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Virgin Atlantic To Operate To Australia By DEC  
User currently offlineGulfair From Australia, joined Jul 2001, 78 posts, RR: 0
Posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5191 times:

Taken from the Herald Sun website http://www.heraldsun.news.com.au


Virgin Atlantic signals landing
By Maria Hawthorne
15jul03

VIRGIN Atlantic could be flying daily to Australia by Christmas, Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson said today.

Sir Richard said he would appoint a team to work on developing an Australian route and hoped to have the new service up and running by the end of the year.
And he said the inaugural flight could be on the Concorde if he wins his battle with British Airways over control of the ageing supersonic aircraft fleet, which is due to be retired this October.

Sir Richard was speaking after a meeting in London with Australian Tourism Minister Joe Hockey.

"The minister on his trip to England has been twisting our arms trying to get us to fly Virgin Atlantic to Australia as soon as possible," Sir Richard said.

"As a result, we're going to have a team of people working on it. Hopefully, if we can get everything sorted out, maybe by Christmas or early in the New Year we'll see Virgin Atlantic flying either to Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne, or even two or three of those cities.

"We'll get to work on it."

Sir Richard said the kangaroo route needed some competition to shake up British Airways and Qantas, which he said were operating a duopoly.

"They own shares in each other, you'll find that they have identical fares, and the price of tickets does affect tourism," he said.

"If we can get in there and offer a better-quality product with lower fares, hopefully more people will go to Australia and fly Virgin Blue."

Virgin Blue began flying in 2000 and has between 25 and 30 per cent of the Australian domestic market.

Sir Richard will discuss his plans with John Howard when the Australian Prime Minister visits London later this year.

Mr Hockey said the decision was a huge step forward for the Australian tourism industry.

"There's only two European airlines flying into Australia - Lauda Air and BA - so the more European airlines that we can get into Australia the better," Mr Hockey said.

Virgin Atlantic, Europe's second largest long-haul airline, has a fleet of 25 planes with another 15 on order.

It carries 4.1 million passengers a year to 22 destinations and is the 25th largest airline in the world.

Singapore Airlines owns 49 per cent of the airline, which was set up 18 years ago.

Sir Richard said Virgin was still working on prising the Concordes away from British Airlines, which has so far refused to sell the jets despite announcing plans to take them out of service.

He said the British-designed planes still had 25 years' flying life left in them and would be a fantastic flagship for Britain.

"We're doing everything we can to embarrass BA into handing them over to us," he said.

"If we succeed, almost definitely the inaugural flight (to Australia), if nothing else, will be on a Concorde."


I cant wait to see VS operating to MEL, SYD and BNE. It really would be a severe problem for QF and BA on the Kangaroo route to LHR, especially if VS can offer substantially lower fares. What do you think? Australia really needs another European airline represented on our soil.



40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7379 posts, RR: 13
Reply 1, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5135 times:
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Re the Concorde b*****ks...the megalomaniac strikes again! How many more times must he be told that CONCORDE WILL NOT FLY PAST OCTOBER despite BA originally wanting to keep it operating until April 2004!

Do not trust a word that man says!

David


User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5116 times:

Virgin Atlantic, Europe's second largest long-haul airline, has a fleet of 25 planes with another 15 on order

???????


He said the British-designed planes still had 25 years' flying life left in them and would be a fantastic flagship for Britain.

I would love to know where that figure came from.His 346s won't be around in 25 years!


User currently offlineIkarus From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 3524 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5057 times:

"If we succeed, almost definitely the inaugural flight (to Australia), if nothing else, will be on a Concorde."

which almost sounds as if it means they won't succeed in the first place...

Anyway.

Are there really no other European airlines flying to Australia? apart from the charters (European Airlines) I thought Lufthansa or Air France would fly there as well... or have the alliances gone that far already?


User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4454 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4998 times:

So, besides the Concorde which will more than likely be in a muesem at that point in time, what aircraft will they use? Everyone else on the Kangaroo route is using either the 747-400 or 777-200ER.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineBobrayner From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2003, 2227 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4987 times:

Virgin Atlantic is an extremely good operation, IMHO, if you set aside the bizarre press releases.
I'd love to see more competition between the UK and Australia.



Cunning linguist
User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 6, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4973 times:

I'd expect VS to operate either the 744 or A346 on the route.

The A346 is certainly the reasonable route opener for this one...

Depending on the delivery schedules, and how well the route works, VS might even be the first airline to operate the A380 on the Kangaroo Route. That would really displease QF.

N


User currently offlineEGPX From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2002, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4958 times:

Virgin to SYD sounds OK to me but I don't believe the BA/Qantas duopoly hype. All you have to do is look in the weekend papers to see good deals to Oz with a number of far eastern carriers such as SIA, MAS, All Nippon. I doubt the BA/Qantas fares would be as low as they are - they are the same now as they were in 1987 when I went with SIA - without this competition.



User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 21
Reply 8, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 4935 times:

Many passengers get off at Singapore,HK,BKK and stay for a few days now before continuing on.

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8114 posts, RR: 53
Reply 9, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4922 times:

Oh come on. London to Sydney probably has more airlines competing than any other long haul route in the world. Hmm, let me see.

BA
Qantas
Singapore Airlines
Thai
Malaysia
Emirates
Gulf Air
Air New Zealand
United
Japan Air Lines
All Nippon
South African Airways
Aerolineas Argentinas
Lauda

And the Concorde will not fly past October. Branson is a complete arsehole if he thinks otherwise - obviously someone at Airbus must have told him how hard it is to keep BA's single flight to NY going. Spares went out of production more than a quarter of a century ago. Idiot!



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8017 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4882 times:

My guess is that VS will fly the LHR to SYD route using the LHR-KUL-SYD routing. The likely plane to initially fly the route: A340-600. Eventually, I do see VS fly this route with the A380-800 with plane fitted out with a fairly large Upper Class and Economy Plus seating.

User currently offlineAirchabum From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 769 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4833 times:

I understand that Australia services will be operated as an extension of the current LHR-HKG route once 5th freedom rights can be obtained. I guess they'd be operated by 744 but I don't know where they'd come from as the fleet is flying balls out at the moment!


Biggidy biggidy bong
User currently offlineBmistaff From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4756 times:

Richard Branson is like a child who can't get his own way. He is such a sore loser when it comes to business. I can't believe he intends to sue BA for not selling Concorde, how can that really stand up in court. I say sell him Concorde and laugh when they brake down and he can't get them fixed!

If he was to fly to Australia he realy needs to rethink his service. VS doesn't even have a fully flat bed in upper class, BA have got them even in their club world. How he can charge upper class prices for a primitive style business service I'll never know.


User currently offlineEGPX From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2002, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4750 times:

I'm sure Air Atlanta could find a few more classics to compliment the VS fleet...

Oh, and Cedarjet, well done on coming up with all those LON-SYD carriers - certainly puts my poxy three to shame. I would never have come up with Aerolineas Argentinas in a million years.


User currently offlineBa319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8546 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4729 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Richard lost the plot long ago!


111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineShamrock_747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4707 times:

bmistaff,

Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class product is a business class, with business class fares. Virgin don't have a first class.

Does anyone know if the Upper Class cabin/seat relaunch ever happened? About a month ago people were saying it would be in the next week but I never heard anything about it - did I miss it!?!

Shamrock_747


User currently offlineBmistaff From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 20 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4698 times:

Shamrock_747: I did not know that, it shouldn't be called upper class then as it does imply a different name for first. THey definitely need one then, can't believe they don't have one!

User currently offlineGigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 84
Reply 17, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 4664 times:

A first class?

Plenty of airlines are converting from a F/J/Y to just J/Y... and on a lot their new J service is as good as their first was.

SQ for one is configuring their A345s, a very, very longhaul aircraft, with only J and Y.

N


User currently offlineAirchabum From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 769 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4592 times:

Bmistaff/Shamrock_747

Coincidentally, the revamped Upper Class cabin and new flatbed seat are due to be launched today (Wed). I've not seen it 'in the flesh' but from the video/pics it looks very impressive. Having tried both of the current products I have to say that BA's is definitely more comfortable but I'm sure the new VS seat will be superior if first impressions are anything to go by.



Biggidy biggidy bong
User currently offlineStevenUhl777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4570 times:

Cedarjet: You say that United competes between London and Sydney? Not direct....anyone originating on United at LHR wanting to go to Sydney can only go through SFO or LAX. Makes for a painfully long day...I would think that most people going to SYD from LHR travel via BKK or SIN, or KUL, not via the USA.



User currently offlineDonder10 From Canada, joined Oct 2001, 6660 posts, RR: 21
Reply 20, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4557 times:

Given the lack of biz/1st passengers to Aus,going via Socal would not surprise me.

User currently offlineMEA From Australia, joined Jan 2001, 631 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4480 times:

There isn't that much of a time difference between flying through Asia or the USA:

SYD - SIN (8.10) + SIN - LON (13.30) = 21.40
SYD - LAX (13.25) + LAX - LON (10.10) = 23.35

Times above are flight times only from SQ & AA websites.

I believe United ran a few advertising campaigns a while ago for flights to London via the US.


User currently offlineBestwestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 7152 posts, RR: 57
Reply 22, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 4346 times:


Has VS got UK CAA approval to operate this route?
Where has VS gotten fifth freedom rights to operate to Sydney from?
I understand that Hong Kong has told him to take a hike.
So, what to SQ think of this idea of stealing revenue from their Lon - SIN - Australian service?






The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8114 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 4266 times:

"You say that United competes between London and Sydney? Not direct...anyone originating on United at LHR wanting to go to Sydney can only go through SFO or LAX. Makes for a painfully long day...I would think that most people going to SYD from LHR travel via BKK or SIN, or KUL, not via the USA."

Oh come on. Of course United don't have same-plane service from Heathrow to Sydney. But why is changing plane so painful, when you have to stop (and get off) in Singapore or Bangkok on BA and Qantas, and what's more, one of the Qantas services schedules (but does not advertise) a four hour ground stop in SIN?

OK, if I have to spell it out:
BA - tech stop at BKK or SIN
Qantas - tech stop at BKK, LONG tech stop at SIN
Singapore Airlines - change at SIN
Thai - change at BKK
Malaysia - change at KUL
Emirates - change at DXB, tech stop at SIN
Gulf Air - change at BAH, tech stop at SIN
Air New Zealand - tech stop at LAX, change at Auckland
United - change at LAX
Japan Air Lines - change at NRT or KIX
All Nippon - change at NRT
South African Airways - change at JNB, tech stop at PER (possibly not anymore)
Aerolineas Argentinas - change at Buenos Aires, tech stop at Auckland.
Lauda - change at VIE, tech stop at KUL.

There. All of them take about 24 hours to do the trip and another 24 to recover from it. To say United is off the list cos it involves changing planes is illogical.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineDoorsToManual From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (11 years 2 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 4205 times:

I for one would love to see VS fly the route - who cares what Branson says, does it really matter?

25 CX747 : I guess that tapping into Air Atlanta's current fleet of 747-200s could free up a few 747-400s? What about the possibility of ordering 4-5 more 747s?
26 Hkg82 : Well Branson stated he wants the stop-over point to be Hong Kong & I hope all the parties involved work out a reciprocal agreement (unfortunately the
27 Mas777 : It would be interesting to see if Virgin does launch an LHR-KUL-SYD service since their code-share with Malaysian has been on the rocks for many years
28 ZK-NBT : Virgin already enjoys traffic rights between LHR, KUL and SYD so this would not be a difficult route to commence. I'm uncertain that VS would be eligi
29 Post contains images The Coachman : Cedar, you forgot CX! Also, SA don't fly here anymore, only to PER (IIRC) and QF fly JNB-SYD non-stop now. Branson's load of rubbish about there being
30 Bestwestern : This is all Virgin hot air... I'll pose my questions again... Has VS got UK CAA approval to operate this route? Have they even asked? Where has VS got
31 ZK-NBT : AR do fly to Australia still!!! They offer a service from LHR-MAD with an MD80 or something and then on to EZE-AKL-SYD so that's 3 stops with 2 aircra
32 Cedarjet : Cathay, the best airline on the route!! How could I forget? Koreanair and Air China is a little easier to forgive, but priding myself as an authority
33 DoorsToManual : Korean......not that you would fly with them...hehe If the price is right, many people would! That's exactly the airline I flew to SYD with in Decembe
34 Airchabum : Cedarjet I've got some friends who went down there on Asiana last year! And how about Royal Brunei? I know they go to PER but not sure about SYD.
35 Post contains images Mas777 : ...To operate your own aircraft on a route is different to code sharing with another airline Mas777... Thanks for pointing that one out to me ZK-NBT s
36 ZK-NBT : What are you trying to say Mas777? At this stage VS don't want LHR-KUL-SYD! Why, how and since when have they had the rights to do KUL-SYD? They proba
37 Post contains images Mas777 : Virgin have had traffic rights between Kuala Lumpur and Sydney and Melbourne since the early 1990s when the code-share with Malaysia Airlines began.
38 OdiE : Bestwestern: If I am not mistaken, Virgin have been given the green light from both the Australian and British CAA. Now they are just waiting for thei
39 Post contains links VS11 : To see the web site for the new Upper Class Suite visit http://www.upperclasssuite.com/index.php?flashdetect=yesflash&page=&media_code=&campaign_code=
40 Post contains links VirginFlyer : MAS777 - I am pretty sure you will find Virgin Atlantic do not have the right to offer capacity on the LHR-KUL-SYD route. They are simply using capaci
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