The Ultimate Spring Clean

By: Maxine Sheppard

April 5, 2012

With spring in the air, Easter around the corner and plenty of bank holidays heading our way, it’s time to think about doing a spot of DIY at home.

But imagine the effort required to redecorate your home after inviting half a million people to sit in your living room! That’s what our Virgin Atlantic engineers will be going through as they start to spruce up our fleet of jumbo jets.


The big refit begins

The big refit begins


It’s the ultimate spring clean, requiring 125 project staff from start to finish working over 95,000 hours to fit over 32,000 new parts – each one tested exhaustively and approved by aviation regulators. From April through to October this year the airline will embark on decorating seven of its Gatwick Boeing 747 fleet at a cost of more than £50 million.

In what seems a never-ending DIY job, seats will be ripped out and the biggest paint job will take place on the outside of the aircraft.  In total there will be 14 major suppliers involved with 125 staff working on “˜doing up’ the aircraft.

Virgin Atlantic engineers will be replacing over 32,000 parts from nuts and bolts to new seats and possibly the biggest roll of new carpet ever.

Check out our time lapse photography film, showing a Virgin plane being stripped back to the essentials before being re-assembled using new components.



Once the decorating is finished, passengers travelling to holiday destinations including Orlando, the Caribbean and Las Vegas will be the first to see the newly decorated planes which will have a fresh vibrant feel and include a new inflight entertainment system, and new seats in Economy and Premium Economy.

To book a flight with Virgin Atlantic, visit


Maxine Sheppard

Maxine is the co-editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.