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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 (February 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):

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

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American Express Preferred Rewards 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 (45)

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

  • chris says:

    LH has joined all the airlines are too focused on the bed; and ignore that we are awake more than half the day and that is best survived in a chair. That seat looks like it belongs on a 50s train not a modern plane. Great its wide; but it also looks flat and upright. Maybe you can recline for ttl if not thats an hour of sitting very back straight.

    I really like the comfort of the BA first seat. Don’t get me wrong the space around it is a mess; a footrest might have been nice and I booked a window seat to look out of the window from time to time; but as a seat to eat or work from its good.

    • Harry T says:

      Which BA first seat? I don’t understand why you think the LH seat won’t be adjustable for some reason…

      • Chris says:

        It’s more you can sit in comfort on the Ba seat. The completely flat seat image looks like a slam door carriage seat. Functional but uncomfortable.

      • BJ says:

        There is simply a design conflict, what makes these products good as seats makes them poor as beds and vice versa. I’ve yet to come across a contemporary full flat bed that is as comfortable as a seat as your average old angle flat seats were, but then it’s difficult to recall a truly decent sleep on those. My turn to try the Finnair sofa coming up very soom 🙂

    • Dev says:

      Valid point, with just over 1/3rd of the day is spent sleeping. Rest of the time, we are awake.

      SQ are the ones who started this trend. They are 100% guilty of focussing on the bed but anyone who tries to relax on an SQ F (B77W) in the seated position is in for a reality check.

      Time and schedule permitting, I always prefer a day-flight to lounge/relax my way to a destination as even in a flat bed overnight, I feel groggy the next day.

      I prefer to time my arrivals with a night in a proper bed.

    • TimM says:

      I think a 1st-class 1950’s train seat would be an awful lot more comfortable than any modern airliner 1st class seats – deeply sprung and with luxurious breathable duck-down wadding not to mention the service by staff in ‘monkey suits’.

      • Harry T says:

        Yeah, i feel like this is a made up problem!

      • Charles Martel says:

        I still miss the seats on the Class 321 trains used on the slow WCML, so comfy I’d often wake up too far up the track.

        • BJ says:

          Took my first ride on Azuma First only early last month, unfortunately I didn’t have the same problem as those oldies. I was glad to get the journey over ; I’m no longer convinced LNER First is worth the premium on these things.

      • BJ says:

        My favourite seat/bed of all time remains the original First class seat on Thai 744s. It was gloriously comfortable, but a bit on the soft side as a mattress for my current preferences.

  • Catalan says:

    So will this make Lufthansa a 5 star airline again, based on new photos?

    • His Holyness says:

      Is Skytrax a company? It’s a very murky operation. E H Plaisted trading as Skytrax. It’s just the sort of outfit you’d expect.

      • Alex Sm says:

        Would be actually great is HfP could run a story one day explaining how Skytrax works and what they are looking for in particular on their rankings. Given how much focus is on seat and service by both Skytrax and HfP in their reviews, there will be a good overlap and quite an interesting insight from behind the scenes.

        • Nick says:

          Skytrax is a very clever business model… for the creep who owns it. Airlines looking to improve their score are invited to contribute sponsirship to the awards… and in any case have to provide free review tickets in various cabins. Whether/how those flights are then given ‘special treatment’ is up to the airline. Some airlines (remaining nameless…) put two extra crew on theirs. And an inflight manager. And a full dispatch team assigned for their whole shift.

          It’s the Skytrax marketing operation that’s the real success, given how many people they’ve conned into thinking it’s a real quality index.

          • His Holyness says:

            Who is it? Is it even a Ltd? 85 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7LT is a meaningless address where thousands of companies are incorporated

            There’s nothing on Companies House for Edward Plaisted

            The privacy policy says “For the purpose of the data protection legislation, the data controller is E M Plaisted trading as Skytrax”

            The ASA claim raised the issue of “Some additional aspects are being considered separately, such as compliance with UK laws regarding the disclosure of information of the legal ownership of the website.” Though this is from 2012 and the Regulations are more robust since then.

            It looks like a one man band. It’s nuts when you consider how well known the brand is and what airlines perceive it’s worth. Why do they want to hide so much?

      • Lemeng says:

        Rhys’ comment about Lufthansa’s Skytrax rating was rather more subtle than the reality of Skytrax’ misleading ratings and awards. It works be good if some other organisation put paid to the Skytrax nonsense. So maybe HfP should start some awards and ratings which its readers could contribute to/vote for? How about it, Rob?

      • Born2sKydive says:

        All you need to do bud is watch a few YouTube videos of Josh Cahill, you’ll get the truth about Skytrax there.

    • Aston100 says:

      Didn’t Skytrax give EasyJet 4 stars and Turkish 3 stars in the same year?

    • James Harper says:

      If you look at the reviews on Skytrax for Lufthansa at present it’s definitely

      1Starhansa

  • Michelle says:

    Not seeing the offer on my platinum (new) card unfortunately! Deal would’ve came in handy!!!! Which card was this targeted to?

    • Tony says:

      The KLM one is on my Platinum but not the Qantas one. It’s always pot luck with these offers appearing.

    • Alan says:

      Both on my Nectar Amex but neither on my Plat!

  • Gilly Gold says:

    Good morning
    I thought VS metal A330neo inaugural flight from LHR to TPA was 3rd November as I am on it.

  • Comrade says:

    Lufthansa and BA are not comparable.

  • Benilyn says:

    Is the LH economy 3-across bed pic flying around just for show or could go into real use?

  • Numpty says:

    ‘…three different business class seats. This is a remarkable amount of product inconsistency.’

    I did a 4 sector return trip with Qatar this year, in 3 different types of business class seat and a mixed soft product – worth bearing in mind that Q suites availability isn’t across the board – its not just LH that have a mix of seats.

    • Rhys says:

      I think I’ve flown virtually the entirety of Qatar’s seats this year!

      HUGE gap between Qsuite (or even Qsuite lite on the 787-9s) and the much older 787/A380 product, let alone the A330 seat….

  • James Harper says:

    I wouldn’t get excited about Lufthansa. First, the F seat doesn’t look ground breaking in any way, Lufthansa generally introduce something years out of date and try to pass it off as new. The ‘business studio’ is nothing remarkable either and there is only one, the rest of the business class seats are also nothing remarkable.

    On top of that the last time Lufthansa ‘upgraded’ their premium cabins to an out of date product, it took about ten years for them to complete the job. Strangely when they downgraded the shorthaul ones, it took about six months to do that.

    I need to be much more convinced they are worth traveling with before I do it again.

    • Abdul says:

      LH are in a dominant market position. Why throw away good money when you don’t need to. The suite is just making use of empty space.

      I don’t understood why they don’t milk the F pax more, they’re just as captive as J, why reward those German based HON’s? Seems like lip service like in Putin’s Russia. They’ve got nowhere to turn to for non-stop and its not like the German Government is pro-market. They’re deeply anti-competitive when it comes to air travel.

      • Rhys says:

        The suite is not just making use of empty space. Airlines don’t just leave parts of the cabin empty!

        • His Holyness says:

          A380 fly with empty spaces they couldn’t figure what to do with. Look at the bar.

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

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