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Virgin Not To Lease Ex-Singapore 747-300s

Mon Jul 10, 2000 12:45 am

According to this month's World Airline Fleets News, Virgin will not lease the 6 ex-Singapore Airlines B747-300s as had been reported in some quaters. Officially the reason is the probibitive cost of converting the aircraft to meet UK certification standards.

However, If you look at it logically, what use would Virgin have for 6 more 747s? They have just taken the last of 7 RR powered B747-200s, delivered over 18 months. Given their current route network, and how restricted their LHR/LGW hubs are it would be hard to find work for these aircraft, short of replacing the 4 PW powered B747-200s. Virgin will start taking A340-600s in under 2 years, so the time and cost of adding the 747-300s to Virgin's fleet would seem to be not worth the effort to them.

It is thought most likely the aircraft will go to Air India.
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RE: Virgin Not To Lease Ex-Singapore 747-300s

Mon Jul 10, 2000 1:23 am

The AI/SQ deal was seperate from the SQ/VS deal. AI is only taking two 743s from SQ along with one 744 and upto 6 A310s. The talk is that this is a stopgap measure for AI who will announce the replacement for the 742 and A300 at Farnborough (likely to be 772).
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RE: Virgin Not To Lease Ex-Singapore 747-300s

Mon Jul 10, 2000 1:43 am

AI is broke and is unlikely to buy new aircraft in my opinion, unless they get some investment from an airline like SQ. Last I heard they were disposing of the remaining 747-200s and A300. The A310 kind of seems small for AI, but SQ also operates it.

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RE: Virgin Not To Lease Ex-Singapore 747-300s

Mon Jul 10, 2000 3:22 am

A short term lease would make a lot of sense for Virgin. They just started service to India and I heard that they will start flying to Singapore in six months to a year. As for Air India, they may lease 777s from ILFC. ILFC is said to be placing an order for 30 777s at Farnborough. It doesn't cost that much to lease planes. The777Man
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