Virgin Atlantic is cancelling its London Heathrow to Tokyo Narita and Mumbai services early next year, the airline has confirmed.
Virgin will operate its final flight from London to both destinations on January 31 2015, with the last return journey departing February 1 2015.
Virgin said the changes will enable it to “better utilise” its fleet by flying routes which deliver maximum profit or “strategic importance”.
Following a “network review” Virgin plans to grow to “record levels of sustained profitability” by 2018. Building on its existing two year recovery plan, Virgin confirmed it’s on target to deliver an annual profit by the end of 2014.
As part of a number of route changes Virgin plans to introduce a new daily service from London Heathrow to Detroit, as well as additional flights from Heathrow to New York JFK, and Los Angeles.
The airline will add additional daily services during the summer season from Heathrow to Atlanta and between Heathrow and San Francisco. There will also be an additional daily service during the winter season from Heathrow to Miami.
Exact dates when these proposed changes will take effect have not been disclosed. A Virgin Atlantic spokesman told Business Traveller that the carrier is in a "period of consultation".
The new route from London Heathrow to Detroit, and the new services from Heathrow to LA, New York JFK, Miami and San Francisco and the service from Manchester to Atlanta will form part of Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture with Delta Air Lines.
Two further routes will be withdrawn in winter 2015 – London Heathrow to Vancouver and Heathrow to Cape Town.
Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger said: "Our ambition is to be profitable for the long-term, earn competitive returns, and invest those into providing the very best experience for our customers on the routes they most want to fly.
"Transatlantic flying has always been at the heart of our network and our most financially successful region.
"Today's announcement allows us to play to our strengths and focus our network on routes between the UK and US, as well as other critical global destinations that are most important to our customers."