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The perfect excuse to end HKG flights?

Melburnian1

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Two flights a day and losing tens of millions? Such a token part of the business seems quite an excessive estimate...
Yes, sounds a lot, but I read (can't recall where) that in its first year, MEL - HKG alone sustained losses of A$10m.
 

Saab34

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Start up costs would have been a few million in itself. I reckon it’s all being over hyped for two flights a day.
 

Melburnian1

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Start up costs would have been a few million in itself. I reckon it’s all being over hyped for two flights a day.
When you say 'over hyped', do you mean 'VA is over hyping its HKG flights' (that is, over emphasising how "great" these are for travellers) or do you mean that the A$20m plus estimate of total losses thus far is a huge exaggeration?
 

Bagpuss

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When you say 'over hyped', do you mean 'VA is over hyping its HKG flights' (that is, over emphasising how "great" these are for travellers) or do you mean that the A$20m plus estimate of total losses thus far is a huge exaggeration?
I think it is an exaggeration. However, when Virgin Atlantic pulled off of HKG - SYD, they said they were loosing $1m a month.
 

jakeseven7

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Two flights a day and losing tens of millions? Such a token part of the business seems quite an excessive estimate.

They need BNE and a second Sydney and the tide should turn. More frequency will only just pull from CX which they are probably not doing currently.
I highly doubt VA International will be adding any new routes / frequency for a long time.
 

Bagpuss

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So HKG has been closed and today’s flights back to Australia are delayed until tomorrow. They are still operating the outbound flights to Hong Kong tomorrow so this will be consuming 4 aircraft, with 1 a330 in maintenance it will leave just 1 a330 operating domestic flights tomorrow.
If these flights aren’t full and aren’t making a profit, you would question why they are prioritising the HKG service. Hopefully they don’t end up with 4 aircraft stuck in or around HKG tomorrow ... If that happens that would be a total disaster.
 

HS-TQE

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Two flights a day and losing tens of millions? Such a token part of the business seems quite an excessive estimate.

They need BNE and a second Sydney and the tide should turn. More frequency will only just pull from CX which they are probably not doing currently.
I don't think VA(i) will be "expanding" anytime soon, if ever.

Most likely their long-haul network of just LAX and HKG will likely remain the status quo for now as long as the HX and DL Joint-Ventures are still in effect. In the medium term, I'd only expect LAX to survive whilst HKG is still up in the air depending on a number of factors including HX's questioned financial status / possible bankruptcy/liquidation and what the upcoming VS JV may bring to the table.

If anything, any movement to the VA(i) network would be more likely VA doing more cuts (aka "right-sizing") to the short-haul international network, especially cutting the Pacific Islands/specific NZ routes with low loads that don't have subsidies (either through freight or the governments involved)
 

nlagalle

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The obvious move is to increase capacity per plane and to some extent decrease frequency in peak periods, maybe capacity rising marginally to c.220 seats per aircraft, or higher, but the duopoly seems reluctant to do this. If we must travel by unreliable airlines, widebodies are more pleasant than narrowbodies.
I'm not sure what other widebodies you think will work between MEL-SYD since the 767's were retired. there are only a few gates at each airport which can hold them due to the wingspan being wider. 787's have almost the same wingspan so they won't be as good. so unless there is major re-working of the domestic terminals, you won't get more widebodied aircraft for domestic routes.

The lack of investment in the last few years by both legacy airlines in their domestic fleets (notwithstanding that VA placed an order for B737MAX) is hanging over their balance sheets. Some of these aircraft are 17 years old. While they may be well maintained, fairly soon they need to be replaced one might think.
17 years old isn't a major factor. Aircraft are designed for 20+ years of service. people seem to think they they must be cycled out within 10 years or it's "old" as it is. Yes VA have the max on there shopping list - QF have been looking at that and the A320 too. just because nothing is announced doesn't mean either airline is sitting on its hands in terms of aircraft replacements.

The sadness for business and leisure travellers is that if we had high speed rail between the lower east coast capitals, so many flights up to the distance of MEL - SYD/NTL or SYD - OOL/BNE could be replaced by a far more reliable, comfortable and punctual mode as has or is increasingly occurring overseas. A lot more efficient than 'upgauged' aircraft
Given that they can hardly get local suburban or V/Line trains to run on time, I highly doubt it will be more reliable.. personally I'll stick to flying. Will still get me there faster.
 

Melburnian1

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...Given that they can hardly get local suburban or V/Line trains to run on time, I highly doubt it will be more reliable.. personally I'll stick to flying. Will still get me there faster.
It doesn't have to be the same crowd operating it.

Flying 'wont always get you there faster' in many cases when you factor in the modal changes. The all too frequent delays and cancellations affecting air travel are not present to the same degree (o anything close to it) on many overseas high speed rail routes. Far more reliable and punctual!

Overseas, many airlines have reduced or eliminated flights on routes subject to competition from HSR. There would be a suburban stop - such as at Campbellfield in Melbourne, or Liverpool/Campbelltown in Sydney - to cater for those who wish to drive and then travel by HSR.
 

stm1sydney

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Hope not because I am planning to do VA/VS SYD/HKG/LHR early next year. Looks like an excellent product.
 

nlagalle

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It doesn't have to be the same crowd operating it.
doesn't seem to matter which crowd operates it..

Flying 'wont always get you there faster' in many cases when you factor in the modal changes. The all too frequent delays and cancellations affecting air travel are not present to the same degree (o anything close to it) on many overseas high speed rail routes. Far more reliable and punctual!
You really need to get off the computer and actually get out.. "all too frequent" is still what 3%? Minor!! We completed 10 flights in 5 days not long ago and only one cancellation. we still got to our final destination before we were meant to as we were put on a direct flight instead.

Overseas, many airlines have reduced or eliminated flights on routes subject to competition from HSR. There would be a suburban stop - such as at Campbellfield in Melbourne, or Liverpool/Campbelltown in Sydney - to cater for those who wish to drive and then travel by HSR.
Which routes as an example? here is an example for you: I have to fly to Japan next year for the Olympics, however we need to get to Nagasaki first. It's still faster to go by plane than to get the Shinkansen.
 

kelvedon

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Which routes as an example? here is an example for you: I have to fly to Japan next year for the Olympics, however we need to get to Nagasaki first. It's still faster to go by plane than to get the Shinkansen.
London- Paris/ Brussels. Paris- Brussels/Amsterdam/Zurich/Geneva
 

nlagalle

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London- Paris/ Brussels. Paris- Brussels/Amsterdam/Zurich/Geneva
Last time I checked you could still fly from London to Paris/Brussels .. and you can still fly from Paris to Geneva/Amsterdam/Zurich/Brussels.
 

Melburnian1

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Last time I checked you could still fly from London to Paris/Brussels .. and you can still fly from Paris to Geneva/Amsterdam/Zurich/Brussels.
You may be able to still fly from London to Paris, but it and other routes such as Barcelona to Madrid have had a huge reduction in flights (and market share of airlines v rail) since high speed trains commenced.

O said in the previous post re flights that they'd been reduced or eliminated.

Another route is Taipei to Kaohsiung where airlines stopped flying. There are quite a few others, including IIRC within France.

You need to do more reading.
 

nlagalle

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You may be able to still fly from London to Paris, but it and other routes such as Barcelona to Madrid have had a huge reduction in flights (and market share of airlines v rail) since high speed trains commenced.
You got some real stats to match that? Or more heresay?
 

dajop

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Last time I checked you could still fly from London to Paris/Brussels .. and you can still fly from Paris to Geneva/Amsterdam/Zurich/Brussels.
You have to wonder though how much is origin/destination traffic (which could favour trains) versus connecting traffic (obviously favouring air traffic). One route where the decline in air traffic is well documented is MAD-BCN, which used to feature alongside MEL-SYD as one of the top airport pairs in terms of annual passenger traffic, but dropped substantially* (but has stabilised) following the introduction of the high speed AVE link between the two cities. Train takes 2.5-3 hrs, plane takes 1.5 hrs. Of course depends on where in the cities you are travelling to and from.

But it seems a rough rule of thumb is that anything 500km or less (great circle distance) seems to be worthwhile by train, after that distance, it seems the benefit of HSR is more marginal, or non existent. A SYD-CBR-MEL train really would need to take 3.5 hrs or less to be worthwhile, which probably means an average speed of 270 kph or more, which could be a difficult feat to achieve (nb: easy to find literature on the maximum speed of various high speed trains operating , but more difficult to find average scheduled speeds. Taking Paris-Lyon which seems to be about 230km/h, which would make MEL-CBR-SYD a less competitive 4+ hrs).

* Wikipedia reports reduction from 4.6m pax in 2007 to 2.2m in 2013, some of which could have been caused by the economic crisis afflicting Spain, some by the opening of the high speed train, and some by the collapse of Spanair (although latter probably caused by combination of the former two anyway).
 
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Melburnian1

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You got some real stats to match that? Or more heresay?
It isn't "hearsay."

Why not 'chill' a little bit?

Here is some information that you could quite easily find yourself. It especially discusses Barcelona - Madrid, but touches upon London - Paris and other routes:


An Australian article:


One from Bloomberg that among many others discusses Paris to Bordeaux (rail 82 per cent market share) and domestic travel within mainland communist China (where HSR carries more than twice the number of airline passengers):


You will note one article suggests Eurostar has a market share as high as 90 per cent of London - Paris travel. Much of this came from the airlines for numerous good reasons, just as it will in Australia should our community ever have the good sense to construct and operate HSR.

QED.
 

Melburnian1

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You have to wonder though how much is origin/destination traffic (which could favour trains) versus connecting traffic (obviously favouring air traffic). One route were the decline in air traffic is well documented is MAD-BCN, which used to feature alongside MEL-SYD as one of the top airport pairs in terms of annual passenger traffic, but dropped substantially (but has stabilised) following the introduction of the high speed AVE link between the two cities. Train takes 2.5-3 hrs, plane takes 1.5 hrs. Of course depends on where in the cities you are travelling to and from.

But it seems a rough rule of thumb is that anything 500km or less (great circle distance) seems to be worthwhile by train, after that distance, it seems the benefit of HSR is more marginal, or non existent. A SYD-CBR-MEL train really would need to take 3.5 hrs or less to be worthwhile, which probably means an average speed of 270 kph or more, which could be a difficult feat to achieve (nb: easy to find literature on the maximum speed of various high speed trains operating , but more difficult to find average scheduled speeds. Taking Paris-Lyon which seems to be about 230km/h, which would make MEL-CBR-SYD a less competitive 4+ hrs).
dajop, one article that I just linked to - the Australian one, quoting French rail operator SNCF - gives a much greater number of kilometres over which HSR is now competitive with the airlines. (You are using great circle distance, the article quotes a land transport distance.)

Median speeds continue to rise. Japan is constructing a new Maglev line, the Chuo Shinkansen that will have a top speed of 505kmh, raising the bar even further. The Tokoyo - Nagoya section will see trains covering 286km in 40 minutes at an average speed of 429kmh.

Typically overseas there is a mix of express and stopping trains. The latter can be overtaken at intermediate stations.
 
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dajop

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I know I've added to it, but are we not wandering more than just a little OT? Maybe time to break off to a different thread?
 

serfty

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[Moderator hat]
Discussion of Train travel is hardly on topic in relation to flights between HKG and Australia.

Please stick to the topic.​
[/Moderator hat]
 

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