Virgin Atlantic has unveiled its Airbus A330neo for the first time, designed to provide a premium, personalised experience. The airline’s Upper Class cabin boasts a brand new seat, evolution of its iconic social space and the unveiling of The Retreat Suite, billed as the most spacious suite in Virgin Atlantic’s history.
Guests travelling in Premium and Upper Class can take advantage of game-changing in-seat wireless charging, whilst customers in every cabin can enjoy a greater number of USB connections, Bluetooth-enabled entertainment systems and the airline’s fastest ever Wi-Fi.
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In 2019, Virgin Atlantic became the first UK airline to announce a firm order for up to 16 Airbus A330neos, reaffirming its commitment to flying the cleanest, greenest fleet in the sky. The A330-900 neos are designed to be 11% more fuel and carbon-efficient than the A330-300 they’re directly replacing and will deliver a 50% reduction in airport noise contour.
The Retreat Suite is a brand new innovation in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class offering and consists of two exclusive suites at the front of the cabin. The airline’s most spacious suite yet, comprising a 6-foot 7-inch direct seat to fully flat bed and a 27-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging. With each suite boasting an ottoman that doubles up as an extra seat, up to four people can comfortably dine or chat in their own private social space. Customers can enjoy an intimate dinner or settle in comfort to watch a film.
In addition to The Retreat Suite, the A330neo will offer 30 brand new Upper Class suites. The fully forward-facing suite offers more space and storage alongside a fully closing privacy door, with a ‘do not disturb’ feature. It has passenger-controlled mood lighting and a 17.3-inch touchscreen TV.
The airline’s social space, The Loft, remains a focal point of the cabin design as customers board the aircraft and is a core part of the Upper Class experience. In an evolution of design from the Airbus A350, it consists of space for eight people, with four seats, allowing guests to sit and chat or enjoy refreshments from the new self-service fridge and drinks dispenser. Customers can also connect Bluetooth headphones to the dual panoramic 27-inch touchscreens or utilise the wireless charging facilities for their devices.
Stylish touches make big differences in Premium, in a cabin consisting of 46 seats on the A330neo. Virgin Atlantic’s trademark burgundy Premium seats, with a 38-inch pitch remain, but they’re accompanied by calf rests in every seat and a 13.3-inch touchscreen with Bluetooth audio. The airline is also offering its Premium customers an in-seat wireless charging pad.
In the new Economy cabin customers are set to experience the largest ever economy screen at 13.3-inch, with an intuitive touchscreen and Bluetooth audio to connect headphones, with customers able to use their phone as a controller. There’s also plenty of storage, plus AC power and USB ports to keep gadgets energised. Customers have the choice between 28 Economy Delight seats, which offer an increased 34-inch seat pitch, or 156 Economy Classic seats, providing a 31-inch pitch.
“When it comes to innovating for our customers, we never stand still,” said Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic.”Our desire to create memorable experiences means we’ll continue to imagine with fresh ideas.
“We care about every detail of the cabin design and every step of our customer’s journey. We’re proud to unveil our state-of-the-art A330neo and show the evolution of our customer experience, with each of our customers receiving a premium experience regardless of the cabin they travel in.”
“The A330neo plays a significant role in our multi-billion dollar fleet transformation, demonstrating our commitment to the planet. We know the most impactful thing we can do as an airline is to fly the cleanest, greenest, youngest fleet possible and the A330neo is integral to achieving this goal. It’s truly a plane for the future,” said Koster.
Virgin Atlantic’s A330neo is expected to take off to Boston on its first customer flight in early October. From September 2022, the airline will take delivery of three aircraft, with the remaining deliveries following between 2023 and 2026.