I'm more interested in LHR higher yield though - are there any routes that might open up that werent viable with an A333 but might work with a more efficient A339? Realistically i dont see it. BOM? DEL? ORD? Surely if they work with an A339 then they'll work even better with a 789?
In the case of BOM, as that's being re-launched we'll soon see how it fares with a 787. Without wanting to reopen the debate upthread, I'd say that operating costs between the two aircraft is likely to be marginal on routes such as anywhere to the US East Coast, though the A330-900 could easily work most routes on the VS network if required.
This may be a replacement for some of the older Virgin a330-200, old Air Berlin units which have had a few problems with maintenance. The a330-300 are not too old and will likely remain in the Virgin fleet for years to come.
Both fleets are leased, so if the deal is right and if it's true the -300's are on ten year leases (which I accept can easily be extended), it might make more sense to ditch the ceo's.
I've heard this A339 order is for a MAN sub fleet with a slightly lower upper seat count similar to the ex-Air Berlin they will replace. 4 of the 10 will replace the AB aircraft and the other 6 will be for expansion.
Also expect an order for the A220 to come too. VS currently asking its frequent fliers their opinions on a short haul J product. Given the Dash8 isn't optimised for J, it's clear VS have a plan for something bigger on their new VS connect venture.
Does that also include MCO or will that be covered by the A350's for capacity purposes?
An A220 order sounds plausible and makes sense. They can convert more Dash 8 routes to upgrade the offering, particularly on the routes out of LHR, and also ditch the Embraer's, though there's still a lot of routes that work best with the Dash 8's.
Speaking of Embraer's, is there any word on when the 4 E170's Flybe committed themselves to taking delivery of is likely to occur or is that no longer happening?