Virgin Atlantic facing record loss

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  • SimonS1

    Interesting stuff – thanks.


    The Virgin group lost its strategic vision years ago. It is now entirely focused on licensing the Virgin name until they cannot take advantage of it any more.

    Branson has been renowned for getting into businesses to see if there is a profit to be obtained in two years, if not get out. This has meant he has reduced the group´s shareholding while maintaining the license of the name. This is a very cynical and selfish attitude for personal (group) aggrandisement, very far from seeking the benefit of the company or the industry.

    The synergies between the three Virgins, America, Australia and Atlantic must be tremendous but each is going its own way.

    V.Atlantic lost its best chance to be a force by not making the exrtra effort to get hold of BMI. Now it finds it has not got the feed with which it was provided so leases aircraft from Aer Lingus for “Little Red” – a half hearted effort to catch up. At least I hope they have learnt the lesson and sign a codeshare/interline agreement with Aer Lingus.

    The link up with Singapore was not taken advantage of. Do you really think the Delta link up will help V.Atlantic or just mean its subservience to the US giant? Etihad has made its arrangements with V. Australia and AF/KLM so we are obviously thinking of an integration into Skyteam of the two carriers in the near future.

    Interesting times ahead but the demise of the British carrier is that much nearer. Is it not time to question and call time on the head of the Virgin group, SRB?



    I wonder if Sir RB will keep his promise and pay GBP1 million to employees of IAG’s British Airways unit if “Virgin Atlantic disappears within, say, five years.” ?


    I think Mr Walsh will be getting a kick to the groin, as he requested.

    Perhaps SRB could hire a sumo wrestler…..ouch!


    Can’t see VS last much longer in the DXB run. The intro next month of. A further 2 x -380 own the LHR DXB run as a result of the mad EK QF tie up is already seeing fares tumble. £380 on BA.

    So something will have to give and VS, who have always followed the money will no doubt pull first.

    QF will then pull a DXB A380 (my guess is one in October and then a full withdrawal from LHR next year) making their exit from all of Europe.


    Yep, DXB is on the way out.

    I give it until the winter season (October), if it lasts beyond that then March next year. Watch what another load of Emirates frequencies does to the low yields!

    I noticed that in the recent Etihad CEO interview, that Etihad are still interested in Virgin Atlantic. So, perhaps with Etihad feed, and linking to the Virgin Australia services, a daily service to Abu Dhabi would work well. After all Abu Dhabi has three Etihad flights per day (and wants more) while BA has one. Four daily 777s, versus DXB @ 7 A380s, and 4 777s per day!

    Any ideas on what you guys would replace it with? Far East?


    Terrible results but things could be getting better for VS going forward -reasons including more efficient aircraft settling into the fleet, saving loads on fuel, the feed from Little Red and if/when the join Skyteam.

    This I think is crucial and to not join would mean losing out on many opportunities:-

    Codesharing with Delta on US routes, and opporunities from this agreement.
    Codesharing with AeroMexico and feed from them.
    Start Brazil and benefit from feed with GOL, the #2 Brazil airline, which Delta has also invested in.
    Codeshares/feed from AF, AZ, KL & Aeroflot, Middle East Airlines etc
    Start Abu Dhabi with Etihad, who I imagine will join Skyteam.
    Codeshare with Korean, Vietnam and Garuda on their routes, as well as new routes and codeshares with the Chinese airlines.

    I hope they prosper. BA has had lots of news slots but not doing an awful lot with them to the emerging markets. Virgin can still become a major second force carrier and hugely increase its network and miles earning opportunities for travellers, which is a driver when choosing which airlines to fly.


    Also Le Tigre, any news on Tanzania? There could be two triangle routes:-


    Just because BA failed, does not mean it cannot work, especially as a 2 centre route. Remember KLM have daily AMS-JRO-DAR-AMS flights, and has added 2/3 nonstop MD-11services to JRO only!


    With those new BA slots, I think one should remember that the acquisition is less than twelve months old (April 2012), and that its successful conclusion was far from certain right up until the last.

    BA has two timetable changes at end March and September, so changes tend to be announced then. BA did launch new routes in October, including some longhaul.

    Opening up new routes takes time; there are many factors to be taken into account, not least having the right aircraft available and many others which are outwith the control of the airline itself.

    BA has done well re-configuring the A321 in midhaul to cover the TLV and CAI flights, as well as reducing SYD flights, releasing several longhaul frames.

    The 787 continues to be delayed, and this is key to eliminating the slot-sitting exercises (like Leeds and Rotterdam). No loss while the economy is still in the doldrums, but launching new routes will come in time.

    Having said that, there have been new longhaul routes, notably:

    1. Chengdu
    2. Seoul
    3. Sri Lanka

    The JVs with American, Japan Airlines and now Finnair are gaining momentum, and these add more traction for BA in other markets within oneworld without noticeably launching new routes.

    How interesting you boys all are! Now let me point out some of the interesting issues surrounding the DXB Emirates operations. This also has a bearing of virgin/Delta.

    1) Fuel is almost 40% cheaper on flights out of the Emirates, airline policy is not to fill up for return journeys unless essential.
    2) Delta has purchased an old refinery just outside of NYC and is having it converted to produce avgas – thet will be able to suppl their fuel to themselves at cost and cost + a margin to other airlines, Virgin as a part of Delta will now qualify as a sister company on cost. This makes the NY flights more sustainable and more profitable.

    The A380’s and the 787 eventually along with the A333 will cut Virgins fuel bill faster than BA are cutting theirs. the A340-300 are now fro the most part gone and the older 747;s are being off-leased as soon as they are viable.

    BA could have made greater savings if they had not been so picky about their engine choices. the 767 for instance cannot have winglets because BA chose the only option that they don’t work with.

    What I hate most are the words “cost cutting measures”. If that means crappy crew and poor food, that means bad customer experience which means no Virgin repeat business which means goodbye loyalty and one dead airline.

    I may be a lady, but I’m one hell of a smart cookie!

    Where is that Martini glass?


    These 3 routes are commendable, but only one is a new use of slot. Seoul was announced before the BMI purchase went through, Colombo is merely as extension of Male, arguably with a schedule that is less desirable for both destinations.
    Chengdu is good though, and I recall from my well supported thread last year about what BA should do with their slots post BMI purchase, that Chendu was the best choice for the enxt China route.
    As this thread is about Virgin, where do you think they should be going to next?


    Virgin as a global brand, appeals to a younger generation. It does not need to just depend upon national traffic but can build a loyal following in other “young” nations. As such I would be looking to the BRIC countries, with Brazil being the number one, specifically, Sao Paulo and Rio to begin with.

    I wonder if Karen care comment on the market for Brazilians?

    I really am an Anastasia, less of that Karen stuff mister!

    With that football cuppy thing and those olympics down there, I do believe that South America is one of the least served of the growing market. BA have strong links daily and even more if you use the BA-American link which we did on a trip to Brasilia just on a year ago, my oh my what a city. Not everyones cuppa I must declare, but I love Brasilia and I adore touching a nice Brazilian! Such fit young men!


    LeTigre: re VS to AUH. I reckon if EY took a stake in VS we will definitely see VS flying to AUH. This seems to be the case with the other airlines that they buy a stake in: Virgin Australia, Air Berlin for example.

    I see big changes in he coming twelve months. QF using DXB as a hub. I reckon BA will very soon ‘de-link’ DOH from the LHR-BAH-DOH run. And then maybe VS LHR-AUH!

    Binman, sadly I agree with you regarding QF going down to one a day on the OZ-LHR via DXB run. Whereas now those two A380’s are full of traffic going all over europe via LHR they will soon be dropping off a huge share in DXB to EK to these european destinations.

    I would be surprised to see DAR or Chengdu being launched by VS. BA only just pulled off the DAR route due to a HUGE drop in passenger numbers and an even bigger drop in yields (thanks to the new connections to DAR via the middle eastern hubs) and Chengdu was meant to be going three times per week on the 787. It’s only because of the delays that BA are deploying the 777 on the route.

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