Little Red, Branson's UK airline, set for launch (complete with Irn Bru)
When Virgin Atlantic launches its UK domestic flying programme at the end of this month - to be known as Little Red - Scotland will be the main beneficiary.
Virgin UK flights ready to go
But Glasgow, the country's second busiest airport, where BA now has a monopoly following the end of bmi flights, will have no Virgin challenger. And that is reflected in a 34 per cent rise in BA fares since bmi's pullout in March 2011.
First up for Virgin will be Manchester, with a four-times-daily service from March 31.Then on April 5, Virgin will commence a six-daily Heathrow-Edinburgh service followed by thrice-daily Heathrow-Aberdeen flights from April 9. In all the Branson airline will add 26 domestic flights a day to its existing long-haul network.
Aer Lingus is to supply the crew and Airbus narrow body aircraft required, which will be fully Virgin branded.
On the Little Red service, passengers will get free 23kg luggage check-ins, pre-assigned seats, complimentary snacks and drinks - including Scotland's famous Irn Bru - and hot breakfasts for morning flights.
This new short-haul routes will create more than 150 new jobs, and see "excellent onward connections for travelers flying from the US to Scotland," says Virgin.
Virgin is taking up nine of the 12 daily pairs of Heathrow slots which BA was forced to give up to ensure consumers have an alternative on key routes previously flown by bmi.
The new flights will be timed to maximise connections for passengers traveling onwards from London across Virgin Atlantic’s global network.