Virgin cabin crew welcome

Virgin Atlantic to recruit 400 new cabin crew members

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Virgin cabin crew welcome

Virgin Atlantic has announced it will be recruiting 400 new cabin crew members.

The airline welcomed more than 750 returning cabin crew in 2021 who were placed in a holding pool and says more than 230 are set to return in the first quarter of 2022.

The carrier says it is now able to recruit externally for the first time in nearly two years. The roles will be part of an initial six-month fixed term contract with the view to extend and candidates from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Estelle Hollingsworth, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief People Officer, said: “It’s the best jobs that make people fly and we couldn’t be more excited to be welcoming so many new cabin crew members to the skies with our recruitment drive.

“We’re committed to supporting diversity both on the ground and on board, so are seeking people from all backgrounds who aspire to be the friendly, smiling and professional face that is the airline – with the iconic Virgin Atlantic style and flair.

“We champion difference and individuality, and it’s by encouraging all of our people to truly be themselves at work that we uphold an inclusive environment where they each can thrive.

“Being part of our incredible cabin crew is an adventure, with travel around the world and new experiences waiting at every destination. We welcome anyone interested in this exciting new career journey to apply now.”

Applications are now open on the Virgin Atlantic cabin crew recruitment website.

Virgin Atlantic is offering passengers a fun and festive menu to enjoy onboard.

Virgin Atlantic gets into Christmas spirit

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Virgin Atlantic is offering passengers a fun and festive menu to enjoy onboard.

Virgin Atlantic is offering passengers a fun and festive menu to enjoy onboard.

All customers in all cabins travelling on selected flights from 24th-26th December will be able to tuck into festive feasts, featuring roast turkey with all the trimmings and a cranberry and thyme crusted salmon fillet.

The airline is also offering millionaire’s chocolate log over the Christmas period, and a cheese platter.

Passengers in all cabins will receive a mince pie and a Lindt chocolate bear.

Virgin Atlantic will mark New Year by serving passengers on select flights in the air at midnight on New Year’s Eve champagne and a milk chocolate star.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We know customers are so looking forward to their holidays or to be with their loved ones over the festive period, so we are eager to delight our customers from the moment they board our flights this Christmas. Surprising our customers with delicious feasts and treats is our way of creating memories and saying thank you for choosing to travel with Virgin Atlantic.

“Understanding the current challenges, our teams will ensure all customers fly safe and well and are more than ready to celebrate the festive period onboard, as we get our customers to their destinations in style. Many of our customers are flying to reunite with friends and family, so it’s incredibly important to us that we help make this a special experience.”

Virgin Atlantic has evolved its onboard options with new Autumn menus

Virgin Atlantic unveils Autumn menu

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Virgin Atlantic has evolved its onboard options with new Autumn menus

Virgin Atlantic has evolved its onboard options with new Autumn menus including the re-introduction of some upper class favourites as well as all new sustainable wine in cans for premium and economy.

Following the restart of passenger flying in July 2020, the airline simplified its service onboard to minimise interaction between customers and crew, since then service has been expanded progressively. The updates this month mark another step in delivering in-flight offerings whilst ensuring health and safety remains key.

Upper class passengers will see the return of Virgin Atlantic’s cocktails and barista style coffees, Supper service and Extra Bite menu, as well as enhanced menu options. New starters available include a pear and Waldorf salad or smoked duck breast followed by a main choice of braised pork cheek, roasted trout fillet or vegan spiced cauliflower pie.

Premium updates see new antipasti plate as a starter followed by an autumnal venison stew, spicy jerk chicken or vegan penne Bolognese and finally a delicious dessert option of a New York style cheesecake. Customers looking for a warming mid-flight pick me up will also be pleased to learn that the hot chocolate service has returned across all cabins.

As part of Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to reducing waste, premium and economy customers will be trialling the service of Nice Drinks Sauvignon Blanc or Argentinian Malbec as part of the complementary wine service. The cans are 100% recyclable, plastic free and a more sustainable, lighter weight option than wine bottles. Nice Drinks will be available on board from late October.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “At Virgin Atlantic we know that the travelling experience is about so much more than just getting from A to B. As restrictions continue to ease and customers return to the skies, we’ve introduced some exciting new Autumn menu options, and reintroduced onboard favourites and little touches that make all the difference in enhancing the flying experience for our customers. We’re also proud to be making changes in line with our commitment to offering a more sustainable service, by trialling recyclable wine in cans from Nice Drinks.

“Those joining us on board for the first time since the pandemic can rest assured knowing that health and safety remains top of mind, ensuring that everyone flies safe and well with Virgin Atlantic. We cannot wait to welcome our customers back on board, flying them safely and in style, on a well-deserved holiday or to reunite and reconnect with loved ones, colleagues, business partners or customers.”

Virgin Atlantic's The Booth

Virgin Atlantic pulls covers off The Booth

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Virgin Atlantic's The Booth

Virgin Atlantic has revealed a new interior to its A350 aircraft, including an increased number of seats in both the Premium and Economy cabins, alongside a new social space for its Upper Class customers.

The new seat configuration offers 397 seats in total, 16 Upper Class suites, 56 Premium seats and 325 in Economy. Within the economy cabin, 45 seats will be Economy Delight, offering customers extra legroom as well as priority boarding and advanced seat selection.

The Booth, designed collaboratively by Virgin Atlantic’s in-house design team alongside London design agency Factorydesign, is the latest innovation in Virgin Atlantic’s social spaces and is exclusively available to customers travelling to the airline’s leisure destinations on-board the A350.

Sited in the Upper Class cabin, The Booth “aspires to create a cosy corner, providing comfy lounge style seating for two, separated by a single leaf table.”  The styling and finishes, which include luxurious leather seats and almond gold highlights, are designed to align with the airline’s Loft space featured across the mainline the A350 fleet.

The Booth comprises two 27-inch touch screen monitors with content continuously updated, tailored to the route and time of day, meaning that the look and feel of The Booth will evolve over time. Initial content will include a digital art gallery featuring up and coming artists and a tail and belly cam of the aircraft. Additionally, there are two Bluetooth audio jacks.

Passengers travelling between Heathrow and Orlando are planned to be the first to experience the newest aircraft, with the first flight currently scheduled for December 2021. Other leisure destinations, including Barbados, will receive the new plane later in 2022.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operations Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We’re famous for our on-board social spaces and the introduction of The Booth elevates the customer proposition for our leisure travellers to new heights. We love creating brilliantly different experiences, which is why we’re always evolving our ideas to offer something different and exciting in the air and on the ground.”

The first aircraft in the airline’s A350 leisure fleet will be G-VEVE, named Fearless Lady, after Eve Branson, late mother of Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson.  Lady Emmeline (G-VLIB), which is inspired by the leader of the women’s suffrage movement Emmeline Pankhurst, will follow in April, completing the series with three planes set to be delivered by June 2023.

Virgin Atlantic has reopened its on-board bars the first time in 15 months.

Virgin reopens on-board services

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Virgin Atlantic has reopened its on-board bars the first time in 15 months.

Virgin Atlantic has reopened its on-board bars the first time in 15 months.

The airline’s social spaces, which are open to those travelling in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin, will reopen on all Green and Amber Virgin Atlantic routes across the airline’s worldwide network today, including Antigua, Barbados and Grenada.

Customers travelling on Virgin Atlantic’s newest aircraft, the Airbus A350, will experience the latest social space concept, The Loft.  As the largest social space in the airline’s fleet, The Loft offers a social area where customers can settle in to watch a show or our live tailcam on the 32-inch TV.  Bar options are also on board the airline’s Airbus A330 and Boeing 787s.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operations Officer at Virgin Atlantic said: “Our on-board bars and social spaces are a signature part of our Upper Class experience so I’m delighted we’re finally able to reopen them to our customers, where they can enjoy a drink and catch up with friends.  I know our cabin crew teams can’t wait to get back to providing our customers with the full Upper Class service we’re famous for and that’s been missed by many over the last 15 months.”

To ensure the continued safety of its customers and people masks will still be required within the social spaces unless eating or drinking, with social distancing remaining in place where possible.

Virgin Atlantic new Spring menu for Upper Class -roasted chicken breast, potato purée, sautéed spinach, girolles mushrooms, Bourguignon sauce

Virgin Atlantic unveils new menus for Upper Class

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Virgin Atlantic new Spring menu for Upper Class -roasted chicken breast, potato purée, sautéed spinach, girolles mushrooms, Bourguignon sauce

Virgin Atlantic has launched new Spring menus for Upper Class, that includes hand plated meals as well as its popular welcome drinks.

Following the restart of passenger flying in July 2020, the airline simplified its service onboard to minimise interaction between customers and crew. These latest changes see some of the most popular elements of Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class service return, with some added extras, whilst ensuring health and safety remains at the heart of the proposition.

Customers are now offered a welcome drink upon boarding, followed by the choice of three individually plated hot meals as part of the main meal service. This is accompanied by a salad and choice of three desserts including cheese and biscuits. On day flights, customers are offered a second meal service including the signature Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea and can now opt for a deli dish or a lighter option if they prefer. For those travelling on night flights, there is a choice of three hot breakfasts as well as side dishes including fresh seasonal fruit, bircher muesli and pastries. All these options can be washed down with a selection of champagne, wine, liquors, soft drinks and teas and coffees.

Customers travelling in Premium now receive a bespoke meal service including a choice of three hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert, all served on a tray. For the second meal service, Premium customers receive the Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea with a choice of prosecco or hot drink or on night flights, a breakfast including a warm pastry, seasonal fruit and yoghurt served with PG Tips tea or Change Please coffee.

Customers in the Economy cabin can choose from two hot meals as part of the Fly Safe, Eat Well meal box, which also includes cheese and biscuits and a dessert. The second meal service includes the Eric Lanlard Mile High Tea on day flights or a breakfast consisting of a warm pastry, fruit and yoghurt on night flights. Customers in Premium and Economy can also choose from a selection of wines, beers, liquors and soft drinks throughout the flight.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We know our customers are missing that magical feeling you get when you step onboard an aircraft, ready to start your travels. Whilst customers may not be able to travel right now, we’re bringing back those little touches, including welcome drinks, hand plated food and more choice of meals, so that first flight after lockdown feels even more special.”

Aeropeople secures Virgin Atlantic cabin interior maintenance contract

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Virgin Atlantic Airways has awarded Aeropeople Engineering Services, part of Aeropeople Ltd, a three-year multi-million-pound contract to manage cabin interior maintenance, repair and refurbishment across its entire global fleet.

As part of the contract, the largest in Aeropeople’s history, an 80-person team will be established at Heathrow where they will work in partnership with interiors service provider Cabinair to provide an end-to-end service for the airline across its Boeing 787 and Airbus A330/A350 aircraft.

Aeropeople Managing Director Ian Peart explained: “We have been providing recruitment services to Virgin for around 15 years and now look forward to extending that partnership in what is genuinely a ground-breaking deal that enables us to provide our customer with a turnkey solution that will minimise aircraft downtime whilst driving efficiency and value across all elements of the supply chain.

Aeropeople will set up a Line Maintenance operation at Heathrow to support front line cabin interior maintenance as well as establishing a deeper scheduled maintenance and refurbishment operation in the Virgin hangar at the airport.

Following a recruitment and training drive, work on the first aircraft was expected to commence the week of 11 January 2021.

Virgin Atlantic is retiring its Boeing 747 fleet

Virgin bids farewell to its 747 with on-board pop up dining experience

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Virgin Atlantic is retiring its Boeing 747 fleet

Virgin Atlantic is giving aviation enthusiasts the chance to say farewell to its last Boeing 747 before it enters retirement.

Hosted at the airline’s Heathrow hangar on 12 December, during a three-hour experience, visitors will enjoy a full aircraft tour, including below deck and cabin crew and pilots sleep, areas of the plane the public rarely seen by the public. Additionally, they will enjoy a three-course a-la-carte meal, inspired by Virgin Atlantic’s on-board cuisine, from the comfort of their own Upper Class suite.

Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to The Trussell Trust.

Virgin Atlantic pilots, cabin crew and engineers who have worked on the 747 will be present to provide first-hand accounts on what life was like on-board the jet.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “The much-loved Boeing 747 has played an important role in Virgin Atlantic’s story.  It carried our first passengers to New York 36 years ago on our inaugural flight and over the years has transported countless millions of holiday-makers and business travellers safely around the world.  As we close this chapter and continue the transformation towards a cleaner, greener fleet, what better tribute than to showcase the Queen of the Skies one last time.  I’m delighted we’re able to offer this opportunity to a lucky few to be part of aviation history, before we say our fond farewells to this iconic plane.”

A masked Virgin Atlantic crew member

Virgin Atlantic introduces on site pre-flight Covid-19 testing trial for crew

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A masked Virgin Atlantic crew member

Virgin Atlantic has become the first UK airline to introduce COVID-19 pre-flight testing at its Heathrow base for its cabin crew and pilots. Launched at the end of September on flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong, the airline plans to extend the trial to Barbados and select services later in October, before a wider roll out to test every operating crew at least once per month.

In partnership with GeneMe UK, official distributor of the FRANKD test, the airline trial is offering crew and pilots a rapid Point of Care COVID-19 RT LAMP test. In independent laboratory tests, FRANKD is shown to be 100% specific and 97% sensitive to detecting SARS-CoV-2. Through integration with the digital ID platform Yoti, the test process is fast, secure, paperless and does not require a lab. After a swab is taken on site, results are processed and delivered on the Yoti app within 30 minutes.

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented: “While the COVID-19 testing landscape evolves, we continue to be in discussions with multiple providers offering different technologies to guarantee the best solution possible, while absolutely ensuring that we do not compete with the NHS for vital resources.

“This trial is a first step in our phased plan to introduce regular testing for all of our teams in the air and on the ground, in order to instil confidence in flying. However, we continue to call for the swift introduction of a wider coordinated passenger testing regime. We need urgent action from UK and US governments to introduce pre departure testing, to remove the need for quarantine and to minimise travel restrictions, while protecting public health and half a million UK jobs associated with the sector. As long as the UK’s 14-day quarantine is in place, demand for travel will not return and the UK’s economic recovery, which relies on free-flowing trade and tourism, cannot take off.”

Virgin and Delta tail fins

ABM wins cabin cleaning contracts

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Virgin and Delta tail fins

ABM has secured two high profile aircraft cabin cleaning contracts.

Delta Airlines has appointed ABM to provide cabin cleaning services, while the company will clean the cabins of Virgin Atlantic’s fleet at London’s Heathrow Airport.

Both contracts began on 1 September and will be extended to include Virgin’s Manchester Airport operation once it recommences in November 2020.

Anthony Bryant, Manager – Cabin Appearance & Cleaning at Virgin Atlantic stated: “The health and safety of our customers and our people has always been our number one priority. As we start to return to our full flying schedule, the cleanliness and presentation of our cabins remains our absolute focus. 

“Virgin Atlantic is delighted to be partnering with ABM in the UK. Dedicated to applying and delivering to the highest of standards, we are excited to work with the team to ensure a continued industry leading cleaning programme across our fleet.