Virgin Atlantic was originally formed in 1984 as British Atlantic Airways by co-founders Randolph Fields and Alan Hillary to fly services between London and the Falkland Islands.
Before operations started, Fields sold his stake to Richard Branson (now Sir Richard) and soon after the airline changed its name to the now familiar Virgin Atlantic Airways. The carrier’s maiden flight from Gatwick Airport to Newark/Liberty departed on June 22, 1984. A great deal has happened over the subsequent years including an important tie-up with Delta Air Lines which has seen the major US carrier acquiring a 49% stake in the airline in 2012. In July 2017, the Virgin Group sold a further 31% stake to Air France-KLM leaving it with just a 20% holding.
Since then Virgin Atlantic has been modernising its fleet with the arrival of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, Airbus A350- 1000s and at this year’s Paris Air Show signed a deal for up to 20 A330-900neos. Here, we take a look back at some of the types that have operated with the carrier over the last 35 years.
Originally published in Airliner World Magazine
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