Virgin delays return to international flights, culls most NZ destinations

jakeseven7

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Will just start up the leisure/LCC route of Queenstown, all other trans-tasman flying plans are gone with no date for review.



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VIRGIN AGAIN DELAYS RETURN TO INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS, CULLS MOST NZ DESTINATIONS FOR FORESEEABLE FUTURE​


Virgin Australia has again pushed back its plans to return to international short-haul routes following news that the federal government is unlikely to allow a return of international travel until mid-2022.

In light of the news, Virgin has announced it has again deferred its intentions to reinstate flights from Australia to Fiji and Indonesia until “at least” December 2021.

Further, in a surprising call, despite the government’s provision for a trans-Tasman bubble, Virgin will not be pursuing flights to any New Zealand destination except Queenstown for the foreseeable future.


 
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antycbr

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Will just start up the leisure/LCC route of Queenstown, all other trans-tasman flying plans are gone with no date for review.



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VIRGIN AGAIN DELAYS RETURN TO INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS, CULLS MOST NZ DESTINATIONS FOR FORESEEABLE FUTURE​


Virgin Australia has again pushed back its plans to return to international short-haul routes following news that the federal government is unlikely to allow a return of international travel until mid-2022.

In light of the news, Virgin has announced it has again deferred its intentions to reinstate flights from Australia to Fiji and Indonesia until “at least” December 2021.

Further, in a surprising call, despite the government’s provision for a trans-Tasman bubble, Virgin will not be pursuing flights to any New Zealand destination except QUeenstown for the foreseeable future.


Perhaps they have seen the anecdotal reporting of loads on the Tasman? VA struggled to make a profit on all of their international flying at the best of times, even when in partnership with NZ. Financially, this makes sense in my opinion. Focus on doing the domestic market well.
 
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jakeseven7

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Financially, this makes sense in my opinion.

Totally agree - their NZ flying never made any money even when they were working with NZ so would be a bottomless pit with no trans tasman partner, hardly any freight capability and NZ working with QF with their respective domestic codeshares, it would just be another bloodbath.
 

henrus

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Perhaps Rex should step in... I'd happily take them up on some $39 fares across the tasman ;)

Whilst some may book with them, I'll be holding off on the ZQN flights until they become a little more certain. Right now they aren't selling reward seats just expensive cash fares which indicates that these flights may not go ahead. If they don't go ahead then VA will rebook on NZ operated flights which is what they did earlier in the year.
 

jakeseven7

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Perhaps Rex should step in... I'd happily take them up on some $39 fares across the tasman ;)

Whilst some may book with them, I'll be holding off on the ZQN flights until they become a little more certain. Right now they aren't selling reward seats just expensive cash fares which indicates that these flights may not go ahead. If they don't go ahead then VA will rebook on NZ operated flights which is what they did earlier in the year.

VA also rebooked people onto QF as well.
 

antycbr

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Perhaps Rex should step in... I'd happily take them up on some $39 fares across the tasman ;)

Whilst some may book with them, I'll be holding off on the ZQN flights until they become a little more certain. Right now they aren't selling reward seats just expensive cash fares which indicates that these flights may not go ahead. If they don't go ahead then VA will rebook on NZ operated flights which is what they did earlier in the year.
You'll never get a fare for $39 - the international departure tax will be $60...
 

henrus

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You'll never get a fare for $39 - the international departure tax will be $60...
Yep, I know, it was a joke with the $39 fare... if you think taxes are just $60 then try again. From SYD-AKL the one way taxes are now ~$147.

The worst one is the Australian $60 PMC, the PMC realistically needs to be based on distance or at least reduced for NZ flights. The amount of passenger processing on these flights has been reduced to smart gates and a single person who barely checks your arrival card.
 

serfty

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+++ on KrisFlyer reward booking MEL-AKL was $147; there was no YQ.
 

jakeseven7

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I wonder if VA2 will ever return to NZ 'seriously' with decent frequency..... or perhaps they will just have some token presence on Trans Tasman. I mean why bother if you can't make money?
 

antycbr

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I wonder if VA2 will ever return to NZ 'seriously' with decent frequency..... or perhaps they will just have some token presence on Trans Tasman. I mean why bother if you can't make money?
While annoying for VA passengers, the lack of focus on costs was what led to the collapse of VA1 in the first place…

Unfortunately the cost pressure was part of the contributing factor for the VA/NZ breakup. If that had been less dramatic VA could have pulled back on the Tasman and let NZ do it. Now NZ is partnered with QF.
 

jakeseven7

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While annoying for VA passengers, the lack of focus on costs was what led to the collapse of VA1 in the first place…

Unfortunately the cost pressure was part of the contributing factor for the VA/NZ breakup. If that had been less dramatic VA could have pulled back on the Tasman and let NZ do it. Now NZ is partnered with QF.

I still think VA2 will end up back in bed with NZ, they are natural partners.

QF and NZ are just convenient frenemies :)

NZ clearly brokered the deal to get JQ NZ off their backs as well.... as QF was screwing their domestic business up whilst teaming up with AA to pick away at their international routes too.... (pre covid of course).
 
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HS-TQE

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While annoying for VA passengers, the lack of focus on costs was what led to the collapse of VA1 in the first place…

Unfortunately the cost pressure was part of the contributing factor for the VA/NZ breakup. If that had been less dramatic VA could have pulled back on the Tasman and let NZ do it. Now NZ is partnered with QF.
Clash of the egos also played a role as well. Luxon had a valid point but he well knew he was outnumbered by every other major shareholder (they all backed JB) during that alleged meeting.

Also to add all then-shareholders had overall dismal records at overseas investments.

QF/NZ will be around for a few more years yet. Would depend on who out of ZL or VA will eventually survive.
 

henrus

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I question the return to Queenstown. VA said they'd return (to NZ when the bubble was suggested last year) and started selling flights (cash tickets only) but at more expensive prices than the competition. When the bubble was actually announced they pulled the plug.

There would have been some who purchased tickets during this time and they were all rebooked on either QF or NZ (or refunded). With these ZQN flights, once again VA is selling them at prices higher than NZ or QF and no award seats. It would be quite easy for them to pull the plug again and rebook people on QF or NZ if the bookings aren't good enough.
 

HS-TQE

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I still think VA2 will end up back in bed with NZ, they are natural partners.

QF and NZ are just convenient frenemies :)

NZ clearly brokered the deal to get JQ NZ off their backs as well.... as QF was screwing their domestic business up whilst teaming up with AA to pick away at their international routes too.... (pre covid of course).

Considering the previous report from the known (currently inactive) 'insider' on here that NZ is making more $$ with the QF domestic connections partnership than they ever did with their old JV with VA, it would be a very long while (if at all) for NZ to give that up.

It would have to take a pretty good business case for NZ to give up the QF/NZ domestic connections partnership in favour of a very different Virgin, which isn't guaranteed $$ for that matter either.
 

jakeseven7

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Considering the previous report from the known (currently inactive) 'insider' on here that NZ is making more $$ with the QF domestic connections partnership than they ever did with their old JV with VA, it would be a very long while (if at all) for NZ to give that up.

It would have to take a pretty good business case for NZ to give up the QF/NZ domestic connections partnership in favour of a very different Virgin, which isn't guaranteed $$ for that matter either.

I know, our inactive resident 'insider' is only posting travel reports at the moment! Although it is a very interesting trip report!
 

henrus

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Another rather odd thing right now is the lack of ability to booking flights into ZQN using Velocity points.

What makes it extremely confusing is that it's actually possible with VA partners like SQ or AC. Screen Shot 2021-05-26 at 3.10.17 pm.png

Screen Shot 2021-05-26 at 3.10.43 pm.png

There is a scattering of award space during non-holiday times on these VA flights. Might be useful for someone with a stash of EY points given SYD-ZQN is just 6900 points one way in Economy.
 

Kiwi_Flyer

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Considering the previous report from the known (currently inactive) 'insider' on here that NZ is making more $$ with the QF domestic connections partnership than they ever did with their old JV with VA, it would be a very long while (if at all) for NZ to give that up.

It would have to take a pretty good business case for NZ to give up the QF/NZ domestic connections partnership in favour of a very different Virgin, which isn't guaranteed $$ for that matter either.

Not that simple. In a few years QF & NZ will once again need to get anti-competition regulatory approval (from ACCC and NZ ComCom) if they wish to continue the alliance trans-Tasman. With no or limited VA trans-Tasman it will be very difficult to get approval.
 

HS-TQE

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Not that simple. In a few years QF & NZ will once again need to get anti-competition regulatory approval (from ACCC and NZ ComCom) if they wish to continue the alliance trans-Tasman. With no or limited VA trans-Tasman it will be very difficult to get approval.

The QF/NZ is a domestic codeshare connections partnership only and does not cover Trans-Tasman flights. No approval from the competition regulators was required for that when that was formed.

The QF/NZ partnership not a full blown JV like the old VA/NZ arrangement which covered Trans-Tasman flights, therefore that old NZ/VA JV required approval from the ACCC/NZ ComCom.
 

henrus

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Not that simple. In a few years QF & NZ will once again need to get anti-competition regulatory approval (from ACCC and NZ ComCom) if they wish to continue the alliance trans-Tasman. With no or limited VA trans-Tasman it will be very difficult to get approval.
I think you'll find it was simple. There was never any application to the ACCC:

According to this AFF article:

"It’s a straight codeshare so doesn’t require ACCC involvement. There is no joint pricing, no joint scheduling, etc. Won’t have any affect on fares as QF and NZ will still compete on the Tasman and other routes like they do now."
 
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