Virgin Atlantic axes flights to Japan, India, Canada, South Africa

By David Flynn, September 3 2014
Virgin Atlantic axes flights to Japan, India, Canada, South Africa

Virgin Atlantic is pulling out of Tokyo, Mumbai, Vancouver and Cape Town as the airline repositions itself as a transatlantic  airline flying mainly between the UK and the USA.

The Richard Branson-backed airline will boost its transatlantic timetable with a fifth daily service from London Heathrow to New York JFK; an extra daily service from London Heathrow to Los Angeles; plus new daily services from London Heathrow to Detroit and Manchester to Atlanta.

Partner Delta Air Lines will take over one of Virgin's current London Heathrow to Newark services and also launch a new daily service from Manchester to New York JFK in mid-2015.

New seasonal services will include a second daily flights during the summer season from London Heathrow to Atlanta; an extra summer seasonal service from London Heathrow to San Francisco, flying five times a week; and a second daily service during the winter season from London Heathrow to Miami.

"Transatlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region" said Virgin Atlantic  CEO Craig Kreeger of the overhaul.

"Today's announcement allows us to play to our strengths and focus our network on routes between the UK and US, as well as other critical global destinations that are most important to our customers."

"Our ambition is to be profitable for the long term, earn competitive returns, and invest those into providing the very best experience for our customers on the routes they most want to fly."

Virgin's flights from London to Tokyo/Narita flight and Mumbai will be shuttered from February 1, with Cape Town cut from the schedule  on 27 April.

The summer seasonal service from London to Vancouver won't return after 11 October 2014, with the winter seasonal service to Cape Town will run in winter 2014/15 "but will not be renewed the following winter."

Sanctioned from the cuts are Virgin Atlantic's daily flights to Johannesburg and Delhi, "as well as flights to other key destinations in Asia, Africa, Caribbean and the Middle East."

In May this year Virgin Atlantic axed its Sydney-Hong Kong flights and exited the Australian market, although the London-Hong Kong flight remains on the board.

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

14 Jan 2014

Total posts 339

That means only BA are left serving the London to Cape Town direct route now :-((((

British Airways - Executive Club

07 Sep 2012

Total posts 47

Virgin has to understand that many Canadians won't like flying through the US and on DL just to get to/from UK.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 128

True, but how many carriers are really needed on YVR-LHR?  At least AC and BA can rely on feed at one end or the other, but VS is largely operating point-to-point here.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

11 Aug 2014

Total posts 51

We're cutting routes to reposition ourselves in the US. Sounds like qantas

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 182

Yes but there is some strategy behind vs not just random route cutting 

It's good to know that BA is now and will remain (for the forseeable future) the true flag carrier of the United Kingdom.

Now let's hope the United Kingdom remains intact!!!!!

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