Virgin Atlantic Launching Flights To Sao Paulo In 2020

Filed Under: Virgin

Virgin Atlantic is an airline that has historically pretty conservative with their growth. The airline did recently announce flights to Tel Aviv, which is their new shortest route. Now the airline is announcing their first flight to South America.

Virgin Atlantic will be launching flights between London Heathrow and Sao Paulo in 2020. The airline intends to use a Boeing 787-9 for the route, featuring 258 seats. This includes 31 Upper Class seats, 35 premium economy seats, and 192 economy seats.

The flight time for the ~5,900 mile flight will be around 12 hours in each direction.

The airline hasn’t yet revealed the exact start date and schedule, so it’s possible that we’re still over a year from the route launching.

Virgin Atlantic will be going head-to-head against both British Airways and LATAM, which also operate the route.

Virgin Atlantic’s EVP of Commercial said the following regarding this route:

“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.

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.”

It’s great to see Virgin Atlantic expand destinations beyond just transatlantic routes where they have a joint venture with Delta.

This is an exciting time of growth for Virgin Atlantic, especially as the airline is soon also taking delivery of their first of 12 Airbus A350-1000 aircraft, which will feature their new Upper Class seats (to be revealed on April 8, 2019).

What do you make of Virgin Atlantic’s new route to Sao Paulo?


  1. Seems like a good way to lose money. Demand to Brazil has fallen and I doubt if they’ll even launch this route.

  2. direct fares from london to brasil are absolute silly season, 6 months advance purchase economy with saturday stay often £900+ so unless premium cabin demand is genuinely awful, which for a 12+hr flight that will presumably be overnight both ways would be slightly surprising, then it would from the armchair CEO seem as good a choice as any for a new route.

    Any clues where the slot is coming from for this?

  3. Hopefully on the new Supersonic boom they have ordered.

    Takes as long as it did 40 years ago to cross the Atlantic diagonally.

  4. how will they make money on award bookings without the ability to charge fuel surcharges from GRU?! i love starting itineraries from brazil because it eliminates fuel surcharges on the whole itinerary.

  5. @Ian they haven’t started operating yet. Am sure they would being almost entirely owned by delta klm and Air France It’s logical they would partner with gol

  6. As someone that flies in/out of GRU a lot, there is a ton J and some F demand. VS should have been flying to EZE or GRU years ago. GIG also is a perfect fit for their image.

    I think they will do well. Surprised they are not tagging to GIG, although VS is not really into tag on flights, but I think it could work.

  7. Well, I live in Brazil and, from a consumer POV, I’m excited about it. Virgin herringbones may be dated, but still better than LATAM’s and BA’s stale 777s. Also, it breaks the OneWorld monopoly on the route.

  8. Finally! Smart move to increase competition with BA and bring prices down hopefully. Demand for Brazil is always there, specially with Brazilians travelling to Europe via London. Terrific choice!

  9. This is a long time coming. It was rumoured years ago (talking 15 or so).

    It finally breaks the OW monopoly. One would imagine VS have had some sort of access to KL/AF data on the route as well. I presume they know how many people originate at LHR on AF/KL and have realised that they will be able to make the route work and presumably AF/KL are comfortable with that.

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