Virgin Atlantic has opened its new hangar at Gatwick Airport. The Hangar, which has undergone refurbishment by the BAA, was leased to Virgin Atlantic in mid June. Prior to becoming operational the hangar needed to be fitted out with Virgin’s own equipment in order for maintenance and the support functions to be carried out on the Virgin Atlantic fleet of Boeing 747-400 aircraft based at Gatwick Airport and the Virgin Nigeria Airbus A340-300.
With the increasing number of flights operated by Virgin Atlantic from Gatwick, the hangar will accommodate all the Gatwick based fleet’s ‘A check’ maintenance requirements. The facility is 75 metres long and 68 metres wide and is located at the north west side of the airport. The hangar was opened in 1988 and first occupied by Dan Air. The hangar space, which could fit seven double-decker buses along its length and approximately 2.2 billion ping pong balls, will have a 44 strong maintenance staff; this expansion in the business has created 35 positions for new employees from the area.
Jeff Livings, Director of Engineering commented:
‘The Hangar will be a great asset to Virgin Atlantic for its Gatwick based fleet; it will mean that we will be able to carry out A checks, ad hoc and casualty work and hangar dependent tasks at Gatwick instead of repositioning aircraft to the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow hangar. We also will be able to offer the expertise of the Virgin Atlantic maintenance team to other airlines requiring hangar facilities at Gatwick.’
Emma Rees, Head of Property at BAA Gatwick, said:
“The leasing of this hangar is a great example of the partnership between BAA Gatwick and Virgin Atlantic Airways which sees both the businesses growing together.”
Virgin Atlantic Airways has also been nominated this year for a
World Travel Award as Europe’s Leading Business Class Airline.