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VA To Serve MEL-JNB From 13MAR10 With 77W  
User currently offlineQM001 From Portugal, joined Mar 2004, 279 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6065 times:

Hi all,

I have heard from a credible source that VA will start ops to JNB from MEL effective 13MAR10. Can anyone verify this? I would have thought that there would be ETOPS issues on this route?!?!

Really smart starting up from MEL, as SYD and PER are already quite well covered. I believe that QF used to serve MEL, but dropped it.

I look forward to your comments.

Brgds,

QM001 (167 Air Malawi)


I wish there was still a flying boat service on the African Lakes!
33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29689 posts, RR: 84
Reply 1, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 5938 times:
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I expect ETOPS is not so much the issue as field performance / wheel speed issues out of JNB. Then again, Great Circle claims that the distance is 5582nm which is within a 77W's MZFW so assuming VA's birds are not going out at MZFW, TOW will be lower than MTOW which will help reduce the field performance / wheel speed allowing a profitable usable payload to be carried.

User currently offlineFlybeq400 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5613 times:
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Confirmed on their website, MEL-JNB 2x weekly on Tue and Sat dpt 11am, arrive 16:20 later! This must be amongst the longest non-stop flights in the southern hemisphere.

User currently offlineANstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5080 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5569 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 1):
expect ETOPS is not so much the issue as field performance / wheel speed issues out of JNB. Then again, Great Circle claims that the distance is 5582nm which is within a 77W's MZFW so assuming VA's birds are not going out at MZFW, TOW will be lower than MTOW which will help reduce the field performance / wheel speed allowing a profitable usable payload to be carried.

They also have an evening departure so they don't depart in the "heat" of the day


User currently offlineSignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2985 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5550 times:

Interesting, will Virgin Atlantic tie up with this in JNB to use it as an option on LHR - Australia?

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24080 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5507 times:



Quoting Flybeq400 (Reply 2):
Confirmed on their website, MEL-JNB 2x weekly on Tue and Sat dpt 11am, arrive 16:20 later! This must be amongst the longest non-stop flights in the southern hemisphere.

There must be an error in their schedules. It shows MEL-JNB taking 3:20 longer than JNB-MEL.Winds couldn't possibly make that much difference. QF 744 nonstops SYD-JNB are almost 400 nm further with block time of 13:55.

Unless I'm overlooking something, I think MEL-JNB at 5582 nm will be the 3rd longest nonstop within the southern hemisphere, after SYD-EZE (6366 nm) and SYD-JNB (5963 nm), based on great circle routes.


User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5553 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5443 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
There must be an error in their schedules. It shows MEL-JNB taking 3:20 longer than JNB-MEL.Winds couldn't possibly make that much difference. QF 744 nonstops SYD-JNB are almost 400 nm further with block time of 13:55.

Despite what Stitch said in reply 1, ETOPS SA) and Eagle Air/Arnaflug (Iceland)">IS a MAJOR factor.

Look at: http://gc.kls2.com/cgi-bin/gc?PATH=m...GE-COLOR=navy&MAP-STYLE=&ETOPS=180

The map shows the GC track for both MEL-JNB and SYD-JNB (although you can barely see any differance). The shaded area is ETOPS 180. AFAIK CASA has never issued an approval for greater than ETOPS 180.

I'm guessing, but looking at the map, I'd say the VA flight path has to be between two and three hours longer than the QF B744, from overhead MEL. To me it would make more sencse to route MEL-PER-JNB (although an ETOPS diversion would still be required). That way they compete with both QF & SA and still offer the most convient flight for MEL pax as it would be an international transit in PER, not a domestic connection as QF would be either thru SYD or PER.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29689 posts, RR: 84
Reply 7, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5364 times:
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When I ran the route using Great Circle Mapper, I tried it with and without the ETOPS 180 flag checked and the path and distance came up the same, which is why I thought it might not be an issue.

But maybe that flag doesn't work properly.

[Edited 2009-11-03 20:10:35]

User currently offlineSunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5359 times:



Quoting Flybeq400 (Reply 2):
Confirmed on their website, MEL-JNB 2x weekly on Tue and Sat dpt 11am, arrive 16:20 later

To fly around the 180 min outline that Gemuser provided gives a distance of about 6100nm, I used a waypoint of 80E, 26S.
I just checked the upper winds and they are about 50k at a heading of about 270. Since the heading is about 260 the winds are pretty much head on. This adds about another 600nm .
Sector time for 6700nm with a ground speed of about 436K is about 15.5 hours Allow time for takeoff and climb , letdown and landing these assumptions fit the sector time of 16hrs 20 pretty close.


User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5553 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5209 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 7):
When I ran the route using Great Circle Mapper, I tried it with and without the ETOPS 180 flag checked and the path and distance came up the same, which is why I thought it might not be an issue.

But maybe that flag doesn't work properly.

Assuming you are using the kls2 mapper the various ETOPS flags just shade the map, they do not affect the route drawn, so you actually have compare the track drawn with the shaded areas. To get better than "eye-ball" accuracy you have to input a series of way points, using airport codes or Lat/Long co-ordinates. Which is what Hugh did in reply 8, but it is a pain in the a*se trial & error thing.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineAirbusA322 From Australia, joined Apr 2009, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5163 times:

JNB was announced like 3 weeks ago.

User currently offlineTayser From Australia, joined Mar 2008, 1123 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 5020 times:

It was announced on the 17th of August.

http://www.vaustralia.com.au/about-u.../view-media-releases/P_009799.html


User currently offlineCX Flyboy From Hong Kong, joined Dec 1999, 6533 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4811 times:

Cathay fly JNB-HKG with the 777 during the southern winter with a flight time just short of 13hrs. Payload is not maximum, but is reduced because of the altitude of JNB. We can still carry a full load of passengers and some freight as well. If VA is not so reliant on freight then there shouldn't be a problem. Summer could be a bit of a struggle though.

User currently offlineJetfuel From Australia, joined Jan 2005, 2195 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4786 times:

I didnt realise, until I just checked, JNB's Elevation is AMSL 5,558 ft . I can understand now about all the T/O variables


Where's the passion gone out of the airline industry? The smell of jetfuel and the romance of taking a flight....
User currently offlineCV990Coronado From South Africa, joined Nov 2007, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4508 times:
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There are massive headwinds on the westbound flights QF SYDJNB is 13h55 but JNBSYD is 11h40. SAA PERJNB is 11h15 and JNBPER is 9h25 these are both with four engined aircraft (744 & 343)
With two engines and ETOPS 15h15 sounds about right. Now what happens apart from praying if you lose an engine on fully loaded flight 6-7 hours out of MEL with strong winds. The southern ocean is very big and stormy at what flight level can a fully loaded 77W fly at and at what speed into strong winds? I would think MRU would be closest after the point of no return. I still remember the SAA Helderberg trying to make MRU with a fire on board.



SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 7874 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4228 times:



Quoting CV990Coronado (Reply 14):
Now what happens apart from praying if you lose an engine on fully loaded flight 6-7 hours out of MEL with strong winds. The southern ocean is very big and stormy at what flight level can a fully loaded 77W fly at and at what speed into strong winds?

Scary thought indeed however the point of no return is somewhere between PER and MRU which is at most 1600nm or a 3+ hour flight to the nearest airport (hence ETOPS 180). I still wouldn't be caught dead in a twin over the southern ocean, no matter how much someone boosts about the twin's reliability  Smile


User currently offlineDLPhoenix From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 414 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4003 times:



Quoting Airbazar (Reply 15):
I still wouldn't be caught dead in a twin over the southern ocean, no matter how much someone boosts about the twin's reliability

I think everybody here would rather you will be caught alive  Smile .

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 6):
I'm guessing, but looking at the map, I'd say the VA flight path has to be between two and three hours longer than the QF B744, from overhead MEL.

So this is one of the niche routes where a 346 would be more efficient that a 77W?
Are such routes the driver behind QFs decision not to purchase 77Ws?

DLP


User currently offlineCV990Coronado From South Africa, joined Nov 2007, 315 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3571 times:
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180 mins on one Engine over some of the roughest water on the planet flying into a 180kt headwind isn't anything you would wish on your worst enemy. It's not the same as trans atlantic or even trans pacific where there are choices of alternates in most cases even HKGJNB has many options. When you leave PER the next stop is MRU or maybe RUN which is very close I don't think the Cocos Islands are an option. I think this is a bridge too far and hopefully some uninformed passengers are not going to pay with there lives. Whatever the mathematical odds are I don't think this flight should be permitted it's just too big a chance and if something tragic did happen it would have an enormous effect on many ETOPS routes which are reasonable.


SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
User currently offlineAndz From South Africa, joined Feb 2004, 8416 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3550 times:
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Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
There must be an error in their schedules. It shows MEL-JNB taking 3:20 longer than JNB-MEL.Winds couldn't possibly make that much difference. QF 744 nonstops SYD-JNB are almost 400 nm further with block time of 13:55.

I flew JNB-SYD-JNB in 2001. About 11 hours east, about 14 hours west.



After Monday and Tuesday even the calendar says WTF...
User currently offlineSteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1564 posts, RR: 9
Reply 19, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3518 times:

Looking at a feasible ETOPS 180 routing for this flight, it appears they will be forced to fly about 10% further than if they could fly the great circle route with a quad jet. You can check out a Great Circle Mapper depiction to see for yourself.

I would imagine adding an extra 550-600nm onto each trip will definitely hurt the economics. But, I'm sure they must have run their numbers and are confident they can be successful even with less than optimal flight performance due to ETOPS.


User currently offlineStitch From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 29689 posts, RR: 84
Reply 20, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3475 times:
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If I am reading the Wikipedia entry correctly (and said entry is itself accurate), Australia evidently does allow for ETOPS-240 (and beyond) operations on a case-by-case basis between specific city pairs if a carrier meets certain requirements. While VA cannot currently meet these requirements, should their 77W service prove reliable enough, could it be possible that they would be granted said authority at some point in the future which would help improve the operating economics of the route with a 77W due to more favorable routings?

User currently offlineANstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5080 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3397 times:



Quoting CX Flyboy (Reply 12):
Now what happens apart from praying if you lose an engine on fully loaded flight 6-7 hours out of MEL with strong winds. The southern ocean is very big and stormy at what flight level can a fully loaded 77W fly at and at what speed into strong winds



Quoting Airbazar (Reply 15):
Scary thought indeed however the point of no return is somewhere between PER and MRU which is at most 1600nm or a 3+ hour flight to the nearest airport (hence ETOPS 180). I still wouldn't be caught dead in a twin over the southern ocean, no matter how much someone boosts about the twin's reliability

Whilst it may seem scary - They will be following ETOPS180..... 3hrs is 3hrs...I think I'd feel safer on a 77W with an engine out than on a 737 with one engine out between HNL-LAX for example. They are going a more northerly route to preusmably add the Maldives as an alternate point also.

If this route were that UNSAFE then a) VA would NOT fly it and b) they would NOT be allowed to fly it.


User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 7874 posts, RR: 10
Reply 22, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3368 times:

Quoting ANstar (Reply 21):
Whilst it may seem scary - They will be following ETOPS180..... 3hrs is 3hrs...I think I'd feel safer on a 77W with an engine out than on a 737 with one engine out between HNL-LAX for example. They are going a more northerly route to preusmably add the Maldives as an alternate point also.

That's your opinion I guess   Personally I'd chose the most popular and reliable airplane ever produced with decades of flying hours under its belt. Nevertheless this discussion is really about engines not airplanes.

[Edited 2009-11-04 12:34:06 by airbazar]

User currently offlineSunriseValley From Canada, joined Jul 2004, 4614 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3361 times:



Quoting Airbazar (Reply 15):
which is at most 1600nm or a 3 hour flight to the nearest airport (hence ETOPS 180).

I believe 180 minutes is about 1167nm in ETOPS terms. It is based on the allowable one engine in-operable cruise speed which I believe is 389K based on still air.
The ETOPS diagrams in G.C. Mapper for the Southern Indian and Pacific oceans could be quite a lot larger in area on a day when the head winds are in the 50K range.
I prorated the 1167nm down by 339/389 assuming 50k winds and drew a series of circles in GC Mapper at 1017nm from PER, NKW, MRU and JNB. I estimated the location of the intersection of the PER-NKW and NKW-MRU circles and made them waypoints. Connecting the waypoints gave a distance of about 6300nm MEL-JNB. I looked at the FL34 winds for today across the Indian Ocean and estimated the force and direction for each sector and using http://www.luizmonteiro.com/Wind.aspx came up with an average ground speed of 442K and a "overhead MEL-JNB " sector time of about 14hrs 20min.
E &OE and in the FWIW department.


User currently offlineSteex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1564 posts, RR: 9
Reply 24, posted (4 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3347 times:



Quoting Stitch (Reply 20):
Australia evidently does allow for ETOPS-240 (and beyond) operations on a case-by-case basis between specific city pairs if a carrier meets certain requirements. While VA cannot currently meet these requirements, should their 77W service prove reliable enough, could it be possible that they would be granted said authority at some point in the future which would help improve the operating economics of the route with a 77W due to more favorable routings?

I am not familiar with Australia's regulations or restrictions, so I can't comment on that portion. However, I can say with certainty that gaining ETOPS 240 would certainly improve the performance of the route. I can't get an updated Great Circle Mapper depiction to post properly, but will add it later if I can get it sorted out. Regardless, the ETOPS 240 route saves 300+ nm when compared to the ETOPS 180 route, which is certainly not insignificant.


25 SurfandSnow : Seems as though V Australia is now attempting to enter niche markets with no nonstop services rather than jumping into ruthlessly competitive routes l
26 MaverickM11 : MELSYD is a fairly thin market, and from the sounds of the ETOPS reqs could prove very expensive to run, with very few connections in MEL to fill the
27 UALWN : The flag only triggers the display of the shaded area delimiting the ETOPS 180 region. It has no influence on the track, which is always the great ci
28 AFGMEL : I think more like an A343 which MK uses. I suspect Australia is why they use that rather than the A346 or 777.
29 ANstar : South Africa has been on the cards since early 2008 when they applied for rights to the route, so it is not a new decision. I believe the "new" decis
30 MaverickM11 : Not after 1800 when the flight gets back in. In MAR10 they have about 10 tops.
31 Tayser : Not like it would be an issue at MEL - the walking distance between international arrivals and T3 (DJ) departures is max 50 metres - infact it's just
32 AFGMEL : Well, next time I am JNB bound I will be flying VA.
33 Post contains links VirginFlyer : Yes that is true (at least that is my understanding of the relevant Civil Aviation Order which relates to the issue) - you may wish to have a look at
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