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General Transport Discussion not specific to one state


Postby Roderick Smith » Wed Mar 22, 2017 10:13 am


March 21 2017 Virgin Australia to fly Melbourne to Hong Kong from July .
Virgin Australia has confirmed Melbourne will be its Australian destination for a new service to Hong Kong starting mid-year.
The airline flagged its first venture into the Chinese market in mid-2016 and confirmed in February it would launch a Hong Kong service but until now has not said if it would fly from Sydney or Melbourne.
More videos Fly 'The Business' on Virgin Australia.
Virgin Australia has unveiled its new International Business Class cabin, with the first of its refitted Boeing 777-300ER aircraft now flying across the Pacific.
Virgin said on Tuesday it would fly Airbus A330-200s five times return every week starting on July 5. The announcement follows the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission granting interim approval for Virgin's tie-up with Chinese carriers HNA, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express.
The alliance means passengers will be able to connect from Hong Kong to 13 destinations in mainland China. Those flying from Hong Kong on Hainan Airlines, Hong Kong Airlines, Capital Airlines and Tianjin Airlines will connect to Virgin's domestic and trans-Tasman network under the alliance.
Virgin Australia has confirmed it will fly between Melbourne and Hong Kong.
Qantas and its alliance partner Cathay Pacific are currently the only airlines that fly direct between Australia and Hong Kong.
"Virgin Australia's entry into Hong Kong and Greater China is a key pillar of our international strategy, allowing us to tap into Australia's fastest growing and most valuable inbound travel market," Virgin chief executive John Borghetti said.
"Melbourne is an international city in its own right and hosts some of Australia's biggest and most spectacular events. We look forward to showcasing this great city to inbound visitors from Hong Kong and beyond."
China is shaping up as a key market for Australian carriers, with about 1.2 million Chinese tourists visiting Australia last year. Virgin has previously said it hopes to soon fly to a mainland Chinese city, while Qantas last month resumed flights between Sydney and Beijing, more than seven years after it axed the route.
Tickets for Virgin's new service will go on sale on Tuesday.
Flight VA89 will depart Melbourne at 12.35am on every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and arrive in Hong Kong at 8.15am the same day, local time.
Flight VA87 will depart Melbourne at 10.25am every Monday and arrive in Hong Kong at 6.05pm and depart at 9.40am on Wednesdays, arriving at 5.20pm.
Flight VA86 will depart Hong Kong at 7.50pm every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, arriving in Melbourne at 7.20am the next day.
http://www.theage.com.au/business/aviat ... v2ksg.html

Virgin Australia reveals new Melbourne-Hong Kong route.
Escape March 21, 2017.
Melbourne has scored another international aviation victory, with Virgin Australia announcing its first flights to Hong Kong will be out of the Victorian capital.
From July 5, the five return services a week will operate on A330-200 aircraft fitted with the award-winning Business suites.
The decision to fly out of Melbourne — rather than Sydney or another major port — was fairly straightforward, according to Virgin Australia boss John Borghetti.
“Awarded the world’s most liveable city for the past six years, Melbourne is an international city in its own right and hosts some of Australia’s biggest and most spectacular events,” said Mr Borghetti.
“We look forward to showcasing this great city to inbound visitors from Hong Kong and beyond.”
Reaching the bright lights of Hong Kong could get cheaper thanks to competition from Virgin.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has given interim approval of Virgin Australia’s proposed alliance with HNA Aviation, Hong Kong Airlines and HK Express.
Fares will go on sale tomorrow.
“Virgin Australia’s entry into Hong Kong and Greater China is a key pillar of our international strategy, allowing us to tap into Australia’s fastest growing and most valuable inbound travel market,” Mr Borghetti said.
“Travellers to and from Hong Kong will be able to fly in the world’s best business class and dine on a restaurant-in-the-sky experience designed by resident chef Luke Mangan.”
Virgin Australia’s new business class suites.
Editor of the independent Australian Business Traveller website, David Flynn, said the Virgin Australia services were the “first threat in decades to the comfy Qantas-Cathay Pacific duopoly on the Australia-Hong Kong route”.
“It’s a fight those two airlines won’t walk away from,” said Mr Flynn.
“There were an average of 59,000 travellers a month jetting between Melbourne and Hong Kong over the last quarter of 2016, estimated to be split between Cathay Pacific and Qantas at close to a three to one ratio.
“We expect some serious discounting across the board, and Qantas could also leverage the appeal of its dominant frequent flyer program with offers of double points or status credits on Melbourne-Hong Kong flights.”
He said Virgin Australia would have “arguably the best Business Class on the Melbourne-Hong Kong route”.
“However, Virgin’s challenge will be that it lacks the daily flight schedule of Qantas and Cathay Pacific, especially the three flights per day of Cathay which allows travellers to fly when it best suits them,” Mr Flynn said.
http://www.escape.com.au/news/virgin-au ... kong-route

170322W Melbourne 'Herald Sun' - Virgin to Hong Kong.
170322W-Melbourne'HeraldSun'-Virgin-HongKong-sss.jpg (129.02 KiB) Viewed 2682 times
Roderick Smith
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Re: Virgin

Postby Roderick Smith » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:33 am


How Virgin Australia is setting off a new battle for business class Jul 12 2017 .
Virgin Australia is about to change way we travel domestic once again. Photo: Supplied .
It's been less than three years since the newest business class seats of Qantas and Virgin Australia began darting from coast to coast on each airline's Airbus A330 jets, but there's about to be another outbreak of hostilities in the transcontinental turf war.
Virgin Australia is readying a dramatic upgrade to its Boeing 737s – the workhorse of its domestic fleet – to what Virgin CEO John Borghetti promises will be a "quantum leap in domestic business class."
Borghetti's move comes as Virgin begins to redirect its A330 fleet towards the airline's planned Asia push, beginning with the Melbourne to Hong Kong route.
More of the airline's smaller single-aisle Boeing 737s will be travelling domestic routes. Photo: Supplied
Disrupting the playing field
This will see more of the smaller single-aisle Boeing 737s – and their conventional business class recliners – shuttling cross-country between Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.
Given that Qantas runs the bulk of its east-west flights on A330s equipped with the impressive lie-flat Business Suite seats, shifting down to the Boeing 737s would put Virgin Australia at a severe disadvantage in attracting corporate flyers.
So Virgin Australia is once again playing the competitive disruptor, much as it did when it rebranded from Virgin Blue in May 2011 and launched international-grade business class on east-west flights.
That began a fierce dogfight which by late 2014 had seen both airlines upgrade the pointy end of their transcontinental Airbus A330 fleets to give Australia the best domestic business class seats in the world.
Hidden promises
Now the focus is turning to single-aisle Boeing 737s, for which Virgin expects to reveal an all-new business class before the year is out.
The move could see Virgin Australia create a dedicated transcontinental fleet similar to those operated by US airlines such as American Airlines, United and Delta.
Borghetti is keeping the details of the next-gen "Perth product" up his tailored sleeve, but tells High Flyer "everything we've done product-wise has not been half-baked, and we would not put a product on transcon that was not up to scratch."
Pundits are already speculating on what's in store, and wondering how you top the lie-flat bed and direct aisle access of Virgin's current A330 business class – and how you fit such long and wide seats into a narrow Boeing 737.
Is the bar set too high?
It also leads into an interesting question: when it comes to transcontinental business class, are Australian business travellers spoiled – do we have it too good?
Having raised the bar and flattened the bed, it's hard to image either Virgin Australia or Qantas daring to take a step back for transcontinental business class.
But while may sound like heresy, coming from a professional business traveller, do we really need seats which convert into long flat beds, on flights which last for just four-to-five hours?
Or would something akin to a regional business class – a deep recliner which is more like your favourite armchair at home, the one in which you can fitfully doze for a few hours – make more sense?
What would you like to see in the next generation of Boeing 737 business class? Is a lie-flat bed a 'must have' on east-west flights, or could you settle for something less?
See Also:
Still can't fall asleep on a flight?
How much is that frequent flyer ‘status’ really worth?
How to pay your way into any lounge .
www.executivestyle.com.au/how-virgin-au ... ass-gx92ts
Roderick Smith
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