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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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Sarah September 2011
Hi, Just recently booked PE for April 2012, I was not aware of the new Airbus and having read some of the comments on here I am starting to wish I hadn't I don't fancy having some child tapping on my headrest all flight and also somebody else has commented the PE cabin just does not seem as big.

Also please can somebody tell me if the storage boxes is there still under the windows as it is on the 747's ?

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HowardBowden September 2011
Hi Steve and Sarah, I'm Howard and I work for the Social Relations team at Virgin Atlantic. So far the feedback on our A330 services in both Economy and Premium Economy has been very positive. The aircraft itself is smaller than a 747 and so naturally the cabin is smaller. However, the vital statistics - seat size and legroom - are all the same and certainly not any smaller. And whilst there isn't any storage boxes under the windows, there is plenty of overhead lockers available for your hand luggage. I hope that whenever you're travelling, you both have a great time :-)

Howard

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Michael September 2011
Hello, I travelled with VA for the first time earlier this year MAN - LAS B747.

I have made a booking for next April and have been able to pre book seats in PE going out again B747 however coming back there is no mention of the plane type so am not able to request seats.

Does anyone know what plane will be on the LAS - MAN leg? maybe a new A330?

Thanks

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Karl September 2011
No U C, what got virgin is name and what we aspire to travel in has been lost, looks what Ryan air or sleazy will have , poor choice as a flying club gold flyer , i will avoid this plane. virgin don't go cheap seats on us we want the quality , around Manchester there are some people who can afford it so send us to London , think of the extra emission we have to use up to fly or travel by car .
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Tanya October 2011
Hi, we are due to fly on the new Airbus to Florida from Gatick on the 1st December, As I am disabled & on the large side I just wanted to know if the toilets are going to be a problem for me? Thanks
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October 2011
Hi Tanya, Our new A330 has a larger toilet located by the 2nd exit door (by the late 40 rows in economy). This is wider and suitable for wheelchair users although any passenger can use this facility during the flight. If you're on one of our Boeing 747's as this is a slightly older aircraft the toilets are all the same size. Best advice I can give is to contact our special assistance team (http://virg.co/spass) who might be able to make some suggestions. Greg
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Tanya October 2011
Hi Greg,

Thanks for your reply.

We will be flying on the new 330 & we seated ourselves near the toilets so I wouldn't have to try & walk too far & we are seated in row 46, so I am guessing from your description that we chose the right place as we will be right next to the toilets (Not everyone's first choice :-) ) & it sounds like we will be near the disabled one, Thank you very much, this has put my mind at rest :-)

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ALSON January 2012
hey i'm travelling to england from antigua in february can anyone tell me if there is a lot of leg room and if the seating is comfortable for the eight (8) hours i'm flyin. problem is i have knee problem so i cant keep dem bent for long so they will have to be stretched out compare to american 747 please i need your help on this
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ALSON January 2012
CAN THE SEAT RECLINE that you can sleep without neck and backaches and botton aching first time flying for sooooo many hours and i'm nervous by it. really dont love flying because i love to move around often
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ALSON January 2012
by the way its virgin atlantic i'm speakin about
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olivia January 2012
yes! because the screens are not directly located in front of your seat, it can be strange as if you're peeking at somebody else' screen! whilst 61ACHK are totally normal
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Alex January 2012
You should not recline your seat as it infringes on the space that the person sitting behind you has.
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January 2012
Do the new planes fly from Gatwick in October 2012 to Orlando ??

many thanks

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AlfGretton February 2012
Can you tell me if seats in row 48 of the 330 recline please.
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KEVINLAWSON February 2012
Hi,

Our family are flying Gatwick to MCO on 6th April 2012 in Premium economy. We booked this 8 months ago, and I check every couple of days to see whether I can book our seats but it just keeps saying that you cannot book any seats. Is this because they do not know whether they will be using a 747 or one of these new planes?

Many thanks if you are able to help.

Kevin

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February 2012
Hi Kevin

If you have a look at the 'Premium Economy seat reservations from 01 April 2012 until 30 Sep 2012' section on http://virg.co/lnews from our website, all should be explained.

I hope you and your family have a great trip and we look forward to seeing you all on board then.

Greg :)

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Nancy February 2012
The last time I flew MCO to Gatwick, I had a kid who kept kicking the back of my seat all night. When the lights were turned down for sleep, he turned on his readng light and chatted with his mother. I turned and glared at him several times to no avail. I had no sleep at all. I wish airlines had a "kidless class"!! LOL
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Nancy February 2012
I am flying MCO to Gatwick June 29, have had my tickets for many months and the website still won't let me pick seats so I am surprized that these folks are seeing seat layouts already!!
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JackieLangley April 2012
Hi

We booked a year in advance to ensure P.Economy seats in the Bubble - flying February 2013 - Gatwick to Tobago. Now find can't book seats - changing system. Going with Virgin Holidays. Will Virgin Holidays still have block booking of seats in the Bubble as have promised? Will Bubble P.Economy seats still be available in the newly refurbished aircraft. (Hated P.Economy downstairs when they changed the aircraft and no longer in Bubble when flew last to Barbados.) Desperate to ensure we are in the Bubble this time.

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April 2012
Hi Jackie

We're trying to keep as many aspects of the 747 refits as top secret as possible. We haven't yet announced what the new configuration will be.

I'm sure you'll have a great trip nonetheless and we look forward to seeing you next year if not before.

Greg

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Rita April 2012
Travelled PE from Orlando to Gatwick and was dissapointed with the seats. Didn`t feel spacious like upper deck in the 747. Thought it wasn`t worth the extra money! "My opinion"
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BenBo July 2012
Nope. Regular 'low comfort' jump seats.

And now it will be going all the way to Las Vegas!

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Karl July 2012
whats this a two engine plane,

did virgin not run ad campaign against BA for flying two engine planes over the pond and virgin would only ever fly four engine planes and NOT just TWO.

a lack of engines and a total lack of class, upper that is, looks more like a easy jet than virgin or is this a easy virgin. disaponinting 2.2b spent

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MargaretSamuel August 2012
Very sad that basic human rights are not being met by Virgin when dealing with disabled passengers, you certainly don't encourage people with Disabilities to fly in your aircraft. Tut...... Tut Richard Branson, I used to admire you. Now I'm not so sure!!!
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HowardBowden August 2012
Hi Margaret,

I'm Howard and I work for Virgin Atlantic. If you want me to look into this for you, please send the full details to howard@fly.virgin.com

Thanks

Howard

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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.