Posts Tagged ‘Virgin Atlantic Airways’


[BBC NewsVirgin Atlantic has unveiled details of its UK domestic service, including that the operation is called Little Red.

Sir Richard promised that Little Red will have a

Sir Richard promised that Little Red will have a “rock and roll spirit” Photo: Wikipedia

t will launch on 31 March in Manchester, 5 April in Edinburgh and 9 April in Aberdeen, providing a total of 26 daily services to Heathrow airport.

Virgin won key take-off and landing slots at Heathrow after the struggling carrier Bmi was taken over by British Airways’ parent company IAG.

Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson said Little Red will go head-on with BA.

BA operates around 52 daily flights between Heathrow and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. BA also runs services to Scotland from Gatwick and London City airports.

Virgin Atlantic hopes that Little Red, which will use Heathrow Terminal 1, will help feed traffic onto its international service operating from Terminal 3.

Sir Richard said on Friday that Little Red will “go head-to-head with BA to provide domestic flights that deliver Virgin Atlantic’s rock and roll spirit as well as real value for money.”

Read the original story at BBC News…..


BBC News
1st Mar, 2013


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Heathrow Airport today announced that the new Terminal 2 will be home to STAR Alliance and Aer Lingus flights as well as Virgin Atlantic’s domestic routes when it opens in 2014.

The decision on which airlines will operate from the terminal follows a nine-month consultation with airlines which was prompted by the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways.

The decision on which airlines will operate from the terminal follows a nine-month consultation with airlines which was prompted by the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways. Photo Courtesy BAA Media Centre

The new Terminal 2 will give Heathrow the best passenger facilities of any major hub in Europe. 75% of passengers at Heathrow already rate their experience as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Very Good’ following the opening of Terminal 5 and the refurbishment of Terminals 1, 3 and 4 (up from 41% in 2006). The airline moves announced today would enable the early closure of Terminal 1 which would allow all passengers to travel through new or refurbished terminals from 2016.

The new terminal marks the latest phase of an £11 billion transformation of Heathrow. 20 million passengers a year will eventually use the new terminal, which consists of a main terminal building plus satellite building and aircraft parking stands. The £2.5billion development is the largest privately-funded construction project in the UK and has been delivered at no cost to the taxpayer. 35,000 people will have worked on the terminal over the lifetime of the project.

The decision on which airlines will operate from the terminal follows a nine-month consultation with airlines which was prompted by the sale of bmi to IAG, the owner of British Airways.

Since the review began in March 2012, Heathrow has met with airlines and the Civil Aviation Authority on a regular basis to agree the terms of reference and evaluation process and to listen to feedback. All the relevant data has been shared with all parties to ensure a fair and transparent process. Heathrow is required to treat all airlines equitably, and 18 separate options for the new terminal were considered and assessed against agreed criteria. The process has led to the decision that the following airlines will operate from Terminal 2:

STAR Alliance. The STAR Alliance network is one of three global airline alliances, and the second largest alliance operating from Heathrow. Its airlines currently operate from Terminals 1, 3 and 4. Globally, STAR has the highest number of member airlines, daily flights, and destinations of any airline alliance. Its airline members operating from Heathrow include: Aegean Air, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EgyptAir, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Swiss International Airlines, TAP Air Portugal, Thai Airways International, Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways.

Aer Lingus. Aer Lingus is the national airline of Ireland and Heathrow’s fourth largest airline. Aer Lingus currently operates from Terminal 1.

Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic is the UK’s second largest long-haul airline with a fleet of 40 aircraft. From summer 2013, Virgin Atlantic will operate domestic routes from Heathrow to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen following the award of ‘remedy slots’ as a result of IAG’s acquisition of bmi. These flights will initially operate from Terminal 1 (where bmi was based) before moving to Terminal 2 in 2014. Virgin Atlantic’s international flights will continue to operate from Terminal 3. Heathrow will continue to work with Virgin Atlantic on how its services might be co-located in the future.

Heathrow is still in discussion with those airlines which currently operate from Terminal 1 and are not members of the Star Alliance (El Al, Icelandair, Cyprus Airways, Germanwings and Transaero), about their future location when Terminal 1 closes. We expect to conclude these discussions in early 2013.

John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Development Director, said:

“Terminal 2 will offer a significant improvement for passengers travelling through Heathrow. Providing all airlines and their passengers with great facilities is a key part of our vision for Heathrow. Terminal 5 was recently voted by passengers as the best airport terminal in the world and the opening of Terminal 2 will mark another major step forward.”


BAA Press & Media Centre
11th Dec, 2012



[Reuters] U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines said it had bought Singapore Airlines‘ 49 percent stake in Britain’s Virgin Atlantic for $360 million (223.7 million pounds) and agreed a transatlantic joint venture with Virgin.

The airlines said they would file an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for competition clearance

The airlines said they would file an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for competition clearance: Photo: Wikipedia

Virgin and Delta on Tuesday said under the joint venture they would share costs and revenues on routes between Britain and North America.

The pair plan to cooperate on services between New York and London, with a total of nine daily round-trip flights from London Heathrow to John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport.

“Our new partnership with Virgin Atlantic will strengthen both airlines and provide a more effective competitor between North America and the U.K., particularly on the New York-London route, which is the largest airline route between the U.S. and Europe,” said Delta Chief Executive Richard Anderson.

The airlines said they would file an application with the U.S. Department of Transportation for competition clearance and that the deal would need to be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union’s competition regulator.

The deal will enable Delta to expand at London’s Heathrow airport, a lucrative hub for corporate passengers where landing slots are generally hard to acquire. Virgin is the second-largest carrier at Heathrow after IAG’s British Airways.

Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport, is operating at close to full capacity after Britain’s coalition government blocked its expansion in 2010.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson said he would…….

Read the full story at Reuters……

 


Reuters
11th Dec, 2012



[Flightglobal] Virgin Atlantic Airways has fleshed out further details of its upcoming entry into the UK domestic market, confirming plans to operate “multiple daily flights” from London Heathrow airport to two Scottish cities.

Virgin will add new Heathrow services to Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

Virgin will add new Heathrow services to Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Photo: Wikipedia

The airline had previously announced that flights from Manchester to Heathrow will begin on 31 March 2013, becoming its first domestic feeder service.

In the “second stage” of its domestic expansion, Virgin will add new Heathrow services to Edinburgh and Aberdeen. International Airlines Group (IAG), the parent company of rival British Airways, currently has a monopoly on both routes following its acquisition of BMI.

“At least 1.8 million Scottish passengers, equivalent to a third of the population, have been left without a choice on these routes since IAG’s takeover of BMI,” says outgoing Virgin chief executive Steve Ridgway, who will leave the company next spring.

“As a monopoly operator, BA has the opportunity, the incentive and the means to increase fares and reduce the number of flights available.”

BA is reducing Heathrow-Aberdeen flights by almost one-third and Heathrow-Edinburgh flights by one-quarter when compared with the number of combined services previously operated by the flag carrier and its one-time rival BMI, Virgin claims.

Ridgway had earlier acknowledged that Scottish routes will likely form the backbone of its upcoming domestic operations – to be served by leased Airbus A319s.

IAG has been forced to relinquish 14 slot pairs at Heathrow in order to trim its market share at the hub following the BMI acquisition. Competition RX, the company monitoring the slot auction, says at least seven of those slots must be used for Edinburgh or Aberdeen flights.

Virgin is bidding for 12 of the slots, with the remaining two earmarked for Transaero’s Moscow route. Tickets for Manchester went on sale last month and Virgin says the route will be operated irrespective of how many slots it ultimately secures.

However, no such assurance has been given for flights to Edinburgh, Aberdeen or Moscow – also tentatively announced by Virgin – and with tickets yet to go on sale it appears that all three routes are predicated on its success in the slot auction.

Read the original story at Flightglobal……

 


Story by Martin Rivers
14th Sept, 2012



[Meridian] The world’s newest passenger plane, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will make its first crossing across the Atlantic from Heathrow in February.

The plane is set to revolutionise air travel with a host of new features.  Photo: United Continental Holdings

The plane is set to revolutionise air travel with a host of new features. Photo: United Continental Holdings

United Airlines will make the first flight from to Houston from Heathrow  in February. It will also fly from Amsterdam in December.

The Dreamliner was partly developed at Farmborough and some of its components are built in Hampshire, Dorset, Kent and Sussex.

Around one thousand are on order for the plane that burns less fuel and has many passenger benefits including bigger windows, more space and a new clean air system and lighting aimed at reducing jet lag.

Dreamliner cabin interior.  Photo: United Continental Holdings

Dreamliner cabin interior. Photo: United Continental Holdings

Qatar Airways also plan to operate a 787 from Heathrow later this year and both Virgin Atlantic and BA have ordered the plane.

Thomson will be the first UK airline to fly the plane from Gatwick early next year.

Read the original story at ITV News-Meridian…..


ITV News
30th Aug, 2012



[BBC News] Virgin Atlantic is to begin a short-haul service between London Heathrow and Manchester from next March.

Virgin Atlantic boss Steve Ridgeway stated: "We'll put in some of the twists that people know and love"

Virgin Atlantic boss Steve Ridgeway stated: “We’ll put in some of the twists that people know and love”. Photo Wikipedia

The airline says its first foray into the UK domestic market will provide competition for British Airways.

It will also provide a regional link for passengers using its long-haul services from Heathrow, it says.

Virgin denied the move was a response to Virgin Rail being told it was losing the West Coast Mainline franchise that covers London to Manchester.

The franchise, held by Virgin since 1997, will be taken on by FirstGroup later this year, the government announced last week.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway told the BBC the move was about increasing choice for UK passengers.

“Since BMI was swallowed by BA, competition in domestic routes has disappeared,” he said.

BA-owner International Airlines Group bought BMI earlier this year.

By offering access to the international hub Heathrow, the new route was about “keeping Manchester and the North East connected with the rest of the world,” he added.

The airline says it will operate three daily flights to Manchester using Airbus A319 aircraft from 31 March 2013. Initially, Mr Ridgway said these aircraft would be leased.

Virgin says that 65% of people who fly from Manchester to London then connect on to another long-haul flight, and they want a share of that market.

Fuel prices

Manchester Airports Group said Virgin was already a strong carrier at the airport with long-haul routes to Barbados, Orlando and Las Vegas.

“We aim to support our airlines as they look to grow and we hope the success of Virgin’s domestic services will lead to further expansion at Manchester,” said Ken O’Toole, chief commercial officer at Manchester Airports Group (MAG).

Virgin Atlantic was founded by Sir Richard Branson, and is 49% owned by Singapore Airlines.

Earlier this month it reported an annual loss because of higher fuel prices.

The carrier made a loss of £80m in the 12 months to the end of February, compared with a profit of £18.5m a year earlier.

BA said in a statement that it was “confident that our excellent customer service and great value fares will continue to set the standard in UK short-haul aviation”.

See the original story and interview at BBC News . . . . .


BBC News
21st Aug, 2012



 [Independant] Heathrow‘s capacity problems could be solved without the need for a new runway, as strict rules on take-offs and landings are eased from next month.

The plan could allow 120,000 extra aircraft movements each year at Europe's busiest airport.

The plan could allow 120,000 extra aircraft movements each year at Europe’s busiest airport.

The “silver bullet” solution to the airport’s congestion crisis could unlock up to 25 per cent more slots with no extra building. Introducing so-called “mixed mode” flying – under which runways are used for both take-offs and landings at the same time – could allow 120,000 extra aircraft movements each year at Europe’s busiest airport.This would call into question the need for either a third runway or an entirely new airport in the Thames Estuary. New rules coming into force on 1 July will increase the number of circumstances in which simultaneous runway use is permitted. Heathrow says this will not for now lead to a net increase in slots, but it is under pressure from the airline industry to extend the scheme to allow more take-offs and landings.

The fact that the Department for Transport has agreed to tinker with long-standing rules against “mixed mode” indicates they may be willing to overrule local residents’ objections.

How a mixed mode runway operation works

Steve Ridgway, the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, told The Independent: “Mixed mode … would allow a more efficient use of the existing, overstretched runways at Heathrow.”

When working to full capacity – which it does much of the time – Heathrow can handle up to 44 departures and 43 arrivals every hour. Yet its nearest rival is even more productive: Gatwick is the world’s busiest single-runway airport by a wide margin, with up to 54 movements an hour.

A study carried out by the air-traffic provider NATS concluded mixed mode could boost Heathrow’s capacity by up to 15 per cent – adding 10 million passengers to today’s annual total of 70 million. But a spokesperson for NATS said the operating changes needed to achieve that increase would require……

Read the full story at The Independant…..


Story by Simon Calder
23rd June, 2012