Virgin Atlantic to launch flights to Tampa?
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The slot allocation report at Heathrow for the upcoming Winter schedule (which starts on the 29th October) has just been published.
We’ve already reported on JetBlue gaining permanent slots at Heathrow but there have been a few other changes.
Whilst most of the ‘new’ routes are simply extensions of existing summer slots, it looks like Virgin Atlantic could be launching a brand new flight to Florida, complementing its Miami and Orlando flights. This would be in the form of a new direct flight to Tampa.
The slot allocation is for one flight per day, seven days per week.
This seems relatively sensible, given that leisure travel demand is still outstripping business travel and with Florida one of Virgin’s key destinations. It also integrates well with Virgin Holidays.
Whilst Virgin has received slots for the route, there is no guarantee it will actually launch the flight. It could still back out – we will have to wait and see.
Apart from JetBlue and Virgin Atlantic, other slot gainers – all of which have come from Russian carriers – are:
- Avianca – four flights per week
- WestJet – three flights per week
- China Airlines – four flights per week
- Vistara – seven flights per week
What isn’t clear is what will happen when the Ukraine crisis ends, Russian sanctions are lifted and the Russian carriers request new Heathrow slots. Unless they are made available, it is very likely that UK airlines would be blocked from flying to Moscow in retaliation.
How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (March 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):
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.
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) 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.)