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 boasting Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class, Premium and Economy Delight, Classic and Light offering.
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.
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. The spectacular Iguaçu Falls and Amazon rainforest are easily accessible from São Paulo, and convenient connections will open up other iconic attractions such as Rio de Janeiro and the beautiful beaches of Santa Catarina.
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, Virgin Atlantic 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. São Paulo boasts numerous cultural institutions such as the Museu de Arte, has a rich architectural history, and acts as a gateway for leisure travel within the rest of Brazil and beyond. This is a prime opportunity for Virgin Holidays who are busy securing a range of ancillary partners and diverse accommodation options for those customers seeking a full-service holiday offering.”
Marcelo Álvaro Antônio, Ministry of Tourism - Brazil, added: “The increase of air connectivity is one of the priorities of the Government in order to make Brazil more competitive in the global tourism scenario. This new flight is a great achievement for our country.”
Virgin Atlantic has embarked on an ambitious growth plan, with the airline focusing on delivering irresistible, effortless and great value experiences that customers love. In 2019, Virgin Atlantic will welcome the first four of 12 Airbus A350-1000 to its fleet which not only boasts a totally redesigned on board experience for customers but will help transform the fleet into one of the quietest and most fuel efficient in the sky.
The airline also looks forward to becoming the founding member of a new, $13 billion transatlantic joint venture with over 300 daily transatlantic flights and 96 non-stop transatlantic routes, alongside Delta, Air France and KLM as well as launching new services from London Heathrow to Las Vegas, Manchester to Los Angeles and London Heathrow to Tel Aviv.