Virgin Scotland-Heathrow link-up ‘restores choice’
• Sir Richard Branson says move “restores consumer choice”
The businessman is promoting the launch of his scheduled flights between London, Edinburgh and Aberdeen a month after unveiling the Little Red service.
Sir Richard, speaking as he landed in Edinburgh, said: “Virgin Atlantic Little Red is the next step on our exciting journey, allowing us to offer a more connected network which will deliver 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.”
Disembarking to the sound of bagpipes, he lifted his kilt to reveal a message to rival companies: “Stiff Competition.”
The new service is expected to carry up to a million passengers a year, create 375 jobs in the UK and generate £75 million in spending from visitors to Scotland.
Little Red will offer 26 flights a day from Heathrow to and from Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
Virgin Holidays is also expanding in Scotland, opening a new shop in Edinburgh.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was there to meet Sir Richard at the airport.
She said: “These new flights from Edinburgh and Aberdeen will create jobs, offer passengers easier access to Virgin’s global destinations and provide competition on these routes, resulting in a better deal for passengers.
âª”Good access to Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, is essential for Scotland’s economic development. The Scottish Government is also keen to see more direct international flights from Scotland and we continue to press for air passenger duty to be devolved as quickly as possible to provide the means to incentivise this.”