Showing posts with label vrigin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vrigin. Show all posts

21 October, 2022

LATAM and Virgin apply for codeshare deal on flights via USA is reporting that LATAM and Virgin Atlantic have applied to the Department of Transportation in the U.S. to be allowed to operate a codeshare deal on some flights between South America and the United Kingdom from various destinations in the United States. Apparently, this application includes LATAM’s Colombian, Chilean and Peruvian operations.

Photo Virgin Atlantic
The airlines will only be able to use the deal for traffic flowing between the United Kingdom and Colombia/Chile/Peru via various points in the United States. Codeshare services will not be available to any Virgin Atlantic and LATAM Airlines passengers with U.S. origins or destinations and are only available for connections to the U.K. and South America.

06 November, 2021

Virgin Orbit and ANA HOLDINGS agreement paves the way for twenty LauncherOne flights from Japan

Virgin Orbit, the responsive launch and space solutions company, along with NextGen Acquisition Corp. signed a memorandum of understanding ANA HOLDINGS to procure twenty flights of the LauncherOne rocket and to lead the effort to provide funds and support for those orbital missions to launch from Japan’s Oita Prefecture. 

ANA HOLDINGS and several of its partners will fund the manufacturing of a new set of the mobile ground support equipment used to prepare Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system for flights from a pre-existing runway, with a target of making Oita a LauncherOne-ready spaceport by as soon as the end of 2022, pending appropriate regulatory approvals in the United States and Japan.

Japan’s impressive aerospace industry has long been at the forefront of satellite technological innovation. However, the available launch services in Japan – and throughout all of Asia – have always been launched from fixed sites on the ground. Supported by ANA’s premier logistics and transport services, Virgin Orbit is set to change that by bringing air-launch to the Eastern Hemisphere for the first time in history.

By using a customized 747 as its flying launch pad, mobile mission control, and fully reusable first stage, LauncherOne gains a substantial performance boost over a similarly sized ground-launched system. Additionally, the aeroplane’s ability to cover large distances between taking off and releasing the rocket provides both weather resiliency and direct-inject orbital flexibility that until now, has never been available on the Asian market.

Virgin Orbit’s flight-proven air-launch service provides a unique capability for ANA’s customer base in the booming commercial ecosystem for space in Asia. The number of space start-ups in Japan has more than doubled since 2015, driven by increasing level of investment and government activities to energize and accelerate the private sector. The increasing amount of funding and investment in the space industry has encouraged start-ups to venture into space businesses, and legacy companies to expand their offerings – and launch is a critical enabler for those businesses and their future growth.

Koji Shibata, ANA Group Representative Director and Executive Vice President, noted, “ANA is excited to work with Virgin Orbit to offer responsive launch and space solutions services to customers in Japan. Demand for satellite launches in Japan and Asia is rapidly increasing, and it is hoped that the number of launches will be desired by the customers. Virgin Orbit offers something no other launch company can, and that capability will be extremely valuable to the growing space industry in Japan and throughout the region.”

“ANA is a world-class company with an incredible legacy of aerospace innovation, commercial success, and customer satisfaction that makes them an absolutely ideal partner to bring air-launch to Asia,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “We are elated to be partnering with such a talented and honoured firm to move space launch forward and serve the rapidly growing need for launch. We look forward to collaborating with ANA to foster the ongoing transformation of the space economy.”

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17 February, 2021

Virgin Red set to boost Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members in the UK can join Virgin Red from today, with the option to link accounts to unlock even more ways to earn and spend Virgin Points
Virgin Red is Virgin's new rewards club where members can earn on the everyday and save on the extraordinary from right across the Virgin family and beyond  
Each new Virgin Red member will receive 500 bonus Virgin Points when they complete their first earn in the app
In a boost for Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members in the UK can sign up to Virgin Red, Virgin’s new rewards club. Through the Virgin Red app and website, which celebrates its members for living a life more Virgin, Flying Club members will unlock a wealth of new earning and spending options overnight, across a wide range of products and services from the Virgin family and beyond.

New and existing Flying Club members in the UK can now enrol in Virgin Red and seamlessly link their Flying Club account, creating a shared Virgin Points balance that they can use across either programme. At the heart of the bolstered earning and spending opportunities are Virgin Points – the universal Virgin currency that unlike many other loyalty currencies, have no expiry date.

Whilst spending opportunities on travel benefits may be temporarily restricted, by opening its doors to Flying Club members, Virgin Red introduces many new partners for the first time, enabling Flying Club members to access everyday treats and even more extraordinary experiences, some available from as little as 200 points.

24 October, 2020

Virgin Holidays must refund customers or face a legal battle

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been snowed under with complaints regarding Virgin Holidays and its refund procedure. Many customers, it said, were not getting refunds or had been forced to wait for an "unreasonably long time" to get their money back from Virgin. 

The holiday company has now been ordered to meet refund deadlines or face a high court legal fight with the regulator. By law, package holidays cancelled by an operator should be refunded within 14 days, however, the average time for Virgin Holiday customers to get a refund has been three months. 

30 July, 2020

Virgin Atlantic - one of the slowest UK airlines to process refunds

Virgin Atlantic is taking on average over 120 to process refunds for passengers who have had their flights cancelled due to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the UK's Civil Aviation Authority has revealed today.

The CAA conducted a review of a number of airlines and their refunds process following an avalanche of customer complaints in the wake of the mass cancellations airlines made when trave restrictions were first introduced. Many customers had been frustrated at the time it was taking for refunds to be made. Whilst thousands of others were only offered vouchers for money off future travel arrangements.

The review published on Thursday showed that out of thirty airlines, only three were doing an adequate or good job of providing refunds to passengers.

Under the regulations, passengers who have had a flight cancelled, are legally entitled to a refund within seven days. Jet2, United Airlines and American Airlines were the three carriers performing well, with the report saying these airlines had been "identified as having been consistently processing cash refunds quickly and as having only a small backlog of refund requests." 

Among the worst are Ryanair, TUI and Virgin Atlantic, with all three receiving warning letters and were being kept under close observation.  

In the report, it states that 'Virgin Atlantic is one of the airlines that our review identified as not processing refund requests sufficiently quickly and as having a sizeable backlog of refund requests. In relation to refund processing timescales, at least initially the airline was taking up to 60 days to process refund requests. However, the airline’s performance became significantly worse and it provided a commitment to consumers that the maximum wait would be 120 days. The CAA was not satisfied with this level of performance and requested that Virgin Atlantic provide it with commitments to reduce the time taken to process refunds, such that they are processed in a reasonable timeframe and one which is
aimed at the 7 day period set out in Regulation EC261/2004. 

Virgin Atlantic has committed to reducing the maximum time taken to process a refund and it expects to process all claims made in August within 80 days, all claims made in September within 60 days and all claims made in October within 30 days. We recognise that even with these improvements to processing times it still results in a lengthy wait for consumers. However, we consider that the improvement in the processing time is a step forward and provides greater clarity for consumers. We will continue to work with Virgin Atlantic and push them for further improvements to the timescales. Given the extended timescales even in September and October, we will be monitoring Virgin’s performance particularly closely and will consider the use of formal enforcement powers if necessary.'

TUI was another of the airlines the CAA was not happy with, the holiday carrier was not processing refund requests sufficiently quickly and had a sizeable backlog of refund requests.  The CA also objected to TUI's policy of automatically issuing a credit note for cancelled flights, rather than giving customers an option. Customers would then have to wait another 28 days before they could then apply for a cash refund which would then take a further 28 days.  The CAA was not satisfied with this level of performance and requested that TUI provide it with commitments to reduce the time taken to process refunds, such that they are processed in a reasonable timeframe and one which is aimed at the 7 day
period set out in Regulation EC261/2004. 
With the prospect of further action likely, TUI has now confirmed it has added staff to process refunds and would no longer automatically issue credit notes and would automatically start the cash refund process once it notifies passengers of the cancellation of their flight. TUI says on average, cash refunds will be processed within 14 days.

Loganair was another airline the review mentioned for not processing refund requests sufficiently quickly and as having a sizeable backlog of refund requests. In relation to refund processing timescales, at least initially the airline was taking up to 90 days to process refund requests, although the airline was working to improve its performance the majority of claims are still taking between 60-90 days. The CAA was not satisfied with this level of performance and requested that Loganair provide it with commitments to reduce the time taken to process refunds, such that they are processed in a reasonable timeframe and one which is aimed at the 7 day period set out in Regulation EC261/2004. Loganair noted that restrictions in Scotland have been more stringent than in England and have lasted for longer, impacting on its ability to get staff back into the office.

The low-fare-high-fee Ryanair was taking on average 10 weeks to process cash refunds which the CAA was not satisfied with.  The budget carrier has now published a new set of guidelines and time frames in which it says it will work to in order to pay refunds more quickly.  The situation is currently being monitored by the CAA.

The report also said a  number of airlines had not been offering cash refunds, but only credit notes or travel vouchers for future travel use.  This group included Etihad Airways, Air Transat, Malaysia Airlines WestJet and Turkish Airlines.  

The CAA identified a number of compliance issues and worked informally with airlines to achieve improvements for passengers. "We have ensured that airlines are offering the choice of a refund and making it clearer to passengers what their options are and how to request a refund. We have also achieved improvements in call centre performance. A number of major airlines have also committed to speeding up the time it is taking process refunds and we welcome the steps those airlines have put in place. We will continue to monitor those airlines and continue to push for further improvements. We will also consider if enforcement action is appropriate if airlines fail to meet the commitments they
have made to us and their passengers. "

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