New Route of the Day (22 October 2023): Virgin Atlantic between London LHR and Malé
Virgin Atlantic introduced flights between London LHR and Malé, the capital of the Maldives, on Sunday 22 October. The 8,535-kilometre service will be maintained 3-weekly on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays departing London LHR, with the 258-seat 787-9 aircraft. It will compete directly against British Airways’ 4-weekly rotations on the route, which will increase to daily from 30 October.
Flight VS384 departs London LHR at 17:30 local time, arriving in the Maldives at 07:50 local time the following morning. The return service, operating as flight VS385, takes off from Malé at 09:50 local time on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays, touching back down in the United Kingdom at 17:10 local time.
What they said
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to launch our flights between the United Kingdom and the Maldives with our new thrice-weekly service, as we continue to expand our growing collection of winter sun destinations. We are proud to be able to offer more opportunities for our customers to experience the Maldives and are looking forward to welcoming them to this breathtaking and one-of-a-kind destination. The collaboration between [airport operator] MACL and Virgin Atlantic reflects the shared commitment to delivering exceptional travel experiences and fostering stronger air connectivity between the United Kingdom and the Maldives.”
Mahjoob Shujau, CEO and Managing Director of MACL, added: “As the operator of Velana International Airport, we are excited to welcome the prestigious and customer-centric airline, Virgin Atlantic. This inaugural flight marks a significant milestone in the enhancement of air travel connections between the United Kingdom and the Maldives. We look forward to a prosperous partnership with Virgin Atlantic as we continue to elevate the travel experience for our passengers.”
Caron Rohsler, British High Commissioner to the Maldives, noted: “I am delighted that Virgin Atlantic has today started operating direct flights from London Heathrow to Maldives. Maldives is a top holiday destination for British tourists. Brits have consistently featured among top 3 nationalities visiting Maldives for many years. The UK Government has worked with the Government of Maldives for many years now on airport safety and aviation security. I look forward to continuing our partnerships in Maldives, especially as the airport expansion progresses.”
Virgin Atlantic adds sixth destination in Asia
Virgin Atlantic now features six destinations on the Asian continent out of its London LHR base. They include two points in India, Delhi and Mumbai, as well as Shanghai PVG, Dubai and Tel Aviv, in addition to the newly launched Malé. Due to the current conflict in Israel, flights to Tel Aviv have been temporarily suspended.
During the W23/24, Virgin Atlantic plans to maintain 84-weekly flights between London Heathrow and Asia (including Tel Aviv), with 25,440 seats on the market. Its most frequent route is Delhi with daily flights, followed by Mumbai.