New flights follow rail loss

Mr Ridgway insisted that air travel was a "different market" from rail services between Manchester and London. The airline will operate three daily flights to Manchester using Airbus A319 aircraft from March 31 next year.

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Virgin launches UK flights

Virgin Atlantic is set to launch its first domestic service, flying passengers between London and Manchester. Chief executive Steve Ridgway said the move was in response to the takeover of bmi by British Airways' parent company.