Virgin Atlantic began service with their very first A350-1000 in September of this year. The airline has a total of 12 Airbus A350s on order. Not only is the A350 a great plane, but what’s probably most exciting is that these planes feature Virgin Atlantic’s brand new Upper Class seats, which are a huge improvement over their old ones.
Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 Upper Class
Currently the airline has scheduled the A350-1000s to fly up to 4x daily between London and New York, though as they take delivery of more planes we know they’re also planning on expanding the routes on which they fly them.
Virgin Atlantic’s New A350-1000 Routes
Last week Virgin Atlantic announced some updates to their 2020 summer schedule, and as part of that they announced an additional four routes for the A350-1000. Specifically:
- Johannesburg will get the A350 daily from March 2020
- Los Angeles will get the A350 daily from April 2020
- San Francisco will get the A350 daily from May 2020
- Lagos will get the A350 daily from August 2020
At the time the airline hadn’t published the exact start dates for the A350s flying to these destinations, and they also didn’t publish which exact flights would get the plane. Well, we now have all that info.
London To Johannesburg
As of March 29, 2020, Virgin Atlantic will operate the following flight daily with the A350-1000:
VS449 London to Johannesburg departing 8:05PM arriving 8:05AM (+1 day)
VS450 Johannesburg to London departing 8:20PM arriving 6:05AM (+1 day)
As of that same date, Virgin Atlantic will be reducing frequencies in the market from twice daily to daily. Previously the two flights were operated by 787-9s.
London To Los Angeles
As of April 19, 2020, Virgin Atlantic will operate the following flight daily with the A350-1000, replacing a 787-9:
VS23 London to Los Angeles departing 3:45PM arriving 6:55PM
VS24 Los Angeles to London departing 9:00PM arriving 3:15PM (+1 day)
London To San Francisco
As of May 15, 2020, Virgin Atlantic will operate the following flight daily with the A350-1000, replacing a 787-9:
VS19 London to San Francisco departing 11:35AM arriving 2:35PM
VS20 San Francisco to London departing 5:50PM arriving 12:05PM (+1 day)
London To Lagos
As of August 1, 2020, Virgin Atlantic will operate the following flight daily with the A350-1000:
VS411 London to Lagos departing 10:30PM arriving 5:35AM (+1 day)
VS412 Lagos to London departing 10:05AM arriving 4:50PM (+1 day)
Other Virgin Atlantic Network Changes
That’s quite some route expansion for the A350-1000, and seems to suggest that they’ll be taking delivery of these planes at a fast pace early next year (I know they’ll be getting all 12 of them by 2021).
Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 onboard lounge
While not A350 specific, Virgin Atlantic has also announced some other new flying for 2020:
- Virgin Atlantic will launch a second daily flight to Delhi as of March 29, 2020, which will go on sale as of November 23, 2019
- Virgin Atlantic will retime their new Mumbai flight to instead be an evening departure from Heathrow
- Virgin Atlantic will add a new once weekly flight to San Francisco on Fridays, complementing their existing service
Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 Upper Class
Redeem Miles For Virgin Atlantic Upper Class
Virgin Atlantic is pretty good about making Upper Class award seats available, including on the A350. See this post for everything you need to know about redeeming miles for Virgin Atlantic A350 Upper Class.
Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles are so easy to come by. The program is transfer partners with Amex Membership Rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi ThankYou, and Marriott Bonvoy. On top of that, we see transfer bonuses from Amex and Citi to Virgin Atlantic every once in a while, which makes these miles even easier to come by.
Lastly, the Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard® is a great card for earning Virgin Atlantic miles. The card offers a welcome bonus of up to 80K miles, and benefits that can make it worth holding onto. There are so many reasons to get this card.
It’s interesting to see that Virgin Atlantic plans on flying the A350 to five different destinations by next summer.
I wondered if they might try to go for all-A350 service on the New York JFK route, though it looks like that’s not in the cards for now. Quite to the contrary, the A350 is “only” scheduled to fly to JFK two to three times per day next summer, compared to four times per day this winter.
What do you make of Virgin Atlantic’s four upcoming A350 destinations?