Posts: 771
Joined: Sat Mar 25, 2000 5:24 am

Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Fri Apr 27, 2001 6:05 am

The Chairman of Virgin Blue in coming to WLG on Sunday to meet with the Transport Minister to talk about the possibility of flying with-in New Zealand due to Qantas NZ going belly up.

He will be flying in on Virgin Blues new 737-700.

I was wondering if anyone knew what time the plane was coming in so that I might pop out to the airport to catch a glimpse of it.

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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:32 am

RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Fri Apr 27, 2001 6:26 am

Thats interesting, I think the boss of Virginblue is on
the ferry flight from Seattle as it has not arrived in
Brisbane yet. I would think they are diverting to
Wellington on the way which is a bit rich, means
Kiwis see it before us Aussies LOL.
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2001 4:32 am

RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Fri Apr 27, 2001 7:01 am

Just noticed on the news that Brett Godfrey has just
taken delivery in Seattle of the 1st NG737-700 a couple
of hours ago, also in the papers here in Aussie is what
the boss of Qantas said about Virgin Blue going to New Zealand:

The Qantas chief also dismissed suggestions that Virgin Blue would enter the New Zealand market, describing trans-Tasman routes as some of the biggest loss makers in the world.

"I want to tell you something: the sun will cease to set the day Virgin Blue flies the Tasman and flies in New Zealand," he said.

"These guys put out more press releases about what they're going to do. They will not fly New Zealand.

"Even they are not that stupid."

BRISBANE, Australia, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Australia's newest discount
carrier, Virgin Blue Airlines, today took delivery of the first Boeing
Next-Generation 737 jetliner destined for Australian domestic use.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/ 20001004/BOEINGLOGO )
During a ceremony in Seattle, Virgin Blue Chief Executive Officer
Brett Godfrey completed formalities to take delivery of the twinjet. The
airplane will be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation.
The airplane, a Next-Generation 737-700, is the first of
14 Next-Generation 737s Virgin Blue plans to fly on routes from its Brisbane
hub to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Townsville and other destinations. The
airline recently converted some options to the larger 737-800 to accommodate
Virgin Blue, an offshoot of Sir Richard Branson's inaugural Australian
aviation operation, took to the air with a Brisbane-Sydney service in August
last year. The airline currently operates a fleet of six Boeing 737-400s in
all-economy configuration.
"We welcome these brand-new airplanes that will sharpen our competitive
edge in the Australian market," Godfrey said. "The increased capability of
these airplanes -- to fly farther, higher and faster -- improves our options
for introducing new Australian cities to our network."
Godfrey added that people are flying Virgin Blue, not only because of its
low fares but also for its unique style and service.
"This steady growth shows that while we continue to attract leisure
travelers, we are grabbing an increasing share of the business market," he
The 737 family is no stranger to the South Pacific. Airlines in this
region have ordered about 90 737s of various models.
"We're very pleased to see Virgin Blue introduce the Next Generation 737
to Australia," said Doug Groseclose, vice president International Sales,
Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Passenger and airline feedback from other parts
of the world on the Next-Generation 737 family has been very positive. These
aircraft draw many features from our class-winning Boeing 777, and there's no
doubt that passengers appreciate the enhancements."
The Next-Generation 737-700, which can fly up to 3,260 nautical miles
(6,037km) in a one-class configuration offering the lowest operating costs in
its class. It features an all-new, spacious Boeing 777-style interior and the
most advanced-design technology in the single-aisle market, such as an all-new
wing and updated liquid-crystal displays in the flight deck.
Building a quieter, more fuel-efficient airplane was a top priority for
Boeing engineers designing the Next-Generation 737 family. The new,
advanced-technology wing design on the models helps improve fuel efficiency.
The model's new CFM56-7 engines produced by CFMI, a joint venture of General
Electric Co. of the United States and SNECMA of France, meet community noise
restrictions well below current Stage 3 limits and below expected Stage 4
limits. Emissions also are reduced beyond required standards.
The 737 is the best selling commercial jetliner in history. To date, more
than 3,900 737s have been delivered to more than 200 customers.
Virgin Blue currently employs more than 580 team members including pilots,
cabin crew, pit crew, reservations staff, ground crew and office staff. With
the arrival of the Next-Generation jetliner, the airline's staff and fleet
will double in size over the next 12 months.

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RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Fri Apr 27, 2001 1:32 pm

I think it should be called Virgin Black in NZ!
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Joined: Thu Dec 30, 1999 5:48 pm

RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Fri Apr 27, 2001 1:52 pm

(from stuff.co.nz)

Air New Zealand is expected to announce plans today for a cut-price domestic airline in a bid to squeeze out Virgin Blue.

Air New Zealand has already started recruiting former Qantas New Zealand staff who are seeking work after the collapse of Qantas NZ a week ago. Air New Zealand says it has more than 500 vacancies.

It is also understood to be considering using Qantas NZ's grounded BAe-146 whisper jets, which it owns through a holding company (Ansett Holdings) in Australia.

It is believed Air New Zealand has applied to have the aircraft transferred to its New Zealand operating certificate, and has asked the Civil Aviation Authority for clearance to use them.

Air New Zealand does not have pilots rated to fly the whisper jets, but there are many available following Qantas NZ's collapse.

Air New Zealand public affairs manager Cameron Hill said today an announcement was imminent "on our plans for the domestic network" but refused to give any detail.

The Airline Pilots Association said today it was aware of speculation about a cut-price Air New Zealand service.

It understood Air New Zealand was today operating a Boeing 737 aircraft obtained from freight company Airwork. The same aircraft is intended to be flying the main trunk route under the Freedom Air banner next week.

Frenzied activity has surrounded the domestic airline industry since Qantas NZ collapsed late last Friday night.

Nelson-based Origin Pacific Airways has been in talks with Australia's Qantas Airways about opportunities in New Zealand. The Australian airline confirmed earlier this week it was interested in forming a partnership with Origin Pacific.

Meanwhile, Sir Richard Branson's discount Virgin Blue airline had approached the New Zealand Government asking if it can operate in New Zealand.

The airline, which has broken the Australian market wide open since it started there last July, would use its Australian operation as a launch pad across the Tasman.

Qantas and cut price airline Virgin Blue have both expressed interest in filling the gap created by Qantas New Zealand's collapse last weekend.

Air New Zealand's announcement, due late this afternoon, is seen as an attempt to combat the potential impact of discount players.

Air NZ spokesman Cameron Hill said he could only say the announcement would address "our plans for the domestic network".

It follows yesterday's Air NZ board meeting in Australia, where chief executive Gary Toomey is still dealing with the grounding of Ansett Australia's 10-strong fleet of 767s on Easter Thursday amid safety concerns.

Two are now back in the air but eight remain grounded as the Civil Aviation Safety Authority checks maintenance records.

Virgin Blue launched its budget service in Australia last July and, with fellow fledgling discounter Impulse, has helped slash fares.

The company wrote to Prime Minister Helen Clark on Tuesday asking for a meeting to discuss what the airline needed to do to fly domestic routes in New Zealand and across the Tasman.

Brett Godfrey, the Australian chief executive of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Blue, will meet Mr Gosche on Monday.

Virgin Blue says it has the resources to start flying in New Zealand before the end of the year, subject to regulatory approvals.

Head of commercial operations David Huttner said Virgin could sell cheap fares at a profit by cutting costs on extras like air bridges, meals and airport facilities.

Last-minute travellers and those who changed their flight plans after booking stood to make the biggest savings.

Virgin's tentative plan was for a trans-Tasman service blended with domestic flights on main routes such as Auckland-Wellington-Christchurch. But Virgin was also keen to develop routes neglected by existing airlines.

Virgin needs government approval to fly in New Zealand because it is British-owned and therefore not covered by the open skies agreement between New Zealand and Australia.

Meanwhile, Qantas Airways regional general manager Peter Collins was to meet Transport Minister Mark Gosche this afternoon. Mr Collins yesterday said his company was likely to make an announcement early next week about its long-term plans for New Zealand.

Tappenden chief executive Rob Campbell said the company felt it had to set the record straight.

Millions of dollars in fresh funds had been promised for the ailing company in an attempt that lasted right up until the receivership at 3.25am on Saturday to reach an agreement with suppliers, Mr Campbell said.

The plan failed because "two suppliers tipped the balance in terms of the time we had available to get the new structure together, leaving us with no alternative".

He said Qantas Airways had been part of the rescue plan.

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RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Fri Apr 27, 2001 7:10 pm

One of the Qantas spokesmen stated that the Tasmen run is one of the worst non-profit flights in the world. Well i have to say this is worng. Maybe for Qantas it is because there service is not as good as AirNZ. But it is a Proven fact that flights to Australia from Nz and Vise versa are always packed. Why do you think that AirNZ would have 5-6 flights a day to Sydney?? For fun??

AirNZ carriers the has carried the most passengers across the tasmen for about 5 years now. Beating Qantas!!!

v jet
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RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Fri Apr 27, 2001 7:59 pm

Mikey, just because planes are full does not necessarily translate into profits. If Air New Zealand are doing so well on the Tasman why are they in such a lousy financial position whereas Qantas is in a much stronger financial state?
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Joined: Sat Oct 21, 2000 6:00 pm

RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Sat Apr 28, 2001 6:28 pm

Because Qantas have a much wider route network. They donot fly the Aussie Hop (Route) which generates MAJOR profits for Qantas. But pretty soon look out for AN to come into the market!!
If you look at how much routes the two airlines fly you will see that Qantas fly about twice as much routes and destinations than AirNZ. Thus vreating a big profit for them!!

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RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Sat Apr 28, 2001 6:54 pm

Virgin Group say lots of things, few of which happen. Mind you, a budget airline in NZ would be a very + move. I doubt ANZ via AN own the 146's though.
User avatar
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Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2000 12:27 pm

RE: Virgin Blue In Wellington, New Zealand

Sat Apr 28, 2001 7:54 pm

Ryanair - don't doubt it, they do!

They were leased to Ansett NZ from Ansett Holdings. Ansett Holdings owned Ansett NZ and Ansett Australia (I think, i might be slightly off on that, if i am, someone please corect me). Regardless, they were all one and the same. Then when Air New Zealand bought half of Ansett Holdings, Ansett Holdings had to sell off Ansett New Zealand (to NewsCorp, I believe, again, I am not entirely sure). However, the aircraft remained leased by Ansett Holdings, which is now a 100% subsidiary of Air New Zealand. Thus, the 146s are indeed owned by Air New Zealand.
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