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Virgin Atlantic Profits, Plans To Modernise Cabins  
User currently offlinevirginson937 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 71 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12237 times:
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I found this topic in the Wall Street Journal from the start of August so if this has already been covered in another thread please post it here.

Since VS has swung into profits, the CEO has announced a new cabin update, along with new technologies onboard and an investment in new aircraft.

I can't see it happening soon, but is this the proposition finally for a new UC cabin? The current model is so outdated that it needs a new look!

wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20110810-713694.html

http://www.travelweekly.co.uk/Articl...in-atlantic-returns-to-profit.html

Will

[Edited 2011-09-02 03:12:48]

29 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3985 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12155 times:

If VS wants to live up to its former hype and glory then they need far more onboard gimmicks! Their Y class is at least matched, if not superseeded, by many carriers out there these days...! Maybe they could launch a competition for people to suggest and design cabin improvements - which would get them some advertising along the way!

User currently offlinescouseflyer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2006, 3403 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12153 times:

I wonder if it's about time for another about turn in fleet policy that they seem prone to!

User currently offlinevirginson937 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12106 times:
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Their main selling point for business travel is the UC cabin and that hasnt been changed or updated since 2001. They proposed a new UC cabin with the A330 deliveries but that fell through as they aren't even taking the rest now. Y needs to be revamped, in terms of cabin seating or IFE?

Quoting Vasu (Reply 1):
Maybe they could launch a competition for people to suggest and design cabin improvements - which would get them some advertising along the way!

   This is a fantastic idea! One that could be proposed to VS.

Will


User currently offlinestarguy From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 343 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 12018 times:

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 3):
They proposed a new UC cabin with the A330 deliveries but that fell through as they aren't even taking the rest now. Y needs to be revamped, in terms of cabin seating or IFE?

VS are in fact going to receive all of the ordered A330 aircraft in the next year. The revised UC is going to be installed on the whole A330 fleet alongside the updated economy, premium economy and new IFE. The entire LGW 747 fleet is also going to be refitted with all three updated cabins and IFE from april 2012.


User currently offlineRichard28 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2003, 1633 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 11998 times:

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 3):
Their main selling point for business travel is the UC cabin and that hasnt been changed or updated since 2001

Upper Class Suite was launched in 2003.

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 3):
They proposed a new UC cabin with the A330 deliveries

New Upper Class is, I understand, due to launch in 2012.... dont know if other A330 deliveries will be taken though...


User currently offlineVasu From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 3985 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 11798 times:

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 3):
This is a fantastic idea! One that could be proposed to VS.

I'll be sending them an email...


User currently offlineanstar From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2003, 5319 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 11570 times:

Quoting virginson937 (Thread starter):

I can't see it happening soon, but is this the proposition finally for a new UC cabin?
Quoting virginson937 (Reply 3):
They proposed a new UC cabin with the A330 deliveries but that fell through as they aren't even taking the rest now.

The new UPPER will be revelaed next year and as posted above will be installed on a total of 10 A330's. The MAN/:LGW ones will be refitted and the ones with China Airlines will be returned and refitted.

The LGW fleet will all be refitted by the end of October with the new JAM system, new Y seats, Premium and new UPPER.

I've also heard there are some service enhancements to come online once the new product is launched too.


User currently offlinebehramjee From Canada, joined Aug 2003, 4852 posts, RR: 44
Reply 8, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 11445 times:

To help improve Y class passenger feedback, VS needs to have WiFi on board all of its wide bodied aircraft for a fee of GBP15-20 per flight.

User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 3020 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 10924 times:

Quoting anstar (Reply 7):
online

Please a new website!! For an airline that boasts about being savvy and modern, their online image is appalling.


User currently offlinetcxdegsy From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 518 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 10800 times:

Quoting Vasu (Reply 1):
If VS wants to live up to its former hype and glory then they need far more onboard gimmicks!

That's the thing about Virgin that puts me off them... it's more gimmick than substance



next flights: BA1441 0566 0581 1446 EDI-LHR-MXP-LHR-EDI
User currently offlinefcogafa From United Kingdom, joined May 2008, 889 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 10724 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 9):
To help improve Y class passenger feedback, VS needs to have WiFi on board all of its wide bodied aircraft for a fee of GBP15-20 per flight.

Don't think they would get many takers at that price, maybe a fiver!


User currently offlineworldliner From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 275 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8689 times:

VS has not gone down hill to an extent, but everyone else has caught up then passed it. BA offers a lot better service and product even in First and Club World. It could just be me but I am not keen on the layout of VS business class.

Economy wise, I find the food on VS to be to average at the most. Alhough The IFE is good and similar to other airlines.

VS really needs to catch up and these cabin modifications can only be a good thing. I hope for their sake they can do something good and it will be less of a farse than the livery situation.



@777Worldliner
User currently offlinenclmedic From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2009, 345 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 8550 times:

Quoting tcxdegsy (Reply 10):
That's the thing about Virgin that puts me off them... it's more gimmick than substance

Exactly what I've always said. If they spent as much on hard product as they did on branding they might have a hope in hell of competing with a real airline like BA. They're a souped up charter airline at best with a pretty poor customer service record. It does sound, though, as if they're making a bit of progress, and the long long (long) awaited LGW refit will certainly be welcome.

They certainly need to invest more in their onboard service as well as product. As has been constantly demonstrated, gimmicks will only get you so far, but people will put up with a lot if the service if top notch! A lot of my friends swear by TG in Y thanks to their FA's and they don't even have PTV's (yet) ex-LHR.


User currently offlinevirginson937 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 7174 times:
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Quoting starguy (Reply 4):
VS are in fact going to receive all of the ordered A330 aircraft in the next year.

I think the A330 frames wont be taken up. Plane Spotters, who usually produce a detailed production list, indicate Virgin have 2 A330s (G-VSXY and G-VKSS) active and 1 in Storage (G-VINE) and no further orders.
http://www.planespotters.net/Airline/Virgin-Atlantic

Quoting Richard28 (Reply 5):
New Upper Class is, I understand, due to launch in 2012....

Is there any info on this? i'd love to see  

Will


User currently offlineBabybus From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6991 times:

Virgin are the experts in not adding material substance but ekking out extra benefits from what they already have. You'll probably find most of any future enhancements will involve the crew doing something more.

They might add more IFE channels but not improve the food. They might change the colour of the seat headrests but not increase the pitch.

Was their profit this time a real operating profit or did they sell a plane or two?


User currently offlineacws777 From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 95 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 6488 times:

It's good that VS is trying to return to its former glory. Would investing in some A320 or B737 for short and meduim haul routes help feed their long haul routes.

User currently offlineSevenHeavy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1158 posts, RR: 9
Reply 17, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6121 times:

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 14):
I think the A330 frames wont be taken up. Plane Spotters, who usually produce a detailed production list, indicate Virgin have 2 A330s (G-VSXY and G-VKSS) active and 1 in Storage (G-VINE) and no further orders.
http://www.planespotters.net/Airline...antic

You seem very confident of that fact but the information is not correct. There are numerous other sources confirming otherwise. There are also the aircraft temporarily leased to Air China which will come back once the new UCS is ready.

There is no good reason for VS not to take their remaining A333, and no credible reason to suggest as such. 3 of the 5 due into service this year were leased out, and in one case, parked, to avoid a costly refit that was borne out of the new UCS being designed around the 787s. When they got delayed (by Boeing) VS needed an interim solution, hence the A333. The aircraft is a good fit, allowing for more flexibility and opening up routes that might previously have been too thin for the current fleet to support

As an aside, most of the configs listed on that website are years out of date. As a credible source of information it is way down the list.....



So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 3020 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5488 times:

Quoting SevenHeavy (Reply 17):
borne out of the new UCS being designed around the 787s

If the new product is being designed around the 787 then surely they would have had it ready for the A333 deliveries. I'm sure that they'd have received 787s by now had everything gone to plan, and as such they'd have been working to a timeline that would have seen them lock in the new Upper Class at least 18 months ago...


User currently offlineFlyboyOz From Australia, joined Nov 2000, 1994 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5258 times:

I hope VS will improve on inflight meals and also new uniform as well....


The Spirit of AustraliAN - Longreach
User currently offlineslinky09 From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2009, 859 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5201 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 9):
Please a new website!! For an airline that boasts about being savvy and modern, their online image is appalling.

The Website is currently undergoing an overhaul, some new pages are loaded and they're working through the rest (look at baggage information for example).

Quoting nclmedic (Reply 13):
They're a souped up charter airline at best with a pretty poor customer service record. It does sound, though, as if they're making a bit of progress, and the long long (long) awaited LGW refit will certainly be welcome.

Well, after 15 transatlantic returns so far this year I will disagree, VS in UC is still the best, UCS may have been launched in 2003 but it's still miles better that BA J - although on some planes it is tired and needs renewing.

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 14):
I think the A330 frames wont be taken up. Plane Spotters, who usually produce a detailed production list, indicate Virgin have 2 A330s (G-VSXY and G-VKSS) active and 1 in Storage (G-VINE) and no further orders.

Don't forget that these will be leased, so do not show as VS orders and will only appear when VS takes them on.

Quoting virginson937 (Reply 14):
Is there any info on this? i'd love to see

VS manages to keep things pretty tight, I've heard lots of rumours, but there won't be anything definitive until it's launched.

Quoting qf002 (Reply 18):
If the new product is being designed around the 787 then surely they would have had it ready for the A333 deliveries.

That was the story, it was designed for the 787 but then that was delayed and VS acquired 333s, with a narrower cabin, and the new UCS design had to be completely redone ... others say it was more cock-up. Then the reason why current UCS wasn't put on the 333s was due to weight and cost.


User currently offlineqf002 From Australia, joined Jul 2011, 3020 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4915 times:

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 20):
The Website is currently undergoing an overhaul, some new pages are loaded and they're working through the rest (look at baggage information for example).

Oh wow that looks really good! Can't wait to see them finish the whole thing off.

Quoting slinky09 (Reply 20):
That was the story, it was designed for the 787 but then that was delayed and VS acquired 333s, with a narrower cabin, and the new UCS design had to be completely redone ... others say it was more cock-up. Then the reason why current UCS wasn't put on the 333s was due to weight and cost.

So does this mean that we could see two totally different products across the fleet? I have to say that to me it sounds like some major mismanagement of the project, but hey we'll never know...


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6944 posts, RR: 77
Reply 22, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4701 times:

It never ceases to amaze me how much negative comments you find about VS, either here or on airlinequality. I wasn't expecting much when I flew VS for the first time in March, but the experience was much better than expected. Seating, catering and crews were fine. And you even get amenity kits. VS was much better than numerous other long-haul carriers which I tried before.

Exploring A Virgin: VS A343/A346 & Dubai Delights (by PlaneHunter Aug 8 2011 in Trip Reports)


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineSevenHeavy From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 1158 posts, RR: 9
Reply 23, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4447 times:

Quoting qf002 (Reply 18):
If the new product is being designed around the 787 then surely they would have had it ready for the A333 deliveries. I'm sure that they'd have received 787s by now had everything gone to plan, and as such they'd have been working to a timeline that would have seen them lock in the new Upper Class at least 18 months ago...

Exactly! If the B787 deliveries had been on time VS would be receiving the first airframe about now. We all know how that turned out. The problem was they had to significantly revise the design which delayed service readiness.

The A333s were ordered at pretty short notice out of a requirement to absorb some of the impact of delayed 787 deliveries. Look around and you can see that a large number of 787 customers had to make contingency plans by ordering other planes. Some took 767s, some took A330s etc.

It's quite funny looking back and seeing the amount of bashing VS have been subjected to on various forums by people convinced this issue was mismanagement on VS's part. Yet there are absolutely no facts or credible sources to back this up. Next come the rumors that VS aren't even taking the rest of the A333's, again based on nothing credible whatsoever.

I'm not saying VS are perfect, or that they don't need to work on aspects of their product. They are refitting the aircraft that rightly came in for the most criticism and improving the service and catering, yet they remain the airline that attracts the most cheap shots from a lot of people. It's all become somewhat obvious and predictable.



So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
User currently offlinevirginson937 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2009, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 3 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4383 times:
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Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 22):
It never ceases to amaze me how much negative comments you find about VS, either here or on airlinequality. I wasn't expecting much when I flew VS for the first time in March, but the experience was much better than expected. Seating, catering and crews were fine. And you even get amenity kits. VS was much better than numerous other long-haul carriers which I tried before.

Indeed! I choose VS over any other airline. They are by far my favourite carrier and I would fly with them every time. Tomorrow being a good example  

But IMHO I think they made a mistake ordering the A333s and they have realised this.

Will


25 SevenHeavy : Why did they make a mistake? Not a loaded question, I'm genuinely interested.
26 slinky09 : Me too - the A333s when fitted with new UCS will replace the older 343s in a much more efficient variant with similar capabilities. A pretty damned g
27 anstar : If all goes to plan - my understanding is it wil be the first 3 class 330 arrival next year in March with the new seat installed.
28 FlyboyOz : Yes, it's still the same as before cos I have flown on it last year. But they treated you as a special pax.
29 PlaneHunter : We got a special treatment on the return flight flight, but I factored that out when I rated the product. PH
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