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Virgin Atlantic is Returning to Canada After an Absence of More Than a Decade With a New Service to Toronto

Virgin Atlantic is Returning to Canada After an Absence of More Than a Decade With a New Service to Toronto

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Virgin Atlantic will launch a new non-stop flight between London Heathrow and Toronto in Summer 2025, the airline announced during a press conference on Monday to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

The carrier hasn’t served Canada for more than a decade, which is surprising given Virgin Atlantic’s growth in the Indian market and the demand from the Indian diaspora to travel between India and Canada.

In fact, Virgin Atlantic admits it’s launching its new service to Toronto on March 30, 2025, with timings designed to provide ‘optimal connectivity’ for passengers connecting from its inbound flights from Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai.

The flight between London and Toronto will operate daily and will be served by several different aircraft types, including Virgin Atlantic’s Airbus A330neo.

The service will be further benefited by an expanded codeshare agreement with Canadian carrier Westjet, which is set to start in October. Reciprocal frequent flyer benefits will, however, only follow at some point in 2025.

As Virgin Atlantic gets into the swing of its Ruby anniversary celebrations, the airline says it’s still on course to reach ‘sustainable profitability’ in 2024.

“When starting Virgin Atlantic 40 years ago, I went against everyone’s advice. Friends, experts, the press, the pundits – and on paper, they were right,” Sir Richard Branson, the airline’s exuberant founder, said on Monday.

“Back then, traveling by plane wasn’t a fun experience, but airlines were allowed to get away with it as no real competition existed.  I realized then that there was a gap to give passengers a great experience – and I love a challenge. The result was our ruby red airline that shook up aviation.”

Sir Richard continued: “From 1984 to 2024, it’s our people who make me the proudest. They are much more than just a workforce; they are what makes Virgin Atlantic special.”

That pride has often been felt just as much by Virgin Atlantic’s employees, but radical changes made during the pandemic have seen some of that love lost.

Hundreds of former cabin crew who were made redundant during the pandemic are taking the airline to court over allegations Virgin Atlantic deliberately targeted older and higher-paid employees.

Virgin Atlantic is fighting the lawsuit and says selection criteria for the redundancies were based on “unbiased, objective and lawful reasons.”

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