SOUTH NORWALK, Conn. – Virgin Atlantic has announced the launch of a new route between Vancouver and London Heathrow. The latest route, which will see up to 40,000 customers flying between the cities, will start in May 2012 and will operate four times a week throughout the summer period until the end of October.
As Vancouver celebrates its 125th birthday this year, the new route will give the city a very special present, expected to generate around CAD $54 million of tourism revenue for the Vancouver area each year*. Also, the 10 percent increase in capacity to London Heathrow is great news for Canadians wanting to travel to London in 2012, with the city hosting some of the biggest events in a generation.
In addition to the Vancouver service, Virgin Atlantic is launching a second service between London and San Francisco that will operate three times a week starting in March 2012. It is estimated that the new Vancouver route and increased frequency at San Francisco have the potential to create up to 430 jobs in aviation and tourism across both cities.
“The North American market has always been at the core of our business. Our success here has been due to our investment in product innovation and our willingness to respond to customer demand,” said Steve Ridgway, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Executive. “With almost 20,000 people flying from the UK to Canada each month in the peak season, the UK is the largest overseas market for passengers to British Columbia. Greater competition to both Vancouver and San Francisco will benefit passengers through improved choice and better value for money.”
Commenting on the announcement, the Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia said:
“Today’s announcement by Virgin Atlantic, of four new weekly flights between London and Vancouver, is positive news for British Columbia’s tourism industry. The United Kingdom is one of our key markets and also serves as a hub for other international travellers heading to our province. Virgin Atlantic is recognized around the world as a progressive airline and we look forward to welcoming their passengers to British Columbia when their service begins next summer.”