Virgin Atlantic A330-200 G-VMNK (ex AirBerlin D-ALPA, a 16-year-old example) has entered service. The MNK is liked to the word Mancunian – the name given to residents of the City of Manchester, where the aircraft will principally be based .
The aircraft is named “Day Dream Believer”. She’s fitted with 19 business and 271 economy seats – the interiors haven’t been modified yet to Virgin standards, but that is planned over the 2018-19 winter season. The second aircraft G-VMIK will go into service soon. That’s named “Honky Tonk Woman”.
Because of the need to speed entry into service and keep costs down, these aircraft do not have the pearlescent metallic finish of the 787 or A333 fleets, using a flatter colour finish on both whites and reds. They’re unlikely to remain in service for more than 2-3 years, and are a direct result of the problems the 787-9’s have with Rolls Royce Engines.
The recently re-acquired A340-600 G-VNAP “Sleeping Beauty” which has a special “a big Virgin Atlantic thank you” livery is also lacking the pearl finish.