Any new airline that emerges from the shattered wreckage of Virgin Australia will need to adopt a completely opposite business strategy to survive and thrive, an aviation expert believes.
“And that’s why it needs to be called Slut Air or Trollop Transways or something similar,” retired captain W. E. Johns told The Bug. “Virgin always sounded so precious and untouchable, don’t you think? Just a little bit up itself in the 21st Century?
“And its marketing slogan has got to be something like ‘Cheap Routes ‘R’ Us’ or ‘Lowest Route Prices Always’.”
Johns believes that Virgin’s woes – it’s commonly accepted now that it was an economic basketcase before COVID-19 struck – began when the airline targeted Qantas as its chief competitor rather than Qantas budget offshoot Jetstar.
“It might have made sense at the time but Qantas simply underwrote Jetstar’s cheaper fares and all that strategy achieved in the end was to put Virgin into an economic nosedive.
“Whoever grabs all of Virgin Australia’s planes needs to ditch not just that damaged brand name but all the unnecessary yet costly little extras Virgin introduced over time because it wanted to play with the big boys – you know, free biscuits and coffee, a free alcoholic drink and meals on some flights, seats, lavatories, co-pilots, cabin crew, those sorts of things.
“The reincarnation of Virgin has to be standing-only passenger services with straps to hold onto. The chances of any injuries from unexpected turbulence should be negligible if passengers are crammed in tight enough.
“And cabin crew can be made almost redundant if there are no reclined seats or unfolded table trays to check. Remove all the windows and they’ve got no drawn window blinds to chide passengers over. The safety demo largely becomes irrelevant if passengers have nothing to brace themselves against.
“No toilets to check either. With such low fares, surely passengers would be prepared to wear extra-strength Kimbies on those long-haul sectors.
“Basically, the new airline has got to return so pared back to the basics that they’ll make Ryan Air in Europe look like a luxury carrier.”
Captain (ret.) Johns said the new company would still need to commit to servicing not just tourism hotspots and the lucrative major cities routes but happily do all the shitty regional places that no-one normally could afford to go to like Broken Hill or want to go to like Gladstone, Wollongong and Horsham.