Virgin Atlantic announces plan to return to passenger flying with Asia & US routes

Services from London Heathrow to New York JFK, Los Angeles, Orlando, Hong Kong and Shanghai set to resume from 20 and 21 July 2020; additional measures put in place at the airport and onboard to ensure health and safety; dedicated cargo operations to continue.


Virgin Atlantic on Friday (5 June) announced its plans to restart passenger flying with services from London Heathrow to Orlando, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New York JFK and Los Angeles set to resume from 20 and 21 July. As countries around the world start to relax travel restrictions, Virgin Atlantic will resume some routes on 20 July, while steadily increasing passenger flying throughout the second half of 2020, with a further, gradual recovery through 2021 in line with customer demand.

A screenshot of the COVID-19 virus tracking site from Johns Hopkins University. To access the live site, click on the image. (PHOTO: Matt Driskill)

Juha Jarvinen, chief commercial officer of Virgin Atlantic said: “As the COVID-19 crisis stabilises and demand slowly returns, we are looking forward to welcoming our customers back on-board and flying them safely to their favourite destinations. To ensure the health and safety of our customers and our people, we’re introducing new measures at every point in the journey to offer peace of mind when taking to the skies with us.

“Our planned first flights will be to Orlando and Hong Kong on the 20 July, however, we are monitoring external conditions extremely closely, in particular the travel restrictions many countries have in place including the 14-day quarantine policy for travellers entering the UK. We know that as the COVID-19 crisis subsides, air travel will be a vital enabler of the UK’s economic recovery. Therefore, we are calling for a multi-layered approach of carefully targeted public health and screening measures, which will allow for a successful and safe restart of international air travel for passengers and businesses. We are planning to announce more destination restart dates in the next two weeks for the month of August.”

Virgin Atlantic is implementing additional measures for cleaning and virus protection. These include enhanced and thorough cleaning practices at check-in, boarding gates and on-board including the use of electrostatic spraying of high-grade disinfectant onboard in all cabins and lavatories. Safe distancing will also be adhered to wherever possible, particularly at check-in and boarding and where not possible, masks will be required.

In addition to the restart of passenger flying, Virgin Atlantic continues to operate cargo-only flights. Throughout June, the airline plans to operate more than 600 cargo-only services, serving destinations including Tel Aviv, Chicago, Brussels, Johannesburg, Lagos and Miami. The airline also plans 17 cargo charters per week from Shanghai and Beijing throughout June and July.

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