Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Virgin Atlantic launching Delhi and Mumbai from Manchester whilst Vistara boosts Heathrow

Links on Head for Points may pay us an affiliate commission. A list of partners is here.

Virgin Atlantic is turning its gaze to India after announcing new routes to neighbouring Pakistan in August.

It will launch two new routes from Manchester. Service to Mumbai will start on the 19th December with a thrice weekly service. Delhi follows a few weeks later on the 5th January with two weekly flights.

Virgin Atlantic launching flights from Manchester to Delhi and Mumbai

Launching new routes in the middle of a pandemic may seem counter-intuitive at first, but it fits into Virgin’s strategy of diversifying away from the US whilst travel bans remain in place.

Leisure travel – including visiting friends and relatives – is also one of the first segments predicted to rebound in aviation. With an Indian diaspora of over half a million in the north of England, according to Virgin, this seems like a sensible move. There are currently no direct flights between India and Manchester by any airline.

Flights will go on sale from 20th October.

Remember that Virgin Atlantic continues to offer free Covid-19 insurance cover to passengers – see their website here.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (August 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 Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

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

Virgin Rewards credit card

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 Amex Gold

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

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

EDIT: Until 25th October 2022, there is an exceptionally generous sign-up bonus on The Platinum Card. You will receive 60,000 Membership Rewards points – double the usual amount – and £200 to spend at Amex Travel. You need to spend £6,000 within six months to earn the bonus.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points, £200 travel credit and an unbeatable set of 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.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits 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.)

Vistara Delhi to London Boeing 787

Vistara expands London Heathrow to Delhi service

Speaking of Delhi, Indian carrier Vistara will be running a daily service from Heathrow to Delhi from 1st December.

Flights currently operate four days per week, rising to five per week from 21st November. Services are operated using a modern Boeing 787-9.

You can find out more on the Vistara website here.

Tomorrow we will cover SpiceJet’s UK launch.

Comments (56)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sandgrounder says:

    ‘Virgin Atlantic launching Delhi and Manchester from Manchester’ is there an error in this subheading, or is it a gag about moving to tier 3? 🙂

    • Ian M says:

      No Marriott offer on m Bonvoy card sadly, nor on my BAPP or Amex Platinum. I’ve got 0 offers on my Bonvoy and BAPP cards and only 2 on my Platinum which have been there a long time (Hello Fresh and Tordoffs Wines and Hampers).

      I’ve not had any of the offers that have been mentioned on here in the last couple of months.

      Have Amex put me on a naughty list or has something broken?

      • Harry T says:

        Ian, it does sound like something is up. I have 38 offers saved on my Platinum card at the moment, with at least a dozen I didn’t bother to save. Bonvoy and Gold cards have less offers but still significantly more than what you are talking about. I don’t think my experience is atypical either.

        • Jessiefan says:

          Currently 68 offers on mine, none of which are particularly useful (except the Waitrose one)

      • Rob says:

        One of those two things.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        You’re on the same naughty list as me, I would suggest.

        I almost want to apply for a job in Brighton just so I can get to the bottom of this….

        • Simon says:

          Same here, soon as some pending payments drop I am calling them to cancel both the Mariott and Plat cards, let’s see if that helps!

    • Peter K says:


    • Rob says:

      Bugger 🙂

  • BuildTheWall says:

    For those not familiar, Vistara is a JV between Singapore airlines and Tatas. Their soft and hard products are far better than BA.

  • Erico1875 says:

    Going forward, post Covid. IIMO it makes sense to leave Delta to the west routes and for Virgin to concentrate East instead if tripping over each other.

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    VS Covid cover not valid if travelling against FCO advice however, which for the foreseeable future is nearly everywhere?

  • Matthew says:

    I’ve got the £50 off £200 and £75 off £200 Marriott offer on the same card. Would both trigger you think with one £200 spend?

  • Dubious says:

    Wow, when did Vistara start long haul ops?! I knew they had been mooting it but did realize they had actually got round to implementation.

    • marcw says:

      Yes, they started Heathrow in August.
      BTW, you should all watch the Vistara safety video: it’s slightly different, and I really enjoyed it when I watched it.

  • TopGuy says:

    Rob. You may need to hop on Vistara and review their business class product. I have heard that its excellent. Should Virgin survive, they both are gonna give BA a run for its money on UK India routes.

    • ChrisW says:

      Can’t imagine travelling to India just to review a new airline would be top of Rob’s list of priorities right now…

    • BuildTheWall says:

      It’s the same as SQ regional hard product.

  • Peter Harding says:

    Does anybody know why Italy has no participating locations on any of the hotel offers? (Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt etc.)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.