An in-depth look at Virgin's new Airbus A330-900

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.

Virgin is set to receive up to 16 Airbus A330-900s before the end of 2026. Six of these will be leased from Air Lease Corporation
Virgin is set to receive up to 16 Airbus A330-900s before the end of 2026. Six of these will be leased from Air Lease Corporation Clément Alloing

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.

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below