Virgin Atlantic to retire 747-400’s by 2021

Virgin Atlantic announced yesterday that it’s last 747-400 will retire by the end of summer season 2021.

The 747 was fundamental to the economics of starting the airline some 30 years ago.

The “Heathrow 5” ended their operations there in 2015 with only G-VBIG being retained in service at Gatwick with 7 others, mostly catering to the holiday business.

All of the aircraft are being replaced with Airbus A350-1000’s, the first of which will be deployed to Heathrow in June/July.

The airline’s CEO Shai Weiss also said the company aims to become the UK’s second flag carrier over the next ten years, taking on BA in the domestic market and expanding its long haul offerings.