Nearly five years ago Virgin Atlantic dropped its services to India’s financial center, Mumbai. Just five months from now the airline will bring it back. Starting 27 October 2019 Virgin Atlantic will fly from London to Mumbai on a daily basis.
The route was shed as part of a realignment of Virgin Atlantic’s route map, bringing the operation closer to new investor Delta Air Lines. Virgin Atlantic focused its operations more on transatlantic services while Delta and its other partners leveraged the Jet Airways flights to India for connecting passengers. With Jet Airways now all but dead, Delta, Air France and KLM need a new way to help connect their customers onwards to India. The resumed Virgin Atlantic service fits that bill.
2019 marks a significant period of growth for Virgin Atlantic and I’m delighted that we’re continuing to expand our route network once more, by returning to Mumbai. Until recently we’ve been able to serve this important market through our partnership with Jet Airways, however, since Jet Airways has sadly suspended its operation, we now have an opportunity to provide alternative options for our customers and meet this demand.– Juha Jarvinen, Executive Vice President Commercial, Virgin Atlantic
Virgin’s new flight will depart London at 10:15am, allowing for connections for most US inbound travelers on Delta or Virgin metal. The flights land at 12:40am in Mumbai. The return trip departs at 2:55am, arriving in London at 7:35am, again timed to allow onward connections to the USA. Virgin will operate the flights on its 787-9 aircraft with 31 Upper Class seats, 35 Premium Economy and 192 Economy.
Those connections will be helpful to the joint operations, but they are not the only way for passengers to get from the US to Mumbai from Delta’s US airports.Delta is also slated to resume its nonstop JFK-Mumbai flights in December 2019. That flight will operate on a 777-200LR, one of the smaller capacity long-haul aircraft Delta has available. Given the limited lift available on the non-stop from the USA the connecting option should be useful to the carriers.