Tag Archives: Virgin Atlantic Airways

Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM launch codeshare partnership

Virgin Atlantic, Air France and KLM have announced their first codeshare agreement – creating new transatlantic travel options to and from North America, and providing more opportunities to earn frequent flyer miles.

The partnership makes it easier for customers to build their ideal trip across the Atlantic by combining flights operated by Air France, KLM, Virgin Atlantic and Delta. Customers booking on a codeshare benefit from seamless connections, and a single booking reference. Customers travelling on codeshare flights will also be able to earn miles, and redeem them via their own airline loyalty scheme.

Virgin Atlantic brings the UK’s Regions closer to North America

Virgin Atlantic customers can now book a wide range of additional flights at virginatlantic.com – opening up 58 new routes from 18 UK airports across the Atlantic with Air France and KLM.  Examples of new route options from the UK include Edinburgh – Toronto via Amsterdam, and London Heathrow – Chicago via Paris

Air France and KLM increase flight options across the Atlantic

Air France and KLM customers can now access 24 new routes to North America on flights operated by Virgin Atlantic and Delta departing the UK including connections via London Heathrow or Manchester.  Customers can benefit from additional frequencies to destinations such as Miami from Amsterdam via London Heathrow alongside increased options to fly between Paris and New York-JFK via Manchester.

More options to fly Delta

Delta is building on its successful partnerships with Air France, KLM and Virgin Atlantic, giving customers from these airlines more opportunity to fly on Delta’s transatlantic services.   Virgin customers travelling between the United Kingdom and the US now have the choice to connect onto all of Delta’s flights over Amsterdam and Paris. Meanwhile Air France and KLM customers have additional options to fly either nonstop or via the UK on all Delta services to the US.

Virgin Atlantic, Delta and Air France–KLM are set to form an expanded joint venture later in 2019. Subject to final clearance from regulators, the airlines will be founding members of a $13bn transatlantic partnership for customers between the UK, Europe and North America, offering over 300 daily transatlantic flights, 108 non-stop routes, and over 340 destinations.

1. The combined codeshare network serves 18 airports in the U.K. including: Aberdeen, Belfast, Belfast City, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Humberside, Inverness, Leeds-Bradford, London-City, London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow, Manchester, Newcastle and Norwich.

2.  Virgin Atlantic codeshare on Air France operated Flights:

3.Virgin Atlantic codeshare on KLM operated Flights:

4.Virgin Atlantic codeshare on Delta operated Flights from CDG and AMS:

5. Air France and KLM codeshare on Virgin operated Flights:

6. Expanded Air France and KLM codeshare on Delta operated Flights from the UK:

 

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Connect Airways completes its acquisition of Flybe

Connect Airways has acquired Stobart Air and its aircraft leasing division for £40 million and completed the purchase of Flybe for £2.8 million.

Connect Airways is a British consortium, was formed in December 2018 to acquire the assets of Flybe, which had put itself up for sale in November 2018 after issuing a profit warning in October 2018.

The purchase of the operating assets of the Flybe Group was completed on February 21, 2019.

The Combined Group intends for Flybe to continue as an independent operating carrier with a separate UK Air Operator Certificate (AOC) under the Virgin Atlantic brand. Stobart Air is intended to continue under a separate Irish AOC.

The Combined Group will operate independently to Virgin Atlantic under one management team, owned 40% by Cyrus Capital Partners, 30% by Stobart Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stobart Group, and 30% by Virgin Atlantic Limited, the holding company of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Holidays.

Flybe issued this short statement:

The confirmation of the sale of Flybe to Connect Airways secures an exciting future for our customers and employees as we continue to provide vital regional connectivity in the UK and beyond. Our confirmed schedule operates as normal.

Celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Virgin Atlantic G-VEIL “Queen Of The Skies”

Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A340-642 G-VEIL (msn 575) (Backing the Bid) LHR (SPA). Image: 924507.

MotoArt has made this announcement:

Fifteen years ago, the Virgin Airlines Airbus A340-600 series plane, “G-VEIL” rolled out of a factory in Toulouse, France. As with other famed “Flying -MORE-Ladies” of Virgin Atlantic’s fleet, she featured a creative name and a beautiful pin-up girl on her nose. This queen was named by the Queen herself, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, on the centenary of an historic agreement between Great Britain and France called the “Entente Cordiale.” This important understanding resolved long standing disputes and established a diplomatic relationship between the two countries that has stood the test of time.

“I am now delighted, in this Entente Cordiale centenary year, to name this new Airbus for Virgin Atlantic Airways: The Queen of the Skies.” – Queen Elizabeth II.

The plane was decommissioned in San Bernardinoin 2016 and was destined for the scrapyard. It was purchased by Dave Hall, owner of MotoArt, a Torrance, California based builder who makes furnishings and decor using upcycled plane components. “Not everyone can own a plane, or even furniture made from a plane,” states Hall, “But everyone can own a part of a historic plane like this one and pass it on to the next generation.”

As with other planes they have rescued from destruction, his company produced the PlaneTags™ from the skin of the plane and sells them through their website. Each PlaneTag™ is unique and numbered as a limited edition and allows aviation enthusiasts to collect rare pieces of history. In addition to owning a piece of the “Queen of the Skies”, for each PlaneTag™ sold a $3.00 donation will be made to The Virgin Atlantic Foundation, a charity which supports the welfare of children and young people worldwide, almost exclusively through their partner WE.

Top Copyright Photo: Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A340-642 G-VEIL (msn 575) (Backing the Bid) LHR (SPA). Image: 924507.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show:

Bottom Copyright Photo: Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A340-642 G-VEIL (msn 575) LHR (Michael B. Ing). Image: 909771.

The type to be replaced with new Airbus A350-1000s

Virgin Atlantic to launch new service between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv

Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A330-343 G-VRAY (msn 1296) LHR (SPA). Image: 945652.

Virgin Atlantic Airways has announced it will be launching flights between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv, Israel with the first flight taking place on September 25, 2019.

Flying daily between London Heathrow and Tel Aviv Ben Gurion airport, the five hour flight will operate on an Airbus A330-300 aircraft.

In 2019, Virgin Atlantic will welcome the first four of 12 Airbus A350-1000 to its fleet which not only boasts a totally redesigned on board experience for customers but will help transform the fleet into one of the quietest and most fuel efficient in the sky.

The airline also looks forward to becoming the founding member of a new, $13 billion transatlantic joint venture with over 300 daily transatlantic flights and 96 nonstop destinations, alongside Delta, Air France and KLM as well as launching new services from London Heathrow to Las Vegas and Manchester to Los Angeles.

Top Copyright Photo: Virgin Atlantic Airways Airbus A330-343 G-VRAY (msn 1296) LHR (SPA). Image: 945652.

Virgin Atlantic aircraft slide show:

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Virgin Atlantic relaunches its “Golden Ticket”

Virgin Atlantic Airways has made this announcement:

It’s bigger, it’s better, it’s golden-er. We’ve hidden 10 more Premium Golden Ticket fares in our ordinary flight search for the splendiferous price of £1 (plus the normal taxes, fees, charges and carrier imposed surcharges). So you could be off on your next adventure for even less than you imagined.

Just go ahead and carry out a flight search in the normal way. You’ll need to choose both the correct outbound and inbound dates to be a lucky winner.

Many wonderful surprises await in Premium, including a glass of fizz-whizzing bubbly as you board, an extra comfy leather seat and delicious eatables served on china crockery with proper cutlery.

Stay tuned, we’ll be releasing more Golden Tickets throughout the day.

Good luck to you all, and happy hunting!

Delta Cargo, Virgin Atlantic Cargo to drive long-term growth with move to new purpose-built facility at London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo are to move into the new purpose-built dnata City East, London Heathrow’s most state-of-the-art cargo facility. The move supports the airlines’ growing cargo businesses, enhances their trans-Atlantic partnership for customers, and future-proofs the joint venture’s position in the U.K. market by doubling the size of their cargo footprint at the airport.

Virgin and Delta’s cargo operations have been aligned under one roof in the U.K. since June 2016 and share cargo facilities at major U.S. gateways, notably Atlanta, Boston, Miami, New York, Orlando and Washington-Dulles with the objective to create an enhanced customer proposition on both sides of the Atlantic.

The move to the new facility – scheduled for the second half of 2019 – will ultimately increase the size of Virgin and Delta’s cargo operation at Heathrow to 335,000 square feet, and see customers benefit from greater automation and faster truck and cargo handling times.

The purpose-built facility will deliver the highest levels of service, security and automation. Inside the warehouse, investments in technology will enable staff using handheld devices to efficiently manage the flow of cargo, while the double-train ETV system will increase storage to 245 positions for pallets and containers. Customer trucks arriving at the facility will benefit from a new door management system, which enables drivers to complete paperwork at the gatehouse on arrival without leaving their vehicles and to then be immediately assigned to one of the facility’s 18 cargo doors.

The new location will also provide further benefits for customers choosing Virgin Atlantic Cargo and Delta Cargo services to move temperature-controlled healthcare and life science products as well as offering a dedicated perishables zone and an enlarged AVI centre for live animals.

Photo: Delta Air Lines.

Cash-strapped Flybe to be sold to a consortium including Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic Airways, will be rebranded

Flybe has announced it is being sold to a consortium involving Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Virgin Atlantic has a 30 percent interest in the consortium along with the Stobart Group. Stobart Air already operates flights under the Flybe brand.

 

This will be the end of the Flybe brand. The airline will be rebranded under the Virgin Atlantic brand.

Cyrus Capital Partners, a hedge fund, will control the remaining 40 percent share the consortium called Connect Airways.

Flybe issued this formal statement:

RECOMMENDED CASH OFFER for FLYBE GROUP PLC by CONNECT AIRWAYS LIMITED
(a company jointly-owned by DLP Holdings S.à. r.l., Stobart Aviation Limited and Virgin Travel Group Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Virgin Atlantic Limited)

Summary

  • Following the announcement on November 14, 2018 and the launch of the Formal Sale Process with respect to Flybe, the Boards of Flybe and Connect Airways announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer for Flybe by Connect Airways pursuant to which Connect Airways will acquire the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Flybe.
  • Under the terms of the Acquisition, Flybe Shareholders will be entitled to receive:

    one (1) pence in cash for each Flybe Share

    which values the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Flybe at approximately £2.2 million on the basis of the fully diluted share capital of 216,656,776 Flybe Shares.

  • Cyrus, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic have engaged with Flybe in a collaborative due diligence process since the commencement of the Formal Sale Process, and have formulated the Offer Price after careful review of the due diligence information, the capital needs of Flybe, the challenging trading environment and prevailing market conditions.
  • Concurrently with announcing the Acquisition, Cyrus, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic have committed to make available a £20 million bridge loan facility to support Flybe’s ongoing working capital and operational requirements.
  • In addition, following completion of the Acquisition, Cyrus, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic are intending to provide up to £80 million of further funding to the Combined Group to invest in its business and support its growth, as well as a contribution of Stobart Air.
  • It is intended that the Acquisition will be effected by means of a Court-sanctioned scheme of arrangement between Flybe and the Scheme Shareholders under Part 26 of the Companies Act.
  • The Acquisition is subject to a number of Conditions and further terms, including the approval of the Scheme by the Scheme Shareholders by the requisite majorities and the sanctioning of the Scheme by the Court. The Conditions are set out in full in Part A of Appendix 1 to this Announcement.

    Connect Airways

  • Connect Airways is a joint venture company the share capital of which is owned 40% by DLP Holdings, S.à. r.l., a company wholly-owned by funds managed by Cyrus, 30% by Stobart Aviation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stobart Group, and 30% by Virgin Travel Group Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Virgin Atlantic, the holding company of Virgin Atlantic Airways Limited and Virgin Holidays Limited.
  • It is also expected that, immediately prior to completion of the Acquisition, Connect Airways will acquire Stobart Air, Stobart Group’s regional airline and aircraft leasing business. The combined group is expected to bring benefits to customers, suppliers and employees, providing stability in a tough trading environment.
  • Combined Group
    • Cyrus, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic believe that combining Flybe and Stobart Air in a more integrated commercial cooperation with Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul operations will create a fully-fledged UK network carrier under the Virgin Atlantic brand, alongside Stobart Air’s wet lease operations and aircraft leasing business which will continue to operate as it does today.
    • Such a combination would be a compelling proposition with a comprehensive regional network in the UK and Ireland coupled with an enhanced European footprint, providing greater choice and connectivity for customers to travel to destinations all over the world.
    • The Acquisition will enable Flybe to benefit from committed strategic investment partners in terms of Cyrus, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic (through Connect Airways) and from an enhanced presence at London Heathrow Airport and Manchester Airport with potential to grow further in London Southend Airport.
    • The Acquisition and combination with franchise airline, Stobart Air, will provide the Combined Group with an opportunity to increase passenger numbers at London Southend Airport, accelerating its growth for UK and European air travel.

      Recommendation and support for the offer

    • The Flybe Board, who have been advised by Evercore (who are providing independent financial advice to the Flybe Board for the purposes of Rule 3 of the Code) as to the financial terms of the Acquisition, considers the terms of the Acquisition to be fair and reasonable. In providing its financial advice to the Flybe Directors, Evercore has taken into account the commercial assessments of the Flybe Directors.
    • Accordingly, the Flybe Directors believe that the terms of the Acquisition are in the best interests of Flybe Shareholders as a whole and unanimously recommend that Flybe Shareholders vote in favour of the resolutions to be proposed at the Court Meeting and the Flybe General Meeting (or, in the event that the Acquisition is implemented by way of a Takeover Offer, to accept or procure the acceptance of such Takeover Offer).

This revised 2018 livery will be very short-lived (just one aircraft):

Virgin Atlantic issued this statement:

 

The Boards of Flybe and Connect Airways, a company bringing together Virgin Atlantic Limited, Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital, are pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the terms of a recommended cash offer for Flybe. Following which Connect Airways will acquire the entire issued, and to be issued, share capital of Flybe. Stobart Group will contribute Stobart Air and Propius, Stobart’s aircraft leasing business into Connect Airways.

Concurrently with announcing the Acquisition, Cyrus, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic have committed to make available a £20 million bridge loan facility to support Flybe’s ongoing working capital and operational requirements.

In addition, following completion of the Acquisition, Cyrus, Stobart Group and Virgin Atlantic are intending to provide up to £80 million of further funding to the Combined Group to invest in its business and support its growth, as well as a contribution of Stobart Air.

Flybe will continue to serve customers and communities across the UK and Ireland. In due course Flybe will be rebranded to Virgin Atlantic.

The Combined Group will offer significant benefits for customers:

  • Deliver more choice to customers by linking UK regions and Ireland to Virgin Atlantic’s extensive long-haul network through improved connectivity at Manchester Airport and London Heathrow
  • Provide a strong foundation to secure the long-term future of Flybe, its customers and its people by leveraging the combined commercial, operational and functional expertise and scale of Virgin Atlantic and Stobart Group
  • Utilise the strength of the Virgin Atlantic brand, and the offer of an enhanced customer experience in keeping with Virgin Atlantic’s heritage
  • Provide the Combined Group with an enhanced presence at Manchester Airport , London Heathrow Airport, with the potential to grow further in London Southend Airport

The Combined Group intends for Flybe to continue as an independent operating carrier with a separate UK Air Operator Certificate (AOC) under the Virgin Atlantic brand. Stobart Air is intended to continue under a separate Irish AOC.

The Combined Group will operate independently to Virgin Atlantic under one management team, owned 40% by Cyrus Capital Partners, 30% by Stobart Aviation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stobart Group, and 30% by Virgin Atlantic Limited, the holding company of Virgin Atlantic Airways and Virgin Holidays.

Christine Ourmieres-Widener, Flybe’s CEO said:

“Flybe plays a vital role in the UK’s transport infrastructure with a UK regional network which uniquely positions it to benefit from growing demands from long haul carriers for passenger feeder traffic. We have successfully implemented a clear strategy in recent years focused on tighter fleet management, improving revenue per seat and increasing load factors. The pursuit of operational excellence has reduced maintenance times and increased efficiencies and customer satisfaction.

“However, the industry is suffering from higher fuel costs, currency fluctuations and significant uncertainties presented by Brexit. We have been affected by all of these factors which has put pressure on short-term financial performance. At the same time, Flybe suffered from a number of legacy issues that are being addressed but are still adversely affecting cashflows.

“By combining to form a larger, stronger, group, we will be better placed to withstand these pressures. We aim to provide an even better service to our customers and secure the future for our people.”

Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic said:

“The Virgin Atlantic brand is built on the foundation of putting customers at the heart of everything we do, providing them with the choice they deserve and a travel experience they love. All possible because of our amazing people.

“We are pleased to have this opportunity to partner with Stobart Group and Cyrus Capital to bring Virgin Atlantic service excellence to Flybe’s customers. Together, we can provide greater connectivity to our extensive long haul network and that of our joint venture partners Delta Air Lines, at Manchester Airport and London Heathrow. In the near future, this will only increase, through our expanded joint venture partnership with Air France-KLM.”

Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group said:

“The Board of Stobart Group believes that bringing Stobart Air together with Flybe and partnering with Virgin Atlantic and Cyrus Capital is the best way for us to play an active role in regional airline consolidation.

“The combined entity will be a powerful combination with sufficient scale to compete effectively in the UK and European airline markets. It will allow us to continue to work with Flybe and provides an excellent opportunity to continue to grow passenger numbers at London Southend Airport.”

Lucien Farrell, Partner of Cyrus said:

“We are delighted to be working once again with the Virgin Group following our successful partnership in the launch and eventual sale of Virgin America to Alaska Airlines. We believe Flybe’s strong market position and high quality management together with Virgin Atlantic’s dedication to the best customer experience and Stobart Group’s expertise in regional flying will produce a worldclass airline.