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.
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 (January 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):
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.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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.)