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
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.