Virgin Atlantic have dropped their Sao Paulo route before they even launched it.
Announced in 2019, the route was planned to start on 29th March 2020. However with the ongoing worldwide situation, the airline announced at the beginning of March that the new route to Sao Paulo would be postponed.
However, it has now been announced that the route will not be launching after all.
In response to the rapid acceleration and severe impact of Covid-19, we are continually reviewing our flying programme in order to deploy our fleet most effectively. As a result, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to withdraw our London Heathrow to Sao Paulo service which was due to launch on 6th October 2020.Virgin Atlantic
If you are impacted by the route cancellation, we are offering rebooking and refund options.
The route to Sao Paulo was to be the airlines first foray into the South American market. And Virgin Atlantic weren’t going in small scale either. Rather than starting out with a couple of weekly flights and expanding, the airline had planned to go in with a daily Boeing 787 service.
Currently, both British Airways and LATAM operate between London Heathrow and Sao Paulo. So Virgin Atlantic would have had a fair bit of competition on the route.
Dropping a route before it has started is a shrewd move from Virgin Atlantic. Rather than waste precious Heathrow slots on a route that could potentially lose money, they can use them on other routes that are more proven.
As of now, Virgin Atlantic are only flying between London Heathrow, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong on a regular basis.