Virgin Atlantic intends to boost its daily service to London to two flights a day within three years. The move will increase competition on the route, and bring Virgin in line with British Airways and Cathay Pacific, which have two flights per day. In addition the airline intends to increase the frequency of its service between Shanghai and London from four times a week to a daily flight, according to managing director Steve Ridgway. 'Over the next two to three years we'd like to see our frequencies increase in Asia along those lines,' he told a conference organised by the China (HK) International Aerospace Forum. The airline's London-Shanghai route - launched in July 1999 - was expected to break even next year. 'Serious consolidation' was expected in the aviation sector after Singapore Airlines' purchase last year of a 49 per cent stake in Virgin. 'Our deal last year with Singapore Airlines - I think that is a precursor of the way things are going to go,' Mr Ridgway said. The anticipated consolidation in the sector as countries continued to move towards open skies policies would benefit consumers, Mr Ridgway said. 'As long as real competition can be introduced it is going to be better for all of us.' Consolidation will face resistance from employees at the airlines as mergers could result in staff cuts. 'That is going to be one of the very big challenges of consolidation,' Mr Ridgway said. 'Those labour issues will ultimately have to be grappled with.' Virgin Atlantic also faced pressure from competitors seeking to emulate its premium economy service. 'More and more airlines are moving into that segment,' Mr Ridgway said.