Airbus Delivers First A321neo To Virgin America
Airbus delivered the first A321neo to Virgin America on Thursday at a handover ceremony in Hamburg.
The A321neo is the largest member of the A320neo family of single aisle aircraft, seating up to 240 passengers in a single class layout. Virgin America will operate it in a 185 seat configuration.
The Virgin A321neos are powered by CFM International’s LEAP-1A engines and add to the airline’s existing 63 Airbus A320 family fleet.
“After Virgin America having been the first customer signing for the A320neo back in December 2010, we are today delighted to deliver the first A321neo to them,” Airbus chief operating officer Fabrice Brégier said.
The future of Virgin America’s Airbus aircraft is in doubt however after the carrier’s takeover in December by Alaska Air Group which operates an all Boeing fleet. Virgin is expected to take delivery of five A321neos this year, but a further five and an order for A320neos is in doubt as Alaska reviews its aircraft needs post merger.
Alaska has already announced that it will drop the Virgin America brand in 2019 and rebadge the airline as Alaska Airlines.
The new A321neo is expected to enter service on May 31 on the San Francisco to Washington Reagan National route.