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factsonly
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Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:13 pm

The CAA passenger statistics for London's Heathrow indicate that UK domestic traffic has been significantly impacted by the closure of Virgin Red.

Passenger statistics - NOVEMBER 2015:

- LHR - ABERDEEN 48.488 -26%
- LHR - BELFAST CITY 54.017 -4%
- LHR - EDINBURGH 91.694 -17%
- LHR - GLASGOW 77.252 -7%
- LHR - LEEDS 11.150 +8%
- LHR - MANCHESTER 57.099 -25%
- LHR - NEWCASTLE 41.108 -2%

Question is if UK domestic passengers are worse off without the competitive forces of Virgin Red. As arguably some BA monopoly routes are also down.

Have fares increased on lower capacity, as traffic fell?

What do A.netters think?

http://www.caa.co.uk/uploadedFiles/C...15_Provisional_Domestic_Routes.pdf
 
MEA-707
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 1:45 pm

You have to see the big picture, includethe other airports, train and bus service in any comparisons. If BA would double pricing on LHR-ABZ passengers can vote with their feet and take a flight from LGW or the train instead.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:34 pm

They were around for such a short time it probably makes little difference. Plus focusing on flights ex-LHR to the regions is a bit myopic. Have the passenger totals for all services from ABZ/BHD/EDI/GLA/LBA/MAN/NCL dropped because of Little Red's demise?
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer's Night Dream
 
S75752
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:39 pm

I think the biggest loss of all is connectivity within the UK for Virgin Atlantic, instead of just relying purely on London O&D.

Not like that's a big loss to begin with, though.

I did get to fly them on LHR-EDI once. Really wasn't anything special, and wasn't quite full either. Outside of LHR, the LCC's provide it all perfectly well enough to keep BA on their toes.
 
Armodeen
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:57 pm

Of course it makes a difference, hence why the routes they flew are down so much. Note BA cut frequency also.

It also means VS/DL are not an option anymore for most of my flying.

I was pretty regular on the MAN - LHR route and connected onto long haul a few times.
 
anstar
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 3:53 pm

Since the dropping of little red VS/DL have started more routes from MAN (ATL, JFK) and have announced EDI-JFK.

And I expect anyone going east will just go with a gulf carrier or KL instead.
 
phunc
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:06 pm

Well I'm worse off. I flew it once a month and it always cost me £100-ish. Flight times were agreeable and I knew the flight was never too full so could sit comfortable for an hour and enjoy a drink.

Now it's BA at £270 from an inconvenient T5 sat on a packed plane where I haven't enough time for a quick shot of scotch!

So I drive...which I hate.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:18 pm

@armodeen, you can still connect with BA to fly DL/VS for long haul as I am sure you know  

LHR domestic will clearly be impacted by VS closing Little Red but there's a firestorm of competition keeping BA honest in the market. If you're going to London, there are some better options than LHR IMHO.
 
LHRFlyer
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:24 pm

As BA is using the returned Little Red slots to operate routes to destinations not currently served by LHR like INV, I'd say consumers are better off having more routes at LHR than Little Red using valuable slot pairs to operate flights with loads that were plainly uneconomic.
 
Andy33
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 9:03 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 7):
LHR domestic will clearly be impacted by VS closing Little Red but there's a firestorm of competition keeping BA honest in the market. If you're going to London, there are some better options than LHR IMHO.

I agree. Traffic between all London airports and Edinburgh is actually a little up for the same comparative periods.
Manchester has a 125mph train service to London that runs every 20 minutes, and is operated by, yes, Virgin Trains.
Aberdeen shows some shift to other London airports, but the air traffic is still down overall.
 
SelseyBill
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:02 pm

Quoting andy33 (Reply 9):
Aberdeen shows some shift to other London airports, but the air traffic is still down overall.

Employment in the oil/gas sector has suffered significantly; (as elsewhere); as a result of the collapse in world oil prices, and this has no doubt affected air travel accounts.
 
needmolegroom
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 10:45 pm

Well, it's all fine and dandy for those living in London and the Southeast, but for the rest of the country it's just more of the same stuff happening over many years. It obviously suits BA (London Airways) whose focus always has been LHR.
Somehow or other any domestic competition fades away. Is Is it any surprise that the ME3 have been making hay all over the rest of the country.
For me, travelling west across the big ocean from EDI. the most convenient option has usually been to connect through AMS, FRA , CDG (or in years past BRU). It seemed that Little Red might be able to alter that, however clearly not anytime soon. So, yes it's a shame the Little Red option has gone - it offered the promise of a useful link to the DL world. While there are some direct flights to North America, it would seem that those 757's can only make it as far as NYC - and that brings other connection hazards, probably best avoided.
needmolegroom
 
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GCT64
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Fri Dec 25, 2015 11:51 pm

As a 10+ year LON-EDI commuter, I've got a bit of experience and I would say yes but probably only a minor degree:

T2 was nicer, more convenient and quicker than T5 for me and for a lot of people travelling from home by public transport.
Prices have risen a little but, thankfully, not that much if you only have hand baggage and book ~3 weeks ahead (the competition from EZY at LTN and LGW stops them going too mad on pricing).
The BA planes are somewhat fuller than VS were but I still mostly have an empty seat next to me.
FF status levels were much easier to attain on VS (quicker to get to VS Gold than BA Silver as a commuter, and virtually impossible to get to BA Gold).

So, from my perspective, it's worse without VS but not to a huge degree.
Flown in: A20N,A21N,A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,A359,A388,BA11,BU31,(..56 more types..),VC10,WESX
 
bennett123
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Sat Dec 26, 2015 1:31 am

Two thoughts occcur to me.

1. I flew the route in August 2014 from LHR to EDI return going up on Sunday and back on Friday. Flight times and prices both OK. L/F about 50 per cent. Was this service viable.

2. With the number of alternatives from LON to EDI, was VS needed.
 
Andy33
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:19 am

Quoting bennett123 (Reply 13):
1. I flew the route in August 2014 from LHR to EDI return going up on Sunday and back on Friday. Flight times and prices both OK. L/F about 50 per cent. Was this service viable.

2. With the number of alternatives from LON to EDI, was VS needed.

Was it viable? No. The previous operator was BD. Towards the end they were using E145s from their regional division on some flights because loads were so poor. They were a full Star Alliance member, and also provided a lot of feed onto VS at LHR, with through ticketing/baggage.
So VS take the remedy slots (many people believe it was another case of Branson doing something not commercially sound to spite BA) and not surprisingly find it even harder than BD did, because the Star Alliance links were gone.
ME3 flights out of Edinburgh continued to leach passengers heading to the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Edinburgh had/has its own transatlantic flights, AF, KL, and LH had flights to alternative European hub airports.
Once VS acquired professional airline management instead of friends of Sir Richard, it was mainly a matter of operating long enough to meet contractual commitments and no longer.

Point to point EDI-LON traffic is still rising, and those passengers have moved to LGW, LTN, STN and LCY, or fly BA to LHR.
 
skipness1E
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Sat Dec 26, 2015 2:44 pm

@needmolegroom (really? You CHOSE that?) What do you suggest? I mean we all love a good moan but be realistic. The whole London Airways thing is playground name calling by those who refuse to see the commercial reality if how this business works. May I point you to Paris Airways, Zurich Airways and even Munich/Frankfurt Airways as the good residents of DUS/CGN/HAJ etc are finding out. In a free market, it is sensible for BA to feed traffic over it's main hub, EXACTLY like UA do on EDI-EWR/ORD or AA do via JFK. Why is this so very hard for some people to get?

The real reason the ME3 do so well is more being able to benefit from a cost base and a tax situation which allows higher quality at a lower cost. By all means attack UK airlines for a higher cost base but remember you're trashing someone's job to fly cheaper. We all do it.
 
David_itl
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Sat Dec 26, 2015 4:29 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 15):
May I point you to Paris Airways, Zurich Airways and even Munich/Frankfurt Airways as the good residents of DUS/CGN/HAJ etc are finding out

I do hope you've checked the wiki pages for LYS, GVA, DUS, CGN and see them/their subsidiaries routes.. The main brand may not be on display to a great extent but having subsidiaries based there, they still have that presence,

London Airways (and their subsidiaries) away from London: GLA-SZG seasonal weekly. Yep. Completely and utterly different to those other airlines non-main hub ops.

Quoting anstar (Reply 5):
Since the dropping of little red VS/DL have started more routes from MAN (ATL, JFK

So me seeing DL 767s, A310, L1011s, 777s on MAN-ATL on a daily basis from mid-1991 through to last year must have been figments of my imaginaion. With DL 767s on MAN-JFK having twice been operated by them. Little Red going bounce means diddly squat in terms of new routes they've added out of MAN.
 
LHRFlyer
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RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:57 pm

Quoting david_itl (Reply 16):
I do hope you've checked the wiki pages for LYS, GVA, DUS, CGN and see them/their subsidiaries routes.. The main brand may not be on display to a great extent but having subsidiaries based there, they still have that presence,

London Airways (and their subsidiaries) away from London: GLA-SZG seasonal weekly. Yep. Completely and utterly different to those other airlines non-main hub ops.

And in case you hadn't noticed, BA is now a subsidiary of International Airlines Group and its growing number of fellow subsidiaries (Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling) are all expanding their position at UK airports outside of London.
 
LX138
Posts: 319
Joined: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:45 pm

RE: Are UK Pax Worse Off Without Virgin Red?

Sat Dec 26, 2015 7:35 pm

We are worse off due to the lack of BD, not Little Red.

Quoting S75752 (Reply 3):
I think the biggest loss of all is connectivity within the UK for Virgin Atlantic, instead of just relying purely on London O&D.

Not really, they just get feed from BA now, it's not ideal as they pay a higher rate but that's what they are doing.

Quoting andy33 (Reply 14):
Towards the end they were using E145s from their regional division on some flights because loads were so poor.

Yes, flying ex-LHR domestic is probably the hardest way an airline can make money right now, only the LCC's could make it work.
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