Richard Branson was there, the first to sign up for the A380 back in 2001. Virgin Atlantic was going to be launch customer for the new double decker, just as it was for the A340-600.
Seventeen years later and Virgin Atlantic finally lets slip that a couple of weeks ago, it formally cancelled the 6 that it ordered. It was a different world back then, months before the attack on New York and Washington on 9/11 and wars that still aren’t over.
Within months of making the order global airlines were sent into a nose dive, and a series of events and recession rendered the airlines decision redundant.
No time was ever to be a good time to confirm the order, a short while back there was rumour the airline would revive it – Phoenix even made a 1:200 model – but once Delta bought out Singapore Airlines holdings in Virgin Atlantic for less than a third of what SIA had paid – there was no way an A380 order would ever happen.
In the meantime Virgin Atlantic ordered 10 A333’s and later 12 A35K’s from Airbus – the first of the later due early in 2019.