Virgin have announced a new fare to compete with the low-cost, long-haul airlines
Just a day after British Airways said they would be introducing budget fares on transatlantic flights, Virgin Airways have announced they are entering the low-cost, long-haul fray.
The carrier will bring in a new fare called economy light from spring 2019. Checked luggage will not be included in the price of the ticket.
“The new economy light ticket will always offer Virgin Atlantic’s lowest fare,” the airline said, “making long haul travel affordable and accessible for millennials”.
The past few days have seen increasing competition in the skies as legacy carriers enter the low-cost, long-haul market. Airlines such as WOW Air and Norwegian have been cutting into their market share with budget flights between Europe and North America.
Both Virgin Atlantic and BA want to reduce the price advantage low-cost carriers currently hold and offer better deals.
BA will give passengers an in-flight meal, and allow one piece of luggage up to 23kg in the cabin with an extra small bag.
However, the weight limit on a Virgin Atlantic flight will be just 10kg with a handbag or small backpack. They will still offer an in-flight meal and free drinks.
The new package will be called economy light and passengers will he assigned seats at check-in.
Virgin, the airline founded by Richard Branson, are also rearranging their other economy fares, which will now be called classic and delight.
Passengers who purchase classic tickets will be able to choose their seats free of charge, and delight tickets will give an extra three inches of legroom, priority check-in and boarding.
Craig Kreeger, the airline’s chief executive, told the Independent: “All of our economy products — light, classic and delight — still include free drinks, the same food, the same frequency of service from our cabin crew. On board, economy is economy.
“But there are customers who have different expectations and want a choice, but not really compromising on any of the stuff on board.”
In a pop at Virgin’s long-standing arch rival British Airways’ “densification” process of adding extra seats, Mr Kreeger said: “Unlike some other airlines, we’ve been actually taking seats off aircraft to create extra legroom.”