Virgin Atlantic is gearing up for UK domestic flights from London to regional economic hubs Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester, but they won't sport business class -- the Airbus A320 jets are filled from tip to tail with economy seats.
Virgin will lease the planes needed for these flights from Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus, and those jets will come in an all-economy arrangement.
Australian Business Traveller can confirm there won't even be a Eurobusiness-style option where the middle seat is kept free.
"The aircraft are all one cabin and one service" an airline spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller, adding "No middle seat free."
The spokeswoman was unable to advise which lounges would be available to Upper Class passengers and Flying Club Gold-tier frequent flyers at Heathrow's T1, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Manchester, saying "we are still in discussions."
However, she was able to confirm that passengers arriving into Heathrow's T3 on the daily VS201 service won't need to wrangle their checked luggage off the belt at T3 and shepherd it to T1, with "lLuggage be checked through from origin to destination."
Virgin's Manchester flights will begin on 31 March and Scotland services starting in April, with tickets going on sale this week.
"The timings will also give the most attractive offering to passengers travelling direct between London and the UK regions," Virgin Atlantic promises, "with flights spread at key points throughout the day including morning arrivals into Heathrow to give business travellers a full day in the capital and an early morning departure from London to Edinburgh for business visits to the Scottish capital."
That early morning departure will suit Australian passengers arriving on VS201 from Sydney via Hong Kong, which gets in at 0450.
UK flights will run from London Heathrow's Terminal 1 -- quashing hopes of using Virgin's world-class Terminal 3 Clubhouse lounge to freshen up before your onward flight to Europe. Your best bet will be to stop into the Terminal 3 Revivals lounge in T3 before heading on to T1.
Virgin has said that there will be lounge space available in London, Scotland and Manchester for its Flying Club Gold-tier frequent flyers and passengers connecting to and from Upper Class passengers, but this looks like being a contract lounge situation.
We'll keep you posted on developments — for the very latest, follow us on Twitter: we're @AusBT.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.