Virgin Atlantic orders 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft

Virgin Atlantic orders 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraftUK-based long-haul airline Virgin Atlantic has ordered 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft with a notional order value of $4.4 billion. The aircraft are due for delivery commencing early 2019.

Virgin Atlantic flies to around 30 long-haul destinations, including airports across the United States, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Virgin Atlantic currently has 39 aircraft in its fleet: 13 787-9s, 10 A330-300s, 8 A340-600s and 8 747-400s. The airline also has a long-standing order in place for 6 Airbus A380s. However, Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger was quoted in the aviation press as saying, “It is an order [for the A380s] that we have the right not to exercise. Whether or not [Virgin Atlantic] will actually take delivery of the aircraft will be the subject of future evaluation.”

The A350-1000s will replace Virgin Atlantic’s remaining Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A340-600s and further underlines the airline’s strategy of moving away from its previous policy of only flying four-engined aircraft on long-haul flights (using the slogan “4 engines 4 long haul”). The A350 aircraft will operate on both business and leisure routes for Virgin Atlantic worldwide and will be based both at London Heathrow and London Gatwick. Initially the aircraft will fly to key US destinations from London Heathrow.

Author: FTN

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