What is the future of Virgin Australia?

41 replies

DanV

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Nov 2017

Total posts 84

I wonder whether SkyTeam is the preferred alliance suitable for Virgin Australia.
If Virgin Australia is to be in SkyTeam, then China Eastern, China Southern and China Airlines will need to cut ties with Qantas, so as Air France and KLM.
Would that make HNA unhappy with Virgin getting close with China Eastern and China Southern?
I think Star Alliance would be more sensible should VA is to enter an alliance, for the following reasons:
1. NZ might not veto entry of VA. From 28th October, VA and NZ still maintain some kind of interline, and if VA joins Star, then NZ wins 2 Australian airlines to feed itself.
2. UA might veto the partnership, however we might see this is unlikely to happen due to pressures from European/Asian carriers wanting access to Australian customer base. VA might still get close to DL just like how LH group ditch TG for CX Group for Australia.

Just because airlines join certain alliances doesn't necessarily mean they need to dump the carriers "outside" of the Alliance. However, the animosity between VA and NZ (and by extension UA) has been there for a long time.

Although the new CEO may be able to make some amends, VA is still beholden to their multiple airline shareholder structure (SQ, HNA, EY, Virgin Group). In addition there is also DL which has some long-time influence as Virgin's USA partner without necessarily holding a stake in VA.

One of the rumours is that the NZ ceo wanted VA to revert to domestic only and direct all int'l traffic to them. All of the other shareholders (SQ, EY, Virgin Group) rejected that proposal at the time, saying it only benefitted NZ and it was selfish, therefore leading to NZ/Luxon's exit from VA. I can't see JB's successor (whoever it may be) curtailing to NZ's demands if they were to talk again.

In other words the animosity between VA and NZ is still too great. UA would not want their major rival (DL) partner to join their alliance, in addition to a messy break up as Virgin Blue prior to the partnership with DL that was started by JB's predecessor, BG.

GigiPk

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 17 Mar 2016

Total posts 17

VA is excellent when flying J class over pacific to US although flying with partners in continental US is a nightmare. Having said that flying any airline in US is highly overrated. Asia direct with VA wasn't possible except flying from SYD to Melb then direct to Hong Kong & only recently from SYD to Hong Kong. VA may be ok domestically between SYD & Melbourne but flying to Perth is still best with Qantas. Qantas has better direct flights to China, including Hong Kong despite inferior Business Class into/out of China. Sadly VA has lost direction & other than direct flights to US & NZ is not a true competitor for Qantas.

Luke49

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 17 Aug 2017

Total posts 28

VA has lost its way a bit. They want to be full service to compete with QF then offer one museli bar for snack. Seriously why bother. VA A330/777 J class seat is excellent.

It’s a difficult situation. They have to try and make money and compete against QF.
I travel with SQ a lot. If VA and SQ partnership ended I’d probably go to QF/CX.

worldwanderer

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 13 Jan 2017

Total posts 17

First Job for new CEO - What sort of airline are we?

My experience is (domestically) is they are stumbling full service pretenders.

Either they are a LCC or Full service.

The longer they stumble around in the middle and charge full service prices but act like a LCC the sooner they will go to the wall.

Many times I have gone to book and they are the dearest fares on offer, but I know even on a 3 hr flight I can't even have a small coke and a sandwich - instead it is a the smallest cheapest muesli bar they could find cut in half and water if I don't want a hot drink.

A bit of weather in Brisbane and they bump me off the connecting flight and the next flight and then the next and I arrive 6-7 hours late without so much as a sorry or here's a meal voucher.

Finish something properly and not take of on a tangent with the latest brainwave and try and compete on the congested LAX or HKG routes.

If you have an alliance with another airline - hold up your end of the bargain when their flight is delayed or cancelled and make it seamless for the passenger without time consuming bureaucracy and paperwork.

Stop pretending you are one of the world's leading airlines and create bad vibes with the other bigger players who could help you grow with valuable inbound and outbound connections.

Deliver one thing right and then experiment with other things if they want to play with the big boys.

Anjan

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 25 Feb 2014

Total posts 11

Focus seem to be in China and HK. VA should consider India and partner with SQ there. Only AI flys once a day and they could have one aircraft on rotation. VA has better chance of competing with AI than QF and CX. Also a lot of Indian traffic don't want to fly AI. I guess it all comes down to yield though I would think India to be slightly better. There is also a huge market there. And potential to have good feeder either end and also on trans Tasman if they partner with SQ in India though I doubt SQ would be too thrilled with this.

Last editedby Anjan at Aug 02, 2018, 07:27 PM.

Too Technical

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 04 Oct 2016

Total posts 19

I've heard rumours of them considering the A350s and very recently the 737-10max. These are from my friend, not sure how reliable they are ;)

Traveller14

Member since 17 Sep 2015

Total posts 73

Focus seem to be in China and HK. VA should consider India and partner with SQ there. Only AI flys once a day and they could have one aircraft on rotation. VA has better chance of competing with AI than QF and CX. Also a lot of Indian traffic don't want to fly AI. I guess it all comes down to yield though I would think India to be slightly better. There is also a huge market there. And potential to have good feeder either end and also on trans Tasman if they partner with SQ in India though I doubt SQ would be too thrilled with this.
Last edited by Anjan at Aug 02, 2018, 07.27 PM.

Yield is the key but India must have some sort of increasing 'middle class' with an ability to spend more on travel, so yours is a worthy suggestion (not that I like being an armchair CEO).


I've not flown AI (but I have its near neighbour UL - underwhelming) but it's truly odd that despite having many Indian migrants, Australia seems to ignore this vibrant nation. Decision makers seem to pay 100 times more attention to mainland communist China, yet India's a democracy.

MRYJDrake

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.

That flopped, as did QF domestically in NZ, so they rolled back to JQ because nobody needed premium on a flight that was no longer than 1:20 (AKL-CHC), realistically. JQ have only just moved in on the Regional routes, and other competitors in the regional domestic space have flopped as well, from Ansett, and Qantas NZ,

I think someone pitching for CEO, pitching Domestic in NZ will guarantee their future not being behind that desk.

But I could be wrong.

AKL-ZQN is scheduled at 1:50, flight time can be longer due to WX in both AKL and ZQN, though I get the gist of what you're saying.

I didn't know they flew that dom route as well, that was my miss.

gjspectre

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 21 Feb 2017

Total posts 35

Having just swapped to Qantas, I hope (while taxiing out) to spot the Virgin 737 on the Perth-Sydney route I would have been on tonight, whilst perched on the upper deck of a Qantas 747 heading to Sydney. why I didn't heed the many appeals to swap earlier is beyond me. might offer it a little wave

silvyvc

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 19 Jun 2017

Total posts 62

I flew yesterday with VA, hadn't done it over a year, and to be fair, the friendly service is not as what people usually rave on about. They took forever (about 35 min) for a tiny snack and drinks and there were 5 of us wanting to use the toilet. No care factor or accommodating to this. Yes, free wifi, a tiny snack, just water, tea or juice. It certainly does the job domestically speaking, but it left me thinking they are somewhere between LCC and QF. Also, the queues for priority boarding were even longer than the general boarding. I was seating on Economy X and FAs did not respect the signaled overhead bins that were meant to be exclusively for Economy X. It totally defeats the purpose.

It does make me think that they do a great job for J passengers and cater accordingly, but you can't survive just from the J cabin.

In contrast, QF, you can be on a wider aircraft (even from Mel to Syd on an A330), better snack, way better connections. Internationally, more lounge options and connections. Again, I find that VA can work well in certain circumstances (getting Gold through pooling and flybuys), but I think they need to have a clearer strategic thinking of how to take the slice of the cake internationally from QF if they want to succeed. I'm unsure if VA can survive just from domestic feed.

Journeyman

Singapore Airlines - The PPS Club

Member since 11 Sep 2015

Total posts 30

For me VA's lounges are a serious weakness which they need to fix. In domestic they are over-crowded and noisy and in international terminals either non-existent or outsourced to cheap offerings such as Plaza Premium at Brisbane which is oversold and sub-standard.

bagpuss

Member since 18 Jan 2017

Total posts 28

The new CEO needs to sit down and have a chat with one of VA's best alliance partner's. Singapore airlines or Delta. Probably Delta would be my pick.
Learn how to come up with a strategy (including a reasonable product upgrade strategy) and stick to it, instead of re-inventing yourself every other year which costs millions of dollars.

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