V:Australia Moots 16 Hour Non-Stop Direct UK/Australia RouteBack to Forum
Anonymous8 Nov 2009
Well, this would, I think, be the first regular scheduled nonstop to Oz, albeit Perth rather than Sydney:
V Australia, the international arm of Virgin Blue, is understood to be about to announce a new 16-hour, non-stop Perth to London service in 2011 that will be the world’s second longest air route and will shave up to five hours off today’s journey.
Chief executive Brett Godfrey is in final negotiations with Boeing for up to 70 aircraft that will include six of those with the world’s longest range, the 300-seat Boeing 777-200LR, which can fly to virtually anywhere in the world non-stop.
The airline will also open a route linking Sydney and New York non-stop.
In February, when the airline’s first 361-seat Boeing 777-300ER was delivered for the Sydney to Los Angeles route, Mr Godfrey and Sir Richard Branson, the airline’s main shareholder, discussed making Perth a hub for routes to Britain and South Africa….continues:
I would be interested in Business Traveller doing a trip report on V:Australia (and indeed Virgin America), as it is not an airline I have read much about elsewhere.8 Nov 2009
I don’t doubt that VA will be able to fill these non-stop flights if they come to fruition. But what will the yield be like ?
So far airlines which operate ultra non-stop flights have only been able to make them pay by targetting business class passengers. SIA, for example, has had to adopt an all business class layout for its ultra non-stops linking Singapore with Los Angeles and New York.
Perth-London is hardly a major business route so VA would have to look to leisure and VFR customers for most of its custom.
But these travellers are price-sensitive so how much would they be willing to pay for the convenience of flying non-stop as against making a change in the likes of Singapore or Dubai ?9 Nov 2009
Hi everyone !!
Seriously? Who prefers flying more than 15 hours straight? Leave the part that you might be flying Y or Prem Y cabins–I would not consider that fact as a pleasant flight–but more a torture! Definitely need a stopover for a night or if needed a day or two.
Flying in C in full bed helps to sleep most of the flight. So it is still bearable. I just leave the fact that in most airlines you only have a angled lie flat product– lucky are those who are happy with it !
Flying in F with such cabins and space like EY, JL, SQ …is just great and for me–it reminds me of the good old days where flying is a privilege and an ostentious experience. So when EK implements the “Spa Experience ” onboard A380–it was just heaven–to take a shower and feel fresh and comfortable–fighting the dryness in such atmosphere. I will say–although it is quite unreasonable to have a shower onboard–it is great and make a 15 hours and more hours on the air —a breeze experience. I for myself felt pampered and slept like a baby. I even consider not to have a stopover for a day or two.9 Nov 2009
VA will face some pretty stiff competition from the regional low-cost carriers such as Air Asia and Tiger Airways, both of whom offer cheap flights down to Perth from KL and Singapore.
Indeed, the more savvy traveller will have already taken advantage of these carriers by getting a cheap flight from Europe into KL/SIN and then picking up a cheap flight down to Perth/Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane.10 Nov 2009
Ambitious development, & i agree a hard slog whichever class yr in, on the body.
I have flown Etihad fron Abu Dhabi to Sydney which was also 15.5 hrs but in Business class with a great flat bed, meals on call any-time, superb service. A345 out A346 back. But it was a hard trip.
The time differences can be as much as +11 hrs for Oz, & having just returned on SQ via SIN a few days ago, a reminder very prevelant of the jet lag. This despite business class on the SQ A380’s too.
In economy it would be very uncomfortable, but would he expand the Premium economy, or have a new cabin model in mind to reflect the route?
Its a brave move, & if VA were to be adventorous, & provide some cabin & Service innovations as they have always been trend setters, they could be onto a good thing. Virgin Blue in Australia is a huge low cost operation, & they have impacted the market there in recent yrs.
Qantas still domestically attratct a certain type of customer, Virgin Blue have families young n trendy crowds, & a funky reputation in Oz.
VAustralia ( I saw the B777 sitting in Sydney), Will have the Cape Town route next yr, as well as HKG, LAX, & Phuket in Thailand, all from Australia.
Thats quite a link up in a few yrs.
But the flight cabin would have to be very tempting for me to choose such an Ultra long haul, the preference still being to stopover anight or 2 en route down to Australia.
Already SQ, MH, & Thai have had their business cut into by customers flying via the Emirate states (EK, EY Qatar), so this would take another slice & miss the Far East out!
A very joined up worldwide strategy though…10 Nov 2009
Does anyone know when Qantas is starting an A380 service between Australia and HKG? I know it has been rumoured to start a MEL-HKG-LHR service on the A380. But why not SYD? And when? Pray tell.18 Nov 2009