Virgin Atlantic in Advanced Alliance Talks

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by DestinationDavid, Oct 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Well, I'm sure it's not oneworld.... :D

    LINK.

    Virgin Atlantic, the airline controlled by U.K. billionaire Richard Branson, is in “fairly advanced talks” to join an aviation alliance as the carrier seeks to boost its competitive position and restore earnings.

    “Virgin Atlantic has always enjoyed its independence, but since pretty well every competitor that we have has an alliance I think we have finally decided that to survive we need to have an alliance,” Branson said in an interview with Bloomberg Television in Mumbai today. He declined to name the group the London-based airline is speaking with.
     
  2. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Please let it be *A....
     
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  3. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Wasn't there some sort of discussion on how the 3 Virgin would form their own? I guess that's now out the window.
     
  4. Jett Rink
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    Jett Rink Silver Member

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    Whisper words of wisdom, let it be: SkyTeam. :cool:
     
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  5. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    If the ATI comes into play then SkyTeam is leading the race I'd say. Without that either of the two could work.
     
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  6. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    How exactly does being in oneworld and and fighting furiously with BA for LON work, unless SRB decides "time to pack it in and sell it all off to BA"?

    As for SkyTeam... well, if it makes VS miles more useful than SkyPesos™ I am all in favor of this. :D But I'd like *A more.
     
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  7. DestinationDavid
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    The handful of destinations covered by the three Virgins is hardly enough to constitute an alliance on par with OW, *A, or ST.

    Not to mention VX isn't exactly making it easy to see it surviving in the next few years.
     
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  8. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I agree; but I read somewhere that they were creating an alliance where as FF benefits/redemptions would work across the board; and even with some partners. I can't find the link anymore though
     
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  9. DestinationDavid
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    I've heard the same, and they have linked up in some ways (LINK).

    It was never realistic to think they were going to compete though.
     
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  10. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    The three do have some level of reciprocity in earning and redemption. But it is nowhere near enough to base a true alliance on.I also wonder if they'd have too many issues with authorities vis a vis foreign ownership/control rules.
    OW isn't an option. It is never going to happen for competitive reasons at LHR, say nothing of the personality issues. The two I was referencing were Star Alliance and SkyTeam.
     
  11. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    My bet is on SkyTeam.
     
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  12. iterfacio12

    iterfacio12 Silver Member

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    I'm going to hold out hope for *A, personally.
     
  13. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    My hope is for *A, (living in Washington, DC) but if they joined SkyTeam, it'd make DL miles more valuable.
     
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  14. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I can't figure out what ATI means in this context.
     
  15. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    That is unlikely IMO. Singapore Airlines owns 49% of Virgin Atlantic, remember, even though they announced last year their willingness to sell, they have not done so. That makes the *A option by far the most likely IMO, especially because *A really does not make very many demands about reciprocal treatment on many issues, including award availability.
     
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  16. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    The Atlantic++ JV between *A partners (LH, UA, AC being the big partners) that has been immunized to antitrust (ATI).
     
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  17. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    Anti trust immunity.

    I read Seth's blog to figure that out
     
  18. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    I think that since the talks are "fairly advanced" the decision is leaning heavily in one direction, if not practically made at this point.

    As for which alliance, I think it depends what they're looking for. If they have their hearts set on ATI, then SkyTeam is the leader. If they just want to join an alliance quickly, then *A would make sense, given their FF relationships.
     
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  19. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    :oops:

    Yeah, I forget to spell out acronyms sometimes.

    All three of the alliances have ATIs which permit collusion amongst immunized members for pricing, scheduling, capacity and to share revenue and risk on routes in covered markets. For OW it is AA, IB and BA. For SkyTeam is it AZ, AF, KL and DL. For *A it is LO, SN, LX, LH, TP, SK, AC & UA. BD and CO are former members.

    I believe that getting VS approved into the A++ ATI (what the *A one is known as) would be much more difficult. If VS doesn't care about the ATI then I can see many reasons that joining *A makes more sense for them.
     
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  20. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I suspect they are more interested in other benefits that may not need ATI, although many of those can be handled with non-alliance Codeshares. Thus, it is logical to assume they really do want ATI. Given the reality of London OW dominance I'd think ATI would not be so difficult for *A as it would seem when looking at the present participants. Obviously, we'll know soon. The speculation is fun anyway. My money is on *A with ATI, probably with some limitations regarding continental Europe feeds.
     
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  21. LETTERBOY
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    I'm not sure what to make of any limitations that may be put on any VS operations to the continent.

    1) VS is almost exclusively long-haul. They've announced service LHR-EDI & LHR-ABZ, but those haven't started yet.

    2) It will take them time to build up a mid/short-haul route network.

    3) Even if they had the resources and/or desire to build a mid/short-haul network, LHR is slot controlled. I know there's some talk about adding another runway there, but you can't assume that'll happen, and even if it does, it'll be some time in the future. Or would it be possible/desirable to move their ops to LGW?
     
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  22. Wandering Aramean
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    The reason I think that the ATI will be difficult is that *A has a much stronger position at LHR than ST does. Between UA and AC the number of immunized flights in to LHR daily is significantly higher than what DL brings to the table. And from many more cities, too.
     
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  23. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Good point. However, the overall OW hub dominance at LHR is still higher than for ST at either CDG or AMS, isn't it?
     
  24. Rob
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    Rob Gold Member

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    A very slight correction (if I remember correctly): The oneworld ATI includes AA, BA, IB, and RJ and it's the joint venture that only includes AA, BA, and IB.
     
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