Olympics no ‘bonanza’ for Virgin Atlantic


Virgin Atlantic is not expecting a huge increase in travel demand as a result of the London Olympics, with the airlines chief commercial officer Julie Southern saying demand will be “net neutral”.

According to the airline the European recession will keep the Brits at home and therefore the airline predicts a moderate six percent increase in passenger growth on the Australia-UK route compared to its ten percent increase the previous year, the Brisbane Times reported.

Ms Southern said despite the games bringing in an increased number of visitors to London the event will lead to a decrease in the number of Brits travelling abroad.

“It is not a curse but it is not a bonanza either,” Ms Southern said.

Ms Southern added that the carrier has not yet seen an influx of Australian keen to travel to London for the games.

Additionally as a result of intense competition from Middle Eastern and Chinese Airlines plus the rising price of fuel Airlines including Qantas are struggling on the Europe route.

”It is tougher flying internationally, which is what we are seeing with BA and Qantas,” Ms Southern said.

While Australia’s strong dollar coupled with cheap flights encourages Aussies to travel abroad Ms Southern said it was ”more of a challenge” to entice the Brits to travel to Australia because the conversion rate made Australia an expensive country to visit.

Ms Southern said she was optimistic a code share agreement with Virgin Australia on flights between Australia and Hong Kong would increase demand.

Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.P
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