MIAMI – Virgin Atlantic (VS) has announced two new long-haul routes as part of its eastern expansion plans: London-Heathrow to Cape Town, and from Manchester to Delhi.

The Manchester – Delhi route will be operated by the carrier’s A330-200 aircraft on Monday, Thursday and Saturday, under flight number VS318, departing Manchester at 16:40 and landing the next morning in Delhi at 06:05.

The return service, with flight number VS319, will depart on Tuesdays, Fridays or Sundays at 08:10, and returning back to land at 12:10. It is worth noting that the Manchester – Delhi route was previously serviced by Jet Airways.

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Virgin Atlantic, said, “2020 is an extremely exciting year of continued growth for Virgin Atlantic and increasing our presence out of Manchester is a huge focus for us.” 

Jarvinen said, “we’re delighted to announce a new service flying three times a week from Manchester to Delhi, additional capacity into Barbados from Manchester as well as a Clubhouse opening this summer.”

“This year will also see Flybe transform into Virgin Connect, and we’re excited to offer customers flying from the north 47 daily flights throughout the UK, Ireland and across Europe,” added the CCO.

The more routes, the more options for VS customers

The service will be operated alongside the carriers already double daily service from Heathrow and will see the carrier now offering over 600,000 seats per year between the UK and India.

This translates to more options available for VS’ business and leisure travelers than ever before.

The CCO also noted, “2020 marks our 20th anniversary of flying to India and as the destination continues to grow in popularity for both business and leisure travel, we’re thrilled to fly to Delhi for the very first time from Manchester, our home in the north.”

“Additionally, we look forward to launching new services from Heathrow to Sao Paulo and Cape Town as well as increasing capacity on our Heathrow to Havana route,” said Jarvinen.

Photo: Atlantic dawn, Phillip Capper.

Last September, VS unveiled plans which could see it launch up to 84 new routes from London Heathrow, a move against the dominance of the International Airlines Group’s British Airways and the number of slots it currently holds at the airport.

It would appear that after years of establishing themselves as one of the best Atlantic carriers in the UK, VS now has its sights on expanding into the Asian, African and Middle-eastern markets, something that will be achievable with VS’ new A350 fleet.