Virgin Atlantic Adds More US Flights
UK-Based Virgin Atlantic is cutting some international flights and adding more U.S. flights. The effort is part of an expansion of Virgin's codeshare with Delta Airlines. Virgin said the move is an effort to focus on more profitable routes.
Virgin Atlantic will begin serving Detroit Metro and add an additional flight to New York's JFK and Los Angeles (LAX). Virgin will also add an additional seasonal flight to Atlanta. Detroit is major Delta hub and will serve to strengthen the codeshare between the two airlines.
Delta currently has a 49% stake in Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic says the codeshare with Delta is an effort to return to profitability. Virgin's press release says the airline will achieve sustained profitiablity by 2018. In response to Virgin Atlantic's increased flights, Delta will launch a New York (JFK) to Manchester, England flight in 2015.
While Virgin Atlantic is adding flights to the U.S. it's withdrawaling from other markets. Virgin Atlantic will end flights to Tokyo Narita January 31, 2015. The airline will also end flights to Mumbai, India. Summer seasonal service will not return next year to Vancouver, Canada and winter seasonal service to Capetown, South Africa will not return after this year.
According to Virgin Atlantic: "The intended changes will enable Virgin Atlantic to better utilise its fleet by flying routes which deliver maximum profit or strategic importance, whilst matching customer desire to travel to other global destinations. Virgin Atlantic remains deeply committed to all of its global destinations and its network will include a continued presence in South Africa through its Johannesburg service, a continued presence in India through its Delhi service, as well as flights to other key destinations in Asia, Africa, Caribbean and the Middle East."