Showing posts with label Virgin Atlantic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Virgin Atlantic. Show all posts

06 February, 2024

Virgin Atlantic Cargo Joins Freightos' WebCargo to Bring Air Cargo eBooking to Thousands of Freight Forwarders Globally

Freightos, a leading vendor-neutral booking and payment platform for the international freight industry, announced that WebCargo by Freightos has partnered with Virgin Atlantic Cargo, a global air cargo leader. This collaboration combines Virgin Atlantic Cargo's extensive network with WebCargo's digital reach, providing more options for forwarders globally.

With the largest off-site cargo handling operation at the UK's largest commercial aviation hub in London, Virgin Atlantic Cargo flies to 30 destinations across four continents, including key locations across the United States, India, China, Nigeria, South Africa, and the Caribbean. Virgin Atlantic Cargo's state-of-the-art cargo centre "dnata City East" offers the latest technology and facilities available to handle cargo efficiently and enables smooth connections to its onward network. The airline's facilities and the processes implemented worldwide are designed to keep all types of products from general cargo to perishables and pharma safe during their transportation.


"We are delighted to have partnered with WebCargo as we continue to provide intuitive experiences for our customers, so they can move cargo their way. As customer requirements and digital experiences evolve it's important for us to work with a platform that has an optimized digital booking process and provides access to the largest number of forwarders with seamless access to our global network," said Virgin Atlantic Cargo Managing Director Phil Wardlaw. "Customers are at the heart of everything we do and we strive to make air cargo easier for everyone, offering more ways to book and access our capacity," Wardlaw added.

"The addition of Virgin Atlantic Cargo's capacity to WebCargo means that freight forwarders in over 10,000 offices worldwide gain instant, digital access to Virgin's vast network, including key destinations, such as New York, Los Angeles, and New Delhi," said Manel Galindo, Chief Revenue Officer at Freightos. "Global reach is crucial in our current era of supply chain disruptions and Red Sea workarounds. We are proud to partner with Virgin Atlantic Cargo to expand trade between the people of the world."


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22 January, 2024

Virgin Atlantic Implement Payment Orchestration with CellPoint Digital


The solution enables the global airline and travel group to streamline payment processes, drive revenue and minimise transaction costs



In a significant step towards enhancing the customer experience, Virgin Atlantic Airlines and its affiliated tour operator, Virgin Atlantic Holidays, have teamed up with the leading payment solutions provider for the airline industry and a pioneer in Payment Orchestration, CellPoint Digital. The full implementation of CellPoint Digital's Payment Orchestration Platform promises seamless and secure payment transactions for travellers and aims to set new benchmarks for efficiency and customer satisfaction in the airline industry's payment landscape.

By partnering with CellPoint Digital, Virgin Atlantic will see reduced transaction costs by leveraging intelligent routing capabilities, gain more control over their payment processes and acquirer relationships, and centralise the management of their entire payment ecosystem through a single unified platform.

"Virgin Atlantic are high-performing, global enterprises with a reputation for innovation – ideal candidates for Payment Orchestration," said Kristian Gjerding, CellPoint Digital's Chief Executive Officer. "With this solution in place, we can expect to drive significant cost reductions, improved conversion rates and eventually the swift and seamless introduction of new payment methods."

Before implementing CellPoint Digital's Payment Orchestration solution, one of Virgin Atlantic's key challenges was managing an expanding array of individual acquirers and payment method providers in different markets, each with its own implementation process and cost structure. The airline also lacked a way to view its entire payment ecosystem's performance at one time, making it challenging to execute optimal payment combinations that would yield the best financial results.

Payment Orchestration solves these challenges by providing a single platform that reduces complexity and gives Virgin Atlantic more control and visibility into its payment processes. CellPoint Digital's Payment Orchestration platform also allows the airline to dynamically route its transactions to its preferred acquirers, quickly add new acquirers and streamline its cross-border payments, all of which help to mitigate costs and diversify risk. The Velocity platform also offers the ability to roll out more payment options to passengers and travellers, creating a more positive booking experience, minimising abandoned transactions and growing revenue.

"CellPoint Digital has enabled us to transform our business," says Yasin Demir, Head of Distribution & Payments at Virgin Atlantic. "Now that we have been able to use multiple acquirers at one time, we have been able to diversify our risk, reduce cost, and optimise our payments strategy."

Payment Orchestration is a robust solution that delivers instant advantages to businesses through a unified platform. Virgin Atlantic and CellPoint Digital's ongoing collaboration aims to foster operational efficiencies and elevate the customer experience.

Virgin Atlantic was founded by entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson in 1984, with innovation and amazing customer service at its core. In 2023, Virgin Atlantic was voted Britain's only Global Five Star Airline by APEX for the seventh year running in the Official Airline Ratings. Headquartered in London, it employs more than 7,500 people worldwide, flying customers to 31 destinations across four continents throughout the year. Virgin Atlantic recently continued its expansion in the US, launching new routes to Austin, Texas and Tampa, Florida. 

Alongside shareholder and Joint Venture partner Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic operates a leading transatlantic network, with onward connections to over 200 cities around the world. In February 2020, Air France-KLM, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic launched an expanded Joint Venture, offering a comprehensive route network, convenient flight schedules, competitive fares and reciprocal frequent flyer benefits, including the ability to earn and redeem miles across all carriers.  Virgin Atlantic joined SkyTeam in March 2023 as the global airline alliance's first and only UK member airline, enhancing the alliance's transatlantic network and services to and from Heathrow and Manchester Airport.   

Virgin Atlantic has been pioneering sustainability leadership for more than 15 years, committing to Net Zero by 2050 and continuous action that reduces environmental impact.  The airline operates one of the youngest and most fuel-efficient fleets in the skies and has reduced its absolute carbon emissions by 35% over the last decade. In October 2022, Virgin Atlantic welcomed the first of 16 A330-900neos to the fleet, continuing its transformation towards 100% next generation aircraft by 2027.  Later in 2023, Virgin Atlantic is leading an industry consortium to deliver the first 100% SAF flight across the transatlantic. Demonstrating that 100% SAF can be used safely as a drop in fuel in existing infrastructure, engines and airframes. The need to scale production is an industry imperative and Virgin Atlantic is committed to radical collaboration across the energy chain to support commercialisation ahead of 2030.  



03 January, 2024

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic Airways mark 10 years of partnership success

Delta Air Lines and Virgin Atlantic are celebrating 10 years of joint venture partnership since the two carriers joined forces to enhance consumer benefits between the U.S. and the U.K. in 2014. The partnership has grown even stronger through the expanded joint venture with Air France-KLM launched in 2020, forming the leading joint venture across the Transatlantic. 

Since the partnership launched, the two global airline brands have grown their shared network, adding more routes and flights between the U.K. and in the U.S. and transporting nearly 40 million customers seamlessly across the Atlantic between the two countries. 

“Since we brought together our two iconic brands, the partnership has gone from strength to strength thanks to a shared focus on customer service and making flying fun," said Matteo Curcio, Delta’s S.V.P.-EMEAI. "Back in 2014, the partnership deal was a game changer for Delta enabling us to up competition on the most popular business routes between London Heathrow and the U.S., offering customers greater choice, while providing Virgin Atlantic unparalleled access to Delta’s network across North America.”  

Additionally, Delta and Virgin Atlantic customers have enjoyed an increased number of benefits while travelling between the U.K. and the U.S., including: 

09 December, 2023

Virgin Orbit's Boeing 747 now flies for Stratolaunch.


Earlier this month Stratolaunch welcomed the latest edition to its fleet, a Boeing 747 that they've named The Spirit of Mojave. This 20+-year-old jet was previously called Cosmic Girl and flew with Virgin Orbit, before its recent downfall and prior to that it was a regular transatlantic commuter operating flights for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

The modified 747 was named by the Stratolaunch employees, the firm confirmed on social media,  as a tribute to the passion of the Mojave aerospace community that has built and tested some of the world’s most unique aircraft. The Spirit of Mojave symbolizes expanded capability and reach to execute our hypersonic test mission. 

The expansion of Stratolaunch's fleet will increase its in-flight test capacity and ability to support government and commercial customers globally.  "The addition of this aircraft is a transformational milestone," said Dr. Zachary Krevor, President and CEO of Stratolaunch. "With Roc remaining as our mainstay aircraft, an additional 747 brings expanded capabilities and flexibility to our platform. We will be able to increase both our flight test capacity and reach to become an even stronger partner to global customers.".

Stratolaunch has also confirmed the completion of a captive carry flight with the first powered Talon-A hypersonic vehicle, TA-1. The flight was the twelfth for the company's launch platform Roc and the first in which the aircraft carried a Talon vehicle with live propellant as part of a buildup approach for Talon-A's first powered flight.

The flight lasted a total of three hours and 22 minutes and represented a significant step forward in the company's near-term goal of completing a powered flight with the Talon-A vehicle, TA-1. A primary objective was to evaluate Talon-A's propulsion system and the Talon environments while carrying live propellant. A second objective was to verify Roc and TA-1's telemetry systems, which provides the situational awareness to ensure all systems are ready for powered flight during the release sequence. 


"Talon-A's propulsion system supports a liquid-propellant rocket engine that provides the thrust needed for Talon-A to reach hypersonic speeds. While we have conducted several successful ground tests fueling and igniting the system, we needed to evaluate how the system performs in the flight environment prior to release," said Dr. Zachary Krevor, Chief Executive Officer for Stratolaunch. "Initial results from today's flight show that the system has performed as predicted, and we will determine our next steps pending the full data review of the test."













28 November, 2023

Transatlantic SAF powered flight success....


Virgin Atlantic has operated a flight between London Heathrow and New York JFK today flying with 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) marking the culmination of a year of radical collaboration, demonstrating the capability of SAF as a safe replacement for fossil-derived jet fuel. The Boeing 787 touched down a little after 19:04 this evening. 



SAF has a significant role to play in the decarbonization of long-haul aviation, and pathway to Net Zero 2050. The fuel, made from waste products, delivers CO2 lifecycle emissions savings of up to 70%, whilst performing like the traditional jet fuel it replaces.

While other technologies such as electric and hydrogen remain decades away, SAF can be used now. Today, SAF represents less than 0.1% of global jet fuel volumes and fuel standards allow for just a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. Virgin Flight VIR100 will prove that the challenge of scaling up production is one of policy and investment, and industry and government must move quickly to create a thriving UK SAF industry.

As well as proving the capabilities of SAF, Flight100 will assess how its use affects the flight's non-carbon emissions with the support of consortium partners ICF, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), Imperial College London and the University of Sheffield. The research will improve scientific understanding of the effects of SAF on contrails and particulates and help to implement contrail forecasts in the flight planning process. Data and research will be shared with industry, and Virgin Atlantic will continue its involvement with contrail work through RMI's Climate Impact Task Force, which is part-funded by Virgin Unite.

The SAF used on Flight VIR100 was a unique dual blend; 88% HEFA (Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids) supplied by AirBP and 12% SAK (Synthetic Aromatic Kerosene) supplied by Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. The HEFA is made from waste fats while the SAK is made from plant sugars, with the remainder of plant proteins, oil and fibres continuing into the food chain. SAK is needed in 100% SAF blends to give the fuel the required aromatics for engine function. To achieve Net Zero 2050, the innovation and investment needed across all available feedstocks and technologies must be harnessed to maximize SAF volumes as well as continuing the research and development needed to bring new zero-emission aircraft to market. 

Shai Weiss, Chief Executive Officer, of Virgin Atlantic said: "Flight100 proves that Sustainable Aviation Fuel can be used as a safe, drop-in replacement for fossil-derived jet fuel and it's the only viable solution for decarbonizing long-haul aviation. It's taken radical collaboration to get here and we're proud to have reached this important milestone, but we need to push further. There is simply not enough SAF and it's clear that in order to reach production at scale, we need to see significantly more investment. This will only happen when regulatory certainty and price support mechanisms, backed by the government, are in place. Flight100 proves that if you make it, we'll fly it."

Sir Richard Branson, Founder, of Virgin Atlantic said: "The world will always assume something can't be done, until you do it. The spirit of innovation is getting out there and trying to prove that we can do things better for everyone's benefit. Virgin Atlantic has been challenging the status quo and pushing the aviation industry to never settle and do better since 1984. Fast forward nearly 40 years, that pioneering spirit continues to be Virgin Atlantic's beating heart as it pushes the boundaries from carbon fibre aircraft and fleet upgrades to sustainable fuels.

I couldn't be prouder to be onboard Flight100 today alongside the teams at Virgin Atlantic and our partners, which have been working together to set the flight path for the decarbonization of long-haul aviation."

UK Transport Secretary Mark Harper said: "Today's historic flight, powered by 100% sustainable aviation fuel, shows how we can both decarbonize transport and enable passengers to keep flying when and where they want.   This Government has backed today's flight to take-off and we will continue to support the UK's emerging SAF industry as it creates jobs, grows the economy and gets us to Jet Zero."

Dame Karen Pierce, His Majesty's Ambassador to the United States said: "This world first marks a crucial step in the UK's journey towards Jet Zero aviation emissions.

We look forward to continuing our close work alongside the US to increase the use of this pioneering fuel as we welcome the sustainable flights of the future."

Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, Rick Cotton said: "As part of our agency-wide goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, the Port Authority strongly encourages and supports efforts by our airport stakeholders to reduce their carbon footprint and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are thrilled to welcome the first transatlantic flight using 100% sustainable aviation fuel into John F. Kennedy International Airport and hope that the success of Virgin Atlantic's flight to New York will inspire the entire airport community to move forward with aggressive sustainability efforts."

Sheila Remes, Vice President of Environmental Sustainability, Boeing said: "In 2008 Virgin Atlantic and Boeing completed the first commercial SAF test flight on a 747 and today we will accomplish yet another significant milestone utilizing a 787 Dreamliner. This flight is a key step toward our commitment to deliver 100% SAF-compatible aeroplanes by 2030. As we work toward the civil aviation industry's net-zero goal, today's historic journey highlights what we can achieve together."

Simon Burr, Group Director of Engineering, Technology & Safety, Rolls-Royce plc, said: "We are incredibly proud that our Trent 1000 engines are powering the first ever widebody flight using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel across the Atlantic today. Rolls-Royce has recently completed compatibility testing of 100% SAF on all our in-production civil aero engine types and this is further proof that there are no engine technology barriers to the use of 100% SAF. The flight represents a major milestone for the entire aviation industry in its journey towards net zero carbon emissions."

Despite the joy of this milestone flight, SAF like this is not the only answer to a future of aviation that is harmless to the environment.  There isn't enough SAF around at the moment to power even a full 1% of flights operating this year.  Then, of course, you have to consider the energy used in the creation of SAF, the oil in the first place and the transportation of such raw products. There are many campaigners who offer the opinion that growing crops specifically to be converted to fuel would damage biodiversity as well as cause a mass of deforestation which would make it equally as bad as fossil fuels.  The Royal Society reports that the energy crops considered – rapeseed, miscanthus, and poplar wood – would require more than 50 per cent of the UK’s available agricultural land to replace aviation fuel completely.

02 November, 2023

dnata welcomes Virgin Atlantic back to Dubai

                        dnata, a leading global air and travel services provider has welcomed Virgin Atlantic’s return to Dubai International Airport (DXB) for the first time since March 2019. The company’s dedicated team will deliver a range of ramp and passenger services, ensuring the highest level of quality and safety for the airline and its passengers at the world’s largest international airport.

The UK-based airline re-commenced its flights from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) on 30 October, with a four-weekly service to cater for the popular winter travel season, operating a Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Eligible Virgin Atlantic customers will also have access to the Marhaba-operated SkyTeam lounge at DXB’s Terminal 1.

In the year 2018 to March 2019, the air services provider’s team provided a warm welcome and assisted almost 180,000 Virgin Atlantic passengers and holidaymakers from over 360 flights between Dubai International and London Heathrow. 

Jaffar Dawood, dnata’s Senior Vice President of airport Operations, UAE and MEA, said: "We are delighted to welcome Virgin Atlantic back to Dubai International. Dubai is expected to be extremely busy with travellers keen for some winter sun, and we look forward to once again working with the airline’s local team to provide their customers with a best-in-class, memorable airport experience." 


Liezl Gericke, Head of International at Virgin Atlantic, commented: "We’ve long wanted to return to Dubai when the time was right, and we know our customers will be over the moon with the reintroduction of this popular route. Nothing sets our hearts soaring like a new destination or reintroducing an old favourite. We look forward to welcoming our customers back on board, whether travelling for business or leisure or heading back to the United Kingdom to reconnect with friends and family." 

Virgin Atlantic has also selected dnata Representation Services to provide a comprehensive range of services to the airline as its general sales agent (GSA) in the UAE. The partnership establishes UAE-based infrastructure for local sales, marketing and distribution support, providing a full range of travel services for Virgin customers flying to and from Dubai. 

dnata is a leading global air and travel services provider. Established in 1959, the company offers quality and safe ground handling, cargo, travel, catering and retail services in over 30 countries across six continents. In the financial year 2022-23, dnata’s customer-oriented teams handled over 710,000 aircraft turns, moved over 2.7 million tonnes of cargo, uplifted 111.4 million meals, and recorded a total transaction value (TTV) of travel services of US$ 1.9 billion.

21 July, 2023

Date set for first long-haul flight to operate with 100% sustainable aviation fuel


Virgin Atlantic and Rolls-Royce this week confirmed the successful Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) blend ground test on the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine. The test marks a key milestone in the project which will see the world's first 100% SAF flight travel across the Atlantic from London Heathrow to New York JFK on a Boeing 787, set to take off on November 28, 2023.

Virgin Atlantic led consortium confirms the world's first 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel flight across the Atlantic will fly on November 28, 2023, departing from London-Heathrow to NYC's John F. Kennedy International Airport, pending further regulatory approvals and testing

SAF blend of 88% HEFA and 12% aromatics completes successful ground test on Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, a key milestone in approvals process

Fuel supplier announced as Air bp and Virent, who will supply the 60 tonnes of SAF required for project





In addition to the test, fuel suppliers Air bp and Virent have been announced to supply the 60 tonnes of SAF to be used in the world first, supporting consortium research, testing and the flight itself. The SAF will be produced through the Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids (HEFA) pathway as well as synthetic aromatic kerosene (SAK) SAF at an 88% and 12% blend ratio.

Virgin Atlantic is committed to finding more sustainable ways to fly on our mission to Net Zero 2050. Already operating one of the most fuel and carbon efficient fleets across the Atlantic, this flight builds on the airline's 15-year track record for leading on SAF. Demonstrating that through radical collaboration, industry can deliver 100% SAF in today's engine, airframes and fuel infrastructure for long haul flight.

SAF typically delivers CO2 life cycle emissions savings of more than 70% whilst performing like traditional jet fuel. SAF has a fundamental role to play in aviation's decarbonization and pathway to Net Zero 2050. Today, SAF represents less than 0.1% of jet fuel volumes and fuel standards allow for just a 50% SAF blend in commercial jet engines. The one-off Virgin Atlantic flight in November will demonstrate the potential of SAF as a 100% drop-in replacement for fossil fuel today.

The realization of the 100% SAF transatlantic flight taking to the skies is a challenging task requiring cross industry collaboration and dedicated project teams working on the research, testing and operations to make it happen. The Virgin Atlantic led consortium, joint funded by the UK Department for Transport, includes Rolls Royce, Boeing, University of Sheffield, Imperial College London and Rocky Mountain Institute. The successful bench engine test is a key milestone, however further permissions and safety approvals are required for the flight to take off in November. 

17 May, 2023

Virgin Atlantic Cargo partners with cargo.one and promptly reclaims its golden gorilla mascot*



Virgin Atlantic Cargo and cargo.one partner to achieve a best-in-class combination of digital efficiency and exceptional end-to-end customer experience

The partnership reflects Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s trajectory in applying innovation to enhance customer accessibility and service quality 



Virgin Atlantic Cargo and cargo.one have formed a global partnership to bring the carrier’s capacity to the real-time digital booking platform. *A salient part of the deal sees cargo.one returning a prized mascot, ‘borrowed’ by a mischievous cargo.one team during Air Cargo Europe in Munich in May 2019. 

In addition to the mascot, the airline also gains an award-winning digital distribution channel chosen by a global user base of some 15,000 freight forwarders across 75+ countries. By leveraging cargo.one’s customer-centric booking process, Virgin Atlantic Cargo can now guarantee an intuitive and authentic booking experience for its external bookings. 


Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s network serves 400 destinations worldwide including daily services to key locations across the United States, India, China, Nigeria, South Africa, Israel and the Caribbean. As well as its global reach, freight forwarders rely upon Virgin Atlantic Cargo for its robust reliability and high-quality service. Partnering with cargo.one enables the airline to expand its customer base and booking channels with forwarders globally to improve digital access to its services.


The partnership aims to deliver a best-in-class proposition with instant bookings 24/7 for Virgin Atlantic Cargo’s latest range of products, designed to offer maximum choice for forwarders. Customers can customize the right handling, speed, priority, and price for their needs by choosing from Classic, Priority, and Express rates. cargo.one will offer freight forwarders the most user-friendly access to Virgin Atlantic Cargo capacity, along with many speed and efficiency benefits, enabling them to win more shipments.



Phil Wardlaw, Managing Director at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said, “We are delighted to have partnered with cargo.one. As customer requirements and digital experiences evolve, we anticipate that by 2025, a significant proportion of bookings will be completed online. This meant it was important for us to partner with the leading marketplace that continues to expand the choice for our customers, so they can book cargo their way”. 


“We always strive to create brilliantly different experiences for our customers, which is why we’re pleased that cargo.one shares our commitment to exceeding customer expectations, making air cargo easier for everyone and ensuring that every touchpoint is not only optimal but also meaningful. Above all else, every digital booking with Virgin Atlantic Cargo comes with expert support and a human touch at every step”.  Mr Wardlaw continues, “We’re also relieved to be rightfully reunited with our treasured mascot — that cargo.one brazenly bagged years ago, in full view of the cameras”.  

06 April, 2023

Virgin Atlantic has launched its new Spring/Summer menu......


Virgin Atlantic has launched its new Spring/Summer menu across all cabins from 5th April, with a selection of mouth-watering dishes.  

New additions to the Upper-Class menu include lobster and crab tortellini, vegetarian poke bowl and a classic Pimms summer pudding. The extra bites menu takes the spotlight, as the airline introduces a club sandwich, filled with applewood cheese, house slaw and seasonal leaves on brown bread served with salted crisps. An appetising aloo tikki is also available, with pepper pakora with tomato and onion salad, accompanied by sweet tomato and chilli chutney. A tempting new strawberries and cream flavour of Northern Bloc ice cream will also join the menu, transporting customers to sunshine. 

Virgin Atlantic is delighted to announce it will fly the renowned rosรฉ, Whispering Angel, for six months from 5th April. Upper-Class customers will be able to truly relax with a chilled glass of Cรดtes de Provence, taking in the evocative flavours of grapefruit and citrus. From the same date, Upper Class customers will also be able to sip on teapigs peach iced tea, a refreshing and all-natural blend of juicy peach with teapigs’ black tea base, the ultimate iced tea. 

Premium customers will have a tough time choosing between delectable chicken pie and spinach & ricotta tortellini with sage butter sauce, roasted pumpkin and caper panko crumb. A heavenly passionfruit and mango cheesecake garnished with coconut is on offer for dessert. Honey barbecue chicken thigh with Portuguese rice and steamed vegetables will be served in Economy alongside a farfalle pasta in a spinach ricotta cheese and roasted garlic sauce. 


Virgin Atlantic renews long-term global distribution agreement with Sabre

Sabre Corporation, a leading software and technology provider that powers the global travel industry, and Virgin Atlantic have reaffirmed their long-standing relationship with the renewal of their global distribution agreement.

Under the expanded agreement, Sabre will now offer enhanced Virgin Atlantic content through its GDS marketplace, as well as the future ability to retail NDC offers. This will enable the hundreds of thousands of Sabre-connected agencies to have even richer access to Virgin Atlantic’s broad range of products and offers.

“Sabre is a trusted, long-term partner and we look forward to further enhancing our collaboration, to help us elevate our global distribution strategy and support the ever-evolving needs of our airline and our customers.” said  Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer,  Virgin Atlantic “Enhancing our ability to retail effectively to our customers is a key focus at Virgin Atlantic, and through Sabre’s advanced technology, and their extensive global reach, we can optimize our approach to product distribution and improve our customers’ booking experience.”

Sabre continues to focus on developing new technology that supports retailing, distribution, and fulfilment solutions for travel suppliers, buyers, and consumers to enjoy more relevant and comprehensive travel solutions.

“We are delighted to continue our long-standing relationship with Virgin Atlantic,” said Jean-Vincent Teuler, vice president, airline sales, EMEA, Sabre Travel Solutions.  “Our renewed agreement is testament to the commitment of both Virgin Atlantic and Sabre to providing rich content through our global distribution network, and highlights Sabre’s commitment to meeting the unique needs of our airline customers and our travel buyer partners.”


14 February, 2023

Virgin Atlantic suspends services to Pakistan

Virgin Atlantic announced today that it will be suspending services between London Heathrow and Lahore and Islamabad. 
Virgin Atlantic launched flights from London Heathrow to Islamabad and Lahore and Manchester to Islamabad at the height of the pandemic in December 2020.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson said: “As we continue to ramp up our flying programme in 2023, we’ve taken the opportunity to review our entire network and decided to make a few changes."

“Following this review, it is with regret that we’ve taken the difficult decision to suspend our services between London Heathrow and Pakistan. Since commencing operations in December 2020, we have been proud to offer choice for customers travelling between London and Manchester in the UK, and Islamabad and Lahore in Pakistan. During that time, we have also provided important cargo capacity, as well as delivering vital medical supplies."

The final Pakistan flight dates are: 
LHR-LHE VS364 departs 30th April 2023 at 21:55
LHE-LHR VS365 departs 1st May 2023 at 12:25
LHR-ISB VS378 departs 8th July 2023 at 21:55
ISB-LHR VS379 departs 9th July 2023 at 12:40

The spokesperson continued: “This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we’d like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.  We would like to wholeheartedly thank everyone in Pakistan; our customers, teams, partners and the authorities for their support over the past two years.”

Virgin Atlantic will continue to operate services between London and Lahore until 1st May and between London and Islamabad until 9th July.

The carrier confirmed it would communicate to any customers due to fly after these dates - who will be affected by the cancellations - to provide options, which include rebooking, where applicable, or a full refund.







19 December, 2022

Virgin Atlantic wins competition to receive government funding for the first ever net zero transatlantic flight.


Virgin Atlantic wins competition to receive government funding for the first ever net zero transatlantic flight.


    • World first as Virgin Atlantic wins UK government funding to operate historic net zero London to New York flight
    • Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Imperial College London, University of Sheffield, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and ICF also form part of an iconic British-led consortium  
    • Heralds future of low carbon aviation, with the wider sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry potentially creating thousands of UK jobs while supporting delivery of net zero aviation emissions by 2050  

The first ever net zero transatlantic flight will take off from the UK next year, with Virgin Atlantic receiving government funding to fly across the pond using solely sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). 

In 2023, one of Virgin Atlantic’s flagship Boeing 787s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, will take off from London Heathrow and make the journey to New York’s John F Kennedy Airport – a journey made by thousands of people for business, family and leisure every week. But this will be no ordinary journey.   

When fully replacing kerosene, SAF can slash lifecycle carbon emissions by over 70% compared to conventional fossil jet fuel. This flight is expected to be fuelled by SAF made primarily from waste oils and fats, such as used cooking oil. The use of 100% SAF on the flight, combined with carbon removal through biochar credits – a material which traps and stores carbon taken from the atmosphere – will make the flight net zero.

Not only will SAF be key in decarbonising aviation, but it could create a UK industry with an annual turnover of £2.4 billion by 2040, and which supports up to 5,200 UK jobs by 2035. 

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:  

"For decades, flying from London to New York has symbolised aviation’s ability to connect people and drive international progress. It’s now going to be at the forefront of cutting carbon emissions from flying. 

Not only will this flight pave the way for future generations, but it will demonstrate just how much we can achieve when we work together on a shared goal – bringing together some of the best businesses and academics in the world and led by a British airline."

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO said:

"As an airline founded on and committed to innovation, we’re proud to lead a cross-industry consortium of partners to make aviation history by operating the first ever 100% SAF flight across the Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight in 1984 was to New York and today it continues to be one of our most popular routes. It will be an honour to pave the way for this important business and leisure route to become even more sustainable.

This challenge recognises the critical role that SAF has to play in decarbonising aviation and the urgent collective action needed to scale production and use of SAF globally. The research and results will be a huge step in fast-tracking SAF use across the aviation industry and supporting the investment, collaboration and urgency needed to produce SAF at scale. Our collective ambition of net zero by 2050 depends on it."

Aviation is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise and without urgent collaborative action it could be one of the highest-emitting sectors for greenhouse gases by 2050. To tackle this, the government published the Jet Zero strategy in July 2022 which sets out our approach for decarbonising the sector and champions SAF as one of the main tools for achieving Jet Zero. 

Challenges remain, however, including the need to scale up SAF production and the existing limit on how much SAF is permitted in jet engines by current fuel specifications. Today, a maximum of 50% SAF blended with kerosene can be used in commercial jet engines. By using 100% SAF, the consortium will demonstrate the potential to decarbonise long-haul routes and bring us a step closer to net zero aviation. 

17 December, 2022

World’s first net zero transatlantic flight to fly from London in 2023


Virgin Atlantic wins competition to receive government funding for the first ever net zero transatlantic flight.


    • World first as Virgin Atlantic wins UK government funding to operate historic net zero London to New York flight
    • Rolls-Royce, Boeing, Imperial College London, University of Sheffield, Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) and ICF also form part of an iconic British-led consortium  
    • Heralds future of low carbon aviation, with the wider sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry potentially creating thousands of UK jobs while supporting delivery of net zero aviation emissions by 2050  

The first ever net zero transatlantic flight will take off from the UK next year, with Virgin Atlantic receiving government funding to fly across the pond using solely sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). 

In 2023, one of Virgin Atlantic’s flagship Boeing 787s, powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, will take off from London Heathrow and make the journey to New York’s John F Kennedy Airport – a journey made by thousands of people for business, family and leisure every week. But this will be no ordinary journey.   

When fully replacing kerosene, SAF can slash lifecycle carbon emissions by over 70% compared to conventional fossil jet fuel. This flight is expected to be fuelled by SAF made primarily from waste oils and fats, such as used cooking oil. The use of 100% SAF on the flight, combined with carbon removal through biochar credits – a material which traps and stores carbon taken from the atmosphere – will make the flight net zero.

Not only will SAF be key in decarbonising aviation, but it could create a UK industry with an annual turnover of £2.4 billion by 2040, and which supports up to 5,200 UK jobs by 2035. 

Transport Secretary Mark Harper said:  

"For decades, flying from London to New York has symbolised aviation’s ability to connect people and drive international progress. It’s now going to be at the forefront of cutting carbon emissions from flying. 

Not only will this flight pave the way for future generations, but it will demonstrate just how much we can achieve when we work together on a shared goal – bringing together some of the best businesses and academics in the world and led by a British airline."

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic CEO said:

"As an airline founded on and committed to innovation, we’re proud to lead a cross-industry consortium of partners to make aviation history by operating the first ever 100% SAF flight across the Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic’s inaugural flight in 1984 was to New York and today it continues to be one of our most popular routes. It will be an honour to pave the way for this important business and leisure route to become even more sustainable.

This challenge recognises the critical role that SAF has to play in decarbonising aviation and the urgent collective action needed to scale production and use of SAF globally. The research and results will be a huge step in fast-tracking SAF use across the aviation industry and supporting the investment, collaboration and urgency needed to produce SAF at scale. Our collective ambition of net zero by 2050 depends on it."

Aviation is one of the hardest sectors to decarbonise and without urgent collaborative action it could be one of the highest-emitting sectors for greenhouse gases by 2050. To tackle this, the government published the Jet Zero strategy in July 2022 which sets out our approach for decarbonising the sector and champions SAF as one of the main tools for achieving Jet Zero. 

Challenges remain, however, including the need to scale up SAF production and the existing limit on how much SAF is permitted in jet engines by current fuel specifications. Today, a maximum of 50% SAF blended with kerosene can be used in commercial jet engines. By using 100% SAF, the consortium will demonstrate the potential to decarbonise long-haul routes and bring us a step closer to net zero aviation. 

It comes hot on the heels of the world’s first sustainable fuel military transporter flight using 100% SAF, completed by the RAF last month using the iconic Voyager aircraft. 

Other challenges preventing a higher uptake of SAF include high fuel production costs, technology risk at commercial scale and feedstock availability. To address these, the government is working to set the UK up to be a global leader in the development, production and use of SAF, allowing us to progress towards net zero flying, and creating thousands of green jobs.  

The government will introduce a SAF mandate requiring at least 10% of jet fuel to be made from sustainable sources by 2030 to create secure and growing demand, continue to invest in a domestic SAF industry through the £165 million advanced fuels fund, and work with the industry and investors to understand how to secure long-term investment into the sector. Along with this ground-breaking flight, these measures will support a growing role for SAF within the future of everyday flying.

Rachael Everard, Head of Sustainability, Rolls-Royce said:

"Congratulations to Virgin for winning the net zero transatlantic flight fund competition. This represents an incredible milestone for the entire aviation industry in its journey towards net zero carbon emissions.

We are incredibly proud that our Trent 1000 engines will power the first ever flight using 100% SAF across the Atlantic. SAF will play such an important role in decarbonising long-haul flight in particular and is a key element of our sustainability strategy.

The Trent 1000 can already be flown with a 50% blend of SAF on commercial flights and by the end of 2023 we will have proven that our whole family of Trent engines and business aviation engines are compatible with 100% SAF."

Sheila Remes, Vice President, Environmental Sustainability, Boeing said:

"Boeing is proud to support the Department for Transport and Virgin Atlantic in this endeavour. Our longstanding sustainability partnership with Virgin dates back to the historic 2008 commercial SAF test flight on a Boeing 747.

Together, as we add another SAF ‘first’ to our partnership and to the benefit of the industry, we know we are one step closer to a sustainable future of flight that will have zero climate impact."

As well as delivering cleaner skies, the development of a domestic industry for the production of SAF has the potential to improve fuel security and support thousands of green jobs. In 2020, it was estimated that a UK SAF industry could generate a gross value added (GVA) of up to £742 million annually and support up to 5,200 UK jobs by 2035. A further 13,600 jobs could be generated from the growing market for SAF through global exports – helping to level up the UK and boost the economy.

Delivering the transatlantic flight will help to gather the data needed to support ongoing and future work to test and certify higher blends of SAF and its non-CO2 impacts, while exploring how operational efficiency improvements, flight optimisation and carbon removals can contribute to achieving net-zero flights – not just in the UK, but for the global aviation industry.  

Dr Marc Stettler, Imperial College London said:

"We’re delighted to be part of this project to advance understanding the non-CO2 effects of flying. As we adopt sustainable aviation fuels to decarbonise aviation, it’s essential that we also evaluate these non-CO2 climate impacts and demonstrate ways to reduce them."

Professor Mohamed Pourkashanian, Head of the University of Sheffield Energy Institute, said:

"We are delighted to be working on this prestigious and timely project to deliver the first transatlantic net-zero flight. Through this partnership of world-leading aviation experts from industrial and academic backgrounds, we’re going to help make sustainable aviation fuels a reality for long-haul flights.

The facilities at the University of Sheffield – including the Sustainable Aviation Fuels Innovation Centre (SAF-IC) – are at the cutting edge of SAF development, characterisation and testing. We’re excited to join this project to deliver the fuel which will drive the decarbonisation of the aviation sector, and secure greener, cleaner flights for the future."

Alastair Blanshard, ICF Sustainable Aviation Lead said:

"Flying over an ocean at nearly the speed of sound without producing any net climate impact will be an inspiring step towards a net zero aviation industry. ICF is delighted to partner with Virgin Atlantic to make this milestone a reality in 2023.

We will draw on our decades of experience in sustainable aviation to develop, apply and critically assess methods to estimate and measure the life-cycle climate impact of transatlantic operations, and apply these to achieve a net zero flight."








25 November, 2022

Virgin Atlantic to start new services to the Maldives and Turks & Caicos islands next year.....

Photo turksandcaicostourism.com/

Virgin Atlantic will start flying to the idyllic islands of the Maldives as well as Turks & Caicos next year, the airline has confirmed. 

With crystal white sands and sheltered lagoons, the Maldives redefines paradise, in what is undoubtedly one of the most idyllic holiday destinations, offering luxurious relaxation and adventure. Travellers looking to treat themselves can experience world-class diving, surfing, fishing, kayaking and with over 1,000 coral islands to enjoy, there's no shortage of things to see or do.

Elsewhere, the stunning islands of the Turks & Caicos offer some of the most pristine white sand beaches, surrounded by the world’s clearest turquoise waters. Boasting an expansive barrier reef, home to vibrant coral, dolphins, turtles, stingrays and more, the islands make for a breath-taking playground for snorkelling and diving. This new destination is the latest addition to our Caribbean portfolio which follows new flying to the Bahamas in December 2021, St Vincent and the Grenadines in October 2021 and our highly anticipated return to St Lucia.  

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Virgin Atlantic will launch a winter seasonal three-times-weekly service to the Maldives from London Heathrow, which will go on sale on 30th November 2022, before commencing on 22nd October 2023. The airline will also launch a year-round twice weekly service to the Turks & Caicos which will go on sale from 11th January 2023, for flights starting on 15th November 2023 from London Heathrow. Both routes will be operated on the airline’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft boasting 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight, Classic and Light seats. Flight prices will be announced at a later date.

Experience seven nights in the exotic haven of the Maldives 


Seven nights at Hard Rock Maldives with Virgin Atlantic Holidays for just £2,359 per person, including scheduled Virgin Atlantic flights from London Heathrow direct to the Maldives, Bed and Breakfast accommodation. Price is per person based on two adults travelling and sharing a Silver Sky Studio double room and includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Price is based on a departure on 1st November 2023.

Virgin Atlantic Holidays packages to the Maldives will go on sale from 18th November 2022 and Turks & Caicos packages will go on sale later in the year. 

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, commented, “We couldn’t be more thrilled to add these two exotic new routes to our flying portfolio. Nothing sets our hearts soaring like a new destination to explore, so, with two about [to] join our network, there’s only really one question. Where to first? 

“The Maldives has always been an incredibly popular destination for Virgin Atlantic Holidays customers, which is why we couldn’t wait to give them the opportunity to travel to the idyllic location in style onboard Virgin Atlantic aircraft. 

“We’re delighted to begin flying to the Turks & Caicos islands, as we continue to grow our Caribbean portfolio, offering more choice for our customers to explore these beautiful islands and enjoy some winter sun.  

“We know our customers will be over the moon with the introduction of these new destinations, both offering something unique for travellers looking to either simply relax or explore a new corner of the world.”  

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