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Virgin Atlantic relaunches services to Mumbai after a four year gap

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Looking to fill a gap left by the collapse of India’s Jet Airways, Virgin Atlantic is returning to Mumbai after a four year absence.

The airline has announced a new daily flight which will launch on 27th October at the start of the Winter timetable.

Tickets will be on sale from next Tuesday.

Virgin Atlantic has a codeshare and partnership agreement with Jet Airways before it collapsed, and the airline clearly believes that the demand exists for a dedicated Virgin Atlantic service.  The airline has also said that there is strong demand for extra cargo capacity on the route.

Virgin Atlantic returns to Mumbai

How will the new Virgin Atlantic Mumbai service operate?

The Mumbai service will have an early morning arrival into, and departure from, Heathrow in order to connect with as many UK-North America flights as possible.

The outbound will leave Heathrow at 10.15, arrving at 00.40

The return will leave Mumbai at 02.55, arriving at 07.35

It will use a Boeing 787-9 aircraft with 31 Upper Class seats, 35 Premium and 192 Economy

It is worth noting that this is in addition to, and not replacing, the existing Delhi service.

This is the 3rd new Virgin route announcement this year

Mumbai will be Virgin Atlantic’s 27th route from London Heathrow.  Flights to Tel Aviv launch in September 2019 (see our HFP article here) with flights to São Paulo starting in 2020 (see our article here).

Virgin Atlantic announces new Mumbai service

Didn’t British Airways just announce a new Mumbai service too?

From 2nd June, BA will operate an additional four flights per week to Mumbai.  The additional service will operate on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday outbound.

However, as Jet Airways had been operating up to three flights per day from Heathrow to Mumbai, overall capacity is still substantially down on what it was.

Virgin Atlantic credit cards

How to earn Virgin Atlantic miles from UK credit cards

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

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Flying Club miles.  That page is regularly updated with the latest special offers and will still be accurate even if you are reading this article months after publication.

(Want to earn more Virgin Flying Club miles?  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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  1. Michael says:

    Was wondering where the 3rd article was 😀

    • 3rd article was the Iberia one from yesterday afternoon. This is the first Wednesday article 🙂

      • Charlieface says:

        Seems to be happening rather regularly now. Wonder when the first time there’ll be a full set from the day before. Not that I’m bothered, I don’t wait for the emails anyway.

        • We only do it on news articles where we think the story is ‘closed’ (ie no new facts will emerge throughout the day) or where it is a limited time offer.

  2. tartan says:

    Glad to see that they are running a daytime flight outward bound, but will stick with BA as they also run two daytime flights back to the UK

  3. Kiran says:

    Wonder if they can make it work this time. I believe this is the second relaunch in less than 10 years. Timings don’t work so well for me as I prefer BA’s evening LHR departure which gets in to BOM around lunchtime and then BOM lunchtime departure which gets into LHR in the evening (after the rush hour) which is pretty easy on the jet-lag (and allows me to travel down to LHR after work to catch the outbound) but I can appreciate that these timings may work better for some.

  4. JamesLHR says:

    “Virgin Atlantic has a codeshare and partnership agreement with Jet Airways before it collapsed, and the airline clearly believes that the demand exists for a dedicated Virgin Atlantic service.”

    Working in Terminal 4 for an airline, with a similar transfer profile but from Air Canada, I can assure you there were masses of passengers connecting from DL/VS to 9W at LHR. We are talking into the hundreds a day and for 9W the vast majority were N.American connections.

    It is a current theme at LHR of where have these passengers gone to? AI have increased capacity with aircraft upgrades (size), BA and VS have direct connections and then others are dispersed across the various non direct carriers and now on 3 sector journeys.

    It makes sense for DL/VS to keep the money in house and they have visibility of the volume and fares from the tickets previously sold.

    • Kiran says:

      This makes more sense about the flight timings – depart LHR after the early US flights arrive and arrive back in time to connect onto a ot of US-bound departures.

      • I don’t understand who wants to arrive in India at 1am. Or why any Indians in the US want to connect through the UK when any Schengen connection is much easier.

        • Chris says:

          I do, for one. I can relax on the plane during the day, fall into a BOM airport hotel, wake whenever I want, before onward travel the following day.

          • tartan says:

            I’ve just booked onto the BA flight that lands just before midnight. I can stay at an airport hotel and get a few hours sleep before continuing my journey to Pune by car. I never sleep well on planes so this is a much better option for me

  5. Brian says:

    OT – Amex Platinum Insurance

    From my understanding, we are required to use the Platinum Card to pay for the trip to get the following protections:

    Cancelling, Postponing and Abandoning your Trip
    Cutting Short your Trip
    Travel Inconvenience
    Personal Belongings, Money and Travel Documents
    Purchase Protection
    Refund Protection

    But is there a specific requirement as to what needs to be paid with the Amex Platinum or does the entire trip needs to be paid with it?

    It would be quite obvious that for trip delays, it will be required for us to pay for the transportation using the Amex Platinum, but what about Personal Belonging? How much of ‘the trip’ is required to be paid on the Amex Plat in order for the customer to be protected?

  6. Steve says:

    For anyone who is thinking of applying for the 30,000 virgin card and holds the free one I was rejected (strong credit history, high earner etc). Virgin have advised that they changed the policy and new applicants can no longer hold both. I have appealed on the basis I will be cancelling the existing card and can put additional spend through it. I expect to hear back in 30 days….

    • Interesting, thanks. I wonder whether anyone has told the Virgin Money Twitter team as they were certainly advocating that you could hold both.

    • Just checked their Twitter page and they still seem to be saying that you can hold both (but you can’t have applied for either in the previous 6 months)

      • Hmm, Twittr now confiormed you are correct. Can only hold one card at a time and, presumably, they haven’t sorted an “upgrade” route out yet so if you are using the free card you would have to cancel it, leave it for 6 months and then apply for the paid card. Definitely a lack of joined up thinking there!

        • FlyingChris says:

          This is really frustrating as I applied for the Free one earlier this year with the plan of taking out the Paid version 6 months later. With the Amex 241 about to be earned, I was planning on cancelling all my Amex cards – so looking like might need to give Virgin a rest for 6 months as well?

          • It seems a very odd business plan. If you have a free card and want to “upgrade” to a paid one you need to cancel your card then wait 6 months and then hope you get accepted for the paid one! In the meantime you are driving your customer to a different card.

            Someone at VM is getting paid a lot more than they should be!

  7. Heathrow Flyer says:

    Which route did they take these slots from?

    • The Flybe Guernsey service will end, I believe

      • Also Jet Airways had 3 flights a day on the LHR-BOM route, in addition to their flights to DEL. Three pairs of slots were taken back by Etihad, so speculation on other blogs suggests that Virgin already had this slot and had let Jet Airways use it for the third flight to BOM. They are apparently going to utilise it now, claimed an insider who commented on the OMAAT blog last night.

        • It is also possible they are leasing it off Etihad. My understanding is that EY does not want to run 5 flights per day from Heathrow, at least not without a decent run-up. You’ll note that the Etihad service expansion we discussed recently only covers the Summer period to 26th October. We have no idea what EY is planning with its 2 extra slots from 27th October (the 3rd went to Air Serbia).

          • JamesLHR says:

            9W and DL did a slot swap on the 18th March for S19 period. That was the slots for the 9W115/116 going to DL for a 78 seat aircraft from T2 (BE flight).

            DL and VS trade amongst themselves with their slots, so its probably a shuffle.

  8. would love for them to bring back the Cape Town flight!!

  9. mitpat474 says:

    so how likely is the inventory space for upperclass to be wide open

  10. Just got the new Virgin free CC for wife. Have made first purchase and spent £1000 as well, how long before points are added to the account? Want to book the miles redemption flight asap as they’re likely to sell out asap, even though we want to fly in Jan 2020!

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