MIAMI — Virgin Atlantic Airways will operate a Boeing 787-9 five times per week on its route from London Heathrow to Newark beginning in January 2015. According to the Airline Route blog, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will replace a mixture of Airbus A340-600 and Airbus A330-300 equipment on Virgin Atlantic flights 001 and 002 beginning January 19, 2015. The 787-9 will operate five times per week, with the A340-600 (or A330-300) continuing to operate on Friday and Saturday. Flight schedules for the new service are as follow:
VS 001 ~~ LHR – EWR ~~ D: 0940 A: 1245 ~~ x56
VS 002 ~~ EWR – LHR ~~ D: 2030 A: 0905+1 ~~ x56
Virgin Atlantic’s first Boeing 787-9 has already been painted and will be delivered to the carrier in late September. The aircraft will enter service on October 28, 2014 on the carrier’s London Heathrow – Boston route, and will also fly to Washington Dulles (starting December 17, 2014) and New York JFK (starting February 28, 2015). Eventually, Virgin Atlantic will also fly the 787-9 to Shanghai, China and Delhi, India. Its Boeing 787-9s will seat 264 passengers in a three-class configuration ( 31J / 35Y+ / 195Y ).
While Newark will be Virgin Atlantic’s third destination for the 787-9 (chronologically), it is unclear how long Dreamliner service to Newark will last. Last week, Virgin Atlantic announced a major restructuring of its route network, and beginning March 29, 2015, one of two daily flights between Newark and London Heathrow will be operated by Virgin’s joint venture partner Delta Air Lines. Details on Delta’s takeover have not been loaded into the global distribution system (GDS), so it is unclear whether Delta will replace the 787-9 service, or the A330-300 on Virgin Atlantic Flights 17 and 18.