LONDON – Virgin Atlantic announced new services between London-Heathrow and Tel Aviv, starting on September 25 of this year.

The services will occur on a daily basis using its Airbus A330-300 aircraft, offering up to 180,000 seats every year.

The most common setup for the A330-300 in Virgin’s fleet is 33 seats in Upper Class, 48 in Premium Economy, and 185 in Standard economy.

Virgin Atlantic started marketing this route as an offered connecting point to North America itself in a hope to enhance passenger numbers in its US market.

Shai Weiss, the CEO of Virgin Atlantic, commented on this new route opening, talking about how 2019 is a signal of the growth strategy for the airline.

“2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to achieve our ambition to become the most loved travel company,” he said.

“Tel Aviv represents a fantastic opportunity for us – Israel’s economy is booming and as one of the world’s leading tech hubs we’re anticipating many business travellers and entrepreneurs flying between Tel Aviv and the UK.”

Weiss added that Virgin Atlantic sees “a significant opportunity to increase competition in the US – Tel Aviv market, using the strength of our trans-Atlantic Joint Venture with Delta to offer customers from Tel Aviv a wide range of US destinations connecting through London Heathrow including New York and San Francisco.”

Photo: A350 Production

The airline’s growth strategy for 2019 will see the airline welcome the first four of 12 Airbus A350-1000s it has on order, which will offer more fuel efficiency and therefore lower fares in the competitive world.

The first A350-1000 was spotted last month in Toulouse with only its winglets painted in the airline’s colors.

On top of this, the carrier will enhance its $13 billion transatlantic joint venture with Delta, Air France and KLM where passengers will see over 300 daily flights across 96 non-stop destinations across the Atlantic.

The carrier is also expanding to Las Vegas from Heathrow as well as Los Angeles from Manchester.

The new service to Tel Aviv also aims to capture some of the traffic that Israeli carrier El Al has owned for quite some time, especially on the New York to Tel Aviv nonstop route. Also, El Al launched nonstop services from Miami to Tel Aviv on board its brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners just recently.