IntheKnow
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VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 4:38 am

Quoted from a VS press release:

"Virgin Atlantic Airways today agreed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the BAA on a programme to renew and expand the airline’s facilities at Heathrow’s Terminal 3. The new works will be designed by Foster and Partners and will be completed in phases between 2007 – 2012. They will enable Virgin Atlantic to significantly increase the number of passengers it handles at Heathrow from 3 million to 5.5 million per year.

The project will provide both speed and intimacy for Virgin Atlantic’s passengers as they check in, move through security, relax in the lounge, get called to the gate and board the aircraft. The first phase of work will be complete before Terminal 5 opens and will be ready for the arrival of Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A380’s in 2008.

There are both London Underground and Heathrow Express stations at Terminal 3 and Upper Class passengers will be welcomed at a new dedicated Drive Thru area. The new Virgin Atlantic facilities will be so compact that passengers will only have to walk as little as 200 metres from check in to the gate.

Speaking at Heathrow Airport before Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight to Mumbai, Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, welcomed the agreement:

“We’re delighted to have secured this innovative deal with the BAA which will allow us to double in size at Heathrow yet create a more intimate experience for our passengers. Our passengers tell us that in their ‘cash rich, time poor’ lives they are increasingly frustrated at the time spent queuing at the airport, so we’ve made sure this work will cut down the time it takes passengers from arrival to the gate. In fact, whether you arrive at Heathrow from London by road or public transport you will get to the airport quicker and get through the airport quicker at Terminal 3 than Terminal 5.

“We’re also delighted to be working with Foster and Partners who have a world class reputation for airport design built on wonderful looking airports like Hong Kong and Stansted.

“We’re taking the opposite approach to our competitors by being ‘big in the air and small on the ground’. Growing passenger demand on the key routes we fly has led us to operate larger planes than our rivals like Boeing 747’s and Airbus A340-600’s, while ordering the new super jumbo Airbus A380’s. Our passengers love our in flight service on these aircraft, yet at the airport we believe they prefer a more intimate experience. With these new developments we will minimise queuing time, speed passengers’ journey through the airport and bring all our facilities together in a more compact area than any other major airline at Heathrow!

“When talking about terminals for once I’m happy to say to BA that ours is smaller than yours!”

Mick Temple, BAA Heathrow Managing Director, said:

“We are delighted to be signing this MOU. It has been reached through constructive dialogue which has been driven by the desire to jointly develop creative solutions. It has been a real team effort and the outcome is a commitment to re-develop part of Terminal 3 for Virgin and provide a great alternative to Terminal 5.

“The redevelopment also compliments our long term plans for the rest of Terminal 3 and will deliver an enhanced passenger experience for all terminal users.”

The MOU was signed by Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Mike Clasper, Chief Executive of BAA and both companies are now working on a project plan to deliver the new facilities. The new work will complement the £100m works already started by BAA around Pier 6 at Terminal 3 to accommodate the new Airbus A380’s.

Virgin Atlantic currently operates 117 flights a week from Heathrow to a range of destinations worldwide including New York (both JFK and Newark), Boston, Cape Town, Delhi, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Lagos, Los Angeles, Miami, Mumbai, San Francisco, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo and Washington.


For further information, please contact the Virgin Atlantic Press Office on 01293 747373 or try the Virgin Atlantic website www.virgin.com/atlantic"

Sounds interesting, great for VS as we could'nt get into T5.

Cheers

ITK
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:01 am

Well Brabson had to try something. The number of flights VS operates from LHR per week is less than what BA operates from T4 per day, so it is a given that VS would need less space. This is simply another gimmick by Branson to attempt to overshadow BA and the move to T5. It will be interesting to see just how they redesign T3 so that it is less than "200 metres from check in to the gate". The BAA had to give him something after constantly rejecting his moves for T4, including the rediculous idea that VS be allowed to use the Victor Pier (Gates 22-25) at night and bus passengers over from T3, based on the rationale that BA wasn't utilising that area effectively.

The fact is T5 is necessarily large so as to accommodate all of BA's LHR operations (approx. 300 departures daily) and provide passengers with greater comfort and easier connections.
 
FLVILLA
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:04 am

T5 would still be better for connecting passengers over all who are on BA. I think with all the money being spent on T5 it will be a good terminal.
I hope in life i can work to live, not live to work
 
BCAL
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:13 am

My thoughts exactly Speedbird2155. Branson is just like a kid in a playground - always trying to overshadow everyone. Out of curiosity, as you might have the information readily available, how many flights does VS currently operate from LHR per week?

Do the majority of Upper Class passengers arrive at LHR by London Underground?
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
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Richard28
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:47 am

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):
Do the majority of Upper Class passengers arrive at LHR by London Underground

No, most go by the free Limo service!


Dont get the criticism here. T3 has had a lot of overhaul after imigration recently, including the new VS clubhouse due to open later this year.

With the orders of A340-600's and A380's coming to VS over the next few years its a given that they need more check in room, and it's nice to see they're going to get it, and it will also be done by a top designer.

Probably wont be as good as T5, but then that's a clean sheet design.
 
IntheKnow
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:49 am

BCAL.

Quoting BCAL (Reply 3):
how many flights does VS currently operate from LHR per week?

How can you comment on this thread if you didn't bother to read it? In my first post it mentions how many VS flights leave LHR a week.

Branson trying to overshadow everyone is business, people who dont like this sort of thing maybe have something to worry about with such competition?

ITK
 
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FlyCaledonian
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:48 am

So is this a refurbishment of part of T3, or is the plan to demolish part of T3 and rebuild it, linking it in to Pier 6?

With VS in T3, Star in T1, what are the plans for SkyTeam and remianing non-aligned longhaul carriers? SkyTeam to T4 and non-aligned longhaul in T3? Or, has been suggested on here, OneWorld (excluding BA/QF), i.e. AA, AY, CX and IB to T4, with SkyTeam also in T4 or a rebuilt T2.
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
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PA110
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 8:48 am

Anything to improve T3 has to be a welcome event!!!! T3 is currently a horrible facility for all who use it. Perhaps VS is going to take over and enlarge the area by gates 8-10 which are closest to the VS checkin facilities.
It's been swell, but the swelling has gone down.
 
AEROFAN
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:51 am

Do you people just criticize SRB at every turn or something? Nothing else to do? So the man can be something of a jack ass, but so what? He is creating publicity for his airline and getting it done for free at that. For pete's sake what is wrong wid dat? what do u want to happen to have the good ole days when BA was the only carrier?
 
iowa744fan
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 12:21 pm

Is it pretty much a given that Star is going to take over T1? Which is bigger, T1 or T4? Does T1 even have that many longhaul gates? I realize that they would need plenty of smaller gates for the European members who aren't going to fly widebodies in there, but I figure that they also need plenty of widebody gates for the other members. Also, will the 380s for SQ fit in any gates in T1? I have heard that the Europier could be modified, but not much else. Also, if both Oneworld and Skyteam went to T4, would they likely change the existing setup by taking out some widebody gates and making more gates with smaller gateboxes for the narrowbody aircraft that will be operated by the European Oneworld and Skyteam members? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 5:38 pm

Aerofan, all that people here have done is simply point out that Branson is up to his usual gimmicks, but if that is being critical, then I guess you'd prefer that nothing is ever mentioned about him and VS unless it is highly commendable? The fact is Branson still has to compare himself and VS to BA on every level and whenever BA does something, he always seeks a way to overshadow BA. As a BA staff member, I find it quite comical, but highly flattering as it shows that we must be doing something right.

Quoting Iowa744Fan (Reply 9):
Which is bigger, T1 or T4? Does T1 even have that many longhaul gates?

T1 is bigger and already serves a number of longhaul flights daily, including BA to NRT, SFO, LAX and others, along with SA and LY. Also given that BD is based in T1 and is the second largest operator out of LHR, it is easier to move the other Star carriers to T1, which already handles the large BD ops.

There will be no Oneworld carriers in T4 after the reorganisation.
 
BCAL
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:55 pm

Quoting IntheKnow (Reply 5):
How can you comment on this thread if you didn't bother to read it? In my first post it mentions how many VS flights leave LHR a week.

My sincere apologies. I missed it on my first read as somehow the 3 million passengers distracted my full attention.  embarrassed 

So BA operates 300 flights daily from LHR and VS operates 117 a week. On this basis VS needs less than 6% of the space allocated to BA.
MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
 
IntheKnow
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 9:37 pm

BCAL

Apology accepted, have a lovely day.

ITK
 
SQno1
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Fri Apr 01, 2005 10:12 pm

Quoting IntheKnow (Thread starter):
The new works will be designed by Foster and Partners and will be completed in phases between 2007 – 2012.

This would be the foster that messed up the millenium (wobbly) bridge in 2000, am I correct!

With Regards,
SQno1
 
vs25
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Sat Apr 02, 2005 3:44 am

Any upgrades to T3 are more than welcome. This week I had the pleasure of using the new arrivals floor from one of the 20s gates. Nice!

I don't see how you could ever have only 200m from check in to gate. Vs have it pretty sweet at the moment. Off the tube/express/bus/car, check in, up the escalator and there's security. However most VS flights tend to depart from the 34s (at least 90% of the flights I've ever been on). Anyone who has ever walked the 0.5mile to those gates will know what a hike it is. Although the gate 34 area is the nicest in T3. I believe these are the only gates that can handle the 346s (the longest jetways I ever walked down).

I've often wondered why VS didn't get the new clubhouse built above these new gates. Sure its a hike to get there, but then there would be zero walk to the plane.

By the way, does anyone know what is happening to the current clubhouse? I've heard its being refitted and made larger in the next month or so.
 
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Richard28
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:00 am

Quoting Vs25 (Reply 14):
By the way, does anyone know what is happening to the current clubhouse? I've heard its being refitted and made larger in the next month or so.

The new clubhouse will open in the next few months, and is being built as we speak next door to the current one (in the old Air Canada Lounge I understand).

After the new one opens, the existing one will also be renovated, and then the made into one double sized clubhouse from December.

there's a few threads with more info over on v-flyer on this, and some info on the VS website.

Rich.
 
iowa744fan
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:11 am

Quoting Speedbird2155 (Reply 10):
There will be no Oneworld carriers in T4 after the reorganisation.

Is this decision final? Are they going to put the remainder of the OneWorld carriers in T5? Will the central terminal area have easier access to T5 than T4 will? Will there be any sort of tunnel connection between T5 and the central terminal area?

I also have a few more questions if some of the users that are more familiar with LHR can answer them for me. First, I was looking at a picture of T4. How come they only have single gates for the widebody positions instead of double boarding gates. I always thought that they had two jetways per gate. Also, when did they repaint the jetways white? Man, they look so much better than that hideous orange that they used to be! Granted you can still see some of the orange, but that terminal really looks nice with the white jetways and the HSBC markings.

I was also wondering if anyone knows the maximum number of larger widebodies (340s, 380s, 744s, and 777s) that can be accomodated at T1 at once. I have been trying to estimate it from these pictures:


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It looks like 4 or so can be parked at the outside of the Europier, a couple along the connector to the main terminal, and another 3 or 4 around the middle pier used by BMI. Isn't the area where the CX plane is pictured considered T2? Would they likely have to reorganize the gate layout of the Europier to accomodate Star? I am just curious as the morning periods are very busy with all of the arrivals from UA, SQ, TG, etc. that are the larger widebodies. Would anything be done with the concourse used for the UK and Ireland departures by BA? Could that be converted to handle widebodies?

I apologize for all my questions, but I think that the whole process that LHR is undergoing is quite fascinating, I am really anxious to see how the whole reorganization process goes, and I am anxious to see if it will be repeated on a scale this large at another airport. Absolutely fascinating....yep....I am an airplane geek!  Smile
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Sat Apr 02, 2005 4:42 am

Quoting Iowa744Fan (Reply 16):
Is this decision final? Are they going to put the remainder of the OneWorld carriers in T5? Will the central terminal area have easier access to T5 than T4 will? Will there be any sort of tunnel connection between T5 and the central terminal area?

The only Oneworld airlines currently in T4 are BA and QF and these will move to T5. The other carriers should remain in their current locations as far as I am aware. The central terminal area and in particular T3 will indeed be easier to access from T5 than T4 would be. This is partly because of the location of the T5 in relation to the other terminals. The underground tunnel/road has already been completed to accomodate this.

As for the single jetways at T4, from the information I've gathered, some wise person within BAA made that decision during the planning stages. As has been said by some of my colleagues, T4 was conceptualised as a longhaul terminal but with a shorthaul design. We hope that this issue is addressed by T5.
 
iowa744fan
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Sat Apr 02, 2005 6:17 am

Quoting Iowa744Fan (Reply 16):
Is this decision final? Are they going to put the remainder of the OneWorld carriers in T5?

Shoot, a slight mistake on my behalf. I meant to say T3, not T5. I was curious about airlines like Iberia and Finnair who operate narrowbodies to LHR and if they would just have some smaller gates in T3 or what. Any word on who is going to T4 then? Will it be non-Star, OW, and Skyteam airlines?
 
Speedbird2155
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Sat Apr 02, 2005 8:23 pm

Quoting Iowa744Fan (Reply 18):
Any word on who is going to T4 then?

T4 will be Skyteam and I suspect a few other airlines. KQ, KM and UL are also likely to remain in T4. KQ and KM are comletely handled by KL and UL's ground handling is also done by KL. UL's check-in and boarding are handled by BA at present, so I'm not sure what will happen when BA moves to T5.
 
N1120A
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Sun Apr 03, 2005 4:02 am

Quoting IntheKnow (Thread starter):
The new Virgin Atlantic facilities will be so compact that passengers will only have to walk as little as 200 metres from check in to the gate.

And given that this is LHR, I am sure every centimeter of that will be a maze of duty free.
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BA380
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Sun Apr 03, 2005 10:00 am

the 200 m thing sounds somewhat like bulls***. Given a 70m+ span of a 744, they couldn't have many gates!
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LH423
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RE: VS At T3 To Be Better Than T5?

Mon Apr 04, 2005 2:30 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 20):
And given that this is LHR, I am sure every centimeter of that will be a maze of duty free

LOL! I did get a bit confused at Terminal 3 passing through all that duty free. I did leave smelling nice!

Anyway, I don't so much mind Richard Branson's style or the fact that he does make press releases for everything. I think the thing that gets on people is that in everything he does he tries to have a go at BA. Most of the time BA can't be bothered to compare EVERYTHING to VS. Sure, things like services on board, etc. but every airline does that. But when Richard Branson feels he has to compare every little thing to BA, it gets a bit old. Virgin have got a great product and an excellent service style. Sell the product based on its merits and strengths, not based on the competition!

LH423
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