This week’s featured link(s):
Virgin Atlantic considers new low-cost Gatwick offshoot – Routes News
No new Virgin Atlantic sub-brand coming – Wandering 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).
Two for the road:
Start-Up Airline Idles on a California Runway, Stymied by Bureaucracy – The 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 geeks – CNN.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.