Days after news spread that Delta was interested in purchasing Singapore Airlines' 49 percent stake in Virgin Atlantic, Sir Richard Branson's airline announced plans to start flying 24 domestic flights daily within the United Kingdom.
The new routes will open up connections between London Heathrow and Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester beginning in the spring of 2013, according to a press release from the airline.
The release stated the airline's intent to take on British Airways' market domination:
We will look to replicate that in our short-haul program and challenge the current BA monopoly on these routes, which is causing serious consumer harm...Virgin Atlantic will offer millions of passengers in Scotland and Manchester connections around the world through our, and our partners’, long-haul network, with the additional benefit of providing direct services to and from London Heathrow. This is a robust business model that will protect competition to and from Heathrow for the long-term.
Tickets go on sale December 19 at the starting price of 99 pounds ($159) for round-trip fares. The airline plans on leasing four Airbus A320 aircraft from Aer Lingus to carry the short-haul routes, according to Bloomberg Business Week.