By Charlotte Seet
Virgin Atlantic Signs Codeshare With LATAM
Transatlantic flights are certainly always in season and are considered the backbone business for long-haul airlines, as passengers are always looking for a quick, direct flight or a connecting flight to their favorite destination. Thus, several airlines have consistently made the effort to increase their transatlantic flight operations.
The United Kingdom — with its strategic location, rich culture, shared language — has many airlines that have been holding the podium for transatlantic flights within the European market. As a result, it is an advantage for other carriers to gain through codeshare connections, such as Alaska Airlines and Kenya Airways who have done agreements with British Airways.
British Airways has competitors, especially since the U.K. holds the crown, in terms of popularity and profitable opportunities.
Virgin Atlantic — a competitor that has been on the heels of the flag carrier’s radar — had only just recently announced a healthy competition for the London-Austin, Texas route, which is welcoming come-back to the U.S for Virgin Atlantic, but a rival threat to British Airways.
And if one threat for the month is not enough, Virgin Atlantic proves to deal yet another as it signed a codeshare agreement with LATAM Airlines, offering passengers the opportunity to connect effortlessly to Brazil as Virgin Atlantic will be placing its code on LATAM Airlines London-São Paulo Guarulhos route.
This agreement allows for Virgin Atlantic to gain access to 12 airports in Brazil which includes Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Curitiba, Florianopolis, Fortaleza, Goiania, Londrina, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Vitoria.
“We’re incredibly excited to launch this new codeshare partnership with LATAM Airlines. We also see opportunities beyond Brazil and look forward to expanding our relationship even further to serve destinations throughout South America including Peru and Colombia,” Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, Juha Jarvinen, said. He also adds that Virgin Atlantic is expecting “to capture demand from corporate travel heading to São Paulo, the commercial capital of Brazil as well as other key business hubs in South America.”
Whilst Virgin Atlantic will be branching out in Brazil and in the hopes of beyond, LATAM Airlines will look forward to branching from the U.K into destinations such as Delhi, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv and beyond.
The Santiago de Chile-based airline is looking to grow back its capacity this month, with the addition of Neiva, Colombia, and Loja, Ecuador being added to the airline group’s network this month — all alongside the resumption of its seasonal service on the Santiago-Punta del Este,Uruguay route. By the end of this month, the LATAM Airlines Group will connect approximately 132 destinations in 18 countries.
Previously, LATAM Airlines had a long-term partnership with British Airways before it was ended rather prematurely by regulators. Currently with winds blowing from a different direction, LATAM Airlines is partnered with Delta Air Lines instead — the U.S carrier that Virgin Atlantic is also coincidentally partnered with. It simply goes to show just how powerful and profitable this agreement could be for both Virgin Atlantic and LATAM.