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.

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.

Norwegian launches London Gatwick-Miami route

The European low fares airline, Norwegian, has launched its first-ever service from London Gatwick to Miami International Airport, on March 31.

With the new service, travellers will have a daily nonstop option between Miami and London Gatwick Airport. The service will be operated using Norwegian’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft that seats 344 passengers in a two-class configuration.

Norwegian CEO and Founder, Bjorn Kjos, said: ‘South Florida is one of our most important markets in the U.S., and by moving our London service to Miami, we will become even more competitive and offer more South Florida residents more affordable flights to London and beyond, while we will also have access to many more opportunities, including cargo. We are very committed to this market, and look forward to increasing our presence at MIA in the future.’

Commenting on the new service, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez, said: ‘I applaud Norwegian for adding Miami-Dade County to its global network. The United Kingdom is already our County’s fifth-busiest international travel market, and Norwegian’s new daily flights are sure to generate even more tourism from that region and from across Europe as well.’

‘We are honored by Norwegian’s decision to launch first-ever Miami service, which provides our passengers with yet another nonstop travel option to Europe. We proudly welcome their award-winning service to MIA, where nearly one million passengers already travel to and from the United Kingdom annually,’ added Miami-Dade Aviation Department Director and CEO Lester Sola.

Norwegian airline operates more than 500 routes to over 150 destinations in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Thailand, Caribbean, North and South America.

Dublin Airport announces new year-round services to Cyprus, Miami

Cyprus-based airline Cobalt Air will extend its summer service to operate year round flights between Dublin and Larnaca, according to a release by Dublin Airport.

The airline initially started a twice weekly service between July and September in 2016.

Welcoming the decision, Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison said, ‘Dublin-Larnaca was one of Cobalt Air’s first routes and today’s announcement that the route will be a year round service is testament to its success and popularity.’

‘Cyprus is a very popular destination for Irish holidaymakers seeking a sunshine break. We will continue to work with Cobalt Air to ensure its continued success,’ he added.

A Cobalt Air spokesman said, ‘This continues our commitment to the Irish market which has flocked to Cyprus in record numbers this summer. Irish visitors can look forward to a wider range of onward connections from Larnaca, including Tel Aviv so there’s never been a better time to book a flight on Cobalt Air.’

Dublin Airport also recently announced the launch of Aer Lingus’ new direct transatlantic service to Miami. Aer Lingus will operate its new three times weekly service – on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays – on a year-round basis.

‘We are delighted to welcome Aer Lingus’ new transatlantic service to Miami,’ said Dublin Airport Managing Director, Vincent Harrison. ‘This new route offers further choice and flexibility for both business and leisure passengers.’

Transatlantic traffic at Dublin Airport has increased by 67 percent in the past five years and Dublin is the fifth largest airport in Europe for North American connectivity after Heathrow, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam, Harrison added.

Dublin Airport has direct flights to over 185 destinations in 41 countries operated by a total of 47 airlines. More than 16.9 million passengers travelled through Dublin Airport in the first seven months of the year, which is a six percent increase on the same period in 2016, the airport noted.

As Oil Spill Fears Subside, Florida’s Tourism Industry Gains Ground

Florida’s tourism industry may be in better shape than many predicted. The gulf state, which brings in over $20 billion annually through tourism, has reported that visitors are coming in numbers that fall within traditional targets. Tourism spending throughout the state has actually grown by around three percent since the disaster, although analysts had expected greater growth before the oil spill.

The positive growth is being seen by many in the gulf region as evidence that local tourism will regain strength over the next year. With oil washed ashore on many Gulf of Mexico beaches, the region’s largest tour operators had previously questioned its ability to survive as a tourism spot in North America. While Florida’s industry leads that of other states, it’s certainly a good sign.

Tourism throughout the gulf is still relatively low, with Louisiana and other states reporting steady, albeit lower than usual, returns. The state’s capital – New Orleans – is aiming to continue is famous tourism and hospitality industry throughout the five-year Hurricane Katrina anniversary. Earnings have been down across the region compared to predictions, although growth may occur shortly.

For Florida’s tourism-dependent businesses, the surprising boost in tourist spending is certainly a welcome sign. The state had previously worried that its service-driven industry may suffer in the decline, with tight consumer spending and poor environmental conditions combining to eliminate the state’s lucrative tourism income.

Analysts have pointed to a number of events as reason for the sudden tourist surge. Some have used the President’s recent visit to the gulf as a reminder of its suitability as a family destination, while a range of leading newspapers have pointed to aggressive online advertising. It’s tough to know which cause was responsible, but both have certainly lead to a major re-brand for Florida’s tourism spots.?