LONDON, July 1 Virgin Atlantic Airways threw its
weight behind a possible revamp of the Airbus A330 jet
on Tuesday, saying it would consider placing an order if the
price and economics worked out correctly, but urged Airbus to
make a rapid decision.
Airbus is considering whether to upgrade the wide-body jet,
having selected Rolls-Royce as sole engine supplier for
the possible upgraded version, industry sources have said.
"On paper it looks a fantastic offering. It will come with
an increase in ownership costs, but as long as this is kept
under control ... it will be appealing to a good number of
airlines," Alan Leeks, the airline's head of strategic fleet
planning, told the Ascend Flightglobal Finance Forum in London.
Asked whether Virgin Atlantic, which already operates
current A330s, would consider placing an order for the upgraded
version, he said "yes", adding that the revamped "A330neo" would
offer a "very significant reduction" in fuel consumption.
Virgin Atlantic may, however, further delay taking delivery
of six Airbus A380 superjumbos that it has long had on order, he
(Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by James Regan)