Virgin Atlantic Airways said Friday it will be the first to fly a new version of an Airbus jumbo jet, complete with on board bedrooms for high-paying travelers, a pub, exercise room and showers.
The $2.5 billion order from Virgin and a $1.4 billion order from Air Canada gave Airbus a big lift two days after the European Union approved Boeing Co.’s purchase of McDonnell Douglas Corp.
Virgin’s order “assures us that we are on the right track by expanding our innovative and modern aircraft family,” said Jean Pierson, the managing director at Airbus Industrie.
Virgin will fly the new Airbus A340-600, a four-engine competitor to Boeing’s big 747s. It can seat up to 375 passengers and fly up to 7,300 miles without refueling.
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