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Virgin Atlantic orders 14 new long-haul A330-900neo aircraft

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The rumours we reported recently were true, with Virgin Atlantic confirming an order for 14 Airbus A330-900neo aircraft at the Paris Air Show yesterday.  There is also an option for an additional six aircraft.

The list price is $4.1 billion although Virgin will have negotiated a substantial discount.

The first aircraft will be delivered in 2021.  By the time these aircraft have all arrived in 2024, the average age of the Virgin Atlantic fleet will be just over 5 years.

Virgin Atlantic buys A330-900neo

These aircraft will replace the existing 14 A330 aircraft, and will be 13% more fuel efficient.  They also have a substantially greater flying range.  Eight planes will be bought outright with the other six leased.

It isn’t clear what seats will be fitted to the new aircraft, although it would make sense to use a version of the new Upper Class Suite.  It is confirmed that the standard three class configuration (Economy, Premium, Upper Class) will be retained.

Above is an Airbus picture of a Virgin Atlantic A330-900neo …..

HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 2021)

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, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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:

Nectar American Express

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

Until 2nd November 2021, there is a special offer on The Platinum Card from American Express.

You will receive a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points which converts into 60,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee 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 (123)

  • Matt B says:

    O/T – do morrisons sell amazon vouchers? Potentially have a large purchase coming up and was hoping to use the 10% off Amex offer to buy them. If they do is there any reason why this won’t work?

    • BJ says:


      • BJ says:

        Make sure you pay some part of your purchase with a card to obtain s75 cover.

        • Matt B says:

          Thanks BJ. It’s actually a third party who sells on amazon, who I have bought from before and trust. Would I still be able to pay them using the gift certs? Googling isn’t clear, some say yes, others no.

          • Mark2 says:

            If it is through Amazon you can use gift cards. I always add them to my account and the money is deducted automatically.
            If you buy a lot of cards at Morrison’s expect to have to wait for a manager to authorise it. I usually go to Customer Services to avoid holding up the queue.

          • Rooster says:

            yes you can use gift cards for any purchase on amazon or third party, £500 in one go isn’t usually an issue

          • BJ says:

            To add to comments from the others be aware you can put cards through self check out at Morrisons (at least you can with the ones with belts). You can also collect Morrisons More points.

    • Zana711 says:

      I tried this in Dec last year and worked for me, though I did have problems going through self-check out when I tried to scan multiple gift cards in one transaction – the self-check out seemed to require approval every time you try to buy multiple gift cards. Also, because the weight of a gift card is too low for the self checkout scale to detect, it also required approval! In the end, I put through 10+ gift cards in one transaction; I did get questioned by customer service but I just blamed it on Christmas with lots of people to gift. Amex credit all came through.

      • Zana711 says:

        And yes, have paid many third party sellers on Amazon using my Amazon gift card balance before.

      • Rooster says:

        Just use a manned till as the gift cards always have a weight issue on the self checkout.

    • Doug M says:

      I’ve already had the Amex credit on my first two voucher buying expeditions. Amazon the first time, JL for Waitrose the second. First occasion used the regular till as had a couple of other items, all good, and really quick. Second time at a different branch the vouchers were beyond the tills next to the Kiosk. Went to kiosk and she could only do one at a time, giant queue formed, much agitation, eventually kiosk lady attracted supervisor from her chat with mate, supervisor grumpily informed her to get on with doing them one at a time. Felt guilty and said to bloke behind you go before she does the next one, he’s been there waiting 10 minutes or so, they didn’t have the cigs he wanted anyway. Considered Shoestrings fuel approach, but Morrisons Petrol stations rare in London.
      Said before but odd that I have 7% offer on Plat, but 10% offer on Gold. Hardly an incentive to keep the Plat.

      • Rooster says:

        Just use a regular manned till, the self checkout doesn’t work for gift cards due to the weight rather than it having to be approved,

        • John says:

          Not had a problem with self-checkout myself, but a manned till won’t let me buy more than £50 of the same gift card. Did £100 successfully at self-checkout previously.

          • EwanG says:

            I find it best to go in at a quiet time when the tills are less busy and availability of management is better. There are restrictions on the number (and perhaps value) of cards which can be purchased in one transaction. The till and supervisor staff will usually say to split this across many transactions, but it is not the only solution. All you need is a manager over-ride code, which they seem reluctant to request.

            Although there is a superstore less than a mile from the office I’d never dream of visiting it during the working day as the tills and kiosk always have big queues, and I am not going to wait or make others wait while it’s split into multiple transactions or we have a discussion about the over-ride!

      • George says:

        Do M petrol stations take their gift vouchers? Everything I can find says they’re not valid on fuel – but I’d love to buy £1000 of fuel in advance to save 7%!

        • lev441 says:

          Yes they do, I’ve just returned from filling up there using vouchers.

          No double dipping on Morrisons More points though which is kind of what I expected..

          • EwanG says:

            Indeed. You don’t get More points when you buy the paper vouchers, but you do get them when you spend them.

    • Alan says:

      Has anyone actually received the account credit for Morrisons spend? My wife has done 2 purchases with her AMEX and neither has received the credit (or even the email saying she has used her card)

      • Shoestring says:

        Not yet (still in pending actually), but the offer disappeared from saved offers after I used it, so looks like purchase has been recognised as joining up with offer. No success email either but that doesn’t ring any alarm bells. You can use same offer umpteen times, so wouldn’t surprise me if we got the statement credit in one sum after promo ends. I took a screenshot of the offer just in case.

        • Alan says:

          Strange that the offer disappeared when it can be reused multiple times.

          I really don’t trust Amex’s offers anymore – it always seems like you need to chase them up these days.

  • Clive says:

    Not sure if open to all but Virgin Red are offering a miles booster with 40% bonuses on the App

    • Matt B says:

      Just saw that elsewhere, to get the 40% bonus you need to 3x boost. Not bad though I guess buying them at 71p, my wife has a few flights she could apply this to.

    • LewisB says:

      Never heard of Virgin Red before, looks good. Any success with the prizes?

      • Shoestring says:

        yep – can you actually earn Virgin Miles direct? – or do the points for doing stuff let you enter competitions or something?

        • LewisB says:

          I’ve managed to earn 850 points after just opening the app. I can’t see an option of simply converting them to miles, instead it’s used to unlock vaults which are basically small competitions etc. One is to win 40k miles for example.

          I assume this resets each month and you just need to log in daily to complete the quiz, photo competitions and market research? Any option to actually convert points to miles?

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Yep no direct miles for doing things but the chance to enter competitions etc. I’ve won a few things now and then

      • Roger C says:

        I won a pair of LNER First Class tickets. A nice little short trip to Inverness!

    • Grant says:

      Anyone got an invite code they want to share?

    • Anne says:

      I won the 40k Virgin miles one month early last year – was amazed!

  • Nick_C says:

    Does anyone ever pay the list price for new aircraft? Is it BOGOF, or 342?

    • RussellH says:

      I imagine that it is rather like buying a (mass-market) car from a dealer. Bigger things, though, so bigger discounts.
      Might be harder for you though if you wanted to buy an A320neo and park it somewhere on your country estate.

      • JamesLHR says:

        Also manufacturer credits, such as those from Boeing are not cash in hand, they are off new orders or maintenance plans/parts.

        They’re also time limited.

        It’s not all as rosy as the media portrays!

  • rob says:

    Virgin 1k Auto-tip bonus:

    Anybody know when these start landing in our accounts? I believe the promo finished recently so assumed they would be issued after this.

    • LewisB says:

      Not had mine yet. Hoping it’s soon so I can cancel the auto function before the next quarter of points come through.

      • Shoestring says:

        it can take most of the Tesco quarter, usually a bit sooner

        • Shoestring says:

          and it can fail to be awarded at all, just to warn you

          • rob says:

            Yes I wasn’t holding out much hope. I think I never saw my last batch. Always cautious I’ll forget and end up converting anyway.

  • Michael says:

    Is it 2,000 FC miles with every avis booking this June?

  • Michael says:

    My GF and I will be taking our first holiday together soon i think, flying Qatar airways to Bali. Is it possible to create a household account and collect the avios from her flight so we can bung them together for a future redemption?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      It’s possible you just have to say you live in the same house but really its a headache if you ever want to take other family members. I can only really see an advantage when you have kids of create the account later if you really need to pool the points.

      • Shoestring says:

        We could have a situation where OP & GF are going on holiday now but might feasibly not be together forever. Indeed, OP might be paying for everything? GF might not know much about points? In which case, it’s a clear yes: get her points under your control and the easy way to do that is with a household a/c, she doesn’t need to know BAEC log in details etc.

        • Michael says:

          I’m not paying for everything but she doesn’t know much about points! It sounds bad but I might create her a BAEC account (i’ll tell her obviously) and keep it under my control. I think she’ll be happy with that mind.

          Does she need to have the same address as me to be on the household account as we don’t live together officially.

        • TGLoyalty says:

          If you don’t trust someone enough to not run off with a few avios from a flight then I would never trust them to be part of my HHA. They can clear out the lot.

          Under you control doesn’t mean she can’t phone up and get access. its her details after all.

          I would leave it separate until you actually has a reason to combine them.

          • Nick_C says:

            If you are that distrusting, you can protect your Avios by moving them from BAEC to AerClub and move them back when you need them. This is useful as well if you don’t want each member of a HHA to pay proportionally for a redemption. You can get full control over exactly how much each person pays.

    • ChrisC says:

      She needs to create a BAEC of her own and you then form a house hold account made up of yours and hers BAEC accounts.

      future bookings using avios are then taken pro rata based on the number of miles in each account.

      There is no single HHA where all the avios and tier points of its members get credited to one single member of is.

      • Michael says:

        Whats happen then when I’ve got 100k avios in my account and she’s got 5k avios? For example.

        • Shoestring says:

          she could book a flight for 105000 Avios & take all your Avios! true

          just don’t give her access for now

          otherwise, it’s not so much that Avios are taken pro rata but *proportionately*, when you have a booking together, until all of one party’s Avios are used up

          after which they can still use the HHA Avios, but they’re using 100% of the other party’s

    • GeoffGeoff says:

      If you don’t actually live at the same address as your GF, the creating an HHA is against BA rules and you risk having your account suspended or shut down if they deem what you are doing as suspicious.

  • Merald Reen says:

    “you can still buy discounted Avios via Groupon and Iberia Plus from as few as 1,000 Avios”
    You can buy, but there’s no guarantee you’ll receive Avios…

  • Greg says:


    Is there a partner redemption that works for flying Mexico City – Orlando?

    I have a decent number of avios and virgin flying club miles.


    • Michael says:

      Could you do a Delta or American Airlines 1 stop?

      • Greg says:

        Ah! So in theory if there is reward flight availability with American on their website should I be able to see and book that on – or do I need to call BA?

        • Lady London says:

          To use BA miles even to book someone else’s flights (like AA, or AS for example) you have to call BA if you can’t see availability on the BA website.

          If AA availability is there it would normally be only in “Saver” category, that could be used by BA miles to pay for it (calling BA, of course). Most of AA’s award availability is available to AA miles collectors, but cannot be booked by collectors of partner airlines’ miles, such as BA collectors. Just one class of award ticket is available, and I think it’s called Saver or something similar.

          If you do find availability then you still need to call BA to use your BA miles to book it.

          • Lady London says:

            *sorry, short version is yes you can look on the AA website to find award ticket availability on BA, but it will be only one of the award classes (the lowest) where that availability can be booked using avios from your BA account.

            And yes, you cant use BA miles to book directly on the AA website, even though yo ucan use the AA website to get a likely picture of availability. You have to call BA to try to book what you see if you want to use your BA miles to pay for a seat on AA.

            BA miles can’t be used to buy tickets on Delta as Delta is in a different alliance called Skyteam. AA and BA are botin the same Alliance : Oneworld.

          • Greg says:

            Smashing – that’s crystal. Thanks a lot will give BA a ring. Cheers

          • Anna says:

            I’ve booked AA redemption flights via the BA website a couple of times (e.g. MIA to BOS). Apologies if this isn’t what you meant though!

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