British full-service airline Virgin Atlantic has announced that, by December, it will be operating four daily flights from London Heathrow to New York John F. Kennedy International Airport using its brand new A350 aircraft.
The aircraft an A350-1000 registration number G-VLUX will enter service on the prestigious London Heathrow-JFK route starting on September 10th, 2019.
The A350 will replace Virgin’s 747s and A340s
Virgin Atlantic sees their new A350s as a replacement for their older Boeing 747 fleet and their large A340s.
A second A350-900XWB will enter service on the LHR-JFK route starting November 5th, 2019 and will replace the 787-9 that is currently flying the route. The addition of a second A350 will allow Virgin Atlantic to operate three daily services between London and New York (two times daily on a Tuesday).
According to Routes Online, the following schedule applies for the LHRJFK route using the A350-1000.
VS003 LHR0850 – 1145JFK 351 D
VS137 LHR1230 – 1520JFK 351 x2
VS009 LHR1555 – 1855JFK 351 D
VS004 JFK1830 – 0630+1LHR 351 D
VS138 JFK2100 – 0900+1LHR 351 x2
VS010 JFK2200 – 0950+1LHR 351 D
Starting on December 9th, 2019 a fourth daily flight VS045/046 will be operated by one of Virgin Atlantic’s new A350 aircraft.
VS045 LHR1435 – 1730JFK 351 D
VS046 JFK2000 – 0755+1LHR 351 D
Virgin Atlantic is putting all of its new A350s on the LHR-JFK route
Unlike British Airways who plan to put their new A350s on flights to different destinations around the world, Virgin Atlantic has thrown its hat in just one basket.
By selecting to put its newest planes on one of its most popular routes Virgin Atlantic with the right marketing strategy can blow away the competition on the lucrative London to New York route.
Virgin has three cabin classes on the A350
Virgin Atlantic has pulled out all the stops with the cabin design of their A350s making sure that every seat in Upper Class faces a window and has direct aisle access.
The seating configuration of Virgin’s A350 is as follows:
- Upper Class (business) 44
- Premium economy 56
- Economy 235
All Upper Class seats have a pitch of 44 inches and can go completely flat at the touch of a button. As far as entertainment goes, Upper Class passengers are treated to an 18.5″ high-definition touch display screen that can be controlled using your device, or the Virgin remote control. Passengers traveling in Upper Class also have their own bar area called “The Loft” where they can mingle over drinks.
Premium economy offers slightly more seats than Upper Class with 56, and is configured in a more cramped 2-4-2 setup offering a seven-inch recline and a 38-inch pitch. Regular economy on-board Virgin’s A350 features the industry-standard nine abreast seating in a 3-3-3 configuration.
One area where Virgin Atlantic gets our vote over British Airways A350 product is that Virgin decided to keep their tail-mounted camera so that passengers could enjoy the journey. Overall Virgin Atlantic has put together a winning formula in their A350s and by rolling them out on the LHR-JFK route, passengers will be clambering for tickets.