Virgin Atlantic Secures All LHR Slots

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  • LeTigre

    Interestingly, Virgin America canceled loads of orders last week just as VS found out it had won the slots. Unfortunately, the cooperation between the carriers isn’t that deep, but I think there is a possibility for some of those aircraft to go to Virgin Atlantic instead. However, A320s from Airbus are in short supply so the positions may already have been taken.

    I think that VS will definitely offer a groundbreaking product on these short flights, as both the Australian and American airlines offer entertainment, wifi and mood lighting on all or most aircraft. VS have already hinted about this.

    VK, you also are right to suggest the domestic market may not be sensible long term. However, these slots will remain short haul so tis means VS are in the short haul EU market PERMANENTLY.


    This might be a bit far fetched, but if the VS product between EDI and LHR is a real differentiator, would they consider 330’s to increase seat capacity to make up for reductions in frequency!

    If you’re connecting at LHR into Upper Class ,why not start at EDI !!

    Also, would have thought that GLA would have been a more obvious choice then ABZ…….ABZ will have a lot of oil business that will instinvtively use BA because of the their links to other oil cities ?i


    I must admit i’m surprised that VS is being allowed to operate the slots under a wet lease deal, unless this has only been agreed in the short term.

    Chartering an aircraft, flight and cabin crews to operate certain routes doesn’t really inspire confidence in an airlines dedication to said routes. What it does provide is a relatively quick and inexpensive get out clause if everything doesn’t pan out as the airline had hoped.

    Unless like I say this has just been agreed for the short term as VS were not sure how their application for the slots panned out.

    But certainly in the long term, wet leasing aircraft is about the most expensive way an airline can operate a route. And is pretty unheard of anywhere in the world in terms of a permanent operation due to costs involved. Airlines only wet lease aircraft when there are temporary issues that require them to do so, like an airlines own aircraft going into the hanger for a time consuming ‘D’ check etc. Although airlines do sometimes ‘dry lease’ aircraft from other carriers for longer periods of time.

    So until VS announces that they have placed an order for, or leasing, their own aircraft to be crewed by their own staff and using their own AOC (or they set up a subsidiary company of their own to operate the routes) I will question their dedication to domestic/short haul flying.


    VK you ask are Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America, very separate? Well yes they are, you may recall when V America was first formed the US authorities made it plain and slow before they licensed V America that there had to be a separation far in excess of what was first proposed. This reduced the director count and brought some non Virgin people to run the airline. The max shareholding was 25% – consistent with others and the rules, but the management had to be seen to independent and not tied to the UK nor the Cayman Isles. Indeed it is only recently that the various V airlines have begun to cooperate on schedules and FF schemes, so aircraft sourcing may be a big step too far – doesn’t V Australia fly Boeing 737’s rather than Airbuses?


    My guess is the LHR domestic operation will be wet leased from Lithuanian carrier Avion Express:




    “Avion Express” don’t they have well bad track record with safety?

    Is there some small print in the slots if Virgin use them as they ment to for xtime then they can do what they like?

    A wet lease does not tell me Virgin has long term aims with this, Virgin have there own training program fro crew, I am sure Virgin could could get things working for that date?

    Aberdeen- LHR will be a money spiner for them, But Oillcompanys moving back to the south.


    The Business Post are reporting that Aer Lingus are to announce in the next 24 hours that they’ll be launching short-haul flights from next March on behalf of another airline:!story/Home/News/Aer+Lingus+expected+to+announce+short-haul+tie-up/id/19410615-5218-50bd-f79d-ba2594956139

    Operating for Virgin?


    Surely the reasons for flying wet lease on the domestic routes have to be
    a) in the short term VS have no aircraft of a suitable size to operate a shorthaul domestic routing and no flight or cabin crew either. Slapping on an A330 is a bit excessive for a route that up to now has been operated by 757s or similar size craft

    b) there is the ability to disassociate oneself if the product is a bit of a disaster if the visual impression is that the carrier is not VS. You can also chop and change suppliers.


    Not quite sure wha you mean about the visual impression – I thought it had already been announced that the aircraft would be in Virgin colours.

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