Here at Virgin Atlantic, we're celebrating our first flight between London Heathrow and Vancouver. The inaugural flight arrived in Vancouver yesterday, 24th May and to mark the occasion, Sir Richard Branson was joined on the steps of the aircraft by Amy Williams MBE, winter Olympic Gold medallist from Vancouver 2010.
Vancouver's tourism is thriving
As usual, Sir Richard was well dressed for the occasion and was keen to spread the word about Vancouver and its many attractions:
“I am delighted to be here to mark this occasion and especially pleased to be joined by Amy Williams who is undoubtedly the darling of British Winter Sport – she returned home to the UK from Vancouver in 2010 as a national heroine.”
“We’ve had lots of customers asking us to fly to Vancouver over the years, so we’re delighted to launch this new route in response to customer demand. Vancouver is such a cosmopolitan city, full of culture, shopping and restaurants but it also offers stunning beaches and a range of outdoor adventure options on its doorstep. Vancouver’s tourism is thriving and we believe that we can drive demand even higher by providing great competition with our award winning product and service. The UK has the largest number of overseas visitors to British Columbia each year so it is a natural addition to our route network. This route launch further cements our position as the UK’s leading long haul leisure airline.”
Amy Williams returned from Vancouver a National heroine after claiming Team GB's only gold medal of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in skeleton bobsleigh at her debut Winter Olympic Games. In winning gold, she became Britain's first solo Winter Olympics champion in 30 years and the first female individual gold medallist for 58 years. She was certainly pleased to be back:
“I’ve not been back to Vancouver since winning gold over two years ago so I am really excited to be here again. It will no doubt be an emotional experience to go back to slide centre and to see how I feel and what emotions come flooding back. Vancouver is a fantastic city and I am looking forward to being part of Virgin Atlantic’s celebrations and to see what it’s like now and if it’s still reminiscent of the Games.”
The new service will operate four times a week on a Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Initially the service will run throughout the summer up until 27th October 2012 and it's estimated that Virgin Atlantic’s flights will deliver around CAD$20million (UK£12.5m) of tourism revenue to the Vancouver market each year. The service will be operated by an Airbus A340-300, which will be configured with 34 Upper Class suites, 35 Premium Economy seats and 171 Economy seats.
For further information or to book please contact www.virginatlantic.com or call 0844 2092 770.
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About the author: MaxineMaxine Sheppard
Maxine is the editor of the Virgin Atlantic blog. Travel and music are her joint first loves, and despite having written for Virgin for more years than she cares to remember she still loves nothing more than jumping on a plane in search of new sights and new sounds.