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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.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2022)

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, the Reward+ card has a bonus of 15,000 Virgin Points):

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

A generous earning rate for a free card at 0.75 points per £1 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.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

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

The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.

The Platinum Card from American Express

30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into Virgin Points.

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year 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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