Virgin Atlantic will launch flights between Manchester and New Delhi this October. The airline will now offer over 600,000 seats a year between India and UK. The thrice a week service will begin on 26th October 2020 and will also be Virgin Atlantic’s first flight to Asia from Manchester. The service will be operated by A330-200 aircraft. The airline has increased its presence in India recently by returning to Mumbai, and upping the ante at Delhi with a second daily flight.
VS318 MAN1640 – 0605(+1)DEL 146
VS319 DEL0810 – 1210MAN 257
This comes close to Vistara – the TATA – SIA joint venture on the verge of its announcement of its widebody destinations soon. The India -UK market has become interesting since the suspension of Jet Airways last year. Vistara is holding slots at London Gatwick to operate its 299 seater B787-9.
This new launch comes over a year after Jet Airways – a partner of Virgin Atlantic suspended services. Jet Airways operated five times a week service to Manchester from Mumbai. While Jet Airways had its heavy presence in Mumbai, Virgin Atlantic has been lucky with New Delhi.
This new flight will provide another option for passengers from New Delhi to connect to New York and Orlando via Manchester on the Virgin Atlantic network. The airline may look to improve connections further.
This will be a claw back from New Delhi, since Mumbai has seen new connections to Moscow, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Chengdu and London Stansted in recent past.
New Delhi (IATA: DEL) is the largest and busiest airport in India and has been a regional magnet in recent years. Manchester (IATA: MAN) is the third busiest airport in United Kingdom and busiest outside London area. IndiGo had filed for slots at Manchester with intention to fly the A330-300 this summer. The airline has subsequently said that it has put its widebody plans on hold.