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Published on Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Virgin admits diverting Boston flight to drop off pilot

Virgin Atlantic has confirmed that it diverted a Dreamliner flight from London to Boston to Manchester, adding 90 minutes to the journey time, to drop off a pilot.

It told passengers the diversion was necessary because the pilot was needed to fly an A330 from Manchester to New York after another pilot fell ill.

As passengers checked in, they were handed a letter which said: "Your flight to Boston will be operating via Manchester today.

"In order for us to ensure our customers are able to fly from Manchester to New York today, we need to fly one of our pilots to Manchester. We have looked at other options to achieve this, but this is the only option available to use."

According to the Independent, the diversion would have cost the airline around £10,000, but Virgin has dismissed the figure as 'speculative'.

In a statement it said: "Unfortunately one of our pilots in Manchester fell unwell and therefore, rather than cancel a flight, we took the decision to take a pilot from our London Heathrow base to operate the aircraft."

The pilot was needed for flight VS127, but due to a fire, trains between London and Manchester were cancelled on Friday, and traffic congestion meant a taxi would have taken more than three hours, said the Independent.

VS127 eventually left Manchester at the same time as the Boston service, but still arrived in New York more than five hours late.

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  • Scheduled Arline?

    So have BA stopped operating a regular - almost hourly- service between LHR and Manchester? At a cost of under £10000 per ticket?

    By Pete Stewart, Friday, September 22, 2017

  • Arriving late - did not let passengers down?

    What about those who had family waiting at heathrow. I would guess that a fair number had a much larger parking charge that if the plane had arrived in time.

    By Paul Johnston, Thursday, September 21, 2017

  • At least...

    ...Virgin wanted to NOT let their pax down - unlike a certain low-cost Irish airline recently.

    By Peter Mannell, Wednesday, September 20, 2017

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