Virgin Atlantic has announced the start of direct flights to Las Vegas from Manchester from 3 April 2011. The twice-weekly service will operate on Thursdays and Sundays using a Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The direct link between the two cities, with scheduled flights, was lost in April 2009 when BMI pulled out of the route along with other transatlantic services including Chicago and the Caribbean. “The decision to expand our Manchester flying programme underlines Virgin Atlantic’s commitment to flying to long haul destinations from regional airports in the UK,” said Manchester Airports Managing Director Andrew Cornish. The additional flights from Manchester mean that from April 2011, Virgin Atlantic will operate nine flights a week from the UK to Las Vegas.