Virgin Atlantic has unveiled the first of four refurbished A330-200 aircraft featuring the carrier’s Premium seating and a revamped Upper Class offering.
The aircraft are being leased in order to “provide extra resilience in light of the global industry shortage of Trent 1000 engines”, which has affected Virgin’s fleet of B787 aircraft.
Refurbishment work has seen 35 of Virgin’s premium seats added, as well as a refreshed look in economy, and new cabin curtains, carpets and wall finishes, refreshed bathrooms and mood lighting.
The carrier says that Upper Class has received “a complete transformation”, although note that the revamped seats are in the same configuration and footprint as those previously offered by Air Berlin.
As a result of leasing these aircraft, the business class seating is very different to that offered on the rest of Virgin’s fleet, with a staggered 1-2-1 layout providing all passengers with direct aisle access.
The carrier has put a positive spin on this “exclusive” layout, marketing the seat options with names like the “Love Suite”, the “Freedom Solo Suite”, and the “Corner Solo Suite”.
Virgin said that “All trim and finishes, including the seat fabric with natural and soft Espresso leather, were selected by Virgin’s in house design team to underline the cabin’s distinctive Virgin Atlantic flair”.
Refurbishment of the remaining three A330-200s is expected to be complete by January, with the aircraft operating on Caribbean services from Gatwick, as well as “a number of US flights” from Manchester.
Commenting on the news Daniel Kerzner, Vice President of Customer Experience at Virgin Atlantic, said:
“I’m thrilled to see the first of our fully refurbished A330-200s arrive into our fleet and looking amazing. Initial response from our customers and our people has been fantastic.
“These planes were introduced to protect our flying programme with a commitment to bring them up to our high standards with our unique Virgin Atlantic flair.
“The speed at which we’ve been able to totally transform these aircraft is phenomenal, and is a true testament to our people and our passion to deliver a wow experience to our customers.”
Virgin has also released a timelapse video of the aircraft being refurbished and painted below.