General Virgin Atlantic has always led the industry in inflight entertainment and technology. The airline has achieved many ‘firsts’ including: – the first airline to provide all passengers with seat back television screens – the first British airline to offer SMS texting and email facilities onboard – the first European airline to offer live news updates onboard The airline continues to innovate and lead the field and its new system from Panasonic is no exception. It currently offers up to 300 hours of entertainment on demand on most of its flights A330 Inflight Entertainment System Virgin Atlantic has signed a partnership deal with Panasonic for their eX2 system including eXphone – which will enable passengers to email, SMS and has the option to make phone calls from 35,000ft using your own mobile phone. Passengers can also use Twitter or update their Facebook status The airline is one of the first European carriers to adopt this cutting edge technology Key Highlights of the system The system is simple and intuitive to use with touch screen navigation in all classes. Passengers can swipe through programme covers or drag and drop saved items – similar to their day-to-day technology on the ground like iPhones and iPads. All content available quickly and easily – a high priority in our research The system has been extensively user tested to ensure all passengers will be able to use it straight away – even technophobes! The seat back screens will be 9” in Economy, 10.6” in Premium Economy Passengers can connect their own devices to the seat back system – iPods, USBs, camcorders etc Key features Content Rating – Passengers can now rate what they watch or listen to, by choosing a simple thumbs up or down at the end of each movie, TV show or CD. This will help to inform future passengers on their choices of what to watch Easy searching and selection Cover art represents each Movie, CD or TV show or alternatively choices are listed by genre, A-Z and passenger ratings to help passengers find what they want to watch more easily and quickly. Reviews & Interviews Passengers can refer to reviews by respected film critics or get more background info on a film by watching an interview with the cast and directors – just like the DVD extras section. Virgin Loves With up to 300 hours of entertainment at passengers’ finger tips the Virgin Loves section makes recommendations which highlight the upcoming directors, bands and new shows we’ve picked out, plus the hidden gems. Save For Later Passengers can browse through the extensive range of entertainment and create a playlist where everything they want to watch during the flight is saved in one place. Much more than just movies: The system also offers the following: – USB Player – passengers can bring their own USB and plug it into their seat to plays their own […]
Air New Zealand today announced a new code share agreement with Virgin Atlantic that will allow for better routings between New Zealand and the United Kingdom for passengers of both carriers. The full media release from Air New Zealand can be read below: Air New Zealand Announces Code Sharing Agreement with Virgin Atlantic Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic have signed a code sharing agreement offering more flexibility and choice on routings between the UK and New Zealand for both carriers’ passengers. This code share agreement follows a long history of interline cooperation, including a reciprocal Frequent Flyer Partnership between the two airlines, with passengers already travelling on routes between the UK and New Zealand on each others’ services. Both airlines offer highly complementary products and services and a seamless transfer experience for customers making connections across their networks. Air New Zealand’s Business Premier seat has a version of Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class Suite so passengers can enjoy the same award winning comfort when flying on both carriers. “This new code share agreement provides yet further connectivity options for our customers as well as providing important connectivity for Virgin Atlantic customers to New Zealand and also the Cook Islands,” says Rob Fyfe, Chief Executive Officer of Air New Zealand. “We are thrilled to announce this new code share with Air New Zealand,” says Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic. “With award winning Business Class and Premium Economy products along with the excellent service onboard, both airlines complement each other perfectly and we are sure that passengers will enjoy the advantages of this new partnership.” Passengers will be able to book with Virgin Atlantic to travel on connecting journeys on the following Air New Zealand routes using Virgin’s VS flight code: Los Angeles – Rarotonga San Francisco – Auckland Sydney – Auckland Sydney – Christchurch Sydney – Wellington Auckland – Christchurch Auckland – Wellington Auckland -Queenstown Auckland – Rarotonga Air New Zealand’s passengers will be able to book on Virgin Atlantic’s services between London Heathrow and San Francisco and between Hong Kong and Sydney for connecting journeys using Air New Zealand’s NZ flight code. The two carriers expect the code share to come into force on 28 February 2011 after obtaining the relevant government approvals.
Virgin Atlantic have announced that they intend to increase services to Ghana from 11 December 2010 in time for the peak winter period. The extra service will see Virgin Atlantic operate four flights per week from London Heathrow to Ghana. Details of the new service are as follows: Route Operation Depart Arrive London – Accra Ghana Saturday 2230 hrs 0520 hrs +1d Accra Ghana – London Sunday 0930 hrs (12 Dec only)1030 hrs 1550 (12 Dec only) 1720 hrs All Virgin Atlantic flights to Ghana are operated on 3 Class (34 seat Upper Class, 35 seat Premium Economy & 171 seat Economy) Airbus A340-300 aircraft. The full media release from Virgin Atlantic can be read below: VIRGIN ATLANTIC INCREASES FLIGHTS TO GHANA FOR WINTER 2010 New services mean Virgin Atlantic will fly four times a week between London and Ghana. Virgin Atlantic today announced an expansion of its flights between London and Ghana during this winter’s peak travel period. Launching services in May 2010, Ghana has been amongst the most successful of route launches for the airline and is already proving to be a highly popular destination. As a result, from the 11th December to the 9th January an extra service will be added taking the airline to four flights a week between the two cities. Edmond Rose, Virgin Atlantic’s Director of Commercial and Revenue Planning said; “I’m pleased to announce this addition to our Ghana services. Our presence on this route has been key in bringing increased competition, providing real choice in schedule and product for the 200,000 passengers flying between London and Accra each year. From the outset we have seen very high load factors on the route, breaking all our expectations. We hope to increase frequency to four services a week permanently as soon as we can.” Virgin Atlantic currently flies between London Heathrow and Ghana on an Airbus A340-300 aircraft with 240 seats onboard -34 Upper Class, 35 Premium Economy and 171 Economy. The additional flight will leave London Heathrow on Saturday evenings at 2230 and arrive in Accra on Sunday mornings at 0520. The return flight will leave Accra on Sunday mornings at 0900 (12 December) or 1030 (other dates) and arrive into London Heathrow at 1550 (12 December) or 1720 (other dates) on the same day.
Virgin Airlines Founder and President Sir Richard Branson has announced a reciprocal frequent flyer mile earning on all Virgin branded sister airlines. The announcement will mean that as of today Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, V Australia and Virgin Blue passengers will be entitled to earn miles on their local Virgin Frequent Flyer membership when flying on any of these sister airlines. The full media release from Virgin Airlines can be read below: VIRGIN AIRLINES GIVE FLYERS A MORE REWARDING VIRGIN TRAVEL EXPERIENCE AROUND THE WORLD Travelers on Award-Winning Virgin Airlines Will Earn Virgin Points or Miles on All Four Airlines and the Opportunity to Win the Trip of a Lifetime to Necker Island Houston, TX (August 10, 2010) – Today Sir Richard Branson announced at the National Business Travel Association International Convention and Exposition that the award-winning Virgin airlines – Virgin Atlantic Airways, Virgin America and V Australia/ Virgin Blue – known around the world for their stylish, innovative and value-based flying experience, are teaming up to offer each airline’s loyalty program members the opportunity to earn miles or points when taking flights on their sister-branded airlines. As of today, guests flying on Virgin Atlantic, Virgin America, and V Australia/Virgin Blue are all eligible to earn miles or points for their flights that can later be redeemed under any of the carrier’s frequent flyer programs. The reciprocal agreements enable Virgin Atlantic’s Flying Club members to earn Flying Club miles/status points; Virgin America’s Elevate members to earn Elevate points; and V Australia/Virgin Blue Velocity members to earn Velocity points – wherever they are flying on a Virgin-branded carrier around the world.* Also as of today, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members and V Australia/Virgin Blue Velocity members can redeem their miles on either of the airlines. V Australia/Virgin Blue Velocity members and Virgin America Elevate members will be eligible to spend their miles or points to fly on either airline as of the fourth quarter of 2010. Virgin Atlantic Flying Club members and Virgin America Elevate members will be eligible to spend their miles or points on either airline as of the second quarter of 2011. To celebrate this Virgin milestone, each Virgin airline is offering members who fly with at least two of the four Virgin branded airlines between now and December 31, 2011, the chance to win a week holiday in the British Virgin Islands on Sir Richard Branson’s private island Necker**. For more information, visit: www.virginatlantic.com, www.virginamerica.com, or www.vaustralia.com. For the Official Rules for the Sweepstakes, including complete details, please visit: www.virginatlantic.com, www.virginamerica.com, or www.vaustralia.com.** “Virgin is known around the world for its legendary in-flight service but now it is even more rewarding to fly with our global airlines. In celebration of the closer ties between the airlines, as well as to reward our most loyal guests, three globetrotting Virgin loyalty program members will win a holiday on Necker,” said Sir Richard Branson, Founder and President of the Virgin Group. […]
Virgin Atlantic has announced it is currently working on contingency plans and re-scheduling of flights now that NATS will reopen UK airspace as of 22:00 tonight. The full media release from Virgin Atlantic along with a comment from Virgin Atlantic chief Executive Steve Ridgway can be read below VIRGIN ATLANTIC UPDATE ON FLYING SCHEDULE Virgin Atlantic is continuing to work on its contingency plans following the announcement by NATS that airspace will re-open at 22:00 this evening. As such Virgin Atlantic plans to operate a number of flights to and from it’s UK and international airports over the next 24 hours onwards, with the aim of resuming its full flight schedule as soon as possible. The exact details of which flights will operate will be published on the Virgin Atlantic website later this evening. Passengers who are currently away from home will be notified if they are booked to travel on any of the flights which are operating. Passengers who hold a confirmed booking for flights from the UK should check the website to see if their flight is operating. We strongly urge passengers not to travel to the airport over the next few days unless they have a confirmed booking on a flight which is confirmed to operate. Virgin Atlantic would like to reassure passengers that staff are working around the clock to help minimise the disruption for passengers and would like to thank them for their understanding and patience. In addition Steve Ridgway, chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, commented; “Virgin Atlantic welcomes the opening of UK airspace and we will fully comply with the conditions set down by the CAA. The safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority. We are working on our contingency plans so that we can resume our scheduled passenger flights and repatriate passengers at the earliest opportunity. “Whilst the reopening of airspace is good news both for passengers and the industry as a whole it is likely to take several days to get everyone who has been affected to their destinations. We continue to urge the Government to lay on further flights to speed up the repatriation process. “We know this situation has been extremely difficult for passengers and so would like to continue to thank those affected for their patience and understanding in this extraordinary situation. I would also like to thank all of our staff who have worked around the clock to help passengers around the world.”
Virgin Atlantic has released the following information regarding Flight Cancellations and Schedule Changes to Volcanic Ash from the Iceland Volcano Eruption. Flying through an area, or near to volcanic ash is prohibited for safety reasons therefore UK National Air Traffic Services (NATS) have extended the closure of UK Airspace once again, until at least 01: 00 on Tuesday 20th April 2010 Following this decision we have cancelled: · All flights in and out of the UK on Saturday 17th April 2010 · All flights in and out of the UK on Sunday 18th April 2010 · All flights in and out of the UK on Monday 19th April 2010 · As there are no flights departing the UK, the subsequent return flights into the UK will also be cancelled. An update regarding flights due to operate on Tuesday 20 April will be made available after 17:0OH (UK local time) on Monday 19th April 2010. Flights between Hong Kong and Sydney are currently scheduled to be operating as normal however passengers from Sydney with a connection on to London should not travel to Hong Kong until London flights have reopened. For more information on our Flight Disruptions Policy follow this link. If your flight has been cancelled, please do not travel to the airport. You should contact your travel agent to rebook on the next available flight. For direct bookings only call our flight disruption line on the following numbers 0844 209 8711 in the UK 1-800-862-8621 in the US Worldwide contact centre telephone numbers.
Virgin Atlantic has announced that from 3 April 2011 they will start a Twice weekly Manchester to Las Vegas Service. The service will be operated on a Boeing 747-400 aircraft with 3 classes 14 Upper Class Suites, 58 Premium Economy and 379 Economy seats, a total of 451 seats. The full media release from Virgin Atlantic can be read below: VIRGIN ATLANTIC ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF FLIGHTS FROM MANCHESTER TO LAS VEGAS Twice-weekly service to launch in April 2011 Virgin Atlantic today announced it will be launching direct flights from Manchester to Las Vegas from 3 April 2011. The twice-weekly service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays, using a Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The route will be Virgin Atlantic’s 33rd from the UK and the carrier’s third from Manchester. Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, commented: “We are delighted to be able to announce direct services from Manchester to Las Vegas. The decision to expand our Manchester flying programme underlines Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to flying to long-haul destinations from regional airports in the UK and these Manchester flights will be a great addition to our current services.” Andrew Cornish, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, commented: “This is a welcome addition to their services to Barbados and Orlando and we’re pleased to see another major airline expanding out of Manchester this week. Virgin are a key partner and for them to reaffirm their commitment in a testing marketplace is testament to the strength of the marketplace at Manchester. This is great news for our passengers and further strengthens the airport’s long haul route network. We look forward to working with Virgin to make the service a great success.” The additional flights from Manchester mean that from April 2011, Virgin Atlantic will operate 9 flights a week from the UK to this popular and growing leisure destination, famous for its casinos and shows. Since Virgin Atlantic launched flights to Las Vegas from Gatwick in June 2000, it has carried almost 2 million passengers on the route, which now operates daily from Gatwick. Cathy Tull, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, commented: “This is another evolution in a partnership that has flourished since its inception a decade ago. Virgin Atlantic’s new service into Las Vegas from Manchester is indicative of its long-term confidence in the Las Vegas brand and will provide even more British travellers the accessibility to visit the entertainment capital of the world.” Both the existing service and the new Manchester to Las Vegas route will be operated by a Boeing 747-400 fitted with 14 Upper Class Suites, 58 Premium Economy and 379 Economy seats. The Upper Class Suite consists of a reclining seat for takeoff, a place to sit and eat a three course meal opposite your partner and a private on board bar to drink at with your friends. Virgin Atlantic offers a unique product for Premium Economy passengers. Passengers can enjoy a dedicated check-in and priority boarding. Virgin Atlantic’s Economy class […]
Virgin Atlantic has announced that it has re-opened its newly renovated Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse at Gatwick airport. The Renovations include: Cowshed spa & Rock garden Business Area Entertainment Lounge featuring Wii stations Family Lounge with magnetic shapes & play ground Restaurant & Bar with Lipstick elements of Virgin Red The media release from Virgin Atlantic can be read below: Virgin Atlantic today unveiled exactly what premium leisure travellers have been waiting for – a new Clubhouse at Gatwick featuring a luxurious Cowshed Spa. The new Clubhouse, which is over 795 square metres in total, has re-opened after a complete refurbishment. The lounge has been created by London based architectural practice FDArchitecture in collaboration with the Virgin Atlantic in-house design team. The airline’s new Clubhouse creates a fresh, welcoming feel for Upper Class and Gold Card passengers and is a great place to relax on a lazy morning before a flight. With seating for 130 passengers, the Clubhouse offers a choice of areas to cater for different needs. Whether passengers want to read a newspaper, watch the aircraft, settle down to brunch, have a treatment in the Cowshed Spa or hide away and catch up with the internet before they jet off, the new lounge has it all. Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, said: “The new Gatwick Clubhouse has to be the ultimate pre-flight experience for Upper Class and Gold Card customers. Our award-winning Clubhouses have always led the industry by offering luxury and innovation, and now we have introduced some of the best elements of our flagship Heathrow Clubhouse, such as the luxurious Cowshed spa, at Gatwick.” Joe Ferry, Head of Design at Virgin Atlantic added: “Virgin Atlantic’s new-look Clubhouse brings it up to the latest design standards that are synonymous with our multi-award winning products, service and interiors. This generation of Clubhouse has been designed with Service Design and Architectural Design working in harmony to produce the best possible customer experience.” The new Clubhouse also continues to support Virgin Atlantic’s sustainability targets. The Clubhouse uses generous expanses of FSC timber flooring to wind through and connect the magnificent facilities on offer to passengers. The 100% woollen carpets are specified with low chemical emissions, enhancing the cleanliness of the Clubhouse environment whilst providing an extremely durable finish and our site waste management programme has reduced construction waste on site by some 40% through considered prefabrication of much of the furniture, fixtures and fittings. THE DETAILS Concierge and Reception Entrance to the Clubhouse is now through a new, light, private corridor leading directly to our welcoming reception and concierge area. Passengers simply register with reception and then walk on through into the lounge. Adjacent to the new entrance are shoe shine, coat and baggage areas where passengers can unburden themselves of bags and buggies. If needed, there are also facilities to charge mobile phones, iPods and Blackberries in this area, with our concierge team on hand to […]
Virgin Atlantic has launched a social media site for travlers, the site Vtravelled.com was designed to inform & inspire travellers about destinations & travel. Virgin Atlantic Airways, one of the world’s leading long-haul airlines, today launched a new website, vtravelled.com, to create a new global online community dedicated to people with a passion for travel. Dreamt up by Virgin Atlantic, vtravelled.com is a website designed to engage and inspire travelers, and showcase destinations through personal insights, stunning photography and quality editorial. Featuring guides on hundreds of cities, beaches, ski resorts and national parks, vtravelled is designed to inspire new adventures as well as make it easy to create, plan and share travels. In true Virgin Atlantic style, vtravelled.com offers a dynamic, fresh and entertaining social media channel for people to share their travel knowledge and aspirations, and contribute to a new, online environment. Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, said: “vtravelled.com is a unique proposition for travelers who want to celebrate and share their travel experiences with like minded people. We knew we could fill a large gap in the market by creating a community, which shared and discussed travel positively and creatively. “vtravelled.com celebrates travel and creates a world in which we can be motivated to choose our next holiday destination through other people’s eyes. It also shows that Virgin Atlantic, with the help of a knowledgeable community, is determined to take social media and travel to a new dimension. Key features of vtravelled include: Trip Pods: A tool to store and organize travel ideas and aspirations. It’s easy to bookmark content from other sites and then share with friends and family to create the ultimate itinerary. Vtravelled bookmarker: When users come across any future travel ideas on any site, they can bookmark and store them on vtravelled for future reference Relevance: Shows users how similar they are to fellow travelers on the site Google maps: Unique mash-up of Google maps on homepage and throughout the site Photography: Stunning imagery to show the destination through the eyes of a fellow traveler Eventful: Real-time updates of the top 50 events happening in each destination Developed through consumers’ recommendations, vtravelled.com features the latest technologies in web design to rate the relevance of other travelers in relation to users by percentage and vice versa, so they can receive recommendations from like minded people resulting in the most useful and most inspirational travel website.
Virgin Atlantic announced today that despite the current economic downturn, it plans to purchase an additional 10 Airbus A330-300 Aircraft. The purchase will allow Virgin Atlantic to expand its services prior to the delivery of their Boeing 787 Dreamliners The full media release from Virgin Atlantic can be read below: Virgin Atlantic, one of the world’s leading long-haul airlines, today announced a $2.1billion order for 10 new Airbus A330-300 aircraft which will be delivered from early 2011. Five of the aircraft will arrive in 2011 and five in 2012. The new aircraft, which can seat up to 270 passengers, will operate on many of Virgin Atlantic’s existing business and leisure routes worldwide. They will also assist future growth, helping Virgin Atlantic to fly to new destinations from London such as Beijing, Cancun and Vancouver. The more fuel-efficient A330-300s, which deliver lower maintenance costs as well as substantial cargo capacity, will integrate with Virgin Atlantic’s existing fleet of 38 aircraft and help the airline expand before the arrival of 15 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, from 2013. Each of the A330-300 aircraft will feature the next generation of seats, which will be lighter and even more comfortable than those in the air today. Every passenger will benefit from a dynamic new entertainment hub, including USB ports and power sockets in Upper Class and Premium Economy cabins, which will set the new standard in in-flight systems. All Virgin Atlantic travelers will also be able to send and receive emails and texts on their Blackberries, handheld PDAs and other mobile devices. Virgin Atlantic will be the first UK long-haul airline to roll-out this service across its fleet. The new twin-engine A330-300s will ensure that Virgin Atlantic maintains its reputation for flying one of the most modern and environmentally friendly fleets in the world. It is nearly 10% more fuel efficient than the A340-300 aircraft. Steve Ridgway, Chief Executive of Virgin Atlantic, commented: “Despite the worst economic conditions in decades, we are focusing on sustainable growth in the years ahead using the most fuel-efficient aircraft possible. Virgin Atlantic has a strong history of successfully investing during a downturn and our Airbus order today sends a strong signal that now is the time to invest, in order to help protect jobs and get the world’s economy moving again.” Virgin Atlantic has already secured financing for all 10 aircraft via AerCap, the integrated global aviation and aircraft leasing company. Four of the aircraft will be on direct operating leases from AerCap. To date, Airbus has won more than 1000 orders for the various versions of the A330 aircraft. Almost 600 A330s have already been delivered and the aircraft is currently flying with over 70 airlines worldwide. Virgin Atlantic is currently negotiating the engine selection for the A330-300. The manufacturers involved are General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls Royce and the decision will be announced during the summer.