Virgin Atlantic (VS, London Heathrow) has completed the retirement of its fleet of B747-400s with the last unit of the type, G-VROY (msn 32340), ferried from London Heathrow via Las Vegas McCarran to Marana over the course of December 21-22, 2020.

The ch-aviation fleets history module shows that Virgin Atlantic operated a total of thirteen B747-400s. The fleet peaked in 2013 and has been gradually downsizing since then. While at the end of 2019 Virgin Atlantic still had eight of the Boeing quadjets in its fleet, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the type's retirement. The B747's last commercial service for Virgin Atlantic was on March 30 from Los Angeles Int'l to Heathrow.

Following maintenance and reconfiguration, G-VROY, G-VROS (msn 30885), and G-VROM (msn 32339) will be taken over by Atlas Air (5Y, New York JFK) and operated in a high-density passenger configuration.

In the past, Virgin Atlantic also operated B747-100s (all retired by 2000) and B747-200s (2004). The carrier retired its other recently active quadjet type, the A340-600s, earlier this year. Following these developments, the UK carrier's fleet (including its technical subsidiary Virgin Atlantic International) comprises three A330-200s, ten A330-300s, seven A350-1000s, and seventeen B787-9s.

Virgin Atlantic also returned 26 weekly slot pairs at London Gatwick previously leased from Norwegian Group (formally Norwegian Air Norway), effective in the Summer 2021 season. Since the slot return notice included only placeholder schedules, it is impossible to determine which routes will be affected.

Meanwhile, Norwegian itself returned a multitude of slots at Gatwick, mostly to easyJet (U2, London Luton). In two separate deals, Norwegian Air Norway leased, swapped, and returned 61 weekly slot pairs to the British LCC. While not all details of the slot allocation were revealed in the filings, Norwegian gave up slots used both for transatlantic services (among others, to New York JFK, Seattle Tacoma Int'l, Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Rio de Janeiro Int'l, Denver Int'l, Austin Bergstrom Int'l, Boston, and San Francisco, CA) and for short-haul services to Scandinavia and southern Europe.

Norwegian also returned three weekly slot pairs used for Boston flights to British Airways (BA, London Heathrow), which will use them for services to Edinburgh.