Rolled out on 12th February is G-VNAP, an A340-600 previously used by Virgin Atlantic on a ten-year lease that expired in March 2015. She was painted white and sent to Tarbes in France where Airbus Leasing stores its aircraft.
The 787-9 Rolls Royce engine fiasco left Virgin Atlantic in the lurch – so it took quick action to bring in the ex-Air Berlin A332’s and buy from Airbus the old A340-600 at a ridiculously low price – there’s just no market for them.
Refurbished, re-certified and now repainted at Manchester Air Livery, they’ve applied mostly the standard livery used from 2010 – but with a difference.
The “a big virgin atlantic thank you” is aimed as much as staff as it is at passengers, but is it attractive? Frankly I think it looks awful but there we go.
The ‘flying lady’ is also a vertical figure this time, the same one used on 787-9 G-VNEW Birthday Girl, the first 787-9 the airline took delivery of in November 2015.
This time it has the aircrafts old name “Sleeping Beauty” (hence G-VNAP), with “Rejuvenated” underneath.
Having spent such a lot of money buying and refurbishing the aircraft I’m expecting her to stay in service for a good 3 to 5 years, even though A346 operations were originally due to end in 2019. The problems with the 789’s have largely skewed that original date.