The British carrier, Virgin Atlantic and Airbus have announced agreement on a firm order, valued at $4.4 billion, for 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft.
According to the airline, “the investment demonstrated the strength of the Virgin Atlantic commitment to customer experience as it continues to focus on delivering sustained profit in the long term. It is part of a fleet modernisation program which will see 50 per cent of Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft replaced in a six year period – creating one of the world’s youngest fleets.”
Of the 12 firm orders, eight will be purchased and four leased even as the airline pledged to continue to invest into increasing the mix of owned and leased aircraft in its fleet.
The aircraft, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines, continues Virgin Atlantic’s investment in a greener, cleaner, quieter fleet.
The aircraft is designed to be 30 per cent more fuel and carbon efficient than the aircraft it replaces in the fleet and is expected to reduce the airline’s noise footprint at its airports by more than half.
Commenting, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron said: “I welcome the news of Virgin Atlantic’s investment. As well as being good news for passengers, it’s great news for jobs in the UK. The fantastic Airbus A350 is part built in the UK with Rolls Royce engines and other suppliers across the country. It’s an investment in the UK itself, and our world-beating aerospace industry.”
For Virgin Atlantic President, Sir Richard Branson; “We’re thrilled to welcome the A350 to Virgin Atlantic.