British carrier Virgin Atlantic, which resumed its flights between London Heathrow and Dubai last week, on Monday said it would ramp up to a daily service next year to cash in on growing demand for leisure tourism between the two cities.

It launched a seasonal winter service on October 30, operating four flights a week and plans to increase it to daily service from October 2024 to March 2025.

Owned by billionaire Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic last operated flights to Dubai in March 2019.

London-Dubai is one of the busiest air routes and was ranked the fourth busiest global air route in 2022 with over 2.697 million seats, according to OAG data. It was also the second busiest route for Dubai Airport after Jeddah.

As aviation continues to recover at an exponential pace, airlines are launching new routes. Air India, Air Canada, Cyprus Airways, Maldives-based Beond and many other airlines have added Dubai to their growing list of new destinations as the emirate strengthens its position as a global aviation hub.

The UK airline on Monday said it “aims to capture the increased demand for premium winter sun getaways.”

It will also provide connections to long-haul customers, connecting them from Dubai via London Heathrow to destinations across North America.

“We’ve long wanted to return to Dubai when the time was right, and we know our customers will be over the moon with the reintroduction of this popular route. Nothing sets our hearts soaring like a new destination or reintroducing an old favourite. We look forward to welcoming our customers back on board, whether travelling for business or leisure or heading back to the United Kingdom to reconnect with friends and family,” said Liezl Gericke, head of international at Virgin Atlantic.

Rob Whitehouse, vice president of research at Dubai Airports, said this new addition strengthens DXB’s connectivity and enhances the global appeal of the emirate as a destination and gateway to other cities.

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