Winter-weary travelers pining for paradise can soon book flights from London to island tourist hotspots in the Maldives and Turks & Caicos with Virgin Atlantic.
The airline has unveiled two new seasonal routes for the winter of 2023-24, with the new nonstop flights to Male (MLE) launching on October 22, three times weekly, and on November 15 to Providenciales (PLS) two times every week.
Virgin to the Maldives
The coveted holiday destination in the Indian Ocean features dozens of resorts scattered across its 1,200 coral islands and sandbanks, offering white sand beaches and sheltered lagoons. In 2019, before the pandemic, more than 1.7 million vacationers visited the luxurious destination.
Virgin Atlantic’s flights to the Maldives can be booked from November 30, although an exact flight schedule hasn’t been revealed. The airline will also offer holiday packages to the islands from November 18.
These flights will be convenient for UK residents and one of the easiest ways for Americans to reach the Maldives, which are now constrained to fly through Dubai, Doha, or Abu Dhabi with Middle East carriers. British Airways also operates the route to the Maldives out of London Heathrow.
“The Maldives has always been an incredibly popular destination for Virgin Atlantic Holidays customers,” said Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer at Virgin Atlantic. “This is why we couldn’t wait to give them the opportunity to travel to the idyllic location in style onboard Virgin Atlantic aircraft.”
Virgin to Turks & Caicos
Virgin Atlantic is also expanding its sand and surf destination portfolio with a twice-weekly route from London to Providenciales, an island in the Caribbean archipelago of Turks and Caicos.
The islands also offer white beaches, turquoise waters, and an extensive barrier reef, home to colorful coral, dolphins, turtles, and stingrays—a world-class destination for snorkeling and diving.
Virgin Atlantic already flies to nearby islands, including the Bahamas, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Jamaica, and St. Lucia.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to add these two exotic new routes to our flying portfolio. Nothing sets our hearts soaring like a new destination to explore, so, with two about join our network, there’s only really one question. Where to first?” said Jarvinen.
Virgin Atlantic will operate both routes with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, equipped with 258 seats in three classes: 31 in business class, 35 in premium economy, and 192 in economy.
Richard Branson, the airline’s founder, is directly taking on British Airways with these routes. The flag carrier operates year-round to the Maldives— daily during the peak winter season and three times weekly during the offseason—and to Providenciales but only via Nassau.