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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

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (June 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 Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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

Virgin Rewards credit card

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 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 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.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points 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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

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American Express Business Gold

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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 (37)

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

  • Nick says:

    Presumably the KLM/LM routes are predominantly for corporate oil traffic (plus Stornaway for leisure), so BKK is much less likely than (say) IAH or the Middle East. Makes quite a lot of sense really.

  • Clive says:

    VS250 just flew over

  • mutley says:

    Is anyone aware if the 767 ER has the Delta One suite, or is it only fitted to the A350? I will travelling to Detroit at the end of June (hopefully!)

    • Rhys says:

      Yep, should be. Doesn’t mean every aircraft has been refurbished though!

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        not sure if the 767-300er have them, i know the 767-400 were starting to get them

        • thehornets says:

          Definitely rolling out on the 767-400ER.

          I was delayed coming back from New York and missed my Virgin A350 connection. I was a bit miffed but ended up in a newly refurbished Delta One cabin, which I actually found quite impressive. I actually like the Delta in flight experience – the staff were attentive and the food was perfectly adequate. It’s just the Delta lounges which need some tlc…

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

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