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Virgin’s First A330-900neo Flies Passengers for the First Time

Daniel Ross's image
Daniel Ross
Daniel Ross's image

Daniel Ross

Senior Content Contributor

679 Published Articles 1 Edited Article

Countries Visited: 56U.S. States Visited: 17

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points...

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Thursday, October 27, 2022, was a big day for Virgin Atlantic.

The airline’s first passenger-carrying A330-900neo (registered G-VJAZ) took to the skies on its inaugural flight to Boston (BOS).

Delivered to the airline just 2 weeks prior, G-VJAZ is the first of the type to enter service for the airline.

Here’s what we know about the aircraft’s future at Virgin.

Virgin’s First A330-900neo Takes to the Skies

The first destination for the state-of-the-art Airbus A330-900neo was Boston (BOS).

Its inaugural flight departed London Heathrow (LHR) around 17 minutes after its scheduled departure but still arrived early in Boston.

The aircraft will operate Virgin’s once-daily return service to Boston as flights VS11 and VS12 with the following schedule:

  • Depart London Heathrow (LHR) 5:30 p.m. — Arrive Boston (BOS) 8:15 p.m.
  • Depart Boston (BOS) 10:15 p.m. — Arrive London Heathrow (LHR) 10 a.m. (+1)

Bottom Line: The A330neo is a bit of a big deal. We were at Virgin’s first look event in July where we got to experience firsthand what it would be like to fly the state-of-the-art new aircraft.

The second destination to welcome the NEO will be Tampa (TPA) — a brand-new destination for Virgin Atlantic.

The inaugural flight will depart on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, with all the hype and media attention that comes with such a celebration.

Wednesday’s inaugural will depart at 8 a.m. which is several hours earlier than the regular schedule for the route, which is as follows:

  • Depart London Heathrow (LHR) 1:25 p.m. — Arrive Tampa (TPA) 7:35 p.m.
  • Depart Tampa (TPA) 10:50 p.m. — Arrive London Heathrow (LHR) 10:15 (+1)

With the introduction of the Tampa route, we’ll see Virgin’s second jet of the type enter into service.

Virgin has so far taken delivery of 3 Airbus A330-900neos and is expecting to have taken delivery of the entire fleet of the 16 it has on order by the end of 2026.

What To Expect From the NEO

The A330-900neo is part of Virgin’s plan to replace its older, less fuel-efficient aircraft with more modern and environmentally friendlier ones.

In particular, the NEOs will be 11% more fuel efficient than the airline’s older A330 types that have been part of the airline’s core fleet for over 10 years.

From a passenger perspective, the aircraft is Virgin’s first to feature The Retreat Suite — a roomier, even more luxurious version of Upper Class that will feature exclusively in the middle 2 seats of row 1.

Virgin Atlantic's Retreat Suite
All smiles in The Retreat Suite. Image Credit: Daniel Ross

Final Thoughts

The first of Virgin’s fleet of soon-to-be 16 Airbus A330-900neos took to the skies on its inaugural flight to Boston on Thursday, October 27, 2022.

Next on the aircraft’s destination list is Tampa from November 2, 2022.

We can’t wait to fly it!

Daniel Ross's image

About Daniel Ross

Daniel has loved aviation and travel his entire life. He earned a Master of Science in Air Transport Management and has written about travel and aviation in publications like Simple Flying, The Points Guy, and more.

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