Virgin Atlantic is to add two new direct routes linking the UK’s gateway to the North with the West and East coasts of the USA which, Manchester Airports managing director has welcomed, saying “the new routes will deliver a real boost to the North’s economy by providing a direct link to the world’s leading location for tech and biomedical start-ups.”
The two new direct routes will operate to San Francisco and Boston in conjunction with joint venture partner Delta Air Lines.
Commencing in summer 2017, Virgin Atlantic will be the first ever carrier to provide direct services between Manchester and the northern Californian city. Operating three times weekly, the flights will connect the region with world famous landmarks such as Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf. The new route to the historic city of Boston in New England will fly twice weekly.
The airline will also be increasing its frequency to Barbados.
Erik Varwijk, EVP of Commercial at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We’re delighted to be able to offer our customers these two new direct flights to the USA from Manchester Airport. In addition to our current services to Atlanta, Las Vegas, Orlando and Barbados, the new routes to San Francisco and Boston really open up America for our customers.
“This year marks twenty years of our first ever flight from Manchester and we’ll continue to look for opportunities to offer our unique experience on routes where our customers are looking to fly.”
Virgin Atlantic and partner Delta Air Lines also gives customers travelling from Manchester an opportunity to fly directly to New York JFK. Furthermore, Delta’s extensive domestic network in the U.S., gives customers the ability to conveniently connect to over 200 destinations in the United States.
Both new services will operate on one of the airlines newest A330 aircraft, allowing more customers to experience Virgin Atlantic’s award winning service and will be fully configured with Upper Class, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.
Manchester Airport managing director Ken O’Toole said: “Securing the first ever direct flight between Manchester and San Francisco is a significant moment for a number of reasons.
“Firstly, it gives the 22m passengers living within two hours of Manchester Airport yet another great long haul destination to choose from and it is sure to prove popular with leisure travellers.
“Secondly, it will deliver a real boost to the North’s economy by providing a direct link to the world’s leading location for tech and biomedical start-ups, which is now home to some of the biggest brands on the planet, like Google, Twitter and Uber.
“It is also pleasing to see Virgin announce a direct route to Boston, as well as increased frequency on its existing Barbados service and a code share agreement with Flybe.
“This will mean passengers from across the UK and Europe will be able to connect onto Virgin long haul flights at Manchester Airport, cementing its position as the North of England’s main gateway to the world.”
Due to the renovation of the convention centre in 2017, leisure visitors will also see a significant increase in the number of rooms available to them throughout the year and we are very much looking forward to welcoming new and returning visitors through this new service and show them all that San Francisco has to offer.
In addition to Manchester’s new additions, Virgin Atlantic has also today announced a codeshare with Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe, offering increased travel options from Europe and points around the UK. Virgin Atlantic customers will now be able to purchase tickets from UK and European airports including Edinburgh, Milan, Dusseldorf Paris and Exeter to connect onto Virgin Atlantic business and leisure destinations from Manchester, Glasgow and London Gatwick.