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Virgin Atlantic ordering more aircraft – strong rumour

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Reuters is reporting that Virgin Atlantic and Airbus are on the cusp of a deal for six to 10 new A330neo aircraft.  This is not a big surprise, given that the 12 new A350s coming on stream from this Summer are not enough to replace the Boeing 747 and A340 aircraft that are being retired over the next few years.

The A330neo is a refresh of the A330 aircraft which Virgin Atlantic already has in its fleet. The biggest upgrades are to the wings and engines, with a 12% fuel efficiency increase compared to the older A330 model which entered service in 1994. The aircraft also comes with larger overhead bins and is apparently quieter than a Boeing 787.

A330neo aircraft taxiing

Interestingly, the A330neo competes on both capacity and route length with the Boeing 787, of which Virgin Atlantic has 17.  Instead of streamlining their future fleet around two aircraft types, the 787s and the new A350s, Virgin Atlantic clearly sees value in operating an additional type.

It may be that Airbus has given them a particularly attractive price for this deal, since sales for the A330neo have been slow.  It probably helps that Delta, which owns a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic, also has 35 A330neos on order.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

Comments (132)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Alan says:

    Enjoy the party, folks – have full days at work Mon 7th and Tues 8th so no chance of making it down just for the evening.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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