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Farewell to Little Red

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Farewell to Little Red

Old 26th Sep 2015, 08:08
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Farewell to Little Red

Today is the last day of operation for the Virgin Little Red service.

Fill your boots BA!

At the end of operations today the aircraft position to Shannon/Dublin, ready to be painted Green. DEI will join her sister ship DEO in the IRFU paint scheme!
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 09:27
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Wonder how much money it lost them overall? A vanity project?
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 11:18
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BA will continue their 50 year old mantra "that we lose money on London - Aberdeen" while charging over 600 full fare return................
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 11:39
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I don't think it was 'vanity' rather a 'we must make a last ditch attempt'. There is a lot of opinion that they should have done something a long time ago, but that involved other carriers ...
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 11:49
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This is indeed a sad development but moreover one that signals it is unlikely we'll see any direct competition on the LHR domestic routes. Clearly, a huge driver of BA's popularity on the domestic routes to LHR is the onward connectivity, which accounts for a huge proportion of the traffic on these routes...

I suspect we won't see a rival on these domestics until another runway appears...
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 12:09
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Probably a missed opportunity!

VS had no USP and brought with it a longhaul upper class mindset! If it was intended purely as a feeder service, 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. Good PR too!
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 12:10
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Farewell indeed. I was lucky enough to fly on 4 sectors; LHR to EDI and LHR to ABZ. The sad thing was that the load factors on all were low but the service, in typical VS style, was fantastic.

Good luck to all the cabin crew who, I believe, have all been offered long-haul work.

Last edited by rej; 27th Sep 2015 at 21:41.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 12:16
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Originally Posted by rej View Post
Farewell indeed. I was lucky enough to fly 4 sectors; LHR to EDI and LHR to ABZ. The sad thing was that the load factors on all were low but the service, in typical VS style, was fantastic.

Good luck to all the cabin crew who, I believe, have all been offered long-haul work.
Not sure I would describe a chocolate chip cookie, or a bag of salt flavoured crisps as excellent service! The cabin crew were fine but the product they were forced to serve was pretty poor.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 12:16
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With Heathrow Airport departing charges at 41 per passenger plus APD at 13, you need to be selling for at least 54 one way ex LHR or else you are increasing your losses by putting extra passengers on that aircraft. I'm not sure what you would see as a "knock down" rate, but Heathrow is virtually the last airport on the planet where that type of commercial behaviour is sensible or practical.

Ironically, three months after Little Red goes, Heathrow is reducing passenger charges for domestic flights. What a stroke of genius... Kill off bmi, help make Little Red unviable and then reduce the fees back closer to where they were, just as one operator restores a monopoly on all domestics to LHR. Now who thought up that one...?
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 13:20
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rej
 
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Not sure I would describe a chocolate chip cookie, or a bag of salt flavoured crisps as excellent service! The cabin crew were fine but the product they were forced to serve was pretty poor.
It's not just about the 'product they were forced to serve'; it's about the whole experience: customer service, engaging crew and feel-good-factor. IMHO Virgin do it the best in the UK.
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 14:37
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So do the LHR slots now go back to BA and if so does anyone know what they intend to do with them?
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Old 26th Sep 2015, 23:36
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This is indeed a sad development but moreover one that signals it is unlikely we'll see any direct competition on the LHR domestic routes. Clearly, a huge driver of BA's popularity on the domestic routes to LHR is the onward connectivity, which accounts for a huge proportion of the traffic on these routes...

I suspect we won't see a rival on these domestics until another runway appears...
True enough, but it may be "if" rather than "until" as the 50 year era of indecision, dither and procrastination continues................



Probably a missed opportunity!

VS had no USP and brought with it a longhaul upper class mindset! If it was intended purely as a feeder service, 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. Good PR too!
Definitely a lost opportunity, all this "little red" nonsense. No one understood what this was about. Might it not have been better to market it as VS rather than what may appear to some to be a new and separate carrier?


So do the LHR slots now go back to BA and if so does anyone know what they intend to do with them?
If no one else comes forward to run these services and this looks unlikely, then yes, the slots revert to BA. With a bit of luck we'll see some longhaul expansion to somewhere other than North America.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 00:02
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Before the IAG takeover, EI were in early talks with Star Alliance to feed their network ex LHR with the aircraft, UA in particular.

EI insisted on a flat fee for providing the LR aircraft and crews rather than a profit share. A very wise decision in hindsight.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 18:10
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A shame.

I was quite fond of the BA LHR-MAN service until the price went up to a minimum single fare of 65. No sign of that dropping, and now VS's slightly cheaper option is gone, I'll be sticking to the train.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 19:42
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I was on the last flight to Aberdeen.

There was definitely a party feel on board; and the Captain gave a great speech. On arrival at Aberdeen the Fire Service escorted the plane to the gate.

A real shame that this service has stopped - but even when I told people I ws booked on the flight, they were asking 'Virgin do UK flights?"



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Old 27th Sep 2015, 22:24
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A real shame that this service has stopped - but even when I told people I ws booked on the flight, they were asking 'Virgin do UK flights?"
Exactly my (second) point in post #12.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 22:28
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If you try creatively you can relate your two posts, but they were fairly far apart.
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Old 27th Sep 2015, 22:58
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If you try creatively you can relate your two posts, but they were fairly far apart.
Only four posts apart, so not that far apart.

People asking "Virgin do UK flights?" implies widespread ignorance that VS were on domestic routes. This is not surprising as these domestic routes were marketed as "Little red" and not as VS. There was also no promotion or publicity of these routes.

It's quite simple really, surprised it needs clarification.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 00:30
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Definitely a lost opportunity, all this "little red" nonsense. No one understood what this was about. Might it not have been better to market it as VS rather than what may appear to some to be a new and separate carrier
Exactly!

VS have been guilty of supreme arrogance! They assumed everyone would understand and flock over to their aircraft simply because they weren't BA. The marketing of the routes was almost non existent and seemed to rely heavily on search engines doing the work for them!

I realise the original intention was to secure the feeder service for their longhaul, nowadays that is simply not enough, a concerted effort must be made to sell all the seats. LHR/EDI surely is a "Blue Ribband" route after all!

Even more concerning, is the fact VS are now blaming almost everyone else, for these failings. If that remains the case, they may be in danger of repeating the mistakes at some time in the future.
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Old 28th Sep 2015, 01:26
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I understood perfectly what both posts meant, and didn't mean far as in distance on the site, I meant more content. Both points would have supplemented each other well, but they were different points.

I do agree with the point, it was rather stupidly executed, wasn't it getting loads of under 40% in the off season? Did this not ring a bell for Virgin to start advertising?
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