Virgin Atlantic has taken delivery of the first of 12 A350-1000 aircraft, which features the airline’s new Upper Class Suite.

The aircraft is due to go into service on the Heathrow-New York JFK route from 10 September, initially operating six flights per week, every day except Thursday until 26 October. It will serve flight VS153, departing Heathrow at 1330 and arriving into JFK at 1625, returning on VS138 at 1900, landing back into London at 0720 the following day.

From 25 September, the A350 will switch to flight VS137 leaving London at 1150 and arriving into New York at 1450. From 26 October until 28 March, the aircraft will not operate on Tuesdays.

The A350 features Virgin Atlantic’s new Upper Class Suite, which is configured in a 1-2-1 lay-out with seats facing outwards towards the windows rather than the current herringbone configuration where seats face into the cabin.

The suites offer a 44-inch seat pitch converting to a fully flat bed measuring 82 inches, and Virgin Atlantic said the new seat “will transition seamlessly from an upright seat, straight to a bed” rather than having to stand up to flip it over into bed mode.

Upper Class passengers also have access to the new A350 social space The Loft.

Virgin Atlantic is scheduled to take delivery of four A350s this year, with a further eight on order for delivery by 2021.

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