28 SEPTEMBER 2015

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Article from BTNews 28 SEPTEMBER 2015

Little Red closes

Virgin Atlantic's brave attempt to take on the BA British domestic routes to and from Heathrow has failed with the remaining Aberdeen and Edinburgh services closing last week.

Little Red was launched in March 2013 as an attempt to reintroduce consumer choice on key domestic services after British Airways’ takeover of bmi.  Soon after the services were announced there was a major management change at Virgin Atlantic resulting with little marketing effort being used, with Sir Richard Branson not around for the introduction and only making a somewhat brief presentation appearance on one route.

The airline is thought to have averaged somewhere in the mid-thirties load factor during its brief existence. 

Key to its lack of success was probably the use of Heathrow Terminal 1 for most of its life.  Operated by Aer Lingus the terminal was not practical for Virgin Atlantic travellers who needed to transfer to T3.  With the move to T2 things were not much better but travellers could at least interline with Star Alliance airlines using that building.  If a Virgin Atlantic route competed with BA it was also far easier for much the same price for passengers to connect at Terminal 5 from where the majority of British Airways operations take place.  The Little Red web site is closed.

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