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Virgin Atlantic Selects Rolls-Royce Engines to Power Its 787 Fleet in a Deal Worth $2.6BN

- Trent 1000 engines have been selected - New environmental partnership with Rolls Royce to focus on lower fuel


SOUTH NORWALK, Conn., March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin Atlantic, one of the world's leading long-haul airlines, today announced it has selected Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines to power its Boeing 787-9 fleet of aircraft.

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The order, worth $2.6b, includes 15 sets of installed engines and four spare engines for Virgin Atlantic's confirmed aircraft order, and engines for the options and purchase rights on a further 28 aircraft. The agreement also includes a long-term maintenance agreement to ensure the engines remain at peak performance through their life. Virgin Atlantic is also forming a new environmental partnership with Rolls-Royce, in which both companies will work together to continually lower fuel burn and emissions.

The 75,000lb thrust Trent 1000 engine will power the airline's 787 order -- which includes 15 firm 787s along with a further 8 aircraft options and 20 purchase rights. Deliveries of the airline's 787s are due from 2011 onwards.

Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic, commented:

"Virgin Atlantic has chosen the cleanest possible engines for its more

fuel-efficient future with the 787 Dreamliner. Rolls-Royce engines will

help us cut emissions per flight by nearly 30 percent as we pursue our

goal to become the most sustainable airline in the world. Our new

environmental partnership will also bring major benefits to the

aviation industry, as we work together to deliver the most efficient

engines in the sky, and continuously improve the fuel burn of our fleet

of aircraft."

James M. Guyette, President & CEO, Rolls-Royce North America, commented:

"This is a vote of confidence in the Trent family by Virgin Atlantic,

which has been a long-standing customer with Rolls-Royce. Working

together to address environmental issues is an aspect of our

relationship where we share a common agenda, and we're excited by the


Virgin Atlantic has a fleet of 38 aircraft -- 19 A340-600s, 6 A340-300s and 13 B747-400s. Currently Virgin Atlantic has Rolls-Royce engines on its entire A340-600 fleet.

The Boeing 787-9, which can carry up to 290 passengers depending on the bed or seat layout, brings a step change in aviation and will substantially reduce the industry's impact on the environment. The Trent-powered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will burn 27 percent less than an A340-300, which equates to an equivalent reduction in carbon emissions per passenger. Its innovative design, with over half of the aircraft built from composite materials, helps to reduce fuel burn and carbon emissions significantly. The noise footprint of the 787-9 is also 60 percent smaller than the A340-300, benefiting local communities living close to airports.

Last week Virgin Atlantic became the first airline in the world to successfully fly a plane using biofuel. The Boeing 747-400 flew between London Heathrow and Amsterdam on a mix of babassu nuts from the Amazon rainforest and coconuts from The Philippines. Virgin Atlantic is also the only airline to offer passengers the opportunity to offset their flights actually onboard the aircraft during their journey. The scheme is a Gold Standard program run in conjunction with Swiss-based company MyClimate.
For further information, please contact the Virgin Atlantic Press Office

at 203.750.2570 or log onto

About Virgin Atlantic

-- Virgin Atlantic is one of the world's leading long-haul airlines

-- It flies to 30 destinations worldwide from its main base at London

Heathrow and London Gatwick

-- There are 38 aircraft in its fleet, comprising 747-400s, A346-600s and


-- Sir Richard Branson is the President of Virgin Atlantic; Steve Ridgway

is the Chief Executive Officer; and Lyell Strambi is the Chief

Operating Officer.

-- In 2007, Virgin Atlantic carried around 6 million passengers

About Rolls-Royce

1. Rolls-Royce, a world-leading provider of power systems and services for

use on land, at sea and in the air, has established a strong position

in global markets -- civil aerospace, defense aerospace, marine and


2. The Group has a broad customer base comprising more than 600 airlines,

4,000 corporate and utility aircraft and helicopter operators, 160

armed forces, more than 2,000 marine customers, including 70 navies,

and energy customers in nearly 120 countries. It employs around 39,500

people worldwide people in offices, manufacturing and service

facilities in 50 countries.

3. Rolls-Royce continues to invest in core technologies, products, people

and capabilities with the objective of broadening and strengthening the

product portfolio, improving efficiency and enhancing the environmental

performance of its products. These investments create high barriers to


4. 60 percent of research and development investment and 40 percent of new

product development spending over the past five years has been outside

the UK. Research and development is carried out in facilities in the

UK, Germany, Italy, Singapore, Japan, the US and Scandinavia, with

particularly strong relationships with the 29 universities where there

are Rolls-Royce University Technology Centers.

5. Annual sales were $14.7b in 2007, of which 55 percent came from

services revenues. The firm and announced order book is $91.45b, of

which aftermarket services represent 30 percent, providing visibility

of future levels of activity.

SOURCE Virgin Atlantic
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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