Virgin Atlantic has become the first UK airline to announce a firm order for 14 Airbus A330-900neos with an additional six as options.
The carrier made the deal at the Paris Air Show today.
The new aircraft are designed to be 13 per cent more fuel and carbon efficient than the A330-300 they replace and will deliver a 50 per cent reduction in airport noise contour.
Over a 10-year period, 2014-2024, the fuel efficiency of Virgin Atlantic’s fleet will have improved by 32 per cent.
The order, valued at $4.1billion, is a crucial step in Virgin Atlantic’s fleet transformation programme which will see all the airline’s fleet replaced over a 10 year period, creating one of the youngest fleets in the skies with an average age of just 5.3 years.
Of the firm order, eight will be purchased and six leased, as Virgin Atlantic continues its investment into increasing the proportion of owned aircraft in its fleet.
The aircraft will operate on both business and leisure routes for the airline worldwide with bases at London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Manchester airports.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive officer, Shai Weiss said: “2019 marks a return to growth for Virgin Atlantic as we strive to become the most loved travel company and the nation’s second flag carrier at an expanded Heathrow.”
He added that the acquisition of 14 A330neos will play a “pivotal role” in the carrier’s fleet transformation.