Published on : Oct 07, 2014
Virgin Airlines has made the decision to scrap its domestic airline. After merely 18 months of service, Little Red will cease to exist.
After weeks of speculation that the entire project will be stopped, the company finally submitted to the mounting pressure of empty seats. Virgin Airlines could not completely book seats in their flights that linked Manchester, Aberdeen, and Edinburgh with Heathrow. The Scottish services will cease to exist in September, while the Manchester services will stop in March.
Sir Richard Branson, the president of Virgin Atlantic, stated the efforts made in Little Red benefitted customers, but also mentioned that the odds were stacked against the company.
After the takeover of BMI, the European authorities made British Airways relinquish their domestic slots in Heathrow. This gave room to Virgin Airlines to initiate Little Red in March 2013.
More than a million people have used the domestic routes, but Virgin Atlantic admitted that there was more demand for point-to-point customers than connecting traffic, which was the intention of establishing Little Red. They ended up feeding more passengers towards its long-haul routes for better profits.
Craig Kreeger, the chief executive of Virgin Atlantic, said Little Red was a result of enduring passion to make a difference for Virgin Atlantic’s customers. The company had deeply wished for the service’s success and the employees involved had worked really hard to give it their best efforts.
Little Red was operated by the Irish Aer Lingus for Virgin Atlantic on a wet lease basis. The Dublin-originated carrier service supplied Virgin Atlantic with the crew and the aircraft, which ran in Virgin colors.