a white and red airplane flying in the sky

Today at the famed Paris Airshow, Virgin Atlantic placed firm orders for 14 new Airbus A330neo aircraft. The move is exciting on a variety of levels, especially as the airline transitions from an older fleet to one of the youngest fleets – if not the youngest in the sky over the next five years. Not only can we expect newer, quieter planes gracing the skies from the airline’s home base in London- we’ve heard a rumour there might be all new cabins designed too…

a plane flying in the skyNewest, Greenest Fleet

As the airline industry booms and booms, a constantly lingering question always centres around the environmental impact of “all that travel”.

At today’s announcement, Virgin Atlantic noted that by 2024, the airline will have achieved a 32 percent increase in fuel efficiency over a ten year period as new fuel efficient aircraft deliveries arrive. That’s a win for the airline, saving massive amounts of money on their largest operating cost, but also an obvious win for the environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels.

The move, valued at $4.1 billion, will also halve the age of Virgin Atlantic’s fleet, bringing the average aircraft age under 6 years old. By plane standards, those are very young birds and will put Virgin Atlantic amongst the youngest fleets in the sky. As rumours swirl of the airline potentially joining SkyTeam, having the newest seats and the youngest fleet is a dynamic combo.

a row of seats in an airplaneNew Cabins For A330neos?

At the launch of the A350-1000, conversations seemed to suggest that the beautiful new cabins installed on those soon to be delivered aircraft were just a first (albeit awesome) iteration. In other words, the airline wasn’t afraid to draw up something new and innovative if cabin technology or trends were to shift in the interim.

With bluetooth, wifi and personalization reaching new levels almost daily it could be very exciting to see what Virgin will install in all three cabins on these A330neo’s, be it full privacy doors, bluetooth headphone connectivity or a next generation economy seat, a la Qatar Airways. If anything, they just can’t come soon enough.

A350-1000 or A330neo – which one are you more excited for?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. I currently fly VA due to there 2-4-2 seating in Economy, (which means there are only 2 bad seats for every 8.) on the A340’s. Much nicer than 2-5-2 or 3-3-3 on BA’s 777’s. More 330’s means more 2-4-2 seating which can’t be a bad thing.

  2. Just hoping they expand their network from London to provide real choice and competition… Never had a bad flight with Virgin (some mediocre) in marked contrast to their UK based longhaul rival where 2/3rds of recent flights have been appalling because of dirty cabins, broken kit and the worst of a bad bunch of catering (no one likes airline food but BestAvoided persist in delivering truly execrable “food” despite the announcements a few months ago about enhanced catering)

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