marathon
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Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 9:53 pm

Virgin Atlantic is one of my favorite airliners! and today I'm more than concerned about it's future!

Looking at the way Little Red was considered to be closed without any real fight after suffering heavy losses, and the fact that Virgin itself is loosing money dramatically since 2010, cutting it's fleet, closing flight routes (Sydney and potentially others), frequent change of stake holders (Singapore Airlines, Delta Air Lines and who's next???? hopefully not IAG) and all the business trends in general look not so promising for the company...

If you remember, I think it was in 2013 that International Airlines Group CEO, Willie Walsh, suggested that the heavy losses that Virgin is suffering from would terminate it within 5 years

Is there something that Virgin can do? and will there be a happy ending?
 
Armodeen
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:01 pm

Just out of interest, where was it written that little red has made heavy losses? I see it banded about but I don't recall VS actually saying as much?
 
aviationaware
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:03 pm

Quoting Armodeen (Reply 1):
Just out of interest, where was it written that little red has made heavy losses?

Nowhere, but you really only have to add two and two.
 
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thekorean
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:03 pm

Its tricky isn't it, for VS to grow it's long haul flights I think it is going to need domestic/regional feed but those bleed money, usually.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:33 pm

Quoting Armodeen (Reply 1):
Just out of interest, where was it written that little red has made heavy losses? I see it banded about but I don't recall VS actually saying as much?

VS campaigned long and hard for short haul slots, within 2 years of gaining the slots and starting the services they announced that they were being terminated and the remedy slots surrendered, the only conclusion that can be arrived at is that VS could see no way short or long term of stemming the losses.

As to where VS will be in 5 years time, it seems that the future looks more assured than it did a few years back. The arrival of DL as a minority shareholder has seen the emergence of a coherent strategy with the cessation of loss making routes and more flying across the Atlantic to tie into the DL network.
 
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hufftheweevil
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:42 pm

My analysis of VS stems from when I worked for them in 2009 and 2010. The airline is highly inefficient and afraid of new technologies. Some examples include:

There was a GUI for check-in purposes, but not for PNR or ticketing purposes. While the GUI was pretty descent, it was buggy at times.

I had to hand write every receipt for any money collected at the airport: baggage fees, extra leg room or exit seats, upgrades, ticket changes. There was no GUI for sales on the computer; all transactions were entered by hand. (At the time I left, they were beginning to implement such a system, but it was already antiquated and buggy.)

Bags were not scanned before being placed in the ULDs. One of the tiny stickers on the bag tag went on a card. When the actual bag count exceeded the number of bags in the system, we would play "bingo". Five to seven people would each have 1-2 "bingo" cards (each card represented one ULD), and another person would read out every number on the printed list of bag tags in the system until the discrepancy was found. This could take up to 20 minutes if it wasn't found right away. Even had to do it twice one time.

The stubs of the boarding passes are separated at the gate just before the passenger goes down the jetway. Passengers keep the stubs, while VS keeps the larger portion of the boarding pass. During the boarding process, the large portions are collected and sorted by sequence number (check-in number). Every single boarding pass must be accounted for before door closure, otherwise a hunt would be on to find the missing pass. They were then saved for about 3-4 days before being discarded.

Every single flight had a flight file that was at least 1 inch thick by the time the flight departed. A paper copy of every single document related to that flight was in there, and they were saved for months afterward.

While I worked for them (through a contract company), I did everything I could to improve the broken system they had. But I was limited on what I could change.

I was hoping DL could introduce them to the proper use of technology and create a more efficient airline, but it may be a lost cause. VS has placed so much focus on customer service, that they've failed to realize that they could actually use technology to improve on customer service and performance, which thus also improves customer service even more since that is the service an airline attempts to provide to the customer: an on-time flight from point A to point B.
Huff
 
seat64k
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:50 pm

VS is my one of my favourites too, and my heart aches for them. I really don't understand how they're making a loss on some of their routes, e.g. Cape Town. I realise this is anecdotal, but every CPT flight I've been on have been full. Ditto JNB.

I am, however, a little annoyed at how they're going about things. I see introducing the kind of charges that we used to only see with budget carriers, as either greed or desperation. Virgin sent me a nice letter a few months ago telling me how great it is that I can now select my seat for free up to 72 hours before my flight. That does sound nice, except that I've always been able to select my seat for free as soon as I booked my ticket, no matter how long in advance that was. So, can I expect to have to pay for checked luggage in a year's time? How about printing my boarding pass?
 
advent8t
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Thu Feb 19, 2015 11:07 pm

How does Virgin's performance impact Delta in the way the current deal is structured? In other words, would Delta be better off taking a more active role in, say, network planning or IT (bolstering performance, theoretically), or to sit quietly and wait to use its proximity and inside access to information to pick off assets and such?
 
VS11
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:34 am

Virgin Atlantic is fine and will be fine. There was a period in recent history where the airline faced some challenges, notably the Open Skies between US and EU which abolished Bermuda II and the approval of the JV between AA/BA plus the bankruptcy protection of many of its US competitors which were able to offer dirt-cheap fares on key TATL markets.

However, with the new CEO and part-owner i.e. DL, the airline fine-tuned its strategy and is again investing in product and service. It is facing fewer competitors and there is no longer dirt cheap fare pressure. So there is nothing to be worried about. In fact, the future is pretty bright for VS. Frankly, you only need to remember that VS survived 9/11 to feel assured that the airline can deal with pretty severe challenges.
 
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777Jet
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 12:40 am

If Virgin Atlantic still exists in 5 years, and I suspect that it will, then it wouldn't surprise me if the entire fleet is a '2 engines 4 long haul' fleet  

  
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Beatyair
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:39 am

They will adopt the Delta model of many planes that go to more destinations, they will cancel the A380 order, retire all its 747's and A340-600. They will buy more B787-9's and maybe B787-10's, keep there A330-300. They will continue!
 
migair54
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:53 am

In my point of view the biggest problem of VS is dealing with LHR, the competence is huge, maybe the biggest in the world plus they don´t have space to expand even if they want, so adding feeding it´s almost impossible and starting new routes it´s very difficult or almost impossible as well.

The issue with the 4 engine old planes it´s not that bad now that the fuel price is going down but new planes will make the fleet more efficient, but it will also increase the payments for the planes in leasing rates and purchasing, so if the fuel stays low maybe keep the A346 won´t be that bad for a while, but in the long run replacing them with new twins will be the best option.

The issue with the A380 is more tricky in my opinion, I think they can work with VS in few routes and they can help them to add capacity to some destination without using some precious slots that they might find, some heavy premium destinations like HKG, JNB, LAX, JFK...
 
TC957
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:01 am

The Deltarization of VS will continue to the point the airline will just be run for their convenience. We see that now with the loss of busy routes like NRT and CPT and the start of DTW. VS would never have thought of starting a route there if DL hadn't told them to do it. So Virgin Atlanta's future is whatever they get told it is by DL.
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:11 am

Quoting TC957 (Reply 12):
the loss of busy routes like NRT and CPT

Too bad "busy" doesn't automatically equate to "profitable"...

...so if flying to a less-than-glamorous destination brings in money, but places like NRT and CPT don't (or don't to an equivalent degree), then guess where the airline's assets are better spent?

Not a hard decision.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
Max Q
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:57 am

Will be a memory, all worthwhile slots and assets remaining acquired by Delta.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
cedarjet
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:28 am

I think Max Q is right, why do DL need a whole separate airline to fly the odd DTW-LHR or ATL-LHR? They can do it themselves and I bet their costs are a fraction of VS.

IMO the real problem is they're not in an alliance, so hardcore frequent fliers don't even consider them. London is my home base and the cities I fly to regularly are — JFK, SFO, MIA, LAX, NRT, SYD and HKG! The first four multiple times a year. Yet I haven't flown VS for a decade. Why would I leave all those frequent flier miles on the table? So VS have to spend a tonnd of money on marketing but due to their inability to contribute to a globetrotter's FF status, they only appeal to occasional travellers, holidaymakers and bargain hunters. I really don't get it cos they would be a catch for any alliance.

They may end up in Skyteam via DL but without NRT, SYD, CPT they're just a DL franchise and DL will probably come to the same conclusion they did with Pan Am — we can do this perfectly well on our own.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
frostyj
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:32 am

It would be nice if they merged with Delta launched domestic routes using Delta planes (like Guam or Japan) so that we could have avod and business seats. I love going to USA and getting superior service on their domestic routes, even on 6 hour flights to Cyprus we get no avod.

Service in UK domestic flights is terrible.

[Edited 2015-02-20 00:32:45]
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anstar
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:41 am

Quoting marathon (Thread starter):
Virgin itself is loosing money dramatically since 2010,

And they are back in profit for 2014.

Quoting marathon (Thread starter):
cutting it's fleet, closing flight routes (Sydney and potentially others)

Cutting routes that are losing money and are an inefficient use of aircraft - ie SYD/CPT. Those aircraft can do more rotations to say ATL/JFK in less time.

Quoting marathon (Thread starter):
frequent change of stake holders (Singapore Airlines, Delta Air Lines and who's next????

Thats one change in 10 years... hardly a frequent occurence.

Quoting hufftheweevil (Reply 5):
My analysis of VS stems from when I worked for them in 2009 and 2010. The airline is highly inefficient and afraid of new technologies. Some examples include:

The airline is completely different and under complete new management now.

What will Vs look like in 5 years? Well a fleet mane up of 50% 787's, A330's and leisure 747's with an order for 350/787 to replace the 747 leisure fleet.
 
jetwet1
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:42 am

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 15):
I think Max Q is right, why do DL need a whole separate airline to fly the odd DTW-LHR or ATL-LHR? They can do it themselves and I bet their costs are a fraction of VS.

Why would VS just roll over and play dead ? Unless DL decides to cut a huge check to Branson VS isn't going anywhere and his 51% ownership stake means he can give two fingers to DL if he likes.

Not that he would do that right now, DL is doing a lot of good things for VS, they now have a US domestic carrier that can actually feed their TA routes, along with a FF base in all the major markets.

Quoting frostyj (Reply 16):
It would be nice if they merged with Delta launched domestic routes using Delta planes (like Guam or Japan) so that we could have avod and business seats.

Service in UK domestic flights is terrible.

Not allowed under Euro laws, 49% max ownership by a non EU airline.

And honestly, what do you expect on a UK domestic flight ? I'm all for the bells and whistles, but the longest flight I can think of is just over an hour, though you are 100% correct about the seats, they are a total joke.
 
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Richard28
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:45 am

according to the following link "The chief executive Craig Kreeger says the airline will show it returned to profitability by the end of 2014 but results for the year have not yet been published"

http://www.thenational.ae/business/a...s-a-lone-furrow-in-the-middle-east

so things maybe turning around.

The Atlantic seems to be where the money is and a focus on that market in combination with Delta should help going forward, especially to compete with IAG/AA

As for 5 years from now, I think things will stay pretty much the same. over the longer term it may well become Delta UK, with the LGW operations spun off as a separate company.

All this will depend on what happens with the LHR third runway - without this, VS will slowly ebb away I fear.
 
frostyj
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:45 am

Quoting jetwet1 (Reply 18):

Oh I know but we do have some flights to Europe that are 6 hours long.
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jetwet1
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:50 am

Quoting frostyj (Reply 20):

Oh I know but we do have some flights to Europe that are 6 hours long.

Absolutely, I just replied to your other thread, but this is what you posted here and what I replied to.

Quoting frostyj (Reply 16):
It would be nice if they merged with Delta launched domestic routes using Delta planes (like Guam or Japan) so that we could have avod and business seats.

BTW, just because a plane is equipped with AVOD, it's not 100% guaranteed the crew will fire it up beyond the map, the majority of the flights i've taken on LAS-LAX route , even with AVOD equipped you get the map there just isn't the time to watch anything.
 
TC957
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:31 am

Perhaps a bit off topic, but I'm wondering when / if Airbus finally says to VS kill off the A380 order or make a decision about delivery schedules.
Maybe one option is for DL take over the financial commitments for VS's A380 order, then they cancel it enabling any funds made to Airbus to be used towards getting more A333HGW's.
 
Liverpoola380
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:12 pm

I see VS as in very strong and exciting position.

There is new investment in the fleet and product.

I can see further expansion out of MAN maybe picking up a JFK rotation and providing some competition to a strengthened AA/US

VS will join SkyTeam and with KL and AF both serving MAN there will be opportunities to connect from the US through these airlines.

Little Red was a place holder securing slots for VS to the time they were able to utilise them for Longhaul routes, its the Virgin way to make a big song and dance about anything and Little Red was probably a success just not as lucrative as other routes could offer.
 
mattdell
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:05 pm

Quoting frostyj (Reply 20):
Oh I know but we do have some flights to Europe that are 6 hours long.

Perhaps your definition of Europe is different to mine, but you can fly LHR to IST in 3.5 hours.

BA" target="_blank">http://uk.flightaware.com/live/fligh...4/history/20150220/2230Z/EGLL/LTBA

Also I've flown on 10 hour flights from HNL to JFK on a 'domestic' service with no AVOD or meal service. Also try cramming yourself into one of AA's ancient MD-88s sometime. I'm much happier flying within Europe than the USA.

Also if you fly domestic try to fly out of LCY if you can. 34 inch seat pitch on BA City Flyer.   
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:51 pm

Quoting Liverpoola380 (Reply 23):
Little Red was a place holder securing slots for VS to the time they were able to utilise them for Longhaul routes, its the Virgin way to make a big song and dance about anything and Little Red was probably a success just not as lucrative as other routes could offer.

The slots used for LHR - MAN were already owned by VS but leased out, they could have used these themselves but declined to do so. In order to apply for the remedy slots resulting from IAG buying BMI they had to use these slots themselves as any airline not utilising all their existing LHR slotholding was unable to apply.

With Little Red ceasing these slots will be used on routes to the USA to link in with DL. The remedy slots will not remain with VS, as they didn't use them for long enough. They are now available for other airlines to use on the specified routes, failing which they will go back to BA.
Even with free slots that couldn't be redeployed onto longhaul Vs couldn't justify keeping Little Red open
 
VS11
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 2:53 pm

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 15):
why do DL need a whole separate airline to fly the odd DTW-LHR or ATL-LHR

Because DL needs an outstanding premium product, especially to a destination like LHR, and the price they paid for the VS stake makes it a very cost-effective way to offer a premium product right away. Virgin is still an extremely popular brand especially now in the US with Virgin America, Virgin Mobile and Virgin Galactic. You can bash Virgin Atlantic as much as you want but Virgin is a global brand, Delta is NOT.

Quoting cedarjet (Reply 15):
They can do it themselves and I bet their costs are a fraction of VS.

VS is not BA, VS cost is probably lower than Delta's.
 
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coronado
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 3:49 pm

Delta's 2014 annual report (10K) has already been published (on Feb 11, 2015 in case anyone wants to look it up on the Delta web site in the investors relations section). and the way I read it since Delta has to account for its 49% share of Virgin Atlantic on an equity basis.
Virgin will probably report a loss of equivalent to about US$80mm but will also be reporting an extraordinary charge for mark to mark adjustments on fuel hedges of perhaps US$270million. Probably some of these will get reversed at the end of Q1 2015 since oil prices seem to have bumped up about 20% since December. My sense is that some of the $80mm in losses to be reported for 2014 will be more related to write offs for discontinued routes and aircraft but operationally and especially cash flow wise Virgin will have had a pretty good year.
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2008matt
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:48 pm

Apologies if this is completely naive, but could Virgin not co-operate with the likes of Ryanair, easyJet, FlyBe to feed their longer haul? Particularly at LGW?
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anstar
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:06 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 25):
With Little Red ceasing these slots will be used on routes to the USA to link in with DL.

Not entirely true in the short term. They are leasing them out. Agean is one of the airlines that is leasing VS slots to start their LHR service.

Quoting Coronado (Reply 27):
Virgin will probably report a loss of equivalent to about US$80mm

Actually from all the sounds I'm hearing it will be a profit that is announced in March for the full year 2014.
 
Andy33
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 6:34 pm

Quoting 2008matt (Reply 28):
Apologies if this is completely naive, but could Virgin not co-operate with the likes of Ryanair, easyJet, FlyBe to feed their longer haul? Particularly at LGW?

Flybe have withdrawn most of their flights from LGW as a change in airport fees meant that an A319 and a Q400 both attracted the same fee, but of course there are far fewer passengers on a Q400 to spread the cost across.

EasyJet or Ryanair could do it if they were interested but it would mean completely changing their business model. At the moment they don't offer connections even with their own flights, and they like it that way as it keeps turnrounds and ground handling costs low. Would any extra passengers generated cover the cost of changing all their systems over, joining IATA etc?
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:00 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 29):
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 25):
With Little Red ceasing these slots will be used on routes to the USA to link in with DL.

Not entirely true in the short term. They are leasing them out. Agean is one of the airlines that is leasing VS slots to start their LHR service.

Yet again the airline that complains of having too few slots at LHR leases them out rather than using them.   
 
seat64k
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:05 pm

Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 13):
Too bad "busy" doesn't automatically equate to "profitable"...

...so if flying to a less-than-glamorous destination brings in money, but places like NRT and CPT don't (or don't to an equivalent degree), then guess where the airline's assets are better spent?

Is there somewhere we can look up load factors for the CPT flight? I've taken that flight so many times I've lost count, and to the best of my recollection it's never been anything other than full. I struggle to understand how a flight that's always full is not profitable.

Quoting anstar (Reply 17):
Cutting routes that are losing money and are an inefficient use of aircraft - ie SYD/CPT. Those aircraft can do more rotations to say ATL/JFK in less time.

I suspect this is likely what's going on. The round trip time for a single aircraft on the CPT route is roughly 33 hours - it leaves LHR around 9 in the evening, arrives in CPT the next morning, sits on the tarmac until the evening when it leaves for LHR, and arives around 6 the next morning. They can probably do one and a half round trips to JFK in the same time.
 
anstar
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:24 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 31):
Yet again the airline that complains of having too few slots at LHR leases them out rather than using them.

The slots they are leasing out are best suited for shot haul.. hence why they were leased out previously to Cyprus airways, brought inhouse to operate little red and now outsourced again to Agean.
 
Andy33
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 8:33 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 33):
The slots they are leasing out are best suited for shot haul.. hence why they were leased out previously to Cyprus airways, brought inhouse to operate little red and now outsourced again to Agean.

And Aegean are using the slots to fly to Cyprus (the Athens services use their own slots)
 
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Clipper101
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 9:40 pm

Quoting marathon (Thread starter):
Is there something that Virgin can do? and will there be a happy ending?

In light of the fact we see once in a while short lived attempts by VS to nurture domestic (within UK) and regional (with in Europe) networks, & VS lost fight over BMI was for the sake of having to own such a readily made network along with Heathrow slots, I am always get tempted to wonder how VS get its feed to its International network? Talking about Little Red reminds me of another thread where some A.netters suggested Little Red was not meant to be serious operation & only was a way for VS to retain Heathrow slots.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Fri Feb 20, 2015 10:23 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 33):
The slots they are leasing out are best suited for shot haul.

They presently operate 4 x daily LHR-MAN & return, of all the slots only the 1st departure from LHR is inconvenient for long haul, all the others are eminently suitabe.
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:20 am

I'd like to see Virgin group somehow integrate Virgin Galactic into Virgin Atlatinc, providing suborbital flights to VIPs and time sensitive personel to be on the other side of the world in mere hours instead of some novelty for millionaires like it is now. And making London its hub connecting vital economic and financial cities through this medium.
When wasn't America great?


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777Jet
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:34 am

Quoting Beatyair (Reply 10):
they will cancel the A380 order, retire all its 747's and A340-600. They will buy more B787-9's and maybe B787-10's, keep there A330-300.

I have a similar feeling about their fleet. I think all the quads will be gone (and need to be gone to reduce costs) within 5 years. I can't ever see them operating the A380 so I agree that they will cancel their A380 order.

I can see a fleet of A330s, 787s, and even 779s in the future for routes that can justify the capacity of the current 747s.
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LAX772LR
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RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

Sat Feb 21, 2015 12:43 am

Quoting seat64k (Reply 32):
I struggle to understand how a flight that's always full is not profitable.

It's not difficult at all. Here's an exaggerated example to help you:

I could fill an A340 between CPT and LHR, if I offered every Y seat at 85cents. People going between the two cities would JUMP at the opportunity. But what's the chance that doing so, would pay for the cost of fuel/crew/station? Absolutely none.

Now just scale up the numbers a bit:
"I can fill an A340 between CPT and LHR, if I offered every Y seat at $850.00" People going between the two cities would jump at the opportunity. But if my breakeven costs (a factor of aircraft, fuel, crew, station, startup, etc) leave me with needing to get $925 for each seat, then even a full plane is still operating at a loss for me.

......granted, your immediate followup question might be:
"Well, why not just charge $925?"

And the answer is:
"I can, but if the competition on the route is charging $855 on the route, and I try to charge $925... I now go from being a competitive option to most people... to being by far the most expensive on the route, causing pax to book away."

Which now leaves me the airline with a yield-management decision to make:
  • Do I accept lower loads, but get the fares that I need (which would have the effect of causing that necessary amount to rise, as lower loads means fewer pax to spread such a cost over)? Or,
  • Do I charge the market rate, fill almost every seat, and try to get my brand out there... while knowing that I'm going to lose money doing so, but hoping that more people will begin to [A] choose my brand even at a higher price option or [B] stay with my brand, since we offer destinations like this-- but pay higher fares to use my brand for other destinations in the future, now that they've decided to stay loyal to me?
  • I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
     
    BSRadar
    Posts: 50
    Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:35 pm

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:26 am

    I think that if Delta have any sense then Virgin Atlantic will be around for a long time.

    Conventional marketing wisdom had it (when I worked for US multinational in 80's) that a hugely valuable, extremely competitive market was better exploited by having 2 or more high-profile products than one mega product. I suspect that is the same today. i.e. Delta + Virgin across the pond will add up to more than just Delta alone.

    Virgin Atlantic punches above its weight because it is clever. Virgin is not bland in the manner that US airlines are - look how successful Virgin America "broke" a market that was effectively set against an emergent airline - with due deference to South Western). Where is the distinguishing feature (given the odd widget here and there) between, say, Delta, American, and er, ummm... dysUnited? Delta should use the Virgin distinctiveness to its own advantage.

    FWIW - has anybody else noticed the number of complimentary references from passengers regarding the improvement in the Delta product? Is it me - or did these compliments start to occur after the "insinuation" of Delta into Virgin Atlantic? Maybe Delta knew and took some quick sharp lessons from Virgin (who knows? It's a fun question).

    Quoting frostyj (Reply 20):
    Oh I know but we do have some flights to Europe that are 6 hours long.

    Piffle. Name me one. You would have to think of a flight from Iceland to some unimaginable far-flung Eastern European outpost which might come close to knocking on 6 hours. Your moans in the other thread refer to Turkey as if it is in Europe. Remember that only the western side of the Bosporus is in Europe. Even if you take the WHOLE of Turkey as being "Europe by Association" then an Iceland to South Eastern Turkey (might) just qualify.

    Quoting frostyj (Reply 16):
    It would be nice if they merged with Delta launched domestic routes using Delta planes (like Guam or Japan) so that we could have avod and business seats. I love going to USA and getting superior service on their domestic routes, even on 6 hour flights to Cyprus we get no avod.

    Service in UK domestic flights is terrible.


    Service on UK domestic airlines? Sample some of the other European products before you churlishly besmirch "UK" in your drivel. I suggest you travel more widely in the US before you attempt that conclusion.

    Where are Delta / Delta Virgin going to fly from? Heathrow were you thinking by any chance? They would have to challenge on MAN/EDI/GLA to mount any worthwhile feed for them (which would still be mainly to destinations west of Heathrow as opposed to global).

    Frosty - You took a caning on the other thread as to why there is no AVOD on most intra-European flights. Why not learn from the excellent reasons and explanations given by fellow A-Net contributors why inflight entertainment is not required or desirable. Intra-European flights are about cost-effective transportation not entertainment by the latest Tic-Tac or Teletubbies. When Delta decide to put a couple of expensively AVOD equipped A3xx ships using what (say 3) take-off/landing slots for Aldergrove then you can believe that the Titanic will re-surface unaided.
     
    jetwet1
    Posts: 3033
    Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 4:42 am

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:53 am

    Quoting BSRadar (Reply 40):
    I think that if Delta have any sense then Virgin Atlantic will be around for a long time.

    Again, Delta, when it comes down to it has no say, they are a minority share holder, now certainly VS are listening to DL's input and taking advantage of the feed they offer across the US, but in the end, if DL wants VS shut down, they will have to buy all the LHR/LGW slots from Richard Branson, and DL is never going to do that.

    Craig Kreeger has already shown himself to be a major step up from Steve Ridgway, who let's face it got the job because he is friends with Richard Branson.

    Quoting BSRadar (Reply 40):

    FWIW - has anybody else noticed the number of complimentary references from passengers regarding the improvement in the Delta product? Is it me - or did these compliments start to occur after the "insinuation" of Delta into Virgin Atlantic?

    Not really, DL started improving about a year after the merger with Northwest, 2-3 years before they were bought into VS.

    I'm diamond on DL and silver on VS, there isn't a whole lot about the two airlines that are similar.
     
    User avatar
    LAX772LR
    Posts: 12907
    Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sat Feb 21, 2015 1:54 am

    Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 37):
    providing suborbital flights to VIPs and time sensitive personel to be on the other side of the world in mere hours instead of some novelty for millionaires like it is now.

    LOL, in case you missed it, BA already mastered a similar concept and did it for 27yrs.

    If barely a handful of people were able and willing to pay 5figures for the cost of a 4hr Concorde flight, what on Earth makes you think that there's a worthwhile market of people willing to pay 6figures for a 1hr orbital flight, as a commercial transport??

    ....the same things that made Concorde service difficult would still apply to what you proposed:
    Highly limited market of people who can and will pay sufficient amounts to cover the cost + the fact that no vehicle is faster than the speed of an electronic signal.

    The combination of satellite transmission and internet (video conferencing/PDFs/email/etc) has made supersonic travel obsolete as a business necessity. Not sure where hypersonic travel would fare any better.

    And until the costs to provide the latter come wayyyyyyyyyyyyy down, it will, for the conceivably foreseeable future, remain "some novelty for millionaires like it is now."




    Quoting BSRadar (Reply 40):
    Maybe Delta knew and took some quick sharp lessons from Virgin (who knows? It's a fun question).

    I'd say it's probably more a matter of the inverse: DL schooling VS on how to be less of a vanity project and more of an airline.

    [Edited 2015-02-20 17:55:59]
    I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
     
    B-HOP
    Posts: 793
    Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2000 8:09 pm

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sat Feb 21, 2015 2:00 am

    In five years, I see them very much like they are today, with little extra slots available, with PVG, Shanghai maybe DEL still being kept, maybe one extra daily spread between PVG/HKG (each extra flights several days a week). I don't see them expand eastward much, with ME3 being the force, I guess maybe BJS, they drop Japan and don't looks like is coming back, maybe KIX and codeshare with NH. For the LGW leisure fleet, I don't even see them get a brand new fleet, maybe 77W from SQ/EK when they start dispose of them in a few years time. In LHR, it would just be Delta Connection and maybe codeshare with KLM from secondary Dutch cities.
    Live life to max!!!
     
    TC957
    Posts: 3692
    Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 1:12 pm

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sat Feb 21, 2015 10:29 am

    Interestingly, I was on one of the last NRT flights in January and crew gossip was of a return to Tokyo but to HND with 789's once the fleet is up to strength in a couple of years time. However, the Japanese crew have now been made redundant so new crew training will need to take place before that rumour becomes reality.
    I hope it happens.

    Quoting LAX772LR (Reply 39):
    I could fill an A340 between CPT and LHR, if I offered every Y seat at 85cents. People going between the two cities would JUMP at the opportunity. But what's the chance that doing so, would pay for the cost of fuel/crew/station? Absolutely none.

    Economy fares LHR - CPT were normally from around the GBP800 - 900 region return - not cheap !
    Higher than lead-in fares to LAX or HKG for sure.
    I think the long lay over in CPT and desire to always operate as a night flight is what killed the route off, since as others have pointed it means poor aircraft utilization.
     
    User avatar
    LAX772LR
    Posts: 12907
    Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2014 11:06 pm

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sat Feb 21, 2015 9:11 pm

    Quoting TC957 (Reply 44):
    Economy fares LHR - CPT were normally from around the GBP800 - 900 region return - not cheap !
    Higher than lead-in fares to LAX or HKG for sure.
    I think the long lay over in CPT and desire to always operate as a night flight is what killed the route off, since as others have pointed it means poor aircraft utilization.

    Well, there's that.... and there's also the common but mistaken notion around here that "airlines don't cancel profitable flights."
    Not true, they most certainly DO do so.


    Because if a flight is profitable, but another flight could be more profitable; then in a world of limited resources, that first profitable flight now presents an opportunity cost, and actually means a virtual loss to the airline.

    For simplified example:
    If I'm flying an A340 on LHR-XYZ and making a $5 aggregate profit on that route, but my analysis predicts that I could just put that same A340 on the zillionth-daily LHR-JFK route and make a $100 aggregate profit....... then despite the fact that my XYZ route is profitable, it's still costing me $95 to tie up my ship on that route, when I could be sending it to JFK.

    So yeah, for all we know, CPT could have been profitable-- just not enough to justify allocating the ship, versus sending it elsewhere.
    I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
     
    skipness1E
    Posts: 4664
    Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sun Feb 22, 2015 12:49 am

    Quoting cedarjet (Reply 15):
    why do DL need a whole separate airline to fly the odd DTW-LHR or ATL-LHR? They can do it themselves and I bet their costs are a fraction of VS.

    Er noooo, other way round

    Quoting Liverpoola380 (Reply 23):
    Little Red was a place holder securing slots for VS to the time they were able to utilise them for Longhaul routes,

    How did that work ouy?

    Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 37):
    I'd like to see Virgin group somehow integrate Virgin Galactic into Virgin Atlatinc, providing suborbital flights to VIPs and time sensitive personel to be on the other side of the world in mere hours instead of some novelty for millionaires like it is now. And making London its hub connecting vital economic and financial cities through this medium.

    Seriously, they couldn't synergise properly with Virgin Blue never mind trying to work with Star Fleet Command!
     
    Andy33
    Posts: 2535
    Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:17 am

    Quoting Liverpoola380 (Reply 23):
    Little Red was a place holder securing slots for VS to the time they were able to utilise them for Longhaul routes, its the Virgin way to make a big song and dance about anything and Little Red was probably a success just not as lucrative as other routes could offer.

    Little Red could never have been a place holder for more than the slots used on the MAN routes, which were Virgin's own and had previously been leased out to other airlines, securing an income at no expense whatever until such time as they were needed for long haul.
    The 9 slot pairs used for ABZ and EDI were remedy slots, awarded under quite strict conditions. One was that they had to be flown for 6 consecutive IATA seasons (summer and winter) before they came under VS's own control. The other was that even when they did come under VS control they could only be used for flights within Europe, plus Riyadh and Cairo. They could never have been used for any other long haul flights.
    Looks a lot more to me like standard Branson "anything BA can do I can do better" tactics, which sometimes come off well but more often gain some short term favourable publicity in exchange for longer term red ink.
     
    anstar
    Posts: 3173
    Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sun Feb 22, 2015 7:53 am

    Quoting TC957 (Reply 44):
    However, the Japanese crew have now been made redundant so new crew training will need to take place before that rumour becomes reality.

    Not entirely true as most of the Japanese crew have transferred over to VS mainline operations for the duration of their contracts an for those who were permanent it is a permanent move to mainline.
     
    TC957
    Posts: 3692
    Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 1:12 pm

    RE: Virgin Atlantic 5 Years From Today?

    Sun Feb 22, 2015 8:04 am

    Yes, for those that have UK residency status thus UK based, but a lot of them were NRT based and on 3 year ( I think ) contracts. I came back on the 2nd last flight from NRT and for some of the crew it was their last flight.

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