Virgin celebrates 10 years at Manchester

Virgin Atlantic is celebrating its 10th anniversary since it began flights from Manchester Airport. Virgin Atlantic’s first flights launched in May 1996 to Orlando and since then the airline has carried over 1.6 million passengers from the airport.  More recently the airline launched flights between Manchester and Barbados and will start flights to St Lucia later in the year.

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic commented:

“I am delighted that we are celebrating our 10th birthday of flights from Manchester.  As part of our continued expansion we will triple our
operation from Manchester when we add our direct weekly service to St Lucia in November 2006.  The introduction of the award-winning Upper Class Suite on every flight from Manchester also gives passengers a chance to experience superb service and style.

“We now have more than 200 Manchester cabin crew based at Manchester in order to help us fulfil our growth plans in the region. To all our passengers travelling from Manchester Airport with us, I wish every one Many Happy return flights!!”

In 2005 Virgin Atlantic added a weekly direct service to Barbados and will launch a new weekly service to St Lucia in November 2006. The continued commitment to expanding and improving the Manchester services has seen Virgin Atlantic’s fleet of 747-400s flying from Manchester fitted with the Upper Class Suite this year.  The Upper Class Suite offers Upper Class passengers a reclining leather seat for take off, a place to sit and eat a meal opposite your partner, the longest flat bed in the world with a proper mattress for sleeping on, a private onboard bar to drink at with your friends and four limousines per return trip.

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Justin Bell, Virgin Atlantic Station Manager at Manchester Airport said:

‘All of the Manchester based Virgin Atlantic staff are extremely happy to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Virgin Atlantic flights.  It is an exciting
time for us with the addition of flights to Barbados last year and St Lucia this year.  We are now able to give more choice to our northern passengers giving them even more reason fly with Virgin Atlantic’.

Amanda Wills, Managing Director for Virgin Holidays commented:

“I am thrilled to be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of Virgin Atlantic flying from Manchester, it marks a fantastic achievement for Virgin Holidays in providing our northern customers popular holiday destinations in the USA and the Caribbean.  The direct flights to Barbados, which were introduced in 2005, have become extremely popular and I look forward to the start of new flights to St Lucia which begin in November as they will provide our customers with the choice of even more holidays from Manchester than ever before.”

The Virgin Atlantic Manchester fleet of 747-400’s are configured with 14 Upper class, 58 Premium Economy and 379 in Economy.  Flight VS075 departs daily from Manchester to Orlando at 10.25 and returns daily from Orlando at 18.15. Flight VS077 to Barbados departs Manchester every Sunday at 10.25 and VS078 returns from Barbados at 18.25.  From 16 November 2006 VS079 to St Lucia will depart Manchester every Thursday at 13.30 and return from St Lucia at 21.50.
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