36 Facts About Virgin Atlantic


Virgin Atlantic uses a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body aircraft and operates to destinations in North America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Asia from its main base at Heathrow, and its secondary base at Manchester.

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Virgin Atlantic aircraft consist of three cabins: Economy, Premium and Upper Class.

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In July 2017, Virgin Atlantic announced its intention to form a joint venture with Air France–KLM, but in December 2019, it was announced that the joint venture would not include a stake in the company.

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Virgin Atlantic filed for Chapter 15 Bankruptcy Protection in New York on 4 August 2020 as part of a £1.

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Virgin Atlantic has its origins in a joint endeavour by Randolph Fields, an American-born lawyer, and Alan Hellary, a former chief pilot for British private airline Laker Airways.

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In 1987, Virgin Atlantic launched a service between Luton and Dublin using secondhand Vickers Viscount turboprop aircraft, but this route was withdrawn around 1990.

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In 1991, Virgin Atlantic was given permission to operate from Heathrow following the abolition of the London Air Traffic Distribution Rules, which had governed the distribution of traffic between Heathrow and Gatwick airports since 1978, primarily to bolster the profitability of Gatwick.

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Civil Aviation Authority transferred two pairs of unused landing slots that British Airways held at Tokyo's Narita Airport to Virgin Atlantic; allowing it to increase frequency between Heathrow and Tokyo from four to six weekly round trips, making it easier to compete against British Airways.

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The decision to abolish the London TDRs and to let Virgin Atlantic operate at Heathrow, in competition with British Airways, became the trigger for BA's so-called "dirty tricks" campaign against the company.

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In 1997, following British Airways' announcement that it was to remove the Union Flag from its tailfins in favour of world images, Virgin Atlantic introduced a Union Flag design on the winglets of its aircraft and changed the red dress on the Scarlet Lady on the nose of aircraft to the union flag with the tag line "Britain's Flag Carrier".

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Virgin Atlantic escaped a similar fine to that levied on British Airways only by virtue of the immunity it had earlier negotiated with the regulators.

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In September 2014 Virgin Atlantic announced plans to scrap flights to Tokyo, Mumbai, Vancouver, and Cape Town, and to codeshare transatlantic flights with Delta Air Lines; the company was reported to be considering axing its new Little Red domestic airline after suffering heavy losses.

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On 6 October 2014, Virgin Atlantic confirmed that Little Red services between London and Manchester would end in March 2015, and that the Scottish routes would be terminated in September 2015.

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In June 2015, Richard Branson stated that Virgin Atlantic had needed the aforementioned deal with Delta to survive, after losses of £233 million between 2010 and 2013.

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In 2019, Virgin Atlantic began to allow its female flight attendants to not wear makeup and have a choice to wear trousers rather than a skirt.

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In March 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Richard Branson and Virgin Atlantic attracted criticism by asking employees to take eight weeks' unpaid leave.

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In May 2020, Virgin Atlantic announced over 3,000 jobs losses in the UK and an imminent end to operations at Gatwick Airport.

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On September 4,2020, Virgin Atlantic announced a second round of job cuts, totalling 1,150 across all departments.

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Virgin Atlantic said that avoiding Russia would add between 15 minutes and an hour to flight journeys between the UK and India and Pakistan.

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On 27 September 2022, Virgin Atlantic announced that the airline will join SkyTeam airline alliance in 2023.

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Virgin Atlantic operates several offices and call centres around the United Kingdom, including a large office in Swansea, Wales, which is a base for reservations, sales, baggage claims and tracing, 'live chat' web support and a customer relations department.

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In November 2010, it was reported that Virgin Atlantic had appointed Deutsche Bank to begin a strategic review of options for the airline following the tie-up between British Airways and American Airlines.

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Virgin Atlantic aircraft operate with a three-class cabin configuration: Economy, Premium, and Upper Class - the business class product.

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Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to offer personal entertainment for all passengers in all classes.

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Virgin Atlantic operates 6 lounges worldwide called 'Clubhouse' at London Heathrow, New York-JFK, Boston, Washington DC -Dulles, San Francisco and Johannesburg.

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Virgin Atlantic purchased enough slots in 2012 to enable it to launch a domestic service on 31 March 2013, under the Little Red brand, operating a total of 12 daily services from London to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Manchester.

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In September 2014, it was reported that Virgin Atlantic was considering closing its domestic brand after suffering heavy losses, with Civil Aviation Authority figures confirming an average seat occupancy level of just 37.

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On 6 October 2014, Virgin Atlantic confirmed that the Little Red service would cease; flights to Manchester ended on 28 March 2015 and flights to Edinburgh and Aberdeen ended on 26 September 2015.

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On 13 April 2015, Virgin Atlantic incorporated a new subsidiary – Virgin Atlantic International Limited.

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On 11 January 2019, Virgin Atlantic formed the Connect Airways consortium with Stobart Aviation and Cyrus Capital, to make a takeover bid for Flybe.

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The deal would see the consortium combine Flybe and Stobart Air with Virgin Atlantic to create an integrated carrier operating under the Virgin Atlantic brand.

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However, despite the investment of £135 million from Connect Airways into Flybe, the airline filed for administration and ceased operations with immediate effect in March 2020, following reduced demand that Virgin Atlantic attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic and the UK government failing to grant a £100 million loan.

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In September 2022, Virgin Atlantic announced the introduction two new sets of uniforms, designed by Vivienne Westwood, as well as a new policy to embrace the concept of gender neutrality.

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Virgin Atlantic operates a fleet consisting entirely of widebody aircraft from both Airbus and Boeing.

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In October 2006, with the delivery of G-VRED, Virgin Atlantic introduced a new design, with the fuselage painted in metallic silver and a revised tail fin, with red and purple features and the logo.

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The Virgin Atlantic logo was added in purple billboard titles to the underside of the aircraft.

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