This weekend we're celebrating the re-launch of our flights between London Heathrow and Mumbai.
We'll be flying a daily service into India’s commercial capital and expect to carry around 140,000 passengers to the city a year, from London and beyond through connections from the US.
We were forced to withdraw our Mumbai route in 2009 due to the economic circumstance, but with India’s economy one of the fastest growing in the world, and with almost 100,000 more passengers flying to Mumbai last year than in 2009, we are re-launching our service.
Almost a million passengers a year fly between Mumbai and London, and almost 50 per cent of those are aged 25-34. Visiting friends and relatives is the number one reason for travel to the city, but it also boasts a very healthy business and tourism market.
Arriving in Mumbai, Sir Richard Branson said:
“Mumbai is a fantastic city, and we’re really excited to be back.
“Our absence was always planned to be temporary, and a greatly improved schedule combined with a turned corner for the economy mean that we’re now in a great position to fly hundreds of thousands of passengers a year to this exciting destination.”
Sir Richard also revealed his top five reasons to visit the cosmpolitan city:
- "Wherever I am in the world I try and keep as fit and active as possible and in Mumbai you can’t beat a morning walk or jog down Marine Drive to see the famous Art Deco skyline. If you fancy a good stretch after a long journey, there are several Laughter Yoga groups, who gather early in the mornings to stretch, breath and well…laugh!"
- " I love meeting new people and visiting new places – Elephanta Island is an excellent way to see the skyline from the sea as well as exploring ancient cave carvings."
- "Sometimes it’s great to just step out in a city and soak up the hustle and bustle for yourself. Or if you want a bit of historical context try a guided tour of the Fort area to get a true sense of the old and new worlds of this magnificent city."
- "By then you’ll be getting hungry for some authentic Indian food, so heard down to lively Chiwda Galli near Lalbaug market and wander the selection of stalls selling Indian snacks and pickles."
- "You can round off the day with a trip to one of the roof top bars overlooking Marine Drive to watch the sun set over the sea and the city with a cocktail in hand."
Mumbai becomes our 34th worldwide destination and flights into the city will be operated on our newest A330 aircraft. This new addition to our fleet carries the brand new Upper Class Suite, with an enhanced seat, a futuristic bar, and many other cabin updates to give passengers a unique flying experience. All cabins will be fitted with the latest touch-screen in-flight entertainment.
We're returning to Mumbai as bookings on our current route into India - Delhi - increased by 13 per cent last year.
Flight VS354 from London Heathrow to Mumbai will depart at 10.15am landing at 00.55am local time. The return VS355 will depart at 03.10am, arriving back into Heathrow at 07.55am. The flight times are scheduled to provide the best possible connections on to the US, and to enable complete days in both destinations.
Visit www.virginatlantic.com to book your flight to Mumbai.
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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.