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Virgin Atlantic returns to Dubai – flights start in late October

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Virgin Atlantic is returning to Dubai!

Whilst a relatively obvious move, given the ability of Virgin Holidays to drive a lot of volume to the route, Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss did say to me – in a private 1-1 chat late last year – that it was never going to happen. You can’t trust anyone these days ….

The only frustrating move is that the route is starting half way through October half term (for those who get a two week half term break) which seems a missed opportunity.

This is one of two routes announced today. You can read about Virgin’s new Manchester to Las Vegas route in this article.

Virgin Atlantic has added a Dubai page to its website which you can find here.

Virgin Atlantic returns to Dubai

Here are the details:

  • Flights will launch on 28th October 2023
  • It is described as a ‘seasonal service’ which implies that it will only run between late October and late March
  • Seats, for cash and Virgin Points, will be bookable from 7th June – do NOT try to book today
  • There will be four flights per week, departing Heathrow on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • The route will use a Boeing 787-9, which means you are getting the old-style Upper Class seat, unfortunately. The layout is 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 Economy Delight / Classic / Light. Upper Class image below.
Virgin Atlantic 787 Upper Class cabin 2

What are the flight timings?

Not great, frankly, but Dubai is always difficult because of the flight time and the overnight closure of Heathrow.

It is an overnight flight to Dubai, leaving Heathrow Terminal 3 at 17.35 and landing in Dubai at the unsocial hour of 04.40.

The return is much better, leaving Dubai at 13.00 and arriving into Heathrow at 17.05.

It still means that the aircraft is sitting on the ground in Dubai for eight hours, which is a bad use of a $300m (at list price) asset.

As noted above, seats will go on sale on 7th June. Virgin Atlantic availability normally pops up at around 5am because the airline operates on Delta’s systems which are set to New York time.

You can find out more on this special page of the Virgin Atlantic website.

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (September 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):

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on the Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard is doubled to 30,000 Virgin Points if you apply by 2nd October. You receive 15,000 Virgin Points with your first purchase and a further 15,000 points if you spend £3,000 within 90 days. Apply here.

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

30,000 bonus points (SPECIAL OFFER TO 2ND OCTOBER) 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 a huge range of valuable 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 bonus and an annual £200 Amex Travel credit 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 (73)

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

  • The Original Nick. says:

    This is what I paid in September 2014 for UC. 1 GBP to 6 AED them days.

    1 Adult: miles 40000 each
    Taxes, fees, charges and Carrier imposed surcharges: AED 1,020.00
    Total: miles 40000 +
    AED 1,020.00

  • Andrew says:

    Shai Weiss pulling out of Dubai, launching Tel Aviv, and saying returning to Dubai will never happen? I can scarcely believe it. Who could have predicted.

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

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