Thread: Virgin Atlantic
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Old 13th Jan 2019, 18:18
  #63 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Age: 62
Posts: 50
Originally Posted by PAXboy View Post
They made a point of breaking into the South African route and then to CPT. Whilst they were only seasonal, the route can certainly - now - take a full daily service. Just look at BA from LHR + LGW and also Thomas Cook from LGW (I think they are x3 a week to CPT but may be seasonal). Since SAA also gave up LHR-CPT, BA have the run of the place for directs.
Virgin and CPT
(and JNB) sigh

Virgin for past 20 years have faffed around with SA for one reason or another - In-fact all of Africa. NBO too came and went a couple of times.
LHR - JNB was often a 747 and could have been a double daily flight from very early on as it was so popular - possible on most days of the week and likely all year round - same as BA and SAA, but VS never took it on until almost 20 years later.
Lagos could have been double daily too.

As for the LHR-CPT always seasonal with the aircraft then doing the then seasonal BOS in the Northern summer.
That was the plan BUT they stopped before Easter so they lost that high season share of holiday market to/from CPT.

At the time SAA still had their own year round direct 747 CPT flight and BA was double daily 747 in summer season and one a day in winter (777 some times) Now BA has 3 daily in season - the extra from LGW 777
KLM and LH was/is daily too (from AMS and FRA with also MUC in summer season - all popular with British flying in from UK regionals to connex along with AF now daily from CDG)

This was all before the influx to CPT of cheap fares on Emirates Qatar Turkish and Ethiopian etc via their hubs and plus Thomas Cook and Condor flying direct to CPT from UK and Germany. Now even folk book Rwandair and Air Namibia coz its cheap.

Virgin then stopped the CPT route but restarted it again some years later again not all year round but it was messy so passengers, tour companies and businessman did not know where they were with schedules etc sometimes it was daily then it wasn't.
Virgin was also a day flight for many years on the return to the UK and was not popular versus BA and SAA's night flights home bound.

I knew the VS staff well at CPT and JNB and they struggled with massive fraud and corruption in obtaining revenue due from Travel Agents for VS tickets sold in Africa
(Hello - Welcome to Africa)
So much so they spent the whole off season (with no CPT flights) trying to deal with the matter and get the money in. I think this had much to do with giving up the CPT route and maybe why JNB and Lagos have not increased schedules until recently.

NBO came and went - Cargo was great - but the A340-300 was a crap aircraft to use out of NBO for a midday departure being payload restricted too often.
BA KLM Kenya LH Swiss AF all operate daily or almost daily NBO but VS cannot make it work.

(Virgin also had this corruption problem in Greece with the early ATH flights - VS stopped flying and now the LON-ATH route is massive)

Last edited by rog747; 13th Jan 2019 at 18:42.
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