Virgin Atlantic, one of the world’s leading long-haul airlines, today announced it has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines to power its new Airbus fleet of 10 A330-300s. The aircraft are due for delivery from early 2011.
The order, worth $720m, includes 10 sets of installed engines and three spare engines. To ensure that the engines remain at peak performance the contract also includes a long-term maintenance agreement.
Steve Ridgway, chief executive for Virgin Atlantic, commented;
“Our Rolls Royce engine order signals our commitment to flying a modern fleet with the most fuel efficient technology available. Now is the right time for leading businesses to be placing orders like this so that companies, vital to the British economy, can protect jobs, grow and thrive in the future.”
The Trent 700 is the first engine in the highly successful Trent family. The 72,000lb thrust engine has lower maintenance costs, lower weight and better performance retention. With the lowest lifecycle fuel burn, lowest cumulative emissions and lowest noise levels the Trent 700 has the lowest environmental impact of any engine on the A330.
Mark King Rolls-Royce President – Civil Aerospace, said:
“This order continues a long and successful relationship and we are pleased that Virgin Atlantic is again turning to Trent engine technology. We remain committed to delivering competitive advantage and fuel-efficient power to support their environmental, operational and economic requirements.”
In June 2009 Virgin Atlantic placed a $2.1bn order for 10 new Airbus A330-300 aircraft. Five of the aircraft will arrive in 2011 and five in 2012. The twin-engine plane, which can seat up to 270 passengers, will operate on many of Virgin Atlantic’s existing business and leisure routes worldwide and will assist future growth before the arrival of the Boeing 787 Dreamliners in 2013. The A330 aircraft is nearly 10% more fuel efficient than the A340-300 aircraft as well as delivering lower maintenance costs and substantial cargo capacity.
Each of the A330-300 aircraft will feature the next generation of seats, which will be lighter and even more comfortable than those in the air today. Every passenger will benefit from a dynamic new entertainment hub, including USB ports and power sockets in Upper Class and Premium Economy cabins, which will set the new standard in in-flight systems. All passengers will also be able to send and receive emails and texts on their mobile devices. Virgin Atlantic will be the first UK long-haul airline to roll-out this service across its fleet
Virgin Atlantic has a fleet of 38 aircraft – 19 A340-600s, 6 A340-300s and 13 B747-400s. Rolls- Royce currently supplies Virgin Atlantic with the engines on its A340-600 fleet and has been selected to supply engines for its 15 787s which are currently on order.