Virgin celebrates 25 years with new aircraft order

Kate Moss and celebrities join Richard Branson for 25th birthday flight

Kate Moss and Richard Branson: Virgin celebrates 25 years with new aircraft order
Kate Moss and Richard Branson: Virgin celebrates 25 years with new aircraft order

Virgin Atlantic has announced a £1.3bn order for ten new Airbus A330-300 aircraft to be delivered by 2012.  

The aircraft can seat up to 270 passengers and are claimed to be more fuel-efficient.

The Airbus A330-300s will operate on the airline's existing routes, plus new destinations from London such as Beijing, Cancun and Vancouver.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway said: "Despite the worst economic conditions in decades, we are focusing on sustainable growth in the years ahead using the most fuel-efficient aircraft possible. Virgin Atlantic has a strong history of successfully investing during a downturn and our Airbus order sends a strong signal that now is the time to invest in order to help protect jobs and get the world's economy moving again."

Star-studded celebrations

Virgin Atlantic today celebrated its 25th birthday by recreating the airline's first flight to New York that departed on 22 June 1984.

Virgin Atlantic president Sir Richard Branson was joined on board by special guests including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, international cricketer Kevin Pietersen, his wife former Liberty X singer Jessica, along with Ian Botham and actor Christopher Biggins.

Supermodel Kate Moss joined Branson on the wing of the Boeing 747-400 Virgin Atlantic aircraft before the flight's departure.

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Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent a special celebratory message, saying: "Britain is rightly proud of having the world's most innovative and competitive airlines. Virgin Atlantic and Richard Branson's vision and pioneering spirit have changed the global airline business over the past 25 years. Aviation underpins our economic wellbeing."

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