Virgin Atlantic A350-1000 Damaged After Catering Truck Hits Engine in New York

by Anthony Losanno
VS26 Gate Gourmet Accident

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A Gate Gourmet vehicle struck a Virgin Atlantic A350-1000’s engine and caused flight VS26 scheduled to operate between New York John F Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) yesterday. No injuries have been reported, but one has to wonder how the driver ended up striking the engine.

The aircraft was parked at the gate when the incident occurred. View from the Wing shares that the list price on a new Rolls-Royce Trent XWB-97 engine (like the one on this aircraft) is $25 million. While this engine could likely be repaired and not need to be replaced entirely, a replacement engine would get the aircraft back in service sooner and the revenue generated should offset the cost.

Virgin Atlantic released the following statement:

Today’s VS26 from New York JFK to London Heathrow has been cancelled following an incident at the gate at JFK involving the engine cowling of a stationary Virgin Atlantic aircraft and a catering service provider’s car that rolled into it. We can confirm that no customers were on board the aircraft during this time.”

Anthony’s Take: Someone is going to have some explaining to do. It’s unclear what caused the driver to strike the engine with this vehicle, but it is a costly mistake and likely caused headaches for all of the passengers that needed to be rebooked.

(Featured Image Credit: @NicotineRosberg via Reddit.)

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