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Virgin Atlantic buys 24 Heathrow slots from KLM, enough for two new routes

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When Rhys returned from his Virgin Atlantic A330neo inaugural trip to Tampa, he came back with rumours of an aggressive route expansion.

We honestly have no idea what is planned, but it is worth mentioning that:

Virgin Atlantic buys 24 Heathrow slots from KLM
  • there have been reports in the Korean press that the airline is planning flights to Seoul – this appears more believable now that Virgin Atlantic is joining SkyTeam and could partner with Korean

One block to expansion would be Heathrow landing and take-off slots, assuming that there are no plans to return to London Gatwick.

However, filings at Airport Coordination – which manages Heathrow slot trades – show that Virgin Atlantic has purchased 12 Heathrow slot pairs from its transatlantic joint venture partner KLM. These cover the Summer season, from April to October.

This would be enough to launch two new routes, assuming 2 x 6 day services or 1 x 7 days and 1 x 5 days. Whilst the new A330neo fleet is meant to replace the existing A330 fleet, there is presumably some flexibility in when the latter are pensioned off.

Rhys could have a busy year next year with all of these route launches ….


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

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

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year 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.)

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