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Is Virgin America Conducting Etops Test Flights?  
User currently offlineha763 From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 3634 posts, RR: 5
Posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 13806 times:
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Has Virgin America been conducting ETOPS tests? According to the story below, they have been flying ETOPS test flights to Hawaii. I haven't seen anything on FlightAware either.

http://www.jaunted.com/story/2012/5/...ing+Up+to+Launch+Hawaii+Flights%3F

49 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineflyiguy From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1084 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 13798 times:

I can see them flying A319s but the 320s don't have the legs for it without weight penalties. They will have to wait for the Neo's to get a 320 there. I can't see them using 112 seat aircraft to Hawaii. There would be no profit. This is why most airlines to Hawaii either fly 737-800s or bigger. Anything smaller and flights lose money.

Fly



The opinions I post are of mine and mine alone, not of the airline I work for.
User currently offlinegigneil From United States of America, joined Nov 2002, 16347 posts, RR: 85
Reply 2, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 13745 times:

They can do fine.

If a 737-900ER can go LAX-HNL, then a brand new A320 will have no trouble at all.

United just never chose to do so.

NS


User currently offlinemurchmo From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 166 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 13686 times:

Hmmm. Yes please! Saturate this market more please! I'd just like some tv to watch for the 5 hr trip. I knew the 320s had etops but never knew why nobody used them to come out here. I suppose the only airlines that fly here just used their proven 737s.


to strive to seek to find and not to yield
User currently offlineHAL From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 2558 posts, RR: 53
Reply 4, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 13608 times:

The 320 may be ETOPS certified, but it doen't have the range to fly to Hawaii with a profitable load because of the ETOPS regulations. There's a lot more than just ultimate range involved (as I've posted numerous times in response to threads about aircraft range & ETOPS), and you have to carry quite a bit of extra fuel along because of those regs. The 319 could probably do it from SFO, but not the 320. And as someone already pointed out, flying a 319 to Hawaii wouldn't work because of the small passenger load, and associated small revenue stream. One other point is that (I believe), the Virgin America inflight entertainment system wouldn't work over the water, as it's out of reception range. From what I remember, the satellite coverage only works over the continental USA, and fades out away from land. Take that away, and you're left with just another narrowbody flying a long route to Hawaii.

HAL



One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
User currently offlineRWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3114 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12991 times:

In other threads I read that VX was looking for an ETOPS program manager, but even though the 319 or 320 may have the range, as HAL pointed out already, the current Airbus flying in the 320 family, are not ETOPS certified to operate a route to Hawaii. Apparently the 320NEO will be the first aircraft that will allow VX to make it's way to the Hawaiian Islands.


AA-AC-AQ-AS-BN-BD-CO-CS-DL-EA-EZ-HA-HP-KL-KN-MP-MW-NK-NW-OO-OZ-PA-PS-QX-RC-RH-RW-SA-TG-TW-UA-US-VS-WA-WC-WN
User currently offlineyeogeo From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 882 posts, RR: 14
Reply 6, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12935 times:

Quoting HAL (Reply 4):
the Virgin America inflight entertainment system wouldn't work over the water, as it's out of reception range. ... Take that away, and you're left with just another narrowbody flying a long route to Hawaii.

Tosh! You've still got the mood lighting!  

yeo



Yokoso! to my world
User currently offlineb757capt From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 1366 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 12906 times:

ETOPS would help them with their florida-west coast and west coast-mexico flying.


The views written by this user are in no manner the views of my employer and should not be thought as such.
User currently offlineb6flyboy From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 50 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 12703 times:
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Think arrival of sharlets on the 320 as the true beginning of ETOPs proving runs...then the 320 can actually make it to Hawaii with a full payload. However, since ETOPs is such a massive undertaking for any newer or non-ETOPs airline the work has begun. It is not something that just turns on from one day to the next and takes time to get the right people in the right positions and to develop the programs/training that is required.


Your Seat Cushion Cannot Be Used As A Flotaion Device...
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 9, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 12631 times:

Quoting HAL (Reply 4):
The 319 could probably do it from SFO, but not the 320. And as someone already pointed out, flying a 319 to Hawaii wouldn't work because of the small passenger load, and associated small revenue stream.

This is Virgin we're talking about...any chance they're trying to make a go of an all-premium Hawaii service?

Tom.


User currently offlineJAAlbert From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1551 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12345 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 9):
This is Virgin we're talking about...any chance they're trying to make a go of an all-premium Hawaii service?

Who would utilize it? I don't know that there is much market for such a service to a leisure destination.


User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17338 posts, RR: 46
Reply 11, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12316 times:

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 9):

This is Virgin we're talking about...any chance they're trying to make a go of an all-premium Hawaii service?

Tom.

They could also launch service to the moon from Hawaii with Virgin Galactic  I'm not sure which would be more viable.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlinen7371f From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 1689 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12076 times:
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Quoting b757capt (Reply 7):
ETOPS would help them with their florida-west coast and west coast-mexico flying.

You don't need ETOPS for that flying.


User currently offlinesq_ek_freak From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2000, 1633 posts, RR: 20
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 12020 times:

Quoting HAL (Reply 4):
One other point is that (I believe), the Virgin America inflight entertainment system wouldn't work over the water, as it's out of reception range. From what I remember, the satellite coverage only works over the continental USA, and fades out away from land. Take that away, and you're left with just another narrowbody flying a long route to Hawaii.

There was a VX cabin crew who was commenting on another recent Virgin America thread (subject was their financial health) who mentioned that the airline is in the process of completely revamping their RED IFE, so maybe this has something do with that?

Otherwise I really don't see VX having a place in the Hawaii market. There's so much capacity to begin with, and with UA and AA FF bases VX really has their work cut out for them on this one.



Keep Discovering
User currently offlinemogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11845 times:

Quoting sq_ek_freak (Reply 13):
Otherwise I really don't see VX having a place in the Hawaii market. There's so much capacity to begin with, and with UA and AA FF bases VX really has their work cut out for them on this one.

Mostly UA. AA's SFO network has shrunk to pretty much cornerstone-only (if not for JFK transcon flagship, SFO would look like any other spoke).

Other than HA, everyone else avoids direct competition against on SFO-HNL. In fact, UA gets a free pass on SFO to Maui, Kona, and Hilo. There's definitely some untapped potential for a 2nd player on SFO-OGG, for example.


User currently offlinecatiii From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 3029 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11667 times:

Quoting b757capt (Reply 7):
ETOPS would help them with their florida-west coast and west coast-mexico flying.

Huh? How so? Why would you need ETOPS to go over the Gulf of Mexico or down the west coast?


User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2670 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 11421 times:

Quoting b757capt (Reply 7):
ETOPS would help them with their florida-west coast and west coast-mexico flying.

It's not ETOPS but overwater requirements which would affect the routes you mentioned. Whether or not the plane is equipped with life jackets or life rafts will determine how far it can fly away from land.


User currently offlinelaca773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4002 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 10982 times:
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Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 9):
This is Virgin we're talking about...any chance they're trying to make a go of an all-premium Hawaii service?


Tom.

That's what I was thinking as well. Perhaps, they are going to offer premium vacations to Hawaii versus regularly scheduled service.

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 14):

Other than HA, everyone else avoids direct competition against on SFO-HNL. In fact, UA gets a free pass on SFO to Maui, Kona, and Hilo. There's definitely some untapped potential for a 2nd player on SFO-OGG, for example.

UA really has those markets pretty well covered. Does SFO have the demand for additional OGG, KOA, or LIH service?
Today, 15 May 2012, SFO-OGG has 2x 763, KOA, 1x 763 and LIH 1x 752 and HNL 2x 777, 1x 764 (73H on Tues), 1x 752.


User currently offlinemogandoCI From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 10075 times:

Quoting laca773 (Reply 17):
UA really has those markets pretty well covered. Does SFO have the demand for additional OGG, KOA, or LIH service?
Today, 15 May 2012, SFO-OGG has 2x 763, KOA, 1x 763 and LIH 1x 752 and HNL 2x 777, 1x 764 (73H on Tues), 1x 752.

I'd venture to say that a meaningful chunk of that capacity is due to UA's extensive hub at SFO that feeds in from all over the country (and up and down the west coast).

I don't have hard numbers, but if the east coast can support dozens of Caribbean destinations, it can't be that hard for SF to support just a handful in Hawaii (and few alternatives). VX doesn't need extra demand either - just those willing to consider an alternative to UA.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20375 posts, RR: 62
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 9981 times:

Quoting JAAlbert (Reply 10):
Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 9):
This is Virgin we're talking about...any chance they're trying to make a go of an all-premium Hawaii service?

Who would utilize it? I don't know that there is much market for such a service to a leisure destination.

Never heard of the Kona Shuttle?



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineCV880 From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 1124 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8573 times:

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 14):

Other than HA, everyone else avoids direct competition against on SFO-HNL

DL still has a 752 in the market and a 753 on the summer sked, effective 08Jun.


User currently offlineSevensixtyseven From United States of America, joined May 2011, 170 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8519 times:

Quoting mogandoCI (Reply 14):

What about HA's and AS' services to OAK and SJC? I know those aren't the same airports, but they feed from the Bay Area also. I'm sure that takes away from the need for others to compete from SFO.



Will that ex-HP 752 get delayed...again?
User currently offlinetoltommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3288 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 8488 times:

Quoting RWA380 (Reply 5):
In other threads I read that VX was looking for an ETOPS program manager,

It's still posted on their website.


User currently offlineQANTAS747-438 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 1924 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8460 times:

If VX were actually doing ETOPS proving runs, would there be a MX flight number to track? Wouldn't at least a few of the HNL spotters have seen it? Not sure I believe it.


My posts/replies are strictly my opinion and not that of any company, organization, or Southwest Airlines.
User currently offlineAAMDanny From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 351 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 8435 times:

I don't know if this help's those who might not understand fully some of the penalties that are involved in making an Aircraft ETOP's worthy but here's some of my experience from retrofitting aircraft to ETOP's standard.

My previous airline turned a couple of it's narrow bodied aircraft into ETOP's aircraft and some of the changes made huge difference's in weight before you even take into account payload restrictions.

First of all, all the entry/service doors had the Escape Slides removed, and replaced with heavier Escape Slide/Raft's (detachable slides that can also be used as raft's) These are a lot wider

And on other aircraft where there was no slide/raft added (e.g. on an emergency overwing exit) we saw Raft's being installed into the overhead bin's, these also where fairly heavy and if I remember rightly our safety manual said you would need about 3 adult's to get these out the bin and launched out there escape hatch safely. So were looking at adding a lot of KG in weight to the fixed equipment of the airframe.

We also saw survival kit's added. Which housed canopy's for the raft's and survival gear the raft (I won't go into details because we could be hear for hours)

To make an aircraft ETOP's it's adding a lot of extra weight onto the aircraft before you even start calculating how much fuel + payload you want for the route.

I really don't see a point in doing this to an A319, the cost per seat would be so high it would be unable to compete at the cost/price of competitors who have larger, more economical aircraft available for the mid-haul market.

You then also need to take into account, that if you was going to kit out a couple of aircraft ETOP's, they will be doing flights and missions where ETOP's are not required, and you need to add up the extra cost in weight and fuel for these missions.

I think Virgin America should just for know focus on improving it's frequencies on it's current routes before they start jumping into new ventures.


25 Highflier92660 : If JetBlue has annual winter problems with flying BOS-SFO and BOS-LAX with their A320s, I can't image Virgin America flying to HNL from the west coast
26 asteriskceo : And let's not forget that WN will be entering the market soon with the -800. I don't really see VX making much of a profit with the 319.
27 drerx7 : This would be the perverbial shotgun to the face pull the trigger with the toe move for VX for more reasons than I even have time to type. The funny
28 Post contains images gigneil : I am just not buyin it. Previous 739ER comment stands. They have a massive AVOD library. They're photographers, not a missile defense system. Plus, t
29 drerx7 : Why has no carrier attempted ETOPS 320s?[Edited 2012-05-15 15:52:57]
30 gigneil : There are lots of ETOPS A320s in this world. Why haven't they flown them to Hawaii? Because the only one with a fleet of them and a hub to fly them to
31 drerx7 : I know that part. Which carriers and long range ETOPS routes?
32 gigneil : jetBlue's planes are ETOPS, to start. So are more than one of Air Canada's. Jetstar's are and so are NZ's. NS
33 eaa3 : If they have ETOPS then they could also fly those A319's to Iceland.
34 flyingcaT : Im not sure about B6 but I think some may be confusing EOW with ETOPS. Even more complicated is the ETOPS rating. 90 minutes is less stringent than 18
35 drerx7 : Exactly what I am trying to decipher. I know the FAA granted the 320 type 180mins ETOPS which is non restrictive for most oceanic routes, but do any
36 gigneil : B6 requires ETOPS to fly to SXM. They may not have 180 minute ETOPS, but I'm uncertain about the actual rating process beyond 60 minutes. Now what peo
37 D L X : Username: HAL Real Name: Withheld E-mail: Contact Gender: Male Age: 46-55 Country: United States of America Location: Seattle Occupation: Airline Pil
38 laca773 : I agree an alternative to UA would be nice on all these routes. If you want an alternative, both SJC & OAK have AS & HA service. I feel AS of
39 gigneil : Dude. I know many airline pilots that know nothing about anything but the frame they fly. HAL is well respected by me and I'm sure he's aware of it.
40 lax25r : It's not needed for the Caribbean. The FAA grants waivers for Caribbean flying that allow an operator to fly up to 75 minutes from a suitable airport
41 HAL : I think that right there is why you misunderstood what I was saying. There's a world of difference between 60 minute ETOPS and 180 minute. B6's 320s
42 D L X : Be that as it may ... ... is not a good argument. I would not be so dismissive of an airline pilot explaining the operation of an airliner.
43 jetMARC : Our (B6) 320s are not ETOPS, but are EOW certified with rafts, lifevests, and crew training, thus permitting more direct Florida and Carribbean flying
44 ha763 : This is why I am asking. I do work at HNL, but have not seen anything. Nor have I seen anything on Flightaware. When Alaska and Allegiant did their E
45 Barney Captain : Incorrect. No, they don't. Exactly.
46 rgreenftm : Didn't Alaska originally want ETOPS for their CUN flights? Since VX doesn't have any suitable aircraft for HI, would VX be taking a similar approach a
47 flyPBA : Virgin America is doing ETOPS proving runs ... costs are apparently being underwritten by Airbus
48 Barney Captain : Can you provide some sort of proof? I still don't see the current A320 with adequate range for HI, and the there are enough spotters on Flightaware a
49 drerx7 : Exactly, but I don't expect them to come to Hawaii until the NEOs come. The ETOPS birds will be good for Mexico/Caribbean right now.
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