As announced last May, the British company has already said goodbye to its last Airbus A340-600s ended on October 30, 2020, the early retirement of its last seven Jumbo Jets. The 747-400 registered G-VROS, christened English Rose then Forever Young, took off from its base at London-Heathrow on October 30, 2020, for flight VS84P to Las Vegas – where it will join the Atlas freight fleet Air. Virgin Atlantic had not organized a special ceremony for this departure, unlike British Airways, which three weeks ago had abundantly communicated the departure of its last 747-400.
The aircraft which made its maiden flight in February 2001 was originally intended for Alitalia but joined the VA fleet in March of the same year. Until his last commercial flight on May 3, 2020, from Los Angeles, he had accumulated 92,050 flight hours. Three other Jumbo Jets still officially in its fleet are already in storage in Spain.
Last May, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Virgin Atlantic justified the end of operations in 747 via its leader Shai Weiss: “It is crucial that we return to profitability in 2021. This will involve taking measures to reshape and resize Virgin Atlantic based on demand, while always keeping our employees and customers at the heart of everything we do ”.
The four A330-200s of the British company must also retire « in 2022 as planned ». In two years, Virgin Atlantic is expected to operate only 36 long-haul jets (A330-900, A350-1000 and 787-9), « reducing CO2 emissions per passenger by an additional 10%, on top of the savings. ‘efficiency of 18% already achieved between 2007 and 2019 ”.
— Amo (@amo251) October 31, 2020
Well, it's time to say 'au revoir' UK. A massive thank you to all the pilots, FAs, ATCs, maintenance and ground staff who've kept me safe for nearly 20 years. Thanks to #virginatlantic for selling tickets and dreams. This photo of me by @AviationFox1 #b747 #Boeing747 ✈️ pic.twitter.com/F5Q5sOMIEE
— 747 G-VROS (@747GVROS) October 30, 2020
— Glenn Beasley (@PlanePhotograph) October 30, 2020