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Old 12th Jun 2004, 20:51   #1 (permalink)
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Chelmsford, Essex
Posts: 13
Question First Choice Airways Long Haul Aircraft ?

I have just booked a holiday to Margarita, Venezuela, for May 2005.

The travel agent said that that the airline would be FCA using their new long haul aircraft, but was unable to be more specific on the type.

Has anyone got any idea of which aircraft type I can expect ?

I got the impression that the aircraft have not been delivered/begun service with the airline as yet.


Thanks in anticipation,

H
Haitch is offline  
Old 12th Jun 2004, 21:30   #2 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: England
Posts: 361
Probably a B767-300 as they have been operating to Margarita with this type for quite a while.
Musket90 is offline  
Old 13th Jun 2004, 07:48   #3 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: somewhere near LTN
Age: 39
Posts: 437
Hi

Try looking here


They have also just announced that the Premium Cabin config will be 2-2-2. So a serious amount of room there with a 9" seatback TV too - can't be bad?

Not sure if the a/c is operating to PMV though, as I know it's not doing all the Caribbean routes.

cheers

FF
FormerFlyer is offline  
Old 13th Jun 2004, 14:01   #4 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Northern England
Posts: 24
The new premium cabin actually retains the 2-3-2 layout, but with slightly more legroom and much better seats than the current fleet.

All First Choice Airways' long-haul flights for summer 2005 will be on aircraft in the new config. The new 767s will be refurbished before delivery, and the existing aircraft that is staying will be modified over the winter season into the new layout.

There will be no "second-class" long haul aircraft!

More detailed info here;
First Choice Airways Long-haul service
Downwind_Left is offline  
Old 14th Jun 2004, 07:35   #5 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: somewhere near LTN
Age: 39
Posts: 437
Apologies re: comment not all Caribbean routes covered. I come from the retail end of the transaction and always look at FC the tour operator. Rightly all FCA longhaul will be on the new config.

Will double check our info @ work about the Premium config as they only just released the info last week stating it was a 2-2-2 layout.....that was the one bit they had not released when they originally launched the new a/c to the masses.

The outlook is that the programme is selling very well due to the new config, however Premium not so well due to the economy being so much better fewer are prepared to pay for the extra! Hopefully not shot ourselves in the foot there!

cheers

FF
FormerFlyer is offline  
Old 14th Jun 2004, 13:24   #6 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Bronx of Heathrow
Posts: 144
As far as I know, the company will keep G-OOAN - which is a piece of c**p of a B767 (sorry flight deck! I know you love it!) - and get rid of G-OOAL. Please don't read me the wrong way. I'm not saying G-OOAN is not safe, it's just uncomfortable for crew and pax alike as it is old and cramped.

A new aircraft is to be delivered before next summer and yes it will be a nice one with all the fluff and stuff... better seat pitch, entertainment system blah blah blah... (of course without crew rest area at all because exploiting crew is the charter's favourite game... especially when management forbid the crew to rest in row 47 on a 10 hour flight because it is not glamourous for the airline's image).

At this stage, none of the 767 have been fitted with the new interiors and this won't be possible until another aircraft is delivered. Considering the amount of long-haul destinations the airline is offering compared to the number of long-range aircraft types the airline is operating... they are doing pretty well with the DIY! Not nice to the crew having to position 3 times in 4 days though!

The problem is that until FCA do something with G-OOAN, you'll have to pray and hope you're booked on the new one!!

Personally I doubt they will complete the makeover of G-OOAN in time for next summer, considering their inability to sort out minor problems (see below), unless they plan to keep that bird on the ground for a few week time, which would cost the airline a fortune... Trust me I so much hope to be wrong... until then... alas, the "aircraft from hell" will continue carrying dissatisfied passengers...

This last winter, not much work could be done on the (only) 2 aircraft due to the minimum time spent on the ground between sectors. Water tabs were constantly broken, screens and coolers malfunctioning etc. This says a lot...

And finally: I wonder if FCA will offer a better wine bar in the future... Don't know what you guys think but I wouldn't be happy paying full fare Premium Service to be served the same and only Aussie cab-sauv available on board... in a plastic bottle!

Long story short, it's always the same story, the marketing people promote "it", the retailers sell "it", the customers expect "it"... and the crew "take it" (there) 'coz promises and expectations do not match! Who -you guess- are the ones receiving the abuse?
a) the crew
b) the crew
c) the crew
d) the crew...

I can see it from here....

FJ

Last edited by Floaty; 14th Jun 2004 at 13:47.
Floaty is offline  
Old 14th Jun 2004, 14:11   #7 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Northern England
Posts: 24
Former Flyer,
The seatplans and interior impressions I've seen all show a 2-3-2 premium cabin. Although this may have changed recently, if it has you lose 10 premium seats per aircraft which is quite a lot of revenue to lose.

Floaty,
Good news... G-OOAN is definitely getting the new interior. It is due to be taken out of service in January and flown out to Abu Dhabi for around 2 months to have to work done. When she comes back you shouldn't recognise her!
Downwind_Left is offline  
Old 14th Jun 2004, 19:18   #8 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: somewhere near LTN
Age: 39
Posts: 437
Well I checked all the training info today and it is a 2-2-2 config with 62 Premium seats. Forgotten now how many (few) economy there will be but it's something like an overall reduction of 25% of capacity if I remember right.

cheers

FF
FormerFlyer is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2004, 20:50   #9 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: UK
Age: 49
Posts: 1,559
Having paxed LGW-CUN and back in 'AL last year, this is good news - the 2-4-2 fit with 29" pitch is far too cramped for a 10hr+ sector - and I am short.

The cost of upgrading to the front for a family of 4 was about 1k
- way too much (that differential will be a problem with the standard cabin becoming so much better).

Otherwise, no complaints at all about the service - very good and on time both ways aswell

As far those "lilac" shirts - you'd have to pay me extra to wear that!
Wycombe is offline  
Old 16th Jun 2004, 23:31   #10 (permalink)
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Far side of the moon left after the big crater
Posts: 114
I'm slightly curious as to why FCA would be shedding AL and retaining AN.... If my memory serves me correct (which I hope it does as I am still relatively young) AL is 6 years younger than AN and has a better history within the AMM/FCA/DP fleet... And hoping that FCA have learned that the older and crapier the A/C the worse the problems encountered (ref G-OOOC now C-FTDV)

Personally I thought the plan was to refresh the 320 fleet - Mostly done Refresh the B757 fleet - Not far off being done and keep AL/N and incorperate them into the new 767 arrivals.... Was that not why they sold the other 767's to SU last year?

I await correction anyway... :o)
DUBXH is offline  
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