Virgin takes on British Airways….. in 2026


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Virgin Atlantic has unveiled its plans to significantly increase its long and short haul route network when Heathrow Airport expands with a new third runway.

The airline has released new route maps illustrating how the airline’s flying program could grow. Its aiming to offer passengers more choice with 84 new routes from London Heathrow but that comes with a major caveat. The carrier says the new routes will come by 2026 and would happen only “if the Government reforms the way new Heathrow slots are allocated to enable the creation of a second flag carrier at the airport”.

In short the carrier believes there is room for two flag carries even to the extent that it has launched a new website – to take on British Airways, Heathrow and the government. By taking on BA, the airline believes that passengers will see a saving of 10% by turning the monopoly held routes into ones which provide customers with choice.

A spokesperson for British Airways was scathing: “Virgin Atlantic’s lack of Heathrow routes is down to its own corporate strategy. “Virgin had the opportunity to increase its slot share at Heathrow to 19.7 per cent by buying slots but it chose not to do so.”

Guess the only thing to do is to watch the space and see how events unfold in the future.

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