Virgin Atlantic recently
announced that it would be starting a second daily
flight service between OR Tambo International Airport in
Johannesburg and Heathrow Airport in London.
Although the new flights will go on sale on 24 March,
the new flights will only start departing on 28 October
this year with a Boeing 787-9, which will have in-flight
WiFi. Between the two flights, the airline expects to
transport over 300 000 passengers annually and will also
increase cargo capacity between the two countries.
Passengers will have the option of choosing between the
airline's three new economy tickets ¡V light, classic and
delight. There will be 36 Economy Delight seats on the
new route, which include priority check-in and boarding,
free seat selection and 34-inch more legroom for those
who want their space.
The flight will leave London at 16:45 and will land at
05:40 the next day in South Africa, and the return
flight will depart at 22:20 and land at 07:30 in London,
which makes it perfect timing for business travellers
according to Virgin Atlantic.
The time slot also makes it easier for connecting
passengers to make their flights to US destinations in
partnership with Delta.
"Virgin Atlantic has been proud to serve South Africa
for over 21 years. Johannesburg is one of the most
popular destinations on our network, so we're delighted
to add a second daily service to create even more travel
opportunities for our customers," says Shai Weiss, COO
of Virgin Atlantic.
According to the head of Middle East and Africa for the
airline, Liezl Gericke, the new seats mean that Virgin
Atlantic is contributing to the expected 9% annual
growth of air travel between South Africa and the United
Kingdom in the first quarter.
Airport Company South Africa COO, Fundi Sithebe, is
looking forward to growing OR Tambo International
Airport's partnership with the airline.
"OR Tambo International Airport, as one of the key hubs
in the southern hemisphere, stands to benefit from these
additional seats at such a critical moment where
airlines are looking at capacity rationalisation as
global oil prices are surging.
"Moreover, with over a third of North American
travellers connecting through European gateways to and
from southern Africa, the additional flight will enhance
Virgin Atlantic's transatlantic connectivity and
attractiveness with its partners," says Sithebe. ¡V