Virgin Atlantic is to launch a new route from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv from Monday 25 September 2019.
Flights will operate daily and the route will be operated with an Airbus A330 aircraft.
It is relatively rare for Virgin to launch a route to a destination outside the US. Indeed, many non-US routes have been suspended in recent years in favour of increased flights to the US. Tel Aviv is also a destination already well served from London by BA, easyJet and El Al. However, this route is likely to have been chosen to pick up feeder traffic to Delta and Virgin flights to the US.
When Air France-KLM and Virgin combine their respective transatlantic joint-ventures with Delta, it will also benefit from joint-marketing by Air France and KLM.
Virgin Atlantic has not yet officially confirmed the schedule, but local media report an afternoon departure from London Heathrow and an early morning departure from Tel Aviv, subject to seasonal changes.
London Heathrow – Tel Aviv
Flight VS453 Depart London Heathrow 13:30 – Arrive Tel Aviv 20:35
Flight VS454 Depart Tel Aviv 07:15 – Arrive London Heathrow 11:10
From Sunday 27 October 2019:
Flight VS453 Depart London Heathrow 16:00 – Arrive Tel Aviv 23:05
Flight VS454 Depart Tel Aviv 06:05 – Arrive London Heathrow 09:55
Virgin Atlantic has suspended its daily service from London Heathrow to Dubai from Sunday 31 March 2019.
The route was taken off sale today, Wednesday 27 June 2018. Virgin Atlantic has been flying to Dubai since March 2006. Its suspension follows the the cancellation of a number of routes outside of North America from London Heathrow including Accra, Cape Town, Mumbai, Nairobi, Sydney, Tokyo Narita, and Vancouver.
There will be of course continue to be substantial capacity between London and Dubai with Emirates operating six A380s a day from London Heathrow alone, as well as three times daily flights from Gatwick and daily flights from Stansted. BA will also continue to fly to Dubai up to three times daily from London Heathrow.
Virgin has not yet announced any re-accommodation arrangements for displaced passengers. However, if your flight is cancelled you are entitled to a full refund.
Virgin Atlantic has today, Wednesday 16 May 2018, announced a series of changes to its transatlantic route network.
As part of these changes, Virgin is to move its route to Las Vegas from Gatwick to Heathrow from Sunday 31 March 2019.
Virgin Atlantic has flown from London Gatwick to Las Vegas since June 2000. At the time it was the only airline to fly direct to Las Vegas from London. That was until BA launched its own route from Heathrow in October 2009. Virgin has also operated limited flights from London Heathrow for the Consumer Electronics Show.
Due to the move the flight will switch from a Boeing 747 to Boeing 787. This means a significant increase in Upper Class seats from 14 to 31 and a decrease in premium economy seats from 66 to 35 and economy seats from 375 to 192. The additional flight at Heathrow will be accommodated by a reduction in frequency on London Heathrow – Los Angeles.
Operating from Heathrow will enable Virgin to compete against BA which offers substantially more premium capacity with its Boeing 747 service from Heathrow.
BA will continue to fly to Las Vegas from Gatwick year-round. Norwegian also flies from Gatwick to Las Vegas on a winter seasonal basis from 5 November 2018.
London Heathrow – Las Vegas
Flight VS155 Depart London Heathrow 12:40 – Arrive Las Vegas McCarran International 15:25
Flight VS156 Depart Las Vegas McCarran Internaional 19:05 – Arrive London Heathrow 12:55
Additional Boston Frequency
Virgin Atlantic has also announced an additional flight to Boston will launch on Sunday 31 March 2019.
It will be operated by an Airbus A330-300 aircraft. An additional transatlantic day flight is certainly welcome.
Flight VS157 Depart London Heathrow 20:30 – Arrive Boston Logan International 23:00
Flight VS158 Depart Boston Logan Internaional 19:05 – Arrive London Heathrow 20:10
These flights will be on sale at Virgin Atlantic from Saturday 19 May 2018.
Virgin has also confirmed that winter seasonal flights from London Heathrow to Barbados will return on Tuesdays and Saturdays from Tuesday 11 December 2018 to Saturday 23 February 2019.
Virgin Atlantic is to operate two special return flights between London Heathrow (departing on Sunday 7 & Monday 8 January 2018) and Las Vegas (returning Friday 12 & Saturday 13 January 2018) for the benefit of visitors to the annual Consumer Electronics Show.
Virgin Atlantic is to operate two special return flights between London Heathrow and Las Vegas for the benefit of visitors to the annual Consumer Electronics Show in January 2018.
The flights will depart London Heathrow on Sunday 7 and Monday 8 January 2018 and will return from Las Vegas on Friday 12 and Saturday 13 January 2018.
Flights will be operated using Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner which features a larger Upper Class cabin as well as amenities such as in-flight WiFi.
These will complement Virgin’s existing Boeing 747 service between London Gatwick and Las Vegas and will compete BA’s own direct Boeing 747 services between London Heathrow and Las Vegas which can operate up to twice daily.
This new “pop up” route does point to Virgin being flexible with its schedule to take advantage of peaks in demand. The airline is to also launch a seasonal route from London Heathrow to Barbados in December 2017, which will again complement its London Gatwick service.
Virgin Atlantic is to launch a new winter seasonal route from London Heathrow to Barbados.
The airline will fly from London Heathrow to Barbados Grantley Adams International Airport from Tuesday 12 December 2017 to Saturday 24 February 2018. Flights will operate twice weekly each Tuesday and Saturday. The route is then scheduled to resume on Tuesday 11 December 2018.
This will be the only direct route between London Heathrow and Barbados. This will complement Virgin Atlantic’s existing daily service from London Gatwick.
Flights will be operated using an Airbus A330 aircraft with 33 Upper Class, 48 Premium Economy and 185 Economy seats.
Virgin Atlantic has announced it is suspending its summer seasonal route from London Heathrow to Chicago O’Hare airport from summer 2017.
The seasonal route had been due to return in 2017 from May to October. However, the route has now been suspended permanently.
It is something of understatement to say that the Chicago route has something of a chequered history at Virgin Atlantic.
The route has been launched and suspended on more than one occasion and most recently has operated on a summer seasonal basis only. It is highly unlikely that the route will now ever return.
Whilst no reason has been given for the cancellation, it is likely that United and British Airways & American Airlines offering significantly higher frequencies (some six joint daily flights in the case of AA & BA) has put Virgin Atlantic at a competitive disadvantage.
Affected passengers should contact either Virgin Atlantic or their travel agent to arrange re-routing via Delta and Virgin Atlantic services to other North American gateways such as New York JFK and Detroit.
Virgin Atlantic’s “Little Red” short-haul airline which operated flights between London Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen using aircraft and crews leased from Aer Lingus has ended operations as of Saturday 26 September 2015.
Virgin Atlantic’s short-lived “Little Red” UK domestic network has now closed. Virgin Atlantic has now reverted back to being an exclusively long-haul airline.
Little Red’s last flight was VS3025 from Aberdeen to London Heathrow late on Saturday 26 September 2015.
The short-lived subsidiary operation of Virgin Atlantic, lasting a little over two years, flew between London Heathrow and Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
It was born partly out of the requirement for British Airways to make slots available to competitors as a condition of the takeover of bmi British Midland by its parent company, International Airlines Group.
In the absence of any alternative airline coming forward to bid for the slots, the slot pairs forfeited by British Airways will now revert back to the airline.
This leaves British Airways as the sole operator of UK domestic flights from the North of England and Scotland to London Heathrow.
In terms of the impact of the closure of Little Red on connectivity to London Heathrow, British Airways is required to make seats available on its UK domestic network got connections to Virgin Atlantic and other airlines which codeshared with Virgin Atlantic Little Red such as United Airlines and Air New Zealand.
Virgin Atlantic’s “Little Red” flights from London Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh will end on Saturday 26 September 2015. Until another airline bids for the slots, they will revert back to British Airways.
Virgin Atlantic’s “Little Red” flights from London Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh will end on Saturday 26 September 2015.
These flights were operated with slots forfeited by British Airways as a consequence of the takeover by its parent company, International Airlines Group, of bmi.
The trustee appointed to oversee the release of these slots did re-advertise them. The deadline for applications was 2 April 2015.
In the absence of any announcement to the contrary, we can only deduce that no bidder has come forward. This means that the slots will revert back to British Airways.
It also cannot be a co-incidence that BA has just announced an additional 7 flights a week from Sunday 25 October 2015 to Paris Charles de Gaulle, Amsterdam, Milan–Malpensa airport, Zurich, Geneva, Newcastle and Edinburgh. In addition, BA will add an additional 4 flights a week to Manchester.
Finally, it’s worth noting that holders of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can redeem their miles for Virgin Little Red flights from 7,500 miles. Flying Club members can also earn bonus miles on Little Red flights before it closes.
Virgin Atlantic’s has suspended its “Little Red” short-haul flights between London Heathrow and Manchester as of late March 2015. Virgin Atlantic “Little Red” will continue to fly between London Heathrow and Aberdeen and Edinburgh until Saturday 26 September 2015.
The winding down of Virgin Atlantic’s short-lived UK domestic operation “Little Red” has started with the London Heathrow – Manchester route now suspended, some two years after it first launched.
Virgin Atlantic’s “Little Red” operation will continue to fly from London Heathrow to Aberdeen and Edinburgh three and six times daily until Saturday 26 September 2015.
It’s also worth adding that holders of Virgin Atlantic Flying Club miles can redeem their miles for Virgin Little Red flights from 7,500 miles. Flying Club members can also earn bonus miles on Little Red flights.
What will happen to the “Little Red” Heathrow slots?
Some of the slots used by Little Red were from Virgin Atlantic’s existing slot portfolio, so some will revert back to Virgin Atlantic.
Many of the slots (at least nine) were forfeited by British Airways as a consequence of the acquisition of bmi by its parent company, International Airlines Group.
The trustee appointed to oversee the release of slots has re-advertised the slots. The deadline for applications is 2 April 2015.
If there is no bidder, the slots will revert back to British Airways.
There are no obvious candidates for the slots. However, a potential candidate would be easyJet if it felt inclined to launch flights at Heathrow to support its increased targeting of the business market.