Has Virgin come to a grinding halt?

3 replies

GBRGB

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Jan 2014

Total posts 253

Has Virgin come to a grinding halt? now that mining is slowing down and the flow of disgruntled QF passengers has dried up what's next for Virgin, no announcements on aircraft,no new routes, very quiet indeed.

SaltyJ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

In Oct 2014 at a press conference John Borghetti said "You will see us fly to more international destinations over the next three years" he added "two (destinations) maybe three....but we aren't going to talk about that at this stage"  (from Tourism and Transport Forum's Leadership Summit in Canberra in Oct 2014.

So that's over 12 months ago, maybe Virgin will earmark something by years end for operation in 2017?

I hear your curiosity, on the one hand in the aviation world there are plenty of articles about airlines ordering B787's or A350's etc but on the other VA hasn't been performing very well financially. But, then again they have these major aviation shareholders where articles discuss the sbility to use advantages of using a shareholder like Etihad to tack on a few extra planes to their orders on behalf of virgin, but don't hear of anything like that in the pipework. As an article discussed on here recently VA are ordering 737 Max's, but that doesn't inspire much in the way of new medium or long haul routes. Just have to wait and see I guess!

StudiodeKadent

Member since 20 May 2015

Total posts 109

Perhaps, perhaps not. I think in part there's a lot which depends on Virgin's partners. Virgin also seem very happy to grow through codeshares, working with other carriers etc rather than through their own metal.

I'd suspect they're looking at befriending ANA given the airline is launching Australian services yet doesn't have an allied local partner for domestic connections.

If Virgin start looking at fleet renewal for the widebodies, that will be an interesting time. If Qantas is going towards Boeing, Airbus may discount aggressively in order to appeal to Virgin Australia and keep some of its craft in Australian skies. SQ has a lot of A350s on order as well. Virgin may go to an A350-based fleet for widebodies... The A350-900 would be able (at least in theory) to do all of Virgin Australia's current longhaul routes and perhaps open up new ones, but the issue of the domestic widebodies comes up (the whole "Middle Of Market" issue since most widebodies have too much range for Transcon). Perhaps they'll get A330neos just for the efficiency boost, and those planes could also do Asian routes as well. Hell, the A330-800neo could do Trans-Pacific long-and-thin pretty well too, at least from BNE (but they won't be able to fit the bar in, and the seats would be a little smaller unfortunately).

So who knows? If they take A330neo and A350 craft they'll be able to preserve 18" seats without exotic seating arrangements in economy (thereby cutting costs). Maybe they'll take a mix... A330-900neos for Domestic Transcon and Asia, A350-900s for flights out of BNE and MEL (should they decide to re-enter MEL), A350-100s for flights out of SYD?

But I don't know. It seems reasonable to me that VA will be looking at fleet renewal after this product refresh has been completed.

I also think they may want to re-establish a shared route with Virgin Atlantic (since they don't come to SYD any more). A SYD - HKG service may be an option, with the two sharing the route as a joint venture... BUT Cathay and Qantas are stiff competition. And Etihad may not want Virgin to offer a "Kangaroo Route by HK" option, BUT Virgin already effectively offers the Kangaroo Route via Singapore with SQ so who knows.

johnaboxall

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 24 Aug 2011

Total posts 384

Now is most likely a time of "consolidate and increase profit", not open up new routes with new planes. As read in Crikey PT the other day, comments by AirNZ and other shareholders have basically been translated to "Get profitable". 

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