After Jet Airway’s collapse, many international airlines are queuing up for Indian skies looking to fill the huge gap in international air routes that the airlines’s debacle has created. Similarly, Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic is back in India for the third time with a direct flight from Mumbai to Heathrow.
Will it be third time lucky for Richard Branson in Mumbai? The founder of British airline Virgin Atlantic surely hopes so. The opportunity that came up after Jet Airways, which had the highest share in international traffic to and from India, suspended operations in April, the Virgin Atlantic flight was relaunched on the route between London and Mumbai with temper fares. Branson has made it clear that the airline is looking into the possibility of a London-Manchester flight, something jet airways offered, alongside examining options to start services to Bengaluru.
— Aabha Bakaya (@AabhaBakaya) December 11, 2019
Richard Branson also ‘hopes to clear any misunderstanding’ in regards to the hyperloop project in Mumbai.
The airline which had a previous codeshare with the now-suspended Jet Airways can been terminated. Even though the agreement allows fliers to make use of the combined networks and travel across destinations, Branson said that Virgin Atlantic was looking for similar partnerships with Indian airlines to expand further into the Indian aviation market.
Besides the re-launch of its Mumbai to London route, the airline also unveiled a new “Indian Flying Icon” Aria, Inspired by Branson’s Indian routes, are to be featured on the side of its aircraft in 2020. Even though the re-launch of the flight route and Aria was the made attractions of the event, Branson also addressed another pet project focused in Mumbai- the ambitious Hyperloop project to connect Mumbai and Pune.
Sari to be painted on some @VirginAtlantic planes:
The airline introduced its new Indian flying icon "Aria" who, among other flying ladies, will feature on side of VA's planes from 2020
Aria is the name of Sir @richardbranson great, great, grandfather’s wife who was from India pic.twitter.com/ofoOIrZy4P
— Saurabh Sinha (@27saurabhsinha) December 11, 2019
Set to meet Chief Minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackery later today to discuss the status of the ambitious hyperloop project, Branson added that he would “ clear any misunderstanding if any”, speaking in regards to investment plans, and benefits of the project.