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VX, Lots Of Aircraft For Only A Few Routes  
User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7296 times:

Virgin Atlantic presently has 28 aorcraft in its fleet, 18 A-320's and 10 A-319's, a total of 28.

I'm suprised that they have this many aircraft when they fly only 10 routes, the frequencies listed below.

Trans - cons:

3 x SFO - JFK
3 x SFO - IAD
5 x LAX - JFK
3 x LAX - IAD
2 x LAS - JFK

West Coast:

2 x SFO - SEA
7 x SFO - LAX
4 x SFO - LAS
4 x SFO - SAN
3 x LAX - SEA

Now, I'll readily admit that I know basically next to nothing when it comes to flight scheduling but nevertheless it seems like they have maybe a few too many aircraft for the amount of routes and frequencies they have. Are some of these 28 aircraft newly arrived and sitting on the ground until the BOS and SNA routes start ? I also saw that a charter operator out of Pittsburgh uses VX aircraft on flights down to Florida and the Carribean, maybe this explains where some of the extra aircraft go to ?

[Edited 2009-02-26 17:56:19]

22 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineW3ndytj4n From Indonesia, joined Feb 2006, 259 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7267 times:

One thing I noticed from the schedule is that most of the flights are quite a long flights with high frequency. Such as LAX - JFK, LAX - IAD, SFO - JFK. That might be the reason for that many aircrafts in their fleet.

W3ndy



Wendy Tjan
User currently offlineBigGSFO From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 2951 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7267 times:

Two or three aircraft are dedicated for charter flying - DirectAir. Two aircraft are also rejoining the fleet this year that were on lease.

You should also add:
SFOBOS 2x
LAXBOS 3x

And effective April:

SFOSNA 5x

Even so I think their utilization is around 11 hours a day, which is indeed low. I am sure others more in the know can add to this.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21588 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7267 times:

Trans Cons: 13 or so needed.
West Coast: 8 or so needed.

Though, it depends on departure times, it could be more like 15 and 9. Add to that mx work and that they do charters, and I think they are using all 28.

Edited for the added routes listed:

[Edited 2009-02-26 18:06:55]


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7214 times:

I think charters explain it, but on a side note, can one aircraft fly two roundtrip trans-cons in a 24 hour period ? I assume it would be possible, does anyone do this ? As for VX, it definitely looks like they're only using 1 aircraft for each daily rountrip trans-con.

User currently offlineJlbmedia From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 623 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 7214 times:
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Quoting Thestooges (Thread starter):
Virgin Atlantic presently has 28 aorcraft in its fleet, 18 A-320's and 10 A-319's, a total of 28.

OK, I'm confused. I thought Virgin Atlantic only did long haul, but the listed aircraft are all short to medium haul. What am I missing?



JLB54061
User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21588 posts, RR: 59
Reply 6, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7161 times:



Quoting Thestooges (Reply 4):
can one aircraft fly two roundtrip trans-cons in a 24 hour period ? I assume it would be possible, does anyone do this

No. At least not full transcons. Maybe IAD-LAS or PHX, or LAX-ATL, for example.

But for most transcons, block time alone adds up to 24 hours, and that doesn't account for turns.

Here's how a plane could do it on LAX-ATL...

LAX-ATL red-eye 23:00-06:20
ATL-LAX early morning 07:30-09:30
LAX-ATL late morning 10:30-18:00
ATL-LAX early evening 19:00-21:30



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26169 posts, RR: 50
Reply 7, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7116 times:

I'm not sure where you got your frequencies. VX is quite a bit busier then you indicate.

Quoting Thestooges (Thread starter):
2 x SFO - SEA

Should be 4x

Quoting Thestooges (Thread starter):
3 x LAX - SEA

Should be 4x

Quoting Thestooges (Thread starter):
4 x SFO - LAS

Should be 5x

Quoting Thestooges (Thread starter):
3 x SFO - JFK

Should be 4x

Quoting Thestooges (Thread starter):
4 x SFO - SAN

Should be 5x



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineQF108 From New Zealand, joined Oct 2005, 336 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7109 times:



Quoting Jlbmedia (Reply 5):
OK, I'm confused. I thought Virgin Atlantic only did long haul, but the listed aircraft are all short to medium haul. What am I missing?

Its a Virgin typo, the OP is asking about Virgin America



Blessed are the Cheesemakers !
User currently offlineWAC From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7088 times:

I think people are talking of Virgin AMERICA (VX) rather than Virgin Atlantic (VS). Very important to distinguish.
The reason I think they have low utlitisation is due to the fact they can't interchange them on short haul flights on the east coast like AA CO, i.e, LAX-JFK-JFK-IAD/ORD-JFK. Also they need schedule their flights around their slots at JFK, as well as logical timings. It is very well doing two trans-con but if you don't have the slots at the right times or they are at awkward/bizarre times there is no point flying it. VX needs a short-haul network but this would not fit their model, as they are concentrating on the west coast and trans-con routes.


User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6810 times:



Quoting Jlbmedia (Reply 5):
OK, I'm confused. I thought Virgin Atlantic only did long haul, but the listed aircraft are all short to medium haul. What am I missing?

WHOOPS !!! My bad !!! Even though I wrote Virgin Atlantic I definitely meant to put Virgin America !!! Although I did use VX for the call sign which is correct, however I'm suprised no one picked up on that typo earlier.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 7):
I'm not sure where you got your frequencies. VX is quite a bit busier then you indicate.

There was someting wrong with the Virgin America website when I was checking so I used Sidestep/ Kayak instead and obviously it didnt provide me with very accurate information.

Most of the corrections that you gave were just for one extra frequency on some of the West coast routes with the exception of the the extra SFO-JFK which would probably require almost a whole aircraft to itself. In total I'd say your corrections add enough frequencies to probably account for 2 more aircraft.


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21588 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 6789 times:



Quoting Thestooges (Reply 10):
In total I'd say your corrections add enough frequencies to probably account for 2 more aircraft.

That's what I figured, too.



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineAviators99 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6661 times:

Only two of the planes are on "wet lease". The rest are in regular use.

Quoting Thestooges (Reply 10):
Most of the corrections that you gave were just for one extra frequency on some of the West coast routes with the exception of the the extra SFO-JFK which would probably require almost a whole aircraft to itself. In total I'd say your corrections add enough frequencies to probably account for 2 more aircraft.

Don't forget the other corrections with the SFO-BOS and LAX-BOS flights (which started a few weeks ago). I believe lkamerica's posting accounts for those, and brings his potential total to 24. I'm not sure how many additional aircraft will be needed for SFO-SNA (if any). Also, the wet leases (which some are calling charters here) are two aircraft, one 319 and one 320.


User currently offlineThestooges From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 6610 times:



Quoting Aviators99 (Reply 12):
Don't forget the other corrections with the SFO-BOS and LAX-BOS flights (which started a few weeks ago).

On the Virgin America website, the BOS routes are in grey for "coming soon", so I didn't even bother looking at the schedules. They need to update their route map !!! BigGSFO did give these corrections but I saw that the start date for SNA was April and assumed it was for the BOS flights as well.

Well now this makes a lot more sense !!!

Trans - cons:

4 x SFO - JFK
3 x SFO - IAD
2 x SFO - BOS
5 x LAX - JFK
3 x LAX - IAD
3 x LAX - BOS
2 x LAS - JFK

West Coast:

4 x SFO - SEA
7 x SFO - LAX
5 x SFO - LAS
5 x SFO - SAN
4 x LAX - SEA


User currently offlineAdam42185 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 416 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 5208 times:

This makes me wonder -- what is a typical ratio in terms of number of aircraft in the airlines fleet to the number of routes flown by that airline. how many planes per route is normal? what do other airlines do? is there an easy way to find this information?

User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21588 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 5071 times:



Quoting WAC (Reply 9):
I think people are talking of Virgin AMERICA (VX) rather than Virgin Atlantic (VS). Very important to distinguish.

Gee, it's so easy to confuse the two, it's almost as if SRB wanted this confusion to take place, to make this "domestic" airline seem like a part of his foreign airline to the casual observer. Nah, couldn't be...  Wink



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineStar_world From Ireland, joined Jun 2001, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4979 times:



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 15):
Gee, it's so easy to confuse the two, it's almost as if SRB wanted this confusion to take place, to make this "domestic" airline seem like a part of his foreign airline to the casual observer. Nah, couldn't be... Wink

Gives people time to get used to the idea before the US regulations enter the 20th century and foreign ownership is allowed  Wink


User currently offlineSANFan From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 5604 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (5 years 10 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 4738 times:



Quoting Thestooges (Reply 4):
Can one aircraft fly two roundtrip trans-cons in a 24 hour period? ... As for VX, it definitely looks like they're only using 1 aircraft for each daily rountrip trans-con.

Just to add to Ikramerica' reply (#6), for a full (real!) trans-con, about the most you can get out of 1 a/c is 1 1/2 r/t in a day: if you start on the w/c at 8am, you can fly a w/b return in the early evening, and then a red-eye e/b again, arriving on the e/c in time to turn to an early morning w/b.

For most cx, and the majority of the schedules (since red-eyes are not as common as daylight flights), you will see morning departures (peak time) from the w/c which turn to an evening departure from the e/c, or else a morning departure from the e/c and a mid-day return from the w/c. Period. Very a/c intensive; that's a big reason that lots of trans-cons disappeared last fall as related to the fuel situation.

Of course you can use the trans-con a/c for some short-haul "filler" flights; VX can run, for example, a LAX-SFO-LAX turn in the morning before using the plane to do a SFO-JFK-SFO r/t. When I have created system-wide turn schedules for VX, however, they didn't seem to do as much of this as they could. Maybe things are different now.

Quoting Thestooges (Reply 10):
Most of the corrections that you gave were just for one extra frequency on some of the West coast routes.

At least during the off-peak period, most flights up and down the w/c do not operate daily; it has become quite difficult to even work up a turn-schedule because so many flights only operate on certain days. To me at least, there has always seemed to be under-utilization of the fleet by VX, and I find that rather troubling.

(BTW, LAS-JFK is back to 1 daily r/t this summer; I don't know how the other routes frequencies will differ then.)

bb


User currently offlineEXAAUADL From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (5 years 10 months 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3854 times:



Quoting BigGSFO (Reply 2):
You should also add:
SFOBOS 2x
LAXBOS 3x

That is a lot of capacity


User currently offlineAgnusBymaster From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 652 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 10 months 22 hours ago) and read 3548 times:

It's true, VX's aircraft utilization is quite low for an LCC with brand new planes. The frequencies vary depending on the day of the week, which may explain the discrepancies seen on this thread. The utilization may be pretty good on Friday or Sunday, but midweek there are a lot of aircraft sitting idle.

User currently offlineAviators99 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (5 years 10 months 12 hours ago) and read 3289 times:



Quoting SANFan (Reply 17):
To me at least, there has always seemed to be under-utilization of the fleet by VX, and I find that rather troubling.

I agree. It's obvious that there's underutilization, since they are adding SFO-SNA 5x on 4/30, without adding any A/C!


User currently offlineAtomsareenough From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 566 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2852 times:

I imagine that at least early on, with the costs of fuel so high, and maybe a lack of crew and/or paying passengers, that the cost of flying their planes more frequently could have been higher than having them sit on the tarmac at SFO for a little longer. Now that they're adding routes without adding many more aircraft, utilization will go up. I do remember regularly seeing a couple of VX aircraft at a time on the ground parked here at SFO during the day for several months last year, and now I don't really see it so much.

User currently offlineSWACLE From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 393 posts, RR: 1
Reply 22, posted (5 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 2812 times:

While utilization seems kind of low, keep in mind that the OP does not include future service. Based on 1 1/2 round trips to the east coast, I can come up with 25 aircraft to run the schedule when SNA is added, leaving 1 spare plus the 2 charter aircraft. 1 spare is pretty tight. WN, on an average day, as about 35-40 spares system wide, for comparison.

Don



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