Virgin Atlantic is to launch a three-times-daily London – Manchester service from 31st March 2013 using A319s, the first of several planned regional feeds to its long-haul service.
Chief Executive Steve Ridgway said: “Flying between Heathrow and Manchester is just the start for Virgin Atlantic’s new short-haul operation. We have the means to connect thousands of passengers to our long-haul network as well as to destinations served by other carriers. Our new service will provide strong competition to omnipresent BA, keep fares low and give consumers a genuine choice of airline to fly to Heathrow and beyond.
“Manchester is a key regional airport with over 65% of passengers to London connecting onwards to other destinations. Operating a London to Manchester route will provide an invaluable feed to our existing long-haul network for both business and leisure passengers.”
Virgin will use some of its existing slots for the London – Manchester route and has applied for all of the remedy slots being awarded by the European Commission following the IAG takeover of BMI.