Virgin cuts underperforming flights

1 Sep 2008 by Mark Caswell

Over the next few months Virgin Atlantic is scrapping a number of flights with light load factors. The cuts are being seen on routes linking London Heathrow with Washington Dulles, Mumbai, New York JFK and the Caribbean. There are also a number of cancellations next January to Orlando.

It means that Virgin will make savings but passengers may be inconvenienced. Not only may the new timings not be to their liking but fewer seats on a route equate to reduced availability of lower fares, FFP award seats and so on.

A spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic says, “A small number of flights on certain dates will not be operating due to lower, out of season demand. We are in the process of contacting passengers or their travel agents who have already made bookings to advise them of the alternative arrangements.”

The main route cancellations are:

  • Heathrow to Washington Dulles is served twice daily by Virgin but one of these flights will be cut on various dates this month and next. Westbound flight VS55 at 1730 and eastbound flight VS56 at 2310 is cancelled on six dates between September 3 and October 22. Passengers will be rebooked the same day on flights VS21 at 1130 and VS22 at 1840.
  • In addition westbound flight VS21 and eastbound flight VS22 will be removed from the schedule on 15 separate dates between September 10 and October 20 in favour of rebooking passengers the same day on VS55 and VS56.
  • Virgin operates once daily to Mumbai. Flight VS350 from Heathrow at 2200 returning as VS351 (the following day) at 1335 are being withdrawn on eight separate dates between September 16 and October 9. Passengers are being rebooked on the same flights one day later.
  • Heathrow to New York JFK. Virgin is removing one daily return flight pair from its winter schedule.  It means that VS25 at 1800 from Heathrow and VS26 at 0730 from JFK will not operate with effective from October 26.

Other flight cancellations, taking place this month, will cover services out of Gatwick to Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua.  Next January there are a number of cancellations between Gatwick, Manchester and Orlando.

Readers who have booked online direct with Virgin Atlantic may wish to double-check their bookings to avoid missing their flight. Although airlines claim they contact passengers by email, reader feedback indicates that some of these emails end up unread in the spam bin.

For more information go to

Report by Alex McWhirter

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