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15. September 2021
Following the retirement of its Boeing 747 fleet, Virgin Atlantic has been focusing on its widebody Airbus A350-1000s and finding new ways to make its premium cabin experience the best in the skies.
Step forward, The Booth. Virgin introduced The Loft concept in 2019 for its 1000s. Eight Upper Class passengers could mingle in what was dubbed “the largest social space in the sky”. Now, the airline has launched the more intimate and cosy The Booth - in which just two Upper Class passengers can socialise – away from their seats.
Virgin has taken a concerted decision to focus on the leisure markets that fly the A350s – including from Heathrow to Orlando and Barbados. The configuration of the new A350 – the second design unveiled – offers 397 seats – 16 in Upper Class, 56 in Premium Class and the rest in economy. This more than halves the number of Upper Class seats usually provided by the airline.
As the new Upper Class has fewer seats in its premium cabin, Virgin could not warrant The Loft so devised The Booth instead. The Booth has two comfy, leather lounge-style seats separated by a table. It also boasts two 27-inch touch screen monitors and is located in front of the Upper Class cabin.
Only three A350-1000s aircraft with The Booth have been ordered – the first will be designated G-VEVE – Fearless Lady – in commemoration of Eve Branson – the late mother of Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson. In April 2022, a second 1000 will be delivered and will carry the name Lady Emmeline after Emmeline Pankhurst – the leader of the women’s suffrage movement. The third aircraft is expected to be delivered by June 2023.
Corneel Koster, chief customer and operations officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We’re famous for our onboard social spaces and the introduction of The Booth elevates the customer proposition for our leisure travellers to new heights. We love creating brilliantly different experiences, which is why we’re always evolving our ideas to offer something different and exciting in the air and on the ground,” and followed: “I’m delighted that we’ve curated The Booth specifically for our customers jetting off on holiday to our sunny destinations, such as Orlando, offering a truly stylish start to their trips.”
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