Category Archives: Virgin Atlantic Airways

Virgin Atlantic to launch Manchester – Delhi and Manchester – Barbados service

Virgin Atlantic Airways has announced new flying from Manchester and London Heathrow with services taking to the skies from October 2020 onwards.

For the first time, Virgin Atlantic will fly to India from Manchester and coupled with the airline’s double daily service from London Heathrow to Delhi and daily service from London Heathrow to Mumbai, the airline will now offer over 600,000 seats per year between the UK and India.

In addition, Virgin Atlantic looks forward to adding a daily Cape Town service flying from London Heathrow complementing the existing service to Johannesburg. Increased flying between Manchester and Barbados and Heathrow and Havana will also offer customers more choice than ever before.

  • Manchester to Delhi

This year, Virgin Atlantic is celebrating its 20th anniversary of flying to Delhi and in addition to the airline’s twice daily service from London Heathrow, on October 26, 2020, the airline will launch new flying from Manchester to Delhi. Flying to India from Manchester for the very first, this new three times a week service will fly on an A330-200 aircraft. Operating on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday, the VS318 will depart Manchester at 16:40 landing the next morning in Delhi at 06:05, the return service, the VS319, will depart on a Tuesday, Friday or Sunday at 08:10 landing back at 12:10.

  • Manchester to Barbados

From January 2021, customers will now have more opportunities to fly to this jewel in the Caribbean than ever before. In addition to daily flights from London Gatwick and a seasonal flight from London Heathrow in winter, Virgin Atlantic will now fly a Boeing 747 three times a week on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday from Manchester.

  • London Heathrow to Cape Town

Sunseekers this winter can head down to South Africa on Virgin Atlantic’s new daily seasonal winter service flying between London Heathrow and Cape Town. Flying on a Boeing 787-9 aircraft, this new service launches on October 25, 2020 and will complement the existing daily Airbus A350 service to flying between London Heathrow and Johannesburg. Flight VS478 will operate as a night flight departing London Heathrow at 16:20 arriving into Cape Town at 05:55 whereas the inbound, flight VS479, will depart at 08:00 landing later that day at 18:00.

  • London Heathrow to Havana

As the only UK airline flying direct to Havana, Virgin Atlantic is delighted to add an additional weekly service to the city. Now flying three times a week on a Tuesday, Friday and Sunday on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, Virgin Atlantic is offering 45% more capacity compared to winter 2019 to this vibrant city.

Virgin Atlantic Airways aircraft photo gallery:

Virgin Atlantic to return to Cape Town

Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner G-VMAP (msn 38047) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 949064.

Virgin Atlantic Airways has made this announcement:

Sunseekers this winter can head down to South Africa on Virgin Atlantic’s new daily seasonal service flying between London Heathrow and Cape Town

With the first flight taking off on October 25, 2020, the new service will operate on a Boeing 787-9 aircraft complementing the existing daily service to Johannesburg.

The VS478 will operate as a night flight departing Heathrow at 16:20 arriving into Cape Town at 05:55 whereas the inbound, the VS479, will depart at 08:00 landing later that day at 18:00.

Top Copyright Photo: Virgin Atlantic Airways Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner G-VMAP (msn 38047) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 949064.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show:

Virgin Atlantic breaks the New York – London subsonic record

Due to the strong storm force winds today, British Airways and then Virgin Atlantic broke the subsonic New York JFK – London LHR record. The latter was accomplished in an Airbus A350-1000, doing the journey in 4 hours 47 minutes, apparently reaching 724 knots ground speed with a 218 knots tailwind, burning 22 tons less fuel than the BA 747.

Virgin Atlantic announced the accomplishment on social media.

The United Kingdom is suffering major travel disruptions due to Storm Ciara.

Read more from the BBC.

The UK Met Office issued storm warnings:

The Met Office has issued several National Severe Weather Warnings for strong winds and heavy rain brought by Storm Ciara throughout the weekend, including an Amber warning for much of England and Wales on Sunday.  Yellow wind and rain warnings have been issued for north-western parts of the UK on Saturday, followed by a yellow wind warning covering the whole UK for the entirety Sunday.  Named by the Met Office on Wednesday, Storm Ciara is currently tracking eastwards towards the UK and Ireland.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist, Frank Saunders, said:  “Storm Ciara will bring damaging winds and heavy rain across the UK this weekend and we have issued a range of severe weather warnings giving people time to prepare for potential impacts of the storm.

“Winds will increase through Saturday across Northern Ireland, Scotland, northern England and Wales, before turning very windy across the rest of UK through the early hours of Sunday morning.  Gusts of 50 to 60 mph are expected quite widely across inland areas, with even stronger gusts of 80mph or higher along coastal areas.”

Storm Ciara is expected to bring a range of impacts including delays and cancellations to air, ferry and train services; damage to buildings such as tiles blown from roofs and there is a good chance power cuts may occur. Furthermore there is a risk of large coastal waves and difficult driving conditions in heavy rain.

Virgin Atlantic announces new summer flying program from London Heathrow

"Rain Bow", delivered on September 30, 2019

Virgin Atlantic Airways has made this announcement:

  • Virgin Atlantic will introduce a second daily service between Heathrow and Delhi, offering 108,000 additional seats for summer 2020
  • Coupled with its new service to Mumbai, Virgin Atlantic will offer three daily flights to India
  • There will be a new weekly flight to San Francisco, boosting the service to twice daily
  • Johannesburg, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Lagos will debut the airline’s brand new A350, featuring a redesigned upper class cabin and unique new social space

Virgin Atlantic has announced a new flying program for summer 2020 including a new second daily service to Delhi, a new weekly flight to San Francisco and the next routes to debut its brand new A350 aircraft.

The new flights to Delhi will commence on March 29, 2020 and will go on sale on Saturday, November 23. It will depart Heathrow in the morning, complementing the airline’s current evening departure. Together with Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic will offer seamless connections between Delhi and New York JFK, Boston, Detroit and Atlanta via Heathrow.

The airline will also be re-timing its Mumbai flight to an evening departure from Heathrow, offering a more convenient choice for business customers. With the additional daily flight to Delhi and the newly launched Mumbai service, Virgin Atlantic will offer more choice to India than ever before.

Virgin Atlantic will be adding a new weekly service to San Francisco, departing on a Friday. The airline will fly twice daily between Heathrow and the Golden Gate City, offering more options for both business and leisure travellers looking to enjoy an extended weekend to the West Coast. The airline will fly its brand new A350 on this route from May 2020 and, coupled with the new weekly flight, will boost capacity by 40,000 seats for the summer season.

By August, Virgin Atlantic’s A350 aircraft will fly to five destinations across its network and all its flights to Africa will be on the new aircraft. The next routes to debut the aircraft from Summer 2020 are:

·       Johannesburg will debut the A350 with a daily service from March 2020.

·       From April 2020, the A350 will fly daily to Los Angeles

·       There will be a daily A350 service to San Francisco from May 2020

·       There will be a daily A350 service to Lagos from August 2020

Virgin Atlantic’s A350 aircraft took to the skies in September with an inaugural flight to New York. With a totally redesigned Upper Class cabin complete with Loft area as well as tailcam and new in-seat ordering feature, this new aircraft is revolutionising travel. Virgin Atlantic has ordered a total of 12 A350-1000 aircraft, with them all scheduled to join the fleet by 2021.

Top Copyright Photo: Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A350-1041 G-VPRD (msn 319) LHR (Antony J. Best). Image: 948171.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show:

China Eastern, Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM announce its intention to launch a joint venture

China Eastern Airlines made this announcement:

On October 16, 2019 China Eastern has announced its intention to enter into a joint venture with Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM, providing more valuable and attractive joint commercial propositions for customers between Europe and China.

China Eastern currently has joint venture with Air France and KLM by working together on a portfolio of flights between China and Paris, Amsterdam. With Virgin Atlantic joining the existing partnership between China Eastern, Air France and KLM, the enlarged cooperation will offer strengthened customer benefits including increased travel options and optimized connectivity across Europeand China,further facilitated by a developed joint network, as well as competitive joint commercial propositions.

The China to United Kingdom markets are expected to be pivotal at a time where China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic services linking Londonto Shanghai are part of the mutualized offer. China Eastern plans to seek to codeshare for the first time on Virgin Atlantic services between London and Shanghai. This will open up a range of customer benefits, including the opportunity for customers to earn and redeem miles across both carriers on flights between China and United Kingdom.

The announcement reaffirms China Eastern’s commitment to the European market, which will inject new vitality into her international development, network construction and service improvement and will also contribute to the  internationalization of China’s civil aviation and the Belt and Road Initiative.

China Eastern aircraft photo gallery:


Air France, KLM and China Eastern announce plans to step up joint venture cooperation with the addition of Virgin Atlantic

Air France, KLM, China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic have signed a MOU concerning the extension of the existing joint venture between Air France, KLM and China Eastern with the addition of Virgin Atlantic, thus providing customers with an increased choice of flights and itineraries when traveling between Europe and China. The announcement reaffirms the Air France-KLM Group’s commitment to the Chinese market, having already implemented an enlarged scope of cooperation with China Eastern in January this year.

Scheduled to enter into force in spring 2020, the cooperation will offer customers an increased number of flights and itineraries between Europe and China, further facilitated by mutual code-sharing, as well as competitive joint commercial propositions. The United Kingdom to Shanghai markets and the connecting flight network within China are expected to be pivotal at a time where China Eastern and Virgin Atlantic services linking London to Shanghai are part of the mutualized offer. It will open up a range of customer benefits when flying and connecting across carriers, including the opportunity for customers to earn and redeem miles.

Flight schedules

Air France, KLM and China Eastern’s current Joint Venture schedules (summer 2019 season):

  • Air France:
    • twice-daily frequencies between Paris – Charles de Gaulle and Shanghai – Pudong
    • 3-weekly frequencies (4-weekly in peak periods) between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Wuhan
  • KLM:   12-weekly frequencies between Amsterdam – Schiphol and Shanghai – Pudong
  • China Eastern:
    • twice-daily frequencies between Shanghai – Pudong and Paris – Charles de Gaulle
    • 4-weekly frequencies between Shanghai – Pudong and Amsterdam – Schiphol
    • 3-weekly frequencies between Kunming and Paris-Charles de Gaulle
    • 3-weekly frequencies between Qingdao and Paris-Charles de Gaulle

Services between London and Shanghai by Virgin Atlantic and China Eastern are intended to be included in the envisioned joint venture cooperation (summer 2019 season):

  • Virgin Atlantic daily services to Shanghai – Pudong from London – Heathrow
  • China Eastern daily services from Shanghai – Pudong to London Heathrow and 3-weekly frequencies to London – Gatwick


Virgin Atlantic introduces the Boeing 747-400 “The Falcon” special livery

Virgin Atlantic Airways has made this announcement on Boeing 747-443 G-VLIP:

We’re excited to unveil a brand new, one-of-a-kind Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge plane wrap on this Boeing 747 aircraft, which has taken to the skies on September 25. The themed plane will now transport holidaymakers from London Gatwick Airport to Orlando, Florida, where they will be able to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at Walt Disney World® Resort.

The plane, which will be known as “The Falcon” – showcasing the iconic Millennium Falcon – the iconic spaceship once owned by Han Solo – is one part of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays’ celebrations of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened in Orlando in August.

The themed 747 will now transport you from London Gatwick Airport to Orlando, Florida, where you’ll be able to experience Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, at Walt Disney World® Resort.

The aircraft, which will be known as “The Falcon” – showcases the iconic Millennium Falcon – the famous spaceship once owned by Han Solo. It forms part of Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays’ celebrations of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, which opened in Orlando in August.

Falcon emerges from its hangar at Gatwick

As well as “The Falcon” official plane unveiling, Virgin Holidays has also launched The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience – a curated themed holiday experience to Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida, which will take off between 15 and 22 February 2020 – giving fans the chance to live their Star Wars adventure, bigger and bolder than ever before.

To celebrate the aircraft entering our flight operations today, Virgin Holidays has also launched a social media competition, encouraging members of the public who spot the plane to capture and share images, for the chance to win two seats onboard The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience.

The competition is simple – anyone who spots the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge aircraft can snap and share an image on their personal Instagram account, tagging both Virgin Holidays and Virgin Atlantic, and including #TheFalcon in the photo caption. All entries received by Wednesday 9 October will be entered into a prize draw.

The highly-anticipated land, which is located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios® Theme Park, is set on Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, located at the outer rim of the galaxy. Once there, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Holidays’ guests will be able to experience all-new Star Wars attractions and enjoy immersive entertainment, rubbing shoulders with smugglers, rogue traders and adventurers – all the while avoiding the ever-expanding reach of the First Order.

Joe Thompson, managing director of Virgin Holidays, said:  “We are incredibly proud to see ‘The Falcon’ take flight, featuring the iconic Millennium Falcon from the much-loved Star Wars saga, as it wings passengers to experience the thrilling, new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge land at Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida.

“Over the last three decades, we have taken millions of British holiday-makers to enjoy the magic of Disney and we know that so many of our customers have been excited about planning their trip to experience this new land. We hope those lucky enough to board ‘The Falcon’ will enjoy their journey with us, even more.”

“It was a very exciting brief to be able to redesign our aircraft livery to represent something as iconic as the Millenium Falcon and it’s not something that you get to do everyday,” said our senior engineer, Dave Napper. “We have many Star Wars fans within the company who jumped at the chance to get involved in some way, and we cannot wait to see ‘The Falcon’ take flight.”

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge – Virgin Atlantic plane wrap facts

  • The film used to wrap the aircraft could cover four tennis courts, including Centre Court at Wimbledon!
  • The decal is 44 metres long from end to end
  • The decal took three weeks to print, using 14,000 milimetres of ink

Watch the Falcon receive its new artwork in this timelapse video.


Terms and conditions

By participating in the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge “The Falcon” Competition (the “Competition”), it is deemed that you accept and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions:

To enter this Competition, you must:

  • be 18 years of age;
  • be a UK resident;
  • have a valid, public Instagram account;
  • have uploaded to Instagram your photo of ‘The Falcon’ plane in the sky; used the official hashtag in the caption which is “#The Falcon”; and tagged both Virgin Holidays (@Virginholidays) and Virgin Atlantic (@Virginatlantic).
  1. No purchase necessary to enter however, entrants must pay their own costs for connecting to the Internet.
  2. This Competition is not open to employees of Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Holidays, their families, their agencies or any companies directly connected with the creation and administration of this Competition.
  3. Competition Period: This Competition is open from 08:00 GMT on Wednesday 25 September 2019 until 23:59 GMT on Wednesday 09 October 2019.
  4. Only one entry will be accepted per person throughout the Competition Period.
  5. Prize: There is one (1) prize available comprising of one (1) pair of tickets for the ‘The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience’ which includes (but is not limited to) one (1) pair of Virgin Atlantic Economy return tickets from London Gatwick, together with seven (7) nights’ accommodation at a Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. Further details can be found at
  6. Bulk entries made from trade, consumer groups or third parties will not be accepted. Incomplete or illegible entries, by or via third parties or syndicates, entries by macros or other automated means (including systems which can be programmed to enter), and entries which do not satisfy the requirements of these terms and conditions in full will be disqualified and will not be counted. If it becomes apparent that a participant is using a computer(s) to circumvent this condition by, for example, the use of scripts, “brute force‟, masking their identity by manipulating IP addresses, using identities other than their own or any other automated means in order to increase that participant’s entries into the draw in a way that is not consistent with the spirit of the Competition, that person’s entries will be disqualified and any prize awarded will be void.
  7. Entries must be submitted by 23:59 on Wednesday 09 October 2019 to be valid and considered.
  8. Receipt of entries will not be acknowledged. Virgin Atlantic does not accept any responsibility or liability for lost entries or entries which are delayed, damaged, corrupted, incomplete or not received.
  9. All eligible entries shall be entered in to the Competition draw from which one (1) winner (“Winner”) will be selected at random, by independent third party One Green Been, on Thursday 10 October (the “Draw”).
  10. You agree that Virgin Atlantic may, but is not required to, make your entry available on its website and any other media, whether now known or invented in the future, and in connection with any publicity of the competition. You agree to grant Virgin Atlantic a non-exclusive, worldwide, irrevocable licence, for the full period of any intellectual property rights in the competition image to use, display, publish, transmit, copy, edit, alter, store, re-format and sub-licence the competition image.
  11. Virgin Atlantic’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  12. The Winner will be notified within 2 days of the Draw via social media using a direct message from the official Virgin Atlantic Instagram page. The Winner will be required to respond to the direct message in order to confirm eligibility plus acceptance of the Prize within 48 hours of initial direct message. If the Winner fails to confirm acceptance within 48 hours, the Prize will be forfeited and another winner will be selected at random from the original entries.
  13. Prize confirmation will be sent to the Winner’s via email, once the Winner have provided their contact email address as part of the prize fulfilment process.
  14. The Prize is subject to Virgin Holidays booking conditions (
  15. The Prize is only valid for the ‘The Ultimate Virgin Holidays Star Wars Experience’ which departs on 15 February 2020 and returns on 22 February 2020. The Winner and their companion must be available to redeem the Prize during these dates. If the Winner wishes to travel alone, their second ticket will be forfeited.
  16. Once the Prize booking has been confirmed no further changes are permitted. If a booking is cancelled no alternative tickets will be issued.
  17. Virgin Atlantic flight schedules are subject to change without notice.
  18. In the event that any of Virgin Atlantic’s flight programme or operations are altered, suspended, cut-back or cancelled, we are unable to guarantee that any affected Prize flights will be honoured. If Virgin Atlantic are able to transfer the Prize to another airline, travel will be for economy/coach class only, subject to availability. No refund or part refund will be given for any alternation or cancellation of the Prize in these circumstances.
  19. Any costs or expenses not expressly included in the Prize pursuant to these Terms and Conditions (including but not limited to) transport to and from the departure and arrival airports, car parking charges, lounge access, meals and refreshments, excess baggage, visas (including ESTAs), passports, excursions, attractions, travel insurance, medical insurance, hotel rooms service, laundry service, merchandise, souvenirs, tips, gratuities, service charges or taxes will be the sole responsibility of the Winner and their travelling companion. The Winner may be required to provide proof of their insurance policy to Virgin Atlantic.
  20. Travelling companions below the age of 16 must provide written parental consent to travel unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  21. The Winner is responsible for the behaviour of them self and their travelling companion whilst taking the Prize. Virgin Atlantic or any prize provider reserves the right in its absolute discretion to exclude a Winner and/or travelling companion from participation in the Prize if any party fails to comply with the directions of Virgin Atlantic or any companies associated with the Prize; or the Winner and/or travelling companion acts in a manner that is dangerous to themselves or to the public or is, in the opinion of Virgin Atlantic, anti-social in any manner or which causes a disturbance or nuisance to others.
  22. The Prize is non-transferable to anyone else including another family member of the Winner or any other named person and cannot be sold, bartered or substituted for any other prize. No cash alternative is available.
  23. The Prize may not be used in conjunction with any other promotion or promotional fare mounted by Virgin Atlantic or any third party.
  24. If for any reason the event is not capable of running as planned, such as cancellation or any other cause beyond the control of Virgin Atlantic which affects the running or conduct of this Competition, Virgin Atlantic may in its sole discretion cancel the Prize and not re-award any additional tickets to the Winner or reimburse any incurred expenses by the Winner as a result of winning or accepting the Prize.
  25. Virgin Atlantic must either publish or make available information that indicates that a valid award took place. To comply with this obligation Virgin Atlantic will send the surname and county of the Winner and, if applicable copies of their winning entries, to anyone who writes to Virgin Atlantic at the address below (enclosing a self-addressed envelope) within one month of the Draw. If you object to any or all of your surname, county and winning entry being published or made available, please contact Virgin Atlantic’s press office at In such circumstances, Virgin Atlantic must still provide the information and winning entry to the Advertising Standards Authority on request.
  26. Virgin Atlantic will only process your personal information as set out in the Privacy Policy, which can be found at
  27. Virgin Atlantic’s decision regarding selection of the Winner and the awarding of the Prize is final and no further correspondence shall be entered in to concerning the matter.
  28. Virgin Atlantic reserves the right to withdraw or cancel this Competition at any time, in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
  29. The Winner accepts their Prize at his/her own risk. By entering the Competition, each participant and travelling companion agrees to release Virgin Atlantic and Disney from any liability whatsoever for any claims, costs, injuries, losses, or damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the promotion or with the acceptance, possession, attendance at or use of any Prize (except death or personal injury caused by Virgin Atlantic’s negligence, for fraud, or otherwise as prohibited by law).
  30. This Competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. You understand that you are providing your information to Virgin Atlantic and not to Instagram. All entries must comply with the Instagram Terms of Use, the Instagram Code of Conduct and any other relevant Instagram terms or policies in operation from time to time.
  31. These Terms & Conditions are subject to English Law and the exclusive jurisdiction of the English courts.

Promoter: Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited, Registered Office: The VHQ, Fleming Way, Crawley, West Sussex RH10 9DF