Virgin Atlantic has become the first UK airline to place an order for Airbus’s quieter, more fuel and carbon efficient A330-990neo aircraft.
The airline has placed an order for 14 of the aircraft, with an option for a further six, as a replacement for its long-serving A330-300s. The order is worth more than $4 billion.
According to Virgin, the neo is 13% more fuel and carbon efficient than the A330-300, and delivers a “50% reduction in airport noise contour”.
Virgin also claims the move will, by 2024, improve its fleet-wide fuel efficiency 32%.
The airline said the order was a “crucial step” in its fleet transformation programme, which will see it replace its entire fleet over a 10-year period and reduce its average age to 5.3 years.
Eight of the neos on order Virgin will own, with six leased. They will offer Virgin’s upper, premium and three-tier economy cabins.
Virgin will operate the neos from its bases at Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.
Chief executive Shai Weiss said the neos would play a “pivotal role” in the airline’s fleet transformation plans. “We will be proud to operate the youngest, cleanest fleet yet," he said.
"It also allows us to continue innovating for our customers to create an onboard experience we know they will love."
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