New international routes for Virgin Australia?

12 replies

AwaywithMike

Member since 23 Jun 2011

Total posts 50

VA previously announced they'll be launching some (2-3) new international routes?

Does anyone know any more about which routes (personally hoping for SYD-HKG). Timescales? Aircraft?

:-)

David

Member since 24 Oct 2010

Total posts 988

Virgin has previously confirmed the A330 will take on an international route, beyond that there's been no more news.

smit0847

Member since 30 Aug 2013

Total posts 148

There's been all sorts of rumours - SYD-HKG, PER-SIN, BNE-SIN etc but I doubt we'll see any announcents for many months.

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

They're down to 6 A333s. If they deploy one or two internationally, then poor old Brisbane are rocking 737s to Perth. 

My bet is redeployment of 1 of 5 777s to SYD-HKG. It would need to be a daily service. That aircraft currently supplements Etihad to Abu Dhabi. When the A380 airrives, it leaves very little incentive to choose VA's 777 over the shiny new A380.

I would say Japan is also on the radar but the 9 hour flight to HKG makes for better turn around. Unsure of the implications it has on daily flights serving Bris - LA and Syd - LA. Perhaps someone could advise? Is the 5th aircraft essential to maintain a same time of departure each day?

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

They are 332s, actually.

Anyway, if the maintenance for the 77Ws is done in LAX, it's entirely possible to structure the rotation diagram to be something like SYD-LAX-BNE-LAX-SYD-HKG-SYD which would take five days with two LAX layovers to conduct maintenance.

This would allow all services to be daily and depart at the same time each day, but the HKG service would need to run to a very similar schedule to the Qantas service, i.e. mid-morning out, redeye back.

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

Interesting....

Your point about the schedule having to run similar to Qantas, could that be altered if adjusting the LAX departure times was an option / feasible?

Are the 77Ws LAX based?

watson374

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Aug 2012

Total posts 1,285

The key point is that for it to be daily, the HKG service needs a short turnaround at both ends; in HKG to form the flight back and in SYD coming off and forming the LAX flight.

There are two possible ways to structure this:

  1. Daylight outbound, overnight back.
  2. Overnight outbound, daylight back.

The latter is not ideal because in order to depart to LAX before curfew, i.e. at 22:25 (arriving LAX 17:15 the same day, which is not ideal as it is very late and connects only to eastbound redeyes), the flight needs to arrive by about 20:30 in SYD, requiring a departure ex-HKG at about 08:15. This is also not ideal as passengers will need to be at the airport by about 06:45.

So the overnight out option doesn't really work because it either means less-than-daily or terrible timings into LAX and out of HKG.

So you're best off with the daylight out schedule, which is what Qantas operates. Because you want to arrive in time to start the business day, you need to land around 08:00, so you need to leave around 19:45 each day. You don't want to leave any earlier as that runs too close to the end of the HKG business day.

So summing up, you need to run the same schedule as Qantas in order for this to work properly.

CityRail

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 17 Nov 2014

Total posts 78

I think the Boeing 777-300ERs are already used up for Americas and to Abu Dubai. They even have to borrow EY aircraft when one of the B77Ws are in maintenance.

SQ is leasing some Airbus A330s for a short period of time then they are due to be returned to the lessor. This might give Virgin Australia flexibility to acquire these A330s second hand if required.

Route wise, VA has been looking for services to Singapore, but looks like its parent SQ doesn't like it. HKG is a possibility but I wonder they might end up getting into partnership with Hong Kong Airlines to make it work, as O&D traffic may not be stable and profitable.

Finally, if happens VA is launching SYD - HKG, I hope they can leave Sydney after 10pm, as currently Sydney is the only Oceania major city where Singapore Airlines cannot provide red eye service arriving Hong Kong in the morning from Australia. This should compliment and fill the gap well.

cssaus

United Airlines - Mileage Plus

Member since 29 Jan 2011

Total posts 75

If VA were to do the SYD-HKG route, it would be nice if it was to dovetail in with the VS flights to & from LHR

CityRail

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 17 Nov 2014

Total posts 78

If they dovetail with VS flights to/from LHR, would SQ and EY happy with that since they are running flights to London/Heathrow as well?

Moreover, I wonder as they have this many B737-800 and increasing, why they don't consider launching some 'International Short-haul' routes such as CNS-HKG as well?

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

I doubt you'd get the volume from Cairns and it would be served by a 737. In my opinion, you can't sustain international routes using narrow body aircraft.

Etihad are launching LHR - HKG later this year which would tie in well for VA. It's also the most direct route to London.

I like the idea of a red eye departing Sydney. It'd be great for a Thursday night deoarture, long weekend.

Re the 777, I'm suggesting they pull the 5th from Abu Dhabi service and let Etihad pick up the slack there, send it to HKG joining back up with Etihad for London travel. Can't see Etihad having an issue with that, can't see Singapore being too upset either with the linked Krisflyer programs. It strangthens this alliance and gives non One World Australian customers a direct HKG option. (ex Sydney anyway)

Chris_PER

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Feb 2014

Total posts 90

It would be interesting to see how a new route plays out around the current movement of PER-MNL for maintenance on the A330-200s.

AwaywithMike

Member since 23 Jun 2011

Total posts 50

Hey all

Thanks so much for the input. Here's hoping it's a 777 SYD-HKG.

Will be keen to know thoughts on how they're launching "a couple more than the expected above", when there are no new wide-body expected?

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