Virgin Atlantic will celebrate the re-launch of its direct London Heathrow to Mumbai flights this weekend after the number of passengers flying to the Indian city increase by almost 100,000 in 2011.
The airline will fly a daily service into India’s commercial capital, expecting to carry around 140,000 passengers a year to London and beyond, through US connections.
Virgin was forced to withdraw its Mumbai route in 2009 due to the financial circumstance, but with India’s economy one of the fastest growing in the world – and almost 100,000 more passengers flying to Mumbai last year than in 2009 – Virgin is re-launching its service.
Almost a million passengers fly between Mumbai and London a year, and almost 50 per cent of those are aged 25-34. Visiting friends and relatives is the number one reason for travel to the city, but it also has a very healthy business and tourism market.
Sir Richard Branson said Virgin’s absence in Mumbai was always a temporary measure.
He said: “Mumbai is a fantastic city, and we’re really excited to be back. A greatly improved schedule combined with a turned corner for the economy means that we’re now in a great position to fly hundreds of thousands of passengers a year to this exciting destination.”
Mumbai becomes Virgin Atlantic’s 34th worldwide destination and flights into the city will be operated on the airline’s newest A330 aircraft. This new addition to Virgin’s fleet carries the brand new Upper Class Suite, with an enhanced seat, a futuristic bar, and many other cabin updates. All cabins will also be fitted with the latest touch-screen in-flight entertainment.
The re-launch of Virgin’s London to Mumbai service will take effect this weekend, October 27 2012.