LONDON – Virgin Atlantic unveiled its cabin layout for its Airbus A330neo aircraft earlier this week, with the aircraft due to be delivered this coming September.
The first three will be delivered in September, with the first revenue flight to take place in October. The airline has 16 aircraft on order.
Commenting on the cabin layout reveal was Corneel Koster, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Customer & Operating Officer:
“When it comes to innovating for our customers, we never stand still. Our desire to create memorable experiences means we’ll continue to imagine with fresh ideas.”
“We care about every detail of the cabin design and every step of our customer’s journey.”
“We’re proud to unveil our state-of-the-art A330neo and show the evolution of our customer experience, with each of our customers receiving a premium experience regardless of the cabin they travel in.”
“They’ll be better connected with their fellow travelers and our amazing crew in the air, and with their friends and family on the ground.
“The A330neo plays a significant role in our multi-billion dollar fleet transformation, demonstrating our commitment to the planet.”
“We know the most impactful thing we can do as an airline is to fly the cleanest, greenest, youngest fleet possible, and the A330neo is integral to achieving this goal. It’s truly a plane for the future.”
Below, you can see the images of the cabin that will be installed onto the aircraft:
The airline also included some exterior shots of what the A330neo will look like, via graphic renders.
It is understood that the first revenue service of the A330neo will commence in Boston, and as more units of the type get delivered, these will be spread out amongst the route network.
Long-Haul Changes On The Way…
The airline has been making a lot of changes to its long-haul leisure network, especially in the Winter 2022/23 schedule:
Virgin Atlantic this winter is poised to resume flights from London Heathrow to Cape Town for its winter 2022-2023 schedule. The airline will, from the 5th of November, fly the route daily using the 787-9 until March 24, 2023. Virgin Already flies to Johannesburg from London year-round, thus complementing each other.
The schedules will be as follows:
- VS478 departs Heathrow at 16:20, arriving in Cape Town at 06:00 the following day
- VS479 departs Cape Town at 0:750, arriving at Heathrow at 17:45
Virgin’s 787-9 offers three classes of travel, economy (192 seats), premium economy (35 seats), and Upper Class (31 seats).
Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic’s chief commercial officer, said: “We’re incredibly excited to return to the fabulous city of Cape Town. Although a little later than we’d have liked due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the move reflects the fact that travel is recovering.”
With Cape Town being a leisure route, most holiday goers are eager to travel out of Britain after two years of hiatus.
Jarvinen added: “We’re expecting a high proportion of leisure travelers on this route who will rightly be taking advantage of the winter sun, exploring the world-renowned wine regions, and soaking up the rich culture this incredible country has to offer.”
The re-launching of this route will add another 80,000 seats between Cape Town and London. This will also put pressure on British Airways, which is already flying the route on a regular basis and is the main rival for Virgin Atlantic.
Barbados Gets Dropped
Meanwhile, the Barbadians weren’t too happy. The Barbados Tourism Marketing Ind (BTMI) was disappointed with the airline’s move. Virgin ax’s the Edinburgh to Bridgetown from its winter 2022-23 schedule.
A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, we’ve had to make careful decisions about our network, continually reviewing flying and holiday schedules.
The spokesperson continued: “Unfortunately, we have had to take the difficult decision to suspend plans to operate Edinburgh – Barbados services this Winter, with customers being contacted from this weekend to inform them of the cancellations and their options. We’re very sorry for disrupting customers’ plans. However, we know Barbados is a firm winter sun favorite and we will continue to operate services from Heathrow and Manchester.”
With that being said, the airline will continue to operate to Barbados from Manchester three times a week and London regardless.
Despite this, BTMI remains upbeat on prospects for next winter, as Scots are fond of Barbados. Instead, Scottish-based passengers will fly to Bridgetown with Both Aer Lingus and Virgin Atlantic from Manchester, and British Airways from multiple airports in Scotland via London.