Virgin cancels Tokyo and Mumbai services

3 Sep 2014 by GrahamSmith

Virgin Atlantic has announced a number of route changes including five additional transatlantic flights and the cancellation of its Tokyo Narita and Mumbai services.

The airline will stop flying to Narita and Mumbai early in 2015 — the final flights to both destinations will depart London Heathrow on January 31, with the last return legs operating on February 1.

Virgin plans to operate a new service between London Heathrow and Detroit and extra daily flights from LHR to New York JFK, Los Angeles and Atlanta.

Exact dates when these proposed changes will take effect have not been disclosed. A Virgin Atlantic spokesman said the carrier is in a "period of consultation".

Next summer, the carrier will launch a seasonal (second) service from Heathrow to Atlanta and an extra daily flight will run between LHR and San Francisco.

Meanwhile, a "transfer of operations" with its joint venture partner Delta Air Lines will see Virgin fly a daily service between Manchester and Atlanta and Delta fly one of Virgin's existing LHR to Newark services. Delta will next summer launch a new daily route between Manchester and New York JFK on June 2.

Virgin will cancel its Heathrow to Vancouver service at the end of this summer season on October 11.

Its winter seasonal service to Cape Town will operate as planned this winter but will not be renewed in 2015/16.

The new route from Heathrow to Detroit, the new services from LHR New York JFK, Los Angeles, Miami and San Francisco, and the service from Manchester to Atlanta will all form part of Virgin's joint venture with Delta Air Lines.

A statement said: "Across the joint venture, Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines will now offer ten daily services from London to the New York area, including eight daily services between London Heathrow and New York JFK, the world's number one business travel route."

The airline said it is on target to deliver an annual profit by the end of this year, following a two-year recovery plan.

Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger said: "Our ambition is to be profitable for the long-term, earn competitive returns, and invest those into providing the very best experience for our customers on the routes they most want to fly.

"Transatlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region.

"Today's announcement allows us to play to our strengths and focus our network on routes between the UK and US, as well as other critical global destinations that are most important to our customers."

The second daily service during the summer season from Heathrow to Atlanta, and the second daily service during the winter season from Heathrow to Miami are subject to regulatory approval.

Graham Smith

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