viva macau on the verge

Following in the fallen footsteps of Oasis Hong Kong (甘泉航空), the region may lose yet another budget carrier with the near collapse of Viva Macau (澳門非凡航空). The Civil Authority of Macau SAR (澳門民航局) has stopped Viva Macau from flying indefinitely until it can prove that its finances are sufficiently stable.

Ever since Viva Macau started flying to Sydney, I have known many people utilise this route as a cheap alternative to flying direct to Hong Kong. Even before this news broke yesterday, the Sydney-Macau route was to cease today with the last flight scheduled for March 28.

Since its inception in 2004, the airline has had to deal with a tough economic environment attributed to the global financial crisis. Viva Macau had received Macau SAR assistance to stay afloat before.

The airline’s latest financial woes came to light when flights were cancelled as a result of its inability to pay for petrol costs leaving hundreds stranded.

Apart from flying from Macau to (now axed) Sydney, Viva Macau also flies to Melbourne, Sapporo, Tokyo, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Jakarta.

As airlines go under, the questions start getting asked. Is the airline industry already sufficiently saturated? Could it be that they should have never started in the first place, or was it poor management during its operations?

For Sydneysiders flying to Hong Kong, the cheapest airline still appears to be Virgin Atlantic. Other airlines to choose from include Cathay Pacific and Qantas.

How about flying direct into Shenzhen or Guangzhou on a Chinese airline? If travel insurance could bring me back to life if my plane fell out of the sky, I might just consider it. Or have the standards improved greatly since?

Source: 星島日報: 非凡航空停飛680港客不受保

2 responses to “viva macau on the verge

  1. Having flown them back in December, I was never going to fly them again and I don’t think it’s any great loss if they do go under. Sure the flights were only A$630 return, but once you tacked on checked baggage fee, ferry cost, the extra time and hassle, a ~$1k direct flight from one of the full service carriers is a much more comfortable option.

    Don’t forget SIA too, if you don’t need a direct flight. They operate the A380 on the SIN-HK route too, and possibly the 777 (maybe 747) on the SYD-SIN route if I’m not wrong, all of which are quite nice aircraft. Plus you get the stopover in Singapore.

    I don’t have the same reservations about flying a Chinese airline as you; I’ve flown on plenty of internal mainland Chinese flights, and I’m still alive. But once again, the issue is the getting to HK from where ever you’ve flown to; Shenzhen’s close, but Guangzhou, not so. Of course, if you intend to spend a few days in the mainland anyway, then that’s a different story.

  2. I was lucky, I was flying from HCMC back to Macau yesterday and it looks like I just made it.

    It’s to bad, I used to know the original CEO and I wouldnt say its so much economic situation as it is market manipulation by Air Macau THE licensee of all commercial airspace around Macau. Air Macau has prevented them from getting a Singapore route that they have been fighting for since inception and AM doesn’t even use. They have also prevented them from growing on other potential profitable routes that they are not using.

    Don’t get me wrong the economic situation does have an impact, seeing as LVS laid off over 13000 people a year ago, a great deal of them were AU expats that used the route quite a bit so it does bite into them quite a bit however with the constant cockblocking by Air Macau how can you be expected to survive?

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