Virgin Atlantic delays A340 retirement yet again

Jan 20, 2020

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Virgin Atlantic‘s Airbus A340 aircraft won’t see the boneyard just yet. The carrier has detailed new plans to keep its fleet of A340 aircraft around until at least near the end of March.

As reported by RoutesOnline, Virgin will operate the A340-600 aircraft on the following routes between 1 and 28 March 2020:

  • London Heathrow (LHR) to Lagos (LOS) — daily service 1 to 27 March (except 21 and 23 March)
  • London Heathrow (LHR) to Newark (EWR) — one time service on 11 March
  • London Heathrow (LHR) to New York (JFK) — daily service 1 to 28 March (VS25/VS26 frequencies)

As always with airline operations, the above schedules and frequencies are subject to chance. If you’re booking one of these flights to try and get a last flight on the A346 before Virgin sends the planes into retirement, be sure to stay updated about the flight ops in the lead-up to your trip to make sure the aircraft isn’t swapped out.

The airline has long been extending the life of its A340s. In September 2019, the carrier announced that it would operate the aircraft through December 2019, and in October, the carrier said it would carry out operations until early January 2020 — and beyond.

The continued delays in retirement is likely due to ongoing issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines that the airline has on its 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The airline has been forced to keep the A340s running while its 787s undergo mandatory fixes.

Featured photo by Tim Ockenden/Getty Images.

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