Virgin Atlantic announces new services from Heathrow and Manchester starting October

Virgin Atlantic has announced new fights from Manchester and London Heathrow with services commencing from October 2020 onwards.

For the first time, Virgin Atlantic will fly to India from Manchester starting October 26. Along with the airline’s double daily service from Heathrow to Delhi and daily service from Heathrow to Mumbai, the airline will now offer over 600,000 seats per year between the UK and India. The new thrice a week service – on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday – will fly on an A330-200 aircraft. Return Economy fares start from £535 per person. Flights are on sale from March 3, 2020 at www.virginatlantic.com.

From January 2021, customers will now have more opportunities to fly to Barbados in the Caribbean. In addition to daily flights from Gatwick and a seasonal flight from Heathrow in winter, Virgin Atlantic will now fly a Boeing 747 three times a week on a Monday, Thursday and Saturday from Manchester. Return Economy fares from £564 per person.

In addition, Virgin Atlantic will add a daily seasonal winter service to Cape Town service from Heathrow complementing the existing daily A350 service to Johannesburg. Flying on a 787-9 aircraft, this new service launches on 25 October. The VS478 will operate as a night flight departing Heathrow at 16:20 arriving into Cape Town at 05:55 whereas the inbound, the VS479, will depart at 08:00, arriving 18:00. Return Economy fares start from £713 per person.

Further, as the only UK airline flying direct to Havana, Virgin Atlantic will add an additional weekly service to the city. Now flying three times a week on a Tuesday, Friday and Sunday on a 787-9 aircraft, Virgin Atlantic is offering 45 percent more capacity to the city compared to winter 2019. Return Economy fares are from £696 per person.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented: ‘2020 is an extremely exciting year of continued growth for Virgin Atlantic and increasing our presence out of Manchester is a huge focus for us. Not only are we the headline sponsor of the Manchester Pride Festival but we’re delighted to announce a new service flying three times a week from Manchester to Delhi, additional capacity into Barbados from Manchester as well as a Clubhouse opening this summer. This year will also see Flybe transform into Virgin Connect, and we’re excited to offer customers flying from the north 47 daily flights throughout the UK, Ireland and across Europe.’

‘2020 marks our 20th anniversary of flying to India and as the destination continues to grow in popularity for both business and leisure travel, we’re thrilled to fly to Delhi for very first time from Manchester, our home in the north. Additionally, we look forward launching new services from Heathrow to Sao Paulo and Cape Town as well as increasing capacity on our Heathrow to Havana route.’

Air India resumes six direct weekly services to India from Birmingham airport

Air India has said that it has resumed its six weekly direct flight schedule to Delhi and Amritsar on August 15 – Indian Independence Day from Birmingham Airport, following a short period of reduced frequency due to airspace restrictions.

Direct services are available three times weekly to Delhi and onwards to Amritsar each Monday, Wednesday and Sunday, and three times weekly to Amritsar and onwards to Delhi each Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. The flights are operated by Air India’s Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’, with 18 seats in the business class cabin and 238 in economy, and customers have access to a further 42 onward destination across the Indian-subcontinent via the airline’s Delhi hub. Flight tickets to either Delhi or Amritsar can be booked at http://www.airindia.in/.

Dr Aman Puri, the Consul General of India, Birmingham, commented: ‘The Midlands has emerged as an area of robust growth in the UK, and Birmingham is a city which is equipped with vast opportunities in both commerce and economic areas. To have direct flights operating out of Birmingham for the British-Indian community is just great and is a further step towards the UK and India collaborating to strengthen our trade and investment relationship further.’

Mr Debashis Golder, Regional Manager, Europe and UK for Air India, said: ‘The resumption of flights, coincides with India’s Independence Day making today a special day for multiple reasons. Air India is committed to not only support the region’s Indian diaspora, but also the need for direct connectivity for business travel in our business class product. Not only do we serve Delhi and Amritsar direct from Birmingham, Midlanders also have access 42 onward destination across the Indian-subcontinent via our hub in Delhi, including Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru.’

Nick Barton, CEO of Birmingham Airport said: ‘Air India provides the vital connectivity for business and leisure travellers needing direct access to two of India’s most important cultural cities. There is a strong demand in the Midlands to Delhi and Amritsar, particularly for those travelling to visit family and friends in the Punjab region which is why Air India’s Birmingham operation has grown from strength to strength. We’re therefore delighted that the full schedule has resumed today, on India Independence Day.’

Air India first began operating from Birmingham Airport in 2013, with direct flights to Delhi. The airline expanded its Birmingham operation in 2018 with non-stop services to Amritsar serving the Midlands. With the resumption of this six weekly schedule, there are 3,000 seats available between India and Birmingham each week on the non-stop flights, the airport said.

Air India plans daily flights from Birmingham to Delhi, Amritsar

Air India has announced plans to increase frequency from four flights per week to daily services at Birmingham Airport.

Starting December 21, Air India will operate the new daily flight programme between Birmingham, Delhi and Amritsar. With the increase in flight frequency and the new Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner,’ the airline will offer more than 3,500 seats on the route each week. The Dreamliner operates a 256 seat cabin, consisting of 18 business class and 238 economy seats.

With the introduction of Wednesday, Friday and Sunday to its schedule, Air India’s programme will see flights arriving from Amritsar and Delhi at 1700 daily and departing Birmingham for the return legs at 2030 each evening. The new programme is on sale through www.airindia.com or via travel agents.

Paul Kehoe, Birmingham Airport’s Chief Executive, said, ‘We are incredibly thankful to Air India for committing to daily services from Birmingham and adding more direct capacity to India from the Midlands.

‘The West Midlands receives more foreign direct investment from India than any other region outside of London and Birmingham’s VFR market grew by 71% in 2013, now attracting more visitors from India than any English city other than London.

‘It’s therefore hardly surprising that the route has been such a success since its inauguration in August last year as it allows people to travel from their local catchment area, rather than airports further away.’

Vishwanath Panyam, Air India’s Astt. General Manager, added, ‘The West Midlands is a diverse region and home to more than 200,000 British-Indian people so we are pleased to be able to not only serve this extensive VFR market but also give business travellers direct access to the whole of India via Delhi on the comfortable, quiet and state of the art Boeing-787 Dreamliner aircraft.

‘I hope that the daily services will offer greater choice, flexibility and convenience and make the Birmingham flights even more appealing to local people.’

 

‘Mini’ surprises at Delhi Duty Free

Delhi Duty Free has announced that it has launched a car-giveaway campaign.

The company has launched its first car promotion, ‘Where’s your Mini?’ Travellers who shop at the Delhi Duty Free malls between July and September this year stand a chance of winning a new Mini Cooper, manufactured by Mini, a subsidiary of BMW. Visitors need to spend at least $50 to be eligible for the prize. For each $50 purchase, customers will receive a coupon that could entitle them to win the car. If they use a Visa debit or credit card for the purchase, they will receive two coupons.

The promotion will be valid across all product categories at the duty free shops and will include perfumes and cosmetics, alcohol and tobacco, confectionery and destination products.

Steve O Connor, the CEO of Delhi Duty Free Services Pvt Ltd, said, ‘Continuing the legacy of putting on offer the finest and luxurious of products, starting from Volkswagon Beetle, Harley Davidson, Mercedes Benz C-Class, Delhi Duty Free has for the first time brought in the extremely luxurious BMW Mini Cooper for its travellers. We want our travellers to have the finest retail experience and we are more than happy to go out of our way to enhance the experience for them. DDFS has always looked to engage with customers in multiple ways and this offer is yet another offering from our end for our esteemed travellers.’

Delhi Duty Free Services Pvt Ltd is a joint venture between DIAL (Delhi International Airport Private Limited), IDFS Tradings (P) Ltd and ARI (Aer Rianta International). It manages and operates the Duty Free Shops at Terminal 3 of the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, and is claimed to be the largest duty free retail operator in India.