Premier British airline Virgin Atlantic on Tuesday outlined plans to launch a domestic flying programme within Britain from spring 2013 providing enhanced connectivity for Indian passengers from Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Punjab.
The airline will be adding 24 domestic flights a day within the U.K. to its existing long haul network that will strengthen connectivity for its Indian passengers from these cities, an official statement issued here said.
Virgin Atlantic will focus its operations on flights to and from Scotland. From April 2013, the airline will operate six round-trip flights a day between Heathrow and Edinburgh, with three daily round-trip flights between Heathrow and Aberdeen. The airline has also utilised three of its own Heathrow slot-pairs to complement the new Scottish routes with three daily round-trip services between Heathrow and Manchester from 31 March 2013.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive, Steve Ridgway said throughout its history, Virgin Atlantic has successfully fought British Airways all over the world and has offered passengers a compelling alternative through our renowned product and service. ``We will look to replicate that in our short haul flying and challenge the current BA monopoly on these routes which is causing serious consumer harm. Virgin Atlantic will offer millions of passengers in Scotland and Manchester connections around the world through our and our partners’ long haul network, with the additional benefit of providing direct services to and from London Heathrow. This is a robust business model that will protect competition to and from Heathrow for the long-term,’’ he added.
The new schedule will suit Indian passengers as they can now continue to travel within the U.K. on their preferred airline within less than 2 hours of arriving at London Heathrow whilst benefitting from an equally convenient return journey.
Over the last two years, Richard Branson's Virgin Atlantic has brought new competition to British Airways between London and Vancouver, Accra, Cancun and Mumbai. The new flights within the U.K. would strengthen the connectivity Virgin offers from Delhi and Mumbai, including the existing connections to the U.S.