Virgin Atlantic finally has a functioning Boeing 787 fleet
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Virgin Atlantic finally has a functioning Boeing 787 fleet, after three years.
Cornonavirus has taken the focus of the airline industry away from Boeing and its 737MAX issues. The 737MAX had, itself, taken attention away from the other major aircraft mess of the last decade – the portion of the Boeing 787 fleet powered by faulty Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.
Virgin Atlantic was lucky in that the Boeing 787 accounted for ‘only’ 35% of its fleet. Norwegian was pushed to the edge of bankruptcy by its reliance on the Boeing 787 and Boeing 737MAX.
Last Saturday was the first day in almost three years that all 17 Boeing 787 aircraft operated by Virgin Atlantic were fit to fly.
According to a LinkedIn article this week by Virgin’s VP of Engineering & Maintenance:
there are still 24 Rolls-Royce powered Boeing 787 aircraft globally – operated by 10 different airlines – which are not allowed to fly
since 2015, Virgin Atlantic has performed 133 engine changes on its Boeing 787 fleet in an attempt to try different fixes, which is apparently 10x the number of engine changes undertaken on the A330 fleet
no engine has been changed fewer than three times
On the upside, the airline has got so good as changing Trent 1000 engines that the time taken has more than halved since the first of the 133 replacements was done!
Getting these aircraft back into the air has allowed Virgin Atlantic to accelerate the retirement of its Boeing 747 fleet in response to coronavirus. It also allows Virgin Atlantic to return its four ex-airberlin A330-200 aircraft in 2022, which were leased as temporary replacements for the Boeing 787 aircraft.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (March 2023)
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 & four 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.
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable 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.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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.)