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I will be flying on VS for the first time in 5 years on Weds so I will be interested to see whether things have changed.
VK, I think I agree with you that VS could be the next BMI and suffer a slow death. For me it is the lack of a feeder network that is the biggest issue. However, unlike BMI, I think Virgin have a strategic alternative.
Their brand may not be the strongest in business travel but it is a strong brand in long haul leisure & holiday traffic. I think there is a case for Virgin to consider selling its Heathrow slots and using the proceeds to fund expansion out of Gatwick, Manchester & Glasgow as a long haul leisure operator. An advantage of such routes is that they needn’t be daily in frequency as opposed to business routes where daily frequency is almost essential with all the costs that come with that.
Obviously, this will feel like a defeat for Virgin and I can imagine Branson being emotionally unable to make this decision. But if a slow death awaits Virgin then maybe this needs to be considered.
I would be interested to hear people’s thoughts on this.