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Old January 6th, 2011, 01:54 PM   #41
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By supraspy from HKADB - taken on a flight from SYD-HKG :













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Old January 10th, 2011, 02:14 PM   #42
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http://www.theage.com.au/business/vi...110-19kb3.html

Virgin Blue has formed a strategic alliance with regional airline Skywest in an attempt to tap the growing demand from the mining industry for air travel to remote mining sites.

The deal signals the near-completion of Virgin Blue’s network review which has been focused on using alliances with other airlines to extend its reach into international and domestic markets.

Under the latest strategic alliance, Skywest will operate up to 18 new Virgin Blue-branded turbo-prop aircraft which will be leased for an initial period of 10 years.

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The airlines will also codeshare on parts of each others networks.

Virgin Blue’s chief executive, John Borghetti, said in a statement today that the alliance would help it ‘‘access untapped opportunities’’ in regional markets, especially the so-called ‘‘fly-in fly-out’’ resources market.

Shares in Virgin Blue rose 1 cent to 44 cents this morning, while Skywest soared 16 per cent, or 7 cents, to 50 cents.

However, the deal is small compared with the other alliances Virgin Blue has formed over the last year, including joint ventures with Middle Eastern airline Etihad.

A Commonwealth Bank analyst, Matt Crowe, said the SkyWest deal was a step in the right direction for Virgin Blue but investors were still focused on its key domestic market which remained ‘‘pretty soft’’.

‘‘They have been doing a lot of these alliance-type deals to improve their network and it is a good market to get into but I wouldn’t think it is going to move the share price too much given the size of it,’’ he said today.

Skywest’s chairman, Jeff Chatfield, said the deal offered the airline the opportunity to boost its appeal to the resources sector and charter clients. The leasing of the aircraft also meant Skywest would not be exposed to the capital investment of owning the turbo props.

The first turbo-prop aircraft is due to arrive in the middle of this year.

Qantas has also ramped up efforts to tap the fly-in fly-out market after it last month bought the charter airline Network Aviation for about $30 million. The airline’s immediate plans are to boost Network Aviation’s fleet of two 100-seat Fokker 100 aircraft and six 30-seat Embraers.

Virgin Blue will also begin flying two wide-body A330 aircraft between Sydney and Perth in May in an effort to boost its appeal to the corporate travel market. It is due to take delivery of another two A330s in early 2012 and they are likely to fly the Melbourne-Perth route.

The airline is waiting to hear whether US regulators will reverse their opposition to a planned alliance with Delta Air Lines for flights between Australia and the US. A decision is expected within the next month.

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Old January 11th, 2011, 02:34 PM   #43
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VIRGIN STANDS ALONE ON BAA FAILURES
11 January 2011
Daily Mail

VIRGIN Atlantic has threatened to withhold airport fees from Heathrow operator BAA over its failure to cope with heavy snowfall, but has been left looking increasingly isolated as rivals failed to follow suit.

Chief executive Steve Ridgway – understood to be furious over the length of time Heathrow remained closed – said Virgin would withhold fees paid for parking and landing aircraft until an independent inquiry led by BAA non-executive director Sir David Begg is completed in March.

But British Airways – which expects the affair to cost it £50m – refused to issue a similar threat, while BMI said only that it would ‘enter into discussions about compensation’, placed by industry sources at around £10m.

Charles Stanley airlines analyst Douglas McNeill said Virgin was playing a dangerous game by refusing to pay airport fees, which typically bring in £1bn a year for BAA from airlines using Heathrow.

‘They will have to pay the fees sooner or later,’ he said, adding that Virgin needs BAA’s lucrative Heathrow landing slots more than BAA needs the airline as a client.
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Old January 12th, 2011, 10:10 AM   #44
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After having another close look at the all NEW VS colorscheme, this raised the question, questions, how will this scheme / billboard sized titles be applied to the remainder of the fleet of A343 / A346 and A333 when they join the fleet...? Will most certainly look odd...???
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Old January 13th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #45
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Source:http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU110...n-atlantic.htm

Quote:
Air New Zealand Announces Agreement with Virgin Atlantic
Thursday, 13 January 2011, 10:05 am
Press Release: Air New Zealand


12 January 2011

Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic have signed a code sharing agreement offering more flexibility and choice on routings between the UK and New Zealand for both carriers' passengers.

This code share agreement follows a long history of interline cooperation, including a reciprocal Frequent Flyer Partnership between the two airlines, with passengers already travelling on routes between the UK and New Zealand on each others' services.

Both airlines offer highly complementary products and services and a seamless transfer experience for customers making connections across their networks. Air New Zealand's Business Premier seat has a version of Virgin Atlantic's Upper Class Suite so passengers can enjoy the same award winning comfort when flying on both carriers.

"This new code share agreement provides yet further connectivity options for our customers as well as providing important connectivity for Virgin Atlantic customers to New Zealand and also the Cook Islands," says Rob Fyfe, Chief Executive Officer of Air New Zealand.

"We are thrilled to announce this new code share with Air New Zealand," says Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic.

"With award winning Business Class and Premium Economy products along with the excellent service onboard, both airlines complement each other perfectly and we are sure that passengers will enjoy the advantages of this new partnership."

Passengers will be able to book with Virgin Atlantic to travel on connecting journeys on the following Air New Zealand routes using Virgin's VS flight code:

Los Angeles - Rarotonga
San Francisco - Auckland
Sydney - Auckland
Sydney - Christchurch
Sydney - Wellington
Auckland - Christchurch
Auckland – Wellington
Auckland -Queenstown
Auckland - Rarotonga


Air New Zealand's passengers will be able to book on Virgin Atlantic's services between London Heathrow and San Francisco and between Hong Kong and Sydney for connecting journeys using Air New Zealand's NZ flight code.

The two carriers expect the code share to come into force on 28 February 2011 after obtaining the relevant government approvals.

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Old January 13th, 2011, 04:52 PM   #46
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Source : http://pic.feeyo.com/posts/520/5205957.html



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Old January 14th, 2011, 01:49 AM   #47
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Virgin is another company that's going to be interesting to see when they will join an alliance. It's not a matter of if... but more of a matter of when at this point in time.

For obvious reasons, oneworld is not going to be their alliance. So either they start their own, or they join either Star Alliance or SkyTeam. There were rumors that Virgin Atlantic would work closely with BMI and Star Alliance, but now that Lufthansa acquired by BMI, it is less likely. There were also talks between Air France-KLM, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic. Plus, Virgin Blue and V Australia have relationships and arrangements with Delta. But now, Virgin Atlantic here is also making deals with Air New Zealand... quite messy I would say, but definitely interesting indeed.
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Old January 14th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #48
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Source : http://pic.feeyo.com/posts/460/4600686.html







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Old January 16th, 2011, 04:47 PM   #49
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image hosted on flickr

http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5210/...84a527a1_b.jpg
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Old January 16th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
Virgin is another company that's going to be interesting to see when they will join an alliance. It's not a matter of if... but more of a matter of when at this point in time.

For obvious reasons, oneworld is not going to be their alliance. So either they start their own, or they join either Star Alliance or SkyTeam. There were rumors that Virgin Atlantic would work closely with BMI and Star Alliance, but now that Lufthansa acquired by BMI, it is less likely. There were also talks between Air France-KLM, Delta, and Virgin Atlantic. Plus, Virgin Blue and V Australia have relationships and arrangements with Delta. But now, Virgin Atlantic here is also making deals with Air New Zealand... quite messy I would say, but definitely interesting indeed.
Well, they're a bit edged out of any alliance at this point as one after another, the other competitors fall into place.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #51
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Virgin America orders 60 Airbus A320s worth $5bn
17 January 2011
Agence France Presse

Low-cost US carrier Virgin America has ordered 60 medium-range Airbus A320 airliners for around $5 billion (3.8 billion euros), the European planemaker Airbus announced Monday.

The contract was signed on December 29, allowing Airbus to boast Monday that its 2010 order book was bigger than that of arch US rival Boeing.

Half of the orders were for the A320 in its "A320neo" configuration -- "New Engine Option" -- which the firm says gives operators 15 percent fuel savings.

Virgin America is an independent American airline that began flying in 2007 and is based in San Francisco. It is only 25 percent owned by Richard Branson's British-based Virgin Group and serves mainly US domestic routes.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 02:38 PM   #52
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Source:http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/18/bu.../18airbus.html

Quote:
Virgin America Places Big Order for New Airbus Jet
By JAD MOUAWAD
Published: January 17, 2011


Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturer, said Monday that Virgin America had signed an order for 60 new single-aisle A320 airplanes.

The order includes 30 A320neo, a new version of Airbus’s best-selling airplane that will be equipped with a more fuel-efficient engine. The new airplanes could reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent, according to Airbus. They will be delivered starting in 2016, said John Leahy, Airbus’s top salesman.

While it was made public Monday, Virgin America signed its contract on Dec. 29. This makes it the launch customer for the A320neo. It also means the contract will be logged in Airbus’s 2010 order book, which now totals 644 orders. Airbus said that allows it to nudge ahead of Boeing in 2010, which announced orders of 625 planes, according to Airbus.

After months of hesitation, Airbus announced in November that it would go ahead with its plans to update its A320 airplane, one of the world’s best-selling planes. The A320neo stands for New Engine Option, a reference to a new generation of engines called geared turbo fans that burn less fuel than current engines do.

The airplane deal comes as Airbus holds its annual press conference. Airbus has been struggling with delays on its biggest airplane programs, including the A380 double-decker jumbo plane, and its new composite A350 aircraft that it hopes will rival Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner.

Last week Airbus announced a record order from IndiGo, a Indian low-cost carrier, which said it would buy 180 A320s, including 150 with the new engine. That deal — which Airbus expects to sign within the next two months — has a list price of $15.6 billion.

Analysts, as well as Boeing, have questioned whether Airbus can actually meet the targeted fuel savings with its new plane. They point it will require heavier wings to accommodate the larger engines, for instance. But Mr. Leahy, who had been a strong advocate of the new version, dismissed the criticism.

“I am really frustrated that some people in the industry are saying this is not such a good business case,” Mr. Leahy said. “There has never been an aircraft with 15 percent fuel cuts that was not a huge success. We are a little frustrated that our competitor is wringing its hands, wondering whether the business case is worthwhile.”

Virgin America, which began operations in 2007, has 34 airplanes in operation, with another 17 committed to be delivered this year. It is seeking to expand its network throughout the United States and expects to have a fleet of between 80 and 110 planes by 2016, David Cush, Virgin America’s president and chief executive officer, said.

The airline’s new order with Airbus has a list price of $5.1 billion, but airlines typically receive steep discounts from manufacturers, especially for new airplanes. Airbus does not disclose the actual sale price for competitive reasons.

Mr. Cush said that with oil prices rising, airlines needed to consider any technology that could help offset rising costs. He estimated that at oil at $80 a barrel, the annual fuel savings per plane with the new A320neo amounted to $1.1 million. Oil is currently more than $90 a barrel.

Along with lower fuel consumption, the airplane would help reduce carbon emissions, Mr. Cush said.

“If oil becomes more expensive, this becomes a natural hedge for us,” he said. “If the industry does not clean itself up and is unwilling to invest in these technologies, we will become a pariah, and people will deem travel is evil.”
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Old January 17th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #53
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Old January 18th, 2011, 12:17 PM   #54
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Virgin Atlantic Founder Branson Could Sell Down His Stake - Report
18 January 2011
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson is considering selling down his stake in the airline, U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph reports on Tuesday.

The British entrepreneur, who founded the carrier 27 years ago, is keen to ensure it survives increased competition from larger rivals that are part of global alliances, The Telegraph said.

"Obviously, Virgin Atlantic has been a bit of a baby to me. We're obviously very attached to the airline but equally I want to be sure she's still around in 50 years' time." The Telegraph said that he added "We realized for the long-term stability of Virgin Atlantic we needed to look at an alliance partner, and whether it is purely an alliance or more than an alliance we're completely undecided. Most of the people we talked to are keen to have Virgin as part of their alliance. My preference would be to keep control of the airline."

Virgin Group has a 51% stake in the carrier, with the remaining 49% held by Singapore Airlines Ltd (C6L.SG), The Telegraph said. Delta Air Lines (DAL) of the U.S. has been mooted as a potential buyer, the newspaper said, but Branson said that there were a number of interested parties and "we'll see how discussions go."

Newspaper Web site: http://thetelegraph.co.uk
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Old January 18th, 2011, 03:20 PM   #55
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Just read on a different news site that Virgin Atlantic will be with a Alliance within a year. Richard Branson thinks that it will make Virgin stronger for the next thirthy years.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klm.b777 View Post
Just read on a different news site that Virgin Atlantic will be with a Alliance within a year. Richard Branson thinks that it will make Virgin stronger for the next thirthy years.
I wonder which alliance Virgin will join....................Skyteam is the only alliance lacking a airline from the UK.
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Old January 18th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #57
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Just read on a different news site that Virgin Atlantic will be with a Alliance within a year. Richard Branson thinks that it will make Virgin stronger for the next thirthy years.
Think he's a bit too late to realize that.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 03:27 AM   #58
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I wonder which alliance Virgin will join....................Skyteam is the only alliance lacking a airline from the UK.
Yes, but I really don't think Skyteam is the right alliance for the airline.

Keep in mind, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club's partners are mostly from Star Alliance.
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Old January 19th, 2011, 04:55 AM   #59
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Also need to consider the feeder airlines and airports as well. Would Air France & KLM want a London competitor to funnel traffic away from their hubs?
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Old January 19th, 2011, 10:50 AM   #60
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Rumours have been around for a while that Virgin Blue will be joining an alliance after they rebrand to Virgin Australia. Possibly it might coincide with this?
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