SOUTH NORWALK, Conn. – Today, Virgin Atlantic Airways will celebrate a quarter century of service between Miami and London. The launch of Miami – London service signaled the beginning of Virgin Atlantic’s growth outside of the New York market and since beginning in 1986, 4.5 million passengers have traveled to Miami and $7.4bn has been contributed to the city’s economy.
Sir Richard Branson President of Virgin Atlantic, (who was met on the wing of the aircraft at Miami International Airport by British pop sensation Sarah Harding), said:
“This is a fantastic milestone in Virgin Atlantic’s history. Miami was the second route Virgin Atlantic launched two years after the airline began and to think that we are now a world class airline with 32 long haul destinations is a dream come true.
“Miami is a key route for Virgin Atlantic – with many business travelers commuting on the route each year and holiday makers jetting out to enjoy Miami and its many beautiful beaches.
“Our promise to our passengers when we launched the route was to offer a fantastic quality of service and innovation onboard at great value and I believe that we continue to fulfill that promise 25 years later.”
Since the airline’s inaugural flight in 1986, Virgin Atlantic’s fleet has flown a total of 67 million miles to and from Miami and served clientele with over five million of their signature meals and ice cream. Also, passengers who have traveled in Upper Class and Premium Economy have enjoyed 165,000 bottles of champagne, which equates to 990,000 glasses served since launch with possibly the millionth glass being served on today’s flight!
Amanda Wills, Managing Director for Virgin Holidays commented:
“It’s fantastic to be celebrating this landmark anniversary for one of our most popular destinations. Miami has been a firm favorite with our customers since Virgin Holidays was launched and they continue to love its vibrancy, color and style. We’ve sent hundreds of thousands of people on holiday to Miami over the years and we’re looking forward to many more enjoying our industry-leading mix of product and service there in the future.”
The daily VS005 is operated by an A340-600 from London Heathrow. The flight departs Heathrow at 11:50am arriving at Miami at 16:20pm. Return flights depart Miami at 20:45pm and arrive the following day at London Heathrow at 10:25am.