Now we know. Virgin Atlantic is dropping its 2nd daily Johannesburg service from 29th March 2020.
The upside, which we already knew, is that the remaining flight is being switched from a Boeing 787-9 to an Airbus A350.
This means that the route will have the new Upper Class Suite which we reviewed here, and which is a major improvement on the current seat. You’ll also have access to the new ‘The Loft’ social area onboard.
The 2nd Johannesburg flight will only have been operating for six months. In fact, it is only four weeks since it launched (28th October), filling the gap left by South African Airways move to drop one of its two daily Jo’burg to Heathrow services.
The problem is that the flight is a massively inefficient use of a very expensive aircraft. It leaves Heathrow at 18.55 and lands in South Africa at 07.55. It then sits on the ground earning nothing for the next 14 hours as the return flight to Heathrow does not leave until 22.20. It arrives back in Heathrow at 07.40.
Virgin Atlantic clearly feels that it can make better use of the plane. After all, in the 37 hours between leaving Heathrow and arriving back it could have completed two return flights to the US East Coast.
It is possible that we see the flight back for the Winter 2020 season, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.
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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.
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