Virgin Atlantic are launching a new UK domestic carrier at the end of this month. They announced the service last year but have finally released details about the new subsidiary. It will carry the Virgin Atlantic titles and livery but will be referred to as Little Red. Of course the airline nerds are up in arms about this but a) it's sub brand that will get little usage and b) what the hell do they know? They could have called it Uncle Richard's Fantabulous Flying Machines for all I care.
Managed properly, this could be a shot in the arm for an airline that has struggled recently. It's being squeezed from all angles from Middle Eastern Carriers, budget carriers, and stronger alliances. Indeed this airline was borne out of remedy slots granted to Virgin Atlantic after BA gobbled up BMI, something which Uncle Richard should have done when he had the opportunity, in my opinion.
The new carrier, which will use four Airbus A320s leased from Aer Lingus, will offer 26 daily flights between London Heathrow and Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Virgin Atlantic is taking over the routes as remedy slots that British Airways was forced to cede to maintain competition on UK domestic sectors after its parent company International Airlines Group took over bmi.