Virgin Atlantic is a relatively new airline – that is, compared with the likes of Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines. But it is an airline that draws attention when talking about aviation jobs, especially those available at London Heathrow Airport. This post tells you all you need to know about this British airline as well as the available Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs.
What’s to know about Virgin Atlantic?
This airline, which operates under the trading name Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited, was founded in 1984. Its co-founders Randolph Fields, an American lawyer, and Alan Hellary, an ex-Laker Airways chief pilot, were initially interested in setting up an airline that will operate flights between London and the Falkland Islands, but the idea later had to be shelved due to the short runway at Port Stanley Airport. The airline was initially named British Atlantic Airways before having its name changed to Virgin Atlantic Airways. Its first flight took place in June 1984 from Gatwick Airport to Newark Liberty International Airport.
Headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex, England, Virgin Atlantic obtained permit in 1991 to operate Heathrow, after the abolition of the London Air Traffic Distribution Rules that had governed traffic distribution between Gatwick and Heathrow since 1978 for reasons bordering on profitability. It has its main bases at Heathrow and Gatwick, flying passengers to several international destinations. With a total of 5.4 million passengers handled in 2015, the airline was the seventh-largest in the United Kingdom, making Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs interesting choices for an aviation career.
Virgin Atlantic is managed, along with Virgin Holidays, by holding company Virgin Atlantic Limited, 51 percent of which is owned by the Virgin Group and the remainder by Delta Air Lines. The British airline operates out of Terminal 3 at London Heathrow Airport. It has a UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Type A Operating License which empowers it to fly passengers, cargo and postal mail on planes with 20 or more seats.
Virgin Atlantic Destinations and Fleet
Virgin Atlantic Airways operates flights to more than 30 destinations in North America, Asia, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East from its primary bases at Heathrow and Gatwick, both in London, as well as from a secondary base at Manchester Airport. The joint venture with Delta Air Lines enable the airline offer its customers greater destination choices and seamless connections from the UK to over 200 gateways in North America. The Virgin Atlantic-Delta Air Lines joint venture operates over 30 nonstop flights between the UK and North America daily, with most of these passing through Heathrow. In addition to Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic has codeshare agreements with several other companies, including Air China All Nippon Airways, Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines. It also has a service called ‘Little Red,’ which operates domestic flights within the UK – it will soon cease operation.
The airline flies to its different destinations using a fleet comprising Airbus and Boeing wide-body planes. Airbus A330s, Airbus A340s and Boeing 747s aircraft are used on routes from Heathrow. Virgin Atlantic, which was the first airline to operate an Airbus A340-600 in 2002, uses Airbus A330-300s and Boeing 747-400s aircraft for flights on selected routes from Gatwick, Manchester and Glasgow. It was the first European airline to fly the Boeing 787-9 plane in 2014, having placed order back in 2007 for 17 aircraft with options on five extra. The exercised options are expected to replace the 747 fleet at Heathrow in 2015 and 2016. In addition, the airline is to take delivery of the Airbus A380-800. All these mean more Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs may well be on the way. The current fleet size is 39 aircraft.
Careers at Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Atlantic is such a nice place to consider by anyone interested in an exciting career. Many people who have worked or are currently working on Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs have some good things to say about the experience. An interesting thing about these Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs is that they are open to people from different backgrounds possessing diverse levels of skills and expertise. The most popular positions include:
Virgin Atlantic Pilot – Technical expertise is required to work as an airline pilot due to the nature of work. You may be required to have at least 3,000 hours of flying experience under your belt. Pilots do not only flight planes, but also determine suitability of weather for flying, among other roles. Pilot jobs are probably the best paid among Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs.
Virgin Atlantic Cabin Crew – These employees see to the well being and safety on passengers onboard a Virgin Atlantic flight. Good customer skills are essential to flourish as a cabin crew member. You need to be enthusiastic and a quick thinker. This job enables you visit several countries virtually free without being a pilot.
Virgin Atlantic Customer Service – Working as a customer service agent makes you the face of Virgin Atlantic Airways, in a way. The implication of this is that you need to attend to customer enquiries and provide information to them in a manner that presents the company in a positive light.
There are several other Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs in areas such as cargo, engineering, sales and marketing, finance and information technology. Obviously, you really do not need to be science or engineering-inclined to get a good number of these jobs.
Another good thing about Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs is that the company provides extensive training to new employees to enable them get their career off to a good, assured start, with a manager provided to give you much-needed support. Virgin Atlantic Airways boasts of providing its employees learning opportunities to help them acquire skills and confidence to attain their full potentials. Above all, you get to benefit from career progression, as you are given opportunities to be considered for higher positions. You may as well take advantage of opportunity to work in an entirely area different from the one you were first employed in by the airline.
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Salaries and Benefits
The salaries offered for Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs are attractive enough to make them worthy of consideration. Working as a cabin crew member, you will be able to earn between £13,000 and £20,000 in salary per year. A customer service advisor gets a starting annual salary of about £15,000. A junior analyst (planning & resource) can earn between £20,000 and £25,000 in annual salary, depending on experience. As would be expected, senior or more technical positions fetch higher pay. For example, an engineering systems manager and contract analyst takes home about £40,000 in salary. Some positions, especially senior flying positions, can fetch annual salary in excess of £100,000.
In addition to the competitive salaries that are offered for Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs, employees can also tap into several perks that are offered by Virgin Atlantic Airways. Here are few of the rewards and benefits that are in place for people working on Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs:
Medical and dental care – Virgin Atlantic pays an annual premium for employees to enable them and their loved ones have access to private health care. Special discounted rates are also on offer for your private dental care.
Income protection and profit sharing – In the event that an injury or illness makes it impossible for you to work, you can be rest assured that you will not financially incapacitated as well since the airline provides long-term income protection. Employees can also hope to benefit in a special way when Virgin Atlantic rakes in significant gains in any financial year through its Airshare arrangement for the sharing of such profits.
Pension – The Virgin Atlantic Group Personal Pension Plan helps to make funds available to you when you retire. A personal pension plan provides something to fall back on when you can no longer work. You can make your plan flexible and portable so you can easily take it along when changing jobs.
There is also a ‘Bike-4-Work’ programme which allows you lease a bike for commuting to work in exchange for a portion of your salary and this is capable of helping you save up to 42 percent off regular retail price, according to the airline. Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs also come with several other benefits, including childcare benefit and subsidized staff gym. You can even buy up to one extra week of holiday per year!
Start Your Search
You can head over to the all-embracing job board on out job board website Airport Career Jobs to find the latest Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs at London Heathrow and other places in the UK. In addition to learning about new openings as they become available, you will also be able to get full role descriptions as well as salary information. You will learn if there is any specific training you need to undergo to be eligible for a Virgin Atlantic job that you have in mind.
Searching for and securing one of the available Heathrow Virgin Atlantic Airlines jobs could be one of the best decisions you will ever make. Past and current employees of the airline have described it as a great company to work with, considering the provided perks. You should enjoy working here if you love a challenging and exciting work place.