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#960969 by Miked1e
25 May 2021, 20:26
If G VEVE is sitting in storage do you think VS will wait til Q1 22 to put her in operation or do you think much sooner providing demand picks up 2nd half of this year...

I guess she is leisure config?

So excited to see this and hoping that they will be on the MAN-MCO route early next year (just booked UC 1st time for May 22)
#960972 by 747G-VXLG
25 May 2021, 21:44
LREDI wrote:I expect the leisure fleet will come with c.20 J seats and additional premium behind them.

I also don't think there will be a Loft area on the leisure 350s (my own thoughts not confirmed anywhere)


I can see where you are coming from with the loft. But wouldn’t that put people off flying upper on leisure routes as it could take away some of the experience from some people?
#960974 by 747G-VXLG
25 May 2021, 23:52
DIAZLUXO wrote:I think it'll be a while until VEVE gets engines and gets a paint job by judging from the photo but I could be wrong.


Hopefully it’s not too long!

Has there been any news on G-VLIB? I noticed a few weeks back that her parts have already been built.
#960984 by 747G-VXLG
27 May 2021, 23:19
Does anyone think that the loft could be right at the front (of the upper class seats) in the leisure A350s and have a galley separating upper from premium? Would this be possible? I thought this would give more privacy to people in upper.
#961184 by 747G-VXLG
29 Jun 2021, 22:12
Does anyone know whether G-VEVE has had her engines attached yet or have any updates on the other 4?
#961185 by DIAZLUXO
29 Jun 2021, 22:28
No, she is just collecting dust right now at Toulouse in storage. Meanwhile Air France are taking delivery left right and centre. I've even seen photos of MSN520 so maybe G-VLIB and G-VWHY are completed without engines.
#961187 by 747G-VXLG
29 Jun 2021, 22:59
DIAZLUXO wrote:No, she is just collecting dust right now at Toulouse in storage. Meanwhile Air France are taking delivery left right and centre. I've even seen photos of MSN520 so maybe G-VLIB and G-VWHY are completed without engines.


The last I saw a few weeks back was LIB only had parts built and WHY had absolutely nothing. Don’t know why they are going so slow with the last five.
#961189 by mitchja
30 Jun 2021, 06:51
Aren’t the next VS A350 delivers only due from early 2022 though?

If so, there is little point in Airbus rushing to complete those builds when other airlines require delivery sooner.

The RR engine build as well as cabin fixtures and seats etc will all likely all be on later build/delivery schedules as well.

The VS frames will be kept in storage and completed nearer the delivery date. The same thing happened with a couple of the other VS A350’s as well I believe.
#961222 by DIAZLUXO
04 Jul 2021, 14:54
According to the AIB Family Flights the testing registrations are:
MSN507 G-VLIB: F-WZFU
MSN547 G-VELJ: F-WZFX
MSN513 and 521 are unknown.
#961224 by Kraken
04 Jul 2021, 17:46
747G-VXLG wrote:
LREDI wrote:I expect the leisure fleet will come with c.20 J seats and additional premium behind them.

I also don't think there will be a Loft area on the leisure 350s (my own thoughts not confirmed anywhere)


I can see where you are coming from with the loft. But wouldn’t that put people off flying upper on leisure routes as it could take away some of the experience from some people?


Hmm - history would suggest that this won't come into the equation when Virgin are making the decision re: the loft on the leisure A350's.

Going back a few years 5 out of the 8 leisure fleet 747's "the Alitalia 5" were run for years with a rubbish loop, i.e. not on-demand - IFE system. You thought yourself lucky if you got one of the 3 ex-LHR 747's in leisure config as these had the original V:Port IFE on (not that was much to write home about, but at least it was on-demand). It was only after the - very long overdue - cabin refits on the 747's that the leisure fleet got the best IFE.

The crew were told to mis-inform customers on the "Alitalia 5" when entire cabin sections of the IFE were down. The line they would spin was "we have decided to operate the flight on time today rather than delay it for the engineers to fix the IFE - they'll do this when the aircraft returns to Gatwick". Sounds plausible... until the passengers get the same aircraft & excuse on their return flight 2 weeks later!

And when it comes to a degraded Upper Class experience - look no further than Manchester. No private security channel (the "Fast Lane" they give you is a joke - normal lanes are quicker) & no Clubhouse. Yes, I know the Clubhouse issue will be fixed when T2X opens - but how long have they been flying from Manchester? And MAN has / does operate some non-leisure routes - ATL, JFK, LAX, LAS (to an extent as it's a huge convention venue, as is MCO also for that matter). BGI whilst being a leisure route will have passengers onboard in Upper who are paying top-dollar for their hotel in BGI - so to offer them a bacon roll in the Escape Lounge for years is a joke.

Virgin need to ensure the Upper Class config / experience is as consistent as possible from their main UK bases. Of course the Upper Class cabin will be smaller on the leisure fleet, but to omit key items such as the loft would be a mistake IMO. Time will tell though.
#961225 by 747G-VXLG
04 Jul 2021, 19:56
DIAZLUXO wrote:According to the AIB Family Flights the testing registrations are:
MSN507 G-VLIB: F-WZFU
MSN547 G-VELJ: F-WZFX
MSN513 and 521 are unknown.


Do you know why ELJ has overtaken WHY and NVR?
#961226 by DIAZLUXO
04 Jul 2021, 20:06
I have not a clue as to why they have not listed WHY and NVR haven't been assigned test registrations unfortunately, i have taken this info straight from the website.
#961227 by DIAZLUXO
04 Jul 2021, 20:46
I really believe the Leisure A350s will seat 387 people which seems very low compared to the LGW/MAN 744s but it might be best for us as passengers and maybe the crew. This figure is close to the old LHR 744s lol
#961228 by VSSCC
04 Jul 2021, 21:50
I believe the plan for the leisure A350 is to fit both J/W between the 1 and 2 doors with J coming in at around 16 seats.

Then Y to go from the 2 doors back which will mean she holds less than the 747 leisure which was 455 total but she also requires less crew not to mention she is incredibly efficient when compared to a 747 so from a financial POV she will be on the money.

I've been told about the 'social space' for the J cabin and the last I heard she is still very much part of the plan. Cute and Quirky is all I'll say bearing in mind it's a social space for a cabin of 16 not 44 like her LHR config sisters you need to expect the scale to be smaller but there are plans.
#961248 by 747G-VXLG
06 Jul 2021, 12:39
VSSCC wrote:I believe the plan for the leisure A350 is to fit both J/W between the 1 and 2 doors with J coming in at around 16 seats.

Then Y to go from the 2 doors back which will mean she holds less than the 747 leisure which was 455 total but she also requires less crew not to mention she is incredibly efficient when compared to a 747 so from a financial POV she will be on the money.

I've been told about the 'social space' for the J cabin and the last I heard she is still very much part of the plan. Cute and Quirky is all I'll say bearing in mind it's a social space for a cabin of 16 not 44 like her LHR config sisters you need to expect the scale to be smaller but there are plans.


Do you know whether any of the LHR ones will be reconfigured to join the leisure fleet?
#961383 by 747G-VXLG
19 Jul 2021, 12:43
DIAZLUXO wrote:https://www.flickr.com/photos/xfwspotter/51256450705/in/photostream/lightbox/
I might be wrong here, but if you zoom in on the beige fuselage section surely you can see the number 507. If its true we are looking at future G-VLIB.


Have any of the others got their parts built yet?
#961573 by 747G-VXLG
03 Aug 2021, 20:29
DIAZLUXO wrote:https://www.flickr.com/photos/aircrafts/51356045855/in/photostream/lightbox/
In the photo when you zoom in on the beige airframe in the far left you will see there are some lovely red engines installed which means G-VEVE is nearing her first flight!


I’m predicting a mid to late December delivery. Is G-VLIB any further along the production line?
#961608 by VS075
06 Aug 2021, 13:31
Kraken wrote:Hmm - history would suggest that this won't come into the equation when Virgin are making the decision re: the loft on the leisure A350's.

Going back a few years 5 out of the 8 leisure fleet 747's "the Alitalia 5" were run for years with a rubbish loop, i.e. not on-demand - IFE system. You thought yourself lucky if you got one of the 3 ex-LHR 747's in leisure config as these had the original V:Port IFE on (not that was much to write home about, but at least it was on-demand). It was only after the - very long overdue - cabin refits on the 747's that the leisure fleet got the best IFE.

The crew were told to mis-inform customers on the "Alitalia 5" when entire cabin sections of the IFE were down. The line they would spin was "we have decided to operate the flight on time today rather than delay it for the engineers to fix the IFE - they'll do this when the aircraft returns to Gatwick". Sounds plausible... until the passengers get the same aircraft & excuse on their return flight 2 weeks later!

And when it comes to a degraded Upper Class experience - look no further than Manchester. No private security channel (the "Fast Lane" they give you is a joke - normal lanes are quicker) & no Clubhouse. Yes, I know the Clubhouse issue will be fixed when T2X opens - but how long have they been flying from Manchester? And MAN has / does operate some non-leisure routes - ATL, JFK, LAX, LAS (to an extent as it's a huge convention venue, as is MCO also for that matter). BGI whilst being a leisure route will have passengers onboard in Upper who are paying top-dollar for their hotel in BGI - so to offer them a bacon roll in the Escape Lounge for years is a joke.

Virgin need to ensure the Upper Class config / experience is as consistent as possible from their main UK bases. Of course the Upper Class cabin will be smaller on the leisure fleet, but to omit key items such as the loft would be a mistake IMO. Time will tell though.


Wasn't it the 'Odyssey' system that was fitted to the three 'leisure' 747's that weren't part of the Alitalia 5?

As for the downgraded experience, don't forget that when MAN-MCO was worked by the sub-fleet of 747-200's from Air Atlanta (G-VSSS/G-VBEE, which were sold by VS when they ditched the -200's and leased back for this route), Upper Class was known as 'Club Orlando' as it had the very old non-lie flat seat. So, combined with old planes and an old product and nowhere else besides codesharing to SIN on Singapore Airlines, it added to the feeling that MAN was an afterthought part of the network and not worth serving with then-newer planes and the latest products that was in line with what was offered out of the London airports.

However, that was then and after a 25 year presence it feels like VS are taking MAN a lot more seriously now than they once did. Committing themselves to MAN early on in the pandemic was a huge vote of confidence. If the pandemic happened in the past, I would have betted that MAN would be scarified and a LGW presence retained.

As for the fast lane through security, it depends on which terminal you use and what time of the day. It's worth paying for if you used T1 first thing in the morning, but experience with T3 has shown it wasn't worth it at all. One issue is that the fast lane is also used by anyone travelling with wheelchairs and prams. I also remember one time where I was waived to use the fast lane even though I hadn't paid for it! Now, I look at what flights are scheduled around the time my flight is scheduled for to work out likely numbers of crowds combined with my check-in/bag drop ETA and make a judgement call as to whether I should pay to use it.
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