- Taking to the skies from 13 May 2024, the route from London Heathrow to Sao Paulo, Brazil is the airline’s first foray to South America
- Strictly Come Dancing professionals Anton Du Beke, AJ Pritchard, and Brazilian actress and model, Juliana Paes have appeared in a reimagined samba-style safety video* to announce the news
Virgin Atlantic has today announced the launch of flights between London Heathrow and Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport, Brazil.
The 11 hr and 55 min flight will operate on a Boeing 787 aircraft daily from 13 May 2024 and marks the first ever route for the airline to the South American continent. To mark the news, Virgin Atlantic has released a one off, reimagined safety video – samba style. Starring famed dancer and choreographer, AJ Pritchard, and Brazilian model and actress, Juliana Paes, the video sees the duo depicted as Virgin Atlantic cabin crew, bringing a samba-twist to the skies. Not to be outdone by the cabin crew, TV sensation Anton Du Beke makes a cameo appearance with a 10/10 performance as the plane’s pilot.
Famed as the foodie capital of Brazil, Sao Paulo is a bustling city offering visitor’s neo-Gothic architecture and a bounty of arts & cultural experiences – including a touch of samba! The spectacular Iguaçu Falls and Amazon rainforest are easily accessible from São Paulo, with convenient connections to other iconic attractions such as Rio de Janeiro and the beautiful beaches of Santa Catarina. As one of the most populous cities in the world Sao Paulo is also home to multinational businesses, providing a platform for Virgin Atlantic to broaden its offering to corporate customers.
As part of Virgin Atlantic’s codeshare agreement with LATAM, customers will also be able to connect onwards onto 12 domestic airports in Brazil including Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and Florianopolis. Customers travelling from São Paulo to London Heathrow will also have the option to smoothly connect onto Virgin Atlantic’s rest of world destinations through Terminal 3, including Tel Aviv, Delhi and Shanghai. In addition, Flying Club members and LATAM Pass loyalty members can earn miles on Virgin Atlantic and LATAM. The redemption opportunity will be implemented during 2023 ahead of the route launch.
Brazil’s position of being the number one import and export country in South America will also make São Paulo a popular cargo route. With multiple tonnes of capacity each day, Virgin Atlantic expects to carry regular shipments of car parts, pharmaceuticals, food and agricultural products, contributing to the £7.7 billion** in annual trade between the two countries.
Juha Jarvinen, Chief Commercial Officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “Flying to Sao Paulo, Brazil represents so much more than just a new route. It’s the gateway to South America and signifies exciting new growth for Virgin Atlantic. After our plans to launch a route to Sao Paulo were scuppered by the pandemic, we’re so excited to be able to finally provide our customers with an opportunity to explore a fantastic new continent that is buzzing with adventure.”
Anton Du Beke said; “The world of dance takes you to some unexpected places, but I never thought it would take me to the cockpit of an airplane. I loved playing the part of a pilot in for the samba safety video, but next time I hope to lie back and experience Virgin Atlantic as a passenger en route to Brazil on a flight to Sao Paulo in 2024.”
AJ Pritchard added; “As a dancer, I’ve always been inspired by Brazil and the incredible experiences it has on offer – dancing and travel are two of my favourite things and to take part in this experience was a real treat.”
Service operates: London Heathrow (LHR) – Sao Paulo (GRU)
Frequency: Daily, year-round, launching 13 May 2024
Flight number: VS193 / VS194
Schedule: LHR-GRU 12:45 - 20:20 and GRU-LHR 22:10 - 13:25
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Configuration: 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium, 192 Economy
What’s included: A full service onboard offering including complimentary food and drink and over 300 hours of entertainment (movies, TV and music). All aircraft are WiFi enabled.