It’s not a scene, it’s an arms race. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic’s brand new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft are joining their respective fleets this month, and both airlines have laid out unique plans, routes and ideas for their respective debuts.
Whereas British Airways is spreading the new aircraft as far and wide as possible, serving many routes once daily, Virgin Atlantic has gone a different way, aiming to capitalise in certain markets with multiple daily flights on this modern marvel of an aircraft. Virgin Atlantic and Delta also announced the airlines next four A350 routes, bringing the aircraft to Los Angeles, Johannesburg, San Francisco and Lagos.
Here’s everything you need to know about the new Virgin Atlantic A350 routes, which flights it will operate and what you’ll find onboard this stunning new aircraft…
The Airbus A350 offers reduced noise, improved humidity and a pressurisation that feels a lot more like being on the ground than stuck in a flying tube. Basically, it’s great, and coupled with Virgin’s new A350-1000 business class suites, loft bar, new premium seat and improved economy – it represents one of the best, if not the best options between New York and London.
The airline knows this, and is looking to gain marketshare in New York, going 4x daily before the end of the year. Virgin Atlantic will operate four daily New York flights, with the following options…
- VS153 – London Heathrow to New York JFK from September 10th-September 25th.
- VS137 – London Heathrow to New York JFK from September 25th onward.
- VS138 – New York JFK to London Heathrow from September 10th onward.
Virgin will add a second daily service on September 25th, with varying flight numbers through to November 5th, at which point the Virgin Atlantic LHR-JFK schedule will offer at least three daily A350 flights, including regular VS3, VS9 rotations from London to JFK, and VS4 and VS10 flights on the return from New York JFK to London Heathrow.
By December 9th, there will be 4x daily flights with the A350 as VS45, VS46 get upgraded. Be sure to confirm the aircraft type at the time of booking, as denoted by ‘Airbus A350-1000, or “351”…
Once New York is up and running with 4x daily in December, Virgin Atlantic and Delta have announced that Los Angeles will be the second A350-1000 destination. With the ability to screen films in the loft bar with bluetooth headphones for up to 9 people, it makes sense to add Hollywood.
Virgin Atlantic will fly the Airbus A350-1000 to los Angeles on flights 23, and 24 respectively from April 19th, 2020. The VS23 departs London at 15:45PM, and the return VS24 leaves Los Angeles at 21:00PM. The A350 will not initially service the other daily Los Angeles flight, so choose wisely.
Virgin is also bringing the A350 to San Francisco, with flights starting May 15th. Flight VS19 will leave London at 11:45AM, and the return A350 flight from San Francisco will depart at 17:50PM.
For the San Francisco and Silicon Valley tech crowd, the newest plane in the sky with one of the more advanced business class seats should go down pretty well.
Lagos has always been one of Virgin’s most popular destinations, and the airline is injecting much needed aircraft competition onto the route, with the announcement of a daily A350 flight between London and Nigeria.
The Airbus A350 will operate flight VS411 to Lagos, departing Heathrow at 22:30PM each day, returning from Lagos to London at 10:05AM with the VS412 service.
Johannesburg is one of the most important routes from the UK, thanks to its easy connectivity for safari, and the crown jewel in any travellers cap – Cape Town. Unfortunately, for most travellers, it’s been serviced by older aircraft for far too long.
Virgin Atlantic is bringing their new Airbus A350 onto JNB flights, with service beginning March 20th, 2020 on flights VS449 and VS450. Flight 449 will depart London at 20:05PM daily, and return from Johannesburg