Virgin Atlantic commenced services on 22nd June 1984 with former Aerolineas Argentinas
The history of the airline could be traced to a failed attempt by American lawyer
Randolph Fields and former Laker Airways pilot Alan Hellary to set up British Atlantic
Airways with plans firstly for a London Gatwick -
New routes were launched from London Gatwick -
In 2004 Virgin Atlantic secured a long term ambition by extending its London Heathrow
Just one aircraft joined the fleet this year Airbus A340-
2005 also saw Virgin Atlantic place an order for six A380s for delivery in 2009, but in 2006 deferred delivery until 2013.
To celebrate its 21st Birthday the airline temporarily re-
No fewer than seven A340-
In June 2006 Virgin Atlantic reported to the UK and US competition authorities that
it had engaged in price fixing with British Airways over fuel surcharges on trans-
The final A340-
In light of the Global Financial Crisis Virgin Atlantic stored two Airbus A340-
2009 saw the airline order ten Airbus A330-
A rebranding in 2010 saw the first aircraft appear in Billboard livery with large titles in a new font which also appear on the aircraft undersides.
In a reversal of the 2006 case with British Airways, in 2010 Cathay Pacific reported
alleged price fixing between Virgin Atlantic and Cathay Pacific on the London Heathrow
The first two Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-
Virgin Atlantic’s first Three Class Airbus A330-
The airline launched a London Gatwick -
Further new routes were launched in 1996 with London Heathrow -
1997 saw a further major expansion to the fleet with three Airbus A340-
Quality used Boeing 747-
The Silver Dream Machine livery was introduced in 1999 at Amsterdam when Boeing 747-
Expansion in 1999 saw new routes added from London Heathrow -
In March 2000 49% of the airline was sold to Singapore Airlines for a remarkable £600.25 million with the Virgin Group retaining a 51% controlling share.
2000 saw Boeing 747-
A new A321 G-
In 2001 Virgin Atlantic agreed to step in and take five Boeing 747-
The September 11 2001 attacks saw demand for travel to the US drop considerably and
the London Heathrow -
Virgin Atlantic was launch customer for the Airbus A340-
Virgin Atlantic’s new full flat bed Upper Class Suite was launched in 2003 and this was the first time that “herringbone” seating allowing all passengers direct aisle access had been launched by any airline.
A well travelled former Alitalia Boeing 747-
The airline also operated a London Gatwick -
Virgin Atlantic was also involved in a Luton -
Further second hand 747-
In 1990 Boeing 747-
1991 saw another a further two 747-
January 1991 saw Virgin Atlantic permitted to commence services from London Heathrow following the Conservative government’s decision to scrap the existing London Air Traffic Distribution Rules which forced all airlines without International scheduled services to London Heathrow prior to 1st April 1977 compelled to fly to London Gatwick. The CAA also removed two pairs of slots at Tokyo Narita airport, which were in British Airways’ name but were not being utlised, and handed these to Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Atlantic moved its Los Angeles, New York JFK and Tokyo Narita services from London Gatwick to London Heathrow.
1991 also saw seatback TVs introduced in Economy for the first time.
1992 saw Virgin Atlantic launch its Mid-
The acclaimed Virgin Clubhouse lounge at London Heathrow’s Terminal 3 opened in 1993.
This was also the year that saw the airline receive its first new aircraft when Airbus
Air New Zealand Boeing 747-
1993 will be best remembered as the year of the “dirty tricks” controversy. Virgin Atlantic sued British Airways for libel over an article by BA’s PR Director which appeared in BA News. BA settled out of court after various “dirty tricks” were revealed at a cost of £3m in legal bills, personal damages to Richard Branson of £500,000 and £110.000 to Virgin Atlantic.
Three further A340-
Mid Class was rebranded as Premium Economy during this year.