Virgin Atlantic is set to announce an order for up to twelve A350-1000s according to a report in Bloomberg. Quoting unnamed sources, the news wire said the UK carrier is expected to acquire nine of the aircraft with the remainder to be leased.
The move, should reports prove accurate, is the result of Virgin’s analysis into replacements for its B747-400 fleet. Both the A350 and the B777 aircraft are said to be under consideration with delivery time being a critical factor in the decision. Last year, Virgin’s executive VP, commercial, Erik Varwijk, indicated that Virgin wants to add new aircraft to its fleet from late 2018/early 2019.
Virgin’s longhaul fleet currently consists ten A330-300s, eleven A340-600s, ten B747-400s, and nine B787-9s. The carrier’s fleet of A340-300s was retired from commercial service late last year with the A340-600’s future currently under review.