British carrier Virgin Atlantic has announced an order for 12 Airbus A350-1000s. The order is worth $4.4 billion at list prices, though airlines get a substantial discount. Eight of 12 ordered aircraft will be purchased and balance four will be leased. The Virgin A350’s will be powered by British made Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
The -1000 is the longest variant of the French airframer’s newest state of the art carbon-fibre aircraft which offers significantly lower fuel consumption and noise. Some passenger benefits include large panoramic windows, cleaner air with an advanced filtration system, lower cabin altitude which reduces fatigue and jet lag, and larger cabin baggage storage bins.
The Virgin A350-1000 will have two configurations. The business fleet will seat 360 while the leisure aircraft will seat 410. Virgin is conduction research and will decide the cabin product. The A350s will replace Virgin Atlantic’s remaining Boeing 747-400s and Airbus A340-600s, and deliveries will commence from early 2019.
A350-1000s on US routes
Virgin currently flies only to New Delhi in India, but it is with their Boeing 787-9 which is currently the newest generation jetliner in the airline’s fleet.
The new A350-1000s will operate from both London Heathrow and London Gatwick airports. Virgin will initially deploy its A350s on trans-Atlantic routes serving its key business destinations in the United States.