Virgin Blue seeks US route

Discussion in 'Virgin Australia Velocity' started by NM, Jul 3, 2006.

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  1. NM

    NM
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    More news reported in News.com.au today:
    I assume Airbus will propose A340-500 and Boeing will propose 777 (either 200LR or 300ER). The A340 track will give them some commonality with VS and a potential source of experienced tech crew at least on a loan basis. But I am not sure how close the ties with VS will be even though it would give the Virgin name the ability to provide an Around The World service.
     

  2. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    What sort of service frequency can they sustain with 5 aircarft?
     
  3. NM

    NM
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    A daily Aus-USA can be managed with 3 aircraft, excluding the need for scheduled maintenance.

    I would expect 5 aircraft could handle a daily (or perhaps 6 days/week) SYD-LAX-SYD service and a 3-times a week alternate service say BNE-LAX, MEL-LAX, or SYD/MEL-AKL-LAX. Obviously LAX-MEL has range/load challenges that QF handles with the 744-ER aircraft, so might not be a viable equation for DJ depending on aircraft type selected.
     
  4. jakeseven7

    jakeseven7 Active Member

    Sep 9, 2005
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    I really really hope DJ don't make a meal of this expansion like they did with Pacific Blue. I hope they change their direction, offer a J class and become less of a budget carrier - if only on this route.

    (I vote a huge no for the 777 - hate it! Or more properly I have disliked the way all airlines I have flown have it configured.)
     
  5. NM

    NM
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    Which airlines? And what do you dislike about their configurations?

    I have only flown 777 with AA, BA and CX and I have not seen any reason to hate their configurations (any more than their other aircraft). So I am interested to understand your view.

    I know some have a 2x5x2 config in economy and I don't think I would like to be in the centre block in that config, but I thankfully I have not had to experience that!
     
  6. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

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    I have flown in business class on an EK 777-200 and a CX 777-300 and found the whole experience very poor. The seats are uncomfortable, too narrow, the seat pitch, although I cannot be bothered to look up exact figure, is nowhere near enough for business class, the seat in front can recline almost into your lap. I would call it premium economy, at best, not business class.

    I find the seats in business class on an AY MD-11 much more comfortable than the seats on a 777. Just one person's opinion though.
     
  7. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

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    Every airline has its own config (sometimes more than one) per a/c type, and there are several variants of 777.

    I've flown 777 on NZ, EK, BA, SQ, CX - maybe others I've missed also. The config differed on all of them.
     
  8. NM

    NM
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    I think you are comparing two very different products. AY's MD11s fly mostly long-haul services such as HEL-SIN, HEL-NRT, HEL-JFK. They do the occasional addon flight like SIN-BKK.

    CX's 777's are configured for short-haul regional services such as HKG-KUL, HKG-SIN etc. As such they are configured for a higher density and shorter duration than an aircraft configured for long-haul operations.

    In my experience, the seats (comfort, pitch, width etc) on the CX 777 is the same as on the CX Regional 2-class A330 and A340 configurations. This is vastly different to the CX Long-Haul 3-class A330 and A340 (and 747) business class config.

    This is like comparing a QF A330-300 Skybed business class config with the QF (soon to be JQ) domestic A330-200 Millennium business class config.

    Now, given the choice I would take a CX A333 (3-class long-haul config) on the HKG-KUL route rather than a CX A330 (2-class regional config), CX 777 or CX A340 (2-class regional config). But I understand the 3-class option is not common on that route and only exists due to aircraft rotations.

    For the same reason, the AY MD11 operating SIN-BKK is going to be nicer than most of the regional operators. Similarly taking a 747-400 on SYD-MEL is going to be more comfortable than an A330-200 or 767-336.
     
  9. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
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    Yup. Best of the lot IMHO is SQ 744 sky suite (once per day each way) - but again reinforcing NM's point that is longhaul product.
     
  10. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

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    Yes I agree the comparison is comparing 2 different products but MD-11 still wins hands down.

    Whilst I agree that the CX 777-300 is configured for short haul flights the experience was no different to the EK 777-200 which is supposed to be configured for long haul flight DXB-BKK-HKG.

    One short haul 777 and one long haul 777 and my experience in business class on both was very poor.
     
  11. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

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    Many airlines do provide regional product on longish routes. You've mentioned EK with DXB-BKK-HKG (and also DXB-SIN-BNE-AKL for example), but there are also some CX routes to India and Middle East on regional product, same for SQ. Despite their length/flight duration they have regional product not longhaul product.

    EK is a bit of an outlier in terms of their configs - IIRC they have 10 across in economy in the 777! Their product varies enormously - the A345 is great but 777 and A320s are very poor. IFE also varies from the best on any airline (A345) to mediocre.

    NZ's 777 in business has the new suites - almost as good as QF F suites but with better IFE.

    SQ's 777 in business has a few different configs. The ones serving NZ have spacebed - which lie flat on a slight angle and are similar to QF's skybed. The other configs have an older style of seat that is not lie flat but nevertheless very comfortable.

    CX's 777 in business I only flew between BKK and HKG so not very long but I found it comfortable.
     
  12. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

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    Up the back of the bus, it also really depends on configuration. I've flown on SQ's 777's in the 3-3-3 config, and also in EK's 3-4-3 config (although only across the Tasman), and much preferred the 3-3-3! As good as any wide body configs, or at least comparable to an Airbus 2-4-2.
     
  13. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

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    The SQ 777's serving MEL usually (always??) have the regional config with old style seating. This means the midnight flight to MEL has the old seats, where as the 9pm 744 service has the spacebed. I seem to get a better nights sleep on the 777 (mainly due to being much more tired at midnight vs 9pm) - so it still satisfactory, in fact quite comfortable as you say.
     
  14. NM

    NM
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    Other examples of airlines using regional config aircraft for reasonably long flights are CX A330 HKG-BNE-HKG and SQ 777-200 SIN-BNE-SIN. So the only airline I know of with flat beds (albeit sloping and not horozontal) out of BNE is QF with A330-300 operations to SIN and HKG and 747-400 to LAX. All others seem to consider BNE as a regional destination.
     
  15. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

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    Yup PER, MEL and BNE get regional config 777s not the longhaul config ones.
     
  16. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

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    And not forgetting NZ's 744 flight from BNE has the new suites.
     
  17. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

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    As I said it is only one person's opinion but I have found flying on 777 business class uncomfortable. Not worth the extra money paid.

    I guess I have been spoilt by the comfort experienced while flying cattle class most of the time. :rolleyes:
     
  18. NM

    NM
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    Indeed. I had forgotten they had the 744 back on the BNE-AKL route. Lots of capacity now compared with QF now that QF25 have gone south.
     
  19. Yada Yada

    Yada Yada Established Member

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    Virgin Blue is seeking US Government approval to operate daily services. The current US-Australia bilateral air services agreement allows second carrier rights of only four services per week, so it will be interesting to hear the outcome of the submission. Perhaps the US Government will want reciprocal rights for another carrier.

    New startup airline Virgin America will be based at SFO so I reckon there has to be a good chance Virgin Blue will be looking very closely at that airport. :idea:

    In fact, if they were to code-share the route... :!:
     
  20. NM

    NM
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    now if they get really samrt about it, Virgin Blue could operate 4 days a week, and Virgin America could operate the alternat 4 days a week.

    Yes, I know 4 + 4 = 8, but that accounts for the extra day encountered when crossing the international date line. Either that or I could please that 4 + 4 = 7 for small values of 4 :p .
     
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