In , Virgin was given permission to operate from Heathrow following the abolition of the London Air Traffic Distribution Rules TDRs , which had governed the distribution of traffic between Heathrow and Gatwick airports since , primarily to bolster the profitability of Gatwick. Airlines without an international scheduled service from Heathrow prior to 1 April were obliged to operate from Gatwick. However, airlines that did not already operate at Heathrow were still able to begin domestic scheduled services there provided BAA, which then ran both Heathrow and Gatwick on behalf of the UK government, and the Secretary of State for Transport granted permission. The Civil Aviation Authority also transferred two pairs of unused landing slots that British Airways held at Tokyo's Narita Airport to Virgin to let it increase its frequency between Heathrow and Tokyo from four to six weekly round trips, making it easier for Virgin to compete against British Airways. The then-chairman of BA Lord King called the CAA's decision, which the government had endorsed, "a confiscation of his company's property". BA settled out of court when its lawyers discovered the lengths to which the company had gone in trying to kill off Virgin.
Virgin Atlantic Celebrates Its 35th Birthday - A Brief History - Simple Flying
By , a few aircraft were added to the fleet and destinations like Miami, Tokyo, New York or Boston joined the Virgin Atlantic network. Virgin Atlantic was the first airline to use the Airbus A in June, During , the airline carried 3. In , Virgin Atlantic unveiled its new brand identity and livery, and the first global advertising campaign.
But these are just part of our story. When we first started flying in , the world was changing rapidly. In the UK, boom time had arrived, and a lot of people had more money to spend, with a greater desire to explore the world.
After starting operations in , the airline has grown to become a prominent long-haul carrier in the UK. A carried passengers from London-Gatwick to Newark. The aircraft, dubbed Maiden Voyager, was a