View Full Version : Singapore to find room for Virgin

13th Dec 2002, 17:48
Sat "Weekend Australian" 14/12/02

Singapore to find room for Virgin
By Steve Creedy, Aviation
December 14, 2002

SINGAPORE has rolled out the welcome mat for Richard Branson's Virgin Blue as the low-cost carrier considers its international options.

A spokesman for Singapore's Civil Aviation Authority said that it had written to Virgin Blue to urge the airline to operate to Singapore.

"The addition of Virgin Blue to the family of airlines at Changi Airport will further strengthen our air network and our position as an aviation hub in the region," the spokesman told Bloomberg News.

Virgin has been canvassing overseas options and says that it has received positive responses from 15 of the 18 airports to which it sent tender documents.

The airline – jointly owned by Sir Richard's Virgin Group and Australia's Patrick Corp – is assessing its overseas options to counter criticism its future potential to expand is limited by the small size of the Australian market.

It had planned to launch its overseas push in New Zealand but those plans are on hold pending the outcome of the Qantas bid to form an alliance with Air New Zealand.

Singapore is among a number of other overseas possibilities – mostly South Pacific destinations such as Fiji, Vanuatu and Samoa – being evaluated by Virgin for future expansion.

"We're going through them one at a time," said Virgin head of commercial David Huttner. "I don't think there will be any news this side of Christmas but I think in the new year we'll be able to give an indication of those countries which have been shortlisted."

Mr Huttner said he believed Singaporean authorities were keen to attract a low-fare carrier to provide another option for travellers.

He said the airline was considering flights within 737 range from airports such as Perth, Darwin, Broome and Cairns.

The airline had also received overtures from several carriers about setting up a code share from Singapore similar to the one Virgin has with United Airlines.

"We've already heard from a few players who said they'd certainly consider that because economically a lot of the European carriers reach a dead end in Singapore," Mr Huttner said.

"They can't justify the connection to Australia and if they're not Oneworld or Star (airline alliances), their options are a bit limited."

Mr Huttner said he believed any code-sharing agreement would concentrate on the leisure market.

Meanwhile, Qantas has applied for increased freight capacity on the Thailand route. The airline proposes to add a freighter on the Sydney-Singapore-Bangkok-Anchorage-New York route using a leased MD11 aircraft.

13th Dec 2002, 20:46
They can carry all the tourists to Singapore for the probable hanging of the Oz guy they caught overnight with drugs…………. Disneyland with the death penalty;)

14th Dec 2002, 11:10

Patricks buys VJ and turns it into a proper airline.

Patricks buys half of QQ and they do all regional work.

SQ Buys half of Patricks and half of QQ???:cool:

15th Dec 2002, 07:33
Singapore as well as Hong Kong, Manila, Phuket are viable
destinations from DRW and CNS with ng737.

15th Dec 2002, 08:13
If VB can organize flights to places like Phuket it makes sense. If they have to go via Darwin perhaps they can offer a stopover in Darwin at a special price much like SIA offer in Singapore to try and induce you to use their SIA Europe connection. Good for Darwin and keeps some of the money here in Oz. I am sure a lot of “Southerners” would love to break the holiday in Darwin ………….. :cool:

15th Dec 2002, 10:52
If VB wants to try Phuket they will probably be competing with some Orange (or is it ochre! :p ) 767s out of the east coast. Would be an interesting duel though! :D