Over the weekend, I was reading how Virgin Atlantic was adding new non-stop service between Orlando, Florida and Belfast, Ireland (SAY WHAT?)
First off, Virgin Atlantic doesn’t fly to Belfast, Northern Ireland at all, so it just seems strange that they’re adding it from Orlando, Florida of all places.
Virgin Atlantic does operate non-stop year round service from Orlando, FL to both London–Gatwick, Manchester (UK), so they will be expanding their current service out of Orlando.
Here’s the press release about this new route:
Delta’s joint venture partner Virgin Atlantic Airways is expanded outside its London hub today with the launch of a new summer service between Orlando and Belfast, Ireland. The weekly flight between the Sunshine State and Northern Ireland will run for four weeks this summer and resume June 2016.
Orlando is a key leisure destination for U.K. travelers during the holidays, and this flight complements Virgin Atlantic’s year-round services to London-Gatwick and Manchester. Virgin Atlantic also operates a seasonal nonstop flight to Glasgow, Scotland, improving regional connectivity within the U.K.
“We’re extremely excited to be operating our first flights from Belfast and we’ve received a warm welcome from the people of Northern Ireland,” said Joe Thompson, Senior Vice President of Network and Alliances at Virgin Atlantic. “We want to offer customers from all over the UK access to our popular leisure destinations during peak travel periods.”
To mark the launch of the inaugural flight today, customers will be treated to a special home-from-home service with an all-Northern Irish crew looking after them onboard.
“Adding a third regional departure point and a fourth route to Orlando strengthens our joint venture network outside London and also improves the convenience of travelling across the trans-Atlantic,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President – Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Virgin Atlantic also launched nonstop services between Detroit and London-Heathrow this month, supplementing Delta’s daily operation. The Delta-Virgin Atlantic partnership will offer up to 39 daily flights between the U.S. and U.K. this summer.
Does anyone else think it’s a little weird that Virgin Atlantic is offering this route for just 4 weeks this summer? If it’s so sustainable why not offer it all summer, it’s almost like a private charter open to the public in my eyes.
If they wanted to added Belfast, I’m surprised they didn’t do from New York or Atlanta, which both could feed connections from Delta, but to choose Orlando, just seems a little strange to me.