Virgin Atlantic has revealed its plans for its new Scottish routes, following the takeover of Heathrow landing slots from the sale of BMI earlier in 2012. The company is to operate six round trips from Edinburgh to London and three from Aberdeen.
The news will be much appreciated by many in the business world. A service tailored for business travellers, departures will start at 6.40am and have accessible connections with international flights. Securing new contracts and seeking commercial in finance in Scotland are just two aspects which should be made easier by the additional flights. The new services will also prove directly beneficial to jobseekers too. The airline has said that 150 new jobs will be created.
A huge draw for Virgin Atlantic to take up the slots is to create another line of competition with long-term rivals British Airways. An often acrimonious relationship, the same week of the announcement saw BA chief Willie Walsh challenge the Virgin brand’s longevity. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin brand, retorted with a million pound wager. Not impressed with this, Walsh instead suggested the bet should be a “kick to the groin” for the loser, saying the gesture would be more damaging for multi-billionaire, Branson.
Disputes aside though, news of the service has been welcomed by Holyrood. However, many do question the lack of services into and out of Glasgow.
Deputy first minister, Nicola Sturgeon has said that the government will continue to work to see the reintroduction of the Glasgow-Heathrow route.