New Delhi, Delhi India (PressExposure) April 06, 2011 -- Virgin Atlantic's first Airbus A330 aircraft will take to the skies today from Manchester to Orlando signaling the arrival of its new $2.2bn fleet of 10 planes. The new A330 aircraft will be delivered over the next two years enabling the long haul airline to take more passengers to key markets including US East Coast, East and West Africa, the Middle East and India.
Its maiden A330 aircraft, named 'Beauty Queen' will be Virgin Atlantic's first long range twin engined aircraft and is the most efficient aircraft in its class today. The new plane will use 15% less fuel per seat than the airline's A340-300 aircraft, delivering Virgin Atlantic's commitment to flying a lower carbon fleet.
Virgin Atlantic's first two A330 aircraft will operate on leisure routes and will have 59 Premium Economy seats and 255 Economy seats. The remaining A330-300 aircraft will be configured in the airline's three classes: Upper Class, Premium Economy and Economy.
Virgin Atlantic's A330 aircraft will feature a revolutionary new IFE system by Panasonic. The new cutting edge system uses the latest touch screen technology which allows passengers to scroll and swipe through over 300 hours of content quickly and easily. Later this year Virgin Atlantic travellers flying on the A330 will be able to send and receive emails and texts on their Blackberries, handheld PDAs and other mobile devices.
Julie Southern, Chief Commercial Officer for Virgin Atlantic, commented: "We are very proud to welcome 'Beauty Queen' to our fleet today. After some challenging times for the airline industry it is great news to be expanding again and adding new aircraft to wow our customers.
"Not only does the A330 deliver savings in emissions and fuel consumption, it offers our customers a cutting edge product which will transform their flying experience.
"We are looking forward to seeing how customers like the new touch screen in-flight entertainment system where they can enjoy the latest movies and music as well as downloading their own choice of content including holiday snaps and travel tips."
Chris Hall, Captain for Virgin Atlantic on today's inaugural flight commented: "The inaugural flight of the A330 to Orlando from Manchester is an exciting day for me personally and all our pilots. Our first twin engined aircraft is a delight to fly and I am confident that the aircraft will deliver great opportunities for Virgin Atlantic, using less fuel and bringing in greater technical reliability."
All Virgin Atlantic A330s will have UK Manufactured Rolls Royce Trent 700 engines.
Virgin Atlantic has secured financing for all 10 aircraft via AerCap, the integrated global aviation and aircraft leasing company. Four of the aircraft will be on direct operating leases from AerCap.