Virgin Atlantic set to Enter the South American Market for the First Time

A Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 approaches its parking stand at London Heathrow. (KEY-Tom Allett)

Virgin Atlantic has announced it will be launching flights between London Heathrow and São Paulo, Brazil in 2020.

Flying daily between London Heathrow and São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, the 11 hr 55 min flight is Virgin Atlantic’s first foray into the South American continent.

The airline will operate a Boeing 787 aircraft offering Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class, Premium and Economy Delight, Classic and Light choices.

The airline said the new service aims to capitalise on the fast-growing Brazilian economy, which benefits from year-round transatlantic demand. São Paulo is the commercial capital of Brazil and one of the top 20 global economic cities; it’s the largest city in the Americas (after New York) for multinational companies to have offices and provides a platform for Virgin Atlantic to broaden its offering to existing corporate customers.

It noted that the booming tourism industry complements the lucrative business market – and Virgin Holidays intends to launch a full product offering within Brazil for the first time. Virgin Atlantic also said Brazil’s position of being the number one import and export country in South America will also make São Paulo a popular cargo route. With multiple tonnes of capacity each day, the expects to carry regular shipments of car parts, pharmaceuticals, food and agricultural products.

Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic Executive Vice President – Commercial, commented: “2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to become the most loved travel company. São Paulo represents an incredible opportunity for our business, and we’re very excited to be flying to a brand-new continent for the first time. There are a significant number of corporate customers, and multi-national businesses, located in this Powerhouse of South America who can now enjoy the Virgin Atlantic experience on this busy international route.”

“But it’s not all about business – I’m also thrilled to introduce an exciting new destination to our leisure customers. Flights to São Paulo go on sale later this year.

In 2019, Virgin Atlantic will welcome the first four of 12 Airbus A350-1000s to its fleet and will become the founding member of a new, $13 billion transatlantic joint venture with more than 300 daily transatlantic flights and 96 non-stop transatlantic routes, alongside Delta, Air France and KLM.  Virgin Atlantic will also be launching new services from London Heathrow to Las Vegas, Manchester to Los Angeles and London Heathrow to Tel Aviv.