Formed in 1984, Virgin Atlantic officially began operations on 22nd June of that year. Owned jointly by the Virgin Group and Singapore Airlines, Virgin Atlantic serves the United Kingdom, parts of North America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Australia. Along with passengers, the airline also provides cargo and postal services to selected destinations.
Virgin History & Information
Virgin Atlantic is based in the United Kingdom, with its principal hub located at London Gatwick Airport near London. The airline itself is headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex, and also maintains a hub at London Heathrow Airport.
While Virgin Atlantic does not offer the wide range of flights provided by other airlines, the routes currently available make it possible to enjoy the amenities offered by the airline while making your way to some of the world's most popular destinations. For domestic service in the UK, Virgin not only maintains hubs at the two London airports, but also at the Manchester Airport and the Glasgow International Airport.
Four countries in Africa enjoy flights offered by Virgin Atlantic. The Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi sees daily flights, as does the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport in Mauritius. The Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Nigeria also enjoys Virgin Atlantic services, along with Cape Town International and the OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, effectively covering South Africa.
Asia also is the site of a number of Virgin Atlantic flights. In Japan, the airline offers flights to and from the Narita International Airport in Tokyo. The People's Republic of China enjoys services to and from the Hong Kong International Airport and the Shanghai Pudong International Airport. In South Asia, Virgin Atlantic covers India with flights to and from the Indira Ghandi International Airport in Delhi. The Dubai International Airport allows Virgin Atlantic to provide services to passengers who wish to journey to and from Southwest Asia.
One of the strong points of Virgin Atlantic's route structure is the ease that travellers have in getting to and from points in the Caribbean. Flights to and from the VC Bird International Airport in Antigua are an example. The airline also offers flights to the Grantley Adams International Airport in Barbados, the Jose Marti International Airport in Cuba, and the Maurice Bishop International Airport in Grenada. For those wishing to visit Puerto Rico, Virgin Atlantic provides flights to the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in San Juan. Those wishing to enjoy the delights of Jamaica can choose to fly into the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, or the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.
Virgin Atlantic offers flights to the United States that cover every portion of the country. For those who wish to fly to points along the eastern seaboard of the nation, there are regular flights to and from the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, the Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, New Jersey, Logan International Airport in Boston, Dulles International Airport in Washington DC, Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida, and the Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida.
Travellers to the Midwestern area of the United States can enjoy Virgin Atlantic flights to and from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. Those wishing to go further west can choose to fly into the McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, or the San Francisco International Airport in San Francisco.
Those wishing to travel to Australia can also enjoy the comfort and amenities associated with flying with Virgin Atlantic. The airline conducts regular flights to and from the Sydney Airport, with some of those connections from select points around the world being direct flights.
The Virgin Fleet
Virgin Atlantic uses a combination of Boeing and Airbus aircraft for all its routes. Boeing 747s and Airbus A340s are the most common aircraft used for flights around the United Kingdom, with larger craft used for international flights. Plans to upgrade some of the older craft with new Airbus and Boeing models that offer more seating are in the planning stages. There are also plans to expand the number of locations that the airline services directly, with several of those potential locations being in the United States.
Virgin Atlantic offers several different classes, making their flights ideal for a number of different budgets. The Economy class offers free meals and drinks, as well as seating that is comfortable while still space efficient. The Premium Economy class offers all the amenities of the Economy class, but with the addition of wider seats, more leg room, and a priority boarding process. On some of the newer aircraft, Premium Economy travellers also enjoy the convenience of laptop power.
Upper Class travellers can enjoy all the benefits normally associated with business class flights, including wider seating, laptop power, and power leads for iPods. There is also drive-through check-in privileges, and a larger menu than is offered to the other classes.