Virgin’s Adding Glamour to Gatwick

Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce that the first of its Gatwick aircraft is operating with the new Upper Class Suite less than a year after it was launched on the Heathrow fleet.  The first Gatwick 747-400 aircraft with the Upper Class Suite operated on Sunday 24th November to Orlando.  The Upper Class Suite is now operating on all flights to JFK, San Francisco, Tokyo and Hong Kong.Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic, commented:

“We are very proud to be able to offer the Upper Class Suite to passengers departing from Gatwick less that a year after its launch.  This revolutionary suite has been a winner with passengers, receiving rave reviews, and prestigious awards and we are confident that our Gatwick passengers will be just as impressed!” 

“We are also pleased to announce that following the success and growing popularity of Premium Economy, Virgin Atlantic has expanded the number of seats in this cabin from 38 to 58 to meet demand from leisure passengers.  Since we launched Premium Economy in 1992, it has been increasingly popular with passengers who wish to enjoy more space and flexibility along with a range of other services including a separate Check In and priority luggage.”

Virgin Atlantic has now completed fitting the Upper Class Suite onto its Heathrow based Boeing 747-400 fleet and its Airbus 340-600 fleet and is aiming to complete the Gatwick Boeing 747-400 fleet by the beginning of March. This brings the number of aircraft fitted with the Upper Class Suite to 16. 

Virgin Atlantic operates services from Gatwick to Barbados, St Lucia, Antigua, Grenada, Tobago, Orlando, Las Vegas and Port Harcourt and will be introducing services to Cuba and the Bahamas in July 2005.  The Gatwick 747-400’s will be configured with 14 Upper Class seats, 58 Premium Economy and 379 in Economy. 

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The product, Virgin’s new Upper Class Suite, consists of a reclining leather seat for take off, a place to sit and eat a proper meal opposite your partner, the longest fully flat bed in the world with a proper mattress for sleeping on, a private onboard bar to drink at with your friends and four limousines per return trip - all at a price thousands of pounds less than BA’s First Class.

Since being launched in November 2003, the Upper Class Suite has won six of the industry’s most prestigious design awards, which are as follows:

D&AD AWARDS   Yellow Pencil (Silver Award) Product Design
IDEA AWARDS   IDEA Gold Award - Transport Design
FX AWARDS   Best Leisure Furniture Award
DESIGN WEEK AWARDS   Best Industrial Product Design
ID ANNUAL REVIEW AWARDS Best in Category - Furniture
RED DOT AWARDS   Best of the Best of High Quality Design
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