The UK's second largest long-haul airline, Virgin operates scheduled services from London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Manchester airports on a route network that serves both the business and leisure traveller in Africa, Asia, Australia, the Caribbean, Europe and North America.
Established in May 1984 as part of Richard Branson's Virgin Group, Virgin launched services on 22 June 1984, linking London Gatwick with Newark using a Boeing 747-200.
Virgin commenced operations from London Heathrow in July 1991.
The airline established a leisure subsidiary under the Virgin Sun brand, which launched services in May 1994, offering flights to 13 Mediterranean destinations.
On 31 March 2000 Singapore Airlines acquired a 49% shareholding at a price which valued the carrier at £1.225 billion.
Virgin operated the world's first flight using biofuel by a commercial airline in 2008, when a GE-powered Boeing 747 flew between London and Amsterdam.
In August 2012, Virign announced plans to operate UK domestic services between London and Manchester from 31 March 2013 as part of a new short-haul network.