Virgin Atlantic yesterday released a CGI video to show the interior of their upcoming A350-1000 delivery. There are twelve on order over the next 18 months.
The first route to fly the A350, named Red Velvet, is expected to be London Heathrow to New York JFK sometime around the end of September although this is yet to be confirmed. The press release had said end of August but aircraft deliveries are notoriously prone to date changes!
The next planned route is London to Atlanta.
Of interest is the “entirely redesigned” 44-seat Upper Class cabin in reverse herringbone configuration with a privacy screen slides a quarter of the way across. The seats are Safran Aerosystems Cirrus and will be in a 1-2-1 configuration (hence every seat has direct aisle access) and each seat will have 44″ pitch with 82″ (2.08 metres). The IFE screens will be 18.5″ in size.
All classes of service will have on-board wifi (pricing plan to be confirmed).
The social space, named “The Loft” which will have Upper Class' on-board bar and seating area for 5 and further 3 standing. There will be a 32 inch screen to watch a film (or tail camera if you prefer!) and passengers will connect to the audio by Bluetooth headsets.
The seats are arranged 2-4-2 are upholstered in leather with 4-way adjustable headrest, and reclines 7″ measured horizontally at the top. (It should be noted that British Airways World Traveller Plus seats have 8″). Seat widths are 18.5″ and the IFE screen measures 13.3″.
Economy class is configured 3-3-3 and depending on your fare you will have 31″ pitch (Economy Light, Economy Classic) or 34″ pitch (Economy Delight). IFE screens are 11.6″.
Below is the newly-released video by Virgin Atlantic. I had actually hoped for it to be a sneak peek of real product although they are probably still adding the final touches to the aircraft.
For the occasional traveller who doesn't really care so much about loyalty programmes and flies once per year this may be a good and adequate competing product with British Airways Club World (NB. Even though though they recently received an A350 with brand new Club Suites, it will not initially be operated on the London – New York route so will only be seen when the Boeing 777s get retrofitted!)