Carlson Wagonlit Travel MD Australia and New Zealand Peter Brady, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation Summit, stated (09-Aug-2013) the transition of Virgin Australia from a low-cost carrier to a full-cost carrier and entering the corporate travel market has increased competition in the corporate domestic market. Mr Brady said Virgin Australia is "certainly very ambitious about their corporate travel targets, however this is providing healthy competition for the industry.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel: Transition of Virgin Australia facilitating competition in corporate travel
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Disruption hits Asian business and corporate travel as LCCs and mobile use become ubiquitous
Corporate travel disruption, evidenced by the spread of mobile apps and use of the sharing economy, is not only impacting on travel managers in the west but it is increasingly being felt in Asia.
A recent McKinsey report on Asian Business Travellers warns that corporate travel in the region is primed for disruption by the same forces as at play in the leisure market.
Asia has long lagged markets like Australia in the adoption of online booking, much to the chagrin of travel managers keen to implement technology as part of their travel policies. However it appears that this obstacle is being overcome, with digital booking channels now more popular than ‘traditional’ channels – such as calling the travel agent, or booking via a secretary.
McKinsey also reports that travel managers are bracing for a wave of demand for mobile booking for business travel – with Asia on the same path as more mature corporate travel markets.
Virgin Australia realigns its airline partnership priorities on new long haul strategy: Part 1
There have recently been important shifts in Virgin Australia's partnership relations, as Air New Zealand withdraws its ownership and the roles of Singapore Airlines and Etihad evolve with HNA becoming a substantial shareholder. As a consequence, Virgin is restructuring its long haul network for the first time in over two years. Individual changes are not significant, but they help tie up loose ends in Virgin's strategy. Virgin and its US JV partner Delta have been static since United and Qantas-American Airlines greatly altered the Australia-US market profile, a route which constitutes most of Virgin's long haul network.
Virgin struggled to find a use for what was essentially leftover aircraft capacity that it allocated to Sydney-Abu Dhabi as part of a JV with Etihad. With a limited fleet, North America beckoning, and Etihad seemingly losing some lustre since a Virgin-Singapore Airlines partnership, Virgin is having to cut Sydney-Abu Dhabi to free up capacity to relaunch Melbourne-Los Angeles.
Virgin will still commit to its Etihad partnership by adding three weekly Perth-Abu Dhabi flights on the A330-200, which will finally be moved out of the domestic market and deployed long haul. Since the end of the West Australian mining boom, these well equipped aircraft are no longer needed on transcontinental domestic service. Virgin's fleet of five 777-300ERs now will exclusively be used on Los Angeles.