Virgin Atlantic Airways, has for the first time in its history deployed a twin engine jet to serve on its transatlantic routes, using an A330-300 aircraft. The inaugural passenger flight between Manchester and Orlando, USA, is part of Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to invest in today’s greenest aircraft and to strengthen services from the UK to the US East Coast, East and West Africa, the Middle East and India. The aircraft is the first to be delivered from the ten A330-300s ordered in December 2009.
Julie Southern, Chief Commercial Officer for Virgin Atlantic said, "We are delighted to be welcoming the A330 to our fleet. The arrival of these new aircraft over the next two years marks a period of expansion for the airline. We look forward to increasing services on existing routes as well as adding new long haul routes with these new planes, whilst improving our fuel efficiency. These brand new aircraft will offer our customers high standards of service and comfort onboard."
Virgin Atlantic's first two A330-300 aircraft will operate on leisure routes and will have a two class configuration of 59 Premium Economy seats and 255 in Economy featuring the airline’s award winning cabin and service and a revolutionary new in-flight entertainment system. The new cutting edge system uses the latest touchscreen technology allowing passengers to scroll and swipe through over 300 hours of content quickly and easily.
“The A330 really is the aircraft of choice on medium to long haul routes. It offers airlines unparalleled productivity, low fuel burn and reliability, and passenger’s love it too,” says John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers.“
With a true wide-body fuselage allowing very high comfort standards, the A330-300 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit diverse customer requirements. It has a range of up to 5,600 nm / 10,400 km with a typical 300 passenger load. Highly efficient and optimised for the medium – to long range market, the A330-300 offers the best balance between range and cost. The A330-300 remains the most economic means of flying 300 or so passengers on medium range routes in true long haul comfort. Orders for the aircraft stand at more than 480.
The A330 Family, which spans 200 to 400 seats for the passenger variants and also includes Freighter, VIP, and Military Transport/Tanker variants, has now attracted more than 1,100 orders.