Virgin Atlantic has confirmed its order for A350 aircraft today at Farnborough Airshow.
The 12 A350-1000s will become a key part of both Virgin’s leisure and mainline fleets.
As reported previously on businesstraveller.com, Virgin to order 12 A350-1000s, the A350-1000 is the largest member of the A350 family and will operate from both London Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Virgin says, “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”.
The airline is purchasing eight A350-1000s for deliveries commencing in 2019. Four new aircraft will be on long term leases from ALC from 2020, including a lease “option” for a fifth aircraft.
Interestingly, the A350s will have different configurations for leisure and business routes. Virgin says that the aircraft serving the business fleet will seat up to 360 customers while the aircraft serving the leisure fleet will seat up to 410 customers. Both configurations will have three classes (economy, premium economy and upper class).
The United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron said, “I welcome the news of Virgin Atlantic’s investment. As well as being good news for passengers, it’s great news for jobs in the UK. The fantastic Airbus A350 is built in the UK, with Rolls-Royce engines and suppliers across the country. It’s an investment in the UK itself, and our world-beating aerospace industry.”
Craig Kreeger, CEO Virgin Atlantic 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.”
Virgin Atlantic Airbus A350-1000 fact sheet
• Virgin Atlantic has ordered 12 A350-1000 aircraft
• The first A350-1000 is expected to be delivered in early 2019
• We expect to receive all aircraft by end of 2021
• The order is worth $4.4bn (list price)
• Virgin Atlantic currently has 39 aircraft in its fleet with 13 787-9s, 10 A330-300s, 8 A340-
600s, 8 747-400s
• Aircraft will fly from both London Heathrow and London Gatwick
• Initially the aircraft will fly on key US routes from London Heathrow
Capacity and configuration
• All aircraft will be fitted with three class cabins – Upper Class, Premium Economy and Economy
• There will be separate configurations for business and leisure fleets
• The aircraft serving the business fleet will seat up to 360 customers
• The aircraft serving the leisure fleet will seat up to 410 customers
Typical operating characteristics
• The Airbus A350-1000 has a range up to 7950 nautical miles
• Overall length – 72.25m (237ft 0.5in)
• Wing Span 64.75m (212ft 5.2in)
• Height – 17.08m (56ft 0.3in)
• Cargo capacity of 208.2m3, (7352 cubic feet)
• Maximum take-off weight of 308,000kg
• Typical cruising speed of M0.85
• All aircraft will have wifi onboard
• Customers with laptops, tablets or mobile phones, can connect their devices to the wireless
• The cost of the internet is currently £14.99 for 24 hours
• Customers can also browse destination and aircraft information, Retail Therapy and further
Virgin Atlantic services complimentary.
• Power is available to every seat on the Airbus A350-1000 therefore customers will be able
to work or play throughout their journey.
Environmental performance and efficiency
• The A350-1000 is powered by the new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, the world’s most
efficient large aero-engine flying today, generating 30% lower CO2 emissions (compared to
our current 747-400).
• Xtra quiet due to predicted exterior noise levels of 15 EPNdB (Effective Perceived Noise
Decibel) below ICAO Chapter-4 requirements. It will reduce our noise footprint at the
airports we fly by 52% compared to the 747-400.
• Advanced flight management technology including managed Noise Abatement Departure
Procedures (NADPs) and Continuous Descent Approach computation; to optimise the flight
path to reduce the noise over sensitive areas, where available for use.
• The A350-1000 brings together the very latest in aerodynamics and advanced design to
provide a 30% step change in fuel efficiency compared to our 747-400s.