VA BNE-POM changing to a Fokker 100 | Australian Frequent Flyer
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VA BNE-POM changing to a Fokker 100

Mattg

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Virgin's Brisbane-Port Moresby route will change from a Boeing 737-800 service to a Fokker 100 operated by Alliance Airlines from 25 February. This does mean the loss of J seating on this route.

Screen Shot 2019-01-30 at 2.17.24 am.png

Not all that surprising really, given VA's loads on this route have been as low as 30% on a regular basis. I wonder how long it will be until VA abandons PNG altogether.
 

Saab34

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What’s the continued interest with serving such a place that has performed so poorly for a number of years? Government kickbacks? Freight?

Sounds like a case of just not wanting to gift market share to the roo.
 
D

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Woe is VA, it would seem. The last few times I've flown that route on VA, I haven't managed a J upgrade as they were full and as far as I'm concerned, being able to use my plat upgrades was the ONLY benefit to flying VA. The loadings have always seemed pretty good to, but I have never understood why. VA is the worst of the options, IMHO. No food at all in the cheaper buckets (which aren't cheap compared to PX which have a great Y food offering), extortionate J prices, no connections possible and they only fly weekdays which is a PITA for me quite often. I'm not sure why they would go to an F100, but it just confirms to me that it's either PX (preferably) or QF for me. VA has always been 3rd option and now this makes it no option (unless absolutely desperate).
 

Saab34

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I think 737 usage is at a premium currently as I was told recently they are getting another Tiger Airbus for VARA to take over more WA/SA flying.

A lot of expansion across the Tasman and Perth recently was wondering where it could all come from.

How long until Alliance take over BNE/CNS. QF are nearly all 717.

MAX arrives in 9 months. I understand the initial dozen are being used for Tiger fleet swap outs with Virgin’s older 73’s going over.
 

openseat

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Are the Fokkers rated to fly over so much ocean? Do they have the extra equipment like the 737s?
Not booking VA on the route now unless absolutely necessary. I used to support them for competition's sake.
 
D

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How long until Alliance take over BNE/CNS. QF are nearly all 717.
If they do, I'll be swapping back over to QF. I can only remember a couple of QF flights in a 717. Nearly all I take are 737.

Are the Fokkers rated to fly over so much ocean?
I'm not sure what constitutes "so much ocean" but PX certainly use F100's for CNS-POM.
 

pauly7

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Virgin's Brisbane-Port Moresby route will change from a Boeing 737-800 service to a Fokker 100 operated by Alliance Airlines from 25 February. This does mean the loss of J seating on this route.

View attachment 151919
Operated by Alliance (now 20% owned by Qantas) for Virgin :)

Funny world we live in, whoever you fly in this scenario QF is picking up some coin!
 

AustraliaPoochie

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Are the Fokkers rated to fly over so much ocean? Do they have the extra equipment like the 737s?
Not booking VA on the route now unless absolutely necessary. I used to support them for competition's sake.
Irks me too that F100 now does Au dom as well.
What I have read on Seatguru is that the F100 has little or no padding, I have a 3.75hrs one coming up, not too happy but have to try it out that plane at least once.
ADL - PER used to be all VA 737 territory, now its 2/3 VARA F100.
Hopefully VA does not in the end go the way of AN, as in Ansett.
I can see a lot of similarities, VA was being too ambitious.
Should they have been flying to PNG in the first place, really/financially/practically?
 

AustraliaPoochie

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Operated by Alliance (now 20% owned by Qantas) for Virgin :)
Funny world we live in, whoever you fly in this scenario QF is picking up some coin!
OT: they now also have links to a *A company, even sharing the NZ flight code.
QF have their hands in everything indeed.
Do you still earn VA FF points and VA SC on these Alliance flights, (not that I would have a need to fly them, unless they take over ADL - PER)?
 

mannej

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Irks me too that F100 now does Au dom as well.
What I have read on Seatguru is that the F100 has little or no padding, I have a 3.75hrs one coming up, not too happy but have to try it out that plane at least once.
ADL - PER used to be all VA 737 territory, now its 2/3 VARA F100.
Hopefully VA does not in the end go the way of AN, as in Ansett.
I can see a lot of similarities, VA was being too ambitious.
Should they have been flying to PNG in the first place, really/financially/practically?
Not all flights can be 767's APP.

I seem to recall the Fokkers actually having the most generous seat pitch out of the domestic aircraft in AU, but I could be wrong.
 

AustraliaPoochie

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Don't think anyone has mentioned they like the F100 on this branch of the website.
 
D

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Should they have been flying to PNG in the first place, really/financially/practically?
I don't know actual figures, but I think the BNE-POM sector would have to be a money spinner. They don't often discount this route (have a look at the sales targeting the Pacific. They virtually always forget POM). BNE-POM is a business route. People pay for it and really only 3 airlines do it. For a three hour flight, $400 or so for a base fare is certainly not giving the seats away and their 738's are often well patronised from what I see.

Don't think anyone has mentioned they like the F100 on this branch of the website.
The F100 is OK in my books. I don't like the concept of the VARA F100's doing the route simply because I don't think any of them have a J cabin, so it means I can't upgrade (no way I'd pay the ridiculous ask for J). The PX F100's do have a J cabin and are very nice (if not a tad dated), but huge seat pitch. Even in whY, the PX F100's are pretty good (unless you get to sit beside the engines, in which case it majorly sucks). They beat the ATR72 all hands down for seat comfort (but I can't comment on the seats in the Alliance F100's as I haven't flown one that I can remember).

EDIT: Probably should also say that the PX 767 J cabin is easily the best that does that route and I'd prefer the 767 over the 738 (or the F100) any day of the week.
 
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openseat

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I don't know actual figures, but I think the BNE-POM sector would have to be a money spinner. They don't often discount this route (have a look at the sales targeting the Pacific. They virtually always forget POM). BNE-POM is a business route. People pay for it and really only 3 airlines do it. For a three hour flight, $400 or so for a base fare is certainly not giving the seats away and their 738's are often well patronised from what I see.
It's even worse for Honiara flights at around $500-$600 one way from Brisbane. Even though they average a 35% load or so, I think VA must make money on it as they have been flying the route for 10 years or so now.

Even in whY, the PX F100's are pretty good (unless you get to sit beside the engines, in which case it majorly sucks).
Yes, I have found them quite comfortable in flying HIR-POM and POM-BUA. Although there have been some stories of late at Buka where they can't get the door open after landing for about 30 minutes.
 
D

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Yes, I have found them quite comfortable in flying HIR-POM and POM-BUA.
Drifting OT now, but do you prefer flying into BUA or KIE? Some of my friends are from the south, but I want to see Buka as well. It's expensive whichever way I look at it, so was wondering which you prefer?
 

Bagpuss

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Irks me too that F100 now does Au dom as well.
What I have read on Seatguru is that the F100 has little or no padding, I have a 3.75hrs one coming up, not too happy but have to try it out that plane at least once.
ADL - PER used to be all VA 737 territory, now its 2/3 VARA F100.
Hopefully VA does not in the end go the way of AN, as in Ansett.
I can see a lot of similarities, VA was being too ambitious.
Should they have been flying to PNG in the first place, really/financially/practically?
What’s the routing? 3.75 hours on a F100 doesn’t seem right.
The longest routing for VARA scheduled service is Perth - Kununurra, depending on weight and heat sometimes it has to divert on the route on the return (been there, done that). I believe they could operate Perth to Melbourne depending on weight and on the return would almost definitely need to stop in Adelaide.

I’ve flown the F100 many many times and have no issues with it. Flying economy I would probably prefer the F100 over the B737 especially with the 2 - 3 seat configuration. The seating is fine and a very generous seat pitch ( I think it has a capacity for something like 120ish but only certified for 100 in Australia). The most amusing thing is the toilets, especially with it not being a full vacuum flush toilet.

I believe VARA are fully switching to the ex Tiger a320’s and the ATR’s. I expect the ATR will be for flights such as selected PER to Newman / Kalgoorlie routes.

VH-FNY was recently under heavy maintenance with reports it was repainted into VA colours (last one to be repainted). It definitely wasn’t as I saw it last week.
VH-FWI has been grounded since July and has its engines off. I wouldn’t be surprised if they start using them for spares (think they have a pooling agreement with Alliance for spares).
Think they now have 4 a320’s.
 

Bagpuss

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I don't know actual figures, but I think the BNE-POM sector would have to be a money spinner. They don't often discount this route (have a look at the sales targeting the Pacific. They virtually always forget POM). BNE-POM is a business route. People pay for it and really only 3 airlines do it. For a three hour flight, $400 or so for a base fare is certainly not giving the seats away and their 738's are often well patronised from what I see.


The F100 is OK in my books. I don't like the concept of the VARA F100's doing the route simply because I don't think any of them have a J cabin, so it means I can't upgrade (no way I'd pay the ridiculous ask for J). The PX F100's do have a J cabin and are very nice (if not a tad dated), but huge seat pitch. Even in whY, the PX F100's are pretty good (unless you get to sit beside the engines, in which case it majorly sucks). They beat the ATR72 all hands down for seat comfort (but I can't comment on the seats in the Alliance F100's as I haven't flown one that I can remember).

EDIT: Probably should also say that the PX 767 J cabin is easily the best that does that route and I'd prefer the 767 over the 738 (or the F100) any day of the week.
Was on an Alliance F100 last week and thought the seat was better than VARA’s for comfort.
 

Bagpuss

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OT: they now also have links to a *A company, even sharing the NZ flight code.
QF have their hands in everything indeed.
Do you still earn VA FF points and VA SC on these Alliance flights, (not that I would have a need to fly them, unless they take over ADL - PER)?
Yes you do earn points and status credits on flights Alliance operate on behalf of Virgin Australia. http://www.allianceairlines.com.au/docs/default-source/default-document-library/virgin-qa_edit.pdf?sfvrsn=2

VARA operate the F100 flights between Perth and Adelaide so it has WiFi. VARA also operate the Adelaide - Alice Springs - Darwin flight.

At some point I expect VARA will operate the Perth - Darwin more often. Currently VARA operate it on the weekends with an a320.
 

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