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Virgin Atlantic Launches 3 Year Upper Class Focus  
User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4849 times:

Just read this on the BBC News website: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4848486.stm

Quote:
Virgin Atlantic is launching a three-year drive to lure more business passengers onto its flights.
Sir Richard Branson's airline wants to increase the number of executives travelling on the carrier by at least 10% over the next year.

Additionally, Virgin has pledged to improve services for its premium economy and economy passengers.

The revamp includes improving check-in desks at Heathrow and extra facilities for business travellers



Quote:
"With our focus on pioneering products and service quality, as well as new routes for business travellers, we are confident that Virgin Atlantic will deliver another strong, and profitable performance over the next three years," said chief executive Steve Ridgway.
Nice to see Virgin Atlantic always pioneering! For those of you who don't recognise that phrase, it is from a new Virgin Atlantic advert here in Britain. It is fantastic and features the Wright brothers. Basically in the advert the Wright Brothers are inspecting their aircraft in North Carolina when they are approached by a British man. He tells the brothers of a world in which planes have beds, bars, entertainment and passengers have chauffeur driven cars. The brothers are amazed and are keen on what the guy has just told them. However the British guy looks at their aircraft and says 'you're going to need a bigger plan!'. Typical VS marketing at its best.

Good news from Virgin. I remember seeing the new premium economy seats on v-flyer and they look wonderful. VS have also just introduced a brand new menu for passengers as on board catering has been receiving alot of criticism. Also, VS have just opened the extension to the Upper Class Club House at Heathrow. The pictures are on v-flyer.com and my it looks wonderful!

Incidentally VS start LHR-DXB today so expect to see Richard Branson dressed as a Sheikh or something like that parading through the streets of Dubai!

[Edited 2006-03-27 10:04:07]

[Edited 2006-03-27 10:04:34]

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Reply 1, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4809 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 1):
And the point of this thread is? Just more hype from the Virgin stables.

To inform (those who are interested) of news from Virgin Atlantic.

I would not class myself as one of those people who supports VS no matter what and will always bash the competition. I am just very impressed with all the innovations VS is coming up with, as I applaud BA for Club World and its innovations.


User currently offlineAirWales From UK - Wales, joined Oct 2004, 453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4781 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 1):

Maybe because it is good interesting new that interests some of us. If you havent got anything decent or constructive to say then keep away from the keyboard.


User currently offlineTmatt95 From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2005, 489 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 4781 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
Virgin Atlantic is launching a three-year drive to lure more business passengers onto its flights.
Sir Richard Branson's airline wants to increase the number of executives travelling on the carrier by at least 10% over the next year.

It will be interesting to see the adverts that are used, as Virgin adverts are very good. Do you think that it is possible for them to achieve the target, or is the competition in the market too much?

Quoting BCAL (Reply 1):
And the point of this thread is?

To discuss the 3 year upper class focus that Virgin Atlantic have launched....

Matt


User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4660 times:

Guess why there doing that Smile

Cause BA, the first airline to introduce fully lie flat beds, is again upgrading there J product, as well as greatly improving IFE on all the long haul flts.

Cant wait to see the new seats, i know some members have, and a few people in my office have as well, but they cant say what its like Sad


User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4660 times:

For those of you interested pictures of VS' new extension to its Heathrow Clubhouse can be viewed here:

http://www.v-flyer.com/forum/flyer_gallery.asp

Pictures of the new premium economy seat as part of the improvements reported on the BBC can also be found there.


User currently offlineBA380 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4630 times:

I hate to be pedantic (ok, I love it), but there is NO detail about what they will be doing in this three year focus....

what activities will they be undertaking? the LHR lounge is finished, the fleet has pretty much got UCS installed - and I presume they are not upgrading that yet, so what are they actually going to do?



cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4630 times:

Quoting Tmatt95 (Reply 4):
Do you think that it is possible for them to achieve the target, or is the competition in the market too much?

Over 3 years a 10% growth in business travellers. I would have thought they could acheive that if they did nothing ... They may be shooting too low.


User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4610 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 8):
Over 3 years a 10% growth in business travellers. I would have thought they could acheive that if they did nothing ... They may be shooting too low.

VS want to see 10% growth in business travellers over the next year. For the remaining two years after that they have not specified - maybe they are aiming for 10% year on year increase. 30% over three years maybe slightly high?


User currently offlineANother From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4603 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 9):
over the next year.

oops - should have read more carefully. 10% over 12M is more challenging - but they may have to start thinking about feed from Europe if they are going to achieve that. Some markets, like Geneva, have no connections other than BA and they aren't going to help out.


User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4585 times:

Quoting ANother (Reply 10):
oops - should have read more carefully.

No worries  Wink

Quoting ANother (Reply 10):
but they may have to start thinking about feed from Europe if they are going to achieve that. Some markets, like Geneva, have no connections other than BA and they aren't going to help out.

The only way I see VS serving the European market is either by swallowing BD (and I really wish a deal could be done there) or hundreds of slots becoming available at LHR.
But at this present both are very unlikely, so growth in business class passengers will have to come from current routes. VS will soon be offering six daily flights to NYC so that may attract business travellers looking for frequent flights to and from London. BOM has only recently gone daily so we can expect VS pushing to get those flights full. As for the other routes, I'm not too sure what VS are planning to attract more business class passengers.


User currently offlineWAH64D From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 966 posts, RR: 13
Reply 11, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4554 times:

VS Upper Class is an outstanding product. Limo or "LimoBike" picks you up from your house/place of work within the London/Home Counties area and drops you off when you return. I flew to BGI (Barbados) from LGW a few years back and it was the best flight I've ever had. They also have the biggest fully flat bed of any Airline in business class.

source= http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/gb...rd/upperclass/seatandbed/index.jsp

I think VS taking over BD would be the best thing for both airlines.



I AM the No-spotalotacus.
User currently offlineBA380 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 12, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 4531 times:

I find it very interesting that VS has substantially less J product available that BA -- on many 744s (not all, b4 I get flamed) BA have 14 F and 70 J - 84 total, whereas VS have 44 J (I think).


cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
User currently offlineZoheb From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2005, 184 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4420 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
expect to see Richard Branson dressed as a Sheikh or something like that parading through the streets of Dubai!

He's got the beard for it.


User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 4382 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Thread starter):
Incidentally VS start LHR-DXB today so expect to see Richard Branson dressed as a Sheikh or something like that parading through the streets of Dubai!

Oh for sure there will be some grand publicity stunt although in this neck of the woods one hopes he will not go for the girl in a miniscule bikini waving a virgin flag being what normally happens, somehow I think the locals might not be best pleased.

On a slightly separate issue VS needs to have a good look at their seat and legroom in Y. Having flown LHR-HKG with them, the seat and the cramped conditions convinced me never to fly VS again...hellish! hissyfit 


User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4146 times:

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 14):
On a slightly separate issue VS needs to have a good look at their seat and legroom in Y. Having flown LHR-HKG with them, the seat and the cramped conditions convinced me never to fly VS again...hellish!

You must have been flying on one their earlier A346s - while the majority of seats have 31" some of their seats have 29" seat pitch....ouch! All new A346 coming into the fleet are going to reconfigured slightly with all seats in Y having 31". Their current A346 fleet will be gradually changed too, with completion this October.
*G-VWIN "Lucky Lady" is the first A346 with the new changes, which include:
-Premium Economy cabin increase from 28 to 38 seats
-Economy Class reduction from 233 to 225 and all with the brand new seats VS are introducing. As mentioned all seats will have 31"!

* Source V-Flyer.com

Incidentally, VS' first service to DXB tonight is VS400 (VS' first flight no. starting with 4) operated by a A346. Here's hoping for the passengers sake that they're on a new A346 otherwise... ouch!

[Edited 2006-03-27 20:15:04]

User currently offlineRichard28 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 1610 posts, RR: 6
Reply 16, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4067 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 15):
Incidentally, VS' first service to DXB tonight is VS400 (VS' first flight no. starting with 4) operated by a A346. Here's hoping for the passengers sake that they're on a new A346 otherwise... ouch!

Which is being operated by G-VWIN no less (i.e. the one with the new config!)


User currently offlineTrekster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (8 years 4 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 4041 times:

Quoting BA380 (Reply 12):
I find it very interesting that VS has substantially less J product available that BA -- on many 744s (not all, b4 I get flamed) BA have 14 F and 70 J - 84 total, whereas VS have 44 J (I think).

There is also some configs with about 38 club seats as well on the 747's in the fleet. Sometimes there on the LAX/SFO routes


User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3823 times:

Quoting Concorde001 (Reply 10):

The only way I see VS serving the European market is either by swallowing BD (and I really wish a deal could be done there)

How much would that cost them, and where would the money come from?

In an article on Yahoo by Howard Wheeldon, he thinks VS bought the wrong aircraft. Operating 20 A346's, with 13 on order and 6 A380's entering service in 2008, he says the A346 is very expensive to operate, and that VS will need that 10% increase per year in premium traffic just to stand still!

cheers


User currently offlineBA380 From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 1466 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 3736 times:

Quoting Trekster (Reply 17):
Quoting BA380 (Reply 12):
I find it very interesting that VS has substantially less J product available that BA -- on many 744s (not all, b4 I get flamed) BA have 14 F and 70 J - 84 total, whereas VS have 44 J (I think).

There is also some configs with about 38 club seats as well on the 747's in the fleet. Sometimes there on the LAX/SFO routes

But they still have 52 premium seats rather than 44.... even on the low config...



cabin crew: doors to automatic and cross-check...
User currently offlineCrewrest From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2001, 93 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (8 years 4 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3574 times:

Quoting BA380 (Reply 19):
he says the A346 is very expensive to operate, and that VS will need that 10% increase per year in premium traffic just to stand still!

Yes, but we don't know how much Virgin paid for the A346, you can bet it was substantially cheaper than the B773.


User currently offlineConcorde001 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 1230 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3351 times:

VS have released a press statement regarding its new three year business plan

Quote:
Virgin Atlantic, Britain's second largest airline, today unveiled a new three-year growth plan aimed at capturing greater business market share, with products tailored towards premium passengers at the heart of the strategy. The airline is targeting an increase of at least 10% in the number of business travellers over the next year.

A combination of new and extended business routes - such as London-Dubai and a sixth daily service between London and New York - as well as offering the award-winning Upper Class Suite on all routes, will enable Virgin Atlantic to offer the best business service in the air. The Upper Class Suite features the longest fully-flat bed in any business class.

On the ground, Virgin Atlantic is also extending its facilities for business passengers. The new London Heathrow Clubhouse features the ultimate pre-travel experience, including jacuzzi and spa treatments, pool table and roof garden. There will also be an increased focus on DIY check-in online or at the airport, making the Virgin experience as seamless as possible.

The three-year growth plan, aimed at further boosting operating margins and building continuing profitability, also includes exciting changes for travellers using Premium Economy and Economy. Trials are already underway for new seating in both classes, with a continuing emphasis on space and comfort.

Virgin Atlantic also intends to expand its leisure operations, with new routes to Dubai and Montego Bay, Jamaica being launched during 2006. Working further with the travel trade, Virgin Holidays will be increasing its sales footprint, with more destinations on offer than ever before.

The next three years will also see major changes for Virgin Atlantic passengers at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3. Plans are underway to significantly speed up the check-in and boarding process, continuing Virgin’s pioneering approach to providing the best travel experience, whether on the ground or in the air. Working with BAA, Virgin Atlantic will unveil further details on its plans later this year.

Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, said:

"With a private member’s club on the ground and a private suite in the air, we're delivering exactly what our passengers have been asking for - a seamless service with the privacy they need. With our focus on pioneering products and service quality, as well as new routes for business travellers, we are confident that Virgin Atlantic will deliver another strong, and profitable, performance over the next three years. We have no doubt that we will become the airline of choice for the long-haul business traveller during that period.

"Our highly successful leisure business, through Virgin Holidays, will continue to grow as well, further underpinning the strength of the Group as we drive to increase margins in a world of $60 per barrel fuel.



Full press release available here: http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/gb...e/pressreleases/news/pr280306b.jsp

Quite vague I think in - it does say that further detail of major changes in T3 and new economy and premium economy seats will be announced later, so II guess it's sit tight and wait!


User currently offlineLee From United Kingdom, joined May 2005, 148 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (8 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3336 times:

Just seen the new Clubhouse pictures and all i can saw is WOW, its amazing, puts the Red carpet club at LHR to shame.

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