Britain’s Virgin Atlantic Airways plans to replace British Midland International airline (bmi) by providing a regular London-Moscow route from 2013, Virgin said on Tuesday.
“The new route [to Moscow] represents its first move in building a broader network including short and mid haul flying from London Heathrow. Traffic between the two cities has trebled in the last ten years and demand on the route continues to grow,” the company said in a statement.
Virgin Atlantic plans to use its Airbus A330 for daily flights from London to Moscow and take up 12 daily slot pairs in Heathrow, which became free after British Airways purchased bmi earlier this year.
“This route is now open for another UK airline following British Airways’ takeover of bmi and we are making preparations to take up these rights early next year. Linking these two cities … will also radically improve competition on the route giving business and leisure travelers much better choice,” Virgin Atlantic Chief Executive Steve Ridgway said.
The replacement of bmi on the route will not affect the pricing range for passengers, Oleg Panteleyev, chief editor of Russia’s Aviaport aviation news portal, told Kommersant business daily.