Virgin Atlantic’s first route into the Middle East, between London and Dubai, celebrated its first birthday. The airline commenced the operation on 28 March last year with 4 flights a week to London Heathrow and went daily from 2 June. The route is operated on the Airbus A340-600.
Andrew Fyfe, Regional Manager Middle East and Indian Ocean commented, ‘We are very pleased with the performance on the route since it started one year ago. With a daily service in addition to convenient connections to the US, Virgin has competed successfully on the route, flying over 135,000 passengers.’
On arrival one year ago Virgin Atlantic set out to offer a competitive product and service for both business and leisure travellers. Fyfe said, ‘Business class is an extremely competitive market in this region and our Upper Class product has been extremely well received in the Dubai, providing passengers with a unique and innovative product which includes the award winning Upper Class Suite - the biggest flat bed in its class, chauffeur driven transfers to and from the airport, inflight beauty therapy, London Heathrow Drive Thru Check In and Clubhouse at Heathrow.
In September 2006 Virgin Atlantic announced it had spent $12 million revamping its Premium Economy product. This revamp includes a bigger more comfortable leather seat, dedicated cabin with devoted crew, new meal service served on chinaware with priority check-in and boarding. Aimed at the cost conscious business traveler and upper end leisure passenger this cabin was voted best Premium Economy by Business Traveller in 2006. ‘This truly is a value for money product which has seen high load factors since it commenced on the Dubai - London route early this year’ added Fyfe.
Commenting on recent reports that Virgin is planning a second daily flight, Fyfe said, ‘We have had great success on the Dubai route in the first year of operation and are always keeping a second daily service under constant review. Dubai is growing rapidly and attracting more tourists and business opportunities are increasing all the time. We are very excited to be operating in this environment where our partners such as the Dubai Civil Aviation authority have been very welcoming and supportive ’
To help celebrate its first birthday in Dubai, Virgin Atlantic is offering special birthday fares to the UK and US in all 3 classes, Upper Class, Premium Economy and Economy. Passengers arriving and departing on the birthday flight were given birthday gifts.