As Virgin Atlantic gets set to offer its new Upper Class product on select flights to India, we thought we’d remind ourselves what’s waiting onboard…
Virgin Atlantic to fly A350s, featuring new business class cabins, to Delhi
The good news is that Virgin Atlantic will be using its new Airbus A350 aircraft for select flights from London to India during March.
Specifically, it looks like the A350 will be used on the following daily flights:
- VS302 London Heathrow to Delhi, departing 10.05am, arriving 12.05am +1
- VS303 Delhi to London Heathrow, departing 3.05am, arriving 6.50am
Flying an A350 will be a nice upgrade for Delhi passengers, who usually have to make do with Virgin Atlantic’s legacy business class product on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and the Airbus A330.
According to ITA Matrix, the A350 flights to Delhi are available for flights taking place through the month of March. Obviously there are no guarantees which aircraft ends up operating your flight, so prepare to be disappointed if there’s an equipment swap.
At least for the moment, Virgin Atlantic has no plans to send its A350s to Mumbai (its only other Indian destination).
What’s so special about the Virgin Atlantic A350?
Three words: New Upper Class.
For years, Virgin Atlantic has stuck with its herringbone business class seats, which are set up in a 1-1-1 configuration. While that sounds great, the seat itself had a number of issues, including lack of storage space, poor seat adjustment and a view away from the windows.
Virgin recognised it was time for a change, and introduced an entirely redesigned business class seat when it took delivery of its first A350 in August 2019. The new Upper Class product:
- Has reverse herringbone seats that face towards the window
- Is laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each seat has a 44′ pitch and converts to a fully flat bed up to 82′ long
- Features Virgin Atlantic’s largest in-flight entertainment screen to date (18.5′) and an intuitive new system that’s controllable by customers’ own personal devices
Virgin’s famous on-board bar has also been replaced, with a new social space known as The Loft. The airline says it’s designed for customers to gather, chat, enjoy a drink or dine with friends.
Virgin Atlantic has ordered a total of 12 Airbus A350-1000s at a list price of USD 4.4 billion. Pre-covid, the plan was for all 12 to join the fleet this year. So far, there are seven in service.
On their A350 order, Mark Anderson, A Virgin Atlantic VP, says:
‘The introduction of our A350 represents a true evolution of our customer experience. We believe flying should be exciting, whether it’s your first or 100th flight with us and that’s why we’ve elevated our offering to provide our customers with something totally unique. The A350 forms a significant part of our fleet transformation strategy and by 2022, we’ll have our youngest, cleanest, greenest fleet in the sky as the aircraft transforms our customer experience, reduces our environmental impact and improves our route economics.’
India will get its first taste of Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class product, as the A350 is scheduled to operate flights between London and Delhi in March.
I managed to pick up some extremely cheap business class tickets (London-Delhi for approximately £780 return), and I’m sure hoping the A350 turns up on my next flight to India.
Are you excited about flying Virgin Atlantic’s A350 to/ from India?