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Will VS Ever Fly The A380?  
User currently offlineBoeing77W From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 206 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7116 times:

As many of you will know VS have delayed the delivery of their A380s until 2013 as they want the aircraft to prove itself before they enter them into service. I was speaking to a Training Captain today who says he wouldn't be surprised if Virgin announced they were going to place an order for the 747-8 once it comes into service in 2010 instead of taking delivery of the six A380s a few years later. He says he has seen this type of thing in the past on several occassions, I was just wondering whether you guys think we'll ever seen the A380 flying the VS flag...

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 30877 posts, RR: 86
Reply 1, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 7079 times:
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I believe it depends on how their own traffic patterns evolve and whether the concentration of A380s on routes allows for expansion to meet demand or floods the market and pushes down yields.

I believe the chances are more favorable then less for VS taking delivery of their frames.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3393 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 6999 times:

I think its a toss up. The early order price right now has to be extremely cheap by current standards, yet my feeling is that they DON'T need them and as of yet haven't been sold on the current A380 meeting thier expectations.

Alot of years between now and then so it doesn't really matter where the order is now. It matters in late 2011 or so when they have to start making up thier mind.


User currently offlineAerofan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1517 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6959 times:

I don't se them flying them. I don't see the need for such a large craft on any of their routes

User currently offlineBongodog1964 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2006, 3548 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 6890 times:

They will definitely need at least one; its the only plane large enough to carry SRB's ego  biggrin 

Seriously though,

Quoting Aerofan (Reply 3):
I don't se them flying them. I don't see the need for such a large craft on any of their routes

Why not ? their LGW - MCO route at times has 3 x 747 daily all departing within 2 hours. Orlando is a big destination for VS as they fly from Manchester as well. With their Virgin holidays brand bringing in lots of passengers on these routes they would have no problem filling the seats.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3393 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6858 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 4):
Why not ? their LGW - MCO route at times has 3 x 747 daily all departing within 2 hours. Orlando is a big destination for VS as they fly from Manchester as well. With their Virgin holidays brand bringing in lots of passengers on these routes they would have no problem filling the seats.

So? doesn't mean that 2XA380 makes sense. Sane airlines don't buy airplanes for a small % of thier routes. Smart Airlines buy models of airplanes that can do the widest number of flights while still being useful on the limited routes. Now it may work out that the A380 makes sense, but even a couple of high density routes does not mean the A380 is the best for any given airline.


User currently offlineSolnabo From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 852 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6819 times:

I can see VS fly 388 with kingsize beds in Firsta class, don´t know the pax config. but I bet its gonna be more space for bars, relax areas etc. than in a 748I..

Well time will tell. What year is the first VS 787 to EIS?

Micke//  Smile



Airbus SAS - Love them both
User currently offlineBoeingFever777 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 409 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 6801 times:

Quoting Solnabo (Reply 6):
What year is the first VS 787 to EIS?

VS EIS for 787-9 is mid 2011.



Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre.
User currently offlineSkyyMaster From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 6769 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 4):
Why not ? their LGW - MCO route at times has 3 x 747 daily all departing within 2 hours. Orlando is a big destination for VS as they fly from Manchester as well. With their Virgin holidays brand bringing in lots of passengers on these routes they would have no problem filling the seats.

MCO is not a high yield market, even if they do fly 2-3 times per day. Unless VS gets ample slots at LHR and moves it's Orlando flights there, it's unlikely they'd put a 380 into LGW when it is Heathrow they covet. Considering their recent commitment to the 787, my guess is these orders will never come to fruition. Virgin seems headed towards frequency and smaller aircraft.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 9, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6687 times:

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 8):
Virgin seems headed towards frequency and smaller aircraft.

Virgin are not alone on this road. It seems worldwide airlines are headed toward increased frequency and smaller aircraft.

While past performance is not always a reliable indicator of the future, it often is. VS have now delayed their WhaleJet deliveries twice. When an airline, not in a financial crisis, delays an order indefinitely during a period of growth, that order nearly always becomes a cancellation.

Consider, hypothetically, that VS decided a few years ago that they would never take delivery of their WhaleJets. What would they do? Would they cancel the order or defer indefinitely? There would be very little reason for VS to cancel. That would be a bit of bad PR for VS, though worse for Airbus. Airbus would ensure that deferral would be financially preferable to cancellation.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3393 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6667 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 9):
There would be very little reason for VS to cancel. That would be a bit of bad PR for VS, though worse for Airbus. Airbus would ensure that deferral would be financially preferable to cancellation.

I'm sure that Airbus willingly handed back 100% of the deposits if they agreed not to cancel before the "yes/no" date when Airbus starts buying the actual parts for thier airframes. Both win, VS keeps what are likely very sweet terms as the eruo/dollar ratio swings wildly in thier favor, and Airbus doesn't get the "rats are leaving the ship" press that VS canceling would bring.


User currently offlineCOEI2007 From Vanuatu, joined Jan 2007, 1912 posts, RR: 5
Reply 11, posted (7 years 3 months 6 days ago) and read 6172 times:

I agree that VS is headed towards smaller aircraft (787) and frequency, but for some routes, the A380 is perfect!

What kind of configuration would they have on their A380's??????


If they dont go for A380's, they'll go for 748's!


User currently offlineB777A340Fan From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 773 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 5058 times:

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 5):
Sane airlines don't buy airplanes for a small % of thier routes

What do they use? flying cows? Big grin I can see an airline leasing their aircrafts for temporary routes or if they're still in the juvenile state, but I would imagine airlines would want to buy, instead of lease.

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 5):
that can do the widest number of flights while still being useful on the limited routes.

What do you mean by "widest number of flights"?

Quoting XT6Wagon (Reply 5):
Now it may work out that the A380 makes sense, but even a couple of high density routes does not mean the A380 is the best for any given airline.

Same thing could've been said for the 747 when it was first introduced, even today as a matter of fact.

I've always seen VS wanting to distinguish itself with the rest of the pack. I've always considered RB's views as "bigger and better"... and I do think that RB wants to see the A380 go through and wear the VS colours. So I don't think, contingent upon no further delays on Airbus's part, that VS will change from the A380 to the 748.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 13, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4758 times:

Quoting B777A340Fan (Reply 12):
Same thing could've been said for the 747 when it was first introduced, even today as a matter of fact.

No, most Jumbos were bought for their range, not for their capacity -- or even despite their capacity. Until the A340-500, no other practical airliner could match the range of a 747.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 968 posts, RR: 51
Reply 14, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4621 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 13):
Until the A340-500, no other practical airliner could match the range of a 747.

777-200ER?

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 9):

Consider, hypothetically, that VS decided a few years ago that they would never take delivery of their WhaleJets. What would they do? Would they cancel the order or defer indefinitely? There would be very little reason for VS to cancel. That would be a bit of bad PR for VS, though worse for Airbus. Airbus would ensure that deferral would be financially preferable to cancellation.

Not to mention cancellation would sour any negotiations if VS had a change of heart and decided they did want the A380, or another Airbus model. Even if VS concluded they have zero interest in the A380, deferring was the sensible business decision.


User currently offlineZvezda From Lithuania, joined Aug 2004, 10511 posts, RR: 64
Reply 15, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4539 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 14):
777-200ER?

We could say that's about a match.  Smile I've generally flown on relatively low thrust, low MTOW 777-200ERs, so I tend not to think of them as having 747-400 range, but some do. Anyway, the point still stands. According to Boeing, 60% of 747s were bought for their range, 30% for their capacity, and 10% for a combination of the two. Now that smaller airliners can beat the VLAs in range, I'd say the size of the VLA market is about 1/3 of what it was when they offered unrivaled range. When the 787-10 and A350-1000 beat the VLAs in CASM, the VLA market will all but disappear. I expect VS will replace all their Jumbos with 787s or A350s -- obviously not one-for-one.


User currently offlineCactusTECH From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4507 times:

I DO!!!! I think they will order the 747-8 but will still take delivery of 380

User currently offlineSketty222 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2006, 1778 posts, RR: 3
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4336 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 4):
Why not ? their LGW - MCO route at times has 3 x 747 daily all departing within 2 hours. Orlando is a big destination for VS as they fly from Manchester as well. With their Virgin holidays brand bringing in lots of passengers on these routes they would have no problem filling the seats.

VS may fly to MCO a couple of times a day from LGW and MAN but they dont make much profit on this route. The majority of passengers travelling to MCO are travelling in their economy and Premium Economy cabin and these are low yield seats. If VS start to operate the A380 on this route then they will need to start selling a ot of seats in their premium cabins. I know the A380 has a higher seat yield per pax than the 747 but IMHO they will not make a profit on this route selling only seats in economy.
VS Holidays will only be given a certain number of seats on each flight and they will sell these at a IT fares which are normally cheaper than published fares.
Personally i think VS will struggle to make a profit with the A380 out of LGW

Lee



There's flying and then there's flying
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 4272 times:

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 9):
It seems worldwide airlines are headed toward increased frequency and smaller aircraft.

No bigger aircraft existing to replace 747s might also have played a role.

Quoting Zvezda (Reply 13):
No, most Jumbos were bought for their range, not for their capacity



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 14):
Quoting Zvezda (Reply 13):
Until the A340-500, no other practical airliner could match the range of a 747.

777-200ER?

This might have been the case in the seventies / eighties. I think smaller aircraft like the MD11 (7240nm) / A340 (7450nm) had enough range to do 90% of all 744 routes during the last 17 years and did so with airlines like VS.




7000nm from LHR, Virgin´s homebase.


User currently offlineXT6Wagon From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 3393 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3706 times:

Quoting B777A340Fan (Reply 12):
What do you mean by "widest number of flights"?

If your Airline flys 200 routes, you would select aircraft that could effectively serve the greatest selection of those routes. Or in other words the widest range of conditions that your airline operates them under.

Quoting B777A340Fan (Reply 12):
Same thing could've been said for the 747 when it was first introduced, even today as a matter of fact.

The 747 was very good at putting ignorant Airlines under. Its simply been too large for far too much of its lifetime, but the lack of competition on range made airlines try to ignore this. So yes, there might have been a natural trend to see larger aircraft over time if the 747 never made the insane leap in capacity. So instead you see the opposite as the ones that embrace "right sizing" and "frequency" survive and thrive. The ones that don't are tending to end up dead. So instead of a slow growth in plane size as things get a bit larger each generation (737 evolution for example), you have a down trend as massive fleets of 737/A32x replace widebodies on domestic flights. Then you see 747's, DC-10's, etc get downsized to 767/A330/A340 even 757. Toyko the 747 capital of the world went from nearly 100% 747 ops to it only being a small %.

This is very much the danger the A380 brings to airlines today. Buy it in haste, repent in the unemployment line at your leasure. Its simply not going to be a good choice for many airlines. The 748 is far less risk than a A380, yet it too isn't right for most airlines.


User currently offlineBA787 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2006, 2596 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3613 times:

Quoting Aerofan (Reply 3):

:I

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 4):
Why not ? their LGW - MCO route at times has 3 x 747 daily all departing within 2 hours. Orlando is a big destination for VS as they fly from Manchester as well. With their Virgin holidays brand bringing in lots of passengers on these routes they would have no problem filling the seats.

What about LHR? I expect they are pretty profitable there too  Wink

Quoting Sketty222 (Reply 17):
Personally i think VS will struggle to make a profit with the A380 out of LGW

I doubt that will ever be a factor, as I wouldn't think any A380s will se LGW, well at least not from VS. If they put them anywhere they will put them aty LHR apart from maybe a few holiday routes in the peak season.


I can see the A380 on the LHR-JFK routes , possibly mening reduced frequencies.

Still think it would suit the BA route map better but we will see .

BA787


User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3593 times:

IMHO, Its just a matter of time before VS cancels the 380. SRB was singing and dancing when the 380 was introduced to us many years ago, now you dont hear diddly. He was going to put in all the facilities under the sun for passengers!. The fact that VS have deffered their deliveries for the aircraft speaks volumes to me. They are now looking towards smaller aircraft with more frequency...hence the 787 order. Time will tell.

User currently offlinePlanetime From Singapore, joined Mar 2006, 719 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3586 times:

Quoting BA787 (Reply 20):
I can see the A380 on the LHR-JFK routes , possibly mening reduced frequencies.

Yes you will see JFK on VS 380 routes.... at the same time not meaning reduced frequency. JFK is a route that thrives on frequency.... hence about 20 + flights a day to LHR from there on the average.


User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 2894 posts, RR: 25
Reply 23, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 3560 times:

Quoting UAL777UK (Reply 21):
Its just a matter of time before VS cancels the 380. SRB was singing and dancing when the 380 was introduced to us many years ago, now you dont hear diddly.

Absolutely untrue

A little research on previous, very recent VS threads on here would reveal his current position, made only 2 weeks ago:


On CNN Pipeline, SRB being interviewed at length by Richard Quest about the Virgin B787-9 deal, was asked a final question at the end:

Richard Quest: "Are you going to cancel your Super Jumbos, the A380?"

SRB: "Oh no, we are still going to take those in a few years time."

Richard Quest: "You are going to take them?"

SRB: "Yes"

Quite a definitive answer, not even a "we need to revue the market in the future" response, but a definite "Yes."

Can all this groundless supposition cease at least until something new emerges worthy of debate?

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineUAL777UK From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 3356 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 3520 times:

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 23):
On CNN Pipeline, SRB being interviewed at length by Richard Quest about the Virgin B787-9 deal, was asked a final question at the end:

Richard Quest: "Are you going to cancel your Super Jumbos, the A380?"

SRB: "Oh no, we are still going to take those in a few years time."

Richard Quest: "You are going to take them?"

SRB: "Yes"

Quite a definitive answer, not even a "we need to revue the market in the future" response, but a definite "Yes."

Can all this groundless supposition cease at least until something new emerges worthy of debate?

Shamu

That may be but this is coming from the guy that had plastered along the side of his aircraft.."4 engines for longhaul"....thats change, times change, as will I believe VS decision to keep the 380.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26909 posts, RR: 58
Reply 25, posted (7 years 3 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3441 times:

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 4):
They will definitely need at least one; its the only plane large enough to carry SRB's ego

HAHA too true!!

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 4):
Why not ? their LGW - MCO

Their MCO route would easily fill those 380's. I see them getting them as planned especially if it turns out to be a good A/C for SQ and EK. It might be that VS cant do without them. If Virgin America does well and then have codeshares with VS then to allow them to have a mini hub then a A380 to JFK or LAX then connecting to US domestic routes then who knows. VS product is very popular.


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