Virgin Atlantic is increasing the number of flights from Belfast International Airport, as it announces its biggest ever season operating from the airport.
From 2018, the airline’s Belfast to Orlando route will run from March to September, more than trebling the number of seats from Northern Ireland to the sunshine state.
Launched in 2015, Virgin Atlantic’s seasonal service has proved a popular one, with additional seats being added to the route this year. Next year, flights will peak at two per month during June and July, with a once weekly service operating for the rest of the season.
Virgin Atlantic is this year celebrating 25 years of flying from the UK to Orlando, having flown millions of customers since the route launched and to celebrate, both Belfast International and Glasgow Airport have seen expansions in their Orlando flying programme.
A Boeing 747-400 aircraft will operate next summer’s Belfast to Orlando service on Mondays commencing on March 26 to September 4. They will add an additional service on Fridays between June 22 and July 13. The aircraft will be configured with 14 Upper Class seats, 66 Premium Economy seats and 375 seats in Economy.
The Belfast to Orlando service forms part of Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partnership with Delta Air Lines, together operating up to 39 transatlantic flights from the UK to the USA per day.
Richard Myerscough, Senior Vice President of Sales and Distribution at Virgin Atlantic, commented: “Since launching our first flight from Northern Ireland two years ago, our services have gone from strength to strength – so I’m really pleased to announce that 2018 will be our biggest ever season from Belfast International Airport.
“We’ve always received a really warm welcome from Northern Ireland, and the additional flights will allow even more customers to fly direct to the sunshine state with Virgin Atlantic.”
Uel Hoey, Business Development Director at Belfast International Airport, added: “We are thrilled to announce this extensive growth in Virgin’s Florida programme from Belfast for Summer 2018, the only direct flights offering the iconic Virgin product from the island of Ireland.
“We are also pleased that Virgin, in partnership with Delta, have grasped the clear opportunity to capitalise upon the strong, established family market from Northern Ireland to Florida recently abandoned by United Airlines.
“We are confident that good value in the exchange rate and the convenience and uncongested experience of using Belfast International Airport as a departure point will prove increasingly popular next year for passengers right across the north of the island of Ireland.”