Virgin Atlantic touches down in Tampa with its new Airbus A330-900

Virgin Atlantic Airways made this announcement:

Above Copyright Photo: Eurospot.

Sir Richard Branson has touched down in Tampa Bay for the first time on November 2 on Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural Airbius A330neo flight. The flight was also welcomed by the Mayor of Tampa Jane Castor and CEO of Tampa Airport Joe Lopano, alongside representatives from Visit Tampa Bay and Visit St Pete Clearwater, marking the regions first ever direct services to London Heathrow.

The new Airbus A330neo, named Billie Holiday, flew over a delegation of VIPs, including the airline’s CEO Shai Weiss. On board, guests were treated to an array of the region’s famous cuisine including Cuban sandwiches, key lime pies and Two Tribes Floridian beers. In a nod to the city’s world class sports teams, Sir Richard Branson and Shai Weiss donned the sports jerseys of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Tampa Bay Lightning, as they posed for photographs alongside the airline’s world-famous cabin crew.

The new year-round Florida service will initially fly four times a week before increasing to daily from 28th November, complementing the airline’s flights to Miami and Orlando. This latest addition follows the airline’s launch of direct flights between London and Austin, Texas in May 2022, cementing the USA as Virgin Atlantic’s heartland. The airline’s expanded joint venture with Delta Air Lines and Air France-KLM means customers across the US and Europe will be able to connect seamlessly onto the new service via Heathrow.

Tampa Bay will be one of the first destinations to experience Virgin Atlantic’s brand-new Airbus A330neo which is designed to provide a premium, personalised experience for every single customer. The airline’s Upper Class cabin boasts a brand new seat, evolution of its iconic social space and the unveiling of The Retreat Suite, the most spacious suite in Virgin Atlantic’s history.

Route facts

Aircraft type 

Airbus A330neo, 30 Upper Class suites, 2 Retreat Suites, 46 Premium seats, 28 Economy Delight 156 Economy classic  

Current route frequency 

Daily from 28 November

Flight timings and flight number 

LHR – TPA – VS129 – 13.25 / 19:35 

TPA – LHR – VS130– 21:50 / 10:15 (next day arrival) 

First flight 

2 November 2022

Fares 

 Return fares in Economy are from £440 per person

Virgin Atlantic aircraft photo gallery: