Virgin Atlantic is eager to acquire extra take-off and touchdown slots at London Heathrow (LHR). Extra slots will quickly be wanted to accommodate the airline’s rising fleet, which is predicted to extend from the 37 plane it has immediately to 46 in 2025.
The service already has the second-highest variety of slots on the airport, behind British Airways, and in a latest interview, Virgin Atlantic’s CEO, Shai Weiss, expressed his curiosity in additional rising the airline’s presence at London Heathrow.
With London Heathrow being one of many busiest airports on this planet, take-off and touchdown slots come at a big premium, notably at peak occasions corresponding to early morning arrivals. Nevertheless, earlier this summer time, Virgin Atlantic managed to broaden its slot portfolio when Aeroflot’s 64 weekly slots have been divided between the airline and 5 others – Vistara, JetBlue, Avianca, China Airways, and WestJet.
Virgin Atlantic shut down its London Gatwick (LGW) operation at the beginning of the pandemic, a transfer which has since saved over £300 million yearly. One potential approach of releasing up some slots at London Heathrow can be to re-open the airline’s hub at London Gatwick and transfer a few of its extra leisure-oriented Florida and Caribbean routes there. Nevertheless, the service did just lately verify that there are not any plans to return to London Gatwick earlier than 2024.
The place may Virgin Atlantic fly to?
If it have been to acquire extra take-off and touchdown slots, which routes may Virgin Atlantic look to launch?
The airline’s major focus stays North America, which makes up over 70% of its community. Nevertheless, whereas Virgin Atlantic could have just lately dropped its Hong Kong (HKG) route, there’s nonetheless a rising curiosity in growing the airline’s presence in Asia. In India, for instance, the service already flies to Delhi (DEL) and Mumbai (BOM), and just lately signed a codeshare settlement with IndiGo, India’s largest airline.
Virgin Atlantic additionally just lately introduced that it will be becoming a member of the SkyTeam alliance in early 2023, and since then, rumors have appeared of a possible new service to Seoul (ICN). It stays to be seen if it will come to fruition, however it will make sense, provided that it may then feed passengers into fellow SkyTeam member Korean Air’s hub, and direct competitors has decreased after British Airways determined to not resume the route following the pandemic.
As nations throughout Asia start to calm down journey restrictions following the pandemic, we could effectively see extra potential routes on the horizon for Virgin Atlantic.
Virgin Atlantic and the Airbus A330neo
Virgin Atlantic just lately operated its Airbus A330neo plane for the primary time on its latest path to Tampa (TPA).
The airline has an additional 15 Airbus A330neos on order, every seating a complete of 262 passengers in a three-class configuration – 32 in Higher Class, 46 in Premium Economic system, and 184 in Economic system. They are going to be changing the older Airbus A330-300s, of which the airline at present has 10.
Picture: Virgin Atlantic
From its hub at London Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic at present operates to 27 locations. By Could 2023, it will have elevated to twenty-eight, with the resumption of seasonal flights to Cape City (CPT) and year-round providers to Shanghai (PVG). The airline plans to finish its Tobago (TAB) providers in January.
What do you consider Virgin Atlantic’s ambition to acquire extra slots at London Heathrow? Which new routes would you wish to see from the airline? Share your ideas and predictions by commenting beneath.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Sort:
- Full Service Service
- London Heathrow Airport
- Yr Based:
- Shai Weiss
- United Kingdom