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#956446 by Dobbo
21 Jun 2020, 16:54
They have without question shot themselves in the foot with the timings of ATL and JFK - I think the same issue was in play for the LAS flight before that route was suspended (I wonder if future bookings took a hit?)

Assuming VS survives there remains a huge opportunity at MAN both east and west so hopefully they will be able to correct these relatively small issues that create a large issue with the service patterns and consequential knock on revenue.
#956467 by Joshl257
23 Jun 2020, 12:08
So for a bit of reference I used the ATL route before Virgin took over when Delta flew it. it departed at 10:20 but sometimes at 9:30 in the winter months. From what I can gather Virgin have been trying to stagger the flights as more destinations have been added to Manchester. We saw this when Boston was added it departed at 3PM. At one point we had think it was in 2018 had ATL at 10:30 1st MCO 11:00 SFO 12:00 2nd MCO 13:30 BOS 15:00 BGI and LAS on some days.

So moving forward we have to keep in mind 3 things 1 ATL and JFK take priority because they have the largest connecting traffic by far MCO is still important but has less connecting traffic, 2 Manchester is an all A330 operation moving forward so simplified for crewing and better for passengers because you know what aircraft your getting. 3 the clubhouse it will have opening hours so Virgin will want to stagger the flow of Upper Class passengers as best they can.

For me I will not be trying to book anything this side of September maybe October at best. Looking forward to being back on board in the future the new terminal / clubhouse will make a big difference. I'm 100 tier points from silver so will likely to miss out because of the covid-19 this year now but it's just one of those things.
#956469 by Dobbo
23 Jun 2020, 13:43
I think that is a very sensible approach to the operation.

In the immediate term, preserving the core routes to JFK, ATL, MCO should be the strategic and operational priority. Getting these away by mid morning is a no brainer to me. The non core routes to BGI and LAX (And the second MCO) can happily slot in around these as demand dictates.

I’m the mid term when life is something like normal I suspect there will be an appetite to put VS back in growth mode at MAN - that likely means LAS, BOS, DEL and others, but it depends in part on what VS does with LGW and if it feels it can shift some of the exLGW routes now at LHR to MAN or elsewhere if LGW is not an option.
#956471 by gumshoe
23 Jun 2020, 13:57
It seems more likely to me that VS is constrained by the availability of slots at JFK and ATL, which are both extremely busy.
#958400 by VS075
11 Dec 2020, 23:49
I’m hearing stories that the BOM and DEL routes aren’t happening now. Not sure if it’s another postponement or if they’re scrapped for good. Does anybody know more?
#958401 by mitchja
12 Dec 2020, 00:03
Indeed. From VS Trade received today:

Manchester to Mumbai and Delhi launch cancelled

We are continuously reviewing our flying programme and in response to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 we have made the difficult decision to withdraw our Manchester to Delhi and Mumbai services which were due to launch in January.

We remain committed to our Manchester home and have recently resumed operations to Barbados, with further routes to the Caribbean and US commencing in the coming weeks.
#958409 by VS075
12 Dec 2020, 15:06
Well that’s a shame. Wonder what’s caused VS to have a change of heart at the 11th hour?

The statement about further routes to the Caribbean in particular is interesting. No idea if it’s just a generic statement, but there’s a few potential MAN-Caribbean opportunities that are there for the taking that used to be served by Thomas Cook. Guess it will depend if there’s many islands at the moment that don’t necessitate a quarantine upon arrival back into the UK.
#958412 by FLYERZ
12 Dec 2020, 18:31
I don't think it's overly surprising given I expect most long-haul flights out of the UK barring a few destinations (thinking Caribbean, Maldives) are still running mostly on cargo. Even those where travel is possible I imagine demand is very low - not particularly attractive environment for launching a new route. Given the size of the UK as well in my mind UK-India cargo can be sustained from LHR flights. Add to that as well that Manchester remains in Tier 3 I think this is urring on the side of caution, but would fully expect this to reappear when condition are better...whether thats in 6-12months or more like 18m+ is anyone's guess.
#958419 by Virginlondon
12 Dec 2020, 22:02
Very tough for airlines to predict the next 12 months.

I read somewhere that Heathrow T4 will be shut for another year. Not sure about T3.

I hope next year will be better, but it’s going to be late 21/22 before life feels more normal I guess.
#958440 by Hurricane86
13 Dec 2020, 20:23
Personally I think lack of feed will have been another reason BOM and DEL have been shelved for now. I think both of those routes will require feed to and from US cities to be profitable, cities which VS can't serve at present.

ISB is a different kettle of fish due to strong local demand throughout the North from the Pakistani community visiting friends and relatives. My hunch is ISB is a higher yielding route too.

As and when VS get the US routes back up and running, perhaps we'll see India on the cards again. Just my two cents anyway.

On a happier note, I've loved seeing G-VOWS trucking back and forward to ISB and BGI this week, great to have VS pax operations back up and running at MAN. Does anyone know if the 787 is crewed with cabin crew from LHR, or have MAN cabin crews been rated on the 787 for these flights?
Last edited by Hurricane86 on 13 Dec 2020, 20:43, edited 1 time in total.
#958441 by Hurricane86
13 Dec 2020, 20:31
VS075 wrote:Well that’s a shame. Wonder what’s caused VS to have a change of heart at the 11th hour?

The statement about further routes to the Caribbean in particular is interesting. No idea if it’s just a generic statement, but there’s a few potential MAN-Caribbean opportunities that are there for the taking that used to be served by Thomas Cook. Guess it will depend if there’s many islands at the moment that don’t necessitate a quarantine upon arrival back into the UK.


Totally agree about the ex-TCX destinations. One based aircraft could operate to 2 or 3 different Caribbean destinations with a weekly or 2-weekly frequency. I'm thinking of places where there's a big TCX-shaped hole and strong local Virgin Holidays demand, maybe Cancun, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, Varadero etc.
#958443 by Dobbo
13 Dec 2020, 23:32
FLYERZ wrote:I think this is urring on the side of caution, but would fully expect this to reappear when condition are better...whether thats in 6-12months or more like 18m+ is anyone's guess.


I think this is pretty much the intention. We’ve seen VS attempt DEL twice at MAN, and it has also had two attempts (one indirect with Jet) at BOM - each of these attempts has been thwarted by extraneous factors that VS can do nothing about.

Assuming life gets back to normal, I expect this to be back on the cards sooner rather than later.
#958444 by ColOrd
14 Dec 2020, 00:26
It’s Manchester based cabin crew on the BGI and ISB. I’m not sure about the flight deck, presumably some of the former 747 flight deck crew have had conversion type ratings?
#958452 by Lucydog
14 Dec 2020, 14:13
Cancun is the place most of us would pick if flying from Manchester, I have been asking for this for months. If Virgin dont take this gift TUI will keep hoovering up ex Thomas Cook flights. Maybe BA might try as well. I dont want to transit through Atlanta as its to long a day. Manchester to Jamaica is also a good bet for us as well. twice weekly between the Islands. :cool:
#958453 by Hurricane86
14 Dec 2020, 15:10
Lucydog wrote:Cancun is the place most of us would pick if flying from Manchester, I have been asking for this for months. If Virgin dont take this gift TUI will keep hoovering up ex Thomas Cook flights. Maybe BA might try as well. I dont want to transit through Atlanta as its to long a day. Manchester to Jamaica is also a good bet for us as well. twice weekly between the Islands. :cool:


I think the launch of ISB showed that Virgin are capable of original thinking at MAN and can follow where the market leads them. With Aer Lingus UK applying for permits for MAN-BOS/JFK/MCO, to me it seems likely that Virgin will be forced towards serving the gap in long-haul at MAN, and as you say that is Jamaica and Mexico right now since the demise of TCX. My one reservation about this is that I suspect these routes are fairly low-yielding, at least in more traditional times. The problem is that other more conventional Virgin Caribbean destinations like UVF, GND and ANU which may have higher yields have not recently been served from MAN with any regularity before (outside of cruise charters) and would represent a more significant risk in my opinion. I guess time will tell...

The other potential fly in the ointment is the rumoured re-launch of MAN-LGW by BA (they recently applied for slots for this route 3 x daily). This could potentially hoover up premium traffic to route through LGW to BA's Caribbean network as and when that restarts. This is why I'm hoping VS move fast on this if they want to start this Summer.
#958460 by ColOrd
14 Dec 2020, 21:06
The problem with Cuba or Jamaica from Manchester is that they don’t have the right aircraft for it, yet, in terms of config.

Either of the 350/787 or 333 configs are too J heavy for those routes from Manchester and I think the leisure config 350s delivery is deferred till 2022.

Saying this they are filling a 44 seat J on BGI from LHR and 31 seat J Cabin from Manchester!
#958471 by CommanderB
15 Dec 2020, 11:32
ColOrd wrote:The problem with Cuba or Jamaica from Manchester is that they don’t have the right aircraft for it, yet, in terms of config.

Either of the 350/787 or 333 configs are too J heavy for those routes from Manchester and I think the leisure config 350s delivery is deferred till 2022.

Saying this they are filling a 44 seat J on BGI from LHR and 31 seat J Cabin from Manchester!


Normally i'd be in agreement with you on this, but as you say, they are managing right now.

I think around 24 J is the right amount for the bucket & spade routes, but time will tell on how they configure those aircraft. The 744 config was just too light on the J seats IMO.

If BA do MAN > LGW and there is lack of direct options to the Caribbean from MAN, I think VS hoovering up the TCX stuff makes a lot of sense and could really help them build a nice northern hub.
#958472 by VS075
15 Dec 2020, 13:30
Lucydog wrote:Cancun is the place most of us would pick if flying from Manchester, I have been asking for this for months. If Virgin dont take this gift TUI will keep hoovering up ex Thomas Cook flights. Maybe BA might try as well. I dont want to transit through Atlanta as its to long a day. Manchester to Jamaica is also a good bet for us as well. twice weekly between the Islands. :cool:


I think VS should reconsider CUN. They pulled LGW-CUN a few years ago, but it's just TUI to themselves on that route from the UK plus BA from LGW.

I agree about Jamaica, particularly to MBJ.

Hurricane86 wrote:
Lucydog wrote:Cancun is the place most of us would pick if flying from Manchester, I have been asking for this for months. If Virgin dont take this gift TUI will keep hoovering up ex Thomas Cook flights. Maybe BA might try as well. I dont want to transit through Atlanta as its to long a day. Manchester to Jamaica is also a good bet for us as well. twice weekly between the Islands. :cool:


I think the launch of ISB showed that Virgin are capable of original thinking at MAN and can follow where the market leads them. With Aer Lingus UK applying for permits for MAN-BOS/JFK/MCO, to me it seems likely that Virgin will be forced towards serving the gap in long-haul at MAN, and as you say that is Jamaica and Mexico right now since the demise of TCX. My one reservation about this is that I suspect these routes are fairly low-yielding, at least in more traditional times. The problem is that other more conventional Virgin Caribbean destinations like UVF, GND and ANU which may have higher yields have not recently been served from MAN with any regularity before (outside of cruise charters) and would represent a more significant risk in my opinion. I guess time will tell...


I'm less sure about MBJ being that low yielding. The prices of some Jamaican holidays aren't cheap, which would indicate to me there's some sort of premium demand, though not as much as say Barbados. VS will no doubt know more through any data they have from Virgin Holidays plus their existing MBJ flight.

As for Aer Lingus, there's room for another airline from MAN to New York and Orlando, so I actually welcome the competition and (from a consumer's perspective) choice. It will also keep VS pricing honest and on their toes - no bad thing! The fact they've applied for permits in the US and in the process of re-registering 2 of their A330's and intend to place 2 A321LR's on the UK register instead of the Irish register tells me they are deadly serious about it, irrespective of what the Irish media were whipping up a few months back at UK-US flights being at the expense of flights from Shannon Airport. That said, I do think this might dissuade VS/DL from re-launching their own MAN-BOS route in the future, as history has shown this route cannot sustain more than one airline.

You mention St Lucia. Besides VS no longer serving the island, they ran MAN-UVF for one season years ago but never ran it again.
#958473 by CommanderB
15 Dec 2020, 15:06
VS075 wrote:You mention St Lucia. Besides VS no longer serving the island, they ran MAN-UVF for one season years ago but never ran it again.


Theres no reason they couldn't do a hybrid approach where they do two destinations with one flight. MAN > ANU/BGI > UVF for example. It's been done before from LGW AFAIK.
#958476 by mitchja
15 Dec 2020, 16:51
According to Business Traveller, BA have now confirmed their MAN>LGW re-introduction, however, it's only 1 morning flight per day in each direction.

I personally can't see it lasting. It didn't really work last time even with multiple daily flights, so this time hasn't got much more going for it in this current travel environment. Jet2 also tried this route which didn't last long.
#958478 by Hurricane86
15 Dec 2020, 18:41
mitchja wrote:According to Business Traveller, BA have now confirmed their MAN>LGW re-introduction, however, it's only 1 morning flight per day in each direction.

I personally can't see it lasting. It didn't really work last time even with multiple daily flights, so this time hasn't got much more going for it in this current travel environment. Jet2 also tried this route which didn't last long.


I actually think this is a smart move from BA. Last time they operated the route they had multiple daily flights in each direction, and the route allegedly lost money. By having just one service per day timed to catch the LGW departures to the Caribbean and Florida, I think they will have no trouble at all filling the aircraft up. BA clearly believe premium leisure travel is the name of the game for Summer 2021 and want a slice of the pie at MAN. Who can blame them.
#958493 by ColOrd
16 Dec 2020, 22:51
BA have just permanently wiped out a load of flights out of the 2021 Season for LGW, but added in ISB and Accra (both moved from LHR).

The lack of direction from VS on moving in on some of the former TCX routes is slightly annoying, I would have hoped that they would have pounced as some of them could be pretty lucrative especially with the pent up demand for next Summer.
#958499 by VS075
17 Dec 2020, 12:56
ColOrd wrote:BA have just permanently wiped out a load of flights out of the 2021 Season for LGW, but added in ISB and Accra (both moved from LHR).

The lack of direction from VS on moving in on some of the former TCX routes is slightly annoying, I would have hoped that they would have pounced as some of them could be pretty lucrative especially with the pent up demand for next Summer.


https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/ne ... 75461.html

Assuming it's these that you're referring to, most of these are LHR flights and quite a few of these have only recently been launched/reinstated to the BA network within the last few years (Durban, KL, Osaka, Charleston).
#958500 by allenby
17 Dec 2020, 13:42
looking at booking MAN JFK, it seems it does not restart until around march 31? and stops again around oct 26

has it gone seasonal?

thanks
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