SOUTH NORWALK, Conn., June 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Virgin Atlantic Airways announced the launch of the airline's 33rd destination with the introduction of flights between London and Cancun, Mexico. The twice weekly service will debut June 12, 2012 and expects up to 94,000 Virgin Atlantic customers traveling between London and Cancun in the first year.
The new route strengthens Virgin Atlantic's leisure network from London Gatwick, which already features nine leading long haul destinations in the Caribbean and the United States. Virgin Atlantic estimates that the new route will deliver approximately $25 million of tourism revenue to the Cancun market each year* and has the potential to create up to 650 jobs within Mexico's aviation and tourism sectors.
Speaking in Miami, Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic said:
"We are so pleased to be launching flights to Cancun next year. Many customers have asked us to fly direct to this exciting destination over the years. With its superb beaches, great hotels and cultural sites, tourism in Cancun is thriving. We believe that we can drive demand ever higher by providing great competition to our rivals with our award winning product and service.
"Cancun is one of the top five long-haul leisure destinations for UK travelers, so we are delighted to be able to add this route to network. This route launch further cements our position as the UK's leading long haul leisure airline."
The twice weekly service will be operated by a Boeing 747-400 with three-classes of service that will feature 14 Upper Class Suites, 58 Premium Economy seats and 379 Economy seats.
Amanda Wills, Managing Director of Virgin Holidays commented:
"We're delighted to be increasing our Mexico product and are looking forward to supporting the new route by launching our first ever dedicated brochure to the country in July, featuring a wide range of hotels in Cancun and beyond.
"Whether it is beautiful beaches, great hotels or its fascinating cultural heritage, Mexico boasts many of the things our customers love and we know they will receive a very warm welcome from the people there."
This addition to Virgin Atlantic's leisure program follows its recent launch of Manchester to Las Vegas flights and the recent introduction of its Airbus A330 aircraft on its Orlando route. The new, more fuel efficient aircraft offers customers state-of-the-art seat back technology including touch screens and iPod enabled entertainment.
Virgin Atlantic currently flies to 33 destinations worldwide. The airline carried six million passengers in 2010 and has 39 long haul aircraft in its fleet.
For further information, please contact the Virgin Atlantic Press Office at 203-750-2570 or log onto www.virginatlantic.com
*Notes to Editors:
The estimated contribution of Virgin Atlantic flights to the Mexican economy of $25m in the first year was calculated by the number of additional travelers to Mexico per year and the average price of a two week holiday to Cancun including spending money.
Virgin Atlantic flights to Cancun will be available for customers to buy from mid-July and are available now as part of a package with Virgin Holidays.