The airline feels that since the sale of bmi British Midland to British Airways/IAG Group earlier this year, this key route has been overlooked and now has a lack of competition.
Virgin will therefore deploy Airbus A319 aircraft – the source of which is not known yet – on the route, to tap into the 650,000 yearly passengers who fly between the two cities. The route will begin on 31st March, 2013.
This will provide an important business link to the capital, but also more importantly a link from the north of England into Virgin Atlantic’s extensive long-haul network out of Heathrow.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive, Steve Ridgway said: “Flying between Heathrow and Manchester is just the start for Virgin Atlantic’s new short haul operation. We have the means to connect thousands of passengers to our long haul network as well as to destinations served by other carriers.