That is definitely an indication of the occasions…
Virgin Atlantic gained’t return to Hong Kong
Understandably many airways have suspended service to Hong Kong through the pandemic, on account of Hong Kong’s quarantine requirement. This has significantly restricted passenger demand to town, whereas additionally making logistics sophisticated for crews. Issues are slowly trying up for Hong Kong, because the quarantine requirement shall be ending quickly, even when issues shall be nowhere close to how they had been pre-pandemic.
Sadly that doesn’t imply all airways shall be returning to Hong Kong, although. Virgin Atlantic has introduced that it now not plans to renew Hong Kong flights, after serving town for nearly 30 years. Virgin Atlantic had an workplace in Hong Kong, which shall be closing. Till 2017, Virgin Atlantic even had a Clubhouse at Hong Kong Airport. This route closure will result in 46 job losses, together with workplace employees and cabin crew.
Right here’s how Virgin Atlantic describes this resolution in a press release:
“After cautious consideration we’ve taken the troublesome resolution to droop our London Heathrow – Hong Kong providers and shut our Hong Kong workplace, after nearly 30 years of proudly serving this Asian hub metropolis. We’re continuously reviewing the efficiency of our community and as a part of our long run technique of being sustainably worthwhile.”
Virgin Atlantic claims that the Hong Kong route was already changing into much less worthwhile pre-pandemic, with fewer connecting vacationers. Virgin Australia used to supply connecting service from Hong Kong to Melbourne and Sydney, however Virgin Atlantic has minimize lengthy haul flights, lowering the variety of connecting vacationers.
Not solely is the airline anticipating for it to take a while for demand to Hong Kong to extend, however the Russian airspace closure additionally implies that the route would take as much as two further hours to function in every path.
This looks as if a logical route minimize
Virgin Atlantic reducing Hong Kong service makes excellent sense, and albeit I’m stunned this resolution wasn’t made earlier on within the pandemic:
- Virgin Atlantic’s power is within the North Atlantic market, on condition that Delta has a 49% possession stake in Virgin Atlantic, and the airline is a part of a three way partnership with Air France-KLM and Delta
- Virgin Atlantic is greatest off specializing in transatlantic flights, plus routes to the East that individuals would join off of from North America (like Africa, India, Pakistan, and many others.)
- The London to Hong Kong route had just about no connecting site visitors on both finish for Virgin Atlantic, since most individuals aren’t flying from North America to Hong Kong through London, and Virgin Atlantic didn’t have vital companions in Hong Kong
- Virgin Atlantic was at a large drawback in comparison with British Airways and Cathay Pacific (the 2 different airways working the route), as they each had connectivity on each ends
- Virgin Atlantic solely has a fleet of some dozen planes, so the airline very a lot has to prioritize which locations are value serving, as progress potential may be very restricted
Virgin Atlantic shall be terminating Hong Kong flights after roughly 30 years. The airline says the route has seen declining profitability even pre-pandemic, and the presently diminished demand mixed with Russian airspace closure means the route is now not viable.
Even taking the Russian airspace closure out of the equation, it looks as if the writing was on the wall for this, as these planes can extra profitably be utilized in different markets.
What do you make of Virgin Atlantic pulling out of Hong Kong?