UK to South America aviation: Virgin Atlantic enters with 787s

Premium Analysis

Virgin Atlantic will launch a daily service from London Heathrow to São Paulo Guarulhos in 2020, to be operated by Boeing 787 aircraft. The new service will be Virgin Atlantic's first route to South America (although it already operates to one other subregion of Latin America, namely Caribbean).

The markets between the UK and the four subregions of Latin America all have different characteristics. UK-Caribbean, the largest, is built on strong cultural and business ties, a large VFR market and strong tourist demand, but capacity is falling slightly.

UK-Central America, the second largest, is mainly driven by tourist demand, but seat numbers are stagnating. Growth in capacity from the UK to both Upper and Lower South America is accelerating, stimulated in both cases by LCC Norwegian's entry and growth. Lower South America, the smallest market, is growing the fastest.

Virgin's planned entry into UK-South America reflects the growing dynamism of this part of the UK-Latin America market. This has been boosted by the entry of Norwegian on London Gatwick to Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, and BA's entry and growth on London-Heathrow to Santiago (Chile). On a rolling 52-week basis, the combined seat capacity from UK to the two South American subregions will exceed that of UK-Central America for the first time since the start of Apr-2019.

Become a CAPA Member to access Analysis Reports

This CAPA Premium Analysis Report is 1,768 words.
Become a CAPA Member

Our Analysis Reports are only available to CAPA Members. CAPA Membership provides exclusive access to in-depth insights on the latest developments in the aviation and travel industry, developed by our team of dedicated analysts located in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia.

Each report offers a fresh perspective on the latest industry trends and is available online or via the CAPA mobile app, with customisable alerts to help you stay informed and identify new business opportunities.

CAPA Membership also provides access to our full suite of tools, including a tailored selection of more than 1,000 News Briefs every week and comprehensive data and analysis on thousands of companies around the world.