Virgin Atlantic adds India routes in ‘key strategic expansion’

ByTravelling For Business

April 3, 2024
Virgin Atlantic has announced a significant expansion of its services to India, marking a strategic move to strengthen its presence in the country.Virgin Atlantic has announced a significant expansion of its services to India, marking a strategic move to strengthen its presence in the country.

Virgin Atlantic has announced a significant expansion of its services to India, marking a strategic move to strengthen its presence in the country.

The airline revealed plans to introduce additional flights connecting London with Bengaluru, India’s third-largest city, alongside the launch of a second daily service between London and Mumbai, scheduled to commence in October.

With this expansion, Virgin Atlantic is set to enhance its focus on the Indian market, complementing its existing flights between London Heathrow and Delhi. The airline will offer a total of five daily departures to India from autumn, representing approximately ten percent of its global capacity. This move reflects a substantial increase in the airline’s commitment to the Indian market, with a projected surge of 350 percent in seat capacity to India by 2025 compared to 2019.

Speaking about the strategic significance of India for Virgin Atlantic, CEO Shai Weiss emphasised the country’s importance as a key market for the airline, alongside the Caribbean. He highlighted the diverse passenger mix comprising business travellers, visitors to friends and relatives, and leisure travellers, facilitated by Virgin Atlantic’s codeshare partnership with IndiGo, offering onward connections to 36 destinations.

Weiss underscored Bengaluru’s prominence as a rapidly growing tech hub that aligns with Virgin Atlantic’s strategic objectives. Noting the city’s status as home to numerous Unicorns, he highlighted its potential for business and leisure travel.

Virgin Atlantic’s 2023 financial results underscored the slower recovery of corporate travel compared to leisure, even as the airline reported record revenues and narrowed losses compared to the previous year. With a target of returning to profitability this year, Virgin Atlantic views the expansion into India as a significant opportunity in response to growing demand for international travel from the region.

The newly introduced flights to Bengaluru, operated by Boeing 787-9 aircraft, will offer travellers convenient departure and arrival times, further enhancing connectivity between London and India’s dynamic tech centre.