3 Links I Love: A Lower Cost Virgin Atlantic (or Not), California Pacific’s Lack of Progress, AvGeeks to North Korea

Links I Love, Virgin Atlantic

This week’s featured link(s):
Virgin Atlantic considers new low-cost Gatwick offshootRoutes News
No new Virgin Atlantic sub-brand comingWandering Aramean
How do you counter a money-losing low cost carrier that seems hell-bent on growing like crazy? (That’s you, Norwegian.) Apparently you have to slash your costs if you’re Virgin Atlantic. Or maybe not. Because that’s always worked in the past.

If I understand the first report right, Virgin Atlantic would take some old A330-300s from Delta, fly them under the Virgin brand from Gatwick, but have a denser configuration with cheaper labor. Clearly Virgin Atlantic labor would fight this tooth and nail. I can imagine Delta’s pilots would be up in arms about the idea of some of the airline’s A330s being shipped out to a lower cost operation as well. So that’s why Virgin Atlantic apparently shot this down completely in the second link.

It’s obviously too early to really understand what this would be if it were to actually happen (since denials are never permanent), but I’m immediately skeptical. I’m all for denser lower-cost configurations like the Air France or Air Canada leisure 777s, but I don’t like to see additional cost savings being achieved through organizational trickery. That being said, Delta is not stupid. There has to be more than meets the eye here if it’s actually to occur.

Today is Delta’s media day. I’m in Vegas for something else so unfortunately couldn’t attend. But maybe we’ll hear some more fireworks from the day (outside of the aircraft orders that everyone has been talking about already, and I’ll be covering on Monday).

Links I Love

Two for the road:
Start-Up Airline Idles on a California Runway, Stymied by BureaucracyThe New York Times
Ever wonder what happened to California Pacific, the little guy trying to get up and running in Carlsbad, CA? Nothing. Nothing at all.

Belarus to North Korea: Ultimate tour for aviation geeksCNN.com
I’ll admit that I thought about this after several people sent me the details a few months ago. But I quickly decided not to do it. Outside of the larger political concern about having my money in any way support the murderous North Korean regime, I just couldn’t justify the time and expense to make this happen. But I know some of you have to be going. I want to hear all about it.

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7 comments on “3 Links I Love: A Lower Cost Virgin Atlantic (or Not), California Pacific’s Lack of Progress, AvGeeks to North Korea

  1. According to the link, you can do the Belarus portion of the tour and not the North Korean part. Would solve the problem of money going to North Korea.

  2. Nice write up by the author of the NY Times. I was surprised to see that Mr. Vallas was still actively trying to get CP Air off the ground. Seldom have I written letters to government agencies but I did to the FAA regarding CP Air. The situation really makes me wonder if there are operational issues that keep them from getting a license or if there are people are being paid off and by who to keep them from taking off. I say give them a chance and let them succeed or fail on their own merits. I, for one, would have taken many more trips had they been flying by now.

  3. I’d have nearly as much concern about my money going into Belarus. But beyond abstract political concerns, North Korea offers the risk that you might get detained and essentially held for ransom. It’s a time for a lot of posturing there, with a party congress and possibly another nuclear test coming up. Best to stay away if you are a US citizen.

  4. As a North County resident who lives about 10-15 minutes from CLD: CLD gets a lot of general aviation traffic. There are private jets going in and out all the time. Although I have not been inside, I just don’t see infrastructure for commercial service. Where would I park? across the street at Lowe’s? Also, as many of you know, these small local carriers tend not to make it, especially trying to base itself at a growing but small encatchment area. I can get to SAN in 45 minutes without traffic, and to SNA in 75 minutes, both of which provide more options. Now, if Alaska/VA want to grow here… but SAN barely has service on Alaska as is. I generally better options for traveling north/south at SNA than at SAN. No, I don’t see a good business case anyway. Sure, it would be nice to have something nearby since I don’t live along the flight path; but I don’t see it ever happening.

    1. There is a parking lot at CLD. The airport used to have United Express service to LAX, and a few years ago opened a nice new small terminal building to replace the portable buildings that served as a passenger terminal. There’s also a restaurant and Avis and Hertz have locations there.

  5. Let the man have his airline, stop giving him the run around he’s 95. It would be interesting to see how well they would do, they could become a niche carrier if the feds ever decide to let him fly..

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