I have both good and not so good news for you today.
It’s to do with the timescale for retrofitting Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic’s fleet of ten A330-300s.
For the background read the story we published on January 3 – it was expected the retrofit would be complete by the end of March in time for the summer flying season.
The news had been provided by respected Airline Route. There was no reason to doubt that the retrofit would not be completed in time seeing as it would be undertaken during the quieter winter months.
However there have been some changes. The good news reported by Airline Route is that it is expected the A330s operating leisure routes out of London Gatwick and Manchester will have the new Upper Class cabins towards the end of March.
These routes (from Gatwick and Manchester) cover the Caribbean and, in the case of Manchester only, services to Boston and San Francisco.
Not so good news applies for Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow services. The A330s from here are rostered for some of the carrier’s most important business destinations. Upper Class passengers are now going to have to wait until, we hope, September/October before the revised A330 Upper Class cabins are available.
From September 1 the following Heathrow routes will see the retrofitted A330s: Dubai, New York Newark, New York JFK (some services only), and Washington Dulles.
From this date it will also include routes from Manchester to Atlanta and New York JFK.
Effective October 30, the retrofitted A330s will appear on services between Heathrow, Atlanta and New York JFK (some services only for JFK).
From October 31 the plan is then to roster the revised A330 for one daily Heathrow to Miami service.
And because more changes are possible I would suggest readers check again at the time of booking.
Yesterday I contacted Virgin Atlantic for comment – any response will be published here when received.