially if people start dumping their A380s on the route. VS would be better served to find a different Asian city to pass through. Right now, there is roughly speaking 4000 seats a day between LHR-HKG & return, not counting available connections (India, Singapore, Bangkok, Dubai, Doha, Bahrain, etc...). It will be fun to watch what equipment gets swapped for the A380 when it is flying next year, and to see what happens to seats & yields.
Keep on truckin'...
 
travelin man
Posts: 3242
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2000 10:04 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:05 pm

This might be a "dumb" question, but regarding the feed in Australia: Doesn't VS get feed from Virgin Blue? And if not, why not? It seems like a very natural fit, but I have not seen any mention of one of QF's only main domestic competitors.
 
hz747300
Posts: 2420
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 11:38 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 3:09 pm

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 27):
This might be a "dumb" question, but regarding the feed in Australia: Doesn't VS get feed from Virgin Blue? And if not, why not? It seems like a very natural fit, but I have not seen any mention of one of QF's only main domestic competitors.

The only dumb question is the one that is not asked.

Only recently, and I mean very recently (within 1-2 months), has Virgin Blue been able to feed Virgin Atlantic. There was an article a month ago in AirlinerWorld that the two carriers were finally on the same reservation system so interlining would be possible.
Keep on truckin'...
 
B787
Posts: 149
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 7:06 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:16 pm

One of the items that needs to be looked at is what do VS bring to the kangaroo route that no other airline brings? They way I see is they do the same thing, offer the same thing but just put a different wrapper around it. The reality is that there are many carriers that a consumer can choose to fly that route. There will be some who go for price alone. Some for points or club access. Some for stop over options. Some for time taken. And there are many other reasons.

VS seem to be going after the same person that QF, BA, SQ, and the rest target. QF (with their Oneworld buddies) have their local FF programme and can partner into BA's and CX's. They have the clubs and the connecting flights in HKG, SYD and LHR, as well as all the other flight options.

It seems to me that VS chose the worst possible cities for their innaugural Australian flights. LHR - BKK - MEL/BNE would have been a much wiser bet. They could keep operating a profitable LHR - HKG route and open up some new ones. Once they got established, had their partner airlines in place and built a local reputation then they could attack the SYD - LHR sectors.
 
Udo
Posts: 4288
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 5:16 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:18 pm

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 26):
That's actually a bad argument--unless you are stating that increased capacity will create its own demand.

Wrong. I meant other airlines have different networks and different feed than VS.

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 26):
Is it a self-fulfilling prophecy to drop an A380 on the route when you cannot fill an A346, or a joke?

Has VS ever said it would put the A380 on the route?

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 26):
At some point, LHR/HKG and return will reach saturation--continuation or no continuation especially if people start dumping their A380s on the route.

Who will use A380s? BA won't, CX won't, QF will place it on other routes.


Regards
Udo
Me & You & a Plane Named Blue...
 
anstar
Topic Author
Posts: 3342
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:26 pm

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 7):
It will take a couple of years for this route to be profitable..even VS themselves stated that..

Yes, but it is performing even poorer than expected.

Quoting Airbus A3XX (Reply 25):
suppose that could also be a reason for their poor loads ex-SYD. A few friends of mine have recently took advantage of the two-for-one HKG deal (two return SYD-HKG tickets at only A$1000!) but was disappointed with their service. They thought the seats are tight (compared with CX and QF) and the service by the cabin crew was poor.

Travelling down the back with Virgin Atlantic is nothing short of awful. thier premium cabins maybe ok, but their staff are dreadful, seat pitch is crap.

Perhaps a lack of an Alliance is also not helping their cause?
 
aaflt1871
Posts: 2165
Joined: Fri Dec 24, 2004 7:29 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 4:51 pm

Quoting Udo (Reply 30):
Has VS ever said it would put the A380 on the route?

Yes,
Where did everybody go?
 
bill142
Posts: 7867
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:50 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:14 pm

VS claims this is a duopoly, last time I checked a duopoly wasn't more then 2. So considering there are something like 25 carriers operating the route, and granted that QF and BA have the biggest slice of the market. VS simply need to look at ways of beating QF and BA. Their capacity issues between HKG and LHR are one, the fact that they cannot compete on price between SYD and HKQ due to their lack of frequency as they know if they even try and start a price war CX and QF are going to have them for dinner.
 
Avalon
Posts: 87
Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 6:36 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 5:20 pm

Quoting SparkingWave (Reply 5):
Well, if Virgin can't do it then how are all the other airlines who've ordered A380s to take over these routes gonna do it? It's gonna be quite a scene to see how the loads will hold up when capacity jumps in the next couple of years.

There will be no problems filling the A380s from Australia to the UK for the airlines that fly the route now with good load factors, such as QF, SQ, etc.

One of the factors for success on this route is having just one stop between LHR and your Aust city. Most travellers from Melbourne or Brisbane like to fly directly out of the country and not have to change planes after only an hour. Further, because the flights are so long, there are many frequent flyer points to be earned, so it is a huge advantage to fly with a one world or star alliance carrier.

There are exceptions, such as Emirates, who are not part of any alliance. But they fly directly out of Australia from a number of cities, and have a good reputation in terms of service, price and in-flight entertainment and this seems to compensate. Emirates started flights into Australia with a number of Aust cities served directly in reasonably quick succession. Virgin Atlantic have talked about flying to Melbourne as well, but there has been no signs of any action yet.

Quoting Travelin man (Reply 27):
This might be a "dumb" question, but regarding the feed in Australia: Doesn't VS get feed from Virgin Blue? And if not, why not? It seems like a very natural fit, but I have not seen any mention of one of QF's only main domestic competitors.



Quoting HKGKaiTak (Reply 19):
VS does have a good feeding network with DJ in Oz from MEL and BNE at least, it doesn't have the regional feed like QF does.

There is no way I would fly with Virgin Blue, a LCC to Sydney to join a full service international flight, when I could join any number of other full service, and mostly top class international flights directly out of Melbourne.

Emirates clearly invested a lot of money in establishing their presence in Australia through direct flights to so many Australian cities. Through their middle eastern hub they can provide direct flights to quite a number of European cities. Virgin has not made such an investment in flying directly to a number of cities in Australia and cannot provide direct connections from Hong Kong to anywhere except London. This would be the same no matter what Asian city they flew through on the way to London.

Quoting Trolley Dolley (Reply 1):
Maybe their song and dance at the service launch about the "duopoly" on the Kangaroo route ignored the reality of the depth, beadth and intensity of competition from so many airlines on that route.



Quoting SunriseValley (Reply 4):
In my not so humble opinion, Virgin is what I term a piss and wind airline that takes their own bull s**t too seriously.

I too have little sympathy for them, because their advertising themes backfire on me. They take too much of a negative attitude in their advertising and are often misleading. For example, they made out that QF and BA had a stranglehold on flights from Aust to London and that they would be our liberators our saviours from this tyranny. This is such a blatant lie, because, quite possibly, more passengers flew between Australia & the UK with airlines other than QF or BA. QF rightly countered their claim by stating that there was something like 22 airlines on the route. Neither BA nor QF were even flying the UK to Australia route via HK, only Cathay, of whom Virgin never made mention.

Even Virgin Blue often adopt negative principles in their advertising, like "'Avalong' way to go? Next time fly Virgin Blue", criticising Jetstar, Virgin Blue's Aust LCC rival for using Avalon (AVV), a secondary Melbourne airport. I will have a quiet chuckle if (and perhaps when) Virgin Blue start flying out of Avalon in addition to or instead of Tullamarine (MEL) to reduce their costs.

Although I have not flown VS, I have found on Virgin Blue that the 'fun' type of service they promote in their advertising tends more to be 'slack' service when on the plane. On a recent trip to Tasmania, when packing up in preparation for landing, I offered my empty coffee cup and food wrappers to the passing attendant to be taken away. Her beautiful presentation and appearance was in such contrast to her response: "Oh, just put it all down there (the back of the seat in front of me) and I'll clean it up later." Clearly there was nothing offensive in this, but it really came across across as what we Aussies call 'slack'.

Thankfully, they seem to have dropped their speech at the beginning of the flight: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls....a few serious points to mention before the fun begins...". I say thankfully, because the attendants would usually read this out with all the 'fun' in their voice that you normally find for a price check request at a supermarket. I would cringe at hearing script, written to convey levity and informality, read out in such an appallingly flat, dead-pan way.

I warm to entities that promote their advantages without running down their competitors - and who do not make themselves out as some sort of saviours. They are infatuated with themselves for reasons that just do not seem to exist.
 
sevenheavy
Posts: 975
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:30 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:48 pm

Virgin's single biggest problem is how to profitably fill HKG-SYD-HKG without hurting the yields on LHR-HKG-LHR. As has been touched on recently the Hong-Kong-London route enjoys some of the highest load factors and yields in the system and VS have been reluctant to compromise that -preferring to market the HKG-SYD run as a separate entity. I do not believe that there has been a single advert in the U.K. for a LON-SYD service since the route started!. This was recognised from the start and even the initial plan called for double daily LON-HKG service, thus allowing adequate capacity to satisfy both markets. I still have not got a coherent answer as to why this was changed (literally a few weeks before the start of SYD routes) but it seems to be a case of not having available aircraft.

That said, the Sydney runs have enjoyed near 100% load factors over the last 6 weeks or so. Admittedly this is due to some fairly heavy fare sales but this is still not bad for what is the low season for Australia.

In the next 18 months look for double daily to HKG. The Sydney route is now performing as forecasted and unless it deteriorates further it will not be shelved.

Lastly watch out for a (long overdue) complete revamp of economy and premium economy. Can't divulge all the details but expect a head to tail revamp with new seats, pitch, lighting and service!.

Regards,

SevenHeavy
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
zonky
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 8:31 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:53 pm

Quoting Avalon (Reply 34):
Although I have not flown VS, I have found on Virgin Blue that the 'fun' type of service they promote in their advertising tends more to be 'slack' service when on the plane.

It's true of VS as well. Unlike Qantas where fun/friendly crew is still highly professional, the "fun" crew on VS is by and large, anything but professional.

[Edited 2005-08-15 11:54:53]
 
Orion737
Posts: 3044
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2005 10:14 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 6:56 pm

VS economy needs a revamp! They have concentrated so heavily on their upper class, that the economy has fallen behind many of its competitors.
 
dugway
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:58 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 7:09 pm

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 33):
VS claims this is a duopoly, last time I checked a duopoly wasn't more then 2. So considering there are something like 25 carriers operating the route

Branson is obviously making reference to the through flights LHR-SYD. In this case before VS there was only BA & QF...

But yes, there are a lot of carriers on this route, and more to come. UL just announced they would start flying from CMB to SYD...

D P G
 
MidnightMike
Posts: 2810
Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2003 10:07 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:07 pm

Wow, as a passenger, that would be a great flight to be on, loads between 36% to 50% full, sign me up, good chance of having an empty seat next to you......
NO URLS in signature
 
6thfreedom
Posts: 2641
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:09 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:53 pm

Quoting Dugway (Reply 38):
But yes, there are a lot of carriers on this route, and more to come. UL just announced they would start flying from CMB to SYD...

UL WILL NOT be launching SYD services.
They have simply started codesharing on EK services BKK-SYD, as well as SIN-MEL and SIN-BNE.

I cant understand how the media got it so wrong.

In fact, UL has publicly stated that it wiull not be launching ANY Australian services on their own metal prior to Nov 2006!!

http://www.srilankan.aero/aboutus_news/news125_srilankan_network.shtml
 
Gemuser
Posts: 5111
Joined: Mon Nov 24, 2003 12:07 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 8:59 pm

Quoting HZ747300 (Reply 6):
Pricing it out, Austrian is typically the cheapest for steerage, with BA & Qantas being the priciest. Routing though with highly regarded Asian carriers, Singapore, Cathay, and Thai, usually priced in the middle,

Not from this end! Cheapest that I see is usually MH, KE/OZ or a connection over NRT/KIX. I am seeing some very good fares on a QF/SK and QF/LX connection over NRT, in the last couple of weeks. QF/BA/TG/OS seem to be usually in the middle of the pack with EK,SQ & CX at the high end. This is for cheapest Y class fares. All airlines have more expensive seat of course.

Gemuser
DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
 
United Airline
Posts: 8971
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 5:24 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:10 pm

CX is usually the pricest. Then maybe QF/BA. Afterthat I would say SQ/MH.

VS is probably the cheapest I guess

Last time I checked the price of EK and it was quite cheap.
 
BCAL
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:43 pm

Quoting Zonky (Reply 36):
the "fun" crew on VS is by and large, anything but professional.

I have experienced that on most of my VS flights. The most annoying "fun" announcement was after a red-eye flight from SFO to LHR when, as most passengers were hardly awake, the senior F/A announced "Good morning passengers, we shall shortly be serving breakfast prior to landing at Manchester.." followed by a pause "I bet that woke you all up!" as we were due to land at LHR. Not funny and most unprofessional.

My impression of the VS crew was that they were a bunch of amateurs. Their service was slack, and I dread to think how they would react in an emergency situation. As they have attempted to act like comedians, they obviously lost any respect from most passengers, so would not be regarded as leaders in an emergency.

It is not surprising that VS is struggling with SYD route. It has taken BA/QF many years to develop this route, and even now it is rumoured that it does not make much profit. IIRC Eddington was once quoted as saying that BA would drop it if they could. What made Branson (and VS admirers) so confident that a relatively young airline could perform against more experienced carriers on a difficult route? Flying to SYD via HKG adds another hour to the already long flight.

[Edited 2005-08-15 14:57:54]
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
User avatar
ClassicLover
Posts: 5109
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:49 pm

Exactly - development of a route is not a simple thing. You don't just start flights and expect passengers to flock on board. You need to build it up over time, advertise at the beginning for brand awareness and stick with it. That's why it's no mean thing to just begin flying somewhere.

I hope Virgin stick it out, despite initial losses, because it will build up.

Trent.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
CV580Freak
Posts: 886
Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:39 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:18 pm

How about VS LHR/DXB/SYD ?
One day you are the pigeon, the next the statue ...
 
JoFMO
Posts: 1840
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2004 1:55 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:32 pm

I think they should keep HKG. The problem seems not be the stopover city in it self but the disproportional useage of the two legs. As I understand most of you, VS can't sell enough through tickets UK-OZ because LHR-HKG is already heavily booked.
So I would advice VS to start a second HKG flight, so that one flight could cater for the local traffic while the SYD flight is mostly for passengers UK-OZ passengers.
I don't think that another stopover point as BKK or SIN would work better VS.
 
BCAL
Posts: 2925
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 10:16 pm

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Mon Aug 15, 2005 10:46 pm

I wonder how the management at bmi would react if they, rather than VS, were operating on this route?

 stirthepot 
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
CHI787ORD
Posts: 817
Joined: Sat Jun 11, 2005 11:27 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:13 am

Quoting Dugway (Reply 38):
But yes, there are a lot of carriers on this route, and more to come. UL just announced they would start flying from CMB to SYD...

AI wants to fly to SYD too.

Quoting CV580Freak (Reply 45):
How about VS LHR/DXB/SYD

I think LHR-BOM-SYD or LHR-DEl-SYD is a good idea.  Smile
 
semsem
Posts: 1621
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:06 am

RE: Virgin Struggles With SYD Route

Tue Aug 16, 2005 12:18 am

A few airlines have gotten out of the Sydney route. Alitalia and I believe Olympic are one example.

Who is online

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos