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Virgin Atlantic's Hong Kong Flights  
User currently offlineEnglandair From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2000, 2228 posts, RR: 3
Posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 2476 times:

Please correct me if i'm wrong but LHR-HKG is one of VS's busiest routes.
So why is the A340-300 used instead of the B747-400?
If I'm right, then do you think that when their new 747-400s are delivered, the Boeings will be used on the route?

Cheers,
Jamie.


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Photo © Jason Whitebird




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Photo © Darryl Morrison / Coast Aviation Research Group



26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 2399 times:

I believe that the reason LHR-HKG service is with the A340 and not the 747-400 is due to the lack of 747-400s in the fleet. There are more A340-300s (10) currently than 747-400s (6) and the 747-400s are need more on other routes. The LHR-LAX/SFO runs are 747-400 mainstays along with LHR-JFK and LHR-EWR. Basically there are not enough 747-400s right now. I would believe that once the 7 new 747-400s begin to join the fleet that LHR-HKG will change to the 744. CX and BA both operate the 744 on this route and it will allow VS to gain an equal foothold with the others in terms of capacity and speed.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineAFa340-300E From France, joined May 1999, 2084 posts, RR: 26
Reply 2, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 2358 times:

Hello,

Would you know when they started their flights please?

HKG has always been one of the most interesting route from LHR. And the CX and BA operations on the route are evidence of this.
IIRC this was one of the first routes launched by Branson, after his move from no-frill to a high-level service in the 1980s. And Virgin's philoshophy has always been the operations on the most profitable long-haul routes from London.

Did VS face any reluctancy for this route, like what's happening for South Africa and India please?

Thank you,

Best regards,
Alain Mengus


User currently offlineNickofatlanta From Australia, joined May 2000, 1485 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 2352 times:

Alain:

According to the Virgin Atlantic web-site at www.virgin-atlantic.com , they started their HKG in the same year as their SFO service - 1994. Click on our story then "Fantastic Voyage."


User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2324 times:

The LHR-HKG was not one of Virgin's first routes. Their first routes were LGW-EWR and LGW-BOS. NRT, JFK, MIA, MCO, LAX and SFO followed.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineAirnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2542 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2317 times:

Just to add, VS all flights are normally full. They are a premium Airline and everyone wants to fly them!!

Cheers
mikey
Haere Ra (From New Zealand)
      AirNZ: The worlds warmest welcome!!     


User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2313 times:

Along with expecting the 747-400 to take over on the LHR-HKG run, I believe that some of them are earmarked for expansion to Australia. So, it takes 2 747-400s to operate the LHR-HKG run a day and I believe 3 747s for the possible LHR-SYD route. That leaves you with 2 747-400s left to play with. Maybe switching the Johannessburg or Cape Town run over to 744? I wonder how the route to Shanghai does?


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineHkgspotter1 From Hong Kong, joined Nov 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 2303 times:

Virgin only started flying to HKG when they received their first A340-300. I was at Kai Tak when the first flight arrived (late!!).

As for 747-400's they have been saying for years they will switch to 747-400's. One thing you have to remember is Virgin have poor quality seats in economy and the seat pitch is very small. May be this is why people want to fly CX and BA over VS.

At one time BA said they would change one of their two HKG flights to a 777. This never happened.



User currently offlineRyaneverest From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2269 times:

Virgin's first flight into Hong Kong is on G-VSEA landing on runway 13 at Kai Tak. I think that the pilot lacks experience, the plane hit ground hard and the main gear made sparks on contact with the runway.

Airliners.net has got the photo that has this scene. Haven't got time to search it through though.


User currently offlineBAVL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2259 times:

Cathay changed one of its HKG LHR flights to an A340 for a short period of time. I guess they might have been experiencing a decline in passenger numbers. But recently, it seems that their flights are very full. I couldn't get on the earlier flight I wanted, and had to be booked on the later flight.

User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2232 times:

From what I have heard, it also takes Virgin alot longer to fly the route when compared against the 744s of BA and CX.


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 11, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2222 times:

Yes it does take longer to fly on Virgin than on BA or Cathay Pacific to London Heathrow or vice versa.

The main reason why the 744's make it to hong kong before the A340 is that the a340 is slower and if im correct, uses a different route.

trev



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineNorthwest747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2221 times:

Thay should do the 747's because i like them. Thats y they should.

User currently offlineRAI From Canada, joined Feb 2008, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2221 times:

Supposedly, they started this route with An A340 because they didn't have any extra 744's available. Why they waited this long to order some new ones is beyond me.

User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 14, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 2216 times:

I still have the first advert and the news paper article when Virgin Atlantic was going to fly to hong kong in a plane NEVER seen in hong kong before... The Airbus A340.
I was quite impressed when i flew them on that april that year, never experiencing airtravel as near to their service!!!



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineCX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4453 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2217 times:

It will be interesting to see if VS switches to the 744 when the 7 new ones start arriving. Possibly in the future, the 747-400, A340-600 or A3XX could serve on the route!


"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower
User currently offlineBAVL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2209 times:

I'm not sure if the 340s are slower. But I don't think Airbus would be so silly as to make their planes slower than their main rivals. However, I'm quite sure that at least in the beginning, Virgin did not have the right to fly over Russia, and so had to take a longer route. I think this has changed now. Can anyone confirm this and also the cruising speed of the 340s?

User currently offlineGKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24913 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2196 times:

I can confirm that the A340s are slower than the 747. By how much, I don't know.


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineVirginFlyer From New Zealand, joined Sep 2000, 4537 posts, RR: 41
Reply 18, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2194 times:

From memory, most large commercial aircraft, including the A340, cruise at around Mach 0.8. The 747, with its swept wing, is an exception to this standard, travelling at about 0.85, maybe even slightly faster.


"So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth." - Bahá'u'lláh
User currently offlineHkgspotter1 From Hong Kong, joined Nov 2005, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2187 times:

Virgins first flight to HKG landed on RWY 13 on the night of the 22nd of February 1994. The aircraft was G-VBUS, not G-VSEA. G-VSEA was not delivered to VS until July 1997.

User currently offlineAirbus A3XX From Australia, joined May 1999, 507 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2186 times:

The VS plane on fire in Kai Tak:

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Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Rajesh Changela



User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2182 times:

The NAME of the A340 that landed in hong kong on that inaugural flight was "The Lady in Red".
It was also said on the headlines in the adver "On Feb 22 The Lady in Red makes her inaugural flight from Hong Kong to London"

Trev



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlinePacific From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1051 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2166 times:

The book "The World's Major Passenger Airlines" put down the cruise speed at M 0.82 for the 340 and Boeing says the speed of the 747 is 0.85. This alone can't make more than 1/2 hours difference in journey time unless it flies a different route.

Pacific


User currently offlineAirbus_A340 From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2000, 1560 posts, RR: 20
Reply 23, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2149 times:

Ok ill tell you something
My brother I and my dad flew back from england to hong kong but there wernt enough seats on Virgin, so we booked my brother on cathay.
Our flight on virgin a340 took off 10 minutes before the cathay 747-400 and when we arrived in hong kong the cathya had landed 1 and a half hours earlier

the cathay had obviously taken a different route!

regards
trevor
this is all the truth



People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
User currently offlineB-HOP From Hong Kong, joined Nov 2000, 623 posts, RR: 1
Reply 24, posted (13 years 7 months 2 weeks 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 2147 times:

According to a captain when I aboard VS to HK, they are slower because 340 is slower, they fly mach 0.8 instead of 0.87 in 744, so that is why. I rather see 346 in 2002.



Live life to max!!!
25 Airbus_A340 : Yeah i would love to see the A340-600!!!!!
26 RayChuang : With VS getting more seven more 744's in 2001 and the arrival of the A346 in 2002, we may see VS phase out the A343 on the LHR-HKG route and switch to
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