Virgin Atlantic bids to launch flights between Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Heathrow

Virgin Atlantic is bidding to launch flights between Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Heathrow as it attempts to raise long-haul passenger traffic against rival British Airways (BA).

The move would see Virgin Atlantic seek to boost air travel between Scotland and London after pushing Virgin Trains for cross-border rail travel for over 15 years as the greener alternative.

According to Virgin, its failure to retain the west coast main line franchise last week was coincidental.

Virgin Atlantic plans to operate at least three daily return flights on the routes from next March. Starting October, BA would operate 12 return flights from Edinburgh and eight from Aberdeen.

Virgin Atlantic would come to know in December whether it had successfully bid for the necessary Heathrow landing ''slots''.

Aer Lingus is among other airlines that might put in a bid.