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.
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.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (December 2023)
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):
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.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive 30,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 30,000 Avios) with American Express Preferred Rewards Gold. You receive 25,000 points if you spend £3,000 in three months and a further 5,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
SPECIAL OFFER: Until 9th January 2024, you will receive a huge 100,000 Membership Rewards points (convertible to 100,000 Avios) with The Platinum Card. You receive 75,000 points if you spend £10,000 in six months and a further 25,000 points if you hold the card for 15 months. You can apply here.
Small business owners should consider the two American Express Business cards. Points convert at 1:1 into 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 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.