Flights from Manchester to the bright lights of Las Vegas are returning from next year as Virgin Atlantic announces the latest route from its home in the North.
Passengers will be able to choose from three flights a week to Las Vegas from 2 June 2024, with tickets going on sale from July 2023. Return Economy fares start from £770 per person.
The route makes Manchester the only airport in the UK outside London to fly directly to America’s West Coast.
Las Vegas has always been a popular destination for travellers in the region, with the city that famously never sleeps holding a timeless appeal to people wanting to explore the illuminated playground.
But it also offers a gateway to a wide range of attractions in America’s west, from the stunning scenery of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park to the Pacific Highway and the cities of San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles.
Flights will operate on Virgin Atlantic’s newest Airbus A350-1000 aircraft and add to the routes to Orlando, New York and Atlanta already available through the airline at Manchester Airport.
Chris Woodroofe, Managing Director of Manchester Airport, said:
“It’s hugely exciting to see the return of Virgin Atlantic’s direct service to Las Vegas, which has always been one of our most popular long-haul routes.
“As the UK’s Global Gateway in the North, it’s great to work with airline partners like Virgin Atlantic to connect the region directly to as many destinations around the globe as possible.
“I am sure this service will be really popular with passengers and we look forward to continuing our work with Virgin Atlantic to further grow its route network from its Northern home in Manchester in the years to come.”
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Offer, Virgin Atlantic, said:
“We’re thrilled to announce that we have re-introduced Las Vegas to our portfolio of destinations flying from Manchester, our home in the north.
“This new service will not only complement our existing flying to New York, Orlando, Atlanta and Barbados from Manchester but will be the only US West Coast flight available from the north west, offering customers the opportunity to fly direct.”
“We can’t wait to welcome customers onboard our newest aircraft offering them an incredible travel experience, delivered by our wonderful people."
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham said:
“This is fantastic news for Greater Manchester and for the whole of the North, providing a direct route to the West Coast of the US and opening up a host of new opportunities for tourism, trade, and investment in our economy.
“As well as offering residents here and across the North West a new route to Las Vegas, today’s announcement is further proof that Greater Manchester is firmly on the map as a destination for international visitors and for those looking to do business in the UK.”
Manchester City Council Leader Cllr Bev Craig said:
"It's great news that Manchester, Greater Manchester and the North's connections to the United States are being further strengthened through this new route, which offers easy access to America's West and beyond.
"As well as opening up new possibilities for tourists - including US visitors arriving here who represent a significant market - it will also support new trading opportunities for business in the city and the wider region.
"Las Vegas is the gateway to the West and the return of this route underlines Manchester Airport's credentials as the North of England's gateway to the world."
Henri Murison, Chief Executive of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said:
“This is good news not just for Manchester but the whole of the North of England.
“Manchester Airport acts as the UK’s long haul hub in the North, giving us access to key global markets such as the US which are absolutely vital for our economy, unlocking billions through trade, tourism and investment.
“Our own analysis found that inward investment into the North from North America has grown significantly in recent years and improving connectivity is essential for that.”
Sheona Southern, Managing Director of Marketing Manchester, said:
“The US is currently the UK’s strongest growth market for tourism and one that Greater Manchester has been proactively targeting for several decades. It is therefore welcome news that Virgin Atlantic is adding a new three-weekly route from Las Vegas next summer, creating increased opportunities for US visitors to travel to Greater Manchester for leisure or business.
“The route will be the only non-stop direct service from the West Coast of the US to the north of England, opening up a significant geographical area of the US market. Furthermore, the route will create enhanced opportunities for connections across North America, including via the airline’s existing non-stop services to Manchester from New York, Atlanta, and Orlando, as well as over 200 US destinations via its partner, Delta Air Lines.”
Joe Manning, Managing Director at MIDAS, Greater Manchester’s Inward Investment Agency, said:
“North America remains a priority market for foreign direct investment into Greater Manchester. The increased connectivity is brilliant news and will be a key driver as we continue to strengthen ties with US businesses.
“We’re looking forward to utilising these routes on our future trade and investment missions to showcase the Greater Manchester offer.”
Emma Degg, Chief Executive Officer, North West Business Leadership Team, said:
“Many of our key firms are part of multinational businesses, particularly from North America. The north west currently generates over £27 billion of total exports with 9,000 firms exporting to markets outside the EU. The new route further cements Manchester Airport’s central role in connecting businesses across the north with crucial future opportunities for further growth.”
Philip Cox, Chief Executive, Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
“This is welcome news for Cheshire and Warrington as these regular flights between Manchester and Las Vegas will bring exciting investment and tourism opportunities amid our unflinching ambition as an LEP to make the sub-region the healthiest, most sustainable, inclusive and growing economy in the country. Transport and connectivity are central to the region’s success.
“We’re looking forward to seeing even more visitors enjoying our exciting and evolving tourism product and the cavalcade of attractions ranging from Chester Zoo to Jodrell Bank.
“The new flights will also bolster trade opportunities and enhance the already fantastic reputation of the Cheshire Science Corridor as an internationally renowned science and technology cluster focused on life sciences, net zero, nuclear and high value manufacturing and home to world class businesses, research and talent.”
Susan Finnegan, Acting Head of Visitor Economy for Marketing Liverpool, said:
"We are delighted to see Manchester Airport welcoming a new Virgin Atlantic service to Las Vegas from summer 2024. It's encouraging to see these long-haul routes returning to the North West, as they will not only continue to open up Manchester, but also Liverpool City Region, to the US West Coast, offering further growth to our region's visitor economy and business tourism."
Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire, said:
“We’re proud to support Manchester as the UK’s Global Gateway in the North and we welcome the exciting news that it will be the only airport in the UK outside London to fly directly to America’s West Coast. With the lure of Britain’s original National Park, countless historic houses and a world-class visitor offer, the Peak District and Derbyshire is a compelling destination for US visitors, and we look forward to working with our regional partners to maximise this great opportunity and attract more overseas visitors.”
Sue Clarke, Marketing Manager at Cumbria Tourism, said:
“We are thrilled to hear the news of the direct Virgin Atlantic flight route between Las Vegas and Manchester. The US is a key market for The Lake District, Cumbria, being one of the world’s highest spending economic markets. This new route of travel from the West Coast of the US to the North West of England only makes it easier for American tourists to discover what the north of England has to offer.
“The Lake District, Cumbria has proven itself as a popular choice among US visitors who are particularly drawn to the region's rich history, beautiful landscape and fascinating culture, so we are delighted to hear that it’s becoming even more accessible to get here.”