Delhi route vi­tal for Vir­gin At­lantic

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with , Nick Parker- Coun­try Head, In­dia and Mid­dle East, Vir­gin At­lantic talks about the Bri­tish car­rier’s plans for the In­dia mar­ket in 2015. He goes on to talk about the sig­nif­i­cance of the Delhi route and re­la­tion­ship with the

TravTalk - India - - News - MEGHA PAUL Boe­ing Dream­liner 787900 for Delhi route Trim­ming Mumbai route Com­mit­ment to travel trade

2015 will bring in ex­cit­ing times for Vir­gin At­lantic in In­dia. We will start fly­ing one of our brand new Boe­ing Dream­liner 787-900 planes to Delhi from the end of March this year. This is a sign of great com­mit­ment to In­dia as we bring out lat­est air­craft straight into Delhi. The air­line is cur­rently fly­ing one of the Air­bus A330s to Delhi. This will now be re­placed by the new 787-9s. We are see­ing growth in the In­dia-US mar­ket. The com­bi­na­tion of our ex­cel­lent tim­ing and our prod­ucts and ser­vices is work­ing well for us in Delhi. We are get­ting ex­cel­lent load fac­tors in our Delhi route. Go­ing for­ward, with the en­hanced cabin at­mos- phere ow­ing to the launch of the new Dream­liner, our per­for­mance in the Delhi route is ex­pected to be boosted fur­ther. Thus, even as we trim ca­pac­ity to the coun­try as part of our over­all strat­egy, we will con­tin- ue to de­liver ex­cel­lent ser­vices and build on our suc­cess in Delhi that we have achieved over the last 14 years.

Last Septem­ber, we an­nounced to pull out our flight from Mumbai in 2015. We are pulling out from Lon­donMum­bai route from Jan­uaryend 2015. We were pro­ject­ing a cer­tain kind of growth from the Mumbai route and this did not hap­pen. High lev­els of ca­pac­ity com­bined with stag­nant mar­ket growth un­for­tu­nately im­pacted our abil­ity to be prof­itable and our rev­enues were in­suf­fi­cient to off­set our costs. Ad­di­tion­ally, our global strat­egy also changed. The tieup with Delta of­fers Vir­gin At­lantic an op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand the US net­work. The deal now al­lows our air­line to sell on Delta’s flights be­yond Lon­don to points in the US, as well as on Delta’s do­mes­tic routes in the US, in­creas­ing its rev­enue pos­si­bil­i­ties. Thus, trim­ming the ca­pac­ity from Mumbai is a part of our over­all strat­egy to shift fo­cus and flights on to the transat­lantic routes.

Travel trade is an im­por­tant part­ner for our air­line and we have many long-term part­ners here. In a mar­ket like In­dia, agents are our con­nec­tion point with the pas­sen­gers. We will only build our re­la­tion­ship with the travel fra­ter­nity fur­ther this year. We want to make sure that more travel agents are us­ing the knowl­edge hub for the travel trade from Vir­gin At­lantic – vs­fly­inghub.

The com­bi­na­tion of our ex­cel­lent tim­ing and our prod­ucts and ser­vices is work­ing well for us in Delhi. We are get­ting ex­cel­lent load fac­tors in our Delhi route.

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