Virgin Atlantic will be chopping and changing its operates between London Heathrow and Los Angeles in the coming summer, by adding their new Boeing 787-9 aircraft between the two cities.
The equipment saw will see the existing Boeing 747-400 and Airbus A340-600 swapped to a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and an Airbus A340-600, with the 787-9 taking over the 747-400 rotations from 30th April 2015.
The revised timetable looks like this:
London Heathrow to Los Angeles
VS007 DEPART LHR 11:15 ARRIVE LAX 14:35 Boeing 787-9 VS023 DEPART LHR 12:35 ARRIVE LAX 16:05 Airbus A340-600 VS007 operates with a Boeing 747-400 until 29th April 2015 VS007 operates with a Boeing 787-9 from 30th April 2015
Los Angeles to London Heathrow
VS008 DEPART LAX 17:50 ARRIVE LHR 12:20+1 Boeing 787-9 VS024 DEPART LAX 22:20 ARRIVE LHR 16:50+1 Airbus A340-600 VS008 operates with a Boeing 747-400 until 29th April 2015 VS008 operates with a Boeing 787-9 from 30th April 2015 Data: Airlineroute
Let’s not pick bones, there will be a major capacity drop with the loss of the 747. To compare, see the table below:
UPPER CLASS PREMIUM ECO ECONOMY 747-400 44 62 261 787-9 31 35 198 Net loss 13 27 63 TOTAL: 103 Seats net loss per flight
With a loss of 721 seats each week in each direction, Virgin appears to be “right-sizing” the route for its needs – as opposed to running larger planes that could be empty over the pond on this long haul service.
Virgin Atlantic has a lot of competition on this route, with options offered by American Airlines, British Airways, Air New Zealand, United Airlines and it’s 49% owner, Delta Air Lines.
Hopefully by “right-sizing” the route, the route can continue to remain profitable.
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