Virgin Atlantic joining Skyteam – what “new routes” can you envisage?

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Viewing 15 posts - 181 through 195 (of 203 total)

  • sparkyflier
    Participant

    Thank you Alex for adding that piece to this discussion. Very interesting. I had been tempted to try Tarom once but flew to Bucharest last year on BA and on the return the usual lounge was closed so passengers could use the Tarom lounge. It was very poor indeed – very limited breakfast offering and a festival of single use plastic. It was managed by DNATA but frankly was the worst airline own lounge I have been in and surprised both Tarom and Dnata could put their name to it.

    So this reduced my curiosity of trying them sometime.

    Regarding what VS will do with the slot – I suspect not much. With their pattern of announcing routes (and then cancelling), or starting routes at the wrong time or with the wrong equipment, they will probably simply add more frequencies to existing routes.

    The slot ex-LHR is at 14:50 so maybe they will juggle some of their other routes if they have a new destination in mind but doubt they will be bold. They may even lease it!

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    MarkivJ
    Participant

    If it’s an afternoon dep from LHR, I’ll place my bets it’ll be somewhere to the Caribbean (assuming they’re using the slot for a new route). Do they still fly to Cuba?


    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    The recent announcement of cooperation with China Eastern might be an option for either a lease of existing slots or another VS route out east.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    AlanOrton1
    Participant

    A 14:50 departure from LHR would also work very well for (another) US rotation.
    Probably not for re-starting service to HK though 😉


    TonyR
    Participant

    I believe Garuda still maintains its historic link with Amsterdam.

    Does it still go under its old well earned nickname of Garusome?


    sparkyflier
    Participant

    MarkivJ – They do not serve Havana, not sure if they ever did but did announce it the other year, only to then cancel it pre-operational launch.
    In the Caribbean I wonder if there is demand for Punta Cana in addition and maybe twinning it with Santo Domingo.
    In Mexico they pulled out of Cancun but how about being the first scheduled carrier into Puerto Vallarta?

    AndrewinHK – the deal with China Eastern is a good one (why they do not have more like that with other Skyteam members I do not know) but where do you suggest they go out East?

    AlanOrton1 – agree and agree

    TonyR – Garuda does still fly to AMS, however it is an almighty once a week on 777. KL does it 5 x weekly. But all I hear about Garuda’s inflight service is that it is excellent. Very decent hard copy and superb cabin crew service.


    BackOfThePlane
    Participant

    @Sparkyflier – Virgin Atlantic flew from Gatwick to Havana for many years but never returned post Covid. No official explanation was ever given (they would have the direct market all to themselves as TUI are pulling out in April) but, to be frank, Cuba is very much a Gatwick market. There is little to no business traffic and very little in the way of valuable freight.

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    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    Sparky, given China Eastern and VS already have the LHR-PVG route covered perhaps a route to Beijing, Guangzhou or Shenzhen which are all China Eastern hubs. That being said I think it’s highly unlikely, much more probable it’ll be an extra US rotation to an existing destination.


    CheerUp
    Participant

    Thinking slightly left-field (and probably ambitiously), but as BA don’t seem to be reintroducing any time soon – Bangkok?
    Maybe link up with Phuket/ Koh Samui.


    LetsFlyNow
    Participant

    That afternoon slot would indeed be ideal for a flight to the Far East. Asian carriers have flights leaving Europe at around lunchtime arriving in Asia early morning. Apart from the China Eastern partnership, what happened to ICN? Wasn’t that meant to happen at some point? Yes, VS would have to juggle or exchange slots with AF/KL for a late afternoon arrival at LHR. LH has a 3pm dep to ICN and arrives back at FRA at about 6pm the next day.

    With LX launching flights to ICN this summer yields can’t be that low given that LH fills the 747-8 from FRA and A359 from MUC almost daily.
    Yes limited connections from LHR for Virgin but London as an end destination should be able to fill seats. And, they’re now in Skyteam (though i’m not sure how AF/KL are willing to send passengers to their newly adopted partner)


    AndrewinHK
    Participant

    Regarding ICN, part of the measures required for the U.K. to approve the Korean/Asiana merger was that an existing rotation to ICN was taken by another carrier, so I don’t this VS needed to buy a slot to operate to ICN, likely they will just use an existing one vacated by either Korean/Asiana.

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    MarkivJ
    Participant

    Their HQ has long been talking about a 2nd daily to mumbai. A 3p dep from London means arr into Mumbai around 4/5am; a 2 hr turnaround and another 9 hrs should put them back in LHR by 1pm, works great for USA connections,

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    sparkyflier
    Participant

    Given they have a good network in SW USA – San Fran, LA and Vegas, plus a healthy Virgin Holidays business, I think San Diego would work well with them and think Delta would agree with that. BA of course doubled frequency to keep them off but that could be worthwhile.

    BKK and Phuket I think would work, but of course that is a perennial discussion on this forum (!) and I reckon BKK 4/5 x weekly and HKT 2/3 would provide holiday business, premium leisure and business traffic for those who want a nonstop flight but not into collecting Star Alliance miles (Thai and Eva).

    However, this slot is available for the coming summer schedule, which it probably too short notice for a Caribbean or Thai route (which will each have greater demand over the Winter anyway), so suspect as Andrew and MarkivJ have said simply another rotation somewhere already served. I hope they will be bold but somewhat doubt it.

    Once again I will whinge though that their 787 in J is just not competitive and they need to do something about it.


    MarkivJ
    Participant

    sparkyflier, I have read that they’ve been keen on growing SF operations as well as the type of traffic, laod factors and mix (biz, leisure, VFR, transit) is very similar in size to LAX except that between DL and VS, they have 4 dailies to LAX versus just 2 to SFO.

    Knowing VS though, they will do something dumb and pick a losing proposition (like they did for ORD, YVR, etc.). They may surprise us all and choose a Star alliance hub like Denver or Houston!


    LetsFlyNow
    Participant

    Today some slot transfer news were made known. I’m quoting a twitter account called London Air Travel. KLM is selling 10 weekly slots to Virgin. Virgin is leasing a daily slot to Emirates (expect a 7th daily rotation to DXB this summer). BA is leasing a daily AA remedy slot to Virgin Atlantic among others.
    This information should be readily available. Yea, musical chairs with slots.

    Will be interesting to see what Virgin does with the new slots – but i think these are the flight increases we had already read of.

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