bill142
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Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:22 am

http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au...story/0,20867,19660782-643,00.html

Virgin Blue seeks US route fleet
Steve Creedy, Aviation writer
July 03, 2006
VIRGIN Blue has taken a significant step towards launching services to the US by asking aircraft manufacturers for proposals to supply up to five long-haul planes by early 2008.
Australia's No2 carrier issued a request for proposal (RFP) to Europe's Airbus and US rival Boeing late last month.

The move to put aircraft acquisition on a more formal footing is the first positive sign for the trans-Pacific plan since a hiatus caused by the ownership battle between Toll Holdings and Chris Corrigan's Patrick Corp put major decisions on hold.

It also means a further potential blow to Singapore's hopes of changing the federal Government's stance on allowing Singapore Airlines access to the lucrative Australia-US route


Article continues

Time for SQ to buy into DJ?
 
NYC777
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:33 am

Ok so what are they going to buy? Boeing will step in with the 777/787 combo while Airbus will undoubtedly offer the A340/A350/A370 series. When will Virgin Blue decide?
That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
 
ChicagoOhare
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:52 am

If Virgin Blue wants widebodies by 2008 you can forget A350/A370 or 787's.

Perhaps some 777LRs?
 
antskip
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:53 am

Quoting NYC777 (Reply 1):
777/787 combo while Airbus will undoubtedly offer the A340/A350/A370 series

Airbus are in such a mess at the moment - the A340 is uncompetitive, the A350 is history, the A370 not yet even finalized - so what can Airbus offer? It will be Boeing. Maybe a B772ER/B787 combo.
 
bill142
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:15 am

Quoting ChicagoOhare (Reply 2):
Perhaps some 777LRs?

Why would they want a 772LR when a 772ER would do the job at a lower price? Surely there would be no massive advantage inspending 50 - 100 million more (not sure of the list prices) to possibly carry slightly more cargo.
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:17 am

772ER's anybody! Wait, will the Australian government allow them to fly this route?
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
behramjee
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:19 am

They should put in a serious bid for AC's 2 A 345s as well as some of EKs 20 cancelled A 346HGWs with Airbus if they want aircraft within 18 months time frame.

If Boeing was to be considered then I would rather have them get B 772LRs than -200ERs.
 
HKGKaiTak
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:20 am

I for one hope they get 777s ... don't forget DJ operates a 100% Boeing fleet already.
4 Engines 4 LongHaul
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 am

Quoting TinkerBelle (Reply 5):
Wait, will the Australian government allow them to fly this route?

Why not? The only restriction in the bilateral for Australian or American airlines is that new entrants are limited to flights 4 days per week initially.
International Homo of Mystery
 
777STL
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:28 am

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 4):
Why would they want a 772LR when a 772ER would do the job at a lower price? Surely there would be no massive advantage inspending 50 - 100 million more (not sure of the list prices) to possibly carry slightly more cargo.

I could only see that happening if they really needed the range of the -LR, which I doubt they do. Otherwise you're right, a 772ER will do LAX-SYD just fine.
PHX based
 
jacobin777
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:28 am

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 4):
Why would they want a 772LR when a 772ER would do the job at a lower price?

would the 777-200ER even do SYD-LAX/SFO with a full pax/cargo load, especially given the headwinds?

The -200LR should be able to do it without any problems....

Behramjee has some interesting points..they can certainly get the A345's quickly and probably cheap enough...

Those A346's, are they or will they even be built? If so, when can they be delivered?
"Up the Irons!"
 
777STL
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:33 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 10):
would the 777-200ER even do SYD-LAX/SFO with a full pax/cargo load, especially given the headwinds?

The -200LR should be able to do it without any problems....

Behramjee has some interesting points..they can certainly get the A345's quickly and probably cheap enough...

Those A346's, are they or will they even be built? If so, when can they be delivered?

Granted the winds may be different, but range-wise, AA runs ORD-Delhi and it's roughly the same distance as LAX-SYD.
PHX based
 
TinkerBelle
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:37 am

I thought 772ER has a slightly higher range that the 744! QF use the 744 to do SYD-LAX so why shouldn't a 772ER be able to do it?
If you are going through hell, keep going.
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:38 am

Why is everyone focussing on which planes can do SYD-LAX? All the article says is:

Virgin has had a 10-person team looking at the US route for some time and has been focusing on various city pairs.

It could be anything at the time.
International Homo of Mystery
 
bill142
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:41 am

Quoting Jacobin777 (Reply 10):
would the 777-200ER even do SYD-LAX/SFO with a full pax/cargo load, especially given the headwinds?

NZ do it from AKL. I would imagine the headwinds encountered would be the same. Granter AKL is probably closer then SYD or MEL.
 
flyjetstar
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:46 am

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 8):
Why not? The only restriction in the bilateral for Australian or American airlines is that new entrants are limited to flights 4 days per week initially.

I think thats actually a problem for DJ in that they want to be able to fly daily from the beginning. I think the US and Australia are renegotating that at the moment.
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:47 am

The A340-300 shouldn't be under consideration after AC's experiences trying to get them YVR-SYD nonstop.

A340-500/600 would be the only viable choices allowing nonstop flights AUS-USA that can be delivered in time unless PIA wants to lease them 777LRs that they apparantley can't use correctly.
 
jacobin777
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:50 am

Quoting 777STL (Reply 11):
Granted the winds may be different, but range-wise, AA runs ORD-Delhi and it's roughly the same distance as LAX-SYD.

I guess your right..but I don't know if AA has load restrictions on that route...
"Up the Irons!"
 
SthPacific787
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:54 am

According to the Boeing website, a number of their Aircraft could do SYD-LAX directly (772ER/LR, 744/744ER and even a 762ER with 181 pax in 3 class conf) Now, we are assuming DJ want to do direct flights but initally they may go through HNL with A332 or 763ER which will enable a more economic entry to the service and leave the door open for 787/A350/A370 for direct flights down the track.
On the other side of the coin is that the major shareholder of DJ (Toll Holdings) is a freight company. Does this open an opportunity for 772LR and/or 744?

[Edited 2006-07-03 04:56:58]
Aussie Based Air NZ 787 fan
 
antares
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:08 pm

The guidance so far is the same as we've seen from Qantas. The 777-300ER can't do either the Sydney or Melbourne routes with the desired payload, despite the fact that its smaller payload is offset by greater useable range.

I don't think however that this excludes the 777-300ER. They will just have to settle for less than optimal performance, which is precisely what happens with the 744s today. The 777-200LR is not in the running anymore for DJ, but can't be ruled out for Qantas if the right application comes along for routes longer than east coast Australia to west coast US, and everyone has speculated on DFW and ORD to death.

Nor does is the A346 necessarily out of the running. It isn't the jet DJ would want if assessed purely on technical grounds, but at the right price from either maker, they will choose either jet, and settle for uplifting less of a load than they wanted. Godfrey has said on the record that DJ is interested in Melbourne-US routes as well as Brisbane. I can't find him even mentioning Sydney, probably because he seems to choke every time he makes a reference to its management which he has been in dispute with over various commercial issues going right back to late 2000.

I think that if someone came along with slightly used 744s at the right price they'd go for them, but there aren't any on the market, so what they are now looking for is a bidding down process to screw the best possible interim solution from either maker, possibly with a generous clause about being able to hand them back with minimal financial risk to themselves.

More interesting and open to speculation is what comes after the 'interim' fleet. Godfrey has said he really likes the 787 but his board will have time to see how it goes in its test flight program before they have to start negotiating on the final choice of jet for the routes.

There is an interesting inconsistency between his enthusiasm for the 787 and his claims that the 777 doesn't offer enough payload. The latter is bigger. I've sometimes wondered if this gives us a hint that this means there is a 787-3 in his mind, or the use of a fleet of longer range 787s for a much larger network than just trans Pacific down the track.

Looks like we'll get some answers sooner rather than later.


Antares
 
jacobin777
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:10 pm

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 14):

NZ do it from AKL. I would imagine the headwinds encountered would be the same. Granter AKL is probably closer then SYD or MEL.

AKL-SFO is about 800nm less than SYD-SFO 1100 less than MEL-SFO..that's a heck of a lot less of distance to travel....

Quoting Antares (Reply 19):

I think that if someone came along with slightly used 744s at the right price they'd go for them, but there aren't any on the market, so what they are now looking for is a bidding down process to screw the best possible interim solution from either maker, possibly with a generous clause about being able to hand them back with minimal financial risk to themselves.

I would think a 744 would be too big for them this early in the game..

once again, I think Behramjee's quote below has some merit...

Quoting Behramjee (Reply 6):
They should put in a serious bid for AC's 2 A 345s as well as some of EKs 20 cancelled A 346HGWs with Airbus if they want aircraft within 18 months time frame.
"Up the Irons!"
 
antares
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:53 pm

I'm sure the A346 from at least two sources is being looked at.

As to size, DJ can count on huge support from those who don't want to fly Qantas or UA, and they are legion.

Antares
 
jacobin777
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 2:56 pm

Quoting Antares (Reply 21):

As to size, DJ can count on huge support from those who don't want to fly Qantas or UA, and they are legion.

no wonder QF is concerned about SQ flying Australia-USofA...they would probably rip the competition.....
"Up the Irons!"
 
Motorhussy
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:27 pm

Maybe it's time for NZ to re-examine the SYD-LAX route? Codeshare it with SQ and compliment the UA flight and time. QF fly the AKL-LAX route, it's only fair.

Regards
MH
come visit the south pacific
 
antskip
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:03 pm

Quoting MotorHussy (Reply 23):
Maybe it's time for NZ to re-examine the SYD-LAX route?

That would be a great addition (though adding MEL as add-on to SYD-LAX route, like UA do, would be even better!)- but do they have the aircraft to support it? NZ has a very good profile in Australia, and barely seen as foreign (as long as they don't run an Australian domestic airline...)
 
centrair
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 6:58 pm

If I could choose a destination, it would be SFO. Then one could probably ticketed through onto Virgin America.

Would love to see 777-200LRs in one of the Virgin carriers' livery.
Yes...I am not a KIX fan. Let's Japanese Aviation!
 
lhrmaccoll
Posts: 567
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:07 pm

Is this to link in with Virgin America?
This would mean pacific routes from virgin, a local-usa routes from virgin, and atlantic routes.
Thats pretty good worldwide coverage.
Just a thought.
 
anstar
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:47 pm

Quoting Antskip (Reply 3):
Airbus are in such a mess at the moment - the A340 is uncompetitive, the A350 is history, the A370 not yet even finalized - so what can Airbus offer? It will be Boeing. Maybe a B772ER/B787 combo.

Would they be able to get ETOPS easily for the new airceaft type? Perhaps we will see A346/744 as the initial fleet then 787/A370 later after they have some longahul ETOPS?
 
cyclonic
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 10:41 pm

Hmm, interesting.

As i've said previously, i'd love to a A340-500/600 in Virgin Blue colours. However, I think there may be some 777's lying about in the desert ready to go.

Whatever the planes, it'd be great to see Virigin Blue doing trans-pac routes.
Keith Richards: The man that Death forgot...
 
777STL
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:21 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 13):
Why is everyone focussing on which planes can do SYD-LAX? All the article says is:

Virgin has had a 10-person team looking at the US route for some time and has been focusing on various city pairs.

It could be anything at the time.

Maybe because it's a very successful route for the airlines that currently run it, plus there are really only two other US destinations at this current time to be considered: HNL and SFO.

LAX-SYD is the benchmark for Australia-US operations.
PHX based
 
airmailer
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 12:30 am

Quoting ChicagoOhare (Reply 2):
If Virgin Blue wants widebodies by 2008 you can forget A350/A370 or 787's.

Perhaps some 777LRs?

Does anyone think that this puts more pressure for QF to fly into DFW so that they can link into AA's biggest hub?

I'm just saying that if QF is satisifing a large portion of the US demand by flyng to LAX and DFW that it wouldn't leave as much aound to be picked up by DJ.
Right?

Quoting Centrair (Reply 25):
If I could choose a destination, it would be SFO. Then one could probably ticketed through onto Virgin America.

Would love to see 777-200LRs in one of the Virgin carriers' livery.

 checkmark 

I plan on visiting SYD in 2008 so this is excellent news for me!!
 
Lospaziale
Posts: 28
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:52 am

I think Airbus A340-600HGW could be the choice... remember that mom Virgin Atlantic has a huge Airbus family, and the owner is the same...
lo spaziale
 
sunrisevalley
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:06 am

So lets look at the numbers. Thanks to Widebodyphotog and his various charts they look something like this:

LAX-BNE 6700nm -200ER Full passenger plus 45000lbs -200LR Max Payload 141000lb -300ER Full passenger plus 30000Lb

LAX-SYD 7000nm -200ER Full passenger plus 35000lbs -200LR Max Payload 141000lb -300ER Full passenger plus 25000lb


LAX-MEL 7400nm -200ER Full passenger -200LR Max Payload 300ER Full passenger

Westbound still air distance shown based on -35k winds, standard 3-class passenger configuration and generic OEW.
E & O E.
 
CPDC10-30
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:08 am

Quoting Lospaziale (Reply 31):
I think Airbus A340-600HGW could be the choice... remember that mom Virgin Atlantic has a huge Airbus family, and the owner is the same...

Branson's group currently only owns 25% however they are likely to increase the share.
 
sunrisevalley
Posts: 4981
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:26 am

RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:19 am

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 4):
Why would they want a 772LR when a 772ER would do the job at a lower price? Surely there would be no massive advantage inspending 50 - 100 million more (not sure of the list prices) to possibly carry slightly more cargo.

Who knows what the price spread is between the -200ER and the LR. Whatever it was did not faze AC. The fact that the LR is more economical than the ER over distances of about 5200nm will be in its favor. Also it will give them the flexibility to offer city pairs pretty much anywhere to the continental U.S.A. , flying westbound , with a full passenger load. I wonder how QF would view such a development? I would bet that they will pre-empt any such moves by DJ.
 
virgincrew
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:51 am

I can see Virgin Blue taking on the A340-600's

The main reason for this is that Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Blue currently do Cabin Crew exchanges.

On a yearly basis the two companies swap a number of cabin crew for the cultural experience. This means that when the Virgin Blue crew return to OZ, they are trained on the A340-600 and would only need a refresher course to OZ standards.

regards.
Hello Beautiful !!!
 
SthPacific787
Posts: 83
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:56 am

Quoting VirginCrew (Reply 35):
I can see Virgin Blue taking on the A340-600's

The main reason for this is that Virgin Atlantic & Virgin Blue currently do Cabin Crew exchanges.

On a yearly basis the two companies swap a number of cabin crew for the cultural experience. This means that when the Virgin Blue crew return to OZ, they are trained on the A340-600 and would only need a refresher course to OZ standards.

I can't see this as a reason for DJ to go with the A346 although they may do for other more fiscal reasons which would have to be start up costs as there is no way the Forty Six can compete with the Triple Sevens with fuel the way it is.

I hope that the success they have had with the seven threes convinces them to stay with Boeing.

I also think that freight is one mitigating factor in the whole idea of going to the U.S. with the majority shareholder (Toll Holdings) using this as a way to spread it's own business. Belly Cargo (for Toll) can really affect the profit graph. Just ask CX
Aussie Based Air NZ 787 fan
 
antares
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 7:01 am

AirMailer,

DFW's chances are fading, although anything is possible.

The costs of flying through Mexican airspace skew the calculations.

And Muraroa Atoll becomes a diversion. Quite a diversion if you think about the public relations nightmare of even admitting it is where you'd head on one engine along part of the route.

Apparently there are other commercial considerations that leave it on the margin as well, but I don't know what they are.

Antares
 
sunrisevalley
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:14 am

Quoting Antares (Reply 37):
The costs of flying through Mexican airspace skew the calculations.

It is less than 100nm extra to use SAN as a waypoint and avoid Mexico, but I guess that is a more expensive option.

Quoting Antares (Reply 37):
And Muraroa Atoll becomes a diversion.

The ETOPS207 diagram on Great Circle Mapper suggests that PPT is much closer to the great circle route than Muraroa.
Hope you are mending well, Antares.
 
Gemuser
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:32 am

Quoting ANstar (Reply 27):
Would they be able to get ETOPS easily for the new airceaft type? Perhaps we will see A346/744 as the initial fleet then 787/A370 later after they have some longahul ETOPS?

This is a good point. Do DJ have ETOPS approval for their domestic ops? (MEL-PER requires ETOPS or a detour). From my exprience with CASA and predecessors I can see a reluctance to approve ETOPS across the Pacific from a non ETOPS position.

Gemuser
DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
 
antares
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 11:05 am

Hi Sunrise Valley,

Thanks. Still delaying the sunset.

Divert me to Papeete any day, please.

Antares
 
AirbusA6
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:43 pm

If SQ get involved, maybe DJ could take some of SQ's 772ERs, won't they be replaced by the 773ERs and 787s?
it's the bus to stansted (now renamed National Express a6 to ruin my username)
 
toptravel
Posts: 100
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 5:36 pm

RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 6:45 pm

Bring on any competion, we need it across the Pacific. I would expect maybe if they want to start now, the use of A346, then prgress into something newer in a few years after they have seen how the market is doing. I suspect OZ/SFO to connect with Virgin America, hey then we have a RTW connection via OZ.
 
cx777fan
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:06 pm

A few people have mentioned part-owner, Toll's freight connection. Would 744 combis be an option? Asiana have lots of them at the moment. If their viable for OZ, could they work on DJ's international routes.

I noticed in the article, it was also stated there may be issues with using the Virgin Brand name on the route - something to do with SQ's stake in VS...the article was vague. I wonder whether the Pacific Blue brand would be extended to these routes?
 
A342
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:58 am

Quoting CX777Fan (Reply 43):
A few people have mentioned part-owner, Toll's freight connection. Would 744 combis be an option? Asiana have lots of them at the moment. If their viable for OZ, could they work on DJ's international routes.

The problem is the 744E would be even more payload restricted than all-passenger 744s. In the end your payload could be the same level like A346/773ER, but you'd have higher operation costs.
Additionally, many 744Es will be converted to all-cargo in the next few years.
Exceptions confirm the rule.
 
anstar
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:05 am

I reckon the likely choice would be the A340-600.

If the "rumoured" VS order for A330's eventuates then I'm sure VS will have excess A346 slots they could give up to DJ. The A346 could be configured in a similar config the the VS birds.
 
User avatar
Stitch
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:15 am

Quoting Lospaziale (Reply 31):
I think Airbus A340-600HGW could be the choice... remember that mom Virgin Atlantic has a huge Airbus family, and the owner is the same...

Yet that didn't stop DJ from buying the 737NG instead of the A320 as the basis of their fleet.  Smile

But I do agree that for a 2008 delivery, the A346 probably had the edge over the 772ER/772LR due to availability. Though if RG goes under, that could free up some 772s.
 
SthPacific787
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 6:25 am

RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Wed Jul 05, 2006 6:37 am

Quoting ANstar (Reply 45):
I reckon the likely choice would be the A340-600.

If the "rumoured" VS order for A330's eventuates then I'm sure VS will have excess A346 slots they could give up to DJ. The A346 could be configured in a similar config the the VS birds.

You wanna pay for the gas?
Aussie Based Air NZ 787 fan
 
boysteve
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:00 am

Quoting Cyclonic (Reply 28):
As i've said previously, i'd love to a A340-500/600 in Virgin Blue colours. However, I think there may be some 777's lying about in the desert ready to go.

Who has sent triple 7's to the desert already? It seems a little crazy what with EK desperate for growth. I even hope BA could use them to replace long haul 763's. Sure they are bigger but certainly much more efficient!

Quoting VirginCrew (Reply 35):
On a yearly basis the two companies swap a number of cabin crew for the cultural experience. This means that when the Virgin Blue crew return to OZ, they are trained on the A340-600 and would only need a refresher course to OZ standards.

This would be a very strange basis to choose an aircraft type. I'm pretty sure they'd choose the most economical fleet available for the job! They could then do crew swaps if it was simple and cheap!
 
antares
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RE: Virgin Blue Looking For Long Haul Aircraft

Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:26 am

Stitch,

DJ chose the 737NG because Virgin Express first 'loaned' them up to six 737-400s and when they began to look at fleet options, it was much more efficient to move from classics to NGs. Godfrey did make the point early in an address that an A320 choice would have been more efficient, but not by enough to go back to square one and recast all the training and support for an A320 buy.

Boeing also had much better prices than Airbus, which didn't seem to 'understand' LCCs as well as Boeing (no surprise given the relationship with Southwest) and may have been ill advised that DJs chances of success were slim.

DJ will flatten anyone between them and a dropped coin. Price is enormously important to them and if when all factors are considered, including lease termination terms, they will stick like a magnet to the best deal.

Other people have referred to fuel efficiency. There has to be a margin of close to 10 % even at current prices to overcome a better capital expenditure deal. At the moment for example Qantas is still partly hedged across its fleet and DJ is unhedged except for currency movements (in part of course.) But DJ hasn't issued a profit warning, and Qantas has. Our view is that DJ is currently flying much more profitably on domestic routes than Qantas, and the situation for Qantas will deteroriate in relation to DJ as the fuel hedging expires, because of failures in its Jetstar strategy, which has relieved DJ of the need to be ultra cheap and seen their yields climb sharply because former QF passenger are so outraged by the Jetstar experience they are 'never' going back.

I am of the view that whatever DJ flies across the Pacific it will shred QF and UA in the market place and force the former to be more serious about cracking down on hopelessly high staff costs and make the latter wonder seriously about whether it should stay on the routes at all.

Antares

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