Virgin Atlantic announces major transatlantic expansion at London Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic is set to expand its transatlantic services, increasing flights from London Heathrow to key U.S. destinations in the summer of 2024. This move follows recent plans to boost its presence in the USA, with additional services to Miami and a new seasonal route from Manchester to Las Vegas.

Virgin Atlantic is achieving a milestone next summer, introducing a seventh daily flight to New York JFK and collaborating with Delta for a total of ten daily services-an 11% increase from 2023. A second daily flight to Boston will also be added, bringing the total to three daily flights.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, commented; ‘We’re excited to announce additional flying to our heartland in the USA for summer 2024.

‘By utilising our brand new A350 and A339 aircraft, our passengers can travel in style with Virgin Atlantic, as we commit to operating the routes that our customers love to fly.

‘With Boston and New York, JFK being key business and leisure travel routes, customers can rely on Virgin Atlantic to connect them to these popular destinations as we offer more opportunities to travel with our expanded offering.’

Expanded routes will feature Virgin Atlantic’s latest A330-900neo and A350-1000 aircraft, increasing Upper and Premium seats by 23% for a more luxurious travel experience. The A330-900neo will showcase the innovative Retreat Suite in Upper Class. Delta customers will have access to Delta’s upgraded Delta One product.

Virgin Atlantic’s expanded schedule solidifies its commitment to the heartland of the USA, providing a record number of daily departures to popular destinations like Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, and Washington DC. The increased services aim to improve connections, enabling seamless travel to cities across the USA and global destinations via London Heathrow. Through its partnership with Delta Air Lines, passengers can conveniently reach Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Johannesburg, and Shanghai.

UK Travellers in New York Face Delays Despite Airports Reopening

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Airport are slowly resuming normal service, after remaining closed for two days, bringing some relief to travellers that have been trapped in the city, due to the severe weather in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy has battered the northeast coast of the US, before moving northwards, causing extensive damage to the cities of New York, New Jersey and many others. Most of the public transportation system in New York, the financial capital of the US, has been shutdown, with some underground tunnels being completely flooded.

Both New York airports opened to some extent at 7am local time, but La Guardia Airport, which suffered most from flooding, remains closed.

Virgin Atlantic, an airline subsidiary of UK-based Virgin Group, has announced the resumption of flights to and from New York, with plans to run most of its scheduled flights, as well as a ‘special recovery flight’ to JFK Airport from London, to bring back the stranded UK passengers.

However, UK-based British Airways has stated in a web update, ‘On Wednesday 31 October we have cancelled the majority of our flights to and from New York, JFK and Newark (EWR). Flights to other East Coast US airports should be operating normally. Please only come to the airport if you are confirmed on a flight.

Public transport links to East Coast US airports continue to be disrupted, please check your flight and local travel plans before leaving for the airport.’

According to the flight tracking service FlightAware, around 18,300 flights were cancelled across the US East Coast in the last three days, with 8,183 flights cancelled on Monday, 7,258 on Tuesday, and 2,829 to date on Wednesday.

The airports may take some time to become fully operational, as the public transport system is taking time to become functional, and airport staff face difficulties in commuting to work.

For UK passengers who are delayed in the US and are travelling with an EU-based airline, all reasonable costs incurred during the period that they are waiting for a replacement flight should be covered by that airline. These include food, hotel bills and phone calls. The airline might provide food and accommodation directly, or reimburse the passenger against receipts provided.

Travellers with non-EU based airlines may have to claim theses expenses on their own travel insurance, dependant on that airline’s policy.