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Virgin flights 'will boost Scotland's aviation industry'

Scotland's Transport Minister Keith Brown said it was a welcome announcement for both passengers and the air industry.

Scotland's Transport Minister Keith Brown Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Archive

He said: "We look forward to a long and productive relationship with Virgin Atlantic and the exciting connections they can offer with all the benefits that will bring for passengers, Scotland's aviation industry and the wider Scottish economy.

"The detail will be worked out over the next couple of weeks but we are pleased that the European Commission has taken note of the need for both Edinburgh and Aberdeen to be served and that Virgin Atlantic will now be able to operate from two of Scotland's most important cities."

The minister said he remained concerned about the lack of competition on the Glasgow to Heathrow service as a consequence of Bmi's withdrawal of the service last year.

Glasgow was not part of the remedies package considered by the European Commission.

Virgin domestic flights 'will provide Scotland with choice'

We're focused on providing Scotland with choice both in terms of routes and carriers whilst extending its reach across the world.

This new regular service does exactly that, giving choice to Heathrow and opening up a new set of onward destinations for our passengers.

We look forward to working with Steve Ridgway and his team over the coming months.

– Edinburgh Airport chief executive Gordon Dewar

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Virgin Atlantic 'has fought hard for right to fly short haul'

We have fought hard for the right to fly short haul and take a strong challenge to BA within these shores.

For 28 years both airlines have battled for customers all over the world and it has meant that British consumers have ultimately had some of the world's best flying and lowest fares.

– Virgin Atlantic chief executive Steve Ridgway

Virgin to start flights between Heathrow and Scotland

  • Virgin plans to begin services on March 31 2013 and will primarily focus on multiple daily flights between Heathrow and Edinburgh and Aberdeen.
  • The new routes, on which Virgin will compete with long-time rival British Airways, will complement the new Heathrow-Manchester route the airline is also introducing next year.

Virgin to offer domestic flights from Heathrow

Sir Richard Branson's airline Virgin Atlantic is poised to begin new domestic services from Heathrow Airport starting from March 2013.

Virgin Atlantic is poised to begin new domestic services from Heathrow Airport Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Virgin said today it had been offered short-haul take-off and landing slots available following the takeover of bmi by British Airways's parent company IAG.

Virgin: 'Country can't afford to duck airport capacity any longer'

Virgin Atlantic has called on the Government to make a decision on airport capacity after Number 10 insisted there was no third runway to be built at Heathrow.

Heathrow is full. The country can’t afford for the issue of airport capacity to be ducked any longer.

The Government needs to develop a long-term credible aviation policy and fast. In every other leading country, aviation is expanding and is injecting much needed growth across the wider economy.

– Virgin Atlantic Spokesperson

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Virgin plane to return to service after emergency landing

The Virgin Atlantic plane that was forced to make an emergency landing at Gatwick Airport last week has been examined and has been certified for a return to service.

A spokesman for Virgin Atlantic said: "The investigation identified that a number of alarms were triggered in flight, in response to which our flight crew took positive action in line with procedures by returning to Gatwick and completing an evacuation of the aircraft.

“The flight crew and cabin crew followed safety procedures at all times and carried out their duties in a professional manner to ensure the safety of our passengers was maintained throughout the flight and during the evacuation."

Privacy lawyer: 'this could be the tip of the iceberg'

Privacy lawyer Gerald Shamash has told the Guardian that the allegations a Virgin Atlantic employee passed on information about eight celebrities is "extremely worrying" and "this could be the tip of the iceberg".

Mr Shamash also said advance knowledge of the whereabouts of celebrities was the "bread and butter" of life as a picture agency or tabloid newspaper.

"Once it has these details, the agency does one or two things: it keeps [the information] to sell it or phones a newspaper to say this person has gone to Los Angeles. It's a symbiotic relationship with newspapers."

Jermaine Defoe spokeswoman: 'This is a serious breach of privacy'

Jermaine Defoe is one of eight celebrities who detailed were allegedly passed to a paparazzi agency Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Reacting to the allegations that an employee at Virgin Atlantic passed the flight details of eight celebrities including the footballer Jermaine Defoe to a paparazzi agency, a spokeswoman for the footballer said:

"This is a serious breach of privacy. We'll be consulting with our lawyers and investigating the matter further."

Celebrities pictured after alleged flight leaks

Virgin Atlantic sources told The Guardian that four of the eight celebrities whose flight details were allegedly leaked to a paparazzi firm, flew on the dates given by the airline employee.

Sienna Miller pictured during a photocall in Venice in 2005 Credit: Reuters

Ashley Cole and Sienna Miller were pictured in Heathrow and Los Angeles respectively, on the dates allegedly provided. The other four celebrities are believed to have cancelled their flights.

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