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Farewell to Little Red

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Farewell to Little Red

Old 28th Sep 2015, 09:10
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Heathrow Harry View Post
BA will continue their 50 year old mantra "that we lose money on London - Aberdeen" while charging over 600 full fare return
Principally because of the way they internally account for the division of costs and revenue within the airline. LHR-JFK sold for 600. ABZ-LHR-JFK sold for 610. Long haul gets the full 600 and domestic gets 10. In some cases domestic connecting pax have contributed 1 to the revenue.

Meanwhile how does BA allocate shared costs ? Per pax, per mile, per revenue, or some other way ? How are the BA costs of operating T5 spread - if it's spread by passenger then that is going to inflate domestic costs way up.

Yes, I (or rather my employers) have paid those huge fares for LHR-ABZ. One was significantly more than I'd paid personally a couple of weeks previously on BA to Miami.

Originally Posted by Epsomdog View Post
maybe they should have been offering last minute point to point tickets at a knock down price? Surely that would have been better than flying empty seats.
Actually it's not. Because pretty rapidly your regulars get to understand this, and don't book standard fare tickets but turn up ticketless when "last minute" bargains are offered. It was one of the things that did in "Standby" cheap transatlantic tickets introduced a generation ago to combat Laker Skytrain. Each month more and more passengers, notably regular business travellers, was found to be diverting to people turning up on the day who understood the likelihood of getting away was good. On the commercial side this is known as "revenue dilution", where low fares offered are taken not by additional passengers but by those who would otherwise have paid higher fares.

Last edited by WHBM; 28th Sep 2015 at 09:25.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 09:18
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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I completely agree about the "Little Red" thing. Why take a very well known brand like Virgin and hide it? I remember doing an internet search when looking for LHR-EDI flights, not knowing of course, that it was just the standard VS website, and all sorts of fairy story links came up first about Little Red Riding Hood. And they could have really benefitted from the lack of a full service competitor to BA. Pity.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 10:51
  #23 (permalink)  
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Actually it's not. Because pretty rapidly your regulars get to understand this, and don't book standard fare tickets but turn up ticketless when "last minute" bargains are offered. It was one of the things that did in "Standby" cheap transatlantic tickets introduced a generation ago to combat Laker Skytrain. Each month more and more passengers, notably regular business travellers, was found to be diverting to people turning up on the day who understood the likelihood of getting away was good. On the commercial side this is known as "revenue dilution", where low fares offered are taken not by additional passengers but by those who would otherwise have paid higher fares.
I agree your point there!

Across the board cut price fares will lead to dilution. However, pro active yield management and marketing can work wonders with publicity. Virgin never seemed to grab the "yuppie" or stag weekend market.

I think the mistake was concentrating on the feeder service only!
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 13:54
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Is there any word on who will take the slots vacated by Little Red?

Can they only be used to ABZ, MAN & GLA or is there more flexibility than that this time?
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 13:57
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry...but this has been gone over and over again. The slots will revert back to IAG when Little Red relinquish them. IAG will be free to do what they like with them.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 14:15
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry...but this has been gone over and over again. The slots will revert back to IAG when Little Red relinquish them. IAG will be free to do what they like with them.
Only if no other company has bid for them in the latest remedy slot offer where submissions expired at the end of August and availability starts S16.

Probably get to find out next month if anyone is up for the fight

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Old 28th Sep 2015, 14:39
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Can anyone give me an example of "competition authorities" requiring an airline to hand over slots to maintain competition has actually worked long term? I can't think of an example, at least in the UK.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 14:44
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Spacedog, it may have 'been gone over and over again' but since I was not privy to this information and this is a forum, it doesn't seem unreasonable that I ask the question!!

Given the responses, the answer is not yet as clear cut as you suggest
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 14:46
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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I completely agree about the "Little Red" thing. Why take a very well known brand like Virgin and hide it?
It was branded as Virgin Atlantic, if you had googled "Virgin Little Red", you would have found it.
The cabin crew were fine but the product they were forced to serve was pretty poor.
They serve only what the market will support, if you serve more, you add more costs and you become even less competitive, sadly.
There was also no promotion or publicity of these routes.
Not sure that's fair, they did promote it, just ten years too late. These things need a critcal mass when feeding long haul and Sir Beardy and Sir BMI just couldn't come to terms. #egoclashmuch? Hence both operations basically failed slowly over time, Virgin's saviour was Delta and doing what SRB said he would never do in getting all cosy and uncompetitive with a major competitor. BMI's was Luthansa who just couldn't save the patient

Even more concerning, is the fact VS are now blaming almost everyone else, for these failings.
The main clue is that Virgin Atlantic,Nigeria, America and Australia might as well have been from different planets for all the synergies they had. They failed to take note the market dynamics had changed with alliance membership and even with SQ as a major shareholder were absent from STAR.
VS blamed everyone else, mainly "big bad BA" for years. However, thankfully they have turned a corner now thay're trading under their new name of Virgin Atlanta.
This new management team is wayyy more savvy. Hello simpler fleet, route network, synergies and US codeshares and cutting edge plastic twinjets. Goodbye A340-600 heavy quads, half arsed domestic gig a decade late too and any thoughts of the A380. Underperforming routes have been ruthlessly dropped in NRT,SYD, YVR, CPT all gone.

Meanwhile SRB was last seen hoisting a kilt up showing some pants at EDI on launch day, a party trick that wore thin when he turned 86 years old. The futures a lot brighter now it has a Southern Comfort IMHO, a lot of jobs now safer.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 19:11
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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My point regarding the branding was the confusion - was it Virgin Atlantic or Little Red? Of course I found it under Virgin Atlantic but originally when it was suggested I try "Little Red" for my flight I am going to type that in first, and whenever a company is a few rungs down on the search engine that is a problem.
Being in possession of a sense of logic of course I then went to Virgin's homepage, but I was reminded of the quote regarding why Easyjet decided to close down the "Go" brand when they purchased it. Apparently they were considering operating it as a separate brand but the website decided them - it was go-fly . com and management at EZY thought it was too weak an address.
Not wanting to get into an argument about anything, just commenting.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 20:21
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Apparently, according do the dreaded Wikipedia, the slots now available cannot be used for long-haul flights.

'The 12 daily pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow cannot be sold to be used for long-haul routes.'
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 22:10
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Not sure the pax ever warmed to the bmi brand marketing either.

Tell people bmi, they say who. Tell them British Midland and they said aah.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 22:46
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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'cannot be sold' but BA are not selling them, they are just regaining them. I would imagine anything goes once they have them back.
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Old 29th Sep 2015, 00:14
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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It was branded as Virgin Atlantic, if you had googled "Virgin Little Red", you would have found it.
But why would you do that?

These things need a critcal mass when feeding long haul and Sir Beardy and Sir BMI just couldn't come to terms. #egoclashmuch?
Yes, it does appear that a personality clash between Bishop and Branson sabotaged what could have potentially been a good arrangement.

VS blamed everyone else, mainly "big bad BA" for years. However, thankfully they have turned a corner now thay're trading under their new name of Virgin Atlanta.
Oh very good!!


Apparently, according do the dreaded Wikipedia, the slots now available cannot be used for long-haul flights.

'The 12 daily pairs of take-off and landing slots at Heathrow cannot be sold to be used for long-haul routes.'
Think it's 9 slots isn't it? Didn't the 3 that VS declined to take up go straight back to BA?

Was under the impression that BA could do what they like with them, at least after the six IATA seasons have elapsed.

However BA is unlikely to sell any slots, lease them out short term maybe.


Not sure the pax ever warmed to the bmi brand marketing either.

Tell people bmi, they say who. Tell them British Midland and they said aah.
Yes, fair comment! Ended up calling it "BMI British Midland" didn't they.
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Old 29th Sep 2015, 00:24
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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'cannot be sold' but BA are not selling them, they are just regaining them. I would imagine anything goes once they have them back.
Lets be clear, BA are only regaining them for certain for W15. They are available for any other airline as follows

The Trustee will open the applications process for the IATA Summer Season 2016 on 23 July 2015. Applications for slots for Summer Season 2016 under the Slot Release Procedure of the Commitments must be received by the Trustee by Close of Business (COB) on Thursday 20 August 2015. The COB deadline for applications is 6pm British Summer Time (BST). Applications received after this deadline will be rejected.

Under the Commitments, Applicants are entitled to apply to operate the following city pairs:



London Aberdeen
London Edinburgh
London Nice
London Cairo
London Moscow
London Riyadh


At the end of the IATA Summer 2015 season, 9 slot pairs used on Edinburgh and Aberdeen will be returned by the carrier that was awarded these slots in the IATA Summer 2013 season. For the IATA Summer 2016 season, 7 slot pairs in total will be available on London Heathrow-Aberdeen and London Heathrow-Edinburgh. A further 5 or 6 slots pairs (to be confirmed pursuant to clause 1.1.1(b)) in total will be available on London Heathrow-Nice, London Heathrow-Cairo, London Heathrow-Moscow, London Heathrow-Riyadh, London Heathrow-Edinburgh and London Heathrow-Aberdeen. The details of the application and selection procedure are set out in Clause 1.4 of the Commitments.
Don't jump the gun just yet I believe at least one airline sniffed about for them

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Old 29th Sep 2015, 04:18
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry to see it end; it's just a pity that it was basically an unsuccessful operation. There are so many regional routes - LBA, LPL, NCL, INV, JER etc - crying out for links to LHR, yet VS chose routes where they'd be in competition with a well established existing carrier.

Now, those three A320s are Aer Lingus's problem; one will be repainted in Aer Lingus's rugby livery, another will join the EI fleet and the third, well, they'll find something to do with it.

And yet another British airline flies into history. Little Red Riding Airbus finally met the wolf ... and lost.

Photo: EI-EZV (CN: 2001) Virgin Atlantic Airways (Aer Lingus) Airbus A320-214 by John Fitzpatrick Photoid: 7653527 - JetPhotos.Net
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Old 29th Sep 2015, 04:55
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Akerosid

'And yet another British airline flies into history!

Not really as they were still Virgin Atlantic flights flying under the title of 'Little Red' which was more of an advertising name for its U.K. domestic flights not the name of the airline which was still VS.

Virgin Atlantic's 'little red' domestic routes from LHR to ABZ, EDI and MAN were operated by Aer Lingus on behalf of Virgin Atlantic so no airline has gone into history just the title 'little red'.

Both EDI and ABZ were BA slots as part of the 9 in total under the agreement where as the MAN flights used Virgins own slots and were never part of the slot deal.

Virgin and Delta can do what they want with the former MAN slots but the ABZ and EDI will revert back to BA if no other airline takes them up as the slots can only be used for those routes but once there eventually back with BA they can use the 9 slot pairs for any route they want.
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Old 29th Sep 2015, 05:05
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Did they ever advertise Little Red, as I can't ever remember seeing any advertising. Contrast that with easyJet, when they first started up. Their slogan was fly to Glasgow and Edinburgh for the price of a pair of jeans. In the early years they carried adverts in the nation press every week and got their name known. Little Who might describe Virgin's offshoot.
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Old 29th Sep 2015, 05:22
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So, if Little Red had continued to operate the routes until Summer 2016 they would have been awarded the slots permanently*, is that correct?

And at that point the slots would no longer have be bound to the specified routes but to any non-long-haul service?

Seems odd to have walked-away from receiving such a saleable asset with absolutely nothing to show, just for the sake of six more months.


* on the standard condition of continued usage, presumably.
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Old 29th Sep 2015, 05:57
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Given the Davies findings this is clearly the first class opportunity that has for so long been missing, namely the opportunity to provide those much sought after missing flights to the region's is it not ?

Humberside IOM Durham Exeter even Plymouth ( subject to the grass being cut).

If HAL are so keen to woo the regions and Davies is correct in his asserttions suggesting a 3 rw will provide a fantastic opportunity for an economic tunsani of wealth in 10 -15 years then surely this is the opportunity to generate to provide "instant gratification " and lots of revenue opportunities NOW !

2 or 3 a day s/b easily dooable for 2 or 3 of these routes !
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