Branson's Little Red Goes Head-To-Head With BA

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Virgin Atlantic has finally entered the U.K. domestic market, declaring that it will take rival British Airways "head on".

The Heathrow slots picked up by Virgin Atlantic after the sale of BMI to IAG will be used by the international airline's new domestic feeder service, operating under the "Little Red" brand.  

From the end of March, Little Red will operate 26 daily services to Heathrow Terminal 1 from Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, with passengers changing terminals via a transfer bus to connect onto long-haul services from Terminal 3. An Airbus A320 leased from Aer Lingus painted in Virgin Atlantic colors will operate the routes. In comparison, national rival British Airways operates 52 daily flights from Heathrow to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. 

While BA partners with more conservative firms like tea marketer Twinings, Virgin has teamed up with with the wilder IRN-BRU. On flights to and from the Scottish airports, passengers can expect to drink "Scotland's favorite soft drink".

The one-class short-haul service on all routes will also offer full breakfast. Upping the game even further, the airline says it has set up brand partnerships with Tyrells and Bacardi Martini, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts could also be on the menu in the future. But where's the Scotch?


Virgin Atlantic's Little Red already has a number of brand partnerships in the bag, including the sometimes controversial IRN-BRU.

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