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Virgin Atlantic’s first A330neo arrives at Heathrow

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The first of 16 A330-900neo aircraft was delivered to Virgin Atlantic on Sunday in preparation to enter commercial service later this month. Virgin is the first UK airline to fly the A330neo. It will also be my first time on a neo when I fly on the inaugural to Tampa next month.

The A330neo is an updated version of the Airbus A330 which Virgin Atlantic already flies. Improved winglets and new engines based on the technology used on the A350s mean it is 14% more fuel efficient than older A330s and can also fly marginally further.

Virgin Atlantic A330neo

By the end of 2027 Virgin will operate a fleet comprised entirely of latest generation aircraft, up from 68% today, which should improve its fuel efficiency. This assumes that the airline will retire its fleet of older A330s over the coming five years.

Crucially, Virgin Atlantic is introducing a brand new business class seat on the A330neos, which you can read about here. It looks impressive – we will have to wait and see how it performs on a long haul flight.

If you are keen to try out the neo, Virgin has been tweaking its schedules. According to Aeroroutes, you will find it on:

  • Boston, three weekly, from 27th October
  • Tampa, four weekly, from 2nd November
  • Miami, two weekly, from 24th November

…. with frequencies due to increase. Tampa is the only route to see the A330neo on all flights, from December.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (July 2024)

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 18,000 Virgin Points and the free card has a bonus of 3,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

18,000 bonus points and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

3,000 bonus points, no fee and 1 point for every £1 you spend 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 40,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 40,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

40,000 bonus points AND (to 27th August) £400 to spend at Amex Travel 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 an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (45)

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

  • AndyC says:

    Have neither the KLM nor the Qantas offers, but am hardly likely to be targeted on a BA AMEX card, I guess…

    • Rob says:

      BA will have agreed with Amex that you don’t get flight offers in the same way that Bonvoy cardholders don’t get hotel offers.

  • BJ says:

    Is the seat configuration in the Virgin a330s main cabins still 2-4-2? If so I feel they are missing a massive marketing own goal versus BA, AA etc which are now mostly 9 or 10 across in 3-3-3 or 3-4-3 which are both substantially less convenient and comforrtable. I recall my younger days (flying mostly economy) when AA set the standard and run a very visible, and I imagine successful, advertising campaign with the slogan ‘More room throughout coach’.

    • Richie says:

      Yes VS A330neo are 2-4-2 in Y. The seat plan on Virgin’s website show a lot of Economy Delight seating in pairs. AA’s MRTC was pleasant, I remember a great B777 2-5-2 flight to LA.

  • Walter Spracklin says:

    Loving all the comments on Lufthansa F from people who’ve never been near a LH F cabin, and clearly never will – if they had they’d realise the F&B, fct, cabin crew knowledge and experience are all things you can’t see in a digital mock up.
    Time for them to duck off! (Lufi F flyers will know where the duck comes in!)

    • Rob says:

      Very true. For a start, Lufty has dedicated First Class crew who actually know about, for eg, the wines they serve.

    • Harry T says:

      Agreed, they have a genuine F product, unlike BA for example, which is just a reasonable business class experience.

  • Geoggy says:

    Is there any further information, or speculation even, when that large UC front get released as an optional paid upgrade pre flight? Have an MIA flight in Feb and would love to try them.

  • Nick says:

    Rob, would this not work for flights to Melbourne too? Presumably you can buy a return and it will work, or do you have to isolate the UK departure and buy a one-way?

    • Rhys says:

      Yes connecting Qantas flights will be fine. You’ll still have to fly via Perth or Singapore, though!

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

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