Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer
Member since 17 Nov 2014
Total posts 78
As John is leaving Virgin also its alliance with AirNZ is ending on 28th October 2018, I think it would be important for us to think about the future of this airline and what should be done to make this airline survive in the increasing competing market.
It seems that domestic operation of Virgin is doing pretty well, as patronage and profitability has been rationalised after price war with Qantas. However I wonder if the domestic network is sufficient in the long term from being sustainable.
Virgin made a few attempts to improve its regional coverage, such as VARA with ATR72s, however it failed in Queensland (3 routes gone to Alliance Airlines) and still does not achieve an extensive network.
With Domestic Network, I wonder if Virgin Australia should consider entering into alliance with Regional Express, or even to acquire or merge with Regional Express. It seems regionally Rex's enemy is Qantas, especially in New South Wales and South Australia, and such alliance can achieve a significant competitive advantage to Qantas. It can also allow Rex to have access to more capital from Virgin and allow the company to purchase larger planes for key routes (such as Sydney - Wagga Wagga, Adelaide to Kingscote, Townsville - Cairns etc) to compete against Qantas.
It can also allow Virgin to have greater access from regional Australia for its NZ, Pacific Islands and Hong Kong/LAX routes.
East-West Routes is another problem. As 2 A332s are taken away for Hong Kong, it seems that they are losing competitiveness on this key route to Qantas on relatively inferior products, especially lack of flat bed Business Class on Red Eye Perth-East Coast flights.
As B737 Max is coming in 2019, I think they should consider if those aircraft should be upgraded to 8 x Business Flat Beds similar to Mint on JetBlue.
I think Virgin is getting into an embattled position after it lost its Air NZ alliance later this year. I really wonder how they can survive with increased frequency with planes that does not have adequate feed from both sides of Tasman. Moreover, I don't think their B737 business class is anywhere but attractive to business travelers.
Quite urgently, I think Virgin should consider launching Virgin New Zealand on key NZ domestic routes to capture Tasman traffic. Moreover B737 Max with upgraded Business Class should be deployed to Trans-Tasman as soon as possible to maintain enough feed for this sector.
International alliances are also a very weak for Virgin. I think John knows he can't survive as a CEO in Virgin when he lost such an important international alliance with Air NZ, and in particular losing that to Qantas makes it really ugly. However I believe there are opportunities abroad, in particular Asia, that I don't know why Virgin is not pursuing.
Instantly I would have been thinking about Japan, Thailand, Korea and Taiwan being the first 4 opportunistic partnerships that Virgin should pursue further. I am not trying to say they should get A330 to those places but at least Virgin would have space to get into alliances with Thai, ANA, EVA and either Korean Air or Asiana Airlines. Thailand is a major tourist destination for westerners, as well as a major international hub and it is quite strange to see there are only 3 daily flights from Sydney to Bangkok, 2 being dominated by Qantas and Emirates. Couldn't Virgin see opportunity there at all?
So as Taiwan, CI is in partnership with Qantas, but EVA Air only have less than daily service to Brisbane. Would that be another opportunity for a partnership that allows BR to launch SYD and MEL?
Similar situation for Korea and Japan. Japan-Australia has been dominated by OneWorld carriers but there are a huge member base from ANA in Japan. Couldn't Virgin see opportunity for an alliance with ANA to strengthen its position in Australia-Japan traffic?
Further west, I think it is really ridiculous to see SIA has holdings with Virgin yet there's no partnership with SIA's subsidiary - Vistara in India. I am sure Vistara need more partners and wouldn't this be another opportunity for Velocity members to earn points and enjoy status in India?
I think there are a lot of improvements with Virgin that they need to be made to be sustainable, what other ideas would you have for a better future of Virgin?
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 21 Jan 2014
Total posts 245
Focus solely on domestic and capitals with VA brand, intergrated with alliance partners to international services, lift options to regional centres with Tiger and possible short haul international from regional centres also TSV, MCY, DRW, OOL etc.
Member since 17 Sep 2015
Total posts 73
So far its forays using own metal have been a mixed bag to put it politely.
Member since 21 Mar 2011
Total posts 427
I see VA going into too deep internationally.
Member since 16 Jun 2011
Total posts 225
I suspect where VA goes next will be largely determined who the board choose as JBs replacement, and what vision they sell to the board.
Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles
Member since 16 Oct 2017
Total posts 135
VA trans-Tasman competing with NZ would suggest VA needs an equivalent of NZ "works deluxe" on its 738's. Middle seat not occupied, extra legroom, bags and full cabin service are all included in the NZ version on its 320's. Business lite if you like, similar to intra-Europe J. On NZ you get it for roughly half the J fare (NZ has no J on 320 of course, it's roughly half the VA ask for J).
Air New Zealand - Airpoints
Member since 31 Oct 2016
Total posts 204
IIRC, Virgin operated domestically in NZ in the past, when they were Virgin Blue.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 15 Aug 2012
Total posts 67
I’ve just flipped back to virgin due to job change after a few years with Qantas, the one thing I’ve noticed is a lot more empty seats than Qantas, and the inflight product hasn’t improved and isn’t full service.
Member since 11 Dec 2016
Total posts 65
Primary start would be signing up for Skyteam alliance. I'm sure SIA won't complain. QF have many alliances with non OW partners, but an alliance is a really simple growth option to give more required international coverage.
I suspect QF recently tied up with AF partly to make a Skyteam alliance more difficult too though.
Working out something for velocity lifetime status will help too.
Member since 13 Sep 2016
Total posts 17
So many variables here, so much also depends on the new CEO and also the shareholding of HNA plus SQ and EY. I think that VA needs to go 'private' and take itself off the ASX and into 100 percent private ownership, which would not be hard to to because the free float is tiny and the share price is a pittance. This reduces some costs and eliminates the exposure of reporting and all the related coverage. In a perfect world I would like to see SQ take over VA, with VA wound back to being a domestic airline apart from LAX flights, and VA joining Star Alliance.
Very well said!
Member since 01 Jun 2016
Total posts 27
My best guess, as I've said before, is the following
Member since 27 May 2017
Total posts 13
They also need to put seatback entertainment on their 737's like Qantas already has
Member since 04 Nov 2017
Total posts 64
Problem is that VA has since made enemies of NZ and UA in Star.
NZ and UA would use their veto to block VA's application into the Star Alliance. SkyTeam is Virgin Australia's only Alliance option available to them. SQ is going to have to live with it should they chose not to exit VA, as SQ and UA aren't exactly best buddies either.
Also there's the DL elephant in the room and they haven't ruled out buying a stake in the future (and basically turn VA into a feeder for DL & SkyTeam with the only Int'l being USA and NZ).
VA and DL have been BFFs since the late Virgin Blue days.
Member since 09 May 2011
Total posts 170
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on
What is the future of Virgin Australia?
Already have an ET account? Log in below.
Signing up with Executive Traveller only takes a second and lets you
interact with our community. It's completely free and we'll never pass your information on to
Didn’t receive an activation email? Resend one to yourself here.
If you’ve forgotten your password, simply enter your email address
below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email to re-activate your account and enter a new password.
If you have not received the activation email, simply enter your email address below, then click 'Submit'. We’ll send you an email containing the activation link.
Subscribe to our free newsletter and get the latest news, reviews, tips and more sent straight to your inbox