Today Sir Richard Branson landed in Edinburgh to celebrate the launch of our first ever domestic service, Little Red. The new airline will be painting the skies red with up to a milliion passengers a year, creating 375 jobs in the UK and generating £75m for the Scottish economy. Little Red will be flying 26 domestic flights a day on Heathrow flights to and from Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen - and if you book today or tomorrow (April 8th and 9th 2013) we're currently offering tax only fares for travel on Little Red for flights between May 6th to June 28th as a special celebratory rate.
It was on the UK's busiest route of London Heathrow to Edinburgh that Sir Richard officially celebrated Little Red's arrival, confirming our commitment to Scotland to Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon who greeted the plane. In addition, Virgin Holidays is also growing its presence in Scotland in the coming months - creating nearly 20 new jobs including three apprenticeships for young people. A standalone store will be opened in Edinburgh city centre, along with two superstore concessions. The openings add to the existing Virgin Holidays outlets in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Stirling and Silverburn, which have seen 25 jobs created since 2011.
Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon said:
"I am delighted to welcome the launch of Virgin Atlantic's Little Red flights between Scotland and Heathrow. These new flights from Edinburgh and Aberdeen will create jobs, offer passengers easier access to Virgin's global destinations and provide competition on these routes, resulting in a better deal for passengers."
Sir Richard was joined in Scotland by our new Chief Executive Craig Kreeger. Speaking publicly for the first time as CEO, Craig said:
"Everyone at Virgin Atlantic is thrilled to be launching our first ever domestic service and we're excited to be here in Scotland today to celebrate that launch. The Heathrow-Edinburgh route is key to our strategy to provide strong and effective competition - it is the busiest UK air route with Edinburgh being a thriving financial centre and the seat of the Scottish government.
"Alongside bringing revenue into Scotland, our Little Red service is all about connectivity to the rest of the world. Virgin Atlantic flies to over 30 destinations around the globe and passengers can now start their journey with us even closer to home. We've seen impressive numbers of connecting journeys being booked through to places such as Tokyo and New York, demonstrating our customers are just as excited about Little Red as we are. We're confident our seamless terminal connections and highly-rated in-flight service will appeal to all."
The service has received overwhelming support from other airlines that are keen to connect passengers between their Heathrow flights and the rest of the UK. 31 other airlines already offer their flights with Little Red connections. Many of these airlines used to partner with bmi and want to offer their passengers a competitive alternative to British Airways. Four airlines are already code sharing on Little Red services to provide seamless connections for their passengers: Singapore Airlines, Air New Zealand, South African Airways and Cyprus Airways and we expect to add further codeshare partners in the near future providing stronger links with even more worldwide destinations.
Little Red flights will operate to and from Heathrow Terminal 1 with excellent connections to our international flights from Terminal 3. The top three connections from Edinburgh are Narita in Tokyo - with three times as many bookings so far than any other connecting destination - JFK and San Francisco.
From Aberdeen, JFK and Shanghai are popular destinations and from Manchester, New York JFK is the runaway leader, with Los Angeles and San Francisco not far behind.
Visit Virgin Atlantic Little Red and book your flight today.
Flying Club Members
With Virgin Atlantic Little Red not only will we fly you to the UK's best cities, but we'll also give you bonus miles too! Join our Flying Club today and we'll give you 1,500 miles when you book to fly Little Red between 31 March 2013 and 30 June 2013, plus the opportunity to earn double miles and book our best reward seat ever!
Photo: Adam Gerrard
Thinking of flying from Edinburgh to London and beyond? A little red gets you a long way, but where would you go next? Share your plans in the comments below.
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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.