Virgin to launch all-business class service to US

Virgin Atlantic is to take on the likes of Silverjet with the launch an all-business class airline. The service will be up and running within the next 12 to 18 months and will initially fly non-stop from cities including London, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan and Zurich non-stop to New York and other as yet unconfirmed destinations. According to a statement from the company, the new airline, which may also use the Virgin Atlantic name, will offer better quality than existing all-business carriers at the same or lower prices. Flights from mainland Europe will go live first, quickly followed by the UK. Speaking in Nairobi as Virgin launched services to Kenya, chairman Sir Richard Branson, said: “We think our quality of product is good enough to bring into Europe and we could offer a lower price or match that of the others and bring our frequent flyer programme in as well.” With other business class-only operators such as Eos, Silverjet and Maxjet, using non-Heathrow bases such as Luton and Stansted, Virgin could potentially steal a march on its rivals by utilising London’s premier airport. Branson however would only say that this was “still under internal debate”.

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