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Tue 1 Aug 2006 04:00 AM

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Upper Class Virgin boosts business

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Seats in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class cabin are selling like hot cakes on the Dubai-London route as the UK airline proves increasingly popular with business travellers.

“We are pleased with the response to Upper Class and we are currently seeing load factors [in this cabin] of 70% plus,†said Stephanie Price-Whittle, marketing and communications manager, UAE, for Virgin Atlantic Airways.

Passengers have been particularly impressed with Upper Class Suite’s key features and services including the “biggest bed in businessâ€, chauffeur-driven transfers, in-flight beauty therapies, the on-board juice bar, and the drive-thru check-in at Heathrow Airport, she added.

The carrier’s Middle East performance mirrors that of the company in general in that a “large increase in the number of business travellers helped boost profits [by 17% to US $3.5 billion] and achieve record sales in the last financial yearâ€, according to a recent Virgin Atlantic statement.

The carrier now flies daily from Dubai to London at 8.20am, which means that passengers can now connect seamlessly to more than half of the US destinations served by the airline, including New York, Boston, Newark and LA.

Virgin Atlantic recently launched its 27th destination, Montego Bay in Jamaica and added a sixth daily service between London and New York on July 1.

The airline will introduced a second daily service to Hong Kong, initially four-times-a-week from November and then daily from February, and recently announced it would fly to Mauritius in late 2007.

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