Virgin Atlantic just received its very first A350 a few days ago. The first route the new plane is flying is from London (LHR) to New York (JFK) beginning in just a couple of weeks.
Officially, Virgin Atlantic has scheduled up to 4x daily A350-1000 flights between London and New York:
- As of September 10th 2019, 1x daily frequency
- As of September 24th 2019, 2x daily frequencies
- As of November 5th 2019, 3x daily frequencies
- As of December 9th 2019, 4x daily frequencies
It’s interesting to see Virgin to stack all of their newest planes in one market; especially when you consider that they are already competing against 5 other carriers, with so many great premium products.
I suppose their strategy is to try and differentiate themselves by offering the newest product…. although, I think the new British Airways A350 business class may be the best in that market.
Los Angeles Announcement
While we don’t have an official start date. Delta took the time today to issue a joint press release regarding their commitment and growth to the London market. They stated:
” On March 29, 2020, Virgin Atlantic will be bolstering the joint venture’s presence from Los Angeles and Seattle to Heathrow. Los Angeles will see three additional weekly flights, for a total of 17 weekly frequencies and Seattle will see four additional weekly flights, for a total of 11 weekly frequencies. LA will also be the second Virgin Atlantic destination to receive the airline’s new A350, from next year, while the additional frequencies from Seattle will be operated by the Boeing 787 aircraft equipped with 31 lie-flat seats in Upper Class, 35 seats in Premium Economy, 36 Economy Delight and 162 seats in Economy.”
This couldn’t be a better time for Virgin Atlantic to offer their far superior A350 business class to the Los Angeles market. American Airlines is removing its 777-300 (77W) with First Class from LA in mid-October, instead opting for a 777-200; I wouldn’t be surprised to see a lot of that traffic winding up in Virgin Upper class. Additionally, this is a market that British Airways has yet to announce a flight to, with their new suite style Business Class.
What’s the Virgin Atlantic A350 like?
Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A350-1000 will feature a three class cabin, broken down into the following:
|Upper Class (Business)||44|
Set up in a 1-2-1 configuration with seats facing outwards towards the windows, Upper Class offers passengers a comfortable and modern seat.
The 44″ seat pitch, with the option to go completely flat, has a length of 82″; it is completely seamless, in that passengers do not have to depart the seat to make such a large adjustment.
Entertainment wise Upper Class boasts an 18.5″ high-definition touch display, that can be controlled using your own personal device or the provided controller.
A social area called The Loft has also been implemented into Virgin Atlantic’s A350-1000, with lounge seating and small snack tables.
Visitors of The Loft can also enjoy entertainment from a 32″ TV screen that can be connected to personal Bluetooth headsets.
Premium economy is no slouch either, with seats offering a recline of 7” and a pitch of 38″.
With a 13.3″ high-definition display, premium passengers will be able to enjoy the vast collection of entertainment options Virgin Atlantic has fitted to the aircraft.
Economy is configured in a 3-3-3 layout for nine-abreast seating. This results in a seat width of 17.4″ for most passengers; although it is common that there are a few wider or slimmer ones depending on location.
Delight seats come with extra legroom thanks to their position in the cabin, around exits and galleys.