Virgin unveils new Chicago route

Virgin Atlantic Airways today announced it will start flying between London Heathrow and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. The daily services will begin on Monday 23 April next year.  The airline also announced today that it is introducing a second daily service between London Heathrow and Washington for the summer season from 24 April 2007.

Chicago, which becomes Virgin Atlantic’s 28th destination worldwide, will be the airline’s tenth US gateway. 1.86 million travelers flew between London Heathrow and Chicago last year, making the US city the third busiest destination from London for long-haul travellers after New York’s JFK and Dubai.

Virgin Atlantic’s capacity to the United States will increase by around 15% with the daily Chicago and second daily Washington services, demonstrating the airline’s strong commitment to the US market and the enormous popularity of these transatlantic routes.

Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic said:

“We can’t wait to fly to Chicago, the third biggest destination to the US from London, with nearly 2 million passengers travelling between the two cities each year. With its mix of business hotels and conference centres, and extensive festivals and events, Chicago is the ideal location for our business and leisure travellers.”


“Our award winning Upper Class Suite will be flying on all Chicago flights and the new Premium Economy seat, which is wider than BA’s Club World seat, will be on all flights from June, so passengers are guaranteed the best premium services to and from the Windy City!”

Flight VS039 will depart London Heathrow at 11.15 and arrive into Chicago O’Hare International Airport at 14.10.  Flight VS040 will depart Chicago at 18.00 and arrive into London Heathrow at 08.00 the following morning.  Services will be operated by an Airbus A340-300, which will be configured with 34 Upper Class Suites, 35 Premium Economy seats and 171 Economy seats.

Flight VS055, the second daily service, will depart London Heathrow at 17.30 and arrive into Washington Dulles Airport at 20.55.  Flight VS056 will depart Washington at 23.10 and arrive into Heathrow at 11.35.  Services will be operated by an Airbus A340-300, which will be configured with 34 Upper Class Suites, 35 Premium Economy seats and 171 Economy seats.

All Virgin Atlantic’s aircraft are fitted with the Upper Class Suite, which has won many awards for its innovative design. Virgin Atlantic’s 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 enjoy a drink with your friends, a private massage zone and four limousines per return trip - all at a price thousands of pounds less than other airlines’ First Class.  The Upper Class experience also includes Drive Thru Check In, the Virgin Atlantic Clubhouse and the Revivals arrivals lounge at Heathrow.

Virgin Atlantic Airways won World’s Leading Travel Television Commercial
at this year’s World Travel Awards.