Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747-400 in full landing configurationFlying to over 30 destinations around the world, Virgin Atlantic Airways ( is the UK's seventh largest airline in terms of passengers. The airline transports over five million passengers each year, connecting the UK with popular destinations in the Americas, Asia, Africa and Australia.

About Virgin Atlantic

Crawley-based Virgin Atlantic operates scheduled flights between the UK, Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, the Middle East and North America. As of March 2014, the airline continues to be majority-owned the Virgin Group. Since 2012, American carrier Delta Air Lines has owned 49 percent of Virgin Atlantic. Virgin Atlantic's IATA airline designator is VS and its ICAO code is VIR, while its call sign is "Virgin". In 2013, the airline carried 5.5 million passengers and employed 9,580 people.

Virgin Atlantic's fleet consists of 39 aircraft, as of March 2014. The fleet includes Airbus A330-300, A340-300 and A340-600 aircraft, as well as Boeing 747-400 airliners. Little Red flights are operated on four leased Airbus A320 aircraft. Between 2014 and 2018, Virgin Atlantic is also expecting the delivery of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner jets and Airbus A380-800 aircraft. Its main base of operations is London's Heathrow Airport, while Gatwick and Manchester airports also serve as operating bases for the airline.


Virgin Atlantic was originally intended to operate flights between London and the Falkland Islands following the end of the Falkland Wars. American-born Randolph Fields and former chief pilot for Laker Airways Alan Hellary intended British Atlantic Airways to succeed failed Laker Airways. With Port Stanley's short runway, the airline's founders looked to New York as a launch destination. Fields and Hellary reached out to Richard Branson of Virgin Records and the concept for Virgin Atlantic was born.

Established in 1984, Virgin Atlantic Airways flew its first flight between London Gatwick and Newark International Airport. In 1986, the airline expanded to Miami. By the early 1990s, Virgin Atlantic was also flying between Gatwick and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Tokyo, Boston and Orlando. The airline was the first in the world to introduce individual TVs for business class passengers and Premium Economy. Following the demise of British Midland International (BMI) and its domestic network, Virgin Atlantic launched its Little Red brand with services between London and major cities in the UK in 2013.


As of March 2014, Virgin Atlantic flies to 34 destinations around the world. Domestic routes include connections from Heathrow and Gatwick to Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. In Asia, Virgin Atlantic flies to Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Delhi, Mumbai and Dubai. The airline links the UK with Lagos, Cape Town and Johannesburg in Africa and Sydney in Australia. Virgin Atlantic also operates several routes to Canada, Mexico, the United States and the Caribbean, including Antigua, Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, Grenada, St. Lucia, Jamaica and Cuba.

Classes of Service

Virgin Atlantic offers three classes or service on long-haul flights. Economy class passengers are given a choice of three complimentary meals and free drinks. A amenity kit and personal seat-back inflight entertainment are also provided, as well as complimentary newspapers on flights from London and Manchester. Premium Economy offers additional space and amenities. Passengers are pampered with a welcome glass of champagne and after dinner liqueur, and meals are served on china and with stainless steel cutlery. Other privileges include dedicated check-in and priority boarding. On night flights, a premium amenity kit is provided with important essentials.

Upper Class is Virgin Atlantic's business class service. Passengers have access to sophisticated Clubhouse lounges at many airports. Clubhouses have a range of luxuries, including food, bar service and a spa. On board, spacious leather seats transform into generous flat beds. Upper Class suites also feature workspace and extensive inflight personal entertainment with TV, films and games. Other amenities include welcome champagne, an inflight bar, and chauffeur transfers to and from airports. Customers are treated to luxury meals with a delicious menu of hot and cold dishes, as well as savoury desserts. Guests choose from a range of fine wines, cheeses and port during meal service.

On domestic routes within the UK, Virgin Atlantic Little Read provides one class of service. On flights before 9 a.m., hot breakfast rolls are served with tea, coffee and juice. A selection of cookies and crisps with a full bar service is available at other times of the day. The all-economy class configuration is available on Virgin Atlantic flights between London and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Manchester.

Head Office Address

Virgin Atlantic Airways Ltd.
Manor Royal
RH10 9NU