The rumors surrounding the cabin configuration for Virgin Atlantic’s new Airbus A330 deliveries have been swirling for some time now. Today the company has confirmed that they will take delivery of “the first batch” of the planes with only Premium Economy and Economy cabins. There will be no Upper Class on these planes.
The comment about later A330s including Upper Class is somewhat promising but it is not clear if the aircraft delivered without will be retrofit or if the carrier will be operating some aircraft without their premium cabin. Rumor has it that the Upper Class cabin will not be available because the carrier cannot get the seats they want in time for the initial deliveries. That would suggest that the aircraft will eventually be refit. Then again, the company has reduced the Upper Class capacity on a number of their Boeing 747-400 aircraft suggesting that they are seeing a decline in demand for the product in some markets. Either way, the introduction of aircraft without the premium cabin is not good for folks looking to enjoy the Virgin Upper Class experience.
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It wouldn’t surprise me to see these on sun routes to MCO (IIRC that’s where the initial schedule sends them to).
MCO tends to be very, very light up front and jammed in Y so this actually makes sense. 1 of the 4 daily flights with a greater Y capacity = greater profit potential.
I agree that it might make sense given the demand on some routes. Still, it does reduce the opportunities to get up front on those flights, either paid or by reward, for folks looking to do so.
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