We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

Christ Church...
Level Contributor
1,170 posts
16 reviews
Save Topic
Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

May I pose a question?

As BGI and others have pointed out, Virgin Atlantic has brought forward its change of aircraft from B747's to A330's which started the first week of May, on all days but Thursdays. Effectively it will reduce seating capacity on the Gatwick route by up to 189 seats each DAY (except Thursday) or nearly 40,000 by the end of December this year. This represents roughly one in four available seats from the London.

Costs of operating the B747's appear to be a major factor, but also it has been pointed out that this will increase the Upper Class seats from 14 to 36 each day for six days per week.

While Virgin Holidays have declined to issue actual numbers, they still are the largest British Tour Operator into Barbados and it would not be unreasonable to estimate that around 50 per cent of the 'lost' seats could be filled by them. This may result in a dramatic negative effect of our hotels with greatly reduced occupied room revenue.

No one can question that Virgin are taking care of business and have to operate at a profit, but has this really been thought through. Also so close after the BTA announced that they were going to spend 11 per cent of the annual budget on the Barbados Island Inclusive programme to drive an 'additional' 15,000 long stay visitors and that Virgin had previous had announced that the aircraft change would take place in October rather than May.

The purpose of this post is to garner your thoughts and observations, not to criticise any particular vested interest.

Sheffield, England
Level Contributor
5,359 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

An observation .... which I mentioned on another thread recently .... is that it seems (and I haven't done a thorough analysis I have to confess) that the prices are very high for early 2014. I know that is peak season in the Caribbean but even so the costs seem astronomical in economy (around £750 return or more). It seems as though Virgin are operating on the principle that economy seats are now fewer so we can charge more for this rarer commodity? No apparent reduction in Upper Class prices to compensate though!

It doesn't help encourage UK passengers to Barbados and it won't help Barbados tourism either obviously.

Lancz
Level Contributor
1,932 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

Why is the effect on Manchester flights....I assume there will be a move to Airbus on this route as well ?

3. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

TripAdvisor staff removed this post because it did not meet TripAdvisor's forum guideline limiting each user to a single forums screen name.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 25 June 2014, 12:41
Sheffield, England
Level Contributor
5,359 posts
29 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

Good question Blodwen. Virgin have been using Airbuses from MAN recently I believe. Of course, I looked as I always do (and still am!) for fares from MAN for 2014 since that makes geographic sense for us. The economy seat prices were comparable to the LGW ones date for date but no Upper Class seats are apparently available. At all over a 4 week period from MAN ..... maybe that means they will still have 747s which don't have many Upper Class seats?

Sudbury, Canada
Level Contributor
5,105 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

As Almatt has pointed out in another thread, the new prices at Virgin are equivalent to the prices Air Canada charges for flights from Toronto (basically the same as last winter). Americans pay about the same (maybe $20 to $30) less on flights out of New York/|Newark. Why the fuss over prices? I would consider yourselves lucky that you had lower pricing in the past even with that new expensive tax your government added on.

I do agree that with the reduction in the size of aircraft used by Virgin, Air Canada and American , and for some airlines the reduction in the number of flights, things do not look good for Barbados. IMO it's time for Barbados to step up and become more competitive for the ever shrinking traveller's dollar/pound/euro.

Surrey UK
Level Contributor
223 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

this is interesting - we fly in March every year with Virgin and out of the school holidays. My feedback on 2014 prices is quite positive.

(Price has nearly doubled vs 8 years ago..but most of that seems to be APD.)

The flights we have booked already for 2014 - had we paid full fare for economy, would have been about £30 each cheaper than we paid this year. But we were able to book miles + money which we normally get (not available this year 2013) and were are about £100 each less than 2013 taking us well below £600 each. I know we could beat this in a sale..but I like to book early...less thrifty though that is.

I'll be interested to see what variation in plane there is (fly on a friday) when the time comes

Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
17,225 posts
353 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

BlodwenLancz

Virgin has stated that for the time being, VS077/VS078 will remain a Boeing 747 service.

Regards

Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
17,225 posts
353 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

It is truly that fares will rise as a result of the reduced seats. BA is still considering increasing service to Barbados further this winter. Stay tuned.

Christ Church...
Level Contributor
1,170 posts
16 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

BGI,

But if BA increases this winter, that will still mean we are nearly 40,000 seats short until then.

Barbados
Destination Expert
for Barbados
Level Contributor
17,225 posts
353 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Virgin Atlantic's reduced capacity out of Gatwick

PeachandQuiet

Sadly, Virgin isn't really bothered. They are now pleased that they have managed to drastically slash their operational costs in Barbados particularly as it relates to fuel and landing/navigation charges.

BA can't just increase flights to Barbados haphazard as they have a fixed schedule. Any changes would have to occur at the beginning of the winter season which is Sunday October 27th, 2013.

Regards

Edited: 16 May 2013, 22:36