21 MARCH 2022


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Article from BTNews 21 MARCH 2022

Virgin media briefing

Shai Weiss, Virgin Atlantic’s Chief Executive, was in fine form last Tuesday at a press briefing held at the RAC, also attended by Ed Bastian, CEO, Delta Airlines.  Delta is the 49% owner of Virgin Atlantic.

Virgin closed its Gatwick base at the start of the pandemic and also reorganised in a much smaller way its management operation.

Weiss said the carrier would concentrate its London market efforts on Heathrow.

“We would like to think there is an opportunity for Gatwick, but it is not this year”, Weiss said during the press conference but confirmed that the carrier had retained its slots at the airport.

“Heathrow is where our business hub is and this is where people want to fly and where you connect”.

However, he blasted Heathrow’s 56% fees increase as “way too high and damaging for consumers”. “It’s a £200 increase for a family travelling to Orlando”, he said.

Weiss said that bookings, both leisure and corporate, were strong despite the situation in Ukraine. “There was a bit of a slowdown for a week or so, but after that it has come back very strongly. Our cash position is extremely strong”.

He noted that flight diversions to Delhi and Pakistan because of the Ukraine situation were taking “15-90 minutes” extra.

“We are back to all US destinations as of last week and we launch our first new route in seven years [to Austin] in May.” He said the carrier was flying “95% of the sectors and 85% of capacity”.



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