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Virgin Atlantic Launching Toronto Flights As Of March 2025

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Virgin Atlantic has just announced its newest long haul flight, and it’s not necessarily the next route I would have expected from the airline…

Virgin Atlantic adds London to Toronto flight

As of March 30, 2025, Virgin Atlantic will launch a new daily flight between London Heathrow (LHR) and Toronto Pearson (YYZ). The airline states it will use a mix of aircraft on the 3,556-mile route, including the Airbus A330-900neo. The new route is expected to be bookable as of June 19, 2024, at which point the schedule will be revealed.

This will be the first time in more than a decade that Virgin Atlantic flies to Canada — the airline last flew to Vancouver (YVR) through 2014. The motivation of the route is described as connecting two global financial hubs, and providing optimal connectivity to Virgin Atlantic’s India network, including flights to Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM), and newly launched service to Bengaluru (BLR).

On top of that, Virgin Atlantic is launching an expanded codeshare partnership with WestJet as of October 2024. This will allow Canadian customers to travel throughout the region, including flights from Ottawa and Winnipeg. Frequent flyer reciprocity is also expected in 2025 (which I’m looking forward to — hopefully it’s possible to redeem Flying Club points on WestJet).

Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330-900neo Upper Class

This route seems logical enough, I guess?

For a London-based airline, flying to Toronto makes sense. However, Virgin Atlantic in general is kind of in a tricky spot when it comes to route expansion:

  • The airline doesn’t have many growth aspirations, given that it exclusively has long haul aircraft, and doesn’t have many more planes on order
  • Virgin Atlantic is 49% owned by Delta, so the carrier’s biggest focus is on the transatlantic joint venture with Delta and Air France-KLM
  • Outside of the North Atlantic and India, Virgin Atlantic kind of struggles with strategy; the airline was going to fly to Sao Paulo, but backtracked, and the airline also hasn’t done much to expand to North Asia or Southeast Asia

I can see how there’s a fair bit of demand between Toronto and London, and also between Toronto and India, so I assume this route will do fine. However, there’s no doubt a lot of competition here, as Air Canada dominates Toronto, and British Airways also has a significant presence there.

While a partnership with WestJet helps as well, a majority of WestJet’s network in Toronto is leisure flying to warm destinations, which doesn’t really do much for this route.

So I’m curious to see how this evolves. Virgin Atlantic does have a history of launching flights and then canceling them sooner rather than later, so we’ll see if the service to Canada succeeds.

Virgin Atlantic faces stiff competition in Toronto

Bottom line

As of the spring of 2025, Virgin Atlantic will launch a new daily flight between London and Toronto. This marks Virgin Atlantic’s return to Canada for the first time in over a decade. I wouldn’t have necessarily assumed that Toronto would be Virgin Atlantic’s next long haul destination, but I suppose between the local traffic plus India connections, this route should perform fine.

What do you make of Virgin Atlantic launching Toronto flights?

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