Virgin Atlantic has just announced via social media that it has acquired 14 new Airbus A330neo aircraft.
This announcement comes just hours after the start of the Paris air show has commenced. Virgin Atlantic currently operate a fleet of Airbus A330’s,Boeing 747-400’s, and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Virgin Atlantic also stayed that it is aiming to have one of the youngest fleets in the airline industry in a statement made on Facebook. That statement said “ we’re on our way to our cleanest and youngest fleet ever”.
Virgin Atlantic has announced that the aircraft will replace the current A330 fleet that Virgin currently owns. They’ll help Virgin become more fuel and carbon efficient.
The A330neo is one of Airbus’s newest aircraft to hit the market and it is the newest long haul Airbus aircraft. The neo or new engine option has engines comparable to the 787 which may be the reason Virgin opted for the new aircraft as they already own the 787 aircraft. The A330neo is also a very economical aircraft despite having relatively the same range. The neo can fly 7,200 nm with a load of 287 passengers (440 max pax). The older models can fly anywhere from 2,700 to 7,250 nm with up to 335 passengers in a two class configuration.
Picture by: Wikivisually
So why opt for an aircraft with relatively the same range? Well money is the simple answer. It’s the same as comparing cars. Do I want to get an older model with more fuel consumption or do I want to get a newer model with newer engines and better fuel consumption? The A330neo also features newer winglets that are curved that are different from the current A330 that offer a more fuel efficient ride for the airlines whom fly them. Current European operators are TAP Portugal whom were the launch customers of the aircraft.
No date has been mentioned on when Virgin will receive the aircraft but if we were to guess you can most likely see the aircraft sometime in 2020. They did also say that their fleet will be 32% more fuel efficient by 2024. The new A350-1000 that they are currently set to receive this summer will also help out in their journey to become a newer younger and more fuel efficient airline.
What do you think about Virgins new venture to become a younger and cleaner airline? Do you agree with the purchases they’ve made? Let us know below!