Simpilicity
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What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 2:59 pm

Been lot in media lately (especially since SQ denied access) in Australia re Branson starting new airline, which apparently could be flying by 2007.

At present only 4 frequencies/week permitted, (does this mean using 744's) & he's stated they must have provision to do dailies to be viable, ie to get some of business market.

Does this mean aircraft would come from VS fleet? ... or SQ fleet?

If using 74's on SYD/LAX they'd not want to be weight restricted out of LAX like UA are which I think is due to engines that UA have on 744's which r different to QF's.

Anyone out there with info on what aircraft the new airline, whatever it will be called will use.

On a name, Virgin apparently can't be used in name unless SQ agree (reason apparently why Pacific Blue is not simply called Virgin Blue)
 
kaitak744
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 3:50 pm

Are you sure Branson will start a new airline just for one route?
The easiest thing to do would be to continue the A340-600 from LHR-SIN-SYD on to LAX.
 
Gemuser
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:04 pm

Quoting Simpilicity (Thread starter):
At present only 4 frequencies/week permitted, (does this mean using 744's) & he's stated they must have provision to do dailies to be viable, ie to get some of business market.

Where does this come from? From my reading of the Oz/US bilateral, 4 frequencies a week is the MINIMUM an airline can offer, not the MAXIMUM.
He could use his A340-600.

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 1):
The easiest thing to do would be to continue the A340-600 from LHR-SIN-SYD on to LAX

He cant use the Virgin name on international airline services UNLESS SQ sign off on it, (a condition of the sale of 49% of VS to SQ) hence current international services are by Pacific Blue. I would suppose he could wet lease aircraft from VS to DJ when his A380 arrive in 08. It would make sence to run two A340 in oppisit directions, daily on LHR-HKG-SYD-LAX-LHR, BUT that would take 6 aircraft, or maybe five if the timings can be made to work out.

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ikramerica
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:06 pm

I think the 346 would be a great choice assuming it can do it unrestricted. Be good to see something other than the 747 on the route for a change! With AC putting a 777 on it, double bonus.
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TinkerBelle
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:24 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
I think the 346 would be a great choice assuming it can do it unrestricted.

I believe if QF 744ER's can do it unrestricted, the A346 shouldn't have a problem. It would be nice to see the 744, AC's 777 and the A346 leave around the same time. On such a long route, the A346 sure would add 1-2 hours to the travel time compared to the 744 and the T7.
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Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:31 pm

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 1):
Are you sure Branson will start a new airline just for one route?

Absolutely, they been talking about it for ages & have domestic feed thru Dj in OZ. Might make sense to have same aircraft do around the world, if that was some how permitted.

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 2):
I would suppose he could wet lease aircraft from VS to DJ when his A380 arrive in 08

Too late they are talking start of 2007.

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 2):
Where does this come from? From my reading of the Oz/US bilateral, 4 frequencies a week is the MINIMUM an airline can offer, not the MAXIMUM.

Branson stated that 4/week not enough & must be able to do dailies or not viable, so must be dependent on seating/engines on VS 744's.

Which engines do VS 744's have?
 
Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:36 pm

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 4):
On such a long route, the A346 sure would add 1-2 hours to the travel time compared to the 744 and the T7.

Surely it would only be few minutes like 15-20 ???

Taxiing time at both ends & gate access vs remote stands at both LAX & SYD could negate this amount of actual flying time difference ???
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 4:56 pm

Quoting Simpilicity (Reply 6):
Surely it would only be few minutes like 15-20 ???

No way. Take for example the LHR-JNB route. BA and SA 744's fly in exactly an hour less that VS A343's and A46's. Heck, when VS send their 744 to JNB during the summer, flight time is an hour less than the A340.
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ikramerica
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:08 pm

If they did an around the world routing, then it would actually free up the planes to arrive depart at better hours, theoretically, since the 346 going in one direction is independent of the 346 flying the other direction.

LHR-SIN-SYD-LAX-LHR
LHR-LAX-SYD-SIN-LHR
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Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:14 pm

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 7):
No way. Take for example the LHR-JNB route. BA and SA 744's fly in exactly an hour less that VS A343's and A46's. Heck, when VS send their 744 to JNB during the summer, flight time is an hour less than the A340.

r u talking timetabled or actual?

We all know timetables are padded, so aircraft can depart late & still arrrive on time or early.

Don't think slight time difference would mak a difference to pax if they know they were on a relatively new aircraft. Most VS fitouts r quite good I believe, unilke the awful UA product at present across the Pacific to OZ.
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 5:34 pm

Quoting Simpilicity (Reply 9):
r u talking timetabled or actual?

Actual flight time. An hour would make a difference to some people... and I'm glad to say I'm not one of those people especially when I have to fly the quiet loong tube (A346)  biggrin 
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Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:13 pm

doubt it would be that much difference & this could be hidden in padding of timetables anyway.

Would VS have a 346 available early in 07 for use across the Pacific or a 744 for that matter?
 
koruman
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 7:27 pm

If DJ enter the LAX market it will be with a 737-800 flying SYD-APW-HNL-LAX!

Virgin Blue face enormous obstacles to making this work.

Their feeder network in Australia is all Economy offering a very poor Ryanair style pay for your sandwich experience. Not at all what the people who buy seats in the pointy end of the plane want.

And they have no partner airline in North America to fly beyond LAX. Singapore Airlines won't tolerate having them in the Star Alliance, but would block them joining any other alliance.

Think about it.

Virgin Blue = LCC = no high yield passengers.

We've already seen that their expansion outside Australia has been on the trashiest, low yield routes which support an all-Economy model.

Destinations like Tonga, Samoa and Rarotonga.

Maybe when Virgin Blue think about through baggage or free refreshments they will be in a position to think that they might get some high yield premium class passengers to make LAX a goer.

Until then, they had better thank God that Polynesian Blue has traffic rights from Australia to the USA via APW, and work out how to get a little 737 to fly all that way.
 
Qantas744er
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:03 pm

Hey regarding the eingine issue with QF,UA and VS

UA has 747-400 using PW4056 rated at 60,000 Lbs thrust per engine. 875,000 Lbs MTOW

QF had 747-400 using RR211-524GH rated at 58,000 Lbs thrust per engine 877,000 Lbs MTOW

QF has 747-400 with GE CF-6 eingines rated at 59,000 Lbs per engine. 875,000 Lbs MTOW

QF has 747-400ER with GE CF-6 BF5 rated at 62,000 Lbs per eingine 908,000 Lbs MTOW

VS has 747-400 with GE CF-6 rated at 59,000 Lbs per eingine but only 817,000 Lbs MTOW because they chose not to buy the maximum weight option.

This means that to have an MTOW of 877,000 they just need to buy the certificate from boeing for a cuple of million and the plane is then certified for 877,000 Lbs MTOW but no changes on the actual aircraft are made.

Hope I helped You!:D

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Concorde001
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:14 pm

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 2):
He cant use the Virgin name on international airline services UNLESS SQ sign off on it

Is that for all Virgin Atlantic services? For example as reported today in some papers that VS are looking at flights to Pakistan, would SQ have to give the nod, even though they are minority stake holder (although a large minority of 49% if that makes sense  Wink !)
 
AirNZ
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:19 pm

Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 1):
Are you sure Branson will start a new airline just for one route?
The easiest thing to do would be to continue the A340-600 from LHR-SIN-SYD on to LAX.

Since when do VS fly LHR-SIN-SYD with the A340-600?
In fact, they don't fly it at all so do you mean LHR-HKG-SYD?
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Gemuser
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 8:28 pm

Quoting Qantas744ER (Reply 13):
QF had 747-400 using RR211-524GH rated at 58,000 Lbs thrust per engine 877,000 Lbs MTOW

Nit Pick Mode=ON

QF HAS 747-400 using RR211-524GH rated at 58,000 Lbs thrust per engine 877,000 Lbs MTOW. 21 of them, actually.

Nit Pick Mode=OFF

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vhqpa
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Tue Mar 07, 2006 9:43 pm

Im assuming it will start of with a few 744's leased from VS then if all goes well maybe A380's somewhere down the track. I'd almost positive the service to be comparable to VS. maybe they can use the "Pacific Blue" brand. I'd say SYD-SFO would be a good route to start off with as passengers can connect with Virgin America (Providing it actully happens) at SFO or even on VS to LHR so Virgin can offer either SYD-HKG-LHR or SYD-SFO-LHR to passengers traveling between Australia and the UK.



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Qantas744er
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:57 am

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 16):
21 of them, actually.

Sorry, i was trying to show the different Engine types that QF had, not the amount of aircraft for each type.

ill wright that next time Big grin

Cheers Leo
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timboflier215
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:05 am

Quoting Vhqpa (Reply 17):
maybe they can use the "Pacific Blue" brand. I'd say SYD-SFO would be a good route to start off with as passengers can connect with Virgin America (Providing it actully happens) at SFO or even on VS to LHR

thatd be cool for SFO, IF IF IF this all happes - virgin atlantic, virgin america AND pacific blue!!!!!!!!!! (or whatever airline this route will be run under!)
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:24 am

Quoting Qantas744ER (Reply 18):
Sorry, i was trying to show the different Engine types that QF had, not the amount of aircraft for each type.

He was reffering to the 'HAD' in your sentence which he subtituted with 'HAS'.  biggrin 
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747400F
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:34 am

What's to stop VS just extend their LHR-LAX service to SYD? Why create a whole new airline? BA has had beyond rights from the States previously, so why should VS not be able to get them?
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TinkerBelle
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:45 am

Quoting Qantas744ER (Reply 13):
QF has 747-400ER with GE CF-6 BF5 rated at 62,000 Lbs per eingine 908,000 Lbs MTOW

VS has 747-400 with GE CF-6 rated at 59,000 Lbs per eingine but only 817,000 Lbs MTOW because they chose not to buy the maximum weight option.

Did some one say VS can upgrade their CF-6 engine to 62,000 Lbs to make them do the same thing as QF's 744ER does??

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 15):
Since when do VS fly LHR-SIN-SYD with the A340-600?
In fact, they don't fly it at all so do you mean LHR-HKG-SYD?

They don't. If you read the thread, SRB is thinking of starting a new airline that will.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
AEROFAN
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 4:53 am

Hopefully the other partners of Virgin Blue will insist that they buy 777s
 
timboflier215
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:15 am

Quoting 747400F (Reply 21):
What's to stop VS just extend their LHR-LAX service to SYD? Why create a whole new airline?

erm, AFAIK, QF did not want SQ operating the route partly because it had no territorial reasons to (ie LAX and SYD are not part of Singapore) and partly because it would offer QF stiff competition. i dont think QF would have the same reservations with pacific blue, or similar company, but may do with VS.
 
TEAtheB
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airlin

Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:24 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
On such a long route, the A346 sure would add 1-2 hours to the travel time compared to the 744 and the T7.

The difference in Mach number between the 744 and the A346 is no more than 3% (0.855 vs 0.83). Unless I'm missing something, on a (approx) 14 hour flight like SYD-LAX, the difference in flight time is approx 24 mins. Who cares?

Also,

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 16):
Nit Pick Mode=ON

QF HAS 747-400 using RR211-524GH rated at 58,000 Lbs thrust per engine 877,000 Lbs MTOW. 21 of them, actually.

Nit Pick Mode=OFF

Nit Pick Mode (enhanced) = ON

There is no such thing as the -524GH engine. -524G engines have 58,000lbf thrust, -524H engines have 60,600lbf.

Nit Pick Mode (enhanced) = OFF (for now)
 
Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:37 am

Quoting Koruman (Reply 12):
If DJ enter the LAX market it will be with a 737-800 flying SYD-APW-HNL-LAX!

Virgin Blue face enormous obstacles to making this work.

Their feeder network in Australia is all Economy offering a very poor Ryanair style pay for your sandwich experience. Not at all what the people who buy seats in the pointy end of the plane want.

And they have no partner airline in North America to fly beyond LAX. Singapore Airlines won't tolerate having them in the Star Alliance, but would block them joining any other alliance.

Where do u live on the moon? Sounds like you haven't flown DJ at all or at least recently?

DJ is becoming more like QF everyday, with lounges, economy plus etc & in many regards they're better than QF, eg. much better, more helpful & friendlier flight attendants, (& certainly better looking !!! ) check in much faster, than QF economy. DJ is nothing like Ryanair, not that Ryanair is bad news. Ryanair has created what a very large market in Europe wants.

New airline might not be called DJ. Branson is only a minority holder in DJ now (something like 25.6%). He's already got the Australian govt. on side.

They will not use 737's, why would u even suggest such a silly thing. It will surely be close to VS in many ways as he wants to get as many disaffectd QF business types as he can & there are many thousands of these pax, as with usually QF arrogance they pis many people off everyday.

He'll probably do very well, grabbing market share from QF & UA & beating AC off the mark, hopefully, which means flying before APR07.
 
antares
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airlin

Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:42 am

Few things. It can't be Branson's airline in terms of majority ownership. He's been humiliated at Virgin Blue already by Corrigan, who has brushed all his comments about re-taking the domestic carrier as hot waffle.

Branson has made good money from the domestic carrier, and is continuing to make good money from his 26 % stake, since contrary to one of the earlier replies, this is not a Ryanair type carrier anymore but a high quality single cabin product selling at fares that really make you think twice about what you get in Y in QF and despise what is offered in JQ.

The investment community has swung quite strongly around to the view that Virgin Blue is making a pretty good showing of itself, so it may just provoke JQ into re-thinking the way it treats business travellers, who on some secondary routes really only have a frequent choice between JQ and DJ.

What we don't know yet is who is going to partner the existing Virgin Blue shareholders in a carrier which will I think have a different set of lead investors, and therefore a different board. Could be wrong of course. Maybe VBA will do a fiscal restruture to incorporate more capital for the long haul operation and and keep it all under the one roof. But the few comments made by senior management on this that I have read suggest it will really be a different company albeit with common investment elements.

Fleet. The hot prospect is the 777-300 ER. Boeing is said by another source I recently spoke to as having made a presentation on the 747-8, which would add a very interesting element to the competition on routes where Qantas flies the A380.

There is apparently no interest in hand me down A340s from Virgin Atlantic, and no evidence of any interest in VS 49 % partner SQ in having anything to do with the proposed new carrier, especially after it was used as part of the excuse to deny it access to the Australia-USA market.

Antares
 
ikramerica
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 7:53 am

Quoting TEAtheB (Reply 25):
The difference in Mach number between the 744 and the A346 is no more than 3% (0.855 vs 0.83). Unless I'm missing something, on a (approx) 14 hour flight like SYD-LAX, the difference in flight time is approx 24 mins. Who cares?



Quoting TEAtheB (Reply 25):
Nit Pick Mode (enhanced) = ON

I never talked about the cruise speed or anything like that. I think the 346 would be a great choice.

Don't attribute quotes to the wrong person. Be more careful with the quote selected text button.

Nit Pick Mode = OFF.

And BTW, you have the speeds wrong, anyway.
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Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:00 am

Quoting Antares (Reply 27):
Few things. It can't be Branson's airline in terms of majority ownership. He's been humiliated at Virgin Blue already by Corrigan, who has brushed all his comments about re-taking the domestic carrier as hot waffle.

Why can't Branson do a DJ?

He buttered up OZ politicians, put a few million in (I think it was AUD$10 Million) to start DJ & then a few years down the track, sell off a huge chunk in an IPO.

If Toll gets past the ACCC, Branson could re take control of DJ, but why does he need to, to start an airline that will fly SYD/LAX initially & then lots of other routes across the Pacific that QF is slow to take up, eg.,

SYD/SFO daily (QF will do trial 3/week in JUL-AUG & DEC-JAN, SYD/SFO/YVR)
SYD/YVR daily (AC operated nonstop a year or so ago, but no longer have aircraft)
BNE/LAX daily (QF only operate 5/week & make pax go via SYD other 2 days)
BNE/SFO daily (huge untapped market especially for pax beyond west coast who hate LAX transfers)
BNE/YVR 3/week up to daily (believe almost same distance as SYD/LAX- huge arket in summer & winter - flight could originate in MEL or SYD as range might be a problem with 744's especially YVR/MEL)
BNE-SYD-MEL/HNL with onward connections to other points in mainland USA not LAX or SFO)
 
timboflier215
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:01 am

this is going to be a VERY interesting and entertaining fight!! airlines fighting it our and SRB trying to stick his nose in everywhere! brilliant! i for one cant wait!
 
kaitak744
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:09 am

Quoting AirNZ (Reply 15):
Quoting Kaitak744 (Reply 1):
Are you sure Branson will start a new airline just for one route?
The easiest thing to do would be to continue the A340-600 from LHR-SIN-SYD on to LAX.

Since when do VS fly LHR-SIN-SYD with the A340-600?
In fact, they don't fly it at all so do you mean LHR-HKG-SYD?

Yes, I apologise. LHR-HKG-SYD-LAX is what I ment. They could also do LHR-LAX-SYD.
 
Gemuser
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:14 am

Quoting 747400F (Reply 21):
What's to stop VS just extend their LHR-LAX service to SYD? Why create a whole new airline? BA has had beyond rights from the States previously, so why should VS not be able to get them?

See reply 2

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antares
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:24 am

Simpilicity,

The new carrier will have to be 51% Aussie owned to be a flag carrier. At least in today's world.

Branson shows no signs of having much spare cash at the moment, note the recent sale of Virgin Mobile.

He is captive of a Corrigan dominated board at DJ. The Toll bid for Patrick is being 'reviewed' by the company (as of last Friday.) I think reviewed is short hand for dropped, but I could be wrong. The ACCC is suing them for failing to withdraw the bid anyhow. Branson's arithmetic for benefiting from the Toll bid was a VBA price of $1.40. Back to the drawing, make that the withdrawing boards.

However I'm not arguing against your enthusiasm for the proposed carrier.

A second Aussie flag carrier on the trans Pacific would be a very good thing for the stake holders in that market, including travellers, tour operators and even Qantas shareholders, because, call me old fashioned, having someone breathing fire on the back of your neck usually makes you lift your game.

Antares
 
Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:32 am

Quoting Antares (Reply 33):
The new carrier will have to be 51% Aussie owned to be a flag carrier. At least in today's world.

That was supposedly the rules with domestic OZ airlines before Branson came along, had a little meeeting with little Johnny Howard & suddenly the rules changed & he started DJ as effectively a British run Australian airline.

Anyway am sure Branson can work it out & don't think funds will be problem. (look at Virgin America) Everyone's seen the buckets of cash he & everyone else made with DJ.

Also get the impression any new airline will get a lot of help from VS, ie. aircraft/management/logistics etc. etc.
 
antares
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airlin

Wed Mar 08, 2006 8:45 am

The policy change that permitted 100% foreign ownership of domestic carriers predated Branson's announcement of a new carrier late in 1999 by almost two years.

It was a classic example of cabinet endorsing an economic ideology to keep its free market credentials pure without ever thinking for a second that any one would put their hand up.

Very similar to the decision to allow foreign carriers unlimited access to secondary gateways. It never occurred to cabinet that EK would seriously contemplate ( as it is ) daily A380s to Adelaide in a low fare configuration designed to create a massive uptake out of central Europe, or that in the future the Gold Coast and Newcastle Airports could be chokka block with 787s or A330s flying to the outer fringes of major cities on a scheduled lelsure/charter basis.

Qantas has clearly identified that risk with Australian, but botched/been unlucky with its implimentation, and it coming back to try and seal up the gaps in the wall it would like to erect to protect is market through its massive expansion (over say 6 years) of Jetstar long haul.

This encourages me to conclude that the Singaporean's will not take no for an answer on the Pacific, but just come back, quite painfully perhaps, with different answers for the Australian market, including quite a few wide bodied Tiger frequencies in all sorts of inconvenient places.

I hope a partially Bransoned trans Pacific, trans anything, Australia majority controlled new carrier makes a go of whatever it chooses to contest, since that is good for flying, flyers and, one hopes, economic stake holders.

Antares
 
Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:13 am

this just in ...




Wednesday, 8 March 2006
Branson hopes for Patrick takeover
Virgin Group Chairman Richard Branson has revealed he hopes freight company Toll Holding’s hostile takeover bid for Patrick Corp proceeds.

Mr Branson admitted to not knowing how the proposed takeover would eventually turn out, however said “We personally think that the best (thing) ... for shareholders is that the merger goes ahead,” speaking to the Nine Network.

"We'll see what the competition authorities have to say about it."

Mr Branson owns 25.6 per cent of Australian based Virgin Blue, which Patrick Corp has a majority stake.

Last week Toll Holdings extended its $4.6 billion hostile bid for Patrick until next Monday. The company said it would review the structure of the bid to suit competition concerns raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, who refused the original proposal.

Patrick has rejected Toll’s bid of 0.4 Toll shares, 0.3 Virgin Blue shares and 75 cents cash for each Patrick share.






Source = eTB (e-Travel Blackboard): D.M





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Oz777
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:58 am

Makes me cuckle about Branson's claims

Quoting Simpilicity (Reply 36):
Mr Branson admitted to not knowing how the proposed takeover would eventually turn out, however said “We personally think that the best (thing) ... for shareholders is that the merger goes ahead,”

Tel,l that to all the previous investors who purchased the original VB shares at Branson's list price, but now he want to buy them back at somehing like a 40% discount.

As a frequent trans-pacific traveller, I would avoid the Airbus A340 like the plague. Although the 'claimed' cruise speed is only 3% lower than a B747, the reality is that in the climb phase (a major component of the SYD-LAX route), where the aircraft is too heavy to achieve optimum altitude, the A340 is something like 20% slower that the GE powered B747's.

I had the 'misfortune' to come back from LAX once on a charter A340 (cruise ship charter) set up in F/J/Y config. Despit taking off from LAX an hour earlier than the NZ and QF 747's that were sitting on the tarmac so as to not bust the curfew at Sydney, we arrived in SYD at 0640 local having been passed by no less than three 744 who met the 0600 curfew within 5 minutes. So, on the southbound sector, we effectively took 90 minutes longer than a comparable 744.

The aircraft (340) was flown in economy cruise, and even the pilots with whom I spoke (and visited) remarked that the Airbus was an affront to prescribed duty times. Those of us in the F cabin had it reasonably easy, but I doubt anyone in the cramped Y config that VA uses would be quite so complimentary on a 15 hr sector.

As mentioned above, Branson would need a 51% Australian shareholder to comply with the air services capacity agreement between the USA and Australia. I do not see a whole raft of (airline) investors knocking on his door to partake of such a venture. The route is very wasteful of aircraft due to sector times and the curfew impacts in Sydney, and there is little domestic feed in the USA to make his through fares competative. A DJ styled product would take a lot more work than did the HKG-SYD Virgin start-up, and that struggled for a long time.

There are a few airlines that are very wary of going into joint ventures with Branson, SQ, NZ to name just two.

My info is that NZ have looked very keenly into going back on the non-stop Pacifics with their B777s. Several 'interesting' routes - AKL-ADL-BNE-SFO, and LAX-BNE-CHC were two that were costed to get more efficient usse of the aircraft. But....the yields are not there, and expect to see code shares with AC instead.

Source - staff who did the math.

OZ777
 
Simpilicity
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 11:53 am

Quoting Oz777 (Reply 37):
Tel,l that to all the previous investors who purchased the original VB shares at Branson's list price, but now he want to buy them back at somehing like a 40% discount.

As a frequent trans-pacific traveller, I would avoid the Airbus A340 like the plague. Although the 'claimed' cruise speed is only 3% lower than a B747, the reality is that in the climb phase (a major component of the SYD-LAX route), where the aircraft is too heavy to achieve optimum altitude, the A340 is something like 20% slower that the GE powered B747's.

Investors in initial launch did VERY well (maybe not investors in IPO).

Maybe they'll use 744's ??? Does anyone know if any VS 747's are being retired in next 12 months?
 
antskip
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airlin

Wed Mar 08, 2006 1:29 pm

Quoting Oz777 (Reply 37):
I would avoid the Airbus A340 like the plague

A longer trip can be both good and bad. Depends how much you are enjoying yourself. Sure, if it has been a bad experience with a poor airline, yes, the quicker the better If you are being dined, entertained and all-round pampered, well...an hour extra of that is not necessarily less pleasant than the same hour otherwise spent at the destination. I think the A345 is a very nice plane all-round. The EK version is awesome. Maybe some people just like a slightly smaller plane than the B777 or B747? I preferred the B747SP over the standard B747 also. What I really like (and I am a strictly budget flyer) is the A345''s 2-4-2 seat layout in cattle class. Two's company, three's a crowd...or else: more of us go around in 2's than 3's. Other than that, I would think other factors than the make of aircraft determine a good flight. Flying on an EK B777 and then the equivalent NZ B777, one would think they are not the same aircraft...

[Edited 2006-03-08 05:47:13]
 
TEAtheB
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airlin

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:09 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 28):
I never talked about the cruise speed or anything like that. I think the 346 would be a great choice.

I was just trying to figure out where your 1-2 hour figure came from - the point I'm trying to make is that a small difference in cruise speed makes hardly any difference to the flight time.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 28):
And BTW, you have the speeds wrong, anyway.

These are "typical" cruise Mach numbers, the Boeing one from their website,

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/747family/747-8_fact_sheet.html

(Although now I look more closely, take off 0.05 Mach to get to the -400 - doesn't make much difference anyway)

and the Airbus one from Wikipedia (couldn't find one on Airbus.com), which addmittedly might be wrong - please correct me.
 
ikramerica
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:28 pm

Quoting TEAtheB (Reply 40):
I was just trying to figure out where your 1-2 hour figure came from - the point I'm trying to make is that a small difference in cruise speed makes hardly any difference to the flight time.

Dude, I'll say it again. You are attributing things to ME that I did not WRITE. Other people talked about the trip length. I never did.

Therefor, you won't be able to find where my 1-2 hour figure came from. Because you won't find me claiming that anywhere.

Understand? You quoted someone else's statements under my name...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
antskip
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 5:58 pm

Quoting TEAtheB (Reply 40):
I was just trying to figure out where your 1-2 hour figure came from - the point I'm trying to make is that a small difference in cruise speed makes hardly any difference to the flight time

In a discussion at http://skyscrapercity.com/archive/index.php/t-119734.html,
Emirates President Tim Clark is quoted as saying that on the "Dubai to Los Angeles, a flight of just over 16 hours...With its slightly higher speed, the 777-200LR could make the trip from Dubai to Los Angeles about 40 minutes faster" [than the A340-600]...
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Wed Mar 08, 2006 9:12 pm

Quoting TEAtheB (Reply 25):
The difference in Mach number between the 744 and the A346 is no more than 3% (0.855 vs 0.83). Unless I'm missing something, on a (approx) 14 hour flight like SYD-LAX, the difference in flight time is approx 24 mins. Who cares?

I was giving a real example so take it teh way you want..... I said it, Not Ikramerica. LHR-JNB 744's fly in an hour less (actual time) than VS A340's. Why?? I have no idea. Do I think an hour is excessive?? Yes but again, it's a fact and I'll leave it at that.
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
TEAtheB
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 4:27 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 41):
Dude, I'll say it again. You are attributing things to ME that I did not WRITE. Other people talked about the trip length. I never did.

Sorry - I didn't look close enough.

Apologies.
 
Simpilicity
Topic Author
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 3:49 pm

anyway back on topic, does anyone out there have any other ideas as to what Branson has plans to use in way of aircraft?

If he uses 744's he won't want to be in situation that UA is in daily on flights to OZ, being highly weight restricted.
 
ikramerica
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 5:17 pm

Quoting TEAtheB (Reply 44):
Apologies.

No worries.

Quoting Simpilicity (Reply 45):
If he uses 744's he won't want to be in situation that UA is in daily on flights to OZ, being highly weight restricted.

That's one reason I thought the 346 would be good (even though it is a little slower). Ultimately people don't compare the hours, but the price. And if the 346 can do it with better cargo loads and lower seat price, it might make sense.

Who knows? Maybe they'll place that 773/772LR order and use that? Run a 773ER LAX-SYD. And if QF isn't willing to do JFK-SYD, maybe VS is with a 772LR?
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
BlueShamu330s
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:45 pm

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 4):
On such a long route, the A346 sure would add 1-2 hours to the travel time compared to the 744 and the T7.

Give me a drag of what you're smokin !

Quoting TEAtheB (Reply 25):
The difference in Mach number between the 744 and the A346 is no more than 3% (0.855 vs 0.83). Unless I'm missing something, on a (approx) 14 hour flight like SYD-LAX, the difference in flight time is approx 24 mins. Who cares?

The difference is indeed negligible, whilst for 99% of the time we are all being streamed by ATC at the same speed anyway.

Quoting Oz777 (Reply 37):
As a frequent trans-pacific traveller, I would avoid the Airbus A340 like the plague. Although the 'claimed' cruise speed is only 3% lower than a B747, the reality is that in the climb phase (a major component of the SYD-LAX route), where the aircraft is too heavy to achieve optimum altitude, the A340 is something like 20% slower that the GE powered B747's.

I think you're referring to the 343. Chalk and cheese.
So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
 
Oz777
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airline?

Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:49 pm

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 47):
I think you're referring to the 343. Chalk and cheese.

Give me the benefit of your clairvoyance. I have been in the industry long enough to recognise the difference between two engines on one wing and two engines on the entire aircraft.

In fact the reason to 'dead head' on the 340 was precisely to see how it did perform - they are not exactly numerous on the LAX-SYD city pair non stop.
And IF you go back and re-read my post, you will see that I explained that the biggest determinant of a longer block time is due to the climb phase.

If you undertand the dynamics of the LAX-SYD route, you will appreciate that fuel uplift (not passengers) is the reason it is weight restricted at certain times of the year. The fact that the aircraft has to uplift so much fuel (up to MTOW) inhibits it's abiity to reach optimum cruising altitude early in the flight, and economical cruise as a corollary.

The A340 power settings in the climb were such that, given the overall weight of the aircraft, it took nearly 1 hour longer to reach the preferred altitude (partly due to the fact that the 747's that were flying in the same direction needed to get around it). The bulk of the time was lost in the climb, not the cruise.

And if you think that passengers don't care about flight times, just why do airlines persist with the prestige of operating non-stop Pacific flights. A one-stop, in say Nandi, would add 2.5 hours if turned around efficiently (75 minutes on the ground). That 2.5 hours is only slightly more that the block time for the 340 over the 744, and I do not see a rush of demand for the one-stop USA routings.

The 346 cargo uplift would also be severly restricted - which is why QF, UA and NZ prefer to operate a dedicated freighter (or buy consol space on the [at least] 3 per day operators on the route), so that they do not have to unload pax from the 744 in deference to cargo that may carry a penalty.



Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 47):
The difference is indeed negligible, whilst for 99% of the time we are all being streamed by ATC at the same speed anyway.

ATC have little to do with Trans Pacifc. Ops across the pond are monitored by Oceanic Control, and separations between aircraft are established essentially by request (and the fact that the pilots tend to talk to each other on HF) to find who is getting the best 'ride'.

The final point to make is the issue is economic cruise Mach. All very well in still air, but given the effect of wind in the SOUTHBOUND direction, (ie LAX-SYD), it shows very clearly the advantage that the 744 has over the Airbus wing, whether it is on the 330 or 340.

OZ777
 
jacobin777
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RE: What Aircraft For Branson's New SYD/LAX Airlin

Sat Mar 11, 2006 1:01 pm

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 3):
I think the 346 would be a great choice assuming it can do it unrestricted. Be good to see something other than the 747 on the route for a change! With AC putting a 777 on it, double bonus.



Quoting Vhqpa (Reply 17):
Im assuming it will start of with a few 744's leased from VS then if all goes well maybe A380's somewhere down the track. I'd almost positive the service to be comparable to VS. maybe they can use the "Pacific Blue" brand. I'd say SYD-SFO would be a good route to start off with as passengers can connect with Virgin America (Providing it actully happens) at SFO or even on VS to LHR so Virgin can offer either SYD-HKG-LHR or SYD-SFO-LHR to passengers traveling between Australia and the UK.

well.....according to this website, there is a good chance it might be the 777, though I'm not so sure if the article got the -200ER versus the -300ER correct...but it did get the general "pax count" for the plane right..ie. 300 pax which is correct for the -200ER according to Boeings website

fair use excerpt....


"Virgin's coming long-haul operation is likely to operate between six and eight aircraft, probably using the fuel-efficient 300-plus seat Boeing 777.

British billionaire investor Sir Richard Branson, who has 25 per cent of the Brisbane-based airline, this week outlined Virgin's plans for its trans-Pacific passengers.

"Passengers will fly at business-class rates and what they pay will help subsidise the economy section in the back of the aircraft."

The premium features were likely to include manicurists, stand-up bars and limousines to and from the plane, Sir Richard said.

Virgin has so far talked to representatives of both Boeing and Airbus about planes.

Boeing's long-range 777-200 has emerged as a stand-out option, especially with jet fuel at prices of more than $US60 a barrel. "


full story at.....

http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.a...e/0,5936,18420969%255E3122,00.html
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