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Virgin Looking Hard For 747-400s!  
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4466 posts, RR: 5
Posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 15962 times:

In several aviation magazines, it has been stated that Virgin is looking for additional 747-400s, but Boeing is pricing them to high. In one mag, it said that Virgin wants to operate the 747-400 to Sydney starting in 2006. Does anyone have any information? Shouldn't they be able to pick up 2nd hand 744s? How many arethey looking for?


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
86 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineOzvirginuk From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 396 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 15784 times:

At this point we have a number of A340-600 on order, with another delivery having just taken place. Also, the A380 is due in 2008. It has been talked about that this may operate the LHR-HKG-SYD route, it has also been mentioned that it may receive an upgrade to 744 earlier than this, but as far as I know, no 744 on order.

Oz


User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5950 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 15556 times:
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I don't think a standard 744 can make the trip from LHR to SYD. Does anyone know if the 744ER can make the distance?

User currently offlineJacobin777 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 14968 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 15526 times:

Didn't SRB mention that VS will be eventually phasing out the 747's within the next 10 years, why look for them then?


"Up the Irons!"
User currently offlineMidnightMike From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2892 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15510 times:

CX747

There should be some 2nd hand 747-400's in the desert, but, for the LHR-SYD route, maybe that can install AUX tanks? As for brand new 747 aircrafts, I find that very surprising.



NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5950 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15504 times:
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I guess it would a temporary fix considering that many airports cannot handle the A380 weight and it would take several years to be compliant. Didn't Virgin mention a delay in deliveries of the A380 last year?

User currently offlineAirgeek12 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15424 times:

Yea I heard that too, but VS wouldn't give in because Boeing wouldn't give them a discount or something like that. I don't know why they would be looking for anymore planes if they're going to start phasing out their 744s in 5 years anyways. I guess they had a change in mind! :p

geek


User currently offlineA340600 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 4106 posts, RR: 51
Reply 7, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15393 times:

I thought VS were planning to make LHR an all bus base by 2010/2012, LGW and MAN with the 747's?

Sam



Despite the name I am a Boeing man through and through!
User currently offlineDeltaWings From Switzerland, joined Aug 2004, 1294 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15358 times:

Why dont they just use the A346 on that route? They are basicly the same size and neither one of them could make it to SYD nonstop anyway?


~DeltaWings



Homer: Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26795 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15350 times:

Quoting Wedgetail737 (reply 2):
I don't think a standard 744 can make the trip from LHR to SYD. Does anyone know if the 744ER can make the distance?


No airplane currently in production can make that route bothways non-stop with a decent load. A 744 did do LHR-SYD non-stop when they first EIS, but you would have to be empty to do it the other way. Even the 772LR cannot do bothways.

VS flies the route LHR-HKG-SYD and has been having good loads on it. Hence they want an upgrade but are short aircraft. The problem with used 744s is that the few on the market are mostly PW powered and the VS fleet is GE



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8588 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15341 times:
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From memory, most if not all the 744's stored have P&W engines, VS machines have GE, I doubt they would want a few 'oddball' aircraft.


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 offlineFlyCaledonian From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2003, 2104 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 15242 times:

Remember VS has extended its existing LHR-HKG service to SYD. While it has upgraded from an A340-300 to the A340-600, VS is obviously confident it can fill a bigger aircraft on the LHR-HKG-SYD route. VS can't simply add another frequency to SYD as it isn't allowed, nor is adding a second LHR-HKG service totally viable as that requires additional aircraft, crews and slots - the latter hardly in easy supply at LHR. Using the 747-400 on the SYD service enables VS to increase capacity, but to maintain a daily service it needs THREE aircraft. Taking three 747-400s off other routes is an option, but then VS uses them where it does because it needs them, hence why it could be wanting additional aircraft.


Let's Go British Caledonian!
User currently offlineCrosswind From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 2602 posts, RR: 58
Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 14802 times:
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I certainly haven't heard anything about this in the UK aviation press, and while I'd believe Virgin were looking to source used GE-powered B747s, I have a hard time believing the airline is seriously looking to obtain new build aircraft.

As a type that is most likely about to go out of production, the B747-400 passenger version, buying a new example wouldn't seem to make a worthwhile investment for the airline unless they were being offered at firesale prices. With more A340-600s due for delivery soon to potentially release B747s, and the A380 just a couple of years away, it just doesn't seem worthwhile.

Equally improbable is Boeing not moving on price for a model that is fully paid-up after 15+ years of production and a dwindling order backlog.

In any case I was under the impression that while LHR-HKG loads remain buoyant, the HKG-SYD loads (both local traffic and through to/from London) haven't been great so far.

Regards
CROSSWIND


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26795 posts, RR: 75
Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 14784 times:

Quoting Crosswind (reply 12):
With more A340-600s due for delivery soon to potentially release B747s


The main problem there is that they would still have to drop capacity somewhere to do that.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 5217 posts, RR: 5
Reply 14, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 14645 times:

The perfect solution is for VS to take over the ILFC lease on three of ANZ's -GE powered 400's that will have been upgraded , at least in part, to VS's interior standard. This would leave them with four 400's to do the AKL/LAX/LHR and allow them to start acquiring -300ER's earlier than scheduled.
I have no idea how the numbers would crunch ; also not sure if ANZ would want to introduce two new types that close together.
....(with tongue in cheek )


User currently offlineSunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 5217 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 14633 times:

The perfect solution is for VS to take over the ILFC lease on three of ANZ's -GE powered 400's that will have been upgraded , at least in part, to VS's interior standard. This would leave them with four 400's to do the AKL/LAX/LHR and allow them to start acquiring -300ER's earlier than scheduled.
I have no idea how the numbers would crunch ; also not sure if ANZ would want to introduce two new types that close together.
....(with tongue in cheek )


User currently offlinePilotJMartin From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 14562 times:

Air Canada has one parked in the desert with GE engines, C-GMWW, B747-475

User currently offlineNavion From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1015 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 14544 times:

If I were Boeing I certainly wouldn't give Virgin a discount of any size on a new 747. Virgin has been very heavily Airbus the past few years and discounts are only warranted for good customers who are loyal or are buying more than a few aircraft. Virgin is neither of these. One 747 isn't going to make or break Boeing so they sure as hell better get paid full price if Virgin wants one. What's the worst that can happen, Virgin stops being a Boeing customer? They already have basically left the Boeing fold years ago. Tough for you Virgin, you can't have it both ways.

User currently offlineMariner From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 25690 posts, RR: 85
Reply 18, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 14512 times:
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Navion:

Quoting Navion (reply 17):
Tough for you Virgin, you can't have it both ways.


Nor can Boeing have it both ways. The arrogance you suggest is the reason so many customers have fled Boeing and gone to Airbus - especially the smaller airlines.

Boeing makes great aircraft, but perhaps an attitude adjustment might help with the sales.

cheers

mariner



aeternum nauta
User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 14505 times:

There is also the ACMI lease on the 742 which isn't going to last forever. That takes another 744 or A346 to replace.

VS needs the aircraft quickly so forget any arrangement with NZ. They are also not averse to mixed fleets and have used 747s with all three engine manufacturers represented at the same time, so a Pratt option isn't totally out of the question. Nor would be some deal with the VS partner SQ if they have some coming available, although SQ fleet planning appears to be settled for a while.

The biggest hurdle to a 744PW would be maintenance. Their overhauler KL tends to do work with GE and RR engines rather than PW.


User currently offlineIMatAMS From Netherlands, joined Feb 2005, 317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 14110 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (reply 19):
Their overhauler KL tends to do work with GE and RR engines rather than PW.


Do they even do RR engines?...I thought KL MX was a GE specialised facility, with ties to GE.

On a side note, off topic: Shouldn't VS do some rebranding....Virgin Atlantic Airways doesn't really cover the content anymore..

IM


User currently offlineGuyBetsy1 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 840 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13720 times:

Hmm. VS wants 744s. SQ is giving up its 744s.

SQ owns 49% of VS.

Something isn't right.


User currently offlineJmc757 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2000, 1301 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13566 times:

Whitehatter, the 742 ACMi lease is ending at the end of April. As of 1st May Virgin will have a LGW 744 up at Manchester. This will rotate from time to time to allow for maintenance at LGW.

User currently offlineOzair From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 881 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 13411 times:

Quoting N1120A (reply 9):
VS flies the route LHR-HKG-SYD and has been having good loads on it.


Loads are only good on the established LHR-HKG route, the HKG-SYD is running very light but since we are talking about 2 years in the future hopefully loads will lift by then to allow an upgrade.


User currently offlineLrgt From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 711 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (9 years 9 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 12673 times:

This sounds like Virgin is needs more big planes than Airbus can produce. Too bad Airbus cannot make some more -600's on the quick....this is sort of a temporary a/c shortage, which is typically quickly solved but not this time. They would normally talk to their good friends in Iceland for a great solution with a wet-lease. Too bad, AirAtlanta's operational overhead is maxed out and have nothing available for Virgin and are unwilling to expand. This is unusual but TRUE!



Quoting Ozvirginuk (reply 1):
At this point we have a number of A340-600 on order, with another delivery having just taken place. Also, the A380 is due in 2008. It has been talked about that this may operate the LHR-HKG-SYD route, it has also been mentioned that it may receive an upgrade to 744 earlier than this, but as far as I know, no 744 on order.


Ok...technically that is a DOWNGRADE! The 744 has same # of seats in all 3 classes but slightly less range and less cargo capacity.


Quoting DeltaWings (reply 8):
Why dont they just use the A346 on that route? They are basicly the same size and neither one of them could make it to SYD nonstop anyway?


EXACTLY. But I think the problem is they do not have enough -600's and the 80's won't be in for a while.

Quoting N1120A (reply 9):
VS flies the route LHR-HKG-SYD and has been having good loads on it. Hence they want an upgrade but are short aircraft.


AGAIN, NOT AN UPGRADE!


Quoting FlyCaledonian (reply 11):
upgraded from an A340-300 to the A340-600, VS is obviously confident it can fill a bigger aircraft on the LHR-HKG-SYD route. VS can't simply add another frequency to SYD as it isn't allowed, nor is adding a second LHR-HKG service totally viable as that requires additional aircraft, crews and slots - the latter hardly in easy supply at LHR. Using the 747-400 on the SYD service enables VS to increase capacity


AGAIN, NOT AN INCREASE IN CAPACITY!



Quoting N1120A (reply 13):
The main problem there is that they would still have to drop capacity somewhere to do that.


AGAIN, NOT AN INCREASE IN CAPACITY!


Quoting Mariner (reply 18):

Nor can Boeing have it both ways. The arrogance you suggest is the reason so many customers have fled Boeing and gone to Airbus - especially the smaller airlines.

Boeing makes great aircraft, but perhaps an attitude adjustment might help with the sales.


Well Said! Very True




Don't bring up the NW DC9's unless you have to!
25 Bill142 : Both can make it with a stop. Neither can make it non stop.
26 N1120A : They are also one of the more recent takers for pax versions of the 744 SQ flies with the wrong engine. They fly PW, while VS runs GE power. Same rea
27 Post contains images Lockheed1011 : Today I saw a VS 744 landing in LAS and let me tell you, that Bird is beautiful! Nothing like a 747-400, is classic, huge, impressive, elegant, etc...
28 Post contains images VSMike : Cute post. But horribly unfactual. Look for the gradual replacement and phase-out of VS's 744 fleet. In true European manner, VS aims to be an all-Air
29 Post contains links GlobeTrekker : KLM E&M does have ties with GE, but are capable of performing maintenance on every engine type, including RR and PW. Here is the complete list of the
30 Aerokiwi : Hmmm, I don't think NZ is too keen to just give up its ILFC leases just yet. They haven't ordered the 773 yet so the 744s are going to be around for a
31 SunriseValley : I did not suggest that ANZ turn over the $20m. upgrades without being paid for them. Also, I believe that there would be -300ER slots in the producti
32 Behramjee : SQ owns 49% of VS and will be replacing its B 744s with B 773ERs asap as they get delivered. Due 2 this relationship between the 2 it would be best fo
33 N1120A : Again, the engine incompatibility would basically preclude this.
34 Post contains images N751PR : I had that awful feeling that this would come up...
35 UAMAYBACH1239 : Nor can Boeing have it both ways. The arrogance you suggest is the reason so many customers have fled Boeing and gone to Airbus - especially the small
36 Lrgt : Comparing the capacity of a high-density aircraft (LGW 744) to a low-density aircraft (LHR A346) is comparing apples to oranges. You SHOULD compare t
37 N1120A : Again, the LHR 747s also carry significantly more passengers.
38 Lightsaber : It does look like Virgin is trying to pick up some quick long haul capacity. I too doubt they'll take an P&W aircraft unless GE sells the engines and
39 Lrgt : A346: 45J/28W/235Y=308 Total B744: 44J/24W/244Y=312 Total Unless we are talking about Cessnas, NO the 744 does not seat significantly more. I would h
40 N1120A : >B744: 44J/24W/244Y=312
41 Gigneil : Virgin's coach seats are the same width in the 744 and the 346, and the pitch is 32" already. The 747-400 has a LARGE amount more floor space than an
42 Mariner : But they are not loyal to their "good" customers. They may be loyal to their BIG customers. There are several examples of good, loyal Boeing customer
43 AAFLT1871 : Are you saying the 744 has less cargo capacity than the A346? If that is true, I had never heard of that before. As for the seats, you are dead wrong
44 Doug_or : ummmmmmm did Spirit ever order a new Boeing? Am I missing something? Did they ever even operate an airplane with a 7 in its name? Were any of Frontier
45 M27 : "But they are not loyal to their "good" customers" Perhaps they aren't so "good" of a customer if the only thing they are looking for is the lowest pr
46 Post contains images Leezyjet : "A346: 45J/28W/235Y=308 Total B744: 44J/24W/244Y=312 Total" "Um, that 744 number is not correct. They are 44J/32W/300Y which comes out to 376, not 312
47 Pelican : Indeed you're missing somthing. U2 has 33 737-700s (according to airfleets.net) but opted for the A319 while many 737-700s were still on order. I wou
48 PlaneSmart : Doug_or 'ummmmmmm did Spirit ever order a new Boeing? Am I missing something? Did they ever even operate an airplane with a 7 in its name? Were any of
49 PlaneSmart : If VS has asked B for a 744 firesale price, it will be with the knowledge of the SQ board. B should not under-estimate the current and future value of
50 Cornish : Lousy for Boeing that easyJet went and ordered something like 120 aircraft from airbus...... ....or that Boeing 737 operator Air Berlin ordered 70 ai
51 Bennett123 : There have been several suggestions that Boeing have been playing hardball. If SRB launches Virgin USA, then that could become an issue.
52 N1120A : I actually counted them off a seating chart, so I missed the 10 in doing that. Still, my point was made
53 Post contains images Leezyjet : The A346 can carry almost as much in the fwd hold (1 pallet less) as the B744 can carry in total. I don't have the exact figures to hand at the momen
54 M27 : Loyalty is a two way street. Boeing is in business just like the airlines are. It appears that some have forgotten that. They only look at the airline
55 VS045 : VS don't want temporary planes. What would be the point? Major interior re-fit, lasting almost two months! Pay millions to fit v:port, UCS, WASH PE an
56 Mariner : M27: You have to be kidding me? You think Michael O'Leary of Ryanair didn't get a rock bottom price from Boeing? He says he did, but it is so low he w
57 Mariner : M27: In the case of Frontier that is simply not true. What happened is a matter of punlic record. Frontier went to Boeing for their fleet replacement
58 M27 : But some airlines are not worth it!
59 A340Driver : The A340-600 carries a lot more freight than the -400 and that is why Virgin like the aeroplane, especially on high yield far east freight routes. Wit
60 Mariner : M27: Um - and I thought you said Boeing is in "business". So it would seem odd for Boeing to make value calls such as you have. Either Boeing is in bu
61 Bennett123 : IMO, Boeing (and Airbus) need to fight for every order. To say, " you are an Airbus customer" or "you are a Boeing customer" and that we do not want y
62 M27 : Mariner: As I understand, you have a Frontier Airbus named after you, and I congratulate you for that and certaintly don't blame you for taking the si
63 M27 : That's it exactly! They want to make money and they have to make a "value call" on the risks and reward. Again, I apologise for my part in hijacking
64 Mariner : M27: I'm not so sure the thread has been hijacked. It is about Virgin's relationship with Boeing, and why Boeing - we are told - won't give them a dis
65 Doug_Or : Sorry for the late reply, but airlines that happen to have had an old Boeing fleet are not loyal Boeing customers. Airlines that have a bunch of MD-80
66 PlaneSmart : Doug i'm not saying an operator of old Boeing aircraft is a good Boeing customer. I am saying they have the potential to be good Boeing customers. Air
67 Doug_Or : Planesmart: I was responding to Mariner's posts. As I said, its not the Boeing shouldn't go after these customers (they should), just that charecteriz
68 Mariner : Doug: Um - I never said they were "loyal" customers. I said they were "good" customers. Which they were. In fact or potentially. Any customer is - pot
69 Doug_Or : "There are several examples of good, loyal Boeing customers who went to them for a deal and got a big kiss off - take it or leave it - from Boeing. Ea
70 Mariner : That's the point - they ceased being loyal once they got the kiss-off. cheers mariner
71 Philsquares : In some instances, it has more to do with financing. In the case of Spirit, the issue was financing the purchase. Airbus has more flexibility with fun
72 CX747 : FYI, the Virgin information that I was talking about was mentioned in 2 different aviation magazines. Both articles dealt with the recent SYD flights.
73 PlaneSmart : CX747, you are right on the money. Every 744 ordered now is one less 747ADV order. Both VS and CX are really looking for used 744's or new 744's at se
74 Jetlagged : If you've flown on a Virgin A340-300 you'll know why a 744 is always preferable. The A340 cabin layout is awful, with few points to cross between aisl
75 Post contains images Cheekie747girl : On their A340-300 VS have 2 toilets 'midway' in the economy cabin (adjacent to the overwing exit doors) as well as 3 at the rear of the aircraft. The
76 CX747 : Planesmart: I believe that within the next few months the 747Adv will either be launched or shelved. Supposedly CX is preparing for a launch order. I
77 PlaneSmart : The last 747ADV update was in December 2004. Airlines that are interested fall in 3 groups: 1. A passenger 747ADV incorporating 787 technology includi
78 CX747 : I'm not sure, but it seems to me that the 747Adv is going to be launched by CX. There is a post on the forum about it. It would be choice #2.
79 Starrion : Ok, with everyone looking so "hard" for 744's, why are there 21 -400's sitting in the desert? Cactuswings still shows a bunch of ex -UA, -SQ and other
80 UnitedStarGold : True - and the real expense coming not from actual physical rebranding costs (paint, signage, etc.) but the potential loss of brand identity.
81 Atco2b : Whose job is it to devise Registrations for VS aircraft? There must only be a limited amount of results now for G-V___ as most 3 letter words (that me
82 NA : Starrion, you can subtract some of the UA-planes from your list. They´re going to fly for Corsair. FYI, 188 and 189 are already in the works and not
83 United Airline : Perhaps VS should order the B 747 Advanced. If Boeing starts to take things more seriously and make the B 747 Advanced a very advanced bird, I am sure
84 DAYflyer : Boeing will happy to build a few for them. The line is very quiet right now with only 30 some odd left to build.
85 BestWestern : Virgins problem is that the success of the LHR HKG route is affecting the SYD route. What is needed is a second daily to HKG from London, or to switch
86 Jetlagged : I'd forgotten about those mid-section cupboards, but you can't cross between aisles there as you can on the 744. I agree, premium economy downstairs
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