Days after losing the franchise of the UK West Coast Main Line between London and Manchester, Virgin Atlantic has announced it is to start domestic UK flights between Heathrow and Manchester to rival British Airways. Virgin Atlantic will initially run three flights a day to Manchester with plans to add flights to Aberdeen and Edinburgh but only if it can take possession of the slots required for the enterprise that International Airlines Group was forced to sells as part of its takeover of BMI. The airline plans to use Virgin Atlantic Airbuses on the routes.

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