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Virgin Atlantic launches a codeshare deal on IndiGo flights in India

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Virgin Atlantic’s flights to the Indian subcontinent originally started as a way to mop up traffic during covid, when its bread-and-butter routes to the United States were blocked from carrying tourists.

Whilst it has operated to Delhi since 2000, flights to Lahore, Islamabad and Mumbai were launched in Autumn 2020. They were so successful that one person I spoke to suggested they ‘saved’ the airline from collapse (cargo was another factor, of course.)

It appears Virgin Atlantic has decided to keep operating the routes and has now forged a relationship with Indian airline IndiGo to offer better connections. IndiGo is India’s largest airline and operates under a low-cost model.

Virgin Atlantic Indigo codeshare flights

The agreement is formed of two phases. Phase one will see Virgin add its flight numbers to IndiGo flights to seven Indian cities:

  • Chennai
  • Bengaluru
  • Hyderabad
  • Kolkata
  • Ahmedabad
  • Amritsar
  • Goa
  • Delhi
  • Mumbai

This will be followed by phase two, later this year, which will increase the number of cities to sixteen and let IndiGo offer connections to the United States on Virgin Atlantic flights via Heathrow. The additional cities include:

  • Kochi
  • Chandigarh
  • Jaipur
  • Pune
  • Coimbatore
  • Nagpur
  • Vadodara
  • Indore
  • Visakhapatnam

Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin said: “This summer marks our largest ever flying programme from India with three daily direct services to London and our new partnership takes our commitment to even greater heights.”

Flights between the UK and India are becoming increasingly competitive. British Airways flies to five Indian cities whilst Virgin Atlantic flies to two. Tata-owned airline Vistara has launched flights to London and is hoping to expand its offering once Boeing delivers more 787s.

A number of start-ups are also planning to launch flights to the region. Hans Airways hopes to make a go of it from Birmingham to Amritsar and flypop will also attempt to launch low-cost long haul flights.

…. and Virgin Atlantic expands Pakistan flights

In addition to offering better connections in India, Virgin Atlantic will offer an additional weekly flight to both Lahore and Islamabad in January and February 2023.

This takes Virgin Atlantic to 10 flights weekly to Pakistan.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 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 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 & 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.

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.

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.)

Comments (38)

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

  • Rob says:

    Is there any chance we might see VS redemptions on IndiGo too?

    • Rhys says:

      Should be possible, although you may have to phone up to book.

      • s says:

        are you sure? Typically codeshares aren’t available for redemptions so unless there’s a special arrangement here, I’d think the answer is no.

        • Rhys says:

          You’re probably right, actually. Forgot redemptions don’t just come out of cash buckets!

  • M says:

    I’ve redeemed some points for the O2 concert but used my partner’s account instead of mine. I want to take my mum. Would that be an issue?

    Also, Is covid policy still a thing?

  • teaboy says:

    What is the advantage of a relationship with indiGo? Does it mean a cheaper internal flight or does it mean that you get the internal flight at no extra cost of the usual ticket to Delhi or Mumbai? Have already got a ticket with VS to Delhi but would like to push onto Kochi.

    • Rob says:

      1. Through ticketing / protecting connection if first flight late
      2. Should earn Virgin Points and tier points
      3. Unlikely to be cheaper and could even be more than buying both flights separately
      4. Virgin Atlantic luggage allowance would carry across

      I doubt you can amend an existing ticket though.

  • TrainDriverSparky says:

    What is the next best non-Amex card after the two Avios-Barclaycards?

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

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