Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-200 Fleet List and Details

Mojave in 2002 followed by G-VIBE, which had been renamed “Spirit of New York”, G-VPUF “High As A Kite” and G-VRUM “Calypso Queen” in 2003.

A leased Air Atlanta aircraft TF-ABA operated for the airline in 2002.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-200 services ended in April 2005 when G-VSSS on lease from Air Atlanta was removed from the Manchester - Orlando route.

Of the sixteen Boeing 747-200s to service with Virgin Atlantic only six remain in service, G-TKYO and G-VRGN as freighters with US freight carrier Kalitta Air, G-VLAX and G-VJFK with Kabo Air of Nigeria and G-VRUM with Southern Winds of Argentina.



Boeing 747-200

The Boeing 747-200 can fairly be described as the aircraft on which Virgin Atlantic was built. A total of sixteen 747-400s operated for Virgin Atlantic over a twenty year period from Virgin Atlantic’s first flight in June 1984.


The first aircraft to join the ranks was G-VIRG “Maiden Voyager”, a 1975 vintage machine that had previously seen service with Aerolineas Argentinas. This was joined at London Gatwick in 1986 by G-VGIN “Scarlet Lady”, a 1971 machine new to Alitalia which has been leased to various airlines around the world.


G-TKYO “Maiden Japan” and G-VRGN “Maiden of Honour” both formerly with Singapore Airlines arrived in 1989 followed by G-VOYG “Shady Lady”, ironically an aircraft that had seen service with British Airways in 1990.


Further expansion saw former QANTAS machines G-VJFK “Boston Belle” and G-VLAX “California Girl” join the ranks in 1991.


Two aircraft were leased in the early 1990s to cover non-availability of the fleet with KLM’s PH-BUG operating for a month in 1992 and Air New Zealand’s ZK-NZX for five months in 1993.


G-TKYO “Maiden Japan” departed the fleet in 1994 when the first Boeing 747-400 arrived and was followed by G-VRGN “Maiden of Honour” in 1995.

 










In the late 1990s quality 747-200s were available cheaply and Virgin Atlantic took two aircraft from Cathay Pacific, G-VCAT “Wild Thing” and G-VRUM “Calypso Girl” in 1998. There were followed five aircraft from Air New Zealand; G-VBEE “Honeypie”, G-VIBE “Dancing Queen”, and G-VZZZ “Morning Glory” in 1999, followed by G-VPUF “High As a Kite” and G-VSSS “Island Lady” (the former ZK-NZX which had been leased in 1993) in 2000.

The arrival of these “new” machines saw G-VGIN “Scarlet Lady”, G-VIRG “Maiden Voyager”, G-VJFK “Boston Belle” and G-VLAX “California Girl” withdrawn in 2001.

G-VCAT “Wild Thing” went to Air Atlanta Icelandic in 2001 but returned to service with Virgin Atlantic in 2002. G-VBEE also went to Air Atlantic Icelandic in 2000 as TF-AFN but returned to Virgin Atlantic service in 2002 and 2004 in Silver Dream Machine livery under that registration before taking up G-VBEE again for most of the 2004 season.

Following the downturn in demand following the September 11 2011 events the 747-200 fleet rapidly diminished with G-VZZZ “Morning Glory” - which had been repainted into Silver Dream Machine livery in 2001 - heading for desert storage at