Virgin Atlantic has announced a new route between Vancouver to London Heathrow. It will start in May 2012 and will continue till the end of October. It will be four-times-a-week service. The airline also added second flight to San Francisco.

Virgin Atlantic Airways yesterday announced the launch of a new seasonal route between Vancouver and London Heathrow Airport.

The new route that is expected to serve up to 40,000 travellers will be operational from May 2012 until the end of October. Virgin Atlanticwill offer the flight service four times a week throughout the summer.

With London hosting the Olympic Games 2012 as well as commemorating the diamond jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, the airline hopes that many Canadians would want to travel to the UK capital.

Reacting to the announcement, the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia was quoted as stating, “Today’s announcement by Virgin Atlantic, of four new weekly flights between London and Vancouver, is positive news for British Columbia’s tourism industry.”

The Premier continued, “The United Kingdom is one of our key markets and also serves as a hub for other international travellers heading to our province. Virgin Atlantic is recognized around the world as a progressive airline and we look forward to welcoming their passengers to British Columbia when their service begins next summer.”

Virgin Atlantic plans to ply Airbus A340-300s on the new London-Vancouver route. The aircraft will have a configuration of 34 Upper Class suites, 35 Premium Economy seats and 171 Economy seats. The high number of economy class seats will ensure that travellers who seek cheap flightstickets will have better chances of netting them.

Flight VS95 will depart from London Heathrow (LHR) at 1:00 p.m. and will land at the Vancouver International Airport () at 3:10 p.m. Flight VS96 will take off from YVR at 7:50 p.m. and touch down at LHR the next day at 1:45 p.m. local time.

Additionally, Virgin Atlantic announced the launch of a second service between London and San Francisco. This service will be initiated from March 2012 and will run until October 2012. It will be a three times a week service (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays).

Virgin Atlantic’s Flight VS41 will leave LHR at 1:00 p.m. and arrive at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) at 4:50 p.m. local time. Flight VS42 will take off SFO at 6:50 p.m. and land at LHR the subsequent day at 1:45 p.m.

Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Executive said, “The North American market has always been at the core of our business. Our success here has been due to our investment in product innovation and our willingness to respond to customer demand.”

“With almost 20,000 people flying from the UK to Canada each month in the peak season, the UK is the largest overseas market for passengers to British Columbia,” adds Ridgway.”

He hoped that more competition will mean better services and perhaps cheap flight tickets for the passengers.

“Greater competition to both Vancouver and San Francisco will benefit passengers through improved choice and better value for money,” he was further quoted in news reports.

As per the airline estimates, the increased flight frequency to San Francisco and Vancouver will create up to 430 jobs in aviation and tourism sectors in both cities.

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