Flying across continents can feel extremely intimidating, especially if you are flying for the first time.
There are two major aircraft manufacturers for these flights, Boeing and Airbus. While both of these brands have cemented themselves as juggernauts in the industry, which one offers a better trans-Atlantic flying experience?
Virgin Atlantic having the youngest fleet with the newest aircraft. In terms of speed, both Boeing and Airbus have the same flight times on average, with the flight being extremely safe regardless of which airline or aircraft you choose.
In this article, we’re going to go over the differences between Boeing and Airbus when flying trans-Atlantic, their overall safety record, and what the fastest flight is so that you can get off the plane as soon as possible.
Does Virgin Atlantic Use Boeing Or Airbus?
Virgin Atlantic operates a mix of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Currently, their fleet consists of the following:
|Plane Name||Fleet Entry Year|
|Boeing 787-9||October 2014|
|Airbus A350-1000||April 2022|
As you can see from the table above, Virgin Atlantic’s fleet is quite young. In fact, it makes up one of the youngest fleets in the entire sky, with newer aircraft being a priority for the airline.
Which Is Fastest Across The Atlantic Airbus Vs. Boeing?
As of yet, Boeing holds the record for the fastest trans-Atlantic flight.
A Boeing 747, thanks to some lucky winds, was able to go from New York’s JFK Airport to London Heathrow in four hours and fifty-six minutes. On average, this route takes about five hours and 20 minutes.
To be fair, an Airbus A350 is able to hold a cruising speed of Mach 0.899, which is slightly higher than the Mach 0.855 the aforementioned 747 cruised with.
However, due to the nature of turbulence, air traffic, winds, weather warnings, and other factors – aircraft don’t typically reach their maximum speed unless conditions are optimal.
Regardless, whether you go for a Boeing or an Airbus, you won’t really be seeing a major change in speed or overall flight duration.
Your flight’s overall duration will be dependent on the weather conditions of the entire route and not on the make of the aircraft. This is because almost no aircraft reaches its maximum cruising speed. So, the variance is primarily due to the weather.
Which Has The Best Safety Record Airbus Or Boeing?
Airbus has a better safety record compared to Boeing. According to Airfleets, the Airbus has a total of about 133 accidents across its entire fleet. On the other hand, only the Boeing 737, a singular airplane, has about 149 recorded accidents. This doesn’t even account for other aircraft Boeing has.
However, an important factor must be taken into account when discussing these numbers, Boeing is a much older company compared to Airbus. So, they have more aircraft with varying maintenance levels in the air. So, it might not always be the manufacturer’s fault when it comes to accidents.
But, statistically speaking, the Airbus is extremely safe. And while Boeing has stepped up their game in terms of safety as well – Airbus still reigns supreme as producing one of the safest aircraft out there.
Should I Not Fly Boeing?
No, there’s no reason for you not to fly Boeing.
As we’ve mentioned, Boeing simply has been around for longer, and therefore, they have had more time in the air which has led to them going through more accidents. This absolutely does not mean that a Boeing flight is more dangerous by virtue of the fact that there are more Boeing aircraft in the air.
So, regardless of what aircraft you end up going with, you’ll have a safe and trouble-free experience. Choosing between a flight simply because of the aircraft doesn’t really make sense as both have exceptional records.
Check out this YouTube video that shows Virgin Atlantics new Airbus A350.
Which Atlantic Flight Has The Newest Aircraft?
Virgin Atlantic currently has placed orders for the Airbus A330neo. The first flight for this new aircraft is expected to take off from Boston to the U.K. somewhere in early October. This firmly places the British airline as having one of the newest fleets of aircraft in the entire world, especially in trans-Atlantic flights.
Considering the fact that the newer aircraft is an Airbus (which already are safer than Boeing as established prior), a culmination of a new and safer aircraft will lead to quite a stress-free experience.
This is because newer aircraft tend to have more safety features added in for both the pilot and passengers abroad.
Moreover, newer aircraft are less prone to failure simply because their avionics are new. So, we’d wholeheartedly recommend using Virgin Airlines if you want a safe and stress-free experience of flying across the Atlantic.
However, every airline that flies across the Atlantic has met certain safety standards to be able to fly the route. So, you can’t really go wrong with whatever airline you end up choosing.
Should I Be Nervous Flying Trans-Atlantic?
No, you should not be nervous flying trans-Atlantic. We get it; flying across continents with the sprawling Atlantic ocean to see for a few hours can feel daunting. However, this route has been active since 1927.
And we see hundreds and thousands of flights crossing through the Atlantic Ocean at any given moment, with it being one of the busiest oceans to fly over in terms of air traffic.
So, while your anxiety does have its merits, there’s simply no reason for you to be worried.
This is because all aircraft go through rigorous safety and maintenance checks before they are cleared for flying in the air.
You’ll be just another individual making a routine journey under the wise captainship of a pilot with thousands of hours of flight time under their belt.
Trans-Atlantic fights are an experience of a lifetime and they unlock various new parts of the globe.
With that said, both Boeing and Airbus have exceptional safety records with Virgin Atlantic having the newest fleet. But, regardless of what aircraft or airline you opt for – you’ll have a stress-free experience.