Virgin Atlantic has reported strong regional demand for its Far East and US routes following the launch of domestic flights through its short-haul airline Little Red.

Tokyo is the top connection on Little Red’s Edinburgh route, with three times as many bookings as any other destination, followed by New York’s JFK airport and San Francisco.

Airline bosses put the top destinations down to strong business traffic on the Edinburgh-Heathrow route.

From Aberdeen, JFK and Shanghai are proving popular, while JFK, Los Angeles and San Francisco are the top connections for flights from Manchester.

Virgin claims the launch of Little Red, using former BMI slots, is creating 375 jobs in the UK, in addition to a further 18 created by the expansion of sister operator Virgin Holidays’ retail expansion in Scotland.

Speaking during inaugural celebrations for Little Red in Edinburgh, chief executive Craig Kreeger said he was confident that connections to Virgin Atlantic’s long-haul network through Heathrow would ensure Little Red’s success where others, including BMI, had failed.