Atlantic announced today that despite the current economic downturn, it plans
to purchase an additional 10 Airbus A330-300 Aircraft.
will allow Virgin Atlantic to expand its services prior to the delivery of
their Boeing 787 Dreamliners
media release from Virgin Atlantic can be read below:
Atlantic, one of the world’s leading long-haul airlines, today announced a
$2.1billion order for 10 new Airbus A330-300 aircraft which will be delivered
from early 2011. Five of the aircraft will arrive in 2011 and five in 2012.
The new aircraft, which can seat up to 270 passengers, will operate on many of
Virgin Atlantic’s existing business and leisure routes worldwide. They will
also assist future growth, helping Virgin Atlantic to fly to new destinations
from London such as Beijing, Cancun and Vancouver. The more fuel-efficient
A330-300s, which deliver lower maintenance costs as well as substantial cargo
capacity, will integrate with Virgin Atlantic’s existing fleet of 38 aircraft
and help the airline expand before the arrival of 15 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners,
Each of the A330-300 aircraft will feature the next generation of seats, which
will be lighter and even more comfortable than those in the air today. Every
passenger will benefit from a dynamic new entertainment hub, including USB
ports and power sockets in Upper Class and Premium Economy cabins, which will
set the new standard in in-flight systems. All Virgin Atlantic travelers will
also be able to send and receive emails and texts on their Blackberries,
handheld PDAs and other mobile devices. Virgin Atlantic will be the first UK
long-haul airline to roll-out this service across its fleet.
The new twin-engine A330-300s will ensure that Virgin Atlantic maintains its
reputation for flying one of the most modern and environmentally friendly
fleets in the world. It is nearly 10% more fuel efficient than the A340-300
Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin
“Despite the worst economic
conditions in decades, we are focusing on sustainable growth in the years ahead
using the most fuel-efficient aircraft possible. Virgin Atlantic has a strong
history of successfully investing during a downturn and our Airbus order today
sends a strong signal that now is the time to invest, in order to help protect
jobs and get the world’s economy moving again.”
Virgin Atlantic has already secured financing for all 10 aircraft via AerCap,
the integrated global aviation and aircraft leasing company. Four of the
aircraft will be on direct operating leases from AerCap.
To date, Airbus has won more than 1000 orders for the various versions of the
A330 aircraft. Almost 600 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is
currently flying with over 70 airlines worldwide.
Virgin Atlantic is currently negotiating the engine selection for the A330-300.
The manufacturers involved are General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls
Royce and the decision will be announced during the summer.