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Virgin Atlantic founder Sir Richard Branson has helped to launch the airline’s new flights to Scotland.
The airline’s new domestic brand Little Red operated its inaugural service from Heathrow to Edinburgh today (April 8). The domestic brand, which launched flights from Heathrow to Manchester last week, will also fly from Heathrow to Aberdeen.
Branson said: “Today marks the start of an exciting new chapter in Virgin Atlantic’s history. Our product, service and flair are known throughout the world, and we’re thrilled to be bringing that to domestic flying.
“Virgin Atlantic Little Red is the next step on our exciting journey, allowing us to offer a more connected network which will de
liver sustained and effective competition at home and around the world.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming on board millions of passengers between Heathrow, Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen and to restoring consumer choice on these routes.”
Virgin is using Heathrow slots acquired from British Airways following its takeover of Bmi last year for Little Red.
Virgin's new chief executive Craig Kreeger added: “Everyone at Virgin Atlantic is thrilled to be launching our first ever domestic service and we’re excited to be here in Scotland today to celebrate that launch.
“The Heathrow-Edinburgh route is key to Little Red’s strategy to provide strong and effective competition - it is the busiest UK air route with Edinburgh being a thriving financial centre and the seat of the Scottish government.
The airline's domestic flights are being operated with leased Aer Lingus aircraft and crew. Little Red will offer up to 26 domestic flights per day. The flights are using Terminal 1 at Heathrow, where Bmi was previously based, with connecting passengers having to transfer to Terminal 3 where Virgin's long-haul services are based.