Virgin Atlantic has announced it is to plug GBP300 million into its services into India after being snubbed of the rights to fly to Moscow.
The airline will relaunch its flights between Heathrow and Mumbai over the weekend and is to operate two new Airbus A330 aircraft on the route with its latest upper class cabin.
The route will now operate daily and is expected to carry around 140,000 passengers a year to the Indian city. The carrier originally withdrew the service in 2009 due to “economic circumstances” and has returned as the country’s economy continues to boom.
The business and visiting friends and relatives (VFR) markets are expected to share the bulk of traffic on the route, as well as those connecting onto New York and vice versa. Virgin Atlantic posted a 13% increase in numbers between London and Delhi with many thought to be US connecting passengers.
“We are delighted to be back in this amazing city after four years. The importance of strengthening the connections between the economies of New York, London and Mumbai cannot be emphasised enough – our daily connecting service from Mumbai all the way to New York will be a winner for businesses across all three continents,” said Sir Richard Branson, president of Virgin Atlantic.