Virgin Atlantic and WestJet announce codeshare expansion enhancing global connectivity

Virgin Atlantic and WestJet have announced a significant expansion of their codeshare agreement.

This winter, WestJet guests will have access to numerous global destinations through Virgin Atlantic’s network from London Heathrow (LHR). Starting in Summer 2025, WestJet will also offer domestic connectivity to Virgin Atlantic’s new route between Toronto-Pearson and London Heathrow.

Key Highlights:

* Expanded access: Beginning this winter, WestJet guests can book itineraries that include Virgin Atlantic-operated flights from LHR to a range of international destinations.

* New Route: By summer 2025, WestJet will connect domestic flights to Virgin Atlantic’s newly announced route between Toronto-Pearson and London Heathrow.

* Enhanced partnership: This marks the first time WestJet’s network will extend beyond Europe via a codeshare through London Heathrow, offering unprecedented access to India, Africa, and the Middle East.

‘Through the expansion of our existing partnership with Virgin Atlantic, we are unlocking amazing opportunities for our guests to access an extensive list of new destinations and to experience Virgin Atlantic’s innovative products and services beyond London,’ said John Weatherill, Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer of WestJet. ‘With daily flights from our global hub in Calgary to London, Canadians have never had better international access from across Western Canada to the United Kingdom and beyond.’

In 2025, WestJet Rewards and Virgin Atlantic Flying Club will establish a reciprocal frequent flyer partnership, allowing customers to earn and redeem points across both networks.

The agreement was officially signed last week at the IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Dubai by WestJet’s John Weatherill and Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, Juha Jarvinen. The partnership between WestJet and Virgin Atlantic has been in place since 2019.

Virgin Atlantic expands services with EL AL, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, and Saudia

Virgin Atlantic has announced the expansion of its codeshare partnerships with EL AL, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, and Saudia.

These collaborations signify a significant advancement in strengthening Virgin Atlantic’s global network.

In collaboration with EL AL, Israel’s national carrier, Virgin Atlantic introduces enhanced connectivity between the UK, US, and Israel, starting June 10, 2024. This will provide increased flexibility and choice with Virgin Atlantic’s code on EL AL’s London Heathrow – Tel Aviv route and reciprocal benefits, enhanced earning and redemption opportunities. Virgin Atlantic also resumes its Tel Aviv operations from September 5, 2024.

As the first and only UK member airline of the SkyTeam alliance, Virgin Atlantic welcomed SAS Scandinavian Airlines into the SkyTeam Global Alliance, promising enhanced connectivity and access to Scandinavian key hubs. This strategic partnership offers passengers an expanded range of destinations, accompanied by instant earning and redemption opportunities for Flying Club members.

Additionally, Virgin Atlantic launches a new codeshare agreement with SkyTeam member Saudia, for added connectivity between Saudi Arabia and Virgin Atlantic destinations. Effective immediately, passengers can enjoy smooth connections from the US to Jeddah and Riyadh via London Heathrow and Manchester.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, commented: ‘As we celebrate our 40th anniversary this month, we know that giving our customers more choice and award-winning service in the skies is what fuels our success, alongside working with the best partners. We’re delighted to launch codeshares with our SkyTeam partners at SAS and Saudia today, enhancing our connectivity and offering greater customer benefits to our frequent flyers, who will be able to achieve rewards faster.

‘Our return to Tel Aviv on 5 September will be welcome news for customers who have enjoyed our service since 2019, and this time round it’ll be strengthened by our new codeshare partnership with EL AL.’

Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways launch codeshare partnership

Virgin Atlantic and Kenya Airways have announced a new codeshare partnership agreement, enhancing travel options for passengers flying between London Heathrow and Nairobi, as well as providing connections to popular destinations in the Caribbean.

Effective immediately, customers booking through Virgin Atlantic can now directly purchase flights on Kenya Airways’ Heathrow to Nairobi service.

Conversely, Kenya Airways passengers will soon have the opportunity to connect via London Heathrow to Virgin Atlantic’s Caribbean destinations, including Barbados, The Bahamas, Grenada, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented, ‘We’re delighted to launch our partnership with Kenya Airways. As a fellow member of the SkyTeam alliance, we know our customers will enjoy a seamless travel experience, with more opportunities to earn and spend their miles with increased benefits for our SkyPriority members.

‘We’re committed to enhancing connectivity and as the only UK airline to codeshare on the Heathrow to Nairobi route, we’ll be providing more choice and flexibility for customers booking with Virgin Atlantic.’

Julius Thairu, Chief Commercial and Customer Officer of Kenya Airways, commented; ‘We are excited to embark on this transformative partnership with Virgin Atlantic. By leveraging our complementary strengths and networks, we aim to enrich the travel experience for our valued customers, offering them greater choice, convenience and connectivity to key destinations in the world.’

The partnership extends benefits to members of both airlines’ frequent flyer programmes. Virgin Atlantic’s Gold and Silver Flying Club members, along with Kenya Airways Asante Rewards Platinum and Gold members, can avail SkyPriority services at London Heathrow and Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, such as priority check-in, baggage handling, and boarding.

In addition to the convenience of the codeshare partnership, visitors from the United Kingdom and other regions outside of Africa now enjoy simplified travel to Kenya, requiring only online authorization instead of a full visa as of January this year.

Virgin Atlantic announces first ever South American service to Sao Paulo

Virgin Atlantic has announced its entry into South America with the launch of a new route to Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Flights on this route will be available for booking from September 6, 2023, and the inaugural flight is scheduled to take off on May 13, 2024. Travelers can look forward to daily flights connecting London to Sao Paulo. The flight itself will be approximately 11 hours and 55 minutes long, using the modern Boeing 787 aircraft. The return Economy fares start from £686 per person.

Sao Paulo, one of the world’s most populous cities, is a thriving hub for multinational businesses. This route caters to both corporate travellers and leisure seekers. In addition, Sao Paulo is celebrated as Brazil’s culinary capital, and offers a rich tapestry of arts and cultural experiences that will captivate leisure travellers.

Sao Paulo serves as the gateway to South America and is a pivotal hub for Virgin Atlantic’s codeshare partner, LATAM, South America’s largest airline. This partnership opens up access to over 50 South American destinations, including Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and Florianopolis, along with loyalty rewards and redemption options for Flying Club members. Additionally, Virgin Atlantic’s SkyTeam alliance partner, Aerolineas Argentinas, facilitates connections from Sao Paulo to Buenos Aires.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, commented: ‘The countdown has officially begun to our much-anticipated arrival in Sao Paulo. It’s fitting that our 40th year brings our entry to a brand new continent in South America, symbolising a continued period of network growth for Virgin Atlantic. Sao Paulo is the perfect fit for us, a buzzing metropolis of culture and adventure that suits the differing needs of our rich customer base.

‘Our partnership with LATAM will also unlock further destinations in Brazil and beyond into South America with Skyteam partner Aerolineas Argentinas, opening up a wealth of exciting opportunities for those who choose to fly with Virgin Atlantic.’

Norse Atlantic to commence new Miami-London service in September

Norse Atlantic Airways has announced the launch of its first-ever service between London Gatwick Airport and Miami.

Starting on September 18, the new service will be operated four times a week on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. Tickets for the new Miami-Gatwick service are available to book now.

‘We are pleased to be able to now offer the popular destination of Miami as part of our winter route network. Miami has high levels of passenger demand with both direct and connecting traffic volumes greater than other airports in the region. We look forward to being able to offer our cargo customers increased choice and flexibility as we begin operations from our new South Florida base in September,’ said Bjorn Tore Larsen, CEO, Norse Atlantic Airways.

Norse Atlantic offers two cabin choices – Economy and Premium – and three fare options: Light, Classic, and Flextra. Light fares represent Norse’s value option while Flextra fares include the maximum baggage allowance, two meal services, an enhanced airport and onboard experience, and increased ticket flexibility.

Norse Atlantic exclusively operates Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft with each seat having a personal entertainment experience. Premium cabin seats offer a 43-inch seat pitch and 12-inch recline.

‘We are thrilled that Norse Atlantic has chosen MIA for all of its South Florida flights. We look forward to welcoming their London Gatwick service to Miami-Dade County, and to becoming their seventh destination in the U.S.’, commented Ralph Cutie, MIA Director and CEO.

Beginning September 18, Norse Atlantic will consolidate its services in South Florida and only operate flights to Miami International Airport. Customers traveling on its Fort Lauderdale route after September 17 will be rebooked to its new Miami service or be offered a full refund.

Norse Atlantic Airways announces new routes London Gatwick to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale

Norse Atlantic Airways, a new airline offering affordable fares on long-haul flights, primarily between Europe and the United States, has announced the sale of two new routes, London Gatwick to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.

The flights to Orlando will begin on May 25, 2023 and to Fort Lauderdale on May 26, 2023, with fares starting from £409 return including taxes. The new routes will be in addition to the current daily London to New York service that began in August 2022.

Flights to Orlando will operate four times a week in May and June and then a daily service during summer peak season with fares starting from £409 return including taxes. Flights to Fort Lauderdale will operate three times a week in May and June and four times a week for the rest of the summer season with fares starting from £410 return including taxes. Flights are available to book now on www.flynorse.com.

‘We are very pleased to announce two new routes from London Gatwick to the popular holiday destination of Florida. In addition to our current daily New York flights we will also be releasing for sale further destinations between London and the US by the end of February. As a result, our UK based airline, Norse Atlantic UK, will serve more destinations to the US from London Gatwick than any other carrier this summer, said Bjorn Tore Larsen, CEO Norse Atlantic Airways.

‘We look forward to a busy summer ahead as we bring value fares and a fantastic service to passengers looking to travel across the Atlantic.’.

Stewart Wingate, chief executive officer, Gatwick Airport, added: ‘It’s fantastic to see Norse Atlantic add two new Florida services from London Gatwick Airport, to complement their current New York route. This will bring different products to our transatlantic portfolio, at affordable prices.

Both Orlando and Fort Lauderdale are understandably very popular destinations, especially among families, so it’s great news for passengers across London and the Southeast to have more choice ahead of the summer holidays.’

Norse Atlantic exclusively operates Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, offers two cabin choices, Economy and Premium. Passengers can choose from a simple range of fares, Light, Classic and Plus, as suitable. Customers can also access enhanced choice with the airline’s connectivity partnership with easyJet, Norwegian and Spirit Airlines.

Virgin Atlantic announces return of services to Cape Town from London

Virgin Atlantic has announced the return of services to Cape Town from London Heathrow starting November 5, 2022 with a new daily service.

The new winter service runs until March 24, 2023 and will complement the existing year-round daily service to Johannesburg. The service will operate on a Boeing 787-9 with fares starting from £711 economy return. The aircraft boasts three classes, Upper Class, Premium and Economy.

Known for its natural beauty, as well as its rich culture and heritage, Cape Town has something for everyone to enjoy. Home to Robben Island, travellers can visit the prison where Nelson Mandela was held, which is now a living museum. The more adventurous can ride the cable cars to Table Mountain’s flat top for sweeping views of the city, and the more laid-back may consider the Cape Winelands, the country’s top region for wine tasting tours.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: ‘We’re incredibly excited to return to the fabulous city of Cape Town with daily services from November.

‘Although a little later than we we’d have liked due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the move reflects the fact that travel is recovering and global demand for holidays to sunny, premium destinations is returning at pace.

‘We’re expecting a high proportion of leisure travellers on this route who will rightly be taking advantage of the winter sun, exploring the world-renowned wine regions and soaking up the rich culture this incredible country has to offer.’

The Cape Town flights are on sale now, return Economy fares start from £711 per person, Premium from £1,318 per person and Upper Class from £3,454 per person.

Virgin Atlantic resumes full US portfolio and expands capacity

Virgin Atlantic has said that it is reinstating its full portfolio of US destinations for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, as travel bookings rise 50 percent year on year.

Starting from April, Virgin Atlantic will add frequencies and reintroduce services to key US gateways. Flights to Seattle and Washington DC will take off next week, with services to New York, San Francisco and Atlanta also increasing. In April, a third daily service to Los Angeles will commence, serving the Californian city more than any other airline.

Virgin Atlantic will operate Orlando flights from its four UK gateways of Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast, resulting in more flights from the UK to the theme park capital of the world than any other carrier. Seattle flights will depart five times weekly from London Heathrow on the March 2. The airline will operate its 787-9, with its on-board bar.

From March 5, London Heathrow to Washington DC services will operate five times a week on an Airbus A330, re-establishing links for both business and leisure travellers alike. Last month, Virgin Atlantic announced its first new US route since 2015, to Austin, Texas which will operate four times weekly from 25 May.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented, ‘Following the relaxation of travel restrictions, we’ve seen demand increase to many of our global destinations, but particularly to our heartland in the USA. Our customers can’t wait to return.

‘The restart of our Seattle and Washington DC services mark an important milestone, as we move into recovery and welcome our customers back on board to all the destinations they’ve missed. We’re simply not Virgin without the Atlantic and our growing transatlantic portfolio demonstrates why we’re the airline of choice to the USA.’

Virgin Atlantic has extended its policy of unlimited free date and flight changes for new bookings, giving further flexibility to customers to support future travel plans. The updated flexible booking policy enables Virgin Atlantic customers making a new holiday or flight-only booking for travel up to December 31, 2022, to make as many changes as necessary to their travel dates, origin or destination, with the change fees waived, as well as one free name change.

Virgin Atlantic to restart services to Tobago from London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic has announced the expansion of its portfolio of flights to the Caribbean as it relaunches its twice weekly services to Tobago.

From January 29, the route will resume from London Heathrow to the island of Tobago, departing every Tuesday and Saturday. The route will be operated on an Airbus A330-300, offering a selection of experiences across three cabins; Upper Class, Premium alongside the airline’s three classes of Economy, Delight, Classic and Light. The flights are on sale now – return Economy fares start from £389 per person, Premium from £985 per person and Upper Class from £2,023 per person.

Tobago is popular for its pleasant climate, vibrant scenery and the world’s oldest protected rainforest. The island is also known for the famous Nylon Pool, a swimming pool in the middle of the ocean. The in-sea shallow white ground coral pool is located off Pigeon Point and accessible by boat. With a wide array of activities on offer, Tobago’s warm climate provides the perfect escape for holidaymakers looking for some winter sun.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: ‘We are thrilled to be able to restart our much-loved services between London Heathrow and Tobago. With delicious food, amazing music and stunning views, we know our customers will love exploring this unique island destination.

‘The Caribbean is the linchpin of Virgin Atlantic’s leisure portfolio and we’ve recently introduced a number of new destinations to our flying programme, including The Bahamas, St Lucia and St Vincent and The Grenadines. We can’t wait to fly our customers safely to our amazing Caribbean destinations throughout 2022.’

Virgin Atlantic has extended its policy of unlimited free date and flight changes for new bookings. The updated flexible booking policy enables Virgin Atlantic customers making a new holiday or flight-only booking for travel up to December 31, 2022, to make as many changes as necessary to their travel dates, origin or destination, with the change fees waived, as well as one free name change.

Virgin Atlantic announces codeshare partnership with LATAM Airlines

Virgin Atlantic has announced a new codeshare agreement with LATAM Airlines offering customers the opportunity to fly directly to the South American country of Brazil.

Customers booking through Virgin Atlantic are now able to travel from Heathrow direct to Sao Paulo as well as connecting onwards onto 12 domestic airports in Brazil. The other domestic destinations in Brazil include Rio de Janeiro (GIG), Porto Alegre (POA), Belo Horizonte (CNF), Brasilia (BSB), Curitiba (CWB), Goiania (GYN), Recife (REC), Salvador (SSA), Florianopolis (FLN), Fortaleza (FOR), Vitoria (VIX) and Londrina (LDB).

Customers travelling from Sao Paulo to London Heathrow will also have the option to smoothly connect onto Virgin Atlantic’s rest of world destinations through Terminal 3 including Tel Aviv, Delhi and Hong Kong.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented: ‘We’re incredibly excited to launch this new codeshare partnership with LATAM Airlines.’

‘As we recover from the pandemic, partnerships are more important than ever, and we look forward to building on the incredibly successful interline relationship we have had in place for a number of years. We also see opportunities beyond Brazil and look forward to expanding our relationship even further to serve destinations throughout South America including Peru and Colombia.’

‘This new partnership aims to respond to the large, fast-growing demand for leisure travellers looking to enjoy new experiences after a challenging 20 months. We know there is pent up demand for long-haul travel and we look forward to welcoming customers onboard on their way to exploring these exciting and vibrant Brazilian cities.’

‘As global economies gradually recover from the impact of the pandemic, we also expect to capture demand from corporate travel heading to Sao Paulo, the commercial capital of Brazil as well as other key business hubs in South America.’