Virgin Atlantic returns to Dubai

Virgin Atlantic, one of the most convenient airlines to fly to London, returns to Dubai after more than four years of waiting. The flight, operating seasonally from October to March, four times a week, aims to capture pent up demand for premium travel and grow the route network. In an interview with TRAVTALK, Liezl Gericke, Head of International, Virgin Atlantic, shares the details.

TT Bureau

What is the plan from London to Dubai as you return?

The return of London Heathrow to Dubai flight, operating seasonally from October through to March, four times a week, aims to capture pent up demand for premium travel and grow the route network. The four times a week service will operate seasonally from October through to March, capitalising on sunny winter breaks for sunshine hungry Brits. We expect this to be a hit with leisure customers and aim to capture the increased demand for premium winter sun getaways. The year-round warm weather with just a three-hour time difference is set to appeal to couples and families alike. We will offer 20 tonnes of cargo capacity on each flight. This fast cargo service will offer new opportunities for companies looking to export and import goods such as fresh produce and high-tech products between the Middle East and prime markets in the UK and US.

Share details on the new routes planned by Virgin Atlantic?

In June 2023, we announced four new routes: a new daily service from London Heathrow to São Paulo, Brazil from May 2024. São Paulo is a key hub in Brazil for Virgin Atlantic’s codeshare partner, LATAM. The partnership provides customers with onward connections to 12 domestic airports in the country, including Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Florianopolis. A new daily service to Bengaluru, India from March 2024: our third destination and fourth daily service to India. Since 2019, we have increased capacity to India by 250 per cent, our largest area of growth outside the United States: Launching in Summer 2024, the addition of this new route means we will offer 500,000 seats each year between the UK and India, while our codeshare with IndiGo flies to 34 destinations across the country. Offers seamless connectivity and a premium long-haul experience for customers connecting via London Heathrow to destinations throughout North America.

What is the collaboration about with dnata?

dnata is our VAA-appointed GSA, GHA and Cargo handling partner. They were also our partners before the previous route closure. dnata, also our UAE sponsor, have been critical in supporting the re-launch within extremely tight timelines.

How will you work with the agents from GCC?

Agents are the most important partners for us; hence we organised a special meeting to see them again and announce their importance and the fact that we are ready to work once again.

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