Virgin Atlantic takes delivery of Ruby Slipper, the first-ever Virgin A350 to land at Manchester

Sep 10, 2020

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Welcome to the Virgin Atlantic fleet, Ruby Slipper.

Wednesday saw the arrival of Virgin Atlantic‘s fifth A350 — named Ruby Slipper. The A350-1000 aircraft, registered G-VDOT, made the one-hour, 39-minute flight from the Airbus factory in Toulouse, arriving into Manchester at 12:54 p.m. As noted by Anthony Bryant, the delivery marked the first time a Virgin Atlantic A350 has landed at Manchester Airport (MAN).

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(Photo by Anthony Bryant Photography)
(Photo by Anthony Bryant Photography)

It’s not clear how long G-VDOT will remain at MAN before it enters service. TPG reached out to Virgin about why the plane was delivered to Manchester rather than Heathrow, however, did not receive a response by time of publication.

The delivery to MAN could mean the A350 might operate some routes from the airline’s northern hub. Currently, however, when Virgin Atlantic flights from Manchester (MAN) to Atlanta (ATL) and Barbados (BGI) are set to return in October, they’re currently scheduled to be operated by the airline’s A330s.

Related: Watch TPG UK review all 3 cabins on Virgin Atlantic’s brand-new Airbus A350

Ruby Slipper sitting pretty under the watchful eye of the iconic Manchester Airport control tower (Photo by Anthony Bryant Photography)

Elsewhere in its network, Virgin is slowly reintroducing routes to its network and recently added five routes from Heathrow, bringing the total to 11. The arrival of G-VDOT follows from the latest announcement of new routes from London and Manchester to Islamabad (ISB), as well as LHR to Lahore (LHE) — both in Pakistan.

The passenger experience onboard the A350 is a welcome improvement to the airline’s now-retired A340s and Boeing 747s. In the Upper Class cabin, the new Upper Class Suite product is a vast improvement to the previous generation business-class products the airline offers. 

Featured photo by Anthony Bryant Photography.

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