Branson axes Little Red flights to London
Sir Richard Branson is to withdraw Virgin’s Little Red service after finally conceding to my revelation in May last year http://bit.ly/1pHoEzE – that passengers using the service from Aberdeen and Edinburgh were not using it to join onward long-haul flights.
The company reluctantly admitted at the time that three in four of those flying from Scotland were remaining in the UK. The new services, launched at the end of March and early April 2013, replaced flights operated by Bmi following its take-over by British Airways. It gave Virgin key slots at Heathrow.
Yesterday the company was forced to admit that while bookings showed steady growth in the early part of this year, few of these were passengers connecting with long-haul Virgin flights.
“Little Red has unfortunately not been able to make a positive contribution to Virgin Atlantic’s network,” the company said.
Flights between Heathrow and Manchester will end in March, while those between London and Scotland will cease in September.
The news is a blow to those who have worked hard to increase the number of domestic and direct overseas flights which are considered a vital component in economic growth, particularly in attracting inward investment.
Air France is also ending its direct flights from Edinburgh to London City airport.