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A Look Inside Our Brand New Airbus A330

by Moderator April 2011 - last edited February 2013

After an incredible amount of preparation, testing and hard work behind the scenes, our brand new A330 Beauty Queen made her inaugural flight from Manchester to Orlando on Saturday 2nd April.

 

Our Competition Winner

You may remember that we recently ran a competition for a lucky planespotter to win an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the new A330 as she underwent her final tests and checks in the hangar at London's Gatwick Airport.

 

Competition Winner Robert Thomson and the new Virgin Atlantic A330

Competition Winner Robert Thomson and the new Virgin Atlantic A330

 

Last week, we were delighted to welcome our winner Robert Thomson down from Northampton for his VIP access-all-areas onboard tour. Robert and his family are frequent flyers who've travelled to Orlando with us on a number of occasions, so he was very keen to experience how his next flight might be.

After the tour, Robert had this to say about Beauty Queen: "What a plane! The level of comfort and spec are fantastic and as for the inflight entertainment, who needs an iPad...".

Today we're we're thrilled to share some photos of the day, inside and out...

 

Beauty Queen

Our maiden aircraft Beauty Queenis our first long range twin engined aircraft and signals the arrival of our new $2.2 bn fleet of 10 planes, which will be delivered over the next two years.

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 'Beauty Queen'

Virgin Atlantic's A330 'Beauty Queen'

 

Virgin Atlantic's A330 'Beauty Queen'

Virgin Atlantic's A330 'Beauty Queen'

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 Beauty Queen wing

Virgin Atlantic A330 Beauty Queen wing

 

Premium Economy cabin

There are 59 Premium Economy seats onboard, all featuring our brand new and revolutionary touch screen inflight entertainment system. Premium Economy customers also benefit from a unique touch screen remote control handset, and the ability to plug in a variety of their own mobile devices.

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 Premium Economy cabin

Virgin Atlantic A330 Premium Economy cabin

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 Premium Economy Inflight Entertainment

Virgin Atlantic A330 Premium Economy Inflight Entertainment

 

Economy cabin

In both Premium Economy and in our 255-seat Economy cabin, passengers are able to plug in a USB to view their own content on screen.

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 Economy cabin

Virgin Atlantic A330 Economy cabin

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 Economy cabin Inflight Entertainment

Virgin Atlantic A330 Economy cabin Inflight Entertainment

 

Flightdeck

The Airbus A330 is the most fuel efficient aircraft in its class today and this investment underlines our commitment to flying a lower carbon fleet. Our inaugural flight was piloted by Captain Chris Hall who said "This is an exciting day for me personally and for all our pilots. Our first twin engined aircraft is a delight to fly."

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 cockpit

Virgin Atlantic A330 flightdeck

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 cockpit

Virgin Atlantic A330 flightdeck

 

Virgin Atlantic A330 cockpit: G-VSXY

Virgin Atlantic A330 flightdeck: G-VSXY

 

Virgin Atlantic's A330 'Beauty Queen' flightdeck

Virgin Atlantic's A330 'Beauty Queen' flightdeck

 

For more information on our A330, lookout for our 'Countdown to Takeoff' post, coming later this week.

For the best fares on flights to any of our fantastic destinations, log on to www.virgin-atlantic.com.


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Comments
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April 2011
Hi Mo, the space each seat has is the same as that on the existing Airbus planes and Boeing 747s in our fleet.
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Matt April 2011
I hate Virgin Atlantic. Rubbish food, rubbish service, always late. You should fly with BA, a much, much better airline
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itsmeyouknow April 2011
which is what exactly? i remember Virgin promoting 4 engines for long haul. How many engines does an airbus A330 have again?
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April 2011
After just landing this morning at Manchester on the new Airbus from MCO I feel I should make a few comments about the plane. We flew out just over three weeks ago on a older 747 so the entertainment system was shocking.

The new entertainment system is great however two things I think are wrong :-

1. 1/2 way through the flight my wifes audio was just crackling, she tried other headsphones including my noise cancelling, the steward tried to reboot the system but in the end we just changed seats and I listen to my ipod.

2. The touchscreen screen interface is very unresponsive. This means when the child behind you is playing one of the games (loved bejeweled :) ) all you will get through the flight is a constant tapping on your seat headrest. This happened to my mother-in-law. Come on Virgin remove the touchscreen option on games and make them use the excellent joypad!!!!

As normal cabin staff we great, food was fine. A couple of hours late leaving but made up some time so only an hour late at Manchester.

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fredmarkone April 2011
Not very imaginative. For the best premium economy see Air New Zealand's new 777-300ER which also has new economy rows that can be converted into beds. And to think they were the ones who 'borrowed' Virgin's Upper Class, and they've improved their version - called Business Premier - too.
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April 2011
After reading the above my Mother in Law wants to point out that the child in question was playing for at least 7 hours of the flight!!!

Of course the child was not doing anything wrong as this is a design fault with the system!

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Rick April 2011
I just love the reg of this new bird - clever. Best wishes from all the crew at International Airport Review.
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MichaelEastwoo April 2011
Not including a Business Class cabin on these aircraft is a very poor move by Virgin IMO. I am told that this was by an accidental weight calculation for the aircraft, and that Upper Class is too heavy to fit on the A330?
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Waseem April 2011
I love the new airbus A330. My dream is to work as pilot for virgin Atlantic .fly the airbus A330or A340
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SimonSharp April 2011
Unless my eyes are fooling me, in the PE cabin, there are no overhead lockers above the middle seats? If that is the case, that is a hell of a lot of cabin baggage to be stowed in just the side overhead lockers... Stand to be corrected, but it appears to be what the pictures show.
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SimonSharp April 2011
The "Sky Couch" is still not licensed for use and can not be used onboard, so that is a rather large fail.

Also, passenger feedback about the new premium economy is very bad. People don't like sitting in a seat that is off angled to the res of their surroundings. The footprint of the seat is square, but the seat is angled. The whole footprint should be angled.

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SimonSharp April 2011
Duty times for an MCO flight from the UK do not require the operator to provide bunked rest, only rest seats, which will probably be the last row of economy, or a "high comfort" jump seat at one of the doors.
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Bendos71 April 2011
@Simon, from memory there are no overhead lockers above middle seats in Upper Class either. In the A340s anyway. Never seems to be an issue with stowage.
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Bendos71 April 2011
But then again...it's only 3 or 4 across in Upper, isn't it. Fair point...
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SoumenChowdhur April 2011
What ? No Upper Class ?
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SimonSharp April 2011
Indeed, an additional 3 pax per row and more rows than there would be if UC were installed... I would hate to be crew on that aircraft... And be very interested to know the rationale behind the decision to not install centre overhead lockers.
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lentilsoup April 2011
what about row 61 are the monitors hard to watch as they are reduced to three seats?
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GavBoden April 2011
You must have got on the wrong plane.

Virgin Rocks

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Rob April 2011
No - Virgin have got much worse in recent years.

Surly service from flight attendants - in UC !!

Day flights are great.

Night flights - forget it !

Given that most of the VS transatantic flights back to UK are night flights you'd expect it to be better...

Very differing quality of service !!

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lizzie April 2011
Any chance of the new planes on the las vegas route???
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Ricky-40 April 2011
I have just booked PE on the A330 to MCO in June, I have got the last row of seats in the middle and I am concerned that the recline will be restricted by the wall behind.. I don't suppose anyone would know this would they..? I am really looking forward to the flight though.
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CraigPelleymou April 2011
I was lucky enough to fly out to Orlando in those very seats on the 1st flight from Manchester. The seats recline no problem as there is a large gap between the seat and bulkhead.
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GaryBjorck April 2011
Maxine, you seem to have less input with the questions after April 6th and didn't bother answering the last question related to your last answer, regarding seat pitch!?!? I fly in the new A300 in June and am now quite concerned TBH. Not heard a whole lot of good things by people who have travelled on them already and dont think Id be able to hold my tongue if I have someonr tapping at my back for 9 hours!!
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April 2011
Hi Gary - apologies. The seat pitch is 38" in Premium and 31" in Economy. More details here: http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/us/whatsonboard/premiumeconomy/premiumcomfort.jsp and here: http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/en/us/whatsonboard/economy/extraseats.jsp
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john April 2011
G-VSXY indeed, just one of the many reasons I love the Virgin Group!!
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About the author: Maxine

Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.