Fans of Virgin Atlantic will be able to fly the carrier to Chicago from next April.
Virgin says it will launch a daily flight to Chicago on April 23 to be operated by an Airbus A340-300 (configured with 34 business, 35 premium economy and 171 regular economy seats).
Chicago will be Virgin’s ninth US gateway. Some 1.86 million passengers flew between Heathrow and Chicago last year, making the US gateway the third most popular destination from London for long-haul passengers after New York JFK and Dubai.
All flights will have Virgin’s Upper Class suite seating with the new premium economy seating being installed by the end of June.
Flight VS039 will depart Heathrow at 1200 getting into Chicago at 1455. Inbound service VS040, departs at 1800 to reach Heathrow at 0800 the following morning.
Virgin’s entry to this route will be welcomed by regular flyers, but success on the Chicago route isn’t assured. That’s because the three current main carriers (British Airways, United and American) carry substantial amounts of connecting traffic to beyond points. Virgin will miss out on this substantial business as it lacks code-share and alliance links
In other news, Virgin will double its Heathrow to Washington DC service from one to two flights a day next year.
From April 24, the new service VS055 will depart Heathrow at 1730 to reach Washington DC at 2055. It will return as VS056 at 2310 arriving the next morning into Heathrow at 1135. Flights are operated by an A340-300.
For more information go to www.virgin-atlantic.com
Report by Alex McWhirter