Virgin Atlantic joining Skyteam – what “new routes” can you envisage?Back to Forum
[quote quote=1368576]If BA are ‘highly-uncompetitive on the route who are they uncompetitive with exactly ?
Fundamentally a route with no competition and a full aircraft is mana from heaven for any airline and they will milk it for all that is possible without destroying the pax numbers.[/quote]
I mean they are loosing out to the Gulf carriers.
For example, on any given day EK, EY, QR and LH carry more passengers to LHR from BLR than BA itself.
And these airlines also offer First Class.
That’s a huge opportunity being missed by BA.13 Jun 2023
[quote quote=1368625]BA out guns them to Austin.[/quote]
Big advantage BA has is that it sells the whole of Europe, not just the UK.
VS cannot do this and especially now that AF and KL have had to change terminals (as we reported at the time).
You only need refer to the Florence thread on here to see the number of US travellers flying from FLR via LHR.13 Jun 2023
Am I correct in understanding that you are posting that that four airlines that you mention above together carry more pax than do BA ?
Perhaps I am misunderstanding but you seem to be stating the very obvious and I don’t understand what is your point here.13 Jun 2023
Yes, to LHR.
My point here was that when there is so much demand (including premium), BA still continues to operates an outdated aircraft with very less seats.13 Jun 2023
BA has discovered its cash cow which is transporting passengers between USA and UK/Europe. It’s been their USP and so far has worked for them whilst the KLs and LH’s of the world have been more experimental in discovering and starting services to new parts of the world. I’m not saying I agree with BA’s strategy, but just saying it’s been working for them thus far and hey, if it ain’t broke, why fix it 😉 Even pre-pandemic, I was always surprised at BA’s low amount of flights to China compared to the other big European ones.
auto-alpha: not sure what you mean by outdated aircraft though as both my wife and I travelled on BA the last month and we both got the retrofit 772 w the new CW seats. Given they don’t sell 1st class on BLR flights anymore (so obvs 77W and a380 ruled out), can’t think of any other aircraft they could use for this passenger volume.13 Jun 2023
[quote quote=1368713]auto-alpha: not sure what you mean by outdated aircraft though as both my wife and I travelled on BA the last month and we both got the retrofit 772 w the new CW seats. Given they don’t sell 1st class on BLR flights anymore (so obvs 77W and a380 ruled out), can’t think of any other aircraft they could use for this passenger volume.[/quote]
A35K with 60 more seats than the 772 and with First Class.13 Jun 2023
Firstly thank you for sharing that the BLR route comes at the expense of Austin – I did not know that but is interesting.
Separately bear in mind re what aircraft BA allocate to a route etc as that they currently have 15-16 less wide-bodied aircraft since before Covid. So they are massively short of aircraft and in addition are shot of flight crew ( due to getting rid of 747s prematurely and firing too many staff IMO – but that is not for this VS- related discussion).
Furthermore in many markets there are bilateral agreements and I think with VS coming to BLR that is now maxed out and they could not add more (and more desirable frequencies) even if they wanted to.
AndrewinHK – indeed. BA identified Austin as a growth market many years ago and have been rewarded for an arguably innovative route. And IMO a VS 789 J product is not competitive against the BA Club Suite. If they had used A339neo that would be far more attractive.
BTW you mentioned Norse – I know Norwegian went there pre-Covid and before they pulled out of long haul flying, but was not aware that Norse which is a separate business had chosen to go there, but stand to be corrected.
Perhaps VS can only grow further if they go back into Gatwick, using slots there for more leisure related routes, releasing slots for more business/lucrative routes from LHR.
1 user thanked author for this post.14 Jun 2023
Also, what helped BA with Austin specifically in addition to 1st mover advantage was all the feed coming from AA (AA had been a bit slow to grow in AUS up until a certain point but started expanding quite a bit the last 2-3 years). Some of my very dear friends in Dallas (I lived there for 12 years) have flown Dallas-London via Austin (as despite 4x AA and the BA A380, flights can get relatively full and expensive from dfw). In short, BA nailed the Austin strategy very well.
At one point in time, AUS was tipped to become a Skyteam hub (DL opened up a fabbo lounge there), the Austin airport officials were in talks with AF – KL announced their entry, etc. etc. but eventually DL put the brakes on expansion plans. VS too probably started on the assumption that the DL traffic would help. A
Also, another reason that could’ve impacted the VS perf in Austin is that it’s not even daily operations, I think they only 4x a week compared to BA’s daily.14 Jun 2023
Cwoodward I think very unlikely VS will return to Hong Kong. If they expand into our region it’s likely to be Seoul, but because of the longer routing to avoid Russia it’s a tougher business case, hence the expansion of India. BA capacity upgrade to HKG may be in order, the 789 up gauged for the 77W or double daily a350.
1 user thanked author for this post.16 Jun 2023
AHK – It was announced back in March that Virgin would be commencing Seoul 7 times a week so nothing new there. Don’t discount Virgin Australia to HKG ether.
Cathay ‘owned’ the LHR-HKG market prior the pandemic with up to 7 flights a day to BA’s 2 and that will likely be again as BA is short of aircraft and CX is now fast getting back to its normal scheduling17 Jun 2023
Virgin Atlantic to cut its 🇬🇧London Heathrow – 🇺🇸Austin route, with the final flights taking place on 7 January 2024
Virgin Atlantic will increase capacity on its 🇬🇧London Heathrow – 🇺🇸Miami route, operating 2x daily flights in both Summer and Winter seasons pic.twitter.com/gLFDNLYVvO
— Sean M 🌈✈ (@SeanM1997) October 27, 2023
Austin going out to accommodate Bengaluru flights.27 Oct 2023
Will Virgin Atlantic add another route or an extra flight from London Heathrow this summer ?
I say that because it’s reported today in Romania that TAROM has sold its one and only Heathrow slot to (fellow Skyteam member) Virgin Atlantic for £22 million.
The lower than usual slot price reflects the off-peak timings of the TAROM service.
TAROM will abandon Heathrow from end March. It is unclear whether TAROM will continue to serve London by operating to another of the capital’s airports.
Note that TAROM’s website has not yet been updated. It continues to display the current schedule after end March.
[paywall]5 Feb 2024