For the first time in its history, Virgin Atlantic Airways has deployed a twin-engine jet to serve on its transatlantic routes.
The aircraft which operated the flight is the first Airbus A330-300 to be delivered from the 10 that Virgin Atlantic Airways ordered in December 2009.
According to Airbus, Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural passenger flight with the A330-300 between Manchester in England and Orlando in Florida is part of the airline’s commitment to invest in today’s greenest aircraft and to strengthen its network from the UK to the U.S. East Coast, East and West Africa, the Middle East and India.
“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,” says Julie Southern, chief commercial officer for Virgin Atlantic Airways. “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 Airbus A330-300s will operate on leisure routes and will have a two-class configuration offering 59 Premium Economy seats and 255 seats in Economy class, all featuring what Airbus describes as a revolutionary new in-flight entertainment system.
The new system uses the latest touchscreen technology, allowing passengers to scroll and swipe through more than 300 hours of content quickly and easily.
Airbus says the A330-300 is able to accommodate seat and class configurations to suit diverse customer requirements. The Airbus A330-300 has a range of up to 5,600 nautical miles (10,400 kilometers) with a typical 300-passenger load. Orders for the A330-300 stand at more than 480.
The A330 family, which spans 200 to 400 seats for its A330-200 and A330-300 passenger variants and also includes freighter, VIP, and military transport/tanker variants, has now attracted orders for more than 1,100 aircraft.