VA's COVID-19 Minimal Network Schedule

Melburnian1

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VA has announced the reintroduction of 4 times weekly MEL-HBA and MEL-LST services from November 27, and daily from December 14. The airline will also reintroduce twice weekly services between BNE and LST from November 23.

A commentary on Oz's second airline, and the likely decrease in demand for air travel compared with the same period in 2019, when between Melbourne and Hobart VA 2.0 can't even offer a multiple daily frequency prior to Christmas when 'the world and his wife' normally want to travel.

However IIRC VA 1.0 admitted occasionally that it couldn't turn a dollar on its Tasmanian routes.
 
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Bagpuss

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A commentary on Oz's second airline, and the likely decrease in demand for air travel compared with the same period in 2019, when between Melbourne and Hobart VA 2.0 can't even offer a multiple daily frequency prior to Christmas when 'the world and his wife' normally want to travel.

However IIRC VA 1.0 admitted occasionally that it couldn't turn a dollar on its Tasmanian routes.
People may want to travel. However, things can change very quickly such as what is currently happening in South Australia. This puts people off the thought of booking and whilst the airlines are offering an element of free changes, they are carrying a higher level of risk with a high amount of cancellations at the last minute.
 

Melburnian1

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People may want to travel. However, things can change very quickly such as what is currently happening in South Australia. This puts people off the thought of booking and whilst the airlines are offering an element of free changes, they are carrying a higher level of risk with a high amount of cancellations at the last minute.

Interesting there's a brief video circulating where about a dozen passengers on an Adelaide to Brisbane flight elected to stay in Adelaide to avoid what is for today's arrivals in Queensland (ex SA) '14 days staying at home quarantining'. They were apparently given the option to do this not long after tyhe Queensland Premier's decision became public, I assume with a free date change for their flight. From tomorrow, it's worse, because in Queensland for SA arrivals, hotel quarantine for a fortnight will commence.
 

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With the NSW/Vic border reopening on Monday 23 November 2020, VAd has scheduled only five southbound SYD down to MEL flights.

QFd has 12 and JQd six.

So only 21 per cent of flights are VA (though the real measure is available seats, which I haven't calculated).

For all three airlines, this is way below what they would have timetabled on a normal Monday prior to COVID-19.
 

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There will be complexities such as where staff (and aircraft) are based but having two daily return trips between BNE and NTL but just one between SYD and holiday 'paradise' MCY is odd when more $$ may be made on the latter.

We'll know in a couple of years but this rebadged airline is going to really struggle in my book. The Queensland Government was most unwise to 'invest' $200 million, but it won't care if it loses the $. The experience that retail and institutional shareholders had with VA 1.0 should have been a warning sign.
 

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Although most borders have reopened to Victorians, the exception being WA, on Tuesday 1 December 2020 VAd is only scheduling eight flights from MEL, five of which are to Sydney, two to Brisbane and one to (strangely) Newcastle NSW.

However with the minimal notice of some border reopenings (particularly Queensland), those at either end have had little time to book. Savvy AFFers and some businessmen may be different, but many leisure and VFR passengers tend to take a while to decide and book.

Competitor QFd has only 29 flights from MEL in total, about five of which are turvoprops. I haven't looked at JQd.
 

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As posted elsewhere, many Pilots need to become "current" again through training including simulators.

So while the aircraft may be available, the crew who can fly them are in temporary short supply.
 

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As posted elsewhere, many Pilots need to become "current" again through training including simulators.

So while the aircraft may be available, the crew who can fly them are in temporary short supply.

Thanks serfty. I hadn't read that but presume it's in the 'pilots' forum.
 

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As posted elsewhere, many Pilots need to become "current" again through training including simulators.

So while the aircraft may be available, the crew who can fly them are in temporary short supply.
I also believe there is a cabin crew shortage as well.
 

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Due to one person with the virus in Sydney, WA Premier Mark McGowan is saying he'll make an announcement over the weekend.

This may lead to a delay in the planned reopening of the WA border to NSW and Victorian residents (i.e. without any need to quarantine for a fortnight).

Some including me may not agree with Mr Alan Joyce (CEO of competitor Qantas) on everything, or many things, but in his describing this sort of reaction as wrong, he's on the ball.

It's a virus. We can't eliminate it, but Premiers (except for NSW) want to pretend they, as saviours, can.

How can any business (including airlines) plan and operate with certainty if there's this stop-start mentality? WA may be affluent due to the iron ore price shooting skywards but we are a Federation not some colonialist backwater as we were in 1899.
 

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Due to one person with the virus in Sydney, WA Premier Mark McGowan is saying he'll make an announcement over the weekend.

This may lead to a delay in the planned reopening of the WA border to NSW and Victorian residents (i.e. without any need to quarantine for a fortnight).

Some including me may not agree with Mr Alan Joyce (CEO of competitor Qantas) on everything, or many things, but in his describing this sort of reaction as wrong, he's on the ball.

It's a virus. We can't eliminate it, but Premiers (except for NSW) want to pretend they, as saviours, can.

How can any business (including airlines) plan and operate with certainty if there's this stop-start mentality? WA may be affluent due to the iron ore price shooting skywards but we are a Federation not some colonialist backwater as we were in 1899.
This is why Virgin is more cautious that Qantas. To prepare aircraft ready for service, put pilots through simulators, roster cabin crew, re-open lounges the list goes on.... Then a few days out or within 24 hours to shut borders will cost the a stack of cash whilst airfares are fully flexible.

Key point: Virgin has come out of administration and had the ability to remove excessive debt. Qantas has capital raised which means it has to repay. Rex has also raised debt and received a lot of government funding due to their “regional network” which is not in sync with the assistance Virgin or Qantas has received.
Dust rises quicker than it settles ......
 
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jakeseven7

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Due to one person with the virus in Sydney, WA Premier Mark McGowan is saying he'll make an announcement over the weekend.

This may lead to a delay in the planned reopening of the WA border to NSW and Victorian residents (i.e. without any need to quarantine for a fortnight).

Some including me may not agree with Mr Alan Joyce (CEO of competitor Qantas) on everything, or many things, but in his describing this sort of reaction as wrong, he's on the ball.

It's a virus. We can't eliminate it, but Premiers (except for NSW) want to pretend they, as saviours, can.

How can any business (including airlines) plan and operate with certainty if there's this stop-start mentality? WA may be affluent due to the iron ore price shooting skywards but we are a Federation not some colonialist backwater as we were in 1899.

WA has come out yesterday and clarified VIC border opening will not be impacted by what’s happened in Sydney thankfully.

Small blessings.

And VIC is a much bigger market for WA than NSW as well from an airline point of view.
 

Melburnian1

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WA has come out yesterday and clarified VIC border opening will not be impacted by what’s happened in Sydney thankfully.

Small blessings.

And VIC is a much bigger market for WA than NSW as well from an airline point of view.

But virus fragments have been found in wastewater at Colac and Daylesford, Vic.

Never put it past these State Premiers to magnify the almost indiscernible...
 

jakeseven7

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But virus fragments have been found in wastewater at Colac and Daylesford, Vic.

Never put it past these State Premiers to magnify the almost indiscernible...

Vic is going to have shedding for months. Oh well what can you do.
 

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On Monday 11 January 2021 - school holidays but a 'return to work' for some business people - VAd 2.0 is only operating 29 domestic flights from MEL, a shadow of what VA 1.0 would have run on the same day in 2020. Then, at a guess it would have had a minimum of 25 northbound flights from MEL to SYD, and about 15 MEL - BNE.

There were four more flights listed on the Melbourne Airport website but tellingly these lack 'actual departure times'. Upon looking them up, one finds examples such as VA849 to SYD that was obviously cancelled at short notice (assuming due to low bookings, given so many people cannot travel even if they wanted to).
 
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Sunday 17 January 2021 has VAd operating only 11 scheduled flights out of Sydney, but the most remarkable feature was that it was operating the final domestic flight for the day ex there of any airline - scheduled to depart at 1800 hours!

Competitor JQd had only seven flights in total ex Sydney today. We would have once said 'amazing' but nowadays it's hardly unprecedented.

QFd had 34, but about 17 were only Q300/Q400 far lower capacity turboprops to rural NSW destinations.

Grim times for airlines.
 

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On Saturday 30 January 2021, VAd has (at relatively short notice) cancelled one SYD - OOL and one SYD - BNE flight, leaving it with just seven scheduled flights ex SYD today: two to MEL, and one to each of BNE, BNK, CNS, HTI and PPP. Note the lack of flights to ADL/DRW/HBA/LST/OOL and PER among others.

VAd has no scheduled SYD departures later than 1200 'high noon' today.

Competitor QFd has only 20 flights ex SYD today of which 13 look to be just turboprops (including three to offshore LDH) while JQd has only six flights from SYD today, none of which are SYD - BNE and only two down to MEL.
 

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On Saturday 30 January 2021, VAd has (at relatively short notice) cancelled one SYD - OOL and one SYD - BNE flight, leaving it with just seven scheduled flights ex SYD today: two to MEL, and one to each of BNE, BNK, CNS, HTI and PPP. Note the lack of flights to ADL/DRW/HBA/LST/OOL and PER among others.

VAd has no scheduled SYD departures later than 1200 'high noon' today.

Competitor QFd has only 20 flights ex SYD today of which 13 look to be just turboprops (including three to offshore LDH) while JQd has only six flights from SYD today, none of which are SYD - BNE and only two down to MEL.
Things are really bad at the moment. I think after the initial surge in capacity when restrictions were lifting through November and December, they're taking a much more cautious approach this time.

Everyone got caught out by the trigger happy states. None more so exposed than the airlines.

I booked a flight 3 days ago from Melbourne to Perth on Friday, Feb 12. On booking I had the choice of 3 direct services on VA. Now there is one, and I've been punted to go via Adelaide.

Qantas group on the same day - one direct JQ flight MEL-PER.
 
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