Exclusive: Virgin drops London-Mumbai

9 Mar 2009 by Mark Caswell

Virgin Atlantic will pull off the London to Mumbai route
from early May citing economic reasons. The carrier blames a mix of slumping demand and
irrational pricing by rivals for the move.

Virgin’s last flight from Heathrow will be VS350
at 2115 on May 2 with VS351 at 1340 the final service out of Mumbai on May 3.

Says a spokesperson for Virgin Atlantic, “We’ve
taken the decision to temporarily suspend flights on this route. Demand for seats
on this route is falling fast and the current operators on this route are price
dumping seats.

“Official figures show that passenger numbers
fell by 18 per cent between January and November 2008 compared to the same
period in 2007.

“The route is full of carriers making huge
losses so we are not prepared to continue serving it.

“We will monitor the situation with a view to
returning to the route when the economic situation might make it profitable to
do so.

“Our Delhi
service continues unchanged and we will continue to look at serving other cities
in India.”

For more information visit To read a recent Business Traveller review of the economy class product on this route, click here.

Report by Alex McWhirter

Update: Finnair has also announced it is to suspend its four-times weekly service between Helsinki and Mumbai from this May – for more information click here.

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