Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2020, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain’s only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the fifth year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs 5,900 people worldwide, flying customers to 27 destinations across four continents. Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world.
On 3 February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers.
Virgin Atlantic flies to 12 destinations throughout the USA in partnership with Delta and Air France-KLM including New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.
Virgin Atlantic also operates an extensive Caribbean portfolio including Antigua, Barbados, Jamaica, and The Bahamas, as well as services to Greater China, India, Israel, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa.
Sustainability remains central to the airline and since September 2019, Virgin Atlantic has welcomed seven brand new Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, helping to transform the fleet into one of the youngest, quietest and most fuel efficient in the sky. The airline operates a streamlined fleet of 38 twin engine aircraft following the retirement of its B747-400s and A340-600s, making its simplified fleet 10% more efficient than before the Covid-19 crisis impacted.
In 2019, Virgin Atlantic became the first UK airline to announce a firm order for up to 16 Airbus A330neos, reaffirming its commitment to flying the cleanest, greenest fleet in the sky. Following a multi-billion-dollar investment in fleet transformation over the last decade, the airline operates a fleet with the average aircraft age of just under seven years and 68% next generation aircraft. This increases to 100% next generation by the beginning of 2027. This means Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft are equipped with the most efficient engines and state-of-the-art technology designed to save fuel and reduce emissions. This has so far delivered a 20 per cent reduction in fleet carbon emissions. Over the next decade, we’ll save another 10 per cent in carbon emissions. The A330-900 neos are designed to be 11 per cent more fuel and carbon efficient than the A330-300 they’re directly replacing and will deliver a 50 per cent reduction in airport noise contour.
Virgin Atlantic has revealed its hotly anticipated Airbus A330neo for the first time, designed to provide a premium, personalised experience for every single customer. The airline’s Upper-Class cabin boasts a brand new seat, the evolution of its iconic social space and the unveiling of The Retreat Suite, the most spacious suite in Virgin Atlantic’s history.
Throughout the aircraft, there will be more ways for customers to stay connected than ever before. Those travelling in Premium and Upper Class can take advantage of game-changing in-seat wireless charging, whilst customers in every cabin can enjoy a greater number of USB connections, Bluetooth-enabled entertainment systems and the airline’s fastest-ever Wi-Fi.
It’s the little touches here and there that help you truly enjoy your time in the air. Those extra few inches of space, a glass of bubbly as you board, eating your meal with proper cutlery…these are the things that can make all the difference. When you upgrade to Premium, you can skip the queues with dedicated check in, take an extra 23kg bag (essential for a New York shopping trip), and stretch out onboard in your spacious leather seat. Or experience the ultimate way to travel in Upper Class. Breeze through private security before unwinding with a cocktail in the Clubhouse lounge. Once onboard, enjoy fine cuisine in the privacy of your own suite, or a change of scene in the social space.
The Retreat Suite is a brand-new innovation in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class offering and consists of two exclusive suites at the front of the cabin. The airline’s most spacious suite yet, comprising a 6ft7” direct seat to fully flat bed and a 27” touchscreen with Bluetooth connectivity and wireless charging. With each suite boasting an ottoman that doubles up as an extra seat, up to four people can comfortably dine, chat or play games in their own private social space. Customers can enjoy an intimate dinner or settle in comfort to watch a film.
In addition to The Retreat Suite, the A330neo will offer 30 brand-new Upper Class suites. The fully forward-facing suite offers more space and storage alongside a fully closing privacy door. With a ‘do not disturb’ feature. It has passenger-controlled mood lighting, 17.3” touchscreen TV and even a mirror so customers can check they’re looking runway ready.
The airline’s award-winning social space, The Loft, remains a focal point of the cabin design as customers board the aircraft and is a core part of the Upper Class experience. In an evolution of design from the Airbus A350, it consists of space for eight people, with four comfortable seats, allowing guests to sit and chat or enjoy refreshments from the new self-service fridge and drinks dispenser. Customers can also connect Bluetooth headphones to the dual panoramic 27” touchscreens or utilise the wireless charging facilities for their devices.
Stylish touches make big differences in Premium, in a cabin consisting of 46 seats on the A330neo. Virgin Atlantic’s trademark burgundy Premium seats, with a 38” pitch remain, but they’re accompanied by calf rests in every seat and a 13.3” touchscreen with Bluetooth audio. The airline is also offering its Premium customers an in-seat wireless charging pad.
Comfort and connection are order of the day in the new Economy cabin, as customers are set to experience the largest ever economy screen at 13.3”, with an intuitive touchscreen and Bluetooth audio to connect headphones, with customers able to use their phone as a controller. There’s also plenty of storage, plus AC power and USB ports to keep gadgets energised. Customers have the choice between 28 Economy Delight seats, which offer an increased 34” seat pitch, or 156 Economy Classic seats, providing a 31” pitch.
Virgin Atlantic continues its transatlantic expansion with a new direct route from London Heathrow to Tampa, which launched on 3rd November 2022, further cementing the airline’s commitment to its Florida heartland.
The daily from service, complementing the airline’s up to 4 flights a day to Orlando and two flights a day to Miami. This latest addition follows the airline’s launch of direct flights between London and Austin, Texas in May 2022.
Offering more than 190,000 seats each year, Virgin Atlantic will be the only airline to directly connect the Tampa Bay region with London’s hub airport, London Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce that in 2023 it will begin flying to the idyllic islands of the Maldives as well as Turks & Caicos, offering Brits an opportunity to escape to their very own slice of utopia and explore the most beautiful beaches and finest snorkelling and scuba diving found anywhere in the world.
With crystal white sands and sheltered lagoons, the Maldives redefines paradise, in what is undoubtedly one of the most idyllic holiday destinations, offering luxurious relaxation and adventure. Travellers looking to treat themselves can experience world-class diving, surfing, fishing, kayaking and with over 1,000 coral islands to enjoy, there’s no shortage of things to see or do.
Elsewhere, the stunning islands of the Turks & Caicos offer some of the most pristine white sand beaches, surrounded by the world’s clearest turquoise waters. Boasting an expansive barrier reef, home to vibrant coral, dolphins, turtles, stingrays and more, the islands make for a breath-taking playground for snorkelling and diving. This new destination is the latest addition to our Caribbean portfolio which follows new flying to the Bahamas in December 2021, St Vincent and the Grenadines in October 2021 and our highly anticipated return to St Lucia.
Virgin Atlantic will launch a winter seasonal three-times weekly service to the Maldives from London Heathrow, which is now available to book, before commencing on 22nd October 2023.
The airline will also launch a year-round twice weekly service to the Turks & Caicos which will go on sale from 11th January 2023, for flights starting on 15th November 2023 from London Heathrow. Both routes will be operated on the airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft boasting 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats.
Virgin Atlantic has launched its updated gender identity policy, giving its crew, pilots, and ground team the option to choose which of the iconic uniforms, designed by Vivienne Westwood, best represents them – no matter their gender, gender identity, or gender expression.
Reflecting the diversity of the workforce and in a move that cements its position as the most inclusive airline in the skies, Virgin Atlantic will offer its people a fluid approach to its red and burgundy uniforms, meaning LGBTQ+ colleagues will be able to choose either the red or the burgundy uniform, depending on which best reflects themselves.
The announcement is part of an ongoing drive to champion the individuality of its people and customers and is complemented by the rollout of optional pronoun badges for all its people and those travelling with the airline. This move enables everyone to clearly communicate and be addressed by their pronouns. The badges will be available to teams and customers from today and customers simply need to ask for their preferred badge at the check in desk or in the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse.
Virgin Atlantic has also updated its ticketing systems to allow for those who hold passports with gender neutral gender markers to select ‘U’ or ‘X’ gender codes on their booking as well as the gender-neutral title, ‘Mx’. Currently citizens from a small number of countries including the USA, India and Pakistan, are able to hold these passports and travellers must travel on the codes that match their passport. In lieu of passports with gender neutral gender markers being available for all, Virgin Atlantic is implementing a longer-term plan to amend communication preferences to ensure customers are addressed by their preferred pronouns across all touchpoints.
Mandatory inclusivity training will also be rolled out for its people at all levels across Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Atlantic Holidays as well as a series of inclusivity learning initiatives for tourism partners and hotels within destinations such as the Caribbean to ensure all our customers feel welcome despite barriers to LGBTQ+ equality.
Launched as part of its ‘Be Yourself’ agenda, the airline has already unveiled a series of industry-leading inclusivity initiatives for its people to ensure they can truly be themselves at work and feel comfortable in their roles. This latest addition follows a decision in 2019 to offer cabin crew the choice whether to wear make-up as well as the option to wear trousers and flat shoes. More recently the airline lifted restrictions around allowing visible tattoos for crew members and its front-line people.
The Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at London Heathrow
The fantastic Clubhouse at London Heathrow is open again, and they can’t wait to welcome you back. There have been a few changes here and there, but it’s still the fabulous Virgin Atlantic experience you know and love.
Located in our dedicated Upper Class Wing, it’s more like a five-star hotel than an airport lounge. With fabulous amenities and a relaxed atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to chill out or get some work done.
In the Clubhouse, you’ll be able to choose if you’d prefer waiter service or use our online ordering system. If you’re seated in our Brasserie, we’ll come to you and take your order. If you’re relaxing elsewhere in the Clubhouse, you’ll find a QR code at your table which you can scan to access our online ordering for everything from a glass of champagne to a burger. No need to get up – we’ll bring it to you when it’s ready.
Whatever time you arrive, there’ll be something tasty on the menu. Our Clubhouse lounges offer a delicious selection of freshly cooked food, with a local flavour.
Vegan, Vegetarian and Kosher options are always available in our Heathrow Clubhouse. If you have an allergy or intolerance, please speak to a member of our team before ordering.
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