Virgin Atlantic Set to Launch Flights to São Paulo, Brazil
Virgin Atlantic is set to take its operations to a new continent. The UK carrier announced on Wednesday that it's going to launch nonstop flights between London Heathrow (LHR) and São Paulo, Brazil (GRU), beginning in 2020.
The new route is Virgin's first to South America and will feature daily service on board one of the carrier's Boeing 787-9 aircraft. Virgin's Dreamliners feature a three-cabin configuration: 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium and 192 economy.
Virgin's hoping to capitalize on Brazil as both a business and leisure destination.
"São Paulo represents an incredible opportunity for business, and we're very excited to be flying to a brand new continent for the first time," said Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic's executive vice president — commercial.
Although an exact launch date hasn't yet been set for the new route, Virgin did say that it'll be a daily, year-round service, set to begin sometime in 2020. The LHR-GRU leg is expected to take approximately 11 hours and 55 minutes.
The new route and first foray into South America falls into Virgin's optimistic growth plan. In February, the carrier announced that it was set to begin nonstop flights from London to Tel Aviv, Israel, beginning September 2019.
Virgin is set to take delivery of its first Airbus A350-1000 aircraft later this year. That aircraft will feature the carrier's latest Upper Class product, though details on what that will look like have yet to be revealed. However, passengers hoping to fly on this route should not expect the new Upper Class product, as it won't be retrofitted on Dreamliners in the fleet.