Worried about Virgin's new Melbourne-Hong Kong route

19 replies

DBPZ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 26 Feb 2016

Total posts 38

I've just booked a return trip to HKG by using my VA points solidly (nearly). When I chose the seats, I found that more than 70% of the seats were empty (I wasn't allowed to select the seats in the 10-th to 15-th rows, so the 70% is based on the seats I was allowed to select from). The trip is between the 15th and the 31st of July.


This made me worried: if it was a SQ flight, nearly all seats will have been taken 50 days before departure, but I saw a nearly-empty plane. Even the window and aisle seats were  half-empty. Can VA make any money from this new route if it is so unpopular? 


VA promised that the codesharing flights with HNA will be available on "another day", which I think would be critical for PAX to fly the HKG route. Also the HKG lounge arrangement is still unavailable, which I'm a little curious -- SQ and VS both have HKG lounges, as well as Hong Kong Airlines, which is a subsidiary of HNA. Which one will VA choose?

Chris Chamberlin

Member since 24 Apr 2012

Total posts 1,110

Re: lounges in Hong Kong, it won't be the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse as that closed permanently in February.

(Virgin Atlantic pax now use a Plaza Premium lounge.)

freshthoughts

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Aug 2016

Total posts 112

blog; points from the pacific. Ran an article saying virgin will be using the hong kong airlines lounge.


sanj747

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 01 Nov 2016

Total posts 142

VA unfortunately have never been able to get their international strategy right. Apart from the LA flight  other international routes they have tried (MEL-JNB and SYD-AUH) have all been failures. Can't see MEL-HKG being much better. There needs to be a change in their management to have any chance of being a long term sustainable international operation.

gardermoen

Member since 09 May 2011

Total posts 13

I have my doubts too about this lasting. I have seen zero advertising here in Melbourne for this service.  I'll give it 18 months tops. 

ajstubbs

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 15 Mar 2016

Total posts 117

Yeah it really hasn't been well advertised. People still don't think of Virgin straightaway when they think of international travel! 

Lala295

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 10 Dec 2014

Total posts 37

Virgin doesn't seem to be able to advertise or successfully run an international network. They need some advertising and a bigger network. I wouldn't even consider VA for an international flight, even if I was flying to DPS, LAX or HKG. Jetstar comes to mind ahead of VA for international travel!

Last editedby Lala295 at Jun 02, 2017, 01:41 PM.

Dredgy

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 02 Apr 2017

Total posts 167

VA unfortunately have never been able to get their international strategy right. Apart from the LA flight  other international routes they have tried (MEL-JNB and SYD-AUH) have all been failures. Can't see MEL-HKG being much better. There needs to be a change in their management to have any chance of being a long term sustainable international operation.

Yes, both AUH and JNB could have been viable routes, but they need the right strategies and partnerships.

Packetman21

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Jul 2016

Total posts 68

Hopefully it lives a bit longer than the Perth --> Abu Dhabi route... (that never took off)

tmsmile

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Nov 2011

Total posts 6

The fares have started to fall. Newest sale is for prices from $585. By no means super low but I doubt there are many people paying much more than sale prices for the flights...

Boof

Member since 29 Aug 2013

Total posts 33

The fares have started to fall. Newest sale is for prices from $585. By no means super low but I doubt there are many people paying much more than sale prices for the flights...

Almost all the reward inventory is gone, and the sale prices are dropping. They can't be making a lot of money on what seats are currently filled. 

One of VA's problems (and they have heaps) is they have this fancy configured fleet of A332's that are not needed for the WA market but they can't find a gap to put them in the international market where they can use them to make money. I give the HKG routes 12 months tops and they will be gone. 

It would have been better in my view to leave the A332 fleet as it was configured in the 2-2-2 as that was a competitive product and could have been used for WA transcons, on the golden triangle, as well as to NZ and NAN as they were doing to get utilisation up. 

tmsmile

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 08 Nov 2011

Total posts 6

Its VA's consistent problem. Can't command the fares or have the network to compete, but too expensive to make any money.

Packetman21

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 28 Jul 2016

Total posts 68

See how QF is putting ads all over the country for the new Dreamliner and Perth to LHR route? That is what VA should do, no one is booking because they do not know about it. 

aniljak

Member since 15 Sep 2012

Total posts 91

There is a huge billboard across Tullamarine Freeway near DFO outbound.Just before junction eith Calder Freeway. Seen by thousands each day but agree need tv advertising 

gardermoen

Member since 09 May 2011

Total posts 13

The more I think about this, the more I am convinced it wont last as MEL-HKG for more than 12 months. For starters, the schedule is a mix of timings. This should be standardised for consistency, especially if this is to appeal to business travellers. Knowing VA, they will probably change it to a combination of SYD/MEL-HKG, meaning even less frequency from each city! 

Just over a month to go  and zero publicity of this service here in Melbourne. I doubt there is even anything on the Hong Kong side either.  VA has spent more than a year talking up the potential launch of the service, and when they do confirm it - there is no advertising!

I really wish VA would get its act together. 

Last editedby gardermoen at Jun 05, 2017, 09:12 AM.

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