Everything you need to know about the Airbus A330neo aircraft

(Virgin Atlantic Airbus)

After teetering on the brink of bankruptcy during lockdown, Virgin Atlantic has revealed its new offering, and the airline is certainly back in style.

Virgin has revealed its new Airbus A330neo aircraft which it will use to compete not only with British Airways but also with the mighty Gulf carriers of Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad.

Smaller than most long-haul aircraft, it also has “intimate” cabins for boutique appeal, while only serving premium destinations.

Here is everything you need to know.

What is the new Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330neo jet?

    (Virgin Atlantic)

(Virgin Atlantic)

The first unit of the airline’s A330neo aircraft will head to Boston on its first passenger service in early October, with tickets going on sale later this month. Of the order of 16, three A330neos will be delivered in September, with the rest arriving between 2023 and 2026.

These neos are touted to be 13% more fuel and carbon efficient than the A330-300s they will replace, while being up to 50% quieter.

The plane has 184 economy-class seats arranged in a 2-4-2 formation, not the standard 3-3-3 on most long-haul planes, meaning four passengers have direct aisle access.

Also, unlike British Airways, Virgin has installed 28 extra-legroom seats, called Economy Delights, which have a pitch of 34 inches, the most generous legroom of any airline in economy class.

They are all also window or hallway pairs, making them more attractive to couples.

Standard Economy seats also have a 31-inch pitch, though there are 28 that are 32 inches and not priced higher.

Economy seats also have 13.3-inch screens. Passengers can choose between the 28 Delight seats with a 34-inch pitch or the 156 Classic seats with a 31-inch pitch. Charging can be done via AC power or USB ports here.

Virgin has also pioneered Premium Economy, a class between economy and business.

    (Virgin Atlantic)

(Virgin Atlantic)

Unlike Emirates, the 46 seats are arranged 2-3-2, giving more passengers direct aisle access.

There are also 30 new high-class suites. All facing forward, these suites provide excellent legroom and are also complemented by a fully closing privacy door as well as a ‘do not disturb’ option.

Customers in these seats have the option to control the atmosphere with customizable ambient lighting.

Business seats also have a 17.3-inch IFE screen, as well as a mirror to check that you are ready for the meeting upon arrival at your destination; a 1-2-1 formation was also introduced with this seating class.

Each of the 46 seats in the premium cabin also offers 38 inches of recline, as well as calf rests. There’s also a sizable 13.3-inch IFE display, which supports Bluetooth and wireless charging.

How many A330NEOs does Virgin have in its fleet?

A330NEO Premium Seat (Virgin Atlantic)

A330NEO Premium Seat (Virgin Atlantic)

Virgin currently has 10 A330-300s in its fleet, supported on long-haul operations by the A350-1000 and the Boeing 787-9.

With the A330neo taking over the role of the -300, the age of the airline’s fleet will be significantly reduced.

After all, on average -300s are 10 years old, while Dreamliners are six years old, and A350s are only two on average.

The A330-300s have been busy hopping all over Virgin’s network. So whether in Orlando, Lagos or Islamabad, the incoming neos will bring a lot of convenience on long-distance trips around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.