Virgin America has taken delivery of the first ever Airbus A321neo, N921VA (c/n 7589). The aircraft was handed over to the US carrier on April 20 at the manufacturer’s Hamburg/Finkenwerder facility and is the largest addition to its fleet, configured with 185 seats, a 24% increase in capacity over the airline’s existing A320ceo Family aircraft.
The cabin has been configured in a three-class layout with touch-screen personal entertainment and an on-demand food and cocktail menu on every flight in addition to power outlets at every seat.
“We are honoured to be the first operator of this high in-demand aircraft,” said Virgin America President Peter Hunt, speaking at the ceremony attended by Virgin America staff and executives from Airbus, CFM and the aircraft lessor GECAS. “The new A321neo – the third member of the Airbus A320 Family to join our Virgin America fleet – will allow us to further reduce our unit costs and enable us to further reduce our carbon emissions.”
Fabrice Brégier, Airbus Chief Operating Officer and President Commercial Aircraft, said: “With our largest, latest, most fuel-efficient NEO single aisle aircraft we are turning a new page. The new A321neo powered by next generation CFM LEAP-1A engines guarantees new levels of efficiency and longer range to its operators, greater comfort to the flying public and less emissions and noise to the airport communities. Thanks to its cutting-edge technologies it is today the most eco-sensitive single aisle aircraft available.”
Virgin America is expected to debut the new jet on May 31 from San Francisco to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. The airline was acquired by Alaska Air Group in December 2016, with the brand set to be phased out by 2019.