Business travel

Virgin Atlantic unveils Retreat Suite and new upper class seats

Virgin Atlantic has launched its most spacious seat in airline history, the Retreat Suite, by unveiling the latest iteration of its Upper Class cabin.

The new products will appear on the airline’s Airbus A330-900neo, the first of which will take delivery from Virgin this fall and will be rolled out on services to Boston.

With the new aircraft, Virgin says it will provide a “premium personalized experience” for every passenger.

Business class cabins will include 30 new upper class suites (pictured above), with each seat facing fully forward and featuring a fully closing privacy door, 17.3 touchscreen inches and passenger-controlled mood lighting.

The airline’s new Retreat Suites, of which there will be two per plane, are located together forward of the Upper Class cabin and feature 79-inch flat beds, 27-inch touch screens and an ottoman, allowing four passengers to meet or dine together.

It is understood that Retreat Suites will not be bookable through GDS channels and will only be bookable elsewhere within a fortnight of departure “when the risk of changing aircraft type is significantly reduced”. Retreat Suite fares will incur a surcharge of approximately £200 over regular upper class fares.

The new Upper Class cabin is an evolution of Virgin’s popular Loft social space with space for eight passengers.

The airline does not plan to retrofit the new seats on any of its existing fleet.

Premium Economy and Upper Class seats will come with built-in wireless charging, while all passengers will have access to more USB ports, Bluetooth-enabled entertainment systems and the airline’s fastest Wi-Fi at all times. this day.

The premium economy cabin will have 46 seats with 38-inch pitch, there will be 28 Delight economy seats with 34-inch pitch and 156 economy seats with 31-inch pitch.

Virgin says the addition of the new, more fuel-efficient aircraft type will help it achieve more than 10% carbon emissions savings over the next decade.

Tickets for the airline’s first A330neo customer flight will go on sale later in July, with the aircraft due to debut in early October on flights between London Heathrow and Boston.

With daily service to the US city, the carrier can ensure new products are available on every flight to Boston. For the same reason, flights to Tampa – to which Virgin is launching services in November – are also expected to be flown by the new aircraft.

The airline will take delivery of three of the new planes from September, with the remaining deliveries following between 2023 and 2026.

“When it comes to innovating for our customers, we never stop. Our desire to create memorable experiences means we will continue to imagine with new ideas. We care about every detail of cabin design and every step of our customers’ journey,” said Corneel Koster, Chief Customer Officer and Chief Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic.

“The A330neo is playing an important role in transforming our multi-billion dollar fleet, demonstrating our commitment to the planet. We know that the most impactful thing we can do as an airline is to fly the cleanest, greenest and youngest fleet possible and the A330neo is an integral part of achieving this goal.

Speaking at a new product launch event in Shoreditch, London, Koster said: “2022 marks a new phase for us at Virgin Atlantic. We are coming out of the pandemic. Our vision is clear: to become the most popular travel agency and to become sustainably profitable. The 330neo is an integral part of this journey. It shows that we are back and we are back in style. It shows that we are investing in our customer experience and reducing the impact on our planet.

Discussing the current travel industry disruption, he added, “We are preparing to transport our customers safely and reliably this summer. We want to ensure that passengers reach their destinations as planned. We have already demonstrated that we can do this by delivering 99.5% operating schedule reliability over the past six months.

“However, it is tough there. We are part of an ecosystem and we are not immune to these challenges. We will work with our airport partners, other partners and we will work tirelessly to prove the resilience of all of our operations.