mikey72
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VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:00 pm

I was just wondering what the score is with VS and the A380 ?

Have they firm orders/delivery dates etc for the aircraft ?

Just seems that with the 'primo' routes they fly LAX, JFK, HKG, JNB, CPT, DXB etc from the airport that is their base i.e LHR (with all its capacity issues) the aircraft for them is really a no brainer ??

I would of thought they'd have jumped all over the A380 ?

Seems perfect for them.......
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by738
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:14 pm

Still on order and will appear on US routes plus HKG first. They were delayed slightly but first delivery planned for Q4 2013/ early 2014
 
DLPMMM
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:16 pm

A lower CASM is only helpful if the yield is not too depressed by the extra seats supplied.

I don't know how elastic VS's demand is on their routes.
 
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Stitch
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:18 pm

I am of the opinion they placed the order more for Richard Branson to tweak British Airways' nose than out of a real need for such a plane.

VS will eventually need to replace their 747-400 and A340-600 fleets, but I am of the current opinion that the 777-300ER, 777X and/or A350-1000 will be the bulk - if not totality - of those replacements.

That they ordered six implies they could make the plane work on some leisure routes - say LGW-MIA/FCO during the cruise / summer vacation seasons. But could they make full use of six frames year round and are six frames really enough to justify and leverage the investment?
 
Gingersnap
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:28 pm

I think they would fit nicely on the leisure routes out of LGW & MAN. I know VS will use them initially on the LHR routes for "prestige" purposes, but they will no doubt find their way to Gatwick to operate to MCO/LAS etc.
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EY460
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 6:47 pm

I really hope VS takes delivery of the A380 and comes up with something very innovative in all classes. Many years ago VS was a step above his competitors with regards to his product and services. They need to use the opportunity of the A380 to go back on track.
 
phxa340
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:02 pm

My money is that they don't take delivery of the A380 at all ... Virgin needs to focus first on reestablishing its customer base and improving its product. Other airlines would happily take Virgin's slots for the aircraft who will be able to fill the 500+ seats with profitable customers rather than to low yield leisure routes.
 
gkirk
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:07 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
LGW-MIA/FCO

They fly LHR-MIA, and I think an A380 would be overkill on LGW-FCO. BA and EZY use A319/B737 sized a/c on those routes  
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by738
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:27 pm

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 6):
low yield leisure routes

LHR-NYC is low yield leisure. Eh, no.
 
phxa340
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:39 pm

Quoting by738 (Reply 8):
LHR-NYC is low yield leisure. Eh, no.

Nope but it is a high frequency business route ... can you provide me another example besides JFK where VS could send there A380 to profitably ? Besides HKG ?
 
anstar
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:47 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
That they ordered six implies they could make the plane work on some leisure routes

Or it implies that they had 6 x LHR 747's at the time of the order so it was a 1 for 1 replacement with the LHR 747 fleet.

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 6):
Virgin needs to focus first on reestablishing its customer base and improving its product.

Which it is spending 100 million pounds doing through out this year.

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 9):
Nope but it is a high frequency business route ... can you provide me another example besides JFK where VS could send there A380 to profitably ? Besides HKG ?

Anywhere they send the 747 currently... LAX/JFK/MIA/JNB/SFO
 
Jonathanxxxx
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 9):

LAX, JNB, MIA are all pretty good to send an A380 too.
 
by738
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 9):

#
So the two example you are now accepting are not enough for starters ? CPT and LAX are two more and again are not necessarily low yield leisure.
 
steve6666
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:55 pm

Quoting DLPMMM (Reply 2):
A lower CASM is only helpful if the yield is not too depressed by the extra seats supplied.

I don't know how elastic VS's demand is on their routes.

I would have thought this would be the most relevant issue - how are they going to get enough feed to fill the thing other than by killing yield?
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phxa340
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:01 pm

Quoting by738 (Reply 12):
So the two example you are now accepting are not enough for starters ? CPT and LAX are two more and again are not necessarily low yield leisure.

VS has no feed at either end, they rely completely on O/D for the most part. VS can send an A380 anywhere but at good enough yields ? The LAX - LHR is a extremely competitive market. As previously mentioned ... is it worth it for VS to have a tiny sub fleet of 6 frames for a few routes .... I dunno.

Quoting anstar (Reply 10):
Anywhere they send the 747 currently... LAX/JFK/MIA/JNB/SFO

From my understanding , a lot of those 747s are configured in very high densities. Can VS fill a 380 on those routes while not killing the yields ?
 
sevenheavy
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:44 pm

I've always been highly skeptical of ever seeing an A380 in VS colours, but....

It may or may not be a coincidence that the airframes are timed to arrive at about the same time as the current LHR B744 leases expire (the LGW B744 fleet have all had their leases extended and are being refurbished so they will be around for a while)

I still have my doubts, but you never know. There are some routes that could support an A380 easily.....SFO, JNB, LAX, MIA, possibly JFK. Certainly not CPT however.


Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 14):
VS has no feed at either end, they rely completely on O/D for the most part

This is an often quoted myth. Just because they aren't in a major alliance doesn't mean they are purely O+D. They carry thousands of connecting passengers daily.

The LAX route would be a prime candidate. After a couple of years of mostly A346 service the B744 is back for the summer, and the demand is definitely there. They only have 5 B744 operating from LHR at the moment so 6 A380's would not be an issue - especially given VS's airbus widebody experience.

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 14):
From my understanding , a lot of those 747s are configured in very high densities. Can VS fill a 380 on those routes while not killing the yields ?

The LHR B744's are relatively low density - J44/W62/Y261.

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 4):
I think they would fit nicely on the leisure routes out of LGW & MAN. I know VS will use them initially on the LHR routes for "prestige" purposes, but they will no doubt find their way to Gatwick to operate to MCO/LAS etc.

Possibly LAS. I would be surprised if they went to MCO though. VS could fill 10 of the things for about 12 weeks a year but they would get killed on at least another 10. The remaining medium demand weeks would probably dictate that VS would have to trash the yields to fill them - whereas now the A330's to MCO are cash cows
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dairy
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:46 pm

Quoting gkirk (Reply 7):
able cu
Quoting gkirk (Reply 7):
Quoting Stitch (Reply 3):
LGW-MIA/FCO

They fly LHR-MIA, and I think an A380 would be overkill on LGW-FCO. BA and EZY use A319/B737 sized a/c on those routes

well, I think he meant MCO, not FCO!?
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willd
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:52 pm

You all assume that they will be used ex LHR. Everyone said this with the 330 which arrived and was sent to LGW in a new two class configuration that has worked very well.

I would imagine that LGW-MCO will be a prime candidate in a leisure configuration with a large number of Premium Economy and extra legroom Y seats.

I flew into MCO on Wed and saw six VS planes parked up at Airside 4 with three flights alone from MAN.The route has huge demand in the UK school holidays and during the kids term time the route is also in demand from conference groups, golfers and the increasing number of snowbirds. And lets not forget parents in the UK are happy to risk a fine and pull their kids out of school early in order to get a cheaper holiday so the demand is not necessarily as seasonal as some may at first think.

It is also worth remembering that VS has the added bonus of it's sister companies Virgin Holidays, Vorgin Holiday Cruises and Travel City Direct who block buy seats and have kept VS very healthy on their leisure routes.
 
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EK413
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:03 pm

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 9):

The A380 was rumored to operate on the LHR-HKG-SYD route I take it the plans have changed...?

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virgincrew
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:13 pm

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 15):
I've always been highly skeptical of ever seeing an A380 in VS colours

Would look fantastic though .....

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virgincrew
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:31 pm

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 15):
They only have 5 B744 operating from LHR at the moment so 6 A380's would not be an issue - especially given VS's airbus widebody experience.

I think the A380 would be a natural replacement for the LHR fleet of 744's.

The leases on the LGW fleet of 744's have just been extended for another 7 years, in keeping with the full upgrade & re-fitt of the LGW aircraft.

I think the only acceptable use of the A380 @ LGW would be on rotation at high yield times for the MCO route.

Quoting anstar (Reply 10):
Anywhere they send the 747 currently... LAX/JFK/MIA/JNB/SFO

Exactly ... we would hope that VS would have a totally upgraded cabin & product desgin for the launch of the A380, so capacity wise I don't think there would be much differance between the 744's and the A380 in seating capacity. We would hope they would launch a similar product to Emirates & Singapore.
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sevenheavy
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:53 pm

Quoting willd (Reply 17):
I flew into MCO on Wed and saw six VS planes parked up at Airside 4 with three flights alone from MAN.The route has huge demand in the UK school holidays and during the kids term time the route is also in demand from conference groups, golfers and the increasing number of snowbirds. And lets not forget parents in the UK are happy to risk a fine and pull their kids out of school early in order to get a cheaper holiday so the demand is not necessarily as seasonal as some may at first think.
Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 15):
I would be surprised if they went to MCO though. VS could fill 10 of the things for about 12 weeks a year but they would get killed on at least another 10. The remaining medium demand weeks would probably dictate that VS would have to trash the yields to fill them - whereas now the A330's to MCO are cash cows

Its fine for those 10 (maybe 12 or 14) weeks per year when the whole world wants to go to MCO. Sure there are parents willing to pull kids from school and there is definitely a demand from other demographics, but not enough to fill a couple of A380s a day. Just look at the schedules in September, May, Jan, Feb etc. On many days VS will cancel one of the services. The demand just isn't there.

BTW 3 x daily to MAN has never been in the schedule. Its a daily A333 and a 4 x weekly B744. Maybe a one-off delayed flight (?) but the most you will ever see in MCO is 2 x A333 and 3 x B744. Even then you would have to be lucky as the first couple (VS28, VS76) should be leaving as the last (VS73) arrives
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RickNRoll
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:07 pm

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 6):
My money is that they don't take delivery of the A380 at all ... Virgin needs to focus first on reestablishing its customer base and improving its product.

Wouldn't that mean upgrading their product to an A380? Customers like them.
 
Gingersnap
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RE: VS & The A380

Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:11 pm

I will add that I have travelled both MAN-MCO & LGW-MCO with VS a number of times, at varying times of the year. Both in and out of the typical school holiday times.

I've never seen a bad load on any flight at any time of the year.

Compare that with the LHR-BOS flight I took with VS back in Feb '07, and there were 151 pax outbound and 87 inbound. Felt quite roomy, and for £30rtn (website glitch but they honoured it) I couldn't complain  
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LAXintl
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:08 am

Don't hold your breath for LAX. I have yet to see VS participate in any of the airport A380 meetings.

Also the VS LAX terminal (T-2) currently does not have any A380 capable gates.
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LifelinerOne
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:18 am

Well, for what it's worth; Virgin is preparing for the A380. They have been ordering stuff from a small aerospace company here in The Netherlands for use in their cabins.

Doesn't mean they are going to fly the jet, but they are doing some planning on the project.

Cheers!   
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1stfl94
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:26 am

Quoting by738 (Reply 1):

Still on order and will appear on US routes plus HKG first. They were delayed slightly but first delivery planned for Q4 2013/ early 201

Interesting that VS website says that they will get their first A380 in 2015. I'm still not 100% sure they will take it the aircraft, especially you consider by that time they have will 10 A330s and a few 789s based at LHR are they then going to replace relatively low density 744s by jumping to a 500+ seat A380. Also judging by their new upper class seat map on the A330 their getting in higher capacity than on the A343 which they have achieved without increasing the size of the aircraft (J33W58Y185 on the A330 versus J34W45Y171 on the A343)

Of course if VS can't get more slots then A380s might make sense for growth by adding capacity on their big routes like JFK and SFO.
 
B747forever
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:06 am

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 24):
Also the VS LAX terminal (T-2) currently does not have any A380 capable gates.

But that doesn't stop AF from sending their A380 to LAX.
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LAXintl
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:55 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 27):
But that doesn't stop AF from sending their A380 to LAX.

AF is going to TBIT.
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anstar
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:00 pm

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 14):
From my understanding , a lot of those 747s are configured in very high densities.
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 28):
AF is going to TBIT.

And what is to stop Virgin going to TBIT too?
 
B747forever
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:24 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 28):
AF is going to TBIT.

Yeah, I know that. That is my point, why shouldnt VS be able to go to TBIT?
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LAXintl
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:41 pm

In theory only $$$$.

But my point is VS has expressed zero interest in bringing the A380 to LAX in recent times or participated in any of the regular aircraft related project meetings. Other airlines (eg OZ) which are years away from the A380 however have actively participated in comparison.
Matter of fact, if VS would have expressed their interest there are plans to build an A380 capable gate at T-2 eventually, and having tenant airlines committed to operating the type would encourage LAWA to move forward with the plans.

[Edited 2012-04-15 09:46:44]
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strfyr51
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:13 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 27):

LAX has the remote parking stands. and they CAN bring them to an INternational Gate But they can only load VIA the Horizontal gates they cannot load upper and main deck.simultaneously I don't believer there will EVER be many US Airports that WILL make that mod for ONE airplane type Though I Have seen SQ and QF a380's land at LAX and SFO So evidently the gate isn't that big of a deal is it??
 
LAXintl
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:21 pm

LAX already has split level gates for the A380 at the international terminal.



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brilondon
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:34 pm

Quoting EY460 (Reply 5):
I really hope VS takes delivery of the A380 and comes up with something very innovative in all classes. Many years ago VS was a step above his competitors with regards to his product and services. They need to use the opportunity of the A380 to go back on track.

That was when SRB was running the show. Now they have realized that there is not the market for the type of service that htey provide, and personally I did not like the last flight I had on their B744. I don't think that there is much of difference between them and BA any more.

Quoting by738 (Reply 8):
LHR-NYC is low yield leisure. Eh, no.

That is not what he was referring to, he was referring to the MCO and LAS routes.

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 15):
This is an often quoted myth. Just because they aren't in a major alliance doesn't mean they are purely O+D. They carry thousands of connecting passengers daily.

They have agreements with several airlines that provide them with connecting traffic.

Quoting RickNRoll (Reply 22):
Wouldn't that mean upgrading their product to an A380? Customers like them

No not necessarily. I like the B777 but the airlines don't always cow-tow to the public desires.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 32):
LAX has the remote parking stands. and they CAN bring them to an INternational Gate But they can only load VIA the Horizontal gates they cannot load upper and main deck.simultaneously I don't believer there will EVER be many US Airports that WILL make that mod for ONE airplane type Though I Have seen SQ and QF a380's land at LAX and SFO So evidently the gate isn't that big of a deal is it??

I thought that the present terminals that are at LAX had A380 compatible gates.
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B747forever
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 6:51 pm

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 31):
In theory only $$$$.

How much more would it cost VS to operate out of TBIT instead of T2?

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 32):

Please, we dont need your Airbus bashing here too. It is more than enough in the UA 748i thread.
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LAXintl
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:09 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 34):
I thought that the present terminals that are at LAX had A380 compatible gates.

TBIT the international terminal has 2 A380 compatible gates, while there are 6 remote stands with jetways that are also A380 capable also.

Quoting B747forever (Reply 35):
How much more would it cost VS to operate out of TBIT instead of T2?

Rent new offices and counters. Passenger enplanment fees about 15-20% higher today, and probably substantially higher when all the work at TBIT is done.

But again. Its probably all for not as VS has not expressed interest or participated in any recent LAX A380 related issues. Even if they had a remote interest, participating in workgroups is hardly a bad thing to do nor take much effort.

So I'll say it again, I don't expect to see VS A380s at LAX unless they wake up one morning and decide to do a 180 turn from all their actions locally here the last few years.
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mham001
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:16 pm

Quoting B747forever (Reply 35):

Please, we dont need your Airbus bashing here too. It is more than enough in the UA 748i thread.

Huh? If that's bashing, we have big troubles.

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 32):
LAX has the remote parking stands. and they CAN bring them to an INternational Gate But they can only load VIA the Horizontal gates they cannot load upper and main deck.simultaneously I don't believer there will EVER be many US Airports that WILL make that mod for ONE airplane type Though I Have seen SQ and QF a380's land at LAX and SFO So evidently the gate isn't that big of a deal is it??
 
Btblue
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:52 pm

LAX I would imagine is doable as is HKG and SYD

JFK for sure - I mean, every time I have flown in or out of there premium or economy it is usually full. Upper Class on the few times I have flown has been I would say around 70% full.

Am sure with the wait, seeing what other airlines have done, Virgin could really use the opportunity to showcase a new product to outpace rival... after all, they will have the advantage of later delivery, thus making use of what's worked and what hasn't.

I would love Virgin to get on with things, get the routes in the UK going, get a nice feed and maybe consider expansion into Europe, ala Virgin Express... If they (Virgin) bought BMI baby that would be a nice way to start. Rebrand, new fleet and bob's your uncle or fanny's your aunt!
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AAMDanny
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:21 pm

When they built there Cabin Crew training facility they made the 'rig' big enough to fit the A380 slide mock up, so they are taking the idea of having a A380 delivered seriously... it's just if there is still a home for the A380 in there fleet, there business model and plan is going to be taking some interesting turns this year. So we will see if they need the super jumbo still or not.
 
anstar
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:06 pm

Quoting brilondon (Reply 34):
Now they have realized that there is not the market for the type of service that htey provide

there is obviously a market for their services or else no one would fly them!
 
skipness1E
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:32 pm

Quoting by738 (Reply 1):
Still on order and will appear on US routes plus HKG first. They were delayed slightly but first delivery planned for Q4 2013/ early 2014

Hmm yes they're downsizing from the A346 to the A333 but wait, here comes the A380? They are taking capacity downwards by replacing about eight aircraft on a case by case basis, in expectation of flying the A380? Let's get real, it's not likely is it? They ju

Much if what VS says is blah and bluster, very few in the industry exepct the A380 ever to fly in VIrgin Atlantic colours.
I seem to recall G-VTOP, the freshly painted B744 is leaving the fleet next year as well. Indeed with 15 B787s coming, I can only see them being used to phase out the A346 as growth appears to be off the radar. This year sees LGW-KIN replaced by LGW-CUN and one more daily out of LHR split between SFO and YVR. The continual desperation behind the BMI sell off coupled by a lack of serious bid for BMI and allowing BA to grow in such an important and strategic manner at a stroke shows they're in trouble. They continue to be squeezed by not being in an alliance and allowed the only chance they're ever going to have to become a larger player at LHR sail into IAG witout putting in a serious bid. They did this because they don't have the money for the fight anymore, Virgin will remain a good niche player, but they're no longer filling the A346s they have too many of, so seriously, the A388?

[Edited 2012-04-15 15:42:00]
 
Gingersnap
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:56 pm

Quoting btblue (Reply 38):
I would love Virgin to get on with things, get the routes in the UK going, get a nice feed and maybe consider expansion into Europe, ala Virgin Express... If they (Virgin) bought BMI baby that would be a nice way to start. Rebrand, new fleet and bob's your uncle or fanny's your aunt!

Perhaps, but they won't be able to get much of a Europe expansion going. The competition is heavy at least to the mainland, and getting hold of extra slots will be tough assuming they even manage to get the ones up for grabs.
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skipness1E
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:59 pm

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 42):
and getting hold of extra slots will be tough assuming they even manage to get the ones up for grabs.

Had they put in a serious offer and put some funding together they might now be the ownner of BMI and we could be looking at a new era,
 
Gingersnap
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RE: VS & The A380

Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:05 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 43):

Quoting gingersnap (Reply 42):
and getting hold of extra slots will be tough assuming they even manage to get the ones up for grabs.

Had they put in a serious offer and put some funding together they might now be the ownner of BMI and we could be looking at a new era

As much as I would have loved for that to happen, I just don't think VS would have been any good for BD. I'm sure they'd have possibly gone with a VX-lite approch with BD which would have no doubt have been fantastic on-board. But part of me thinks it would be too little, too late.

However as we all know, we'll never know and in the long term the acquisition by IAG was the best for all parties. I'd have loved to see VS try, and maybe we will see something if they really do go for the slots on offer. Well as long as they can get the required aircraft, as I doubt an A346 on LHR-EDI 4-5 times per day will be sustainable  
Flown on: A306 A319/20/21 A332 B732/3/4/5/7/8 B742/4 B752 B762/3 B772/W C152 E195 F70/100 MD-82 Q400
 
jfk777
Posts: 5840
Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:23 am

RE: VS & The A380

Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:57 am

Quoting PhxA340 (Reply 14):
Quoting anstar (Reply 10):
Anywhere they send the 747 currently... LAX/JFK/MIA/JNB/SFO

From my understanding , a lot of those 747s are configured in very high densities. Can VS fill a 380 on those routes while not killing the yields ?
Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 15):
The LHR B744's are relatively low density - J44/W62/Y261.

Any airline having many flights at congested LHR flying long haul will need the ggest planes available. While not evey route Virgin flies out of LHR needs an A380 enough do. VA may only be able to fly 3 or 4 daily flights with 6 A380's, if 2 are used to JNB that is 1/3 of the whole 6 plane fleet. Another 2 to Hong Kong only leaves 2 for the USA, one daily to JFK and that is about all 6 planes will allow.
 
skipness1E
Posts: 3378
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

RE: VS & The A380

Mon Apr 16, 2012 1:16 am

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 45):
Any airline having many flights at congested LHR flying long haul will need the ggest planes available. While not evey route Virgin flies out of LHR needs an A380 enough do.

They really, really don't. Look more closely and have a think.
JFK needs to maintain current frequency of at least three daily to have any hope of competing and they are downsizing from the A346 to the A333 on some flights.
EWR is twice daily, one B744 / A346 and one A343.
BOS struggles to fill the daily A346 year round and is often on the A343.
LAX is twice daily at two A346s, perhaps consolidate this to a single A380?
SFO is growing to one B744 and one A343 / A333 on three days per week, again a potential A380 route if you drop frequency.
MIA is a single B744 daily, upgauge is possible but desirable?
IAD is a single A346, the second daily was dropped
ORD is a SEASONAL A346 / A343
JNB is only a seasonal B744, it's an A346 in the summer.
HKG second daily was dropped as they couldn't fill it leaving a single daily A346.
CPT is seasonal only and on the A346.

That leaves China and India which I don't see as candidates. The only good comercial opportunity are consolidating the West Coast US and upgauging to an A380 with MIA a potential as it's still on the B744 at daily. Everything else needs frequency maointained which they are not even filling a B744 on at the moment. The strategy is the A346s are being replaced by smaller aircraft in the short term and B789s in the medium. Remember Virgin only have five B744s at LHR now with the other eight on the beach fleets.

Current LHR B744 ops :

VS001 LHR-EWR
VS005 LHR-MIA
VS019 LHR-SFP
VS045 LHR-JFK

with aircraft five floating between other routes. By all means match BA into NYC and lose some yield but looks like no more than five aircraft if they replace the B744s.

Finally VA is Virgin Australia...VS is Virgin Atlantic, they're not the same company.
 
sevenheavy
Posts: 927
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 3:30 am

RE: VS & The A380

Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:26 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 46):
They really, really don't. Look more closely and have a think.
JFK needs to maintain current frequency of at least three daily to have any hope of competing and they are downsizing from the A346 to the A333 on some flights.
EWR is twice daily, one B744 / A346 and one A343.
BOS struggles to fill the daily A346 year round and is often on the A343.
LAX is twice daily at two A346s, perhaps consolidate this to a single A380?
SFO is growing to one B744 and one A343 / A333 on three days per week, again a potential A380 route if you drop frequency.
MIA is a single B744 daily, upgauge is possible but desirable?
IAD is a single A346, the second daily was dropped
ORD is a SEASONAL A346 / A343
JNB is only a seasonal B744, it's an A346 in the summer.
HKG second daily was dropped as they couldn't fill it leaving a single daily A346.
CPT is seasonal only and on the A346.

Although the A333 is replacing some A346 flying, when you look at the flying programme as a whole there is more to consider;

Also, bear in mind that the A333 actually has 26 more seats than the A343.

Taking NYC as an example. recently there has been anything from 1 X A343 and either 2 X A346/2 X B744 or 3 X A346 / 1 X B744. That equates to between 1531 and 1590 seats. With the new schedule of 1 X A333 / 2 X A346 / 2 X B744 there will be 1616 seats.

ORD has historically been an A343 (although due to availability of A343 it will be an A346 until the A333 arrives) so it will gain 26 seats.

DEL flirts between A343 and A346. With a permanent A333 the number of seats changes very little one way or the other.

SFO will stay as a B744/A343 - the A333 will go to YVR but will struggle to SFO.

IAD has been upgraded from an A343 to an A346

Bottom line, For the 8 A333 that arrive over the next year or so, 4 A346 and 2 A343 will go. 1712 seats leave and 2128 arrive. Net gain, 416 seats. In terms of the LGW operation, G-VROM has come back so that cancels out G-VTOP IF it leaves the fleet next year.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm not convinced about the A380 ever arriving myself, but the demand is certainly there for a handful of routes. LAX/MIA/NYC/SFO and seasonally JNB. I doubt HKG/SYD would see one, despite other claims to the contrary
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
anstar
Posts: 2868
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: VS & The A380

Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:45 am

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 46):
LAX is twice daily at two A346s, perhaps consolidate this to a single A380?

VS7 also ops as a 747 during summer so its 1 x 744 and 1 x 346 service.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 46):
BOS struggles to fill the daily A346 year round and is often on the A343.

BOS/IAD both go to 343 during the winter and revert to 346 for summer.

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 46):
HKG second daily was dropped as they couldn't fill it leaving a single daily A346.

And you also had that thing called a global recession at the time... BA and CX also dropped HKG frequencies at the same time.
 
qf002
Posts: 3083
Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:14 am

RE: VS & The A380

Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:12 am

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 47):
I doubt HKG/SYD would see one, despite other claims to the contrary

+1. Even in a premium heavy configuration, that's a lot of Y seats to fill, and we've never seen a scheduled 744 down here...

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