Posts Tagged ‘Virgin’

[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


…. but it turns out to be a mobile phone charging in the toilet.

A plane was forced to make an emergency landing after a passenger left their mobile phone charging in the toilet – triggering fears it was a bomb.

A U.S-bound Boeing 767 touches down at Dublin airport

The U.S-bound Delta Air Lines flight diverted to Dublin yesterday due to a ‘possible security situation’ after the device was found plugged into a socket, the company said.

The Boeing 767-300, which was carrying 208 passengers from Istanbul, Turkey, was later cleared by Dublin Airport officials to continue its journey to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport.

Irish Aviation Authority spokeswoman Lilian Cassin said the plane touched down safely at around 4pm and was diverted to an isolated corner of the runway after the pilot requested an emergency landing.

Officers from Ireland’s national police force, the Garda Siochana, boarded the plane, spoke to the pilot about the nature of the suspected bomb and asked any passenger missing their phone to come forward.

One came forward to say they had decided to charge the phone using the restroom’s socket for shavers and left it there, wrapped up in its charging cord.

Another passenger using the restroom reported it might be a bomb.

Police said nobody was hurt or arrested as a result of Monday’s security alert, and the Dublin Airport Authority said no other flights were affected.

Delta spokesman Anthony Black said the aircraft had 208 passengers and 11 crew members.

He said the aircraft was refuelled before continuing its journey…..

Read the full story at The Daily Mail Online….

PUBLISHED:  17 April 2012

Reporting from the scene of the incident – London Gatwick: 12:30 16th April 2012.

Flights in and out of Gatwick Airport are suspended after a plane bound for the United States is forced to make an emergency landing

I’m currently sitting on an easyJet Airbus 319, that was bound for Vienna, at the western holding point. Our aircraft was number one in departure traffic but was held at this point due to an inbound emergency being declared.

Our engines have been shut down.

A Virgin Airbus A330 has just landed under full emergency procedures at Gatwick Airport.

The flight was given a priority landing spot and has stopped on the runway itself after the flight crew were alerted to the possibility of smoke in the cargo hold. The emergency shoots were used to quickly disembark the passengers on to the runway.

All flights, both departing and landing have been put on hold as the stricken aircraft is checked out by Fire Services. Passengers are currently standing to the side of the runway awaiting collection by Gatwick Airport staff.

The aircraft will have to have it’s emergency chutes detached before it can be cleared from the main runway. We have been informed that the delay and the reopening of the runway is likely to take at least an hour.

So far the Fire Service have not found any problems in the cargo holds.

Reported by Chris Newman
For The Airport Informer
12:30 16th April 2012

Virgin Atlantic is preparing to bid for the 12 pairs of Heathrow slots that will be freed up following British Airways’ takeover of bmi as Sir Richard Branson sets his sights on launching his first UK domestic flights.

Virgin, which currently holds 3pc of Heathrow slots, has long hankered after a foothold in the UK domestic market. Photo: Alamy

Virgin, which currently holds 3pc of Heathrow slots, has long hankered after a foothold in the UK domestic market. Photo: Alamy

The airline is calling on the European Commission to ensure the 12 slots are auctioned as one complete package to provide the “most effective” competition to BA-owner International Airlines Group (IAG).

IAG will dominate 51pc of Heathrow slots after the bmi deal completes on April 20, even though it agreed to relinquish 14 pairs of take-off and landing slots to satisfy European competition authorities. Of the 14 pairs, two are already leased to Russian airline Transaero, meaning only 12 would be available for use by a new entrant.

Virgin, which currently holds 3pc of Heathrow slots, has long hankered after a foothold in the UK domestic market. It failed on several occasions to buy bmi.

Julie Southern, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic, said the 12 slots relinquished by IAG were a “wholly inadequate” remedy to increasing competition on certain UK and European routes but the airline would nevertheless be among the bidders. The auction process is expected to commence in several weeks’ time.

Ms Southern told The Daily Telegraph: “We will apply to take up all of the remedy. We think it is important that the 12 pairs of slots stay together. It’s only by flying those all together that you get effective competition.”

Read the whole story at The Telegraph here….

By Nathalie Thomas