EarlyLateORD
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VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:54 pm

Curious, I recently flew VS for the first time now that they are a more integrated partner of DL's, great flights all around.

What is the reason, or history, as to why VS didn't offer flights to South America until recently, and only GRU? Given the volume of tourism to BsAs, it would seem to make sense as a second destination. Does VS and AR have a strong enough relationship in Skyteam to offer thru ticketing?

Regards

Adam
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:12 pm

I dont think VS flies to GRU or anywhere in South America currently.

VS's network appears to focus on places where the O&D to the UK is exceptionally high. They dont have the planes or slots to have a BA like network. Thats probably why they dont fly to South America. It just doesnt produce the O&D to the UK that North America and parts of Asia/Africa/India do.
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x1234
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:15 pm

The main O&D to South America to Europe is Spain & Portugal (LIS/MAD/BCN) due to historical colonial ties. That said VS have announced GRU an increasingly important city, the #1 city in population in Latin America. #2 is Mexico City which is covered by the SkyTeam/DL investment in AeroMexico (and they code-share on their LHR-MEX flight).
 
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BroadwayLimited
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:18 pm

One answer...slots...slots...slots. As mentioned, they do not have a BA portfolio of slots.
 
sonicruiser
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:23 pm

Virgin Atlantic is basically Delta UK plus a few extra routes.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:40 pm

LAXdude1023 wrote:
I dont think VS flies to GRU or anywhere in South America currently.

VS's network appears to focus on places where the O&D to the UK is exceptionally high. They dont have the planes or slots to have a BA like network. Thats probably why they dont fly to South America. It just doesnt produce the O&D to the UK that North America and parts of Asia/Africa/India do.


No, VS does not fly to South America but it will be launching flights to GRU (Sao Paulo, next year). It operates flights to the Caribbean. Slots are very scarce at Heathrow, which would be the logical and desired gateway to South America for the airline if it did look to fly to South America but its unlikely that valuable slots would be used or procured for that market. Delta has a sizable footprint in Latin America but it is not formidable. The Sky Team partners are Aeromexico, which Delta owns a stake in, and Aerolineas Argentinas. Delta also has a partnership with GOL in Brazil.

The UK to South America market is dominated by IAG, with BA and IB (and especially, IB's network, from MAD). The slots at LHR don't exist for VS to mount a challenge and the profitability would be questionable.
Last edited by Cointrin330 on Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
seansasLCY
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:43 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
LAXdude1023 wrote:
I dont think VS flies to GRU or anywhere in South America currently.

VS's network appears to focus on places where the O&D to the UK is exceptionally high. They dont have the planes or slots to have a BA like network. Thats probably why they dont fly to South America. It just doesnt produce the O&D to the UK that North America and parts of Asia/Africa/India do.


No, VS does not fly to South America. It operates flights to the Caribbean. Slots are very scarce at Heathrow, which would be the logical and desired gateway to South America for the airline if it did look to fly to South America but its unlikely that valuable slots would be used or procured for that market. Delta has a sizable footprint in Latin America but it is not formidable. The Sky Team partners are Aeromexico, which Delta owns a stake in, and Aerolineas Argentinas. Delta also has a partnership with GOL in Brazil.

The UK to South America market is dominated by IAG, with BA and IB (and especially, IB's network, from MAD). The slots at LHR don't exist for VS to mount a challenge and the profitability would be questionable.


Virgin will fly to São Paulo from next year.
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.virg ... rica%3famp
 
LAXdude1023
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:47 pm

seansasLCY wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
LAXdude1023 wrote:
I dont think VS flies to GRU or anywhere in South America currently.

VS's network appears to focus on places where the O&D to the UK is exceptionally high. They dont have the planes or slots to have a BA like network. Thats probably why they dont fly to South America. It just doesnt produce the O&D to the UK that North America and parts of Asia/Africa/India do.


No, VS does not fly to South America. It operates flights to the Caribbean. Slots are very scarce at Heathrow, which would be the logical and desired gateway to South America for the airline if it did look to fly to South America but its unlikely that valuable slots would be used or procured for that market. Delta has a sizable footprint in Latin America but it is not formidable. The Sky Team partners are Aeromexico, which Delta owns a stake in, and Aerolineas Argentinas. Delta also has a partnership with GOL in Brazil.

The UK to South America market is dominated by IAG, with BA and IB (and especially, IB's network, from MAD). The slots at LHR don't exist for VS to mount a challenge and the profitability would be questionable.


Virgin will fly to São Paulo from next year.
https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.virg ... rica%3famp


It makes sense as a first destination to South America. There is no other market that comes close to Sao Paulo in terms of premium international O&D in South America.
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EarlyLateORD
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Thu Aug 15, 2019 10:06 pm

Thanks for the answer everyone, it seems that any Skyteam traffic out of South America beyond GRU will just get routed via AF/KL versus adding a VS flight.

Adam
 
Cunard
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:06 am

I always expected VS to have entered the South American market years ago at the height of their expansion after adding new routes to Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, India and South Africa.

GIG would have been an excellent destination for the airline when they were looked upon as ''hip and cool'' and it would have been an obvious choice for Virgin Holidays. I had expected VS to announce GIG prior to the Olympic Games that were held in the city in 2016.

With LATAM no longer flying from LHR to GIG and the city seeing an upturn in business and tourism I wonder if VS might consider flying to GIG at some point if there new flight to GRU is a success.

But with DY flying from LGW to GIG and British Airways flying from LHR to GIG I wonder if there is room for a third airline from London to GIG.

With VS entering the South American market for the first time in the airline's history in 2020 with flights from London to GRU commencing then hopefully we might see further expansion on the South American continent for the airline. But in saying that the destinations are rather limited for VS other than to the obvious ones such as GIG, GRU and EZE and at a push maybe REC.
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dcajet
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:27 am

Cunard wrote:


With LATAM no longer flying from LHR to GIG and the city seeing an upturn in business and tourism I wonder if VS might consider flying to GIG at some point if there new flight to GRU is a success.

But with DY flying from LGW to GIG and British Airways flying from LHR to GIG I wonder if there is room for a third airline from London to GIG.

With VS entering the South American market for the first time in the airline's history in 2020 with flights from London to GRU commencing then hopefully we might see further expansion on the South American continent for the airline. But in saying that the destinations are rather limited for VS other than to the obvious ones such as GIG, GRU and EZE and at a push maybe REC.


I am not sure what upturn you are referring to. Rio has never had fewer long distance flights as it is the case at present. LATAM no longer flies long haul out of the city; the American carriers have axed their flights down to historic levels. The city & state are pretty much broke and then there is that pesky issue of the violence and general insecurity, both actual and in perception from overseas.

Against that backdrop I do not think that VS would be wise in entering the GIG market; GRU is a different story altogether.

Anyone has any info on how Norwegian's LGW-GIG service is doing?
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bsbisland
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:37 am

dcajet wrote:
I am not sure what upturn you are referring to. Rio has never had fewer long distance flights as it is the case at present. LATAM no longer flies long haul out of the city; the American carriers have axed their flights down to historic levels.


Not true at all. Something like 10 years ago, the only nonstop long haul destinations out of GIG were MIA, ATL, LIS, MAD, CDG and LAD. In the last decade GIG got BA, LH, KL, AZ, EK, UA, norwegian, edelweiss, serving the city with nonstop services ( BA and UA for example, were via GRU).
 
Jomar777
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:29 am

bsbisland wrote:
dcajet wrote:
I am not sure what upturn you are referring to. Rio has never had fewer long distance flights as it is the case at present. LATAM no longer flies long haul out of the city; the American carriers have axed their flights down to historic levels.


Not true at all. Something like 10 years ago, the only nonstop long haul destinations out of GIG were MIA, ATL, LIS, MAD, CDG and LAD. In the last decade GIG got BA, LH, KL, AZ, EK, UA, norwegian, edelweiss, serving the city with nonstop services ( BA and UA for example, were via GRU).


I would also add that LATAM's decision to cut GIG relates to the fact that it is a Oneworld partner to BA and also that they (LATAM) have a extensive Brazilian network so it is quite easier to connect to GIG from GRU seamlessly nowadays or, although with a 1 hour bus ride, use CGH towards getting into SDU whichis in the heart of Rio de Janeiro. So LATAM optimized their network rather than simply reduce it. It effectivelly eliminated also the (very...) expensive need to keep. not one, but TWO WB Aircrafts parked at Heathrow for at least over 1/2 day (they used to park them - the GRU and the GIG ones - side by side near T3).
 
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N717TW
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:31 am

bsbisland wrote:
dcajet wrote:
I am not sure what upturn you are referring to. Rio has never had fewer long distance flights as it is the case at present. LATAM no longer flies long haul out of the city; the American carriers have axed their flights down to historic levels.


Not true at all. Something like 10 years ago, the only nonstop long haul destinations out of GIG were MIA, ATL, LIS, MAD, CDG and LAD. In the last decade GIG got BA, LH, KL, AZ, EK, UA, norwegian, edelweiss, serving the city with nonstop services ( BA and UA for example, were via GRU).


GIG was the historic gateway to Brazil until the early 1990s because GRU didn't have long enough runways to support the weight of long-haul jets (i.e. the 747). therefore GIG saw a huge amount of international service from PA, EA, CP in N.A., BA, AF (might have been UTA at the time, not sure), AZ, IB, TP, KL among others. Im pretty sure even JAL ran into GIG at the time. Varig and VASP both originated most of their inter'l service out of GIG too. GIG was served as a tag on from GIG for most airlines. It seems the migration from GIG over to GRU took a while because the bilateral agreements often spoke about GIG as the gateway (see, e.g. how long it took for DUB-N.A. service to start b/c SNN was the. mandatory gateway and at first the Irish wanted to limit DUB access).
 
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OA940
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:02 am

I guess when the Heathrow expansion is complete they'll add a few more destinations (considering they wanna have up to 150 slots ;) ), and it's not very unlikely they'll start flying to one or two other Centra/South American cities
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FBGTX
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:36 am

UT never flew to South America. It always been AF.
 
dcajet
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 3:08 pm

bsbisland wrote:
dcajet wrote:
I am not sure what upturn you are referring to. Rio has never had fewer long distance flights as it is the case at present. LATAM no longer flies long haul out of the city; the American carriers have axed their flights down to historic levels.


Not true at all. Something like 10 years ago, the only nonstop long haul destinations out of GIG were MIA, ATL, LIS, MAD, CDG and LAD. In the last decade GIG got BA, LH, KL, AZ, EK, UA, norwegian, edelweiss, serving the city with nonstop services ( BA and UA for example, were via GRU).


All those you mention with the exception of Emirates, Norwegian and Edelweiss were already operating at GIG. DFW is gone, JFK is no longer served year round, MCO is gone, etc., so not sure why you say it is not true. GIG's new Terminal 3 is a ghost town during certain times of the day. I experienced that myself earlier this year.
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bsbisland
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:26 pm

dcajet wrote:
bsbisland wrote:
dcajet wrote:


All those you mention with the exception of Emirates, Norwegian and Edelweiss were already operating at GIG. DFW is gone, JFK is no longer served year round, MCO is gone, etc., so not sure why you say it is not true. GIG's new Terminal 3 is a ghost town during certain times of the day. I experienced that myself earlier this year.


Well, check your facts... LH, AZ, RAM, KLM left in the 90s/early 2000s and returned in the last decade. UA and BA have never left but served via GRU until a few years ago. "Rio has never had fewer long distance flights as it is the case at present" doesn't apply. GIG did lost international capacity compared to 4-5 years ago (Olympics inflating supply of flights, Brazil and Rio crisis, etc), but I remember around 2007, the only airlines that served GIG nonstop longhaul flights were AA, DL, TP, IB, AF and DT.
 
Birdwatching
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:54 pm

Wait, didn't Virgin Atlantic use to fly to Bolivia? I specifically remember seing this. In a James Bond movie I think.
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BlueberryWheats
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:06 pm

Birdwatching wrote:
Wait, didn't Virgin Atlantic use to fly to Bolivia? I specifically remember seing this. In a James Bond movie I think.


You're thinking of Quantum of Solace.

Just to play Devils advocate... how do you know he didn't connect? ;)

Although, he was apparently on an overnight westbound tatl, so I don't think they were going for accuracy, I mean this is a franchise that had a 737 from a Czech airline in Miami (I know it was actually filmed in Prague, but still!)
 
dcajet
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Re: VS Virgin Atlantic and South America

Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:37 pm

bsbisland wrote:
dcajet wrote:
bsbisland wrote:


Well, check your facts... LH, AZ, RAM, KLM left in the 90s/early 2000s and returned in the last decade. UA and BA have never left but served via GRU until a few years ago. "Rio has never had fewer long distance flights as it is the case at present" doesn't apply. GIG did lost international capacity compared to 4-5 years ago (Olympics inflating supply of flights, Brazil and Rio crisis, etc), but I remember around 2007, the only airlines that served GIG nonstop longhaul flights were AA, DL, TP, IB, AF and DT.


Rio has never had these few flights to the US, not even New York (VARIG's most prestigious route, if memory serves) is sustainable year-round. There may be more Euro airlines serving GIG, but not a single Brazilian airline is left that flies long haul out of GIG. The fact remains that Rio as whole is a shadow of its former past.
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