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What are the chances of Virgin buying AIRBUS equipment?

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needaholiday

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Given that AIRBUS is catching the headlines at the moment, and having a massive marketing effort, what do you think of the chances of Virgin Blue ordering AIRBUS equipment to increase capacity on trunk routes i.e. SYD-MEL with a A330 perhaps?

Perhaps AIRBUS might be offering goods deal such as Easyjet went for in the UK when they mixed AIRBUS A319's into their all 737 feet.Or will VB stick with the simplicity and economy of an all 737NG fleet?
 

NM

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I do not think there is much chance at all of Virgin Blue buying a different aircraft type. Their low cost model is heavily based on the use of a single aircraft type (737-700 and 737-800). This is the same model that South West airlines has used to great success in the USA market and I cannot see DJ being tempted to vary from that model in the near future.

But I can see various Airbus types flying in Virgin Atlantic guise. They already operate various models of A340 and red-and-while A380's be operated by more than just Qantas.
 

N860CR

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The 737 does its job very well (as it always has done). I doubt Virgin will change the entire company structure just so they can say "we have Airbus' too!"
 

Mal

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Agree with the posters above.

A low cost airline (such as DJ) relies on one aircraft type to save costs. They have a current 737 simulator. They keep one set of spares.

If they were to buy Airbus, up goes their costs dramatically.

Even if they have to continue buying planes 2nd hand (like at least 2 of their planes at the moment), they won't be switching allegences soon.
 

toby1986

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bro is cabin crew with VB
said they are bringing in airbus to fly pacific blue routes soon
just not sure when or what model though :)
 

straitman

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bro is cabin crew with VB
said they are bringing in airbus to fly pacific blue routes soon
just not sure when or what model though :)
toby1986,

Welcome to AFF.

We look forward to you updating as time goes by and giving us any more details that you can gather. ;) :D
 

Saab34

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I will put my money on the 737-900.

bro is cabin crew with VB
said they are bringing in airbus to fly pacific blue routes soon
Well I find that hard to believe. Info like that is only really known by CEO's/Board/Shareholders, not cabin crew, and information like that is not leaked around the place. It wont happen.

If they want a fleet of Airbus, Boeing, Embraer, and that could be up to 7 different types at the same time, well then their Cost Base would be enormous...not competitive in this market at least

Can they even afford new Aircraft at the moment, or even In the next couple of years..:confused:
 

docjames

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In response to the title question: No chance in hell.

In the near term, they have a near-new fleet of 737s with 777s coming on board for VAust. They also have the Embraers for smaller capacity routes.

The costs associated with adding any airbus product to the mix in the short to medium term would be crazy.

When the 737s need replacing in bulk, sure, that'd be the time.
 

dajop

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In response to the title question: No chance in hell.

In the near term, they have a near-new fleet of 737s with 777s coming on board for VAust. They also have the Embraers for smaller capacity routes.

The costs associated with adding any airbus product to the mix in the short to medium term would be crazy.

When the 737s need replacing in bulk, sure, that'd be the time.
Agreed. If DJ want/need larger capacity domestically the best option would surely be the 737-900, and (if) VA expands utilising any spare capacity in the 777 fleet domestically (although imagine this would be costly)? I guess down the track there's always the possiblity of the 787 if they want to stay with Boeing :?:
 

markis10

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I cannot see Virgin changing at present given the conditions at play in the market, the Embraer's are helping significantly by offering lower cost operations and providing the frequency customers require. For example I would get an extra hour of business done on a day trip to Adelaide by flying Virgin from Brisbane rather than QF group, the first QF mainline option leaves me with a half day to do work while there is a JQ option that still gets in an hour later than DJ if it is on time.


While the Southwest model works well with 737's in the market it operates in, this is not the case in Australia where freight is far more a revenue contributor, and this is where the A320 flys, with its container capability providing quick turnaround capailities and less ground crew to service that turnaround. This ability results in a 10 minute advantage on average, over a day that could well mean an additional sector capability for the aircraft asset without the increase in human costs, that soon adds up with DJs 370 sectors it flys per day to some serious savings.

The ownership of DJ has changed since they settled on the 737 option, and the influence of Toll cannot be underestimated in future fleet purchases, at this stage too much has been invested in the current fleet to warrant an overnight change that makes sense on a commercial level, medium to long term I believe a slightly bigger mid size jet might be an option but not a widebody, they are great during peak times but are hard to effectively deploy when the demand is not there, Wednesday and Saturdays for instance.
 

Dee Thom

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The last time an Australia Airline purchased a mix of jets was during the reign of Peter Abeles at Ansett. He enjoyed being in the spotlight at Airshows, and ordered any aircraft thet was pitched at him.
Some of the types were:- F28's, B737, BA146, B767, A320, all used domestically. And we all know what befell that once great company through amongst other things, the use of excessive types !!!!!!

Cheers Dee
 

dajop

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This is the same model that South West airlines has used to great success in the USA market
I was thinking about these comparisons with SW, and to be pedantic it is more the JetBlue variant of the SW model ... two aircraft types - one type of regional jet (EMB 70/90) and one type of narrow body larger airliner (73G/H).
 

markis10

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The last time an Australia Airline purchased a mix of jets was during the reign of Peter Abeles at Ansett. He enjoyed being in the spotlight at Airshows, and ordered any aircraft thet was pitched at him.
Some of the types were:- F28's, B737, BA146, B767, A320, all used domestically. And we all know what befell that once great company through amongst other things, the use of excessive types !!!!!!

Cheers Dee

Ansett operated very well with a mix of aircraft right up till their demise with some help from the two airline policy but thats another topic, in fact is was the lack of Peter buying replacements for the 767's in his time that trigged awareness to their problems in the publics mind with their groundings.

In fact Ansetts selection of aircraft was very good, they were the launch customer back in 1988 of the 200 series A320 and look how popular that has become, the BAE146 was another key purchase for regional flights, emulated by the common use of the CRJ and EMB range by many airlines today.

Ansetts ability to pick the right aircraft was highlighted by their successful spin off of their leasing arm - AWAS in the 1990's, which still operates today, I still remember in the early days of their demise boarding a Qantas flight that was being operated by AWAS and having a small chuckle at the irony of the situation! Compare this to recent media reports about DJ and their aircraft's unsuitability for leasing or freight purposes and the differences show, DJ could improve but the question is when is the right time to change?
 

JohnK

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I do not think there is much chance at all of Virgin Blue buying a different aircraft type. Their low cost model is heavily based on the use of a single aircraft type (737-700 and 737-800). This is the same model that South West airlines has used to great success in the USA market and I cannot see DJ being tempted to vary from that model in the near future.
Why not a different aircraft type? I didn't realise Boeing and Embraer aircraft were similar.
 

notzac

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I know next to nothing about these sorts of things, but I'm guessing they went for the Embraer jets is to provide a capacity/performance ratio that Boeing couldn't offer them. Isn't the 73G the smallest passenger jet that Boeing offer these days?

Given all the costs in training, certification and god knows what else, it wouldn't make much sense to getting a different jet with a similar capacity to what they already have.
 

NM

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Why not a different aircraft type? I didn't realise Boeing and Embraer aircraft were similar.
Gee, that one was a quote from the past! Nearly 4 years ago. And since then, the Virgin group in Australia have added two new types to their fleet (E170/190 and 773). These aircraft were added for specific functions that the 737NG cannot meet. But even 4 years later I still cannot see Virgin Blue adding the A330 or A319/320 to their fleet in the near term for the same reasons as I posted 4 years ago.

But some time they are going to need to eventually retire their 737NG fleet and its likely that by then the major aircraft vendors will have an even newer generation of narrow-body aircraft, perhaps using GTF or other new engine technology that will be attractive to the airline.
 

Dee Thom

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But some time they are going to need to eventually retire their 737NG fleet and its likely that by then the major aircraft vendors will have an even newer generation of narrow-body aircraft, perhaps using GTF or other new engine technology that will be attractive to the airline.
Replacements for the 737NG, and A320 families, according to the manufacturers, will not be forthcomming until the 2020 plus time frame. There are rumours that Embraer is looking at entering the fray with a single isle twin jet in the 160 to 200 seat class, using all new tech, and motors. If it's a goer, they hope to have it certified by 2015.
Could be good for DJ, and give them a single type craft.

Cheers Dee
 

MEL_Traveller

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While the Southwest model works well with 737's in the market it operates in, this is not the case in Australia where freight is far more a revenue contributor, and this is where the A320 flys, with its container capability providing quick turnaround capailities and less ground crew to service that turnaround. This ability results in a 10 minute advantage on average, over a day that could well mean an additional sector capability for the aircraft asset without the increase in human costs, that soon adds up with DJs 370 sectors it flys per day to some serious savings.
Thanks markis10 - this seems very logical when you put it like this.

My two comments on the story are that Easyjet clearly does have two types of jet, and they also have multiple hubs with what seems like different operating arms.

Secondly Southwest has done so well for two reasons, (a) their customer service, but most importantly (b) was their fuel hedging. I think they were paying something like USD30 a barrel for most of the last couple of years (while everyone else was on $150 or whatever it was).

mel-t
 

ANstar

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Some of the Virgin Blue business cards say "If it ain't Beoing, I ain't going".

So I think that is your answer!
 
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