View Full Version : Red Airbus Jets for Virgin Blue's 10 year fleet plan

15th Sep 2009, 03:01
VB are currenty talking to aircraft manufacturers to secure aircraft for their needs for the next 10 years. No surprise there.

The types being considered may well be though. Potentially looking to get rid of ALL the E jets AND 737's and replace them with A318's / A319's / A320's and A330's.

Think anyone who fly's the line and does Bali etc would agree the 73 is the wrong aircraft (for a number of reasons) for these new longer routes so the A330 has been rumoured for a while, but ALL Airbus...

I guess having a tray table infront of you may not be such a bad thing. :)

Don't expect an announcement for a while yet with deliveries spread over many years, but I thought I'd float it now...


15th Sep 2009, 03:07
Anything is possible I s'pose, but merely an unsubstantiated rumour at this stage.
A318 is certainly NO replacement for an Ejet, and to replace the 777-300ER's with A330 would have to qualify as the biggest blunder an airline board could commit at the moment. So that part of the rumour ain't gonna happen.

15th Sep 2009, 03:16
The E170 has a MTOW in the range of 37t and the A318 ranges from 59t-68t so don't think the numbers could ever stack up on that one.

Agree that anything over about 5 hours in pretty uncomfortable on the 73 but if you're only paying $199 you can't really complain, heh?

15th Sep 2009, 03:18
Just to clarify, I have heard this is only specific to Virgin Blue and not V also. The 777 will be with V for a long time yet - as it shoud be.

This would therefore see the introduction of wide bodies to Virgin Blue - which will make for, amongst other things, some interesting EBA negotions when they come around again as the current one only covers domestic 737 and E-Jet flying.


air command
15th Sep 2009, 03:39
Hmmm... I would be surprised. Virgin always gets Airbus in for a chat when they want Boeing to "sharpen the pencil" on a pending deal. The Embraer introduction hasn't been as smooth as hoped, and I suspect our management have lost their stomach for introducing new types ... for now at least.

Buster Hyman
15th Sep 2009, 04:06
I doubt Customer comfort is a factor in these decisions nowadays.

porch monkey
15th Sep 2009, 05:12
Well, the new GM FO is a renowned airbus man. Having said that, the idea of getting some 737/5/6's instead of the bandit was poo poohed as being to much a/c. (And not cheap enough, of course. Not cheap enough. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing!!) Can't see that an A318 is any advancement on that theory. Still, if they can find a way to F2ck things up more, they will. As long as someone's pockets get lined. And I don't mean the employees!!

15th Sep 2009, 05:12
If VB have looked at how "cost effective" Easy jet found replacing fleets, then I doubt they would contemplate the change.

Can't see it happening , but a good wind up!

porch monkey
15th Sep 2009, 05:14
Slopes, you make a valid point. But, as you well know, we do have to reinvent the wheel here, or it isn't the virgin way.........

15th Sep 2009, 05:15
First thing they should be doing is throwing out the E jets!! They are just about worn out now anyway...:uhoh::uhoh:

another superlame
15th Sep 2009, 05:32
Virgin blue is reluctant to spend money on training,be it for pilots,engineers or cabin crew. If they were to change brands this would mean a total retrain of all technical and flying staff. Given that the e jets are a bucket of poo and need more LAMEs than they have trained, I doubt that the huge investment to retrain everyone will come to fruition.

It is a good rumour but I think it is just that.

Jet base
15th Sep 2009, 05:49
Tray tables are fun. :D

The Green Goblin
15th Sep 2009, 06:37
I heard they were in secret negotiations with embraer on bringing to market a larger E jet as a replacement for the Boeing :)

You heard it here first :)

Enema Bandit's Dad
15th Sep 2009, 07:27
I heard Qantas were giving them a good deal on some 767's. :}

15th Sep 2009, 08:30
Well, since it's descended this far, I'll trot out the old observation that it depends who's in town.

If Airbus, then rumour will favour the whole suite.

If Boing expect the 787 to get a run.

If the full Brazilian, another scenario.

If it were my airline I'd do the same.

Sharpen the pencil lads.

15th Sep 2009, 21:22
Maybe they should just buy Strategic!

16th Sep 2009, 05:36
Did hear that when some aircraft were returned from lease that they where to be replaced with 737-900ERs.

16th Sep 2009, 07:13
People have been wondering for years what Boeing and Airbus will be doing to replace 737s and A320s, so would VB do a major re-equip with a type that is just about to go out of production? That is what AirNZ does. People will have noticed discussion, where Boeing say they may do a simple re-engine job on the 737, and Arbus are talking about possibly replacing the A320 with two types. The larger A320 replacement might be a twin aisle type, because some LCCs in Europe think that will help load and unload passengers more quickly.

So, would VB want to make a decision very quickly, when a couple of new versions may be just around the corner?

16th Sep 2009, 07:56
Word today is that they're negotiating an order for 30-50 737s, so they've probably been talking with Airbus but ultimately only as a tool to get Boeing to give them a better deal. No word on if they're going up to 737-900s, but it wouldn't surprise me.

16th Sep 2009, 08:04
Standard practice to scare Boeing and ensure pricing is sharper...Tactical I would say. Fleet replacement; massive undertaking and costly. Price of aeroplanes is not the only driver. Everything else is impacted that supports fleet/operations etc...

16th Sep 2009, 08:27
Virgin Blue is to buy 30 to 50 new 737s worth $3-4bn, Brett Godfrey told the National Aviation Press Club today. Look out for a single brand for the 4 airlines of the VB Group in a few years, Godfrey said

a single brand name would be a good thing.

16th Sep 2009, 10:21
Look out for a single brand for the 4 airlines of the VB Group in a few years, Godfrey said

Is he referring to a single brand of aircraft? In which case would that imply they will get rid of the Embraers?

Or was he referring to aligning all the airlines under the one brand name, i.e V Australia and making them all full service?? If so, this could be the first hint of what we've been wanting for years - more full service competition on domestic routes!

16th Sep 2009, 10:46
He could mean both!!

It wouldn't be the dumbest move of all time to go all Airbus and copy Virgin America's product. Given all the government contracts are up for grabs having an aircraft with business class and wi fi etc etc might be a winner. Assuming that we have the technology to do that in Australia.

All that needs to be done then is to pay Virgin America salaries, have three cabin crew and you'll have an unbeatable airline.:ok:

16th Sep 2009, 14:21
sure lets drag it down lower.

The race to the bottom continues.:mad:

16th Sep 2009, 23:02
DJCCGUY dont think VB will be getting rid of the Embraers anytime soon as they havent finished taking delivery of them yet and have just signed a massive contract for John Holland in MEL to take over maintenence of them for the next 10 years.

As for all Airbus, hmmmm is it worth all the headaches a new aircraft type would bring???

16th Sep 2009, 23:51
Sounds like Virgin are going Boeing.

Virgin in talks to buy $4b planes (http://www.smh.com.au/business/virgin-in-talks-to-buy-4b-planes-20090916-frrf.html)

Virgin in talks to buy $4b planes
September 17, 2009

VIRGIN BLUE is in talks with US manufacturer Boeing about buying up to $4 billion of new aircraft to replace a large portion of its 65-strong 737 domestic fleet.

Australia's second-largest airline also said yesterday that it was yet to see significant signs of improvement in demand for travel despite the global economy stabilising.

Virgin's chief executive, Brett Godfrey, said the past year had been the most difficult since World War II as airlines were hit by a triple whammy of high oil prices, the global financial crisis and swine flu.

''The last 12 months have been the most taxing, the most complex, the most challenging, the most vexing and quite frankly the most unexpected,'' he said.

Mr Godfrey said one of the bigger risks for airlines over the next year would be speculators pushing up the price of oil, at the same time as demand for travel remained stagnant.

However, Virgin plans to take advantage of manufacturers' greater willingness to sell aircraft at lower prices after airlines cancelled orders due to the severe downturn.

Mr Godfrey said Virgin was in discussions with Boeing about buying 30 to 50 single-aisle aircraft, which would be needed from 2011 onwards to replace 737s it had leased.

''Now is the best time to do a deal,'' he said. ''We are in the market because the market is right and we don't want to miss the opportunity.''

Despite the higher cost of finance since late last year, Mr Godfrey rejected suggestions the airline would face difficulties raising the capital to buy new 737s.

''We have got a good balance sheet now [following a capital raising]. The markets are coming back and I don't believe we will have an issue with financing them,'' he said.

Virgin is not in talks with Airbus about buying new aircraft.

Virgin's long-haul carrier, V Australia, underlined the tough competition facing airlines after posting last month a pre-tax loss of $124 million in its first four months of operations.

''It has been an awful few months for it but commercially the worst has to be behind it,'' Mr Godfrey said of V Australia. ''I am not sure we will see massive improvement. But we have certainly seen a levelling out. V Australia's utilisation is up, its loads are improving and as night follows day yields will also follow loads.''

Virgin reiterated that it expects to break even this financial year.

Shares in Virgin rose 2c to 38.5c yesterday.

chimbu warrior
16th Sep 2009, 23:53
A different story here it seems, giving weight to the theory that they are just trying to get the best possible deal........

Virgin Blue in talks for 30-50 Boeing planes-paper | Industries | Industrials, Materials & Utilities | Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssIndustryMaterialsUtilitiesNews/idUSSYD36539320090916)

17th Sep 2009, 02:19
Mr Godfrey said Virgin was in discussions with Boeing about buying 30 to 50 single-aisle aircraft

I think a few widebodies couldnt hurt, especially for trunk routes, which at peak times are consistantly full, I'm sure if they had more seats available, they would sell also. But they seem to be hooked on the narrowbodies!

The Green Goblin
17th Sep 2009, 04:10
If the 787 even gets off the ground and Virgin get into that their fleet will be the envy of Qantas!


Would you like some sauce on that Kangeroo pie?

I'd love nothing more than to see a rat on a 777 :(

17th Sep 2009, 05:13
737-900 is a nightmare to load and unload due to single isle. 800s take long enough as is.

From an OH&S How Virgin and J* get away with loading from both front and back when there is an aero bridge available is beyond me. No high vis vest, no earplugs/muffs, I understand when aero bridges are not available.

17th Sep 2009, 08:16
I am sure 737-900's will be ordered as Sydney is a problem with gates and slots and particularly more so now, as Tiger has been grabbing them whilst the big 2 reduce flights into Sydney.The larger aircraft the better .


17th Sep 2009, 10:26
Capt_SNAFU are you kidding me, I remember back in the day when I used to fly with AN anf QF out of ADL and used to walk under the wing to get to the rear door no marshaller on tarmac wasnt roped off, there is no issue with the proceedure of people boarding via the rear door at major ports, allowed us to turn and aircraft in 19mins and make curfew in SYD on Sunday night.

17th Sep 2009, 11:04
Capt_SNAFU. By your comments I assume you have never 'seen' a 235 seat B757-200 in action, let alone a 280 seat Thomas Cook B757-300.

17th Sep 2009, 22:34
Why is Strategic even on your list in the first place? They are a charter operator.

17th Sep 2009, 23:50
You would think that given the history of airlines in this country that people might have learnt their lesson by now. Why would anyone want to start a airline here with a view to make money? The market just doesn't support it.

18th Sep 2009, 00:09
Strategic are actually operating RPT on the Perth - Derby route. I am sure they are weighing up their options as they offer full J class seating as well as Y Class and they seem to be focused on service.

18th Sep 2009, 03:32
Unfortunately this doesn't seem like a move towards full service, or anything close to it! :ugh:

Less room in Virgin's new 'cattle-class'

By Steve Creedy
The Australian
September 18, 2009 08:47am

VIRGIN Blue travellers may find flying in the back of the plane more of a knee-crunching experience if a proposal for a virtual low-cost airline goes ahead.
Virgin Blue chief executive Brett Godfrey said an "airline of the future" project under way at the group included the possibility that aircraft cabins could be split into two, reports [URL="http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/business/story/0,,26088147-23349,00.html?from=public_rss"]The Australian (http://www.news.com.au/share/popup/).
This would see premium and "classic" economy seats before the exit rows and low-cost seating with a reduced seat pitch at the back of the aircraft.
Responding to a question about the status of the airline's shelved proposal for an ultra-low-cost carrier, Mr Godfrey said pitch at Virgin Blue (http://search.news.com.au/search//0/?us=ndmnews&sid=5014090&as=news&ac=travel&q=Virgin Blue)was as good as at Qantas but the airline never received recognition for it.
He said one of the ideas Virgin Blue was considering was putting in extra seats after the emergency exit.
Premium economy and "classic" economy seating before the exit row would give the airline a low-cost or "virtual" third class at the plane.
"So we're looking at that as a possibility," Mr Godfrey told a National Aviation Press Club (http://search.news.com.au/search//0/?us=ndmnews&sid=5014090&as=news&ac=travel&q=National Aviation Press Club)lunch in Sydney.
"Just by putting an extra row of seats in the back lowers our costs overnight by 3 per cent, so that's a good start."
The Virgin investigation into aircraft configurations comes as Qantas is also considering changing the mix of premium and economy cabins as it grapples with how first class and business class demand will look in the wake of the financial crisis.
Mr Godfrey indicated that the proposal to start a separate low-cost carrier was now highly unlikely to proceed.
"I would much rather have one airline that flies 10 flights a day that services both segments of the market than trying to differentiate and pretend that some markets are purely leisure and some markets are purely business," he said.
The Virgin boss also revealed that the airline had decided to extend premium economy seating across its network after a successful trial with Pacific Blue.

18th Sep 2009, 03:38
Looking at exchange rates now and into the future American Iron might make more and more economic sense than the Euro Plastic.:ok:

18th Sep 2009, 08:59
The proposed revision of seating on DJ along with a realignment of the brands out of the pure LCC of Pac Blue reminds me of AirNZ journey where Freedomair was dropped and the narrow body aircraft have seen extra rows added in the rear dropping seat pitch to 30 inch while introducing space plus in the front.

18th Sep 2009, 09:48
"I would much rather have one airline that flies 10 flights a day that services both segments of the market than trying to differentiate and pretend that some markets are purely leisure and some markets are purely business," he said.
Wow did an airline manager say that? That's what QF should have done but the legacy management chose to go to war with its staff and create Onestar.
I am sure all those premium pax to those "leisure" destinations would prefer the choice! How much has that cost the QF group?:ugh: