All 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets operated by Virgin Atlantic are affected by dangerous faults with their Rolls-Royce engines. This means that Virgin has suffered a seriously disruptive 2018.
As a result, they have leased extra aircraft, and as many as three of the 258-seat 787-9s have been taken out of service at one time.
What Is Wrong With Their Engines?
There are durability issues with components used in the engine. In particular, there are wear issues affecting the fan blades and the re-design of the problem parts won’t be fully incorporated in their 787 fleet until 2022.
What Are They Flying Now?
Delta operates some Virgin flights while their planes are out of action and four 287-seat Airbus A330-200 planes are being used on flights from Manchester, which were previously operated by Air Berlin. They have been painted in Virgin’s livery but retain their old layout, with the addition of a premium-economy cabin.
Virgin has even brought a retired Airbus A340-600 plane back into service for peak travel periods.
Misery Gets Worse
To add to the misery for the airline, Virgin Atlantic’s largest pilots’ union, has just started to ballot its members about industrial action that could lead to strikes over Christmas, according to the Financial Times last week.
The argument is over capping an income protection scheme at five years; cancelling a dependants’ pension scheme, and reducing corporate pension contributions from 15 per cent to 10 per cent.
Although no strike has been confirmed the threat is very real. It looks like Christmas will be another rocky time for Virgin and its passengers.
What Should I Do?
Personally, to be on the safe side, I would not book onto a Virgin flight over Christmas. Stick to British Airways or one of the American airlines for the Virgin routes. Don’t forget to contact our luxury travel concierge to get a quote before booking as we can offer cheaper Business Class flight prices. We also offer free upgrades, free breakfasts and VIP benefits at luxury hotels.
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