British Airways, Virgin Atlantic Reveal Upcoming Product Details

London-based carriers British Airways and Virgin Atlantic today announced details of their upcoming product enhancements. The seat layout for the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner slated to enter service next year has been confirmed by British Airways, while Virgin Atlantic unveiled seating and schedules for its new UK domestic flights.


British Airways Retains First Class on A380s but not on B787-8s

As the new flagship of the British Airways fleet, the Airbus A380 will carry 469 passengers across 4 cabin classes.


On the main deck will be 14 of the airline’s lush mini suites in a 1-2-1 layout, promising extra personal and storage space with the aircraft’s wider cabin. Immediately behind will be 44 Club World business class seats in a 2-4-2 configuration, complemented by a further 56 seats in a 2-3-2 layout on the upper deck. British Airways will also offer a compact World Traveller Plus premium economy cabin on the upper deck, featuring 55 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. The World Traveller economy product will be spread across the remainder of the aircraft, with 104 seats arranged 2-4-2 upstairs and 199 seats arranged 3-4-3 on the main deck.


When it enters joins the airline in May 2013, the smaller Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner will seat 214 passengers in a 3-class configuration.


The airline follows a trend from operators of the type in dropping First Class from the aircraft, intended to replace its fleet of aging Boeing 767s. 35 Club World business class seats will occupy the front of the aircraft in a 2-3-2 layout, offering direct-aisle access which will be much-appreciated on overnight flights. World Traveller Plus premium economy will see 25 seats laid out in a similar 2-3-2 configuration. The rear half of the jet will accommodate 154 World Traveller economy class seats in a 3-3-3 layout.


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No Upper Class on Virgin Atlantic’s Domestic Routes, 12 Daily Return Domestic Flights

Rival carrier Virgin Atlantic today revealed that its Airbus A320s operating domestic services between London, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester would not feature a Upper Class business product. Leased from Irish airline Aer Lingus, the single-aisle jets will offer 174 Economy Class seats in a 3-3 layout. Passengers will also be offered complimentary meals onboard, with the carrier promising a hot breakfast on early morning flights and specially-produced snacks during the rest of the day. Flying Club Gold cardholders and passengers connecting onto Upper Class long-haul flights will be entitled to limousine transfer services and lounge access at their departure airports, although in London this will likely not be the airline’s Virgin Clubhouse in Terminal 3 as the domestic routes will operate out of Terminal 1.


The airline also revealed schedules for its upcoming short-haul routes. London (Heathrow) – Edinburgh will see 6 daily flights in each direction. Flight VS 3001 takes off from the British capital at 0645 hrs, arriving in Edinburgh at 0815 hrs before returning at 0905 hrs as flight VS 3002, landing back in London at 1035 hrs. Departing Heathrow Airport at 0905 hrs, flight VS 3003 arrives in Edinburgh Airport at 1040 hrs and turns around to operate flight VS 3004 at 1120 hrs with a 1250 hrs arrival into London (Heathrow). In the late morning, flight VS 3005 leaves London shortly before lunch at 1120 hrs to arrive in Edinburgh at 1250 hrs, flying back south at 1335 hrs as flight VS 3006 and landing at Heathrow Airport at 1505 hrs.


Afternoon departure VS 3007 takes off from London at 1515 hrs, arriving in Scotland at 1645 hrs and turning around to return as flight VS 3008 at 1735 hrs for a 1905 hrs arrival. Flight VS 3009 departs London (Heathrow) at 1625 hrs, arriving in Edinburgh at 1755 hrs and returning as flight VS 3010 at 1845 hrs, landing back in London at 2015 hrs. The last departure of the day, flight VS 3011 takes off from Heathrow Airport at 1950 hrs, landing at Edinburgh Airport at 2120 hrs with the aircraft overnighting to operate flight VS 3012 at 0640 hrs the next morning, landing in London at 0810 hrs.


Virgin Atlantic will fly 3 roundtrips between London (Heathrow) and Aberdeen, offering a morning, afternoon and evening departure each day. Flight VS 3021 departs London at 0930 hrs, arriving in Aberdeen at 1110 hrs prior to returning as flight VS 3022 at 1155 hrs for a 1335 hrs arrival back in the British capital. In the afternoon, flight VS 3023 takes off from London (Heathrow) at 1530 hrs to land in Aberdeen Airport at 1700 hrs, turning around to operate flight VS 3024 at 1735 hrs and arriving back in London (Heathrow) at 1915 hrs. The evening flight VS 3025 departs the British capital at 2015 hrs, arriving in Aberdeen at 2155 hrs to overnight in Scotland before operating flight VS 3026 at 0635 hrs the next day, landing back in London at 0815 hrs.


On the London (Heathrow) – Manchester route, flight VS 3041 departs Heathrow Airport at 0920 hrs to arrive at Manchester International Airport at 1020 hrs prior to returning as flight VS 3042 at 1220 hrs, touching down at Heathrow Airport at 1330 hrs. Afternoon departure VS 3043 takes off from London at 1610 hrs to arrive in Manchester at 1710 hrs before the aircraft operates the return flight VS 3044 at 1750 hrs, landing back in London at 1900 hrs. In the evening, flight VS 3045 is wheels up from London at 2010 hrs for a 2110 hrs arrival into Manchester, where the jet overnights before operating flight VS 3046 at 0650 hrs the next morning, arriving in London (Heathrow) at 0800 hrs.


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