Virgin Atlantic to launch Heathrow – Tampa
Virgin recently managed to secure more slots at Heathrow after a number of airlines were forced to hand their slots back such as AeoflotIt was rumoured that they were planning a Tampa route and this morning it has been confirmed.
Virgin Atlantic has announced a new direct route from London Heathrow to Tampa, launching 3rd November 2022.
The new year-round Florida service will initially fly four times a week before increasing to daily from 28th November, complementing the airline’s up to four daily flying to Orlando and double daily flying to Miami. This latest addition follows the airline’s launch of direct flights between London and Austin, Texas in May 2022.
Tampa is well situated for visiting the Gulf Coast resorts such as St Petersburg, Sarasota and Clearwater areas. It’s Florida’s third-largest city is famed for its history and culture as well as being the home of the world famous Superbowl winners, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and ice hockey legends, the Tampa Bay Lightning. The theme parks of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and Busch Gardens all also within relatively easy reach. Virgin Atlantic Holidays will be boosting its holiday portfolio throughout the region offering a range of hotels and fly-drive holidays.
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic commented: “We are delighted to continue our expansion in the US with this new daily service to Tampa, Florida offering even more choice for customers on both sides of the Atlantic to connect between the US and the UK.
“Florida is very much a firm favourite for our customers ever since our first flight to Miami back in 1986. With the popular theme parks and the stunning beaches of St Pete and Clearwater within easy reach, we know it’s an area our customers will love to explore.”
“The region has a booming economy with high profile businesses moving to the area and many budding entrepreneurs registering start ups in the city. We very much look forward to forging new relationships within the Tampa Bay community and cannot wait to welcome customers, both existing and new onboard, flying them safely to explore this exciting region.”
Flights are on sale from Wednesday 13th July 2022 at www.virginatlantic.com with return Upper Class fares starting from £2256 per person. Reward flights will cost from 95,000points for a standard season Upper Class return.
|Route frequency||Four times a week increasing to daily from 28th November 2022 |
|Flight timings and flight number||LHR – TPA – VS129 – 13:25 / 18:35 |
TPA – LHR – VS130 – 20:50 / 10:15 (next day)
|First flight||3rd November 2022 |
|Fares||Flights on sale from 13th July 2022. Return Economy fares start from £436 per person, Premium from £937 per person and Upper Class from £2,256 per person. |
|Virgin Atlantic Holidays packages||Five nights in St Petes Beach with Virgin Atlantic Holidays, including scheduled Virgin Atlantic Economy flights direct from London Heathrow to Tampa, self-catering accommodation at the Barefoot Beach Club in a Tropical Poolside King Studio costs from £785 per person. Price is based on two adults travelling and includes all applicable taxes and fuel surcharges which are subject to change. Price is based on a departure on 3rd November 2022 and includes return transfers. Virgin Atlantic d. To book: www.virginholidays.co.uk or call 0344 557 3859.|
More Heathrow strikes
With the BA ground staff strike looming and their union expected to announce strike dates this week (which would be in a minimum of 14 days’ time) another Unite strike is on the cards. This time the strike is among those employed by Aviation Fuel Services (AFS) at Heathrow.
Unite have announced a three-day strike from 21 July at 0500 to 24 July at 0459. AFS supplies fuel to a large number of airlines at Heathrow including Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, United, SAS, Air France, Emirates, Delta, JAL, KLM and Singapore Airlines.
The strike is down to the workers not being offered a pay rise for 3 years according to Unite.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “AFS needs to offer its workers a decent pay rise. Oil and gas companies are making massive profits so AFS has the wherewithal to make a proper offer. AFS workers have sustained wage cuts for three years so it’s time AFS rewarded their sacrifices.
“Our members at AFS will receive Unite’s complete support until this dispute is resolved and workers receive a decent pay increase.”
Airlines with short haul routes will probably cope with this reasonably well by refuelling at destinations and tankering over the fuel. On long haul this is a lot more tricky due to the amount of fuel needed.
Mauritius and Australia improve their Covid restrictions
Mauritius ended all remaining Covid travel requirements last Friday 1 July. Previously you were required to test on arrival for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers. There is now no need to show proof of vaccination, take a test or quarantine on arrival.
Australia also substantially improves their entry requirements from today. As of 6 July 2022, travellers to Australia will no longer have to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration if arriving by air, or a Maritime Travel Declaration if arriving by sea, and there is no requirement to declare or prove your vaccination status for entry to Australia. However, states and territories can apply their own travel restrictions on travellers arriving from international and domestic locations.
You can find most countrys’ Covid requirements on the UK FCDO page here.
ive recently booked a honeymoon for two of my clients arriving in Mauritius on the 13th and they were ecstatic about the scrapping of all restrictions. Poor kids have been paranoid of getting it just before they’re set to leave and this has been a massive weight off their minds.
id already given them some lateral flow kits to take the night before & day after ( to protect them against any false-positive upon arrival) but now they can just relax ahead of time which is always a bonus on such a long flight
This is great news about Virgin and Tampa, had been flying to Orlando and driving over to Gulf Coast. Beautiful part of the world.
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