What Happened To Virgin Atlantic’s Only Boeing 767?

Virgin Atlantic has deployed many iconic widebodies over the years. Airbus’ A330 and A340, and A350 aircraft have famously hit the skies with the British outfit over the years. Meanwhile, the Boeing 747 with the airline’s livery was a familiar sight for many before its retirement. Recently, the operator has also been putting the 787 Dreamliner to good use. However, there was another popular long-haul jet that joined the company’s fleet. The Boeing 767 flew with the airline for less than a year in the 1990s.

Virgin Atlantic 767
It would have been a rare opportunity to fly on a Boeing 767 aircraft with Virgin Atlantic. Photo: Pedro Aragão via Wikimedia Commons

A short stint with Virgin

This plane arrived at the airline’s facilities in September 1996. The unit’s manufacturer serial (MSN) number was 24428 and was built at Boeing’s production site in Everett, Washington.

According to Planespotters.net, the 767-300 held the registration of PH-MCG, and before joining Virgin Atlantic, it spent seven years with Martinair Holland. Before becoming a cargo-only airline in 2011, the Dutch company flew passengers to many destinations across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Americas. The firm had the plane from September 1989 and flew with it until 1996. 

It was this year when Virgin Atlantic decided to try something different. Subsequently, it leased the 767 from Martinair. The airline operated this unit between September 1996 and March 1997 before returning it to Amsterdam.

Boeing 767-300 (Martinair)
Martinair has held a total of six Boeing 767 aircraft over the decades. Photo: Björn Strey via Wikimedia Commons

Back in the Netherlands

When Martinair received the plane again, the carrier affectionally called it Prins Johan Friso, who was a younger brother of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. The company had the jet on lease from Mega-Flight KB. Additionally, it was painted with a fresh livery in May 2005.

However, the 767 would only fly with this new coating for four years. From June 2009, the plane was stored at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. A couple of months later, the aircraft was on the move.

Martinair 767-300
A Martinair Boeing 767-300 with a more modern livery. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons

No longer around

It made its way to Bradley International Airport before arriving at Walnut Ridge Regional Airport in the United States. By the middle of August, it was back with its lessor. Sadly, after a total of 20 years of service, the aircraft was scrapped on its return.

Altogether, the relationship with Virgin Atlantic and the Boeing 767 is a short one. Five years after it let go of the jet, the carrier launched the famous “4 engines 4 long haul” Airbus A340 campaign. Therefore, it seems like the airline was primarily focused on deploying four-engine jetliners rather than two-engine planes during this era.

Virgin A340
Virgin Atlantic also no longer operates the Airbus A340 type. Photo: Getty Images

Nonetheless, the company would eventually change its tune in subsequent years. Recently, it has been phasing out its four-engine models.

Simple Flying reached out to Virgin Atlantic for information on where its 767 flew. We will update the article with any further details.

What are your thoughts about Virgin Atlantic’s sole Boeing 767? Did you ever get the chance to flow on this jet? Let us know what you think of the aircraft in the comment section.

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