The British carrier Virgin Atlantic has planned to re-launch its flight to India connecting London and Mumbai from 28 October 2012. The London – Mumbai route has seen considerable growth since 2009.
British carrier Virgin Atlantic Airways announced that it will launch new flights to India connecting Mumbai with London Heathrow. Earlier the airline had discontinued their Mumbai route due to diminishing profits in a recession-hit environment, sources indicate.
Virgin Atlantic’s flight to India connecting Mumbai and London will take off from London’s Heathrow airport on October 28 and will fly back the next day, online sources quoted a Virgin spokesperson as stating. The flight will be operated on an Airbus A330-300 aircraft the airline’s brand new Upper Class Dreamsuite.
Apart from operating flights between Mumbai to London, Virgin Atlantic will also provide easy connections from London Heathrow to US cities including New York, Boston, Chicago and Washington with stopovers of not more than couple of hours.
While expressing contentment on the re-launch of the flight, Sir Richard Branson, president Virgin Atlantic Airways was quoted as saying: “India’s phenomenal growth continues to drive travel to the UK and the USA and we know our passengers are going to love the connections the new flights offers.”
British High Commissioner to India James Bevan said, “This is a welcome new offering for passengers travelling to and from India’s commercial capital, be it for business, leisure, education, sport or culture. The expansion of air links between the UK and India helps to underpin the vibrant people to people ties between our two countries.”
As per the airline’s press release, “since 2009, the number of people who have flown between Heathrow and Mumbai has grown by 9% to more than one million passengers, making it Heathrow’s 12th busiest long-haul route. The new Mumbai service is being launched on the back of another Indian success story with the Virgin Atlantic New Delhi to London and New York service enjoying 20% growth in passenger numbers in 2011, which celebrates 12 years of flying this summer.”
The airline’s press release also reveals that “$2.2bn is being spent on Virgin Atlantic’s fleet of 10 Airbus A330 aircraft. The A330 is the Virgin Atlantic’s first long range twin engined aircraft and is the most efficient aircraft in its class today. The new plane will use 15% less fuel per seat than the airline’s A340-300 aircraft.”
It remains to be seen if the manifold increase in traffic between Heathrow and Mumbai, and relatively less operational expenses due to airline’s fuel efficient planes on the route will lead the airline to delight the holiday makers with cheap flight deals on its reinstated route.
The A330-300 aircraft operating on the route will have a three class configuration – 33 seats in Upper Class, 48 seats in Premium Economy and 185 seats in Economy class. A good supply of economy class seats is for sure going to delight those hoping to book tickets on cheap flights to India with the airline.