Virgin Atlantic’s decision to resume its flights between London Heathrow and Dubai, and to increase its service frequency in the coming years, is driven by the growing demand for leisure tourism between these two cities. The airline launched a seasonal winter service with four weekly flights on October 30 and plans to transition to a daily service from October 2024 to March 2025. This move is part of Virgin Atlantic’s efforts to cater to the increasing interest in travel between London and Dubai.
Owned by billionaire Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic had last operated flights to Dubai in March 2019. London-Dubai is a highly popular air route and was ranked as the fourth busiest global air route in 2022, with over 2.697 million seats, according to OAG data. It is also the second busiest route for Dubai Airport after Jeddah.
Virgin Atlantic aims to tap into the increased demand for premium winter sun getaways with its renewed service to Dubai. Additionally, it will offer connectivity to long-haul travelers, allowing them to connect from Dubai via London Heathrow to various destinations across North America.
Rob Whitehouse, vice president of research at Dubai Airports, sees this addition as a way to enhance Dubai’s global appeal as a destination and gateway to other cities, strengthening the connectivity offered by Dubai International Airport (DXB). Virgin Atlantic’s reintroduction of the London-Dubai route is expected to be well-received by both business and leisure travelers, as well as those looking to reconnect with friends and family in the United Kingdom.