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Unread 15 May 19, 06:24 PM  
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bernard301
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Virgin Atlantic - retirement of 747's and the affect on prices

I was just doing some reading into Virgin Atlantic and by 2021 the 747 fleet will be retired and replaced by the A350. Obviously the capacity on these airlines will affect the ultimate capacity on the route but what is interesting is that there are plans to upgrade the number of upper class seats from 16 on the 747 to 44 on the A350. Does anyone have any idea what kind of impact this will have on the flight prices?

personally I can see the economy prices rising and perhaps the Premium, but will there be a slight reduction in pricing on the Upper Class seats due to increased supply?

What do you all think
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Unread 15 May 19, 06:47 PM  
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The Fatadder
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I think they have only released the layout for the LHR 350s so far, whereas the tourist version that will be used on the MCO routes will have a lot less upper class and a more comparable level of economy. Although I cant remember the exact numbers, even if the total number of economy seats falls the fact its a much more efficient aircraft should compensate (and given they are often not flying full again a full 350 should be costing less per passenger to run than a 2/3 full 747 that is burning 3 times as much fuel
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Unread 15 May 19, 08:16 PM  
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As The Fatadder has said LHR aircraft are configured with a business heavy cabin the LGW & MAN fleets will be configured in a more economy heavy cabin. I have just commented about this on another thread I suspect the 747 will still be around next summer and at that point it will start to be phased out once the summer season is out of the way.

Personally I think prices will increase as these planes need to be paid for

Edited at 08:17 PM.
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Unread 15 May 19, 11:00 PM  
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duncanb
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can also be configured 2 class with over 400 on board so only a small drop.
Which I guess affects peak only.
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Unread 15 May 19, 11:10 PM  
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Spoke to VA crew on the way back last, said I was disappointed to see VA reduce PE to 18" and UC to 20" of width on the A350 and the four A330-200 series brought in to replace the RR Dreamliner, none knew if VA would see their Dreamliners return. They agreed the loss of 3" in PE is noticeable and they too will miss the 747's.

I've seen a gradual PE fare increase, not by much, but will be interested to see fares as their A350's enter service.
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Unread 16 May 19, 07:55 AM  
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Originally Posted by steviet78 View Post
As The Fatadder has said LHR aircraft are configured with a business heavy cabin the LGW & MAN fleets will be configured in a more economy heavy cabin. I have just commented about this on another thread I suspect the 747 will still be around next summer and at that point it will start to be phased out once the summer season is out of the way.

Personally I think prices will increase as these planes need to be paid for
There's only 8 in their fleet so it's not a huge number to phase out, so the idea of them running them until late 2020 would make sense.

I would also agree that prices will increase, however the A350 is a stunning aircraft and they have to make back that $4.4 Billion somehow
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Unread 16 May 19, 12:24 PM  
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We are supposed to be on the 747 and we fly next September. I hope they don't change it as we can reserve seats from August and the seating sounds like its changing
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Unread 17 May 19, 06:15 AM  
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They can't raise the price too much without considering the competition. Tui, TC, BA and Norweigan offering other routes should protect prices a bit. Replacing the aircraft then jacking up prices and possibly reducing passengers numbers isn't good business if the aircraft end up flying under capacity and therefore making a bigger loss than 747.

VA made some bad decisions with 747 refit, change to bubble, so it's not inconceivable they would get config wrong again.
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