Virgin Atlantic Airways (London) is closely aligning its network with Delta Air Lines (Atlanta), discontinuing four destinations which will free up aircraft for more promising routes or adding to profitable existing routes. The carrier will drop all service to Cape Town (April 27, 2015), Mumbai (February 1, 2015), Tokyo Narita (February 1, 2015) and Vancouver (October 11, 2014). The company issued this statement outlining this major revamp of its system:
Virgin Atlantic has identified opportunities for investment into its trans-Atlantic schedule as it looks to maximize the benefits of its joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines.
We are outlining a program 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 maximize these opportunities, further proposed changes will include:
A withdrawal of operations to Tokyo Narita with the final flight from London to Narita on January 31, 2015 and the final flight from Tokyo Narita to London on February 1, 2015.
A withdrawal of operations to Mumbai with the final flight from London to Mumbai on January 31, 2015 and the final flight from Mumbai to London on February 1, 2015.
The summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to Vancouver will not return after this season’s flying program is completed on October 11, 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 April 26, 2015 and the final flight from Cape Town to London on April 27, 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.”
“Trans-Atlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region. This 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 program 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 modernization program 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.
Copyright Photo: Ton Jochems/AirlinersGallery.com. As part of this master plan, the Boeing 747-400 fleet will slowly being reduced. Boeing 747-443 G-VROY (msn 32340) lands in Las Vegas.
Virgin Atlantic Aircraft Slide Show: CLICK HERE