Virgin Atlantic’s last A346 will stay until June – Blame Rolls Royce.


Having retired most of its A340-600’s only G-VNAP is hanging on, largely for two reasons.

Originally scheduled for a December departure that was put off until January the 8th. Scheduling analyser Airline Route noted yesterday that the aircraft was now in the schedules until June 2020.

The reason, ongoing issues with the Rolls Royce Trent-1000 engines that still haven’t been completely fixed on the 787-9’s787, a saga that’s been going on now for nearly two years.

The reason it’s G-VNAP still in service, is that the airline retired her at lease end then purchased it outright from Airbus at a ridiculously small amount over a year later, putting her back into service, painted in the flat white and flat red of the temporary aircraft, but with “a big virgin atlantic thank you” decal up both sides.

So, if you’ve never had the A346 experience of lumbering up a runway and barely clearing the fence posts, and a long slow climb to operating height that takes some 50 miles when a 747 can do it half that, you still have a chance to find out!

The aircraft is due to be replaced by one of next years A35K deliveries.