Virgin Atlantic Partners With Aircraft Parts Specialist For Old Fleet Inventory

Virgin Atlantic has phased out its older widebodies to be replaced by new-generation aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 (pictured).
Credit: Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic has partnered with UK-based parts specialist Bii to oversee consignment and storage of surplus inventory from widebody aircraft types retired from its fleet in the past two years.

Bii, an aircraft parts and services provider based close to London Gatwick Airport, will manage the surplus assets of Virgin’s formerly operated Boeing 747-400s, Airbus A330-200s and A340-600s. 

Materials which will fall under its remit include engines, auxiliary power units and avionics. Under the terms of the agreement, Bii will manage and market the material to secure revenue from the excess stock, which will be available either through sale, exchange or loan.

The process for transfer of materials from Virgin’s Cardiff stores to Bii’s warehouse near Gatwick will happen over a period of 90 days.

Once it has arrived, Bii will inspect materials and unserviceable items will be re-tagged by the company’s in-house repair team, which works with audited MRO shops across the world.

“Having stock available from the shelf is one of Bii’s key goals going forward,” says Francis Cradock, CEO of Bii. “This agreement works perfectly from both companies’ perspectives and harmonizes with our existing consignment business for engines and 737 teardown materials with other partners.”

Craddock adds that the agreement is the company’s largest to date for this type of deal. 

Martyn Haines, head of supply chain and commercial at Virgin Atlantic, says the airline was keen to find a partner that would prioritize its material and reach the market to gain revenue from the stock quickly.

Virgin Atlantic’s 747 and A340 were parked at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 before leaving service later that year. The airline retired its last A330-200 in May this year, but still operates 10 A330-300s. It is also scheduled to take delivery of its first A330-900 in September.

The retirements were made to accommodate new-generation widebody aircraft types such as Boeing 787-9s and Airbus A350-1000s. Virgin currently operates 17 787s and nine A350s.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.