VA withdraws all services from Hong Kong

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eastwest101

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As mentioned on launch, the idea of VA services to HGK was an excellent idea in 2010 but proven to be a silly idea in 2019 and all events since have conspired against them.

Will be interesting to see if they find a new use for those A332s with my suggestion being looking closely at other Asian markets with potential such as South Korea, Taiwan, additional Japan or even Thailand or India?
 

travelislife

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When VA started advertising Aus to Hongkong economy light return fares for $450 last month, you know something is not right. The forward bookings must be miserable.

And now VA is entering a price war with QF for Tokyo pushing price down to $650 return, and the leisure travellers are tempted with JQ ridiculous $360 return fares. I checked seats on expertflyer for BNE to HND starting 29th March, plenty of empty seats still. With emerging cases of coronavirus in Japan, who knows how long that route is gonna last.

I actually don’t get why they get involved on routes where there is so much incumbent competition. Their long haul fleet is small and niche at best, they pretty much need to pick monopoly niche routes and own it, rather than compete with the other big majors who have a route brand covered significantly already.
 

Will99

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I flew Syd to HK on the 25th of January. When I checked in online the day before besides myself there was only one other business seat filled (I myself had booked a business rewards seat). On the plane there were a total of 5 people in business. And there weren’t a lot of people boarding for economy either. I think I only booked the reward seat in November and changed it about mid December about 6 weeks out.
i saw the news just earlier. I’m due to fly back from HK on the 2-March. Im using a local SIM card so I’m not sure if I’ve missed a call but on the app it looks like they’ve moved my flight to the 1st.
 

Julesmac

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I flew Syd to HK on the 25th of January. When I checked in online the day before besides myself there was only one other business seat filled (I myself had booked a business rewards seat). On the plane there were a total of 5 people in business. And there weren’t a lot of people boarding for economy either. I think I only booked the reward seat in November and changed it about mid December about 6 weeks out.
i saw the news just earlier. I’m due to fly back from HK on the 2-March. Im using a local SIM card so I’m not sure if I’ve missed a call but on the app it looks like they’ve moved my flight to the 1st.
I'm booked on Cathay MEL_HKK_LHR in Mid May with a 5 hour stopover in HK. I'm hoping like mad this issue has subsided by then but wondering if they'll let me fly in a hazmat suit & oxygen tank
 

Will99

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I'm booked on Cathay MEL_HKK_LHR in Mid May with a 5 hour stopover in HK. I'm hoping like mad this issue has subsided by then but wondering if they'll let me fly in a hazmat suit & oxygen tank
I think by then at the pace it’s going, and given you’re heading to the UK It’ll be either all resolved and a non-issue, or you won’t be flying via HK and will have been re-routed.
 

grubbidok

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We were booked on the Mar 3 flight back (LHR-HKG-SYD and they tried to put us back on same route 2 days earlier. Pretty adamant that was the only option or a refund. Took a bit of push back to get them to reroute us on LHR-LAX-SYD on the same days as our original booking. Rerouting we don't mind, but dates are chosen for a reason. And this was a booking for 2 WPs so wonder how they're treating the non-status mob?

The call centre rep was actually fantastic (and I did tell her I was happy with her handling, my frustration was with corporate), but it sounds like the higher-ups have some pretty silly policies they're asking them to implement.
 

blankman

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I fly this route about 6 times a year in business and gutted it has been canned.

I felt its business hard and soft product was one of the best in the sky.

Only flew economy twice and while the hard product was very good I thought the catering was a letdown. I mean not serving a small salad with your main meal in economy is just penny pinching to the extreme.

Also pretty annoyed it's ending in 3 weeks and the first I heard about it was via the media rather than them trying to rebook my forward bookings.

I totally understand that conditions are terrible right now but I don't see how SYD to HKG passed VA's major route review yet has been cancelled rather than paused due to Coronavirus making things worse.

Really hoping QF offers a status match for affected VA travellers much like the low key one they did when VS exited the market.
 

HS-TQE

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Jetstar couldn't even keep a MEL-BKK service going, VA 100% would not do it!

JQ canned the MEL-SIN route in favour of MEL-OOL-ICN & v.v.
JQ's MEL-BKK is still operating x3 weekly.

Saying that BKK and Thailand in general is a low yield-VFR (Visting Family Relatives) market. SYD is the only market that QF can actually make work due to history and absorbing what's left of the limited high yield market.
 

hutch

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I'm not sure what's odd about it. The carrier should honour forward bookings by using other carriers to get it's customers to their destination.

Apparently though, Virgin thinks passengers booked after 30 April should not be looked after (I'm one of them). Pretty appalling commercial policy.
 

clipped_wings

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Speaking anecdotally I do roughly 2 return trips Syd > lax annually and every time loads are pretty high. Every time I look at expert flyer for upgrade opportunities all 3 classes are almost full.

100% agree. I always do a walk around the cabin mid-flight - a mix of recon and exercise. Despite EF and the VA showing seats available pre-departure, the plane is always packed. On Wednesday LAX-SYD I counted 4 spare seats that appeared unoccupied.
 

Inlander

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We all saw that coming running at 60-70 % capacity won't be near break even. Then you look at the dire position of one of the dominate players on that route- Cathay who recently requested staff take unpaid leave and then HK airlines we are facing some interesting changes in the market in the future. Of interest it's all well and good to finish a route but no airline has ever improved it's financial position long term like by constant cutbacks, you need to cycle the aircraft tightly on routes which fill them or get rid of them as they cost you on the ground.
 

travelislife

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And are they going to end up in the same place in 12-18 months with their upcoming launch of Japan flights?
 

HS-TQE

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When VA had all of their LAX issues they were regularly booking people onto QF flights :)
When QF had their A380 issues a while back they also booked across all competitors including VA, DL, their JV partner AA and UA.
 
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jakeseven7

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If VS went to BKK a MEL-BKK service would be very good.

With the exception of Japan (and who knows how long that will last after the Olympics boom dies down) I suspect VA will be leaving Asia well alone with their widebody services.

They don't have the cash, the brand recognition, the know how, the partners or the staying power to make it work for them at the moment.

I wonder if the A330 fleet will be slimmed back...
 

stm1sydney

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Can any post 1 May pax report any success with re-routing instead of just a refund (as per the policy)? Eg, if you are WP? Many thanks.
 

Bolthead

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Can any post 1 May pax report any success with re-routing instead of just a refund (as per the policy)? Eg, if you are WP? Many thanks.

Yep... leaving June return July SYD-HKG-LHR.... easy process over the phone now SYD-LAX-LHR. We are both Platinum.... Refund was an option however consdiering we are on 2 x cruises in the Med and numerous other land based festivities a refund was not an option we wanted. As well we only paid $1200 return (plus change), so good deal in my eyes.
 
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