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YVR Welcomes Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic Airways

May 24, 2012

New London-Vancouver Service Will Create Jobs, Inject Millions into Local Tourism

Richmond, British Columbia (May 24, 2012): Vancouver International Airport (YVR) today welcomed Virgin Atlantic Airways’ inaugural flight from London Heathrow Airport. The new service, which marks the first time in a decade that Virgin Atlantic has flown to Canada, will operate four times a week throughout the summer period until the end of October. 

“We have been working for years to bring this world-class carrier to Vancouver to offer passengers more choice and satisfy the high demand for flights to the U.K., particularly during the busy summer season,” said Larry Berg, President and CEO of Vancouver Airport Authority. “This new service means more jobs for British Columbians both on and off of YVR’s Sea Island home, and increased tourism revenue, particularly given that the U.K. is B.C.’s single greatest source of overseas visitors.”

Up to 40,000 passengers are expected to take advantage of this service, which will generate approximately $21.5 million in tourism revenue and create an additional 172 direct jobs in hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist attractions. In total, the new service will add an estimated $10.4 million to B.C.’s gross domestic product.

“We are excited to bring the Virgin Atlantic travel experience to the city of Vancouver," said Chris Rossi, Senior Vice President, North America, Virgin Atlantic Airways. "We look forward to connecting this vibrant city and culture with London; the city with the world's focus in 2012.”

Virgin’s new service will be operated by an Airbus A340-300, which will be configured with 34 upper-class seats, 35 premium-economy seats and 171 economy seats. Flights will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and arrive at YVR at 3:10 PM and depart at 7:20 PM.

YVR is one of British Columbia’s key economic and employment generators. Virgin Atlantic’s new service will create 35 direct jobs at YVR, adding to the workforce of 23,600 people who work on Sea Island.

About Vancouver Airport Authority
Vancouver Airport Authority is a community-based, not-for-profit organization that operates Vancouver International Airport (YVR). Canada's second busiest airport, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) served 17 million passengers in 2011 and handled more than 296,000 aircraft landings and take-offs on its runways. Sixty-three airlines serve YVR, connecting people and businesses to 99 destinations in Canada, the U.S. and around the world. The Airport Authority is committed to creating an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor.

For more information:
YVR Media Relations
604.880.9815 media_relations@yvr.ca 
www.yvr.ca Twitter: @yvrairport

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