Simplification has been the watchword of the post-COVID-19 Virgin Atlantic, but does streamlining leave the Dreamliner out in the cold? Tom Batchelor gets acquainted with its biggest threat, the Airbus A330-900
Virgin Atlantic prides itself on having one of the youngest fleets in the long-haul market and the arrival of its 50th Airbus airframe, an A330-900, and a brand-new type for the carrier lowers the company’s average fleet age yet further.
The jet, G-VJAZ (c/n 2018) Billie Holiday, rolled off the production line in Toulouse in August 2022 and arrived at the airline two months later. It offers an 11% lower fuel burn versus the A330-300s that the new engine option (neo) variant will eventually replace. The airline says its new widebody jet also reduces the airport noise contour by 50%, improving the experience for those not just in the air but on the ground.