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Old 25th Aug 2022, 10:43
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Luck of the draw, I phoned them on Monday at about 1000 and got through in 10 minutes. Better than BA, you can't get hold of them at all, but that's another story!
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Old 28th Aug 2022, 14:21
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Both their phone and Chat systems announce they are prioritising those who are travelling within the next two weeks. Clearly done to dissuade you phoning.
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Old 12th Sep 2022, 09:17
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What's next for Virgin at Heathrow? With services resuming to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Cape Town and with the addition of Tampa, what other routes would be viable for them to operate here? Heathrow seems to be their focus after they up and left Gatwick during the pandemic.

Would also be good to see them grow their presence at Manchester to operate some more American routes and maybe even a Far East route or two.

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Old 12th Sep 2022, 14:16
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Further route development at Heathrow will be limited by the size of their slot portfolio. That is why over the longer term I can see a return to Gatwick for some leisure heavy services if they
wish to increase the variety of more business focused routes at LHR. In my opinion they would be unwise to leave it too long with BA and Norse particularly expanding their long-haul presence at LGW after the pandemic.
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Old 12th Sep 2022, 15:37
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Originally Posted by vectisman View Post
Further route development at Heathrow will be limited by the size of their slot portfolio. That is why over the longer term I can see a return to Gatwick for some leisure heavy services if they
wish to increase the variety of more business focused routes at LHR. In my opinion they would be unwise to leave it too long with BA and Norse particularly expanding their long-haul presence at LGW after the pandemic.
I'm glad to see Virgin sticking with the Orlando route from Heathrow, as I think it was a route which was needed from here and glad to see BA have returned to serve Orlando from Gatwick rather than Heathrow to give them some breathing space, so it can be served from both airports. Unsure on how some other leisure focused routes are doing from Heathrow and whether they will be kept here or not. I'm unsure as to where Virgin can expand to out of Heathrow next if they had the slots needed.
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Old 12th Sep 2022, 19:24
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Originally Posted by AvGeek1 View Post
I'm glad to see Virgin sticking with the Orlando route from Heathrow, as I think it was a route which was needed from here and glad to see BA have returned to serve Orlando from Gatwick rather than Heathrow to give them some breathing space, so it can be served from both airports. Unsure on how some other leisure focused routes are doing from Heathrow and whether they will be kept here or not. I'm unsure as to where Virgin can expand to out of Heathrow next if they had the slots needed.
Yes but Virgin used to be up to 3 daily to Orlando from Gatwick during the summer peak and at least daily or more throughout the year. With just one daily from Heathrow they have surrendered market share to BA. BA have up to 11 weekly this winter with at least 13 weekly next summer from Gatwick. Virgin donít have the slots at LHR for that frequency without reducing something else. Plus the increased operating costs. I donít think BA took Orlando back to LGW to help Virgin out,but rather it was a commercial decision based on higher profitability on that route from LGW. Likewise for Bridgetown. BA use slots at Gatwick to increase frequency in the busy winter months as well as the daily from LHR. Virgin is not doing this at the moment.
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Old 13th Sep 2022, 11:51
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Virgin are currently twice daily on LHR-MCO, A330 and A350 mix on VS091 and VS135.
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Old 13th Sep 2022, 12:02
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot View Post
Virgin are currently twice daily on LHR-MCO, A330 and A350 mix on VS091 and VS135.
Apologies for this oversight. However, my view that the expansion of the Virgin LHR network in the future is limited unless more slots are acquired is still correct.
It is daily from December.
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Old 13th Sep 2022, 15:22
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Originally Posted by vectisman View Post
Apologies for this oversight. However, my view that the expansion of the Virgin LHR network in the future is limited unless more slots are acquired is still correct. It is daily from December.
Virgin are a mature long haul carrier with a strong US partner, expansion has been slot limited since they got LHR access 31 years ago. I suspect Tampa is made possible only with Delta feeding the US end and being sold to LHR rather than LGW. I'm not convinced HKG and PVG will be back for the "long haul", they might be, but I suspect that just like BA, they'll focus on where they do best, and that's working closely with a US partner across the North Atlantic. Orlando is currently scheduled for 2 x daily for Summer 2023 out of LHR.
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Old 13th Sep 2022, 16:11
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Originally Posted by Skipness One Foxtrot View Post
Virgin are a mature long haul carrier with a strong US partner, expansion has been slot limited since they got LHR access 31 years ago. I suspect Tampa is made possible only with Delta feeding the US end and being sold to LHR rather than LGW. I'm not convinced HKG and PVG will be back for the "long haul", they might be, but I suspect that just like BA, they'll focus on where they do best, and that's working closely with a US partner across the North Atlantic. Orlando is currently scheduled for 2 x daily for Summer 2023 out of LHR.
Originally Posted by vectisman View Post
Apologies for this oversight. However, my view that the expansion of the Virgin LHR network in the future is limited unless more slots are acquired is still correct.
It is daily from December.
I was looking at the current Virgin network from Heathrow and seeing, if slots allowed, where Virgin could serve next that would be viable. Is there anywhere else in the US they could serve using their DL ties? Or anywhere else in the Far East? Don't Virgin have a lengthy history at both HKG and PVG?
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Old 13th Sep 2022, 18:26
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It's not about "could be viable" it's all about where your expensive airliner drives the biggest bang for your buck. Remember they also served DXB, NRT and SYD as part of the ambition to compete with BA worldwide but having a strong US partner may well mean an additional LHR-DTW/MSP/ATL rotation may well be more profitable. They're not niche exactly, just more properly focussed than before.
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Old 13th Sep 2022, 22:16
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Would love to see them return to Las Vegas from Manchester... surely someone could give it a go when you consider TCX & VS used to go head to head on the route
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Old 13th Sep 2022, 22:42
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Originally Posted by Travel Agent View Post
Would love to see them return to Las Vegas from Manchester... surely someone could give it a go when you consider TCX & VS used to go head to head on the route
but with yields in the basement?
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Old 14th Sep 2022, 06:26
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Originally Posted by VickersVicount View Post
but with yields in the basement?
Any evidence that they were?
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Old 14th Sep 2022, 08:23
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Originally Posted by VickersVicount View Post
but with yields in the basement?
How do you know that? Weren't they upping the frequency before covid struck!
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Old 14th Sep 2022, 08:47
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Wasn't VS MAN-LAS cut before Covid struck?
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Old 14th Sep 2022, 11:00
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I believe Manchester-Las Vegas was last served in April/May 2020 by VS.

I could see a return to Las Vegas, but I think Los Angeles would also be a really good route for them from Manchester. Capture some of that traffic currently connecting with BA at Heathrow and through other European hubs.

I think if they are stumped for growth at Heathrow and arenít returning to Gatwick, Manchester should see some decent route growth and development.
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Old 14th Sep 2022, 11:25
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Originally Posted by AvGeek1 View Post
I believe Manchester-Las Vegas was last served in April/May 2020 by VS.

I could see a return to Las Vegas, but I think Los Angeles would also be a really good route for them from Manchester. Capture some of that traffic currently connecting with BA at Heathrow and through other European hubs.

I think if they are stumped for growth at Heathrow and arenít returning to Gatwick, Manchester should see some decent route growth and development.
I do hope we see some growth by VS to the USA and elsewhere. Prior to the pandemic they were operating seasonally to LAX and had announced service to Delhi. They were well-advanced with a plan to create a hub at MAN involving feed by FlyBe, but we all know what happened there. MAN is currently without domestic service to EDI or GLA, which would be an important source of feed to long-haul, however northern England and the midlands is a pretty large catchment in itself.
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Old 14th Sep 2022, 15:18
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Originally Posted by roverman View Post
I do hope we see some growth by VS to the USA and elsewhere. Prior to the pandemic they were operating seasonally to LAX and had announced service to Delhi. They were well-advanced with a plan to create a hub at MAN involving feed by FlyBe, but we all know what happened there. MAN is currently without domestic service to EDI or GLA, which would be an important source of feed to long-haul, however northern England and the midlands is a pretty large catchment in itself.

I'm not sure that argument of hubbing via MAN holds water. Edinburgh has flights with Delta, United, American, Air Canada & I think Westjet. Why would anyone want to connect with the sprawling disjointed airport of Manchester.? Any Virgin flights from MAN would have to be able to stand alone without any significant reliance on connections. The two main long haul destinations unserved from MAN remain Bangkok & Delhi, with the recession looming, I don't see any carrier having the appetite for major expansion (with Ryanair being the notable possible exception)
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Old 14th Sep 2022, 18:13
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Originally Posted by Mr A Tis View Post
I'm not sure that argument of hubbing via MAN holds water. Edinburgh has flights with Delta, United, American, Air Canada & I think Westjet. Why would anyone want to connect with the sprawling disjointed airport of Manchester.? Any Virgin flights from MAN would have to be able to stand alone without any significant reliance on connections. The two main long haul destinations unserved from MAN remain Bangkok & Delhi, with the recession looming, I don't see any carrier having the appetite for major expansion (with Ryanair being the notable possible exception)
The thing is that it was already happening in 2019 prior to the pandemic and my retirement from MAG when I was working on MAN-TP and the hub proposal. There were in that year substantial volumes connecting between Jet Airways Mumbai service and VS flights to JFK, LAX and ATL. Volumes were growing too across FlyBe on to both VS and TCX, plus surprisingly quite a lot from EI to VS, especially when seasonal peaks differed between Eire and the UK, and with Florida being poorly served from DUB. It was acknowledged that there's a good deal of work to do make MAN a better transfer experience and to get reliable minimum connecting times. That work was well progressed when Covid hit. Having now retired I am unable to say whether the transfer hub project is still extant.
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