OH WHAT A RELIEF! VIRGIN ATLANTIC AIRWAYS BLOWS INTO THE WINDY CITY
NEW SERVICE TO PROVIDE THE ANTIDOTE TO ORDINARY TRANSATLANTIC TRAVEL
Dec 18 - 24, 2006
Daily flights begin April 23, 2007
Service to Feature Award Winning Upper Class Suite from Launch New Premium Economy by June '07
MORE ECONOMY EXTRAS
Norwalk, CT (December 4, 2006) - Virgin Atlantic Airways is pleased to announce the launch of direct service from Chicago O'Hare International Airport with daily flights to London's Heathrow Airport beginning Monday, April 23, 2007. Chicago will become the tenth US gateway for Virgin Atlantic and the airline's 17th daily flight from the US to London.
Around the world, the Virgin brand stands for a better choice at a better value. Consistently challenging industry norms, Virgin offers services that exceed customer expectations while providing outstanding value. The embodiment of these brand values, Virgin Atlantic looks forward to bringing the city of Chicago an antidote to the ordinary travel experience.
Air travel isn't supposed to make you sick. Or tired. Or sick and tired. By providing the industry's best service in every cabin throughout the plane, Virgin Atlantic promises relief is on the way for Chicagoland travelers looking for a better way to fly. The antidote prescribed by Virgin Atlantic is one of the airline's three services, all provided at competitive prices:
* Award Winning Upper Class Suite
* Brand new Premium Economy
* More extras in Economy Class - including personal entertainment centers with on demand movies, choice of hot meals, complimentary cocktails and amenity kits
Virgin Atlantic, known for changing the face of air travel, introduced many innovations now copied throughout the industry. Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to introduce personal seat back entertainment centers for all passengers and invented a completely new category with the invention of
Premium Economy, the first ever Business Economy class. With the revolutionary, award winning Upper Class(r) Suite, Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to offer a luxury leather recliner and a separate, fully flat bed with proper mattress and duvet.
In true Virgin style, the unique combination of product and service will enable better productivity for business travelers while enhancing the vacation experience for leisure travelers, throughout the entire plane.
On the ground in Chicago for the announcement, Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin Atlantic said: "It is high time the city of Chicago was offered an antidote to the ordinary travel experience. Chicago is an international city that expects only the best, and we've made sure we deliver only our best."
"The new flight will be the Chicago debut of our latest amenities and innovative products. The award winning Upper Class Suite will be on every flight and this summer, Chicago will one of the first cities to see the newly launched Premium Economy."
"I know each of our three cabins will exceed the expectations of the travelers who helped us start the route when we first launched in 1999, as well as serve as the perfect introduction to Chicagoans that are new to Virgin Atlantic. For the city that's always reaching new heights, Virgin Atlantic presents a better way to fly."
The Honorable Richard Daley, Mayor of the City of Chicago described the new flight:
"I'm very pleased to welcome Virgin Atlantic Airways back to O'Hare International Airport," said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. "In recent years, Chicago has become known as the transportation center not just of North America but of the entire Northern Hemisphere. Virgin Atlantic will strengthen Chicago's position as a center of international commerce."
Virgin Atlantic Flight 040 will depart Chicago at 6:00 pm and arrive into London Heathrow at 8:00 am the following morning. Flight 039 will depart London Heathrow at 11:15 am, arriving into Chicago O'Hare International Airport at 2:10 pm. Services will be operated by an Airbus A340-300, which will be configured with 34 Upper Class Suites, 35 Premium Economy seats and 171 Economy seats, each cabin delivering a unique combination of service and products in true Virgin style.
In the air and on the ground, the Virgin Atlantic Upper Class experience is designed to ensure passengers are able to customize their trip to maximize their time.
In the air, passengers can enjoy the benefits of the award winning Upper Class Suite equipped with extra large tables for working or holding one-on-one meetings, fully flat beds, power outlets for laptops, gourmet meals, spa treatments and a place where deals are closed everyday - the legendary onboard bar.
On the ground, passengers can take advantage of the complimentary limo service to and from the airport, Drive Thru Check In at Heathrow, the exclusive Heathrow Clubhouse, which recently raised the standard when it was unveiled to showcase the newly renovated, $22 million, space featuring the Cow Shed Spa, the Bumble and bumble salon, Jacuzzi, full business center and many gourmet meal options. Upon arrival in the morning, Upper Class passengers can prepare for their day at the Revivals, the arrivals lounge, enjoying a shower while clothes for the day are pressed to perfection, followed by a full, hot English breakfast. Once ready for the city, passengers are met at the Revivals, by their driver, and escorted to their private, complimentary car for transfer to their final destination.
Travelers on the new route will be among the first in the world to enjoy the newest Virgin Atlantic experience, the new Premium Economy. Starting this summer, Virgin Atlantic Premium Economy passengers will benefit from many services when they travel, including a dedicated check in, a separate cabin, priority boarding and baggage delivery. New additional services include dedicated cabin crew, a redesigned meal service and a new, dedicated amenity kit.
Virgin Atlantic currently flies to 27 destinations worldwide, with services to Mauritius also launching in next year. The airline carried five million passengers last year and has 35 aircraft in its fleet with an average age of less than six years.
Since it was founded in 1984, Virgin Atlantic Airways has become Britain's second largest carrier serving the world's major cities. Offering high-flying service between nine US cities to London, it operates long haul services to twenty-seven destinations worldwide as far apart as Las Vegas, Tokyo, Delhi, Boston and Shanghai, with recent growth to Mumbai, Sydney and Dubai. Despite Virgin Atlantic's growth, the service still remains customer driven with an emphasis on value for money, quality, fun and innovation, ensuring flying Virgin Atlantic is always an event.
NOTE TO EDITORS
* London Heathrow is the number 1 international destination out of Chicago, with flights between Chicago and the UK carrying nearly two million passengers each year. O'Hare to Heathrow is the second busiest route between the two countries, making it one of the most traveled routes in the world.
* This new service marks the return of Virgin Atlantic to the Chicago market. The airline briefly flew from 1999 to 2001, but was forced to suspend service due to the severe economic impact caused by the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
* Flight 040 The High Riser is on sale now. Travelers can purchase tickets by visiting virginatlantic.com. Service will launch on April 23, 2007.
* The Virgin Atlantic flight schedule from Chicago to London:
Dates of Service