**Please note, Virgin Express ceased to operate as an individual entity when it merged to become Brussels Airlines in 2007**
Part of the Virgin Group, offering low-cost fares
Virgin Express was Virgin Atlantic founder Richard Branson’s' original low-cost airline, serving 24 destinations throughout Europe including Spain, France, Greece and Italy. The airline sold most of their tickets online and operated services to major cities such as Berlin, Geneva, Barcelona and Rome, with the airline also offering cheap flights to top holiday destinations including Athens, Faro, Malaga and Palma. In 2007 the airline merged with SN Brussels Airline to form Brussels Airlines, and now offers flights to 60 European destinations. The airlines also runs a medium-haul service to Moscow, Helsinki and Tel Aviv and serves 14 African destinations, with its codeshare partners offering flights to North America, the Middle East and Asia.
Merged with Belgian carrier to form Brussels Airlines
The airline was founded in April 1996 when Richard Branson took over EuroBelgian Airlines, renaming it Virgin Express. From its hub in Brussels, Virgin Express continued to run the existing fleet of Boeing 737's, and offered budget scheduled flights throughout Europe. In October 2004, the Virgin Group sold its assets to SN Brussels Airlines, one of its major competitors, and both companies were merged into the parent company SN Airholding. Then in March 2006, the two airlines were integrated into one company, Brussels Airlines. As the new company, the airline began adding long-haul destinations and direct flights to Africa.
Flexible service at competitive price
Virgin Express operated a fleet of 10 planes, including 5 Boeing 737-300s and 5 Boeing 737-400s. As Brussels Airlines, the fleet also includes 14 Avro RJ85, 12 AVRO RJ100 and 6 BAE 146, as well as 3 A319 Airbus'. Passengers can choose from regular economy or the more flexible b.flex economy, offering a more speedy service with quick check-in, priority boarding and seating at the front of the aircraft, as well as higher luggage allowance and free food and drink. For those looking for the cheapest fare possible, the airlines also offers b.light, which comes with a lowest fare guarantee.
|Aer Lingus||British Airways|
|FlyThomasCook Skylights||German Wings|
|Thomson Airways||Virgin Atlantic|