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Business Observer Wednesday, Jul. 6, 2022 5 months ago

Virgin Atlantic lands in Tampa

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Airline will begin daily service to London's Heathrow Airport from Tampa International Airport in November.
by: Louis Llovio Commercial Real Estate Editor

Starting in November, you’ll be able to fly to London’s Heathrow Airport from Tampa on Virgin Atlantic.

The airline announced July 6 it was launching the transatlantic service Nov. 3 as part of an expansion in Florida. The flight will be four times a week at the start, but beginning Nov. 28,  the airline will fly the route daily.

When it launches, it will be the airport’s first ever nonstop route to Heathrow. British Airways currently flies to Gatwick from Tampa International Airport.

Virgin Atlantic, one of the most recognized airlines in the world and with one of the most colorful billionaires in the world, Richard Branson, as its founder, already flies daily to London out of Miami and Orlando.

In a statement announcing the new round-trip service, Virgin Atlantic’s chief commercial officer Juha Jarvinen says one reason to add Tampa Bay to its list of destinations is that “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.”  

He also noted the area’s “booming economy” as a reason to start flying here. The company pointed to the area’s industries, growing technology sector and reputation as an entrepreneurial hub, along with tourism, as to why Tampa Bay is an attractive destination.

Joe Lopano, Tampa International’s CEO, says in the statement that the daily service provides a “huge upside for our thriving business community to now have a direct connection to the world’s premier business airport.”

Tickets for the London flight go on sale July 13 with economy fares starting at $637. Upper-class seats run $3,660 per person.

Virgin Atlantic, founded by Branson in 1984, is based in London and employs 5,900 people worldwide. It flies to 27 destinations across four continents. The airline began flying to Florida in 1986 with its flight to Miami.

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