Virgin Atlantic to phase out its Boeing 747 fleet by 2021

London - One more operator is set to phase out its Boeing 747 fleet. British carrier Virgin Atlantic has announced that it would start a gradual removal of its Boeing 747-400s by 2021.

Virgin Atlantic currently has eight 747-400 in its fleet. The company owns only three of them. The remaining five jumbo jets are leased from the American lessor GECAS. Virgin's Boeing 747s are between 18 and 23 years old.

Virgin Atlantic will replace its jumbo jets with Airbus A350-1000s. The airline expects to receive its first Airbus A350-1000 in late summer and three more by the end of the year.

The carrier has 12 Airbus A50-1000 in its order book waiting to be delivered. Eight units will be acquired directly from the European aircraft manufacturer. Other four copies will be delivered by leasing companies.

Virgin plans to deploy its first Airbus A350-1000 on London Heathrow-New York JFK route.

In addition to its eight Boeing 747s, the British airline also operates four Airbus A330-200, eight Airbus A330-300, six Airbus A340-600, on its transatlantic and European routes.