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Virgin Atlantic gains an extra London Heathrow slot pair from Cobalt Air

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Virgin Atlantic has gained a very valuable Heathrow slot pair from Cobalt Air.

We have covered the rise and fall of Cyprus-based Cobalt Air on Head for Points, since they offered an impressive business class product on routes from the UK to Larnaca and Athens.

When Cobalt fell into administration a couple of weeks, I assumed that was the end of the story.  It seems not.

Cobalt Air slots Virgin Atlantic

At Heathrow, Cobalt Air was using a slot pair owned by Virgin Atlantic.  These are slots which Virgin Atlantic purchased from Cyprus Air back in 2012 but had yet to start using.

With the record price paid for a pair of Heathrow slots now over $100m, this is clearly a very valuable asset.  However, the ‘use them or lose them’ rules imposed by the airport meant they were at risk.

According to Business Travel News – read the story here – Virgin Atlantic went to court in Cyprus to get an injunction to stop the Government revoking Cobalt’s operating licences. 

With the injunction successfully granted, Cobalt was able to legally transfer the slot back to Virgin Atlantic instead of it becoming part of the administration process.  Once this was done, Virgin Atlantic dropped its injunction and the airline was again effectively dead.


HFP Virgin Atlantic Rewards credit card

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 Points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 20,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 20,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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