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 second A350 route, bringing the aircraft to Los Angeles. Here’s everything you need to know about the new routes, which flights it will operate and what you’ll find onboard…
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.
A specific date for the A350 LHR-LAX launch is yet to be set, but expectations are that the new plane will debut in Q1 of 2020 on one of Virgin Atlantic’s two daily flights. Los Angeles is operated by Virgin Atlantic flight numbers VS7 and VS23 on the outbound from Heathrow, and VS8, VS24 on the return segment from LAX. We’ll keep you updated when a launch date is set.