Since Virgin Atlantic took delivery of its first Airbus A350 a couple of weeks ago, what has it been up to?
The short answer is that its been a regular visitor to Glasgow! As reported here, it’s also had the flying icon attached.
Why has it been to Glasgow, when Virgin don’t fly there from London?
Training. Unlike British Airways, Virgin Atlantic don’t operate any short haul flights. Therefore the crew training flights can take place pretty much anywhere.
The initial training flight took place on 17th August. It consisted of a 1h20 flight from Gatwick, up to Northern Scotland, out over the North Sea before heading back to Gatwick.
The following day, it positioned from Gatwick to Glasgow before touching down an hour and ten minutes later. The rest of the day was spent making a further seven circuits around the airport between 14:15 and 19:50.
What’s it doing today?
Today, it remains in Glasgow.
It has been doing touch and go’s throughout the day. This is basically where the aircraft lands, the crew reconfigure the aircraft and then lift off again without leaving the runway.
On its initial flights from Glasgow, it was taking off, making a circuit and landing again with around thirty minutes between flights.
This has been the case for the week so far and according to Glasgow Live it will be spending the rest of the week there.
Not having any insider information, I couldn’t possibly say! I have reached out to Virgin Atlantic for some further info, but I’m still awaiting a response.
When the airline introduced the 787 to its fleet, they sent it to many airfields across the UK on these training flights. But I seem to recall these were somewhat promotional flights to celebrate the airlines 30th birthday.
From the evidence seen so far, it would appear that the majority of the flight training for the A350 will be taking place in Glasgow.
Where can you fly the Virgin Atlantic A350?
From 10th September, Virgin Atlantic’s A350 will enter commercial service on the London Heathrow – New York JFK route. Up to four flights a day between the two airports will be operated by the A350 by the end of 2019.
From early 2020, the A350 will serve Virgin Atlantics flights to Los Angeles. No date has been set other than Q1 2020 so stay tuned for more specific info.
In the initial press release, the airline also mentioned Atlanta as a “coming soon” destination for their A350. This would make perfect sense as that is Virgin Atlantics major partner Delta Airlines main hub, and they also happen to operate a fleet of A350’s – great for sharing tips and being able to troubleshoot any issues that may crop up.
More info on the Virgin Atlantic A350
For more information on the Virgin Atlantic’s A350, you can see my previous posts here:
Or see what Virgin Atlantic themselves have to say about their new toy here:
Track G-VLUX here: