Virgin Atlantic plans massive expansion of its network

Virgin Atlantic plans massive expansion of its network

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Virgin Atlantic has outlined plans for a massive expansion of its network.

Virgin Atlantic is planning to add 84 new routes to its network after a third runway is built at London’s Heathrow Airport, the airline said today.

Twelve of the new destinations Virgin plans to serve are in the UK or Channel Islands.

They are Aberdeen, Belfast, Edinburgh, Exeter, Guernsey, Glasgow, Inverness, Jersey, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Newquay.

Whilst 35 are long-haul routes targeting North, Central and South America, Asia and Africa.

The airline’s chief executive, Shai Weiss, claimed Heathrow has been dominated by British Airways’ parent company IAG “for far too long”.

IAG currently controls more than half of Heathrow’s slots.

“This would lower fares and give real choice to passengers, as well giving Britain a real opportunity to boost its trade and investment links around the world,” he said.

Virgin Atlantic plans to compete on 26 of the 77 routes currently operated by IAG from Heathrow, ranging from Buenos Aires to Barcelona.

Speaking about Virgin Atlantic’s ambition of becoming a “second flag-carrier”, an IAG spokeswoman said: “The airline has failed to create more competition at the airport – it closed Little Red on domestic routes, pulled off long-haul routes and rents out the slots it owns to other airlines to fly.”