Much of Vancouver Airport Authority’s focus in attracting new routes, passengers and airlines over the past number of years has been on Asia, given the growth potential of markets in the region. However, the spotlight this month has been on Europe. We were very pleased to announce last week that Virgin Atlantic will soon be flying direct non-stop service four times per week between YVR and London Heathrow. Anyone who has tried to book a seat on a flight to London in the summer will welcome the additional seats on the most popular overseas route out of YVR. The new A340-300 service to and from YVR will operate during the summer season and brings much-needed capacity during this busy travel time.
While it may seem like a simple undertaking for an airline to decide to fly to a new airport, it’s actually a very complex and time-consuming negotiation. So why did Virgin Atlantic decide to make Vancouver its only Canadian destination? It was a combination of strong interest in the route—both local and overseas—and a compelling offer from the airport in terms of what it can offer passengers and the airline. This deal has been more than ten years in the making as the Airport Authority’s Aviation Marketing team worked closely with tourism organizations and other stakeholders to build a solid business case for Sir Richard Branson’s airline to come to our city and airport.
The negotiations and hard work have paid off and YVR looks forward to welcoming Virgin Atlantic on May 24, 2012.