17 DECEMBER 2012
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Aer Lingus is to be the wet lease partner of Virgin Atlantic (VS) when it introduces domestic services to Heathrow in the spring. There will be three round trip flights from Aberdeen, six from Edinburgh and three from Manchester.
Virgin has not revealed full details of the services that start with the introduction of the airline’s summer programme at the end of March, but says it will be “bespoke”.
One thing is clear, however, in that flights will operate out of T1 meaning that connecting passengers will have the inconvenience of transferring terminals. When T2 opens in 2014 the operation will move, initially at least, to the new building. Likewise benefits to Virgin’s new partner, Delta, will be limited.
Virgin Atlantic has not won any Glasgow flights, the withdrawal of bmi on that route deemed “historical”. According to VS, BA’s fares following bmi’s withdrawal have increased by 34%. The European Commission seems to agree.
“The presence of competitors operating to Glasgow from City and Gatwick did not seem to constrain the ability of IAG to increase its prices significantly on the Heathrow – Glasgow route, even for economy restricted fares”, said the EU in their report. Virgin is unlikely to leave the status quo. http://ec.europa.eu/competition
http://ec.europa.eu/competition/mergers/cases/decisions/m6447_20120330_20212_2452290_EN.pdf Page 17, paragraph 57:
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