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Oykie
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Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:35 am

Quote:
Virgin Atlantic expects to decide soon on a type to replace its Airbus A340-600s and Boeing 747-400s as part of its drive to phase out four-engined aircraft.

The airline is introducing Airbus A330-300s and - from summer 2014 - Boeing 787-9s to replace some of its A340s and is examining potential replacements for the rest of its larger widebodies.
Quote:
Ridgway envisages deliveries will take place in the 2015-2020 timescale, depending on the lease returns of its current fleet. Types under evaluation include the A350-900 and -1000, and various Boeing alternatives including the 777-300ER and proposed new developments.

It will be interesting to see what Virgin will select as their replacement airplane. It may not be the largest widebody order, but Virgin is in my opinion an interesting company. Ridgway says that they are moving away from 4 engined airplanes due to rising fuel cost. But they still have the 4-engine A380 on order.

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/art...0-and-a340-600-replacement-377897/
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fcogafa
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:52 am

I think his quote that they are "rapidly moving out of four-engined aircraft" says it all for the A380 order..

Oops, what a giveaway!


I wouldn't be surprised to see an A350 order replacing the A380 order, as per the A330s replacing the outstanding A340 order.

[Edited 2012-10-23 03:58:05]
 
virgincrew
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:03 am

I personally feel, we will never see the A380 in VS colours....  

I feel that VS will go with the A330, B787 & B777.....
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bill142
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:04 am

So much for 4 Engines 4 Long Haul.
 
oby
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:06 am

pretty funny - if you look at statements in the past he clearly believed in "4 engines 4 longhaul" - how times change.

I do not believe that they will be ordering the 77-300er. the only way i see this happening is if they get a good deal for the 777-8 and -9 with the 777-300er as an interim plane.
I would put my dough on the A350.
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:08 am

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 3):
So much for 4 Engines 4 Long Haul.

Company slogans come & go......

VS have had to adapt to the changing times i.e. rising fuel costs etc...
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:18 am

Quoting fcogafa (Reply 1):
I think his quote that they are "rapidly moving out of four-engined aircraft" says it all for the A380 order..

It would seem so.  
Quoting virgincrew (Reply 2):
I feel that VS will go with the A330, B787 & B777.....

Well, two out of three are already done deals, but my personal expectation would be that their A380 order is converted to A350-1000s.
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:21 am

Quoting Oby (Reply 4):
I do not believe that they will be ordering the 77-300er. the only way i see this happening is if they get a good deal for the 777-8 and -9 with the 777-300er as an interim plane.
I would put my dough on the A350.

Virgin will need a 777-300ER size plane to replace 744 and because of Heathrow's lack of slots. That airplane may come in the form of an A350-1000.
 
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EK413
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:25 am

Quoting oykie (Thread starter):
But they still have the 4-engine A380 on order.

Considering VS was the 1st carrier in the UK to order the A380 & BA will be the 1st to operate the aircraft in 2013 I highly doubt an A380 will sport VS colours...

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 2):

I personally feel, we will never see the A380 in VS colours....

Agreed...

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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:25 am

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 3):
So much for 4 Engines 4 Long Haul
Quoting virgincrew (Reply 5):
Company slogans come & go

It's certainly not, 4 engines 4 fuel savings....... But "2 engines 2 be green" would be an interesting sign of times slogan.

[Edited 2012-10-23 04:26:55]
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fcogafa
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:26 am

Unless part of the surprisingly large B787 order is converted to B777s.

A350 deliveries would not be available at the start of his timescale so maybe VIR will do something unpredictable (no surprise there) and go for B777s and A350s.
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:52 pm

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 3):
So much for 4 Engines 4 Long Haul

To be honest I am surprised that it took until the third reply before I read such a comment!

Seriously though would it not involve less penalty to keep the order with AIrbus by coverting the A380's to A350's?
Or does it not work like this?
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:03 pm

Quoting boysteve (Reply 11):
Seriously though would it not involve less penalty to keep the order with AIrbus by coverting the A380's to A350's?
Or does it not work like this?

No one knows what's in the agreement between Airbus and VS in terms of flexibility to change to other models, but I doubt that's there, it usually is not allowed to just jump from one model family to a different family.

All we know is the order has been in place since 2001, has been pushed back at least once, and VS has ordered A330s from Airbus in the mean time, which perhaps was a chance to use up the A380 deposits, should Airbus have let them.
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:10 pm

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 3):
So much for 4 Engines 4 Long Haul.

There's always one.
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:23 pm

Of the modern, large widebody jets currently available, the A350-10 seems to be the most logical addition to their fleet, due to efficienct reasons. However, if the 787-10 is formally offered for sale, that then be omes the most logical addition, due to fleet commonality.

I think the wildcard is: Are the A380s still wanted by VS and can they get out of the contract if they don't. If there is flexibility with the deposits, I think the A350 is a slamdunk for VS, and it will be a great plane for them. I think the 787-10 would be better, although with less capacity, but I don't think it would be worth 'forfeiting' deposits with Airbus.

The 777-300ER seems the poorest fit of the three, at least with the VS route system.
 
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Stitch
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:45 pm

VS is already a 787-9 customer, so might the 787-10 work for them?
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:53 pm

Quoting oykie (Thread starter):
Virgin Atlantic expects to decide soon on a type to replace its Airbus A340-600s and Boeing 747-400s as part of its drive to phase out four-engined aircraft.

I'm not surprised. The 744 and then the A346 must go. The costs are just too high. While sad, I've been predicting an early retirement of the A346s. Is there any resale? Did Airbus promise any resale value?

Quoting virgincrew (Reply 2):
I personally feel, we will never see the A380 in VS colours....

Agreed. Of the A380 orders, only IT was less likely.   

Quoting Bill142 (Reply 3):
So much for 4 Engines 4 Long Haul.

There are only two reasons to pay for 4 engines:
1. The plane is that big (748, A380)
2. BWB (unlikely to ever be a twin due to the lack of a rudder)

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Stitch
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:56 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
Is there any resale?

The 2004 models are worth about $41-54 million, with $49-64 million for the 2006 models.

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
Did Airbus promise any resale value?

That was a common tactic JL used to shift product.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:56 pm

If Virgin doesn't take the A380, it will not be because it has 4 engines but because they can't fill the plane.

[Edited 2012-10-23 11:57:29]
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qf002
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 6:58 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
VS is already a 787-9 customer, so might the 787-10 work for them?

I think it would, and that it certainly makes far more sense than the A350 given the scale of their operation.

In LHR config (around 300 seats), it would comfortably replace A346s and 744s across the Atlantic/to Africa to complement the A333 fleet, while a 270ish seat 789 can be dedicated to longer range routes to Asia (where I'd have though a little less capacity would be useful).

I'm sure a larger aircraft would be useful for leisure routes from LGW/MAN, but moving to a smaller fleet provides them with flexibility to move capacity around during off peak periods, when a 500 seat A380 would be otherwise flying half empty. The increased efficiency of the next generation aircraft should offset the additional cost of operating more services in peak periods to make up for lost capacity.
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:01 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
2. BWB (unlikely to ever be a twin due to the lack of a rudder)

How does a B-2 handle single engine flight ?
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sevenheavy
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:02 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):

The A346 are all leased, and they are being returned as the leases expire. 3 have gone already, with one more by year end and two more next year. These are the thirstiest of the fleet with a much higher DOW than the later versions. I think most, if not all, were leased direct from airbus so it will be up to them to find new homes for them. Lovely aircraft, but good luck with that!

I doubt it's a coincidence that they are being retired as the A333 enter service. I believe that the A346 retirements, A333 orders and subsequent deliveries, and perma-deferred A380 order are all wrapped up in the same deal.

I'm also not convinced the A380's will ever arrive. BUT, as it stands the estimated delivery dates are a perfect match for the LHR B744 retirements.....coincidence? They could certainly fill them to LAX, MIA, JFK, SFO HKG and probably JNB.
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
na
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:04 pm

Will they order 748Is, more A380, or will they become another airline sinking into the deeps of flying boredom?
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:30 pm

Quoting na (Reply 22):
Will they order 748Is, more A380, or will they become another airline sinking into the deeps of flying boredom?

Corrrect, who cares what the best financial option is.. is all about flying the biggest plane around, with lots of engines hangind from the wing.

People, bigger is always better, remember that


(kidding aside)

Good for Virgin to kick those 4 engine-fuel guzzlers to the curb...smart move.

I say go with the 777-300ER
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:23 pm

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
2. BWB (unlikely to ever be a twin due to the lack of a rudder)

How does a B-2 handle single engine flight ?

Are you aware that the B-2 is a quad?
 
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Aesma
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:40 pm

Quoting yeelep (Reply 24):
Are you aware that the B-2 is a quad?

Nope I didn't realize it.
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135mech
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:27 pm

Quoting phunc (Reply 13):
Quoting Bill142 (Reply 3):
So much for 4 Engines 4 Long Haul.

There's always one.

Yes, because Sir Branson always made a HUGE ordeal out of that phrase and made sure it was "heard"... and then quitely the 777's showed up and he stopped saying that so much anymore.

135Mech
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lightsaber
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:37 pm

Quoting Stitch (Reply 17):
The 2004 models are worth about $41-54 million, with $49-64 million for the 2006 models.

Better than I thought. Interesting.

Quoting Stitch (Reply 17):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
Did Airbus promise any resale value?

That was a common tactic JL used to shift product.

I thought I remembered that promise. But I do not know any real details.

Quoting Aesma (Reply 20):
Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):
2. BWB (unlikely to ever be a twin due to the lack of a rudder)

How does a B-2 handle single engine flight ?

Well, if three of the four F-118 engines were out, that day would really suck. If only one of the four engines were working, that engine would take the plane to the site of the crash.   The same would be true of a 747 or A380 with only one working engine. It should be able to survive two engines out on one side with its "drag rudders." Drag rudders trying to compensate for one side of thrust being out means HORRID drag with negligible diversion range which is ok in a plane that can either drop its payload or refuel in air. I do not want a commercial BWB that could 'drop its payload.'  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northro...Specifications_.28B-2A_Block_30.29

A BWB will work as a 3 engine design too (just different engine placement than the B-2, as in elevated nacelles as per Boeing concepts). I've seen large BWB concepts 3, and 4 engines; never a twin due to the size of the drag rudders required. Concepts out of some companies are always 3 engines and out of others 4 engines; I'm ignoring concepts for military flying wings that are often single engine.

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 21):
The A346 are all leased,

That makes life easier for VS.   

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 21):
BUT, as it stands the estimated delivery dates are a perfect match for the LHR B744 retirements.....coincidence? They could certainly fill them to LAX, MIA, JFK, SFO HKG and probably JNB.

Interesting. I still do not see VS flying the A380. It is too small of a subfleet to be economical.

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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:24 pm

Quoting Revelation (Reply 12):
All we know is the order has been in place since 2001, has been pushed back at least once, and VS has ordered A330s from Airbus in the mean time, which perhaps was a chance to use up the A380 deposits, should Airbus have let them.

The deposits for the A330s were rolled over from some A346s that they had deferred several times and cancelled as part of the A333 order.
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:32 pm

The A346s aren't THAT inefficient. They're better than then 744s for example, and BA (to use a hypothetical example) will be using their 744s for a long time yet. there's no sense rolling over planes if the resale value is poor or the rental cost is low.
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EK413
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 10:57 pm

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 21):
The A346 are all leased, and they are being returned as the leases expire. 3 have gone already, with one more by year end and two more next year. These are the thirstiest of the fleet with a much higher DOW than the later versions. I think most, if not all, were leased direct from airbus so it will be up to them to find new homes for them. Lovely aircraft, but good luck with that!

Wasn't VS the launch customer for the A346 & got a sweet deal from Airbus in return...?

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Lufthansa
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Tue Oct 23, 2012 11:59 pm

Quoting AirbusA6 (Reply 29):
he A346s aren't THAT inefficient. They're better than then 744s for example, and BA (to use a hypothetical example) will be using their 744s for a long time yet. there's no sense rolling over planes if the resale value is poor or the rental cost is low.

If you had purchased them yes! But if you are leasing them (which is probably a higher cost way of financing the aircraft's use than a long term loan) then you simply don't renew your lease and lease something else. You're not taking a hit on the aircraft's value, the lessor is. Of course there is the cost of reintroducing a new type. This may motivate the lessor to drastically slash the lease payments (see the DL MD-80 fleet a few years ago in bankruptcy when they thought they were going to be dumped). It all depends on the market. In the case of the 744.... for those operators hanging on to them for a bit they're largely costing them nothing in terms of finance so its just operating costs. In the short term it may be worth it, but of course in the long term something must be done.
 
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Aesma
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 12:39 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
The same would be true of a 747 or A380 with only one working engine.

Well, a 767 and an A330 managed safe landings with zero working engines ! Interesting stuff those drag rudders. I guess I need some flight hours to really understand the need for a rudder.
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:07 am

Quoting Stitch (Reply 15):
VS is already a 787-9 customer, so might the 787-10 work for them?

HKG-LHR is their longest leg so far as I can see The 787-10 is good for about 35t based on a 13hr20m sector. The 789 should do about 40t over this distance. The A346 is probably hauling something in the order of 46t on the same segment.
 
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:27 am

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 16):

2. BWB (unlikely to ever be a twin due to the lack of a rudder)

Why? Drag rudders aside (which by the way is the same difference when there's no ordnance to drop and/aerial refueling isn't available as for commercial ops). BWB can mean a lot of things. How about winglet rudders for example? You could also have the engines very close to the center a la T-tail planes, or even arrange them in an over/under configuration. For a BWB (if that indeed ever comes to pass commercially) to work, it will have to, at a minimum, live up the same standards we see for ETOPS today. We won't have tri or quad jets until the payload tonnage exceeds grossly what we see on a 388 (the development costs would already be astronomical, not much sense in holding back on efficiency there).

Not saying there will never be a tri or quad BWB airliner, but for anything less than a 380, it's far more effective to engineer an airframe (aerodynamic) solution to issues like that than to slap a few more engines on. The military can do things that way because operational efficiency isn't an issue, and they only have about 50 of them anyway.
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 4:08 am

The A351 (A350-1000X) EIS is now delayed as everyone is aware of plus it has had many cancellations. This aircraft variant is expected to arrive in 2017 i.e. 5 years from now which is too late for VS as they want 2 engined long haul aircraft asap due to the soaring fuel costs as clearly mentioned in their press release.

The A359 is too small to replace their B744 and A346 however the B77W is the best bet as if ordered this winter, it can be delivered from 2015 onwards gradually. Its high density 2 class configuration for its leisure flights out of LGW and MAN are ideal as well as its 3 class capacity carrying capability out of LHR. VS's Aussie franchise VA already has experience with the B77W so they can be a lot of expertise and cross synergies gained/transferred over by ordering the B77W as a pure B744/A346 replacement.

Yes it does seem that the A380 is now not a good fit for VS but all is not lost, as Airbus can easily offer them an exchange i.e. 1.5 A333s or 2 A333s for each A380 ordered. With the A333IGW now available, this aircraft can easily fly nonstop from LHR to SFO/YVR/LAX/DEL/GIG so a benefit indeed for VS.
 
sevenheavy
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:37 am

Quoting EK413 (Reply 30):
Wasn't VS the launch customer for the A346 & got a sweet deal from Airbus in return...?

Yes. They weren't supposed to be but someone (Swiss?) pulled out and VS were next in line. As a result they got a great deal....supposedly making the A346 impossible to pass up. (allegedly this even included fuel burn incentives and guarantees which covered the difference in fuel burn over a B77W) The earlier ones were significantly heavier, and this was also factored in to the deal.

At the time, which now more than 10 yeas ago these aircraft were a great deal but the price of fuel now is making a huge difference.

Quoting 135mech (Reply 26):
Yes, because Sir Branson always made a HUGE ordeal out of that phrase and made sure it was "heard"... and then quitely the 777's showed up and he stopped saying that so much anymore.

He didnt make nearly as huge a deal as people remember, and the slogan was part of the A346 deal with Airbus, who were desperately trying to sell the A346 which at the time was up against the faster selling B77W. It was thrown around for a while to coincide with the A346 EIS and then put on the back of the aircraft for a few years. Like almost all marketing slogans it lost its relevance, and VS did the right thing and moved on (as would any decently run business!)

BTW, not to nitpick, but for reference VS took A333's, not B777's


Quoting lightsaber (Reply 27):
Interesting. I still do not see VS flying the A380. It is too small of a subfleet to be economical

I suspect you're right, but I'm not ruling it out just yet. 6 Frames to LAX/SFO/HKG/MIA/JFK could work. Particularly if followed up with another 4 or so for leisure routes to MCO/LAS. The problem is the lack of flexibility, they would work for most of the year on these routes but there would be a few weeks where they would be a total liability. I guess thats true of almost every route ,so it comes down to whether the good times would outweight the bad  
Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 31):
If you had purchased them yes! But if you are leasing them (which is probably a higher cost way of financing the aircraft's use than a long term loan) then you simply don't renew your lease and lease something else. You're not taking a hit on the aircraft's value, the lessor is. Of course there is the cost of reintroducing a new type. This may motivate the lessor to drastically slash the lease payments (see the DL MD-80 fleet a few years ago in bankruptcy when they thought they were going to be dumped). It all depends on the market. In the case of the 744.... for those operators hanging on to them for a bit they're largely costing them nothing in terms of finance so its just operating costs. In the short term it may be worth it, but of course in the long term something must be done.

Indeed, VS renewed the leases on the B744 leisure fleet for exactly that reason. They were up for renewal and the lessor, knowing they would struggle to find homes for them, pretty much halved the lease rates meaning that VS could do £50m worth of refits for free (and then some!). Not a bad deal if you still need that kind of capacity.

The A346 are a different matter. As nice as they are from an enthusiasts (and passengers) perspective they are generally far more expensive to operate than a B744.

That said, on a perfect day the A346 is still unbeaten in terms of available cargo capacity, even compared to the B77W. Shame those occasions are few and far between...........
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
ferpe
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:44 am

Quoting behramjee (Reply 35):
The A359 is too small to replace their B744 and A346 however the B77W is the best bet as if ordered this winter,

If you already have the A340-600 ordering the 77W to replace it makes no sense at all, they are the same generation and the 77W is only fractionally more efficient, you would go through the problem of a transition to a new aircraft type for the pleasure of immediately having to plan for it's replacement. The next generation, weather it be 35J or 777-X is a whopping 25% more efficient than both the 346 and 77W, might as well run these marginally less efficient crafts until you can get your hands on the true next generation.
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 6:58 am

Quoting phunc (Reply 13):

There's always one.

I'm sorry, but if a company so publicly denounces the safety of twin engined aircraft and pushes the idea that 4 engines are safer that 2 on long haul, they are open to and indeed deserve ridicule when they back pedal. Regardless how annoying you might find it.
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sevenheavy
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:14 am

Quoting garpd (Reply 38):
I'm sorry, but if a company so publicly denounces the safety of twin engined aircraft and pushes the idea that 4 engines are safer that 2 on long haul, they are open to and indeed deserve ridicule when they back pedal. Regardless how annoying you might find it.

Feel free to prove me wrong, but I cant find a single example of anyone at VS "denouncing the safety" of twin engined aircraft. The quote Branson was throwing around at the time was that "18% of long haul passengers would prefer to fly on a four engined aircraft".........who knows where he got that from, and I dont have an opinion on it either way (largely because you can find stats to back up almost any argument if you look hard enough) but its not even close to calling twin engined aircraft unsafe.

Even if VS were stupid enough to start throwing around that kind of claim, the slogan was conceived in conjunction with Airbus, and they certainly wouldn't be - for very obvious reasons  
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
scouseflyer
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:25 am

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 36):
The A346 are a different matter. As nice as they are from an enthusiasts (and passengers) perspective they are generally far more expensive to operate than a B744.

Are you sure about that or are you including the lease costs in that statement?

The A346 is more expensive than the 777 in both overall trip costs and Costs per seat mile but I'm sure it's better on overall than the 744
 
sevenheavy
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:49 am

Quoting scouseflyer (Reply 40):
Are you sure about that or are you including the lease costs in that statement?

The A346 is more expensive than the 777 in both overall trip costs and Costs per seat mile but I'm sure it's better on overall than the 744

They are more expensive than the B744 per passenger, per ASM, and the lease rates are now higher as well!.

Overall the cost per trip may be lower, but thats not a realistic representation of their viability.

It says a lot that VS were willing to renegotiate the leases on the older B744, but not the A346.

The A346 is unbeatable if you can fill it with cargo. It can potentially carry 50% more than a B744. If you take an LHR configured VS B744/A346 the B744 carries 20% more passengers and has an almost identical basic weight and MTOW. Fuel burn on the A346 is @ 12-14% lower. If you can trade that off with the higher cargo capabilities then great, otherwise you can see how they simply dont make sense.
So long 701, it was nice knowing you.
 
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EK413
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:50 am

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 36):
Yes. They weren't supposed to be but someone (Swiss?) pulled out and VS were next in line. As a result they got a great deal....supposedly making the A346 impossible to pass up. (allegedly this even included fuel burn incentives and guarantees which covered the difference in fuel burn over a B77W) The earlier ones were significantly heavier, and this was also factored in to the deal.

I thought that would've been the case...

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 36):
BTW, not to nitpick, but for reference VS took A333's, not B777's

I'm only guessing his probably referring to VA & their B77W order even though both carriers hold separate identities...

EK413
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qf002
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 8:17 am

Quoting behramjee (Reply 35):
VS's Aussie franchise VA already has experience with the B77W so they can be a lot of expertise and cross synergies gained/transferred over by ordering the B77W as a pure B744/A346 replacement.

Two completely separate companies. The only link between the two is the fact that SRB owns a share in both.

The 777 makes very little sense for VS IMO. It makes more sense for them to retain the 744's as long as they can, extend the A346 leases by a year or two and wait it out for the larger 787 variant (or the A350).
 
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garpd
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:22 am

Quoting sevenheavy (Reply 39):

There was an advert. It was pulled under protest I believe, but there was an advertisement in a paper or magazine.
Someone here once posted a scan of it.

In this advert that made 4 engines sound much safer than 2 engines.

Can't seem to find it, but it DID exist.
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leonard320
Posts: 24
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 10:40 am

As much as I would love to see what Virgin would do with a A380, I think they would only take them now if they can't back out without a significant penalty, if that's the case then I think they will have to market it as the flagship and try and out do whatever BA come up with and then get the marketing spot on.

They may be able to make it work but it would be difficult at the present time, but if the government did reduce APD and costs fell, I do think they could have a good market for MCO from LGW/MAN, especially at peak time, they could make it work at peak times and then they could look at expanding to other high density routes in winter, In my opinion this would be the only route which would warrant the A380 currently.

I agree with everyone that the A350 will be the likely replacement, with A330's bridging any gaps.

I think the 4 Engines 4 Long haul is well and truly dead, especially since ETOPS standards are now so hign, routes will soon not need 4 engines.
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virgincrew
Posts: 420
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:23 pm

Quoting leonard320 (Reply 45):
As much as I would love to see what Virgin would do with a A380, I think they would only take them now if they can't back out without a significant penalty, if that's the case then I think they will have to market it as the flagship and try and out do whatever BA come up with and then get the marketing spot on.

They may be able to make it work but it would be difficult at the present time, but if the government did reduce APD and costs fell, I do think they could have a good market for MCO from LGW/MAN, especially at peak time, they could make it work at peak times and then they could look at expanding to other high density routes in winter, In my opinion this would be the only route which would warrant the A380 currently.

I deffo agree, I would love to see what VS would do with the A380... I would love to see the A380 in the VS livery...



I think the A380 would be fantastic on the MCO and could work for VS on this route.
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behramjee
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:59 am

Quoting qf002 (Reply 43):
Two completely separate companies. The only link between the two is the fact that SRB owns a share in both.

The 777 makes very little sense for VS IMO. It makes more sense for them to retain the 744's as long as they can, extend the A346 leases by a year or two and wait it out for the larger 787 variant (or the A350).

The larger B787 variant is not an A346/B744 sized aircraft to be an effective replacement. It is meant to replace B772ERs and A343s !

Quoting ferpe (Reply 37):

If you already have the A340-600 ordering the 77W to replace it makes no sense at all, they are the same generation and the 77W is only fractionally more efficient, you would go through the problem of a transition to a new aircraft type for the pleasure of immediately having to plan for it's replacement.

hmm..maybe you should ask this question to CX, QR, EY, AF, EK, CA, AC, MS, KU, SQ, TG etc who have maintained side by side A340 and B777 fleet in their portfolio ; )

With regards specifically to A346/B77W refer to QR/EY/CX/TG !

Quoting ferpe (Reply 37):
The next generation, weather it be 35J or 777-X is a whopping 25% more efficient than both the 346 and 77W, might as well run these marginally less efficient crafts until you can get your hands on the true next generation.

VS clearly states in its press release that they are looking to replace 744/346s as soon as they possibly can hence ordering an aircraft such as the B778/779 which yet to be officially launched is not possible for the time being until Boeing releases it for sale. Even if it does, EIS will be 2019 for this aircraft type and the A350-1000X would also be delivered to VS earliest in 2019 so their only solution is to order B77Ws and then later on make a deal with Boeing for B779Xs by requesting to trade in the B77Ws for a size able launch customer order which Boeing will not mind at all !
 
qf002
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Thu Oct 25, 2012 8:24 am

Quoting behramjee (Reply 47):
The larger B787 variant is not an A346/B744 sized aircraft to be an effective replacement. It is meant to replace B772ERs and A343s !

It's not as large, but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be an effective replacement. A 310 seat 787-10 would be a killer aircraft for VS to North America and Africa, where the extra weight of the A350/777 is simply not necessary.

It depends on what they want to do with the business moving forward. My belief is that they need to move away from larger aircraft to focus on their network and yield, hence I think they should be moving towards slightly smaller, but significantly more efficient aircraft.

Replacement effectiveness should be measured by profit, not by matching aircraft sizes. If VS can make more money with a smaller replacement, then that's what I think they should do.
 
ecbomberman
Posts: 85
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RE: Virgin Will Soon Select A 744 And A346 Replacement

Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:27 pm

I think that VS will have the A380 in their fleet someday...

For a starter, they can fill up flights to HKG/JFK/SFO quite easily. If I remember correctly, VS is having trouble getting LHR-SYD pax on their daily LHR-HKG-SYD flights because most people disembark in HKG. Thus, I would see think that an A380 would be useful for that route for a starter...

Now, is a 4 engined aircraft like the 744/346 such an inefficient plane? Is the 748i that inefficient?? The 77W may be more economical to operate in most routes, but don't forget that there are Hot & High airports which airlines do operate in. Would a 2 holer be able to take off at MTOW?

And another interesting point is that if the 744's are that inefficient, why would CX buy several 744's from SQ a couple of years ago?

In any case, I do think that VS does have the bargaining power against Airbus considering that they took the first batch of 346 and the delays caused by the 388...
VS343/346/744 CX744/L1101/343 MH332/333/733 BD32x/EMB 145 AK320 SQ310/77E/773/744 UA747SP/744 BA744 BI763ER/319 QF763ER

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