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skipness1E
Topic Author
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Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Tue Mar 24, 2015 11:52 pm

Does anyone know the dates the LHR fleet is being stood down? Is it end of this year?
 
anstar
Posts: 3300
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RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:24 am

All 5 are out of the LHR fleet by next spring.
 
Beatyair
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RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:26 am

The A340-300's retire by the end of 2015 and are replaced with B789's. I believe the 744 lives on until the A380, maybe. Unless Delta talks them out of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Atlantic
 
BlueShamu330s
Posts: 2584
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2001 3:11 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:32 am

Quoting beatyair (Reply 2):

The A340-300's retire by the end of 2015 and are replaced with B789's. I believe the 744 lives on until the A380, maybe. Unless Delta talks them out of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Atlantic


Could be a delay with the A380s. They've come across a problem with the counter-balancing lanes for the bowling allies and haven't found a solution to the roulette wheel spinning the other way as they cross the equator...  

Rgds
Flying around India
 
anstar
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:35 am

Quoting beatyair (Reply 2):

The A340-300's retire by the end of 2015 and are replaced with B789's. I believe the 744 lives on until the A380, maybe. Unless Delta talks them out of them.

The last A340-300 leaves the fleet next week. 2 340-600's have already left this year.
The 747's are being replaced by more frequencies on the 787 (SFO, MIA, JFK, LAX).

From mid 2016 the 747's will only be in the leisure fleet.
 
Andy33
Posts: 2569
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:30 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:41 am

Quoting beatyair (Reply 2):
The A340-300's retire by the end of 2015 and are replaced with B789's. I believe the 744 lives on until the A380, maybe. Unless Delta talks them out of them

There are only two 343s left, one of which hasn't flown in a month, and the other is all but captive to the Shanghai route.
789s are still being bedded in and crews being trained, as only 4 planes have arrived so far (one just two weeks ago). Another five will be around by the end of this year. The balance of the order will be delivered between 2016 and 2018.
So they're certainly replacing more than just 343s this year, particularly since the cutbacks on non-transatlantic routes and introduction of additional transatlantic flying make improved aircraft utilisation possible.
 
airpearl
Posts: 859
Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 7:42 pm

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:03 am

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 3):
and haven't found a solution to the roulette wheel spinning the other way as they cross the equator...  

With the demise of the sole Australian route, that's not likely to be a problem anymore. But I agree about the bowling alley which I've heard continues to give Airbus engineers sleepless nights. Hope that gets sorted soon.
 
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BreninTW
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RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:09 am

Quoting airpearl (Reply 6):
With the demise of the sole Australian route, that's not likely to be a problem anymore.

Unfortunately, despite the efforts of both Airbus and VS, the South African government has flatly refused to move JNB to north of the equator and provide a high-speed rail link to the rest of the country. I believe this impasse is also causing some headaches for VS and their desire to attract high-ranking South African government employees by offering in-flight gambling.
 
BlueShamu330s
Posts: 2584
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2001 3:11 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:15 am

Quoting airpearl (Reply 6):

Quoting BlueShamu330s (Reply 3):
and haven't found a solution to the roulette wheel spinning the other way as they cross the equator...  

With the demise of the sole Australian route, that's not likely to be a problem anymore. But I agree about the bowling alley which I've heard continues to give Airbus engineers sleepless nights. Hope that gets sorted soon.

You'll be upsetting our South African friends by forgetting them!

Rgds

Edited - darn, Brenin beat me, and with a far better reply !

[Edited 2015-03-25 01:17:25]
Flying around India
 
AAMDanny
Posts: 328
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 4:06 pm

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:50 am

Quoting beatyair (Reply 2):
The A340-300's retire by the end of 2015 and are replaced with B789's. I believe the 744 lives on until the A380, maybe. Unless Delta talks them out of them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_Atlantic

The A343 goes at the end of this month... G-VSUN is the last one standing - it's the only one of the A343's that have AVOD (ex-Virgin Nigeria) and as mentioned it's being used solely on PVG.

The LHR birds as mentioned are ear-marked to go Spring 2015 however the Upper Class cabin is having a soft refurb with new upholstery to give the cabin a bit of a refresh before they go.

I doubt VS will take delivery of the A380's, there new focus seems to be frequency over capacity, they already have capacity strengths with the JV with Delta, I wonder if they could use the deposit's for the A380's for something else like A350's or maybe even the A330neo's. I'm not sure what the terms are with Airbus for deposit's for the A380 if they are transferable or refundable but IMHO the A380 does not have a place in the VS fleet looking forward.

The LGW B747's are earmarked to stay till 2020, what comes next is up to VS to decide.

AAMDanny
 
anstar
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 11:11 am

Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 9):
The LHR birds as mentioned are ear-marked to go Spring 2015 however the Upper Class cabin is having a soft refurb with new upholstery to give the cabin a bit of a refresh before they go.

I believe the soft refresh and new colour fabric is only on the LGW 747's and the 8 LHR 346's staying in the fleet past next year. (ie not on the 4 x 747's and 3 600's leaving in the next 12 months)
 
skipness1E
Topic Author
Posts: 4858
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:29 pm

Quoting AAMDanny (Reply 9):

The LGW B747's are earmarked to stay till 2020, what comes next is up to VS to decide.

Non core asset ripe for disposal as it doesn't synergise with the Delta JV, there's no business case for ROI I suspect, the LGW leisure fleet was the neglected child of Virgin for years, what with Martinair B767s at Manchester and Icelandic B742s at Gatters. Things improved when they got the Alitalia B744 fleet for a song then didn't keep them in good nick untul such time as passengers demanded a refresh. The A333s are on a ten year lease so not sure they'd want to hang on to them to pass them over to the beach fleet, not sure B787s at LGW would get past Delta. Time will tell.

Virgin are not taking A380s. They're really, really not.
 
jfk777
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RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:13 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 11):
Virgin are not taking A380s. They're really, really not.

Richard Branson ordered the A380 at the same time everyone did back in 2000. When Singapore Airline and Qantas signed so did SRB. Didn't Virgin get the A330 fleet because of the deposits from the A380's ?
 
trex8
Posts: 5597
Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2002 9:04 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:48 pm

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 12):
Didn't Virgin get the A330 fleet because of the deposits from the A380's ?

They may have paid for it with those, I have no idea, but the reason they got the A330s was the 787 delays.
 
phunc
Posts: 174
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 10:52 pm

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:40 pm

I really wish VS would release a statement saying they're not taking the 380 anymore so I don't have to keep reading about it on the fourm!  
 
kaitak744
Posts: 2225
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:32 pm

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:05 pm

With the information I have, this is what I compiled as the VS (LHR based) network for S 2015. The 747 fleet of 5 is still in full use.

JFK
daily 747-400
daily 747-400
daily A330-300
daily A330-300
daily ?

EWR
5x weekly 787-9
2x weekly A340-600

BOS
daily ?

IAD
daily A330-300

MIA
4x weekly 747-400
3x weekly A340-600

ORD
daily A330-300

LAX
daily A340-600
daily 787-9

SFO
daily 747-400
5x weekly A340-600

DTW
daily A330-300

ATL
daily A330-300
daily A330-300

LOS
daily A340-600

JNB
daily A340-600

DXB
daily A330-300

DEL
daily 787-9

HKG
daily 787-9

PVG
daily 787-9

MAN-ATL (LHR based aircraft)
daily A330-300

According to Ascend, they are expected to have up to 8 787-9s by December of this year.
For the winter, EWR will go daily 787-9, the SFO A340-600 will be replaced by 787-9, and JNB and DXB will go 787-9.
At that point, the only A340-600 routes will be daily LAX, daily LOS, and 3x weekly MIA. This will create a lot of spare A340-600 capacity, which would I guess replace the 747-400s?
 
anstar
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:29 pm

Quoting kaitak744 (Reply 15):

With the information I have, this is what I compiled as the VS (LHR based) network for S 2015. The 747 fleet of 5 is still in full use.

Thats correct... the first 747 doesnt leave until September this year, but all 5 will leave LHR before the next summer.

Quoting kaitak744 (Reply 15):
According to Ascend, they are expected to have up to 8 787-9s by December of this year.

They are due to have 9 by year end.

Quoting kaitak744 (Reply 15):
At that point, the only A340-600 routes will be daily LAX, daily LOS, and 3x weekly MIA. This will create a lot of spare A340-600 capacity, which would I guess replace the 747-400s?

The 346 will also be doing some MAN-LAS flights.

Also I believe the intro of the 787 to JNB has been delayed so will be seeing the 346 for a little longer along with BOS, and some JFK rotations to name a few.
 
Armodeen
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Joined: Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:17 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:07 pm

Quoting kaitak744 (Reply 15):

JFK
daily 747-400
daily 747-400
daily A330-300
daily A330-300
daily ?

BOS
daily ?

The late JFK (nightstopper) was an A346 over the winter...haven't checked the S15 schedule.

BOS is down for B789
 
DeltaB717
Posts: 1722
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 3:49 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:23 pm

As a slight aside, what's the timeframe for the full retirement of the A340-600s?
 
anstar
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:49 pm

Quoting DeltaB717 (Reply 18):

As a slight aside, what's the timeframe for the full retirement of the A340-600s?

2018/2019
 
Boeing74741R
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 5:44 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Wed Mar 25, 2015 10:26 pm

Quoting skipness1E (Reply 11):
Non core asset ripe for disposal as it doesn't synergise with the Delta JV, there's no business case for ROI I suspect, the LGW leisure fleet was the neglected child of Virgin for years, what with Martinair B767s at Manchester and Icelandic B742s at Gatters. Things improved when they got the Alitalia B744 fleet for a song then didn't keep them in good nick untul such time as passengers demanded a refresh. The A333s are on a ten year lease so not sure they'd want to hang on to them to pass them over to the beach fleet, not sure B787s at LGW would get past Delta. Time will tell.

The Air Atlanta Icelandic 742s were based at MAN for use on the MCO route but were previously owned by VS (G-VSSS and G-VBEE which gained Icelandic registrations after the sale before regaining their UK registrations). That arrangement only lasted for about 3 years until 2005 when they started using 744s from the LGW fleet and started to expand at MAN with more MCO frequencies and new routes to BGI and the short-lived UVF route,

As for the refurb, it was allegedly supposed to have been done in the last decade but kept being out off until a few years ago. Glad they did it in the end as they've done a good job and it's no longer a lottery on what IFE system you'd get on the 'leisure' routes.
 
SelseyBill
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:38 pm

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:03 pm

Quoting phunc (Reply 14):
I really wish VS would release a statement saying they're not taking the 380 anymore so I don't have to keep reading about it on the fourm!
Quoting kaitak744 (Reply 15):


JFK
daily 747-400
daily 747-400
daily A330-300
daily A330-300
daily ?

EWR
5x weekly 787-9
2x weekly A340-600

BOS
daily ?

IAD
daily A330-300

MIA
4x weekly 747-400
3x weekly A340-600

ORD
daily A330-300

LAX
daily A340-600
daily 787-9

SFO
daily 747-400
5x weekly A340-600

DTW
daily A330-300

ATL
daily A330-300
daily A330-300

LOS
daily A340-600

JNB
daily A340-600

DXB
daily A330-300

DEL
daily 787-9

HKG
daily 787-9

PVG
daily 787-9

........ or of course they could take delivery of their 6 x A380' s and use them on 3 x JFK/ 1 x LAX/ 1 x SFO or ATL, and release 3 of those very expensive daily LHR slots for expansion to new and exciting destinations.

Just a thought........
 
anstar
Posts: 3300
Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 3:49 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Thu Mar 26, 2015 3:33 pm

Quoting SelseyBill (Reply 21):
and release 3 of those very expensive daily LHR slots for expansion to new and exciting destinations.

Maybe they could utilise all their slots first... for starters they have just leased a slot out to Agean
 
skipness1E
Topic Author
Posts: 4858
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:20 pm

Quoting anstar (Reply 22):
Maybe they could utilise all their slots first... for starters they have just leased a slot out to Agean

They aren't as strong as they were once, although on the right path I think. The global ambitions are gone, killed by a lack of alliance membership and a changed competitive environment as BA/JL edged them out of Japan and the ME killed SYD. The Virgin Nigeria debacle is best not mentioned, but looking forward, the fleet is right sizing. The B787-9 is a cutting edge and competitive product and focussed on the noth ATLANTIc (clue's in the company name) alongside a strong partner in Delta, they have a chance to get making some serious money. With consistent profitability come the chance to reinvest in hard product. No more neglected beach fleet, no more worse than useless smart phone apps (it's almost fixed   ), no more ego trips like Little Red or covering up hard product shortcomings with a marketing makeover.

In short focus, focus on where they can make good money and step away from where they can't.
 
kaitak744
Posts: 2225
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:32 pm

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Thu Mar 26, 2015 5:14 pm

Quoting SelseyBill (Reply 21):
........ or of course they could take delivery of their 6 x A380' s and use them on 3 x JFK/ 1 x LAX/ 1 x SFO or ATL, and release 3 of those very expensive daily LHR slots for expansion to new and exciting destinations.

Just a thought........

For the last time, Virgin Atlantic will NOT take delivery of any A380s. They have officially "deferred them indefinitely," which is a nice way of saying, sorry Airbus, we have changed our mind.
 
SelseyBill
Posts: 713
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 7:38 pm

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Thu Mar 26, 2015 6:17 pm

Quoting kaitak744 (Reply 24):
For the last time, Virgin Atlantic will NOT take delivery of any A380s. They have officially "deferred them indefinitely," which is a nice way of saying, sorry Airbus, we have changed our mind

Very pleased for you that you can be so definite about this.......

The one thing for sure I know about the aviation business, is that very little remains unchanged for very long. Who knows how DL/VS will be doing @ LHR in 3, 5, 7 years time ? They may well reach saturation point with their LHR slots, and need a growth solution. The A380 represents a future opportunity to free up slots. I know you know VS will definitely not be taking their A380's 'kaitak744', but last time I looked the orders remain on the books, so the possibility remains, no matter how definite you feel about it.

When I see a press release or similar saying VS has cancelled or swapped their A380 orders then I'll believe it. Until then it remains a possibility.
 
kaitak744
Posts: 2225
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 1:32 pm

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:03 pm

Quoting SelseyBill (Reply 25):
I know you know VS will definitely not be taking their A380's 'kaitak744', but last time I looked the orders remain on the books, so the possibility remains, no matter how definite you feel about it.

There are plenty of orders in the books that never see the light of day. Air Austral, the remaining Qantas order, the Kingfisher order, which was only removed over a year after everyone knew it won't happen.

As far as VS slots go, the VS/DL trans-atlantic operation favors frequency and traveler options, rather than capacity. DL mostly uses 767-300ERs and -400ERs to LHR, not their 747s or 777s. Outside of N. America, there isn't really any VS route that would benefit from an A380.
 
skipness1E
Topic Author
Posts: 4858
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 9:18 am

RE: Virgin B744 Retirement Schedules

Thu Mar 26, 2015 7:08 pm

SelseyBill of course it's a possibility but in all likelihood they won't. Existing fleet replacements have downsized from B744 and A346 to A330 and B787-9. The B744 is just a lil too big, the A380 even more so. Any A380 for VS would be a small fleet with no economies of scale and a huge outlay. If they want to size up, they'd take the B77W before something as big as the A388. BA are stopping at 12, LH and AF see no more to come.
The idea that VS would go against the strategy that just got them back into profit is possible, but with good reason, very unlikely.

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