Virgin Atlantic's Heathrow Airport and Airspace
Virgin Atlantic’s operates from several hub airports in London. Its current home base airport is located at Heathrow in London, England. Currently, the company has two other major hubs in Gatwick and Manchester. However, Heathrow presently is at full capacity, and Gatwick is reaching full capacity in the near future. While various options are available, Virgin Atlantic and London’s commissioned officials are working to reach an agreement on the long-term solution to benefit the airline and the economy.
Virgin Atlantic’s Heathrow airport reached full capacity in 2010 (Osborne, 2013). During 2009, stacking delay’s cause by holding at Heathrow ...view middle of the document...
Without any room to expand at Heathrow, Virgin Atlantic is having a hard time to compete with its rival airline, British Airways, who accounts for half of Heathrow’s airport capacity ("Virgin Atlantic Struggles," 2012). However, the company’s president, Sir Richard Branson, is speaking out to London’s Public to influence the Member of Parliament elections this year for funding to get construction for a new runway (Branson, 2014). While, Virgin Atlantic’s CEO, Craig Kreeger is working on a joint venture starting in March 2014 with Delta Airlines to increase Virgin Atlantic’s capacity to around 24% at Heathrow Airport (Michaels, 2013).
London Heathrow Airport capacity share by carrier (% of seats) Aug 2012
Gatwick airport in London is Virgin Atlantic’s second major hub. It is the second largest airport in London. Gatwick is operating at 98% of its capacity with about 480,000 flights per year, and is estimated to reach full capacity by the year 2015 ("Airport expansion," 2013). Consequently, due to capacity constraints, Virgin Atlantic also feels restricted growth at Gatwick. In turn, the company “has called on the Government to make a decision on airport capacity” ("Airport Capacity ," 2012, para. 1) and is pushing to get funding for another runway. The overall benefit of a third runway would result in additional capacity and deliver far more useful flights than any other solution available ("Airport expansion," 2013).
The third major hub for Virgin Atlantic’s operation is Manchester. The company launched its Little Red domestic flight in March 2013 with London Heathrow to Manchester (Virgin Atlantic, 2014). The airline operates the route four times per day. Manchester Airport is United Kingdom’s largest regional airport, and second largest capacity airport, handling 22 million passengers a year ("Manchester Airport," 2014). The airport is implementing changes to incorporate developmental strategies to shape its future ("Manchester Airport," 2014). The factors Manchester are changing includes handling more passengers by trying to...