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.news.com.au said:VIRGIN Blue has taken a significant step towards launching services to the US by asking aircraft manufacturers for proposals to supply up to five long-haul planes by early 2008.
Australia's No2 carrier Virgin (vba.ASX:Quote,News) issued a request for proposal (RFP) to Europe's Airbus and US rival Boeing late last month.
The move to put aircraft acquisition on a more formal footing is the first positive sign for the trans-Pacific plan since a hiatus caused by the ownership battle between Toll Holdings and Chris Corrigan's Patrick Corp put major decisions on hold.