Virgin Atlantic Airways is a British private airline, operated by Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. The Group holds 51% share of the airline, while 49% share is held by Singapore Airlines. Headquartered in Crawley, West Sussex, England, Virgin Atlantic Airways operates from its main hubs at London Heathrow Airport and London Gatwick Airport. Apart from its main hubs, it also has a small base at Manchester Airport. Established in 1984, the airline commenced its operations in June, in the same year. Currently, it operates flights between United Kingdom, Caribbean, North America, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia. Read more about the history and profile of Virgin Atlantic Airways, in the article.
Virgin Atlantic Airways came into being, when Richard Branson, who was earlier, involved in music records business and had a company by the name 'Virgin Records', decided to enter airlines business. Virgin Atlantic’s forerunner, British Atlantic Airways, operated flights from the UK to the Falkland Islands, starting in 1982. Branson bought British Atlantic Airways and the new airlines - Virgin Atlantic Airways - began its operations on June 22, 1984. The airline's inaugural flight was between London and Newark Liberty.
Virgin Atlantic Airways established new standards of onboard service and went on to become award winning Premium Economy. It gained the distinction of being the first airline to offer individual TVs to their business class passengers. After selling off Virgin Music in 1992, Richard Branson invested the proceeds into Virgin Atlantic Airways, to improve the airline further. In 1999, Richard Branson sold a 49% stake in the company to Singapore Airlines.
Codeshare Agreements And Partnerships
Currently, Virgin Atlantic Airways has entered a code share agreement with some of the prominent names in the civil aviation industry, which includes Air China, Air Jamaica, BMI, Continental Airlines, Jet Airways, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways and Virgin Blue. Virgin Atlantic Airways is about to code-share with All Nippon Airways as well. Virgin Atlantic has partnered with Air New Zealand, Gulf Air, All Nippon Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, LIAT, Malaysian Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines and US Airways.
Destinations And Fleet
Virgin Atlantic Airways operates scheduled flights to a number of destinations in Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. In Asia, the airline flies to People's Republic of China, India (to Delhi), Japan and Dubai. In Europe, the airline operates scheduled flights to its home country - United Kingdom (to London, Glasgow and Manchester). The airline also flies to Caribbean and United States of America. In Oceania, it flies to Australia. Currently, the airline operates a modern fleet of 38 aircrafts, including Boeing 747-400, Airbus A340-600 and Airbus A340-300.