Imagine the effort required to redecorate your home after inviting half a million people to sit in your living room! But feel sorry for Virgin Atlantic engineers who are just about to start sprucing up their fleet of jumbo jets. It’s the ultimate spring clean, requiring 125 project staff from start to finish working over 95,000 hours to fit over 32,000 new parts – each one tested exhaustively and approved by aviation regulators.
From April through to October this year the airline will embark on decorating seven of its Gatwick Boeing 747 fleet at a cost of more than £50 million. In what seems a never-ending DIY job, seats will be ripped out and the biggest paint job will take place on the outside of the aircraft.
In total there will be 14 major suppliers involved with 125 staff working on ‘doing up’ the aircraft. Virgin Atlantic engineers will be replacing over 32,000 parts from nuts and bolts to new seats and possibly the biggest roll of new carpet ever. And a time lapse photography film, showing each Virgin plane being stripped back to the essentials before being re-assembled using new components is being made for YouTube.
Once the decorating is finished, passengers travelling to holiday destinations including Orlando, the Caribbean and Las Vegas will be the first to see the newly decorated planes which will have a fresh vibrant feel and include a new inflight entertainment system, and new seats in Economy and Premium Economy.
Greg Dawson, Director of Corporate Communications for Virgin Atlantic comments:
“This investment is a testament to Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to offer the best on board experience and comfort in the UK leisure market. The team of engineers have a huge task on their hands as they redecorate each of the seven 747-400 every three to four weeks”