B747-437B
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Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:26 am

Virgin Atlantic will inaugurate daily nonstop service between London Heathrow and Mumbai from February 2, 2004 - subject to UK government approval.

The airline has received clearance from the Indian DGCA and received slots from AAI that will enable them to commence flights as soon as the UK government designates them as a carrier on the route.

The proposed flight schedules are :

VS 350/351 (opb Airbus 340-300)
LHR d 2010
BOM a 1035+1 d 1520+1
LHR a 2000+1

"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
airish
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:29 am

Does this that Virgin will stop flying to DEL.
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B747-437B
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:30 am

Does this that Virgin will stop flying to DEL.

No, the 3x weekly services to DEL with Air India codeshare will continue until further notice.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
jaysit
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 12:35 am

Hmmmm.

Makes easy North American connections impossible.
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lapper
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:01 am

It DOES make easy North American connections impossible, but at least the flight arrives into BOM at a decent hour. ALl the others get in between 0100 and 0400.

 
jaysit
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:36 am

"ALl the others get in between 0100 and 0400."

Not really.
Most AI flights get in at between 11 pm. The customs and immigration at the AI terminal are actually very efficient. You can be out of Sahar and in South Bombay by half past midnight and asleep in bed by then if you're lucky.
I guess the Virgin flight is fine if you want to hang around T-3 for half a day east bound or spend the night in London on a westbound journey.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
 
behramjee
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:58 am

I guess that the main aim initially of the VS flights is the O&D traffic between London and BOM with the flight timings they are scheduled to get !!!

I wonder why these timings were given to them?

Nevertheless a v good move on VSs part though I would have prefered an A 346 instead of an A 343 due to the superior inflight product of the former which is very much needed to attract high yield Upper Class pax away from AI and BA on the LHR route.
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:09 am



Great that they are starting these, but not really convenient for US traffic since the timings are odd. They don't even connect to the AM departures from New York to London. Although there is enough O&D traffic between LHR and BOM to support these flights.

cheers


I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
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Richard28
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:48 am

Windowseat, remember that slots at LHR are hard to come by.

Perhaps VS has not got access to slots that allow these connections.
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:54 am



Richard28,

LHR slots maybe hard to come by, sure, but if they wanted to move around they could. What I was saying is that they don't NEED the connecting traffic since there is enough traffic to sustain these flights by themselves.


cheers


I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
STARCREW
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:26 am

Remember that it still needs CAA approval and that hasn't been given yet and AHUM (cough) BMI and BA have also applied for the route...

lets not jump then gun VS...
there is only ONEWORLD
 
WindowSeat
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 8:39 am



yes BMI has applied for the route. But, BA already flies LHR-BOM daily

cheers


I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let's start with keyboards.
 
sevenheavy
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:35 pm

The main reason for the flight timings is, as was posted earlier, purely down to availablility of slots. These slots are the ones that until recently were used by the additional IAD/BOS (VS53/55) flights that ran through the summer. These flights may have only ever been operated to keep slots from expiring before a more economically attractive route can be launched.

Regards,

SevenHeavy
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
HB-IWC
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 4:45 pm

When will the UK Government, i.e. CAA, decide how the extra frequencies resulting from the recently upgraded UK-India bilateral will be divided among the different applicants? I guess they'll give each of them part of the cake, so chances are likely quite high that VS will indeed be able to commence this operation. Has BA already put forward their plans for the additional frerquencies that are up for grabs?

 
B747-437B
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Wed Oct 27, 2004 7:50 pm

Actually, the limiting factor here was not HEATHROW slots but rather MUMBAI slots. As I posted on an earlier thread (pardon me, on dialup today in Paris so unable to search and cross-reference right now) there was no capacity for additional widebody arrivals at Mumbai during anything other than daytime hours. The best slots that AAI had available during W04 schedule were the ones allocated above and Virgin jumped on them as a result.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
crewrest
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:38 am

As part of this liberalisation you'll find that Virgin will now try to cease the arrangement with Air India, and apply for Daily DEL, BOM & possibly BLR in their own right.

There is a public CAA meeting to share out these UK-Indian routes on 11-12 November
 
cloud4000
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Thu Oct 28, 2004 1:41 am

I'm surprised they don't have a 744 on the route instead of a 340.
Boston, USA
 
jasepl
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Thu Oct 28, 2004 3:44 am

As part of this liberalisation you'll find that Virgin will now try to cease the arrangement with Air India, and apply for Daily DEL, BOM & possibly BLR in their own right.

That's what I would think too. If VS manage to get rights and slots of their own, what good would come of an arrangement with AI?

As for AI, they're going to be stuck with bloody LH. Good luck with that one!
 
Santhosh
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Thu Oct 28, 2004 5:15 am

Does the arrival of VS affect the Market of AI flights in the BOM-LHR route?
Happy Landings :)
 
behramjee
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Thu Oct 28, 2004 8:04 am

Sean(747-437B)...would VS after the open skies season ends on March 31st be given new slot timings by AAI such as those in the night time at BOM when all the other European giants come in as well or are these slot timings permament ?
 
virgincrew
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:02 am

Hey Guys,

When and if we get the rights to fly to Mumbai, the Air India Codeshare will cease to exist, it was only started so we could fly to Delhi. If we get all the extra slots we want, Delhi will become a daily service. Along with other hopeful Indian routes.

Even though it will be on the A340-300 the Upper Class Suite is being installed on 10 of the A340-300's to attract the Upper Class Market.
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
karan69
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:36 am

But it does look more likely that virgin will edge bmi out in acquiring the slots
 
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Richard28
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:18 am

Virgincrew,

according to other sources only 5 A343's are going to get suites - these are the Odyssey equipped planes (HOL,SEA,AIR,ELD and FAR)

The 4 Arcadia equipped ones are said to be leaving in 2006 (BUS,SUN,AEL and FLY).

The 10th Aircraft, SKY left the fleet many months ago.

Does your info replace the previous plans?
 
airish
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:23 am

Well we will soon know if Virgin does get approval. The date for the hearing is set for the 11 to 12 November 2004. It is happening in London at the CAA's offices.

http://www.caa.co.uk/cpg/airline_licensing/airline_regs/document.asp?groupid=323

Worlds Only Reputable Airline Air India! Some Of The Least: BA, Jet (9w), Kingfisher!
 
aussiestu
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:36 am


Does anyone know what BMI plans are? Where are they going to get the aircraft from as their 3 A330s are pretty busy flying routes already and they have a massively increased network starting with the winter schedule. Or are they just hoping to get it all and then buy new planes or lease quickly? I think BMI are just grabbing what they can but dont actually know what they are doing???? Does any BMI insider know more?
 
flybmi330
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:32 am

The bmi rumour mill so far....
two A340s operated by Lufthansa on bmi's behalf, with Lufthansa crew, for the first 6-12 mionths, until we sort out our own equipment/crew

Steve
 
sevenheavy
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 1:59 pm

Richard28:

You are correct. VS have only had 9 A343's for the last 10 months or so and only the 5 you list are due to be "suited". The remaining 4 are potentially going to Virgin Nigeria.

VS could still be forced to operate the codeshares with AI. The likelyhood of VS getting enough slots in its own right to operate DEL and BOM daily is quite slim given the amount of competition there is for these lots. Watch this space......


Regards,

SevenHeavy
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
jasepl
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 2:47 pm

VS could still be forced to operate the codeshares with AI. The likelyhood of VS getting enough slots in its own right to operate DEL and BOM daily is quite slim given the amount of competition there is for these lots. Watch this space......

I'm not too sure about that. VS are, at the moment, using AI's route authority but their own LHR slots. With many new frequencies now up for grabs, if the CAA award a few to VS, they can move around their own LHR slots if needed. And DEL slots shouldn't be all that difficult to come by.

By the way, the BOM flight's already loaded.
 
sevenheavy
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 3:20 pm

Jasepl:

I'm not sure either but the facts are that there are currently 19 available frequencies for use by uk airlines - BA has all of them. This increases by 7 to 26 for winter 2004/05, 33 for summer 2005 and 40 for winter 2005/2006. VS alone want daily DEL and BOM and four weekly to Bangalore. With BMI and BA also expressing a keen interest in these slots it is extremely unlikely that VS will get all available new slots. The BOM is is the system (VS350) and will (potentially)use all new slots for this winter. Even allowing for the 21 extra frequencies that will be available at the end of next year VS would require around 85% of the new allocation for the desired flights if it is to terminate its agreement with AI (even VS doubt they would get this kind of allocation). My point is that VS would, if required, be prepared to continue to codeshare on three flights per week to DEL if it means freeing up frequencies to allow them to operate the services to India that they intend. AI only have around 36 seats on the codeshare flights and they are still profitable for VS. The only thing stopping these flights from being more economically viable is the fact that BA and AI currently offer a more frequent service which appeals to the business traveller.

Regards,

SevenHeavy
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
HB-IWC
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:32 pm

I also find if extremely unlikely that VS would get anything close to the 21 extra frequencies that are up for grabs, and one could even say that it is a premature move by VS to already load these daily flights in the CRS, as it is by far not sure to whom the initial extra frequencies will be allotted.

I am inclined to think that the CAA might very well go for a splitting up of the cake between the 3 applicants. I can't imagine that BA wouldn't be given any of the extra frequencies.

Anyone here knows exactly what are BA's and BD's plans should the extra rights come their way?

 
B747-437B
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 6:44 pm

the facts are that there are currently 19 available frequencies for use by uk airlines - BA has all of them. This increases by 7 to 26 for winter 2004/05, 33 for summer 2005 and 40 for winter 2005/2006

Almost correct, but not quite.

There are currently 17 available frequencies for UK airlines, plus additional frequencies that can ONLY be used to Kolkata under a side letter to the old bilateral.

These increase to 24 available frequencies effective December 1, to 31 available frequencies effective February 1 and to 40 available frequencies effective June 1 (dates may be slightly off but the general timeframe progression is correct).

Under the new bilateral, the current operations by UK carriers to India will account for 22 of the 24 frequencies available in December (17 allocated plus 3x Virgin to DEL and 2x BA to CCU) - but its a moot point since there is open skies in winter anyway. Effective February though, Virgin wants the second set of frequencies allocated to them (as well as the formal allocation of the DEL flights they are already operating under AI's authority).

CAA of course can choose to do neither, and VS would then be up shit creek without a paddle - having burned their AI bridge for the Delhi services and watching BA lap up the market. Hence in typical Virgin fashion, they are now in a win-win situation by manipulating the situation so that they can cry bloody murder if they don't get the rights. I can just see the tabloid headlines already : "Aldershot grannie's Indian holiday stolen by nasty BA" etc...

I don't trust Virgin any further than I can throw 'em, but I have to admit they make for great entertainment!
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
sevenheavy
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Fri Oct 29, 2004 7:04 pm

B747-437B:

The time frames stated for the implementation of additional slot allocations are the ones that I read straight from the internal communication within VS. This part of the content was in fact a direct quote from an official communication following the latest round of bilateral talks. I thought my facts were pretty concrete as these are the dates VS themselves are working from - apologies if thats not the case.
The two Kolkata frequencies were I believe last allocated to BA although I realise the are currently dormant. Correct me if I'm wrong but BA could restart these flights without opposition at any time as I understand it - hence my inclusion in the total.

Regards,

SevenHeavy
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
virgincrew
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RE: Virgin To Commence Mumbai Services From February 2

Sun Oct 31, 2004 3:45 am

Hey Richard28,

Sorry about that, having a bad day, yes only five of the A340-300's are being suited and they will have the Odyssey system.

No confirmation if the older four are going to Virgin Nigeria yet though.
Hello Beautiful !!!

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