Virgin Atlantic (VS/VIR) is set to launch flights to Sao Paulo, Brazil next year as it expands its network into South America.
The flight from London Heathrow (LHR/EGLL) to Sao Paulo International Airport (GRU/SBGR) will take 11hrs 55 minutes and will be operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Brazil sees year round demand thanks to its fast growing economy and booming tourism and the new service by Virgin Atlantic will once again put Virgin in direct competition with British Airways, currently the sole operator between London and Sao Paulo.
Juha Jarvinen, Virgin Atlantic Executive Vice President – Commercial, said: “2019 marks the start of a new phase of growth for Virgin Atlantic as we work to become the most loved travel company. São Paulo represents an incredible opportunity for our business, and we’re very excited to be flying to a brand new continent for the first time. There are a significant number of corporate customers, and multi-national businesses, located in this Powerhouse of South America who can now enjoy the Virgin Atlantic experience on this busy international route.”
Virgin also expects the route to be a major cargo line as Brazil is South America’s number one import/export market. The airline says it expects to carry multiple tonnes of cargo on each flight.
Jarvinen added: “But it’s not all about business – I’m also thrilled to introduce an exciting new destination to our leisure customers. São Paulo boasts numerous cultural institutions such as the Museu de Arte, has a rich architectural history, and acts as a gateway for leisure travel within the rest of Brazil and beyond. This is a prime opportunity for Virgin Holidays who are busy securing a range of ancillary partners and diverse accommodation options for those customers seeking a full-service holiday offering.”
Virgin Atlantic didn’t confirm a start date for the service but said it will go on sale later this year for flights in 2020.
The Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787 Dreamliner operating the service will have Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class, Premium and Economy Cabins and will have the full economy range of ‘Delight’, ‘Classic’ and ‘Light’.