SOUTH NORWALK, Conn., Nov. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Virgin Atlantic has announced the launch of a new route between Vancouver and London Heathrow. The latest route, which will see up to 40,000 customers flying between the cities, will start in May 2012 and will operate four times a week throughout the summer period until the end of October.
As Vancouver celebrates its 125th birthday this year, the new route will give the city a very special present, expected to generate around CAD $54 million of tourism revenue for the Vancouver area each year*. Also, the 10 percent increase in capacity to London Heathrow is great news for Canadians wanting to travel to London in 2012, with the city hosting some of the biggest events in a generation.
In addition to the Vancouver service, Virgin Atlantic is launching a second service between London and San Francisco that will operate three times a week starting in March 2012. It is estimated that the new Vancouver route and increased frequency at San Francisco have the potential to create up to 430 jobs in aviation and tourism across both cities.
"The North American market has always been at the core of our business. Our success here has been due to our investment in product innovation and our willingness to respond to customer demand," said Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic's Chief Executive. "With almost 20,000 people flying from the UK to Canada each month in the peak season, the UK is the largest overseas market for passengers to British Columbia. Greater competition to both Vancouver and San Francisco will benefit passengers through improved choice and better value for money."
Commenting on the announcement, the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia said:
"Today's announcement by Virgin Atlantic, of four new weekly flights between London and Vancouver, is positive news for British Columbia's tourism industry. The United Kingdom is one of our key markets and also serves as a hub for other international travellers heading to our province. Virgin Atlantic is recognized around the world as a progressive airline and we look forward to welcoming their passengers to British Columbia when their service begins next summer."
Notes to Editors:
Flights to Vancouver will be on sale from December 1, 2011. For further information or to book travel please contact www.virgin-atlantic.com or call 1-800-862-8621.
* The estimated contribution of Virgin Atlantic flights to the Canadian economy of CAD $54 million in the first year was calculated by the number of additional travellers to Vancouver per year and the average price of a six night visit to Vancouver including spending money.
Vancouver route facts
- The service will be operated by an Airbus A340-300, which will be configured with 34 Upper Class suites, 35 Premium Economy seats and 171 Economy seats
- The outbound sector from London Heathrow (VS95) will depart at 13:00 and arrive in Vancouver at 15:10
- The inbound sector from Vancouver (VS96) will depart at 19:50 and arrive in London Heathrow the next day at 13:45
San Francisco route facts
- The new service will begin on March 26, 2012 and will run throughout the summer until October 26, 2012
- The new service will operate three times a week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
- It will run in addition to Virgin Atlantic's daily flight to San Francisco, the VS19 and VS20
- The service will be operated by an Airbus A340-300, which will be configured with 34 Upper Class suites, 35 Premium Economy seats and 171 Economy seats.
- The outbound sector from London Heathrow (VS41) will depart at 13:00 and arrive in San Francisco at 16:50
- The inbound sector from San Francisco (VS42) will depart at 18:50 and arrive into London Heathrow the next day at 13:45
About Virgin Atlantic Airways
Virgin Atlantic Airways, one of the world's leading long-haul airlines, was founded in 1984, and currently has 38 aircraft in its fleet. Virgin Atlantic offers service from 10 US cities to London and onto a range of long-haul destinations worldwide. From its main base at London Heathrow and Gatwick, Virgin Atlantic services destinations as far apart as Las Vegas, Tokyo, Delhi, Boston and Shanghai. Even with Virgin Atlantic's continued growth, the service still remains customer driven with an emphasis on value for money, quality, fun and innovation ensuring flying Virgin Atlantic is always an event. Pioneering many air travel innovations, Virgin Atlantic received a number of 2010 travel trade awards including for the third consecutive year, Travel Weekly's "Best International Airline," Global Traveler's "Best Airline for Premium Economy Class," Business Traveler's "Best Premium Economy Class in the World" and for the first time, "Best Airport Clubs/Lounges." To book travel, please contact 800-862-8621. For additional information, visit www.virgin-atlantic.com.
SOURCE Virgin Atlantic