Virgin Atlantic will add 14 factory-fresh Airbus A330-900 to its international fleet from 2021, and they'll sport a newer Upper Class business class seat than even the A350-1000s which take wing from August later this year.
That swish suite, which includes a door which slides halfway across for a semi-private approach to business class, was tailored specifically for the wider cabin dimensions of the A350 – so it won't readily fit into the narrower profile of the A330neo or Virgin's forthcoming Boeing 787-9s.
"This product was designed bespoke for the Airbus 350, there are no plans to roll this out to the rest of the fleet," Virgin Atlantic's Vice-President of Customer Experience, Daniel Kerzner, told Australian Business Traveller on the sidelines of the A350 Upper Class launch earlier this year.
"We're dealing with a very different fuselage width (on the Dreamliners and A330s)" he added.
The A330neo jets will also need a different version of 'The Loft' created for Virgin's A350, which swaps the airline's iconic bar for a five-seater lounge space.
Today's Virgin A330 jets feature a compact bar with three seats snuck between the exit doors, but Virgin is moving away from the stand-up bar towards relaxed social spaces with the option of a drinks and snack service.
Virgin Atlantic has signed up for fourteen jets from this larger member of the A330neo family, with options for six more. Arriving between 2021 and 2024, they'll be used to retire all of Virgin's Airbus A330-200 and Airbus A330-300 jets,