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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
The Platinum Card from American Express comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points.
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.)