Virgin Atlantic To Fly Manchester-Delhi, Mumbai

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A Virgin Atlantic cabin crew member with a mask stands against the backdrop of an aircraft. Source: Virgin/Instagram

Virgin Atlantic on Thursday announced it was launching services from Delhi and Mumbai to Manchester using its Boeing 787 Dreamliner as the Richard Branson-owned airline ramps up flying from its home in the north of England.

Flying three times a week from Mumbai to Manchester beginning in December and twice weekly from Delhi starting in January, these new services will go on sale on October 20 and will complement the airline’s existing services from Mumbai and Delhi to London Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic had restarted passenger flying from India on September 2, 2020 after a five-month hiatus due to the COVID-19. To ensure the health and safety of customers and crew, Virgin Atlantic is implementing additional measures to offer peace of mind in the airport and when taking to the skies.


Route details:

Mumbai to Manchester

Frequency: Three times a week (Tue, Thu, Sun) starting on December 20, 2020

Aircraft type: Boeing 787-9 – 31 Upper Class. 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light

Fare: Return Economy fares start from Rs 49,885 per person, Premium from Rs. 79,500, and Upper Class from Rs. 2,07,270.

Delhi to Manchester

Frequency: Twice a week (Wed, Sat) starting on January 6, 2021

Aircraft type: Boeing 787-9 – 31 Upper Class. 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light

Fare: Return Economy fares start from Rs. 52,369 per person, Premium from Rs. 91,000, and Upper Class from Rs 2,161,50.


 

These new services will open up over 1,30,000 seats between India and Manchester and aim to respond to the large, fast-growing demand to visit friends and relatives as well as capturing demand for business and leisure travel to the region as global economies gradually recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As well as flying customers, Virgin Atlantic will offer a fast, efficient cargo service presenting new opportunities for companies looking to export and import goods such as fresh produce, pharmaceuticals and textiles between prime markets in the UK, US and India.

Commenting on the launch Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic said: “We’re delighted to launch new flying from our home in the north in Manchester. India boasts the largest foreign-born population in the UK and we’re anticipating that post COVID-19, the demand to travel home to visit loved ones will increase.”

Mr. Jarviven added that following the relaunch of services from Heathrow to Mumbai and Delhi in September 2020, these new services from Manchester represent Virgin’s continued investment in India.

“Both Mumbai and Delhi are popular year-round destinations, and we look forward to welcoming travellers from the North and Midlands onboard as demand for leisure and business travel gradually increases to the region,” he said.

Alex McEwan, Country Manager – India at Virgin Atlantic said: “We are excited to welcome passengers onboard Virgin Atlantic services from Delhi and Mumbai to Manchester for the very first time. Manchester is our home in the North of England and is positioned as a fantastic hub for onward travel. We are the only airline operating these routes to Manchester direct and passengers can enjoy the same fantastic customer service that we have offered from India to Heathrow for the past 20 years. We will operate one of our newest and most fuel efficient aircraft, the 787 Dreamliner.”

With over 16 million Indians living outside of the country and 5,00,000 living across the north of England, India has the world’s largest diaspora.

Alongside these flights, Virgin Atlantic is also resuming its Manchester to Barbados service on October 26, followed by its first flight from Manchester to Islamabad launching on December 10. Flights from London Heathrow to Islamabad and Lahore launch on December 12 and 13.

Virgin Atlantic is implementing additional measures to offer peace of mind in the airport and when taking to the skies. These include enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at check in, boarding gates and onboard including the use of electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant in all cabins and lavatories before every flight, ensuring no surface is left untouched.

Safe distancing will also be adhered to wherever possible, and mask wearing will be required throughout the journey. All customers will be provided with a personal Health Pack for their health and safety, which will contain three medical grade face masks to be worn onboard, surface wipes and hand gel.

Food On Board

The airline is offering a hot food service in all cabins including special meals catering for individual dietary requirements such Halal, vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. Meals have been redesigned to limit interaction, enclosed and controlled from preparation in a COVID-safe, monitored environment to the moment it is served.

Economy and Premium Economy customers will now enjoy a ‘Fly safe, eat well’ meal box, which incorporates a choice of two hot meals, cheese and biscuits and a dessert pot washed down with a selection of beverages.

Upper Class customers will receive a choice of three hot meals, desserts, including cheese & biscuits and a ciabatta roll, all delivered to their seat on a tray. All customers will receive a second meal service which, on day flights from the UK, includes the delicious Mile High Tea in collaboration with celebrity pâtissier Eric Lanlard.

Flights are on sale from 20th October.  For further information visit www.virginatlantic.com.

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Aditya Anand
Deputy Editor, AviatorsBuzz Aditya Anand in his nearly two decades of Journalism experience has tracked Aviation, Travel, and Hospitality closely and reported on it for major publications like The Hindu, Mumbai Mirror, and MIDDAY.