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Virgin Atlantic launches its first-ever route to Norway — but don’t expect to fly it any time soon

Jan. 29, 2021
3 min read
Virgin Atlantic launches its first-ever route to Norway — but don’t expect to fly it any time soon
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Virgin Atlantic is launching service to a new destination that’s north of the Arctic Circle — but don’t expect to be able to fly it any time soon.

This week, the full-service, long-haul airline launched its first-ever cargo-only flight to Norway. On Jan. 27, Virgin first tested the flight between its base at London Heathrow (LHR) and Harstad/Narvik Airport (EVE) in Norway.

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The route will become a regular flight for Virgin Atlantic Cargo as of Feb. 3, with twice-weekly flights. Virgin will utilize one of its passenger-configured Boeing 787-9 aircraft to operate the route, which the carrier says will primarily serve the Norwegian seafood and fish industry — fresh salmon, cod and crabs.

(Image courtesy of FlightRadar24)

The new route will allow Virgin Atlantic to serve its ongoing destinations as well, such as transporting fresh seafood from Norway to its route network throughout the United States.

Located north of the Arctic Circle, Harstad/Narvik presented some logistical challenges to the airline, which typically uses its aircraft to operate routes with predominantly high passenger demand. Most notably, the launch to EVE and the town’s limited hours of daylight each day and freezing winter temperatures that reach highs of just minus 2 degrees Celcius (28 degrees Fahrenheit), Virgin Atlantic was forced to prepare in new ways for a route launch.

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Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Virgin Atlantic has had to change the way it operates. With passenger demand at a low and travel restrictions continuing to hinder that comeback, the airline launched its cargo-only operations, which has only continued to grow in recent months.

Related: Virgin Atlantic operates its first-ever cargo-only flight

(Photo courtesy of Virgin Atlantic)

“Virgin Atlantic Cargo continues to expand at pace, and this exciting new launch is testament to the innovative spirit of our business,” said Virgin Atlantic Managing Director of Cargo Dominic Kennedy. “Norway is our eleventh new cargo destination in twelve months, and we’re now able to offer customers a fast, efficient cargo service via London Heathrow onto the rest of our network.”

When the route launches as a regular service for Virgin Atlantic Cargo on Feb. 3, it will operate on the following schedule on Wednesdays and Saturdays:

  • VS501 London Heathrow (LHR) 9 a.m. Departure ⇒ Harstad/Narvik Airport (EVE) 1 p.m. Arrival
  • VS502 Harstad/Narvik Airport (EVE) 3 p.m. Departure ⇒ London Heathrow (LHR) 5:20 p.m. Arrival

Related: Left without flyers, airlines are using passenger jets for cargo

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023