At the moment, VS have 2 based Boeing 747-400s at MAN, which are to be used on the Orlando route yes.
However, in summer at peak periods, a third B744 is scheduled to operate from MAN, whether that be part week based unit or Positioned in from LHR for example.
Indeed, at weekends only, VS use LHR based Airbus A340's.
Virgins, Boeing 747-400, G-VLIP, with its newly added Harry Potter decal added to the fuselage, arrived at Manchester May 27th. operating the MCO route. Its decal party advertises the newly opened area at Universal Studios Theme Park, Florida. (Makes sense perhaps putting it on the MCO)
Does anyone know why VS75 is showing as 10hr 29 mins air time when its usually somewhere just less than 9hrs? Looking on flight tracker it's also gone well up in to Canada rather than sticking on the coast line down the eastern seaboard.
My guess is that its either wrong, or it comes down to the weather! Winds may have been better away from the East coast or maybe there were storms on the east coast. Looking at this history it has taken that route before.
having being lucky enough to fly to Orlando MCO from MAN three times in recent years on Virgin B744's (with 5 out of the 6 flights being full barring an odd empty seat so approx 450 passengers) it crossed my mind that once the A330's appear on the route in april Virgin are going to be carrying approx one third less passengers than with 744's. Does anyone know whether 744's are likely to be retained on some flights or is there a possibility of another carrier appearing on the route for the excess passengers? It also occurred to me if Virgin can regularly fill a 744 could MAN - MCO potentially be a route for an A380 in future?
As a result of the A330, a B744 will also fly 4 days a week, making the MAN-MCO 11 weekly (as opposed to 10 weekly in 2010).
On an interesting note, for January 2012 LGW-MCO will only be a daily A333 whereas MAN-MCO will be daily A333, plus 3 weekly B744. This will be the first ever time MAN-MCO has more capacity, level of service and frequency than the LGW-MCO.