Feasibility for US Style 'Transcon' product on Coast-to-coast services in Australia?

23 replies

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

Very few into the Australian market anyway. I guess we're all tightarses! ;)

SaltyJ

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 06 Dec 2012

Total posts 155

I agree with you Hugo, but I think you may be missing the gist of what Cityrail is asking. If i interpret the question(s) correctly, I think City rail is getting to the point that in the US they have smaller aircraft (A321 & B757) equipped with the flat bed business class. In Oz VA and QF plug there new business suites from coast to coast, but still have some flights operated by smaller aircraft (B737) which do not have the same product, so would it be feasible to put those products on the smaller aircraft as well? Probably not, because you probably wouldnt get 8 business class seats in, but from a consumer point of view, if you are paying upwards of $2000-$2500 for return business class from coast to coast, you woul definitley want the lie flat seats!

DrTGanguly

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 20 Nov 2011

Total posts 107

I think a few commenters have missed the fine detail that the OP was asking about.  If I am reading correctly then I assume you are asking about QF/VA fielding a fleet of 737-9MAX or A321NEO planes with International Business/Ecconomy for usage on trans-continental and to enhance low volume Int. routes.

This sounds great in theory.  I imagine that making the business case for this would be hard, even with the big single aisle jets they would be hard to compete with the bigger widebodies from CX/SQ etc.  If they could base them offshore and staff wioth 3K staff it might work!  Imagine what the unions would say....

 

But I agree it might make Int. routes ex ADL/DRW/CNS viable for QF with good product, as well as beef up tras con services.  Pipe dream in reality though... 

riley

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Mar 2014

Total posts 358

Many haven't addressed all his points in their responses however I don't see anyone completely missing the point.

60-120 min frequency, out of Sydney for example, wouldn't work. The planes departures are timed to work within the airport curfews. The volume demand on these flights dictates the size of the aircraft.

The additional length of an 739 won't make it more comfortable for the majorirty of passengers. It'd be substantially less than the current A332/333 offering by QF and VA.

QF and VA are currently in the midst of rolling out better hard product on those fleets.

We've seen a spike in 737s on these routes whilst the A332s and A333s are being rekitted.

Both airlines aim for their coast to coast product to be a benchmark wide body.

Consumer sentiment is such that a wide body aircraft is a better service. 

Then onto the point about short haul international services. Yes, I believe it's a good aircraft for such routes but are the routes themselves viable? Considering the customs infrastructure required (airline contribution to manning it) the ground crew and flight crews being ased there or transported there. You can't fly Hong Kong to Cairns then Sydney in the one day. A multitide of non aircraft issues regarding those sectors. 

CityRail

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 17 Nov 2014

Total posts 78

That's exactly what I am thinking.

Introduce longer single aisle aircrafts to fly coast to coast to replace widebodies and increase frequencies on Transcontinental routes out of Perth. These aircrafts will be fitted with 1x1 Lie flat beds in business class and 2x2 recliners in premium economy.

If this is successful, implement this Transcontinental configuration to selected international routes such as PER-SIN as well as Pacific Island and New Zealand routes.

When longer range A321LR or B737-9 MAX aircraft arrives we can deploy them onto HKG-CNS or BNE-HNL routes.

I believe single aisle aircrafts use less crew and fuel and can boost loading factor for the airline which ultermately leads to profitability.

andyf

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 07 Dec 2014

Total posts 47

Given the downturn in the mining industry, you've got to wonder whether transcon to Perth will continue to remain a major priority for new products for either VA or QF. Both are already investing in great, fully flat, J class for their wide body jets. I doubt either airline would want to lose flexibility on their 737s with different J class products.

Andrew Barkery

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

Member since 21 Mar 2011

Total posts 427

I try to avoid Australian transcontinental flights on a 737 no matter ending with 700/800/900.

Have tried both the 330s with VA and QF and am very happy with both of them.

Have used VA J too, not bad.

CityRail

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

Member since 17 Nov 2014

Total posts 78

I agree. In particular business class with no lie-flat bed is no business class at all.

I cannot imagine business travellers would like to pay thousands of dollars and cannot sleep well on Red Eye PER-SYD because they don't have lie flat bed.

That's why I propose to refit selected B737-800 aircrafts to install lie flat bed to replace the current business class offering and push the recliners after business class to become Premium Economy.

Business class in this age should mean lie flat beds. Recliner seats should be renamed as Premium Economy in this new world of travelling.

Chris_PER

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

Member since 19 Feb 2014

Total posts 90

I've flown the West-East sectors a few times in Business and i've yet to see it full.  If this cabin isn't full, then I highly doubt they could fill a first class product, either.

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