Gatwick will lose another long-haul destination from January 27, as Virgin Nigeria drops its routes from Lagos to both London and South Africa.
In December businesstraveller.com brought you the exclusive news that newcomer Arik Air would be using brand new A340-550 aircraft originally meant for Kingfisher Airlines on its London-Lagos route (see online news December 12, 2008). It’s possible that the introduction of this aircraft (complete with fully-flat beds and a bar in business class) has prompted Virgin Nigeria to pull off the route for the time being at least.
The carrier (in which Virgin Atlantic owns a 49 per cent stake) will suspend long-haul operations to both London Gatwick and Johannesburg on January 27, with passengers booked after this date being transferred to other flights (Virgin Atlantic also serves Lagos daily from Heathrow).
In a statement Virgin Nigeria said:
“The decision to suspend both services is to enable us to review our entire long haul operations.
“In the mean time, our focus is on consolidating and continuing to expand our profitable domestic and regional flight operations.”
It’s another blow to Gatwick’s long-haul aspirations, with several services dropped by major carriers last year, although BA did re-introduce its Gatwick-New York JFK flights for the winter schedule.
For more information visit virginnigeria.com.
Report by Mark Caswell