Today at the 2016 Farnborough Airshow, Virgin Atlantic and Airbus announced an order for 12 A350-1000s, which will become the biggest aircraft in the airline’s fleet when delivered.
The carrier is purchasing eight aircraft directly from Airbus and will lease four more and has an option for a fifth leased aircraft. The order is valued at US$4.4 billion at list prices. Deliveries will start in 2019 and will continue through 2021.
The aircraft will be deployed initially at London Heathrow to strengthen the trans-Atlantic network on existing business routes, and subsequently at Gatwick airport on leisure routes to the Caribbean, where Virgin Atlantic will provide three classes of customer service in the A350s distinctive Airbus ‘Airspace’ cabin with roomy overhead bins and the latest concepts for ambience, comfort, service and design.
Craig Kreeger, Virgin Atlantic’s CEO, said: “The size of this order demonstrates our absolute focus on investing in the future for our customers and our people, and confirms the strength of our business. The A350-1000 plays a pivotal role in our fleet programme, helping to create one of the youngest, cleanest, greenest fleets in the sky. We’re looking forward to introducing this aircraft to our customers, as its impressive economics, fuel performance, and quiet flying offer an irresistible proposition that makes long haul travel more enjoyable and better for the environment.”
“This agreement allows Virgin Atlantic to set the standard on its network by being amongst the first airlines into service with the A350-1000, with an Airspace by Airbus cabin, offering superior comfort including industry leading 18″ wide seats in economy,” said Fabrice Brégier, Airbus President and Chief Executive Officer. “These modern, efficient A350s will complement Virgin Atlantic’s existing fleet of 10 A330-300s and offer Virgin Atlantic crews the advantage of familiarity with Airbus operating procedures around the network”
A mention was made about the 6 A380s Virgin Atlantic has on order, saying that the order still remains, but they’re still considering whether to take delivery of them or not. This order for the A350 was made to replace the 747.