Virgin Atlantic is to relaunch flights to Mumbai, with a daily service from London Heathrow starting on October 28.
Flights will depart London Heathrow at 1015 arriving into Mumbai at 0055 the next day. The return flights depart at 0310, arriving into London at 0755.
The reinstated route will be served by Virgin’s newest A330 aircraft, featuring 185 economy seats, 45 in premium economy, and 33 of the carrier's new Upper Class ‘Dreamsuites’, which are set to be unveiled on its London-New York route this spring (see online news February 6).
The aircraft is also fitted with Panasonic’s latest in-flight entertainment system which is operated by touchscreen technology, allowing passengers to scroll through over 300 hours of content (for more information see online news April 4, 2011).
Virgin dropped its Mumbai route in 2009 amid falling demand and aggressive pricing strategies from rivals (see online news March 9, 2009). Since then the route has grown in demand to become Heathrow’s 12th busiest route, carrying over one million passengers.
The London to Mumbai route is already served by British Airways and Air India (with Bmi codesharing on the Indian airlines' service). Troubled carrier Kingfisher Airlines also serves the route, but is expected to drop the service on April 10 (see online news March 14).
Virgin currently codeshares on the route with Jet Airways, and a spokesperson said that "We have a very strong partnership with Jet Airways and we intend to continue our codeshare relationship to complement our new Mumbai service".
Steve Ridgway, chief executive at Virgin Atlantic Airways said, “Virgin Atlantic is proud to be flying to Mumbai again, linking this wonderful city to our key destinations of London, New York, Boston, Washington and Chicago […] We’ll continue to offer Indian entertainment and delicacies on board served by local Indian crew.”
Tickets for the route go on sale April 4.
For more information visit virgin-atlantic.com.
Report by Scott Carey