Virgin marks 10 years of Washington flights

Virgin Atlantic celebrates its 10th Anniversary of flights to Washington D.C this week. The airline first launched its daily service from London Heathrow Airport to Washington Dulles International airport in June 1996 and since then the airline has flown over 7,000 flights, amounting to 26 million miles and carrying over 1.7 million passengers.

The daily service is operated by our A340-600 aircraft and is fitted with our award winning Upper Class Suite.

Also in Washington this week the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer, which captivated the world with two groundbreaking record-shattering flights within one year, will take its final flight today when it joins the Smithsonian collection at the National Air and Space Museum. The achievements of the experimental aircraft pushed the boundaries of flight by applying new technologies such as lightweight composites and fuel-efficient systems, which could one day change the face of flying for all passengers. The aircraft’s pilot Steve Fossett will officially sign over the historic aircraft to the museum in a ceremony to take place at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic commented:

“When we launched the airline, my vision was to create an airline that would be the front-runner in innovation, value for money and the highest quality product. Now after 10 years in Washington D.C., I am delighted that Virgin Atlantic has continued to stand for the same values, we have carried a phenomenal number of passengers and flown an amazing seven thousand return flights since we launched in 1996.


It is fitting also this week that we celebrate, innovation and commitment in another aviation achievement as the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer takes her place in the Smithsonian collection at The National Air and Space Museum. Congratulations should also go to Steve Fossett whose endurance and determination to push the boundaries of both himself and the aircraft have resulted in potentially changing the face of flying for everyone, by making flying even more affordable and reducing the impact on the environment.

We have had a great 10 years in Washington D.C. and I am looking forward to the next decade being just as eventful!”

Since it was founded in 1984, Virgin Atlantic Airways has become Britain’s second largest carrier serving the world’s major cities. Based at both London’s Gatwick and Heathrow airports, it operates long haul services to twenty-six destinations worldwide as far apart as Las Vegas and Shanghai.

The Upper Class Suite consists of a reclining leather seat for take off, a place to sit and eat a proper meal opposite your partner, the longest fully flat bed in the world with a proper mattress for sleeping on, a private onboard bar to drink at with your friends, a private massage room and four limousines per return trip.

Virgin Atlantic currently has a fleet of 33 aircraft which includes thirteen 747s and six A340-300s and fourteen A340-600s.