Is Virgin America a case of too much purple, and not enough people, inside its fashionable but loss making jets?
A US report by Bloomberg that Virgin America has pushed back on its order for the A320NEO or new engine option jet from 2016 to 2020 will no doubt undermine traveller confidence in the carrier surviving in even the shorter term.
Virgin America has also reduced a tranche of 30 new but current versions of the A320 during for delivery in the nearer future to only 10 jets in the interim, and for the airline’s CEO David Cush to use the word ‘survive’ in an interview is a matter of commendable candor but also laden with ominous overtones.
What happens to Virgin America has no real bearing on the fortunes of Virgin Australia, which has linked itself primarily to the America’s and the world’s largest airline in Delta in a wide ranging trans Pacific-America-and-beyond joint venture.
In the past when asked whether there were any brand dilution issues for the Virgin Delta relationship in the marketing linkages between Virgin Australia and Virgin America both Richard Branson and Virgin Australia’s CEO, John Borghetti, have seen this is a plus, giving Virgin Australia customers more choice in the USA.
The choice, between the stylish quality image of Virgin America, and the massively large and pervasive offerings of Delta throughout America, has now been put under a cloud.