Virgin Atlantic has identified opportunities for investment into its transatlantic schedule as it looks to maximise the benefits of its joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines.
We are outlining a programme of network changes that will significantly increase our presence in the key UK – US travel market, whilst we continue to fly to major strategic destinations in the rest of the world and retain a relevant global presence.
The proposed changes include:
- A new daily service from London Heathrow to Detroit offering new connections across North and Central USA such as Cincinnati, New Orleans, Memphis and Indianapolis*
- A fifth daily service from London Heathrow to New York, JFK
- An additional daily service from London Heathrow to Los Angeles
- An additional daily service during the summer season from London Heathrow to Atlanta
- An additional summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to San Francisco flying five times a week
- An additional daily service during the winter season from London Heathrow to Miami
- A transfer of operations with joint venture partner Delta Air Lines that will see Virgin Atlantic fly a daily service between Manchester and Atlanta and Delta fly one of Virgin Atlantic’s existing London Heathrow to Newark services**. Across the joint venture, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines will now offer ten daily services from London to the New York area.
- In addition, Delta Air Lines will launch a new daily service between Manchester and New York JFK in Summer 2015.
In order to maximise these opportunities, further proposed changes will include:
- A withdrawal of operations to Tokyo Narita with the final flight from London to Narita on 31 January 2015 and the final flight from Narita to London on 01 February 2015.
- A withdrawal of operations to Mumbai with the final flight from London to Mumbai on 31 January 2015 and the final flight from Mumbai to London on 01 February 2015.
- The summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to Vancouver will not return after this season’s flying programme is completed on 11 October 2014.
- The winter seasonal service to Cape Town will operate as planned in winter 2014/15 but will not be renewed the following winter. The final flight from London to Cape Town will be on 26 April 2015 and the final flight from Cape Town to London on 27 April 2015.
Craig Kreeger, Chief Executive at Virgin Atlantic said:
"Our ambition is to be profitable for the long term, earn competitive returns, and invest those into providing the very best experience for our customers on the routes they most want to fly."
"Transatlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region. Today’s announcement allows us to play to our strengths and focus our network on routes between the UK and US, as well as other critical global destinations that are most important to our customers."
"We are confident that with this strengthened network, our new aircraft and our welcoming people delivering unrivalled service, we have all the right ingredients to achieve long-term success."
Among the plans the airline has set out is a commitment to investing in customer experience. A major programme of work is already underway that will see £300m invested by the end of 2018, on the ground and in the air. The imminent arrival of Virgin Atlantic’s first Boeing 787-9 will continue a fleet modernisation programme of over £2bn that will give it one of the youngest fleets in the world.
Virgin Atlantic would like to thank its customers and staff in Tokyo, Cape Town, Mumbai and Vancouver for their loyalty and commitment to our services. In the future if Heathrow gains its long overdue expansion, Virgin Atlantic would love to re-enter Tokyo, Cape Town, Mumbai and Vancouver.
Frequently asked questions
What happens to passengers already booked on flights after the final flight?
We recognise some of our customers will be impacted by these changes and we are taking steps to minimise any disruption to them. We will operate our published schedule until 31st January (Mumbai and Tokyo) and customers can still book flights with us up to that date.
Because the winter 2015 services to Cape Town are not yet on sale, there will be no passengers who have already booked onto those services.
Any customers concerned about their travel arrangements should call 0344 2092774 and we can discuss options with them.
If passengers have booked through a travel agent, they should call their agent to discuss options with them.
What are the options available for passengers?
We will discuss options with passengers and will consider offering a full refund or rebooking them onto another carrier.
Are you offering reprotection with other carriers?
We will be working with other airlines to put reprotection arrangements in place.
What code share options do you have for passengers travelling in the future to the destinations you are cancelling?
Mumbai – Jet Airways has two direct flights per day and we currently codeshare on one of these. We are also seeking to extend our relationship with them to cover Indian domestic routes.
Cape Town – We codeshare with South African Airways via Johannesburg, meaning we can continue to offer a one-stop service, year round.
Tokyo (Narita) – We codeshare with ANA on London- Tokyo Haneda direct on a daily basis.
Vancouver – Our codeshare with Delta means we can continue to offer a seasonal one stop service to Vancouver via New York JFK. Passengers can also connect there from a Delta operated flight at Minneapolis and Seattle.
* Virgin Atlantic is taking over the summer only service that Delta Air Lines currently operates to Detroit and extending this to a year round service.
** This service will be retimed to operate as an overnight flight from Newark.