Virgin Atlantic will start operating flights between Vancouver and London Heathrow from May 2012. The services will go on till October and will be offered four times a week. Virgin Atlantic also announced a second London and San Francisco service.
Yesterday, Virgin Atlantic Airways made a significant announcement of launching a new seasonal route to between Vancouver and London Heathrow Airport.
The new flight service that will be offered four times a week from May 24th to Oct. 25th is expected to provide a boost of $54 million to Vancouver’s tourism revenue. Vancouver – London route is likely to be utilised by 40,000 travellers.
In a response to the airline’s announcement, the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia was quoted as stating, “Today’s announcement by Virgin Atlantic, of four new weekly flights between London and Vancouver, is positive news for British Columbia’s tourism industry.”
She was also quoted as saying, “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.”
The launch of the new air travel route gains significance in the view of the Olympic Games 2012 that will be hosted by London. Then there is the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne. Both these events are likely to attract tourists from all over the world to the UK capital.
Airbus A340-300s will be plied on the new route. Aircraft will have the configuration of Upper Class, Premium Economy and Economy. Travellers with a preference for cheap tickets on flights to San Francisco will surely have much better chance of grabbing them as ample amount of premium economy and economy seats are available on the new route.
Virgin Atlantic also announced the launch of a second flight between London and San Francisco. It will start operating from March 2012 and will run until October 2012. It will be a three times a week service (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).
“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,” Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Executive said.
“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,” he was further quoted.
The increased competition among the carriers will also be beneficial for passengers as it will be much easier for them to net cheap flight tickets, something that Steve Ridgway emphasised on.
“Greater competition to both Vancouver and San Francisco will benefit passengers through improved choice and better value for money,” he was quoted in news reports.