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Virgin - Non stop with 787-9's

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oz_mark

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There are places in Australia other than Sydney. Let's read the press release...

The 787-9 Dreamliner will bring even more benefits to Virgin Atlantic travellers. The aircraft has the biggest windows in the air, giving all passengers clear views of the horizon; an even better cabin environment, including higher ceilings and larger luggage bins; and greater long-range capability (up to 8,500 nautical miles) enabling trips from London to Perth or Hawaii, for example, without stopping en route.
Now whether London - Perth would be viable is a different question.
 

NM

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oz_mark said:
Now whether London - Perth would be viable is a different question.
As a non-stop on a 250 seat aircraft it may well be viable. Probably not for a 350 seat 744 though.
 

JohnK

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jasonja3 said:
Virgin Atlanitc (VS) has anounced a new order for 787-9's with plans for a non stop service between Australia and UK.
Why would anyone choose this option?

Does anyone have projected flight times for PER-LHR and SYD-LHR, which I don't think is possible anyway. My guess is PER-LHR would be a ~18 hour flight and SYD-LHR would be a ~20 hour flight.

The direct option, as opposed to going via SIN/BKK/HKG, is likely to save ~2-4 hours. It is not likely to be any cheaper. Is the time saved really worth spending all that time in the air? I guess if you provide a service then someone will justify using it.
 

simongr

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From an airline perspective they will be saving the baggage handling costs of two rather than one airport, landing fees, fuel costs (it costs more to take off/land than fly in a straight line), you might be able to shave one meal service off the flight, you wont have two sets of gorund staff for check in - given that some poeple do join flights half way, less revenue leakage when people switch carriers mid trip.

As a pax it might in fact be easier than having two breakfasts and milling around in SIN and might make travel times more convenient.

I would suspect that this might be more focussed on the J pax as being in J for 18 hours is a lot more comfortable than whY...

Iwonder if it is a short term focus as the result of the WA mining boom - saving people going SYD for more direct flights..
 

NM

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simongr said:
From an airline perspective they will be saving the baggage handling costs of two rather than one airport, landing fees, fuel costs (it costs more to take off/land than fly in a straight line), you might be able to shave one meal service off the flight, you wont have two sets of gorund staff for check in - given that some poeple do join flights half way, less revenue leakage when people switch carriers mid trip.
There are other cost issues to be considered:
  • Fuel - for a non-stop flight they need to "tanker" the fuel for the second half of the flight, and it costs money to tanker fuel around the world. A one-stop mission means all the fuel for the second leg was not needed to be carried for the first leg. So fuel costs can be higher for the non-stop service
  • Freight - because weight is such an issue for ultra-long range missions, there is little scope to earn freight revenue from the flight. A one-stop mission via Asia can make good revenue from freight since they don't need to operate at MTOW to make the range.
  • Crew costs - on ulta-long range services they often require to carry additional crew (both cabin and tech) for relief purposes, and those crew are going to be based on Australia or UK for the flights in question, removing the option for lower cost crew options from Asian ports.
  • Current schedules between UK and Aus are set around curfews and convenience times at each end, but with the Asia stop the trip generally ends up with one short overnight flight that can break the journey inconveniently. A non-stop ultra-long flight allows the passengers to better choose when they wish to sleep without being disrupted by a splash-and-dash break in the journey.

However, for some people the option for an 18-20 hour non-stop is attractive, while others will prefer the break. Some people sleep well on a plane in any cabin, some do not.
 

d15.in.oz

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VS is a particularly effective and astute point2point carrier, within its market.

I would predict that daily non-stop LON-PER would be a success in their type of operation, mining boom or not.
  • Perth has an enormous expat population
  • PER has no curfew or slot congestion
  • Perhaps good demand for around 250 daily, mid-marketed seats
  • BA/QF’s position, on international routes out of PER, is weak.
  • Key players out of PER, internationally, are all hub&spoke operations. (Middle Eastern or SEAsian)
18(?) hours is a hard slog though, in anyone’s language, I wonder how SQ’s SIN-USA services are going? (Although SQ is a hub&spoke carrier, and I think this type of distance flying, at 1000kph, should really be the medium term domain of the point2point operator.)
 

dajop

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d15.in.oz said:
VS is a particularly effective and astute point2point carrier, within its market.

I would predict that daily non-stop LON-PER would be a success in their type of operation, mining boom or not.
  • ...
One could also envisage enhanced relationship with DJ to connect with east coast flights which would be win-win for both carriers, although this could be limited by the absence of premium cabins on DJ.
 
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