Virgin Atlantic To Restart Flights To Dubai After Four-Year Absence

Virgin Atlantic 787-9

Virgin Atlantic plans to serve Dubai International Airport (DXB) for the first time since March 2019, restarting flights from its London Heathrow Airport (LHR) base.

The LHR-DXB route will be flown 4X-weekly from Oct. 28. Flights will operate on a seasonal basis through March, according to the UK carrier.

“The airline expects the new route to be a hit with leisure customers and aims to capture the increased demand for premium winter sun getaways,” Virgin Atlantic says in a statement.

The airline will use a Boeing 787-9 aircraft seating 258 passengers on the LHR-DXB route. The carrier noted the 787-9 also has 20 tonnes of belly cargo capacity.

“This fast cargo service will offer new opportunities for companies looking to export and import goods such as fresh produce and high-tech products between the Middle East and prime markets in the UK and U.S.,” Virgin Atlantic says.

Regarding U.S. service, the carrier will resume flights between Manchester Airport (MAN) in England and Las Vegas (LAS) from June 2, 2024, on a seasonal basis. The MAN-LAS route will be flown with an Airbus A350-1000 aircraft configured to carry 397 passengers. Flights will operate 3X-weekly. The airline already serves Atlanta, New York JFK and Orlando from MAN.

Virgin Atlantic VP-Network & Alliances Rikke Christensen says the airline is “thrilled to be returning to Dubai, a destination we know our customers and people love.”

He adds: “[Dubai’s] inviting climate during the cold UK winter, combined with its first-class collection of hotels and experiences, make Dubai a must-visit destination for sunshine hungry Brits. We’ve long wanted to return to this incredible city when the time was right, and this year presents the perfect opportunity. Dubai will complement our growing collection of winter sun destinations.”

Aaron Karp

Aaron Karp is a Contributing Editor to the Aviation Week Network.